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Adam Cole Beats Johnny Gargano, Retains NXT Title at NXT TakeOver: Toronto 2019

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

Adam Cole beat Johnny Gargano in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match at NXT TakeOver: Toronto on Saturday night to retain the NXT Championship.

Cole took the first fall, which was a traditional singles match, after Gargano attacked him with a steel chair for the disqualification. Gargano took the second fall, which was a street fight, forcing Cole to submit in the Gargano Escape.

Cole won the decisive third fall, which was a steel cage match, as specified by NXT general manager William Regal. The cage was supplied with weapons, and barbed wire ringed the top to prevent either wrestler from escaping.

Gargano used a pair of of bolt cutters to cut off a piece of barbed wire and planned to use it on Cole.

WWE @WWE

Uh-oh.... @JohnnyGargano #NXTTakeOver #NXTChampionship https://t.co/BGNrmIkV3j

As they were positioned on a table at the top of the cage, Cole took himself and Gargano down, and they crashed through a table in the ring. Cole had the presence of mind to get an arm across Gargano for the pinfall.

WWE @WWE

"War" doesn't even begin to describe what he survived. #AndStill your #NXTChampion... @AdamColePro BAY BAY! #NXTTakeOver #NXTChampionship https://t.co/b2NAhayMeF

TakeOver: Toronto marked the third consecutive NXT event that Cole and Gargano headlined. Entering Saturday's bout, they had each beaten each other once and had the confidence to know they could do it again.

At NXT TakeOver: New York two nights before WrestleMania, Johnny Wrestling beat Cole in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match to win the vacant NXT Championship in one of the biggest feel-good moments in NXT history.

Cole was undeterred and insisted that he was the true champion since he won the first fall in that bout. The leader of Undisputed Era earned a rematch at NXT TakeOver: XXV and made good on his promise to capture the NXT title for the first time.

After beating Gargano for the strap, the brazen Cole did everything he could to get inside Johnny Wrestling's head. That included going to Gargano's hometown of Cleveland to harass his father and students from the wrestling school at which Gargano trained.

Cole even attempted to wrestle one of those students on NXT TV until Gargano ran down to attack Cole and lock him in the Gargano Escape.

Prior to TakeOver: Toronto, Regal added a unique stipulation to the third match in their trilogy. In a 2-out-of-3 Falls match, Cole got to pick one stipulation and Gargano got to pick the other, while Regal left the stipulation for the third fall to himself if necessary.

Cole picked a traditional singles match and Gargano went with a street fight, which was a somewhat unexpected twist since Gargano is considered more of a pure wrestler and a street fight seemingly worked to Cole's advantage because of the presence of Undisputed Era.

Ultimately, Cole managed to beat Gargano for the second NXT pay-per-view in a row, which may lead to someone like Matt Riddle or Velveteen Dream stepping up as a new challenger and could fuel rumors of Gargano getting called up to the main roster as well.

     

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