5/31 NXT TV REPORT: Tommaso Ciampa explains why he turned against Gargano, Ohno & Strong vs. Young & Wolfe

By Justin James, PWTorch contributor


MAY 31, 2017

Announcers: Tom Philips, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness


NXT has a totally new set of credits and music, which is strange because it just changed a few months ago. NXT is back in FSU. With the heel turn of Tommaso Ciampa, tonight feels like “must-watch” TV finally. Speaking of which, Ciampa comes out in some cheap WalMart duds and without music, and on crutches. Big boos for him. The crowd seems torn on Ciampa.

The crowd boos as Ciampa calls Johnny Gargano to the ring so he can explain himself. Ciampa says that he just remembered that Gargano is not there. He asks the crowd if they want to replace Gargano. Ciampa has something to say about “being replaced.” The crowd dumps on him. The Thursday before Takeover: Chicago, he had been hurt and there was questions if he could wrestle at Takeover. He had no doubts that he could perform. But the audience took less than a day to start thinking up fantasy partners for Gargano.

Ciampa is fired up: “Newsflash, I am not a damn afterthought!” Ciampa didn’t care and went into Takeover with fighting spirit. He fell hard in the ladder match, and he knew he sustained a serious injury and was going to have to go on the shelf, but he kept fighting anyways. After losing the match, Ciampa took stock of the situation, and just like the crowd was ready to replace Ciampa, Gargano would do the same thing to Ciampa. Ciampa wasn’t going to become an afterthought, and decided to go into business for himself.

Ciampa blames the audience and Gargano, because #DIY was special and they ruined it. If Ciampa was going to have to go away, so was Gargano. Ciampa says he is not replaceable. Gargano is not replaceable either, but the audience is. He does not need them and never did. He refuses to tell a sob story about recovering and getting bigger and better than ever before. He promises to come back and be the baddest son of a bitch in NXT. “I am professional wrestling whether you like it or not,” he yells. Then he throws the mic down.

McGuiness calls it shocking. Phillips said they’ll have medical updates on both Ciampa and Gargano later.

[ J.J.’s Reax: Where in the world was this Ciampa for the last two years? What a fantastic, energetic, believable promo. It was about ten minutes long and did not wear out its welcome at all. ]

Oh good, Kassius Ohno and Roderick Strong are facing Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe. WHY? Can this feud just die already?

Pete Dunne is facing Danny Burch next.

Video package on Burch, after countless years on NXT, he finally gets 30 seconds of promotion.

Tom Philips said Ciampa needs “major knee surgery” after what went down in Chicago. They said they don’t have an update on Gargano because he’s refusing to talk to anyone in the wake of Takeover.

Interview earlier today with Bobby Roode in the backseat of a limo. He promises to be on NXT next week.

Danny Burch is out, and actually gets a full entrance and music, which I think is another first for Burch. Burch is playing a bit of a face here, after various appearances as a heel jobber. The crowd pops hard for Pete Dunne.


(1) UK Champion PETE DUNNE vs. DANNY BURCH – Non-Title Match

They pace for a moment and lockup, Dunne forces Burch to the mat and starts to work the arm and fingers, and even covering for a moment. Burch works out of the mat, but Dunne is not easily contained by holds. Burch does something that looks like it could mangle Dunne’s fingers, but Dunne is just angry now. Burch wants a test of strength, Dunne slaps his hand away. Burch wants it again, Dunne slaps his face, Burch fires up and gets in some offence. Cheap shot on a ref break lets Dunne cover for two.

[ Break ]

Dunne is picking Burch apart out of the break. Burch gets boots up in the corner and follows with a missle dropkick, but Burch is slow to kip up. Quick back-and-forth. Running fist drops Dunne for a two count. Headbutt gets Burch a nearfall. The crowd is rallying Dunne, who hits a suplex, enziguri, X-Plex for a nearfall. Burch rolls Dunne intoa two count. Massive clothesline from Burch, but again he is too wounded to follow up. Dunne rolls to the apron. Burch gets clocks by Dunne, they punches Dunne out of the air on a slingshot, hits an elevated DDT for a nearfall. Dunne with a German Suplex that sends Burch’s head into the turnbuckle, then nails the Bitter End for the win.

WINNER: Pete Dunne in 8:27. Whoever booked Danny Burch to go more than two minutes against the UK Champion, after one of the best matches in recent history, and Burch never going more than two or three minutes on NXT before, needs to be fired with extreme prejudice. The match was fine but this totally waters Dunne down to take so much offense from the never-was Burch.

Post-match promo from Dunne, talking about how he beat Tyler Bate, and that history will remember than the UK Championship truly started with him. Big reaction from the crowd.


Backstage with Velveteen Dream. He silences the question, then complains about the ambiance. He wants to fix the set, and the interviewer’s hair, and then maybe it will be OK.

Vignette for the Authors of Pain.


Almas with a quick dropkick to put Bononi in the corner. Almas with his usual offense to keep Bononi on the back foot. Bononi shifts his weight on a suplex attempt to shift into a small package and get the surprise win.

Winner: Cezar Bononi in 3:06. Another match to continue this idea that Almas isn’t winning but doesn’t care. This is doing nothing for me.

Post-match, Almas throws a minor fit, then looks non-chalant and walks out.

Earlier today, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce talk themselves up, but the acoustics of the performance center make it hard to understand. Ember Moon strolls out, and they yell at her for ruining their video. Moon says she will see them soon.

[ J.J.’s Reax: the Women’s Division continues to devolve into the “you stole my hairbrush, lets have a match!” Raw territory circa 2009. ]

Asuka is booked to face Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross in a Triple Threat Elimination Match in two weeks.

[ J.J.’s Reax: Riot and Cross need to get to the back of the line, especially Cross after two losses to Asuka. Are they setting up a hot shot title change for some reason? ]

Backstage after Takeover, Hideo Itami does not want to answer any questions. He trashes the locker room and shoves Kassius Ohno and Funaki and Oney Lorcan. Lots of bleeping as Itami screams at Ohno and gets physical with him.

Earlier today, Itami and Ohno talk in the FSU parking lot, Itami seems to apologize, offers a handshake, and Ohno takes it.

[ J.J.’s Reax: Please do not let Itami get dragged into the Sanity feud. Please. I implore the bookers to not go in that direction. ]

Next week, Lorcan is booked to face Itami.


Interesting to note that Cross hasn’t been coming out with Sanity much lately, and they don’t attend her matches.


Strong and Young start off hot with brawling. Young backs Strong into the corner, then Strong backs Young intot he corner. Backbreaker from Strong, but Young reaches the ropes. Wolfe tags in and eats a dropkick, gets backed into the corner and it’s Ohno in. Young tags in, but Ohno is able to get out of the corner. Boot through the ropes stuns Young, Ohno fends off Wolfe, but Dain intervenes behind the ref’s back to tip the odds in Sanity’s favor. Gutbuster from Wolfe, elbow off the top from Young gets two. Young sends Ohno outside, baits Strong into entering the ring, letting Dain clobber Ohno on the outside.

[ Break ]

Young has Ohno in a chinlock out of the break. Shoulder block and cover for two, Wolfe tags in. Rapid tags by Sanity. Suplex from Wolfe gets two. Ohno tries to break free, but a pump kick from Wolfe takes him down. Neckbreaker gets two for Ohno. Ohno rolls into the heel corner for some reason. Enziguri sends Young tot he corner for a tag, Ohno dodges an elbow drop and tags in Strong.

Clotheslines, and an exploder suplex. Enziguris all around, running knee to Wolfe followed by a slam to the mat, but Wolfe gets a leg on the ropes. Elbows to Wolfe, blind tag, leaping neckbreaker lets Young cover for two. Ohno cuts off illegal entrance from Wolfe, Young holds Strong and asks Dain to intervene, but No Way Jose runs out from the back to fight off Jose. Rolling Elbow from Ohno takes out Wolfe, Strong hits his “End of Heartache” popup backbreaker for the win.

Winners: Kassius Ohno and Roderick Strong in 10:32. Ohno continues to be defined down on the card, taking the majority of the offense in this match. If this feud is going to have someone equalize the numbers, I am glad it is No Way Jose and not Hideo Itami.

FINAL REAX: Nothing really exciting in this episode, other than Tommaso Ciampa’s fantastic promo to open the show. I was hoping to see a Gargano – Ciampa feud make Wednesday nights relevant again, but it is not to be it seems.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 5/24 NXT TV REPORT: McIntyre vs. Wesley Blake, Aleister Black vs. Hawkins, Velveteen Dream, Takeover Video

2 Comments on 5/31 NXT TV REPORT: Tommaso Ciampa explains why he turned against Gargano, Ohno & Strong vs. Young & Wolfe

  1. Regarding the comments about Danny Burch, I thought the package on him during the UK Tournament was well done. I wouldn’t consider him a “never was” in that respect. Assuming the NXT audience was likely to watch that tournament, does none of that build apply here?

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