WALTER passed two years as NXT United Kingdom champion a few days ago. Despite that, and being in several weight classes below the big Austrian heavyweight, Tommaso Ciampa sought out the Ring General to prove he’s still a main eventer and threat to everyone in WWE.
Imperium’s leader has been saying that Ciampa’s focus on his family has softened him. Perhaps to prove this point, WALTER’s faction seemed to have “disappeared” the Blackheart’s tag partner, Timothy Thatcher. But there was no sign of Toothless Timmy, or mention of that plotline, tonight.
Ciampa started hot, showing the champ his old Psycho Killer side. It all ended with a thunderous chop, however. Then a missed chop split the top of the announce desk in two...
Walter’s chops are DEADLY #NXTTakeOver— Nanette♊️ (@NanouBwa) April 8, 2021
... and Ciampa turned the tide by focusing on the hand - gaining an advantage while taking away WALTER’s biggest weapon. The former NXT champ kept his foot on the gas...
With every chop, @NXTCiampa grows stronger. #NXTTakeOver @WalterAUT pic.twitter.com/Q0xS3G6S0a— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) April 8, 2021
...and after hitting Fairy Tale Ending, it looked like he might shock the world. But the Ring General kicked out just before the three count, and did the same thing after an Air Raid Crash from the middle rope.
WALTER regrouped, and focused his attacks on Ciampa’s surgically reconstructed neck. A series of powerbombs led to a suplex that set-up on last chop.
The Blackheart proved he’s not soft. But he’s not hard enough to end WALTER’s historic reign.
For a complete rundown of everything happening on Night One of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, head to our live blog here.