For this episode, WWE had announced a “different format” of what is usually offered. An episode of WWE NXT all in retrospective and no action at all, in the end.
Why Johnny Gargano?
NXT doesn’t do things like RAW and SmackDown. Triple H and Tom Philips welcome us on a set to present this episode which starts with a retrospective of more than an hour which returns to the common and then rival courses of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano in WWE since their tryouts till today.
Everything is there, from their first attempts, the Cruiserweight Classic and the incredible match in which they faced each other, their reunion as a team at NXT, then their different rivalries as well as the injury of Tommaso Ciampa until this thunderclap at TakeOver: Portland where Johnny Gargano attacked his former partner.
An attack which he visibly justifies by certain jealousy to have seen Tommaso Ciampa adulated and designated ex officio as the challenger of Adam Cole for the title of champion of NXT whereas he had lost the title without the possibility of recovering it then.
The return of Finn Bálor
Finn Balor also has the right to his little retrospective on his WWE career in his future match against WALTER. He wants to prove that he is the best in the world just as he has already proven when he first came to NXT.
He remembers his arrival in the main-roster, his coronation as Universal champion, his injury, the fact that he had to give up the title the next day, and the return several months later completely disillusioned. But he found something in common with all that followed: he was there to put his opponents over and everyone else he fought after at RAW had the best games of their careers – a very positive way of looking at it as he lost each of those games.
But his loss to Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble last year got him back on track, brought his passion back. It was from this moment that he wanted to return to NXT. – Please note that it took several months before returning. He says he didn’t want to do things he didn’t believe in anymore. Nice tackle, we hope Vince McMahon was not watching.
Now he focuses on WALTER, he intends to take the title of British WWE champion, even if the match has no date yet.
Rhea Ripley’s transformation
The last retrospective is for Rhea Ripley who will face Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36 to defend her title of champion of NXT. She also returns to her WWE debut, her first participation in the Mae Young Classic during which her character of “typical blonde Superstar” did not please her.
For the second Mae Young Classic, she came back with a new look, something more like her personality. We all remember that, and the transformation is still impressive today.
She then became NXT UK champion, challenged Shayna Baszler to the NXT champion title, won the title, and is now forced to defend it against Charlotte Flair. Nice course that we do not hope to end at WrestleMania 36 either.
That’s all for this episode, which didn’t involve a single game. When it came to a “different format” we expected this kind of retrospective, they are common in NXT. But offering matches, presented differently from RAW and SmackDown in recent days, could have been interesting. Pity.