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Johnny Gargano Beats Bronson Reed, Retains North American Title at NXT TakeOver

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Johnny Gargano defeated Bronson Reed on Night 2 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on Thursday to retain the NXT North American Championship.

Gargano connected with One Final Beat not once but twice to finally put Reed down.

WWE @WWE

Despite an amazing effort from the #GauntletEliminator winner @bronsonreedwwe, it is @JohnnyGargano who walks out as your #WWENXT North American Champion! #AndStill #NXTTakeOver @austintheory1 https://t.co/JCgxJHiDAs

Gargano did not find out who his opponent would be until Wednesday night when Reed won a match on Night 1 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver to become the No. 1 contender for the North American title.

Reed took part in a six-man gauntlet match and was the third entrant in the contest after finishing fourth in a battle royal previously.

The gauntlet match also included LA Knight, Dexter Lumis, Cameron Grimes, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and Leon Ruff, and it was Swerve who made it to the final two along with Reed.

While Scott gave up a ton of size and strength, he used his speed and athleticism to push Reed to the limit. It wasn't enough, however, as Reed ultimately hit Swerve with the big splash off the top rope and pinned him to become the No. 1 contender.

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After the match, Gargano appeared on the ramp with his North American title in tow and talked some trash about his Night 2 opponent.

Johnny Wrestling and Reed have mixed it up in NXT before, but Thursday's match marked the first time they had a one-on-one bout.

Previously, Reed beat Gargano and Roderick Strong in a Triple Threat match back in July, and at NXT TakeOver XXX in August, both Gargano and Reed competed in a North American Championship ladder match that also included Grimes, Velveteen Dream and the winner, Damian Priest.

Gargano is known to many as Johnny TakeOver because of his penchant for putting on spectacular performances and winning on the TakeOver stage, but Reed presented a colossal challenge for him.

Reed had a huge size and strength advantage over the diminutive Gargano, but since Gargano is a heel, it allowed him to use some dirty tricks in an effort to even the odds.

That worked to Gargano's advantage, as he retained at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver and extended a North American title reign that has now exceeded four months.

      

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