The match most people expected to steal the show fell right in the middle of Sat., Jan. 26’s TakeOver: Phoenix.
Both men came dressed to impress. As if the story of a delusional Johnny Gargano trying to make good on his promise of “wins and championships” in 2019, or the workrate spectacle a rekindling of his long indie rivalry with North American champ Ricochet was sure to provide, wasn’t enough. Gargano wore gear inspired by the X-Men’s Jean Grey, and the One and Only wore an homage to Miles Morales of the Academy Award nominated Into The Spiderverse.
It’s time to turn on the Dark in Phoenix!— Adam Riches (@AdamRichesArt) January 27, 2019
Johnny Gargano NXT TakeOver Phoenix ring gear!
Design by me: @AdamRichesArt
Sewn by: @MainEventGear@JohnnyGargano
v @KingRicochet@WWENXT #NXTTakeOver #NXTTakeoverPhoenix#JohnnyTakeover #NorthAmericanChampion pic.twitter.com/JopE0TJpFy
Things started at an extremely fast-pace, but the champ had an answer for everything Gargano threw at him.
.@KingRicochet and @JohnnyGargano, boys and girls...— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) January 27, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/ePt5TzD6sU pic.twitter.com/bszfbDnl8B
Ricochet got dropped on his head, allowing Johnny to slow things down for a time. But things evened up again pretty quickly and that insanely fast-pace they started with was maintained for the remainder of the match. One amazing spot followed another, with scenes like these:
Believe it, Johnny! @KingRicochet is still standing!— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) January 27, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/ePt5TzD6sU pic.twitter.com/46jXa9cj8j
Handspring countered into a Gargano Scape. @JohnnyGargano #NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/jxw28ARe4c— Italo Santana (@BulletClubIta) January 27, 2019
There's only ONE @KingRicochet!— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) January 27, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/ePt5TzD6sU pic.twitter.com/F3JMnjXxVD
That those things didn’t end the match is part of why Gargano first opted to expose the cement at ringside, a la his old #DIY tag partner and nemesis Tommaso Ciampa. At first he opted not to go that way, but when the right path almost led to another loss, the man Ciampa calls Johnny Badass emerged.
WARNING— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 27, 2019
This is really, really painful to watch.#NXTTakeOver @JohnnyGargano pic.twitter.com/DtuRzk9yhI
Rolling the One and Only back in, Johnny mouthed the words “I win” and slingshotted himself into the ring for a DDT.
1 - 2 - 3 later, and Gargano has a win AND a championship.
Find a more detailed blow-by-blow and all the results for TakeOver: Phoenix here.