Here's a place to check results and comment along with the newest episode of WWE NXT, airing live in its regular Wednesday night at 8PM Eastern time slot on USA Network.
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Advertised for tonight: WWE’s latest “essential personnel only” event from the Performance Center! Featuring “elements ranging from in-depth character profiles and story breakdowns as well as never-before-seen interviews and content.”
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the NXT live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
Enjoy the show!
WWE NXT RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR MAR. 18
This will be different, but it starts with the standard “last week on NXT” open.
Then it’s time for our hosts, Triple H & Tom Phillips! They’re in Stamford, Connecticut. Tom tells us we’ll be checking in with Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor. Triple H says first, we’ll take a unique look at Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano’s story.
The first video takes us back to their tryout. They were put together by happenstance, and had instant chemistry. But they were not offered contracts, which brought them closer together. They got closer outside the company, and as occasional NXT wrestlers. Then the Cruiserweight Classic happened. Johnny was in, and Ciampa talked Hunter into putting him in the first round. They talk about how great their match was, and after talking about how they’re artists - then switch to a bit of kayfabe as Tommaso says he kind of let Gargano win and Johnny says he knows he’s better.
They signed, and we talk about forming their tag team and chasing The Revival. Ciampa says he doesn’t think he would have tapped out at TakeOver: Brooklyn 2. Gargano says that drove them to need to win the belts at Toronto. The championship win was a “screw you” to the people who said they didn’t belong or wouldn’t make it in WWE.
After a commercial, #DIY talks about “living the dream” as champions and how they’re friendship and partnership grew over that time. Johnny says it didn’t go the way they wanted it to, but what can you do. Tommaso says he was banged up - needing surgery on both shoulders. He wasn’t himself, and Gargano thinks his priorities changed. AOP took their belts on the first try, and they couldn’t get them back. Ciampa mentions they were living together with Candice LeRae, and the newlyweds didn’t know what he was going through.
Both guys say that in Toronto, the crowd was chanting for Johnny. They’re both competitive, and there were going to be issues. When they went to Chicago to try to win back the titles, Ciampa knew Gargano had to be considering his options. After another break, we see highlights of that match - and Tommaso’s attack on Johnny.
Ciampa positions it as a business decision to make that his moment before he went off for surgery. Gargano thinks it was to make sure they were both out for the same amount of time. Johnny struggled but got things together, and earned a title shot. Tommaso points out he didn’t attack until after Gargano lost to Andrade... the first time in Philly. When he got a rematch with his career on the line, Ciampa didn’t wait.
More commercials, this is probably half the show.
We cover Johnny and the fans “haunting” Tommaso while Gargano was away, building up to New Orleans. We’re getting more highlights and less interview now. We see Johnny winning his job back at that TakeOver, but Tommaso says even though he lost, he was the star that night, and at Chicago 2 he was again, but he won. Johnny’s interference helped Ciampa win the title, which caused everyone to realize they missed the boat on him. It also caused Gargano to start using his methods. But just when Tommaso was peaking, he had to go out for neck surgery.
Ciampa is crushed. Johnny says fate stepped in to give him a shot at Adam Cole for the NXT title. We get highlights of Gargano’s two-out-of-three falls win at New York to become a Grand Slam champ. Tommaso greeted him on stage with Candice, and he said it felt right to put it all behind them. Johnny says he saw his best friend for the first time in a long time, and got “caught up in it”.
But while Ciampa was out, Gargano struggled again. And when Tommaso comes back, NXT welcomed him. So Johnny did what he thought the fans wanted, he re-formed #DIY. But it was clear Ciampa was the face of the brand at that point, and he decided to go right after Cole and the belt.
We’re at the top of the hour now, and Phillips and Haitch re-set. Trips puts over how important getting back, and getting the belt back, was to him. Back to the documentary, Gargano says again he was “caught up in it” at this point and just happy for his friend. We get to Portland, and Johnny turning to allow Cole to keep the belt. Tommaso says the difference is that he gave Johnny a chance to win the belt at TakeOver: Philadelphia, but Gargano took his chance away from him.
The final interviews are Johnny going full heel and seething. Last week, they tore apart the building that made them. Ciampa says the next time they face off, they’re likely to end each other.
Time for a look at Finn Balor. Triple H says that when he came back to NXT, he had a different look in his eye. The video package takes us all the way back to his first NXT run, though. This really establishes his sense of ownership for the brand. We see his debut, and a new interview where he says in 2014, Prince Devitt was one of the best in the world. So NXT did what it does, and signed one of the best in the world.
We see Mick Foley & Stephanie McMahon pick Finn in the brand split draft. Raw wanted the best, and they picked him. Balor talks his run to the Universal title... and his injury. He’s still speechless when he discusses it in the interview. But he says it wasn’t “poor Finn”, because he’d just proved how good he was. Nine months of rehab to come back at 100%, but something’s changed. The atmosphere’s changed. Jinder Mahal, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley have their best matches with him, but he’s the common denominator. That sets up his Royal Rumble shot at Brock Lesnar. That was when he felt like he hadn’t felt since NXT. Brock beat him, and made him realize what he’d been missing. Lesnar saved his life, because it brought the passion back to Finn Balor. He knew he need to wrestle, and he needed to wrestle in NXT.
He’s addicted to the adrenaline, and the pain. And for three years, it was missing. Action figures and autograph signings are great, but he just wants to get in the ring and prove he’s the best, and the place to do that is NXT. He knew then that he had to stop pleasing everyone else, and start pleasing himself. He’s not gonna be doing this for much longer, and he wasn’t gonna waste another three years in WWE doing something other than what he craved. So he went back to 2014. He tells Gargano it wasn’t personal, it was for himself. Then it’s to footage from TakeOver: Portland.
Finn says these are uncertain times, but one thing is certain. He’ll get in the ring WALTER and get what he wants. And he knows there are lots of guy in NXT who crave the same thing he does. So if they want it, all they have to do is step to him.
A WrestleMania commercial is the segue to Triple H talking about how big it is that Charlotte Flair used her Royal Rumble win to come after the NXT title. Now videos on the Evolution of The Nightmare.
When she signed and entered into the first Mae Young Classic, she was coming from being a big fish in a small pond in Australia. She was too eager to please everyone, and trying to be like Charlotte or even Lana. For the second tournament, she did it for herself. Her favorite thing is proving people wrong. NXT UK gave her a chance. We see highlights of her winning the tournament to become the first champ on that brand, even though everyone thought Toni Storm would.
She was dominant for her year+ in NXT UK, and she felt like she’d faced everyone there. Meanwhile, Shayna Baszler was ruling the roost in NXT Prime, so Rhea decided to come show everyone who she is. Her “You haven’t beaten me bitch” moment takes us to our last commercial. We see some Survivor Series highlights, and Ripley says after that everyone knew her name. But the one thing she was missing was the NXT title.
She wins the belt, and talks about how great it was to celebrate in the ring with the fans. That was a great ending for 2019, and she started 2020 as champ. Watching Charlotte win the Rumble, Rhea thought everyone had seen her main roster feuds. They wanted something new, so she went and challenged her. We’re shown Flair coming to NXT to attack. Ripley says 2020’s been a roller coaster, but ‘Mania is still on. Moving it the PC puts it in her environment. Charlotte feeds off the crowd, but no one will be there to WOO back to her at ‘Mania. It’ll just be her. She’s walking in champ, and she’ll walk out champ.
Phillips and Trips wrap it up. Hunter says he knows what’s coming at ‘Mania, and it’ll be like nothing we’ve seen before.