Tommaso Ciampa Beats Velveteen Dream, Retains NXT Title at NXT TakeOver: WarGamesNovember 18, 2018
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Velveteen Dream at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in Los Angeles on Saturday to retain the NXT Championship.
In a potential Match of the Year contender, Dream threw everything he had at Ciampa before crashing and burning on an elbow drop attempt to the outside and then eating a DDT headfirst into the partition connecting the two rings set up for the WarGames main event:
Dream emerged as a top challenger for the NXT title after Ciampa beat Johnny Gargano in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 in a Last Man Standing match to retain the championship.
Shortly after that show, Velveteen Dream called out Gargano and referred to him as "Johnny Failure" because of his inability to take the title from Ciampa.
Dream then beat Gargano in a singles match, which set the stage for his clash with Ciampa at TakeOver: WarGames.
On one of the final episodes of NXT prior to TakeOver: WarGames, Dream faced Lars Sullivan in a match that Sullivan won thanks to interference from Ciampa.
Dream managed to get the better of Ciampa after the match, though, and he raised the NXT title above his head, which elicited a raucous reaction from the live crowd.
Despite the loss to Sullivan, Dream was given a shot at the NXT Championship by NXT general manager William Regal, marking the biggest match of his career thus far.
Since starting off as a little-used enhancement talent, Velveteen Dream has experienced a meteoric rise over the past couple of years, and he is now among the most popular Superstars in NXT.
Ciampa is universally hated because of his betrayal of Gargano, but he is in the midst of the most impressive run of his career.
Based on the combination of his in-ring acumen, mic skills and commitment to his heel character, it can be argued that Ciampa has been the best and most complete wrestler in the world in 2018.
Although Dream never technically turned face, he was an ideal foil for Ciampa since his unique character has gotten him so over with the viewing audience recently.
Dream is also a polar opposite of the no-nonsense persona Ciampa exhibits, which created one of the most unpredictable battles in NXT history.
Ciampa managed to escape TakeOver: WarGames with his title reign intact, but Dream turned in a remarkable showing, and his stock will undoubtedly continue to climb in the coming weeks and months.
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