Adam Cole Beats Tommaso Ciampa, Retains NXT Title at WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Adam Cole beat Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: Portland on Sunday to retain the NXT Championship in Oregon.

Johnny Gargano has a few questions to answer.

Cole and Ciampa left it all in the ring, with Ciampa even fending off the members of Undisputed Era.

With the referee recovering out of the ring, Gargano arrived to spoil the occasion. He grabbed the NXT title before Ciampa could use it to attack Cole, and he delivered a critical blow to his former tag team partner.

Cole made the pin to keep his championship and allow Undisputed Era to stand tall at the end of the night.

Ciampa was forced to relinquish the NXT championship because of injury in March last year, and he has been singularly focused on regaining the title that has always meant so much to him since he returned to action October 2.

His first big bout after returning was a WarGames match against Undisputed Era, and he later lost to Finn Balor in a Triple Threat No. 1 Contender's match that included Keith Lee, so it took time until Ciampa could position himself for a title match against Cole.

Cole retained over Pete Dunne at Survivor Series in November and against Balor the following month, and it wasn't until recently that a new challenger emerged.

On January 29, Ciampa vowed to get NXT general manager William Regal to sign off on a title match for NXT TakeOver: Portland. He took out Undisputed Era members Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong with a lead pipe and then called Cole out to the ring.

Cole brought a contract drafted by Regal and initially got the upper hand on The Blackheart by hitting him on the head with a microphone, but Ciampa rebounded and put the champion through a table.

Ciampa got cut open during the exchange, which resulted in a remarkable visual of his blood dripping onto the belt he coveted so much. He then signed the contract and wiped his blood across the page as well.

Undisputed Era tried to get revenge on Ciampa the following week by attacking him after a six-man tag team match, but Velveteen Dream made his return after almost four months out because of injury and saved The Blackheart.

Sunday's match was a clash between someone seemingly willing to do anything to hang on to the title he fought so hard to win and someone willing to do whatever it took to get it back.

That gave the match the big-fight feel it deserved, and it stood out on a card that was stacked with great bouts from top to bottom.

By retaining the title, Cole put himself in line to defend at NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay during WrestleMania 36 weekend, but given how important the NXT Championship is to Ciampa, it is hard to envision him straying far from the title scene.

Before he gets another championship shot, Ciampa may have to resolve his unfinished business with Gargano.

            

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

Related

    Wrestling Quick Takes ⚡

    🔥 Stampede match was a masterpiece 🤔 What's next for Kevin Owens? 💙 Styles on SmackDown is the right move ➡️ Catch up on all the hot takes

    WWE logo
    WWE

    Wrestling Quick Takes ⚡

    Graham GSM Matthews
    via Bleacher Report

    'The Last Ride' Chapter 3 Top Moments and Reaction

    WWE logo
    WWE

    'The Last Ride' Chapter 3 Top Moments and Reaction

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    AEW Double or Nothing Winners and Losers

    WWE logo
    WWE

    AEW Double or Nothing Winners and Losers

    Kevin Berge
    via Bleacher Report

    AEW's Stampede Match Was Wrestling Chaos at Its Finest

    Saturday's unprecedented match makes its mark in wrestling history ➡️

    WWE logo
    WWE

    AEW's Stampede Match Was Wrestling Chaos at Its Finest

    Jonathan Snowden
    via Bleacher Report