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  #1  
Old 12-27-2017, 08:06 PM
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Default NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia: NXT Championship - Andrade "Cien" Almas VS Johnny Gargano

A few minutes go on tonight's NXT episode, Johnny Gargano defeated Aleister Black, Lars Sullivan and Killian Dane in a #1 contender fatal fourway match to determine Almas' opponent for the next TakeOver event in Philadelphia.

This was something of a surprise as I figured it'd go to Aleister Black but Black was actually the one Gargano pinned so his undefeated streak is technically over. However, Black, like Dane and Sullivan, was protected; in Black's case, the Undisputed Era interfered in vengeance for Black defeating Adam Cole to advance to this bout in the first place.

As for this match itself, I've no doubt it'll be highly entertaining. They had the opening bout at TakeOver: Brooklyn III and it wasn't even heavily hyped, yet that match turned out to be a killer 4 star effort. Almas won that fight due to a slight distraction provided by Zelina Vega in that she tossed a #DIY shirt at Gargano, with the story being that Gargano was still shook up over Tomasso Ciampa turning on him at TakeOver: Chicago. As far as this bout goes, I expect Almas to retain due to a returning Ciampa causing Gargano to lose; I just expect Ciampa to turn up in Philadelphia, cost Gargano the title match and finally enter the feud that they were originally going to have before Ciampa had to take time off to deal with a knee injury. By the time TakeOver: Philadephia comes around, Ciampa will have been out since May so the timeline seems probable.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2018, 08:02 AM
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On the one hand, its an obvious pre-emptive MOTY contender.

On the other hand, the finish is so crushingly obvious, its going to take some of the steam off it, even if only a little. OBVIOUSLY Ciampa is coming back to cost him this match. A better way to go would be to have Gargano pull off the shock win, and then have Ciampa cost him the belt when we all least expect it.....Which is something there is a glimmer of hope for, since this is NXT, and not main roster.

We shall see.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2018, 08:29 AM
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While this will probably be a really good match for those think in-ring is more important then aything else. i fell like the ended will ruin the whole match especially if what everybody is expecting to happen doesn'T happen. Gargano is a great talent but at the same time it fell evident that the whole him finally winning a match and getting the title shot is just a set up for ciampa to return and cost him the match. Either that or he wins the title only to lost it to ciampa when he returns, probably at the mania takeover.

Either way, i've got to say that Gargano need to really take advantage of everything he's getting in NXT because, he's another one that's going to be relocate to the 205 live roster when he finally get called up.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:23 AM
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Back in August of last year these two put on one of the most underrated and overlooked matches of 2017 at TakeOver: Brooklyn III. Now for NXT's top title, I'm sure this match will deliver and will be a early contender for match of the year, no doubt. With that, I fully expect some interference here. Ciampa's name will be all over these results for obvious reasons.

Almas has surprised me so far with his title reign and he's nailing that heel role better than I thought he could. I don't see another short reign for the NXT title here. Gargano is certainly credible enough to lead the NXT brand but his story is about overcoming obstacles. Those obstacles come in the form of the greatly missed Tomasso Ciampa and losing the NXT Championship match. Ciampa/Gargano doesn't need a title and it's the perfect feud to be featured prominently going into TakeOver: New Orleans.

Gargano loses after Ciampa knees his head off then places a #diy shirt over his lifeless carcass. I say that but if I'm wrong and Gargano wins, I'm screaming like a 13 year old schoolgirl who just found out Justin Bieber is coming to town and I have front row tickets.

Hamler's Prediction: Andrade "Cien" Almas will retain the NXT Championship.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2018, 11:15 AM
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As mentioned above me, BECAUSE this is NXT and not the main roster, I'm expecting them to make the smart decision instead of the obvious one. I like Almas and he's doing better as champion than I had anticipated him being. Any other match, any other time I'd call for him to retain but the timing of everything is just too perfect right now. I'm calling for Johnny Gargano to defeat Andrade "Cien" Almas to become the NXT Champion and as he celebrates his victory, Tomasso Ciampa attacks him thus setting up Gargano and Ciampa for the NXT Championship at Takeover: New Orleans... in what I'd argue would be the biggest match in NXT's 5-6 year history.

NOW, even though I still think that's the smart decision... as I was typing the previous paragraph I remembered something that I had read a few months back that said they're considering putting an NXT match on the main WrestleMania card. It was a small rumor and I don't even remember what the source of it was so the validity is definitely in question but if there's truth to it, and they do plan on doing something like that... there's two ways they can go about it. They can have Ciampa/Gargano at WrestleMania in a non-title match and have Almas defend the NXT Championship at Takeover, which would obviously mean he's retaining tonight. OR they could have Almas defend the NXT Championship at WrestleMania and have Gargano/Ciampa in a non-title main event Takeover because even if non-title, it would still be huge and could probably carry as a Takeover main event. There of course is a third option of doing Gargano/Ciampa for the title at WrestleMania but that would just cripple the hype for Takeover so I doubt they'd do that. I hope there's no truth to any of this though. Even if the intentions are good we all know damn well NXT wouldn't get the time it needed to shine at WrestleMania.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2018, 03:40 PM
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I could see Candace Larae getting involved in this match if Zenaida Vega tries to interfere. In fact I hope that happens. Maybe Gargano wins and feuds with Ciampa over the title?
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