As we get closer to WrestleMania, it seems like something news is being added every single day. That trend continued on Wednesday evening.
WWE NXT General Manager William Regal has officially announced that Johnny Gargano will take on his former partner, Tommaso Ciampa, in an Unsanctioned Match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. The bout happens the night before WrestleMania 34 and joins what is already a stacked card.
The bout had widely been expected though not officially confirmed until now. With Gargano being one of the top babyfaces of the brand, it was hard to believe he would be left off the WrestleMania card. Further, the feud between he and Ciampa has been built up so well that a match on WrestleMania weekend makes the most sense.
Ciampa and Gargano's split was put into motion last year at NXT TakeOver: Chicago. Ciampa, also known as the "Pscyho Killer," turned on his former friend and gave him a massive beatdown to the close the show. Unfortunately, an injury suffered by Ciampa kept him out of action until this past January, so the follow-up to the angle had to wait a while, though the wait almost made the payoff even better.
Ciampa returned at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia during Royal Rumble weekend and gave Gargano another vicious beatdown, this time with Gargano's wife Candice LeRae looking on.
With Ciampa now cleared for action, we'll finally get this highly anticipated match in just over one week's time. Not only that, but a special stipulation has been added to the bout: if Johnny Gargano loses, he will be banned from WWE NXT entirely.
The updated card for NXT TakeOver: New Orleans is as follows:
WWE NXT Title Match
Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) vs. Aleister Black
WWE NXT Women's Title Match
Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
WWE NXT Tag Team Title Match
TBA vs. Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish
Ladder Match to Crown the First WWE NXT North American Champion
Ethan Carter III vs. Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. Lars Sullivan vs. The Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dain
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano
Gargano will be banned from NXT if he loses.
The Finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic