Tonight’s NXT promised us a sit down interview between Mauro Ranallo & Johnny Gargano where he’d finally tell us why he betrayed Tommaso Ciampa.
Well, we still didn’t get why. But we got a great segment that demonstrated this is a character that Johnny is committed and helped his heel cred by targeting beloved Mauro.
It started civil, with Johnny acknowledging that Ranallo knows (or at least once knew) him very well and appreciates how Mauro used to put him over on commentary. But he vehemently denied that he ever attacked Ciampa behind his back, including the fantastic explanation that last week wasn’t a sneak attack because hew as wearing a bright blue sports jacket.
But as Mauro started pushing the issue of “why?”, things got more uncomfortable. At first, Johnny held himself back, but eventually he was in the face of NXT’s lead announcer, claiming Mauro doesn’t know him. That he never reached out after Portland but was fine calling him “Johnny Turncoat” anyway.
By the end, Johnny was demanding Mauro apologize for lying to the people about him. Ranallo was too uncomfortable and walked off set. Johnny then grabbed the camera and told Tommaso Ciampa that he’ll see him at the Performance Center next week.
The intensity from @JohnnyGargano is off the charts when talking about @NXTCiampa!#JohnnyWrestling can't wait for next week on #WWENXT... pic.twitter.com/q0V34KcRZo— WWE (@WWE) March 5, 2020
This segment was the first that really showed that Johnny Gargano could be very good in this role. Using Mauro was smart too. He played his role perfectly, from curious interviewer to a man who was very uncomfortable. The fact that Mauro has opened up to his fans about his struggles with mental illness, letting us into his life, made it more uncomfortable than if they used someone like Nigel McGuiness or Renee Young.
Did this segment help sell you on this new round of Gargano vs. Ciampa? Let us know below.
You can find results to tonight’s NXT at the live blog here.