WWE NXT Report 3/18/2020

Mar 18, 2020 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s WWE NXT episode opens up on the USA Network with a video package of highlights from last week’s episode.

– We’re live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. There is no crowd tonight, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Triple H and Tom Phillips welcome us. They send us to a video package for the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano feud first. The video features new interviews with both Superstars.

Back from a commercial break at 8:13pm ET and the lengthy video package on Gargano and Ciampa continues. We cut to a quick promo for Charlotte Flair vs. NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley and go back to commercial at around 8:19.

We take another commercial break after the Ciampa vs. Gargano video airs for another 10 minutes or so. Back from another break and we see highlights from their “Last Man Standing” match for the NXT Title at “Takeover: Brooklyn IV” in August 2018. Ciampa talks some more before we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and the video package continues at 8:45, looking at Ciampa relinquishing the NXT Title due to his neck injury. Gargano comments on Ciampa’s injury and we see highlights of Gargano defeating current NXT Champion Adam Cole for the vacant title in a 2 of 3 Falls match at “Takeover: New York” in 2019. They show more new comments from Ciampa and Gargano. Ciampa talks about going for who has the title now, Cole, but we take another commercial break with around 6 minutes until the top of the hour.

– Back from the break and we hear from Triple H and Tom Phillips again to kick off the second hour. They talk more about Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, and lead us to highlights from Adam Cole’s successful NXT Title defense over Ciampa at “Takeover: Portland” earlier this year, which saw Gargano interfere to cost Ciampa the match. They show more new comments from the former DIY partners, talking about where their feud is at now, following their recent brawl all over the WWE Performance Center.

Ciampa says eventually their paths will cross again and this time they might just fight forever. We go back to Tom and Triple H. Triple H believes we haven’t seen anything yet and as far as Ciampa and Gargano go, this is far from over. Tom sends us back to commercial and a brief promo for Shayna Baszler vs. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 36.

– Back from the break and we see Triple H and Tom discussing Finn Balor. Triple H talks about how Balor recently returned to NXT with a different spark. He says this is The Prince he hoped he’d always get in NXT. Tom leads us to a video package on Balor, featuring highlights from his original run on the brand. The video cuts to new comments from Balor. He talks about how Prince Devitt was the best wrestler in the world in 2014, and then WWE signed him, and Finn Balor was born. He talks about proving he was the best wrestler in the world every night, with wins over guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. Balor goes on about his lengthy NXT Title reign. We go back to another commercial at 9:15.

Back from the break and Balor is talking about how he was drafted to RAW from NXT. He also looks back at his SummerSlam win that year to become the first-ever WWE Universal Champion as The Demon. He recalls how he got hurt that night. He says he proved that night that he’s the best wrestler in the world. Nine months later he came back at 100%. Somethings had changed, the atmosphere had changed. Balor says he was put in the ring with guys like Jinder Mahal, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley, and they were having the best matches of their careers. He says you’re welcome. He recalls the Royal Rumble 2019 loss to then-Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.

Balor says Lesnar showed him what he’d been missing – the feeling he had against Joe, Owens, the feeling he had in NXT. Balor says Lesnar beat him that night but he also saved his life because he brought the passion back to Balor, and made him realize what he was missing, and what he needed. He needed to wrestle, he needed to wrestle in NXT, the only place he knew he could get that feeling. Balor says he’s addicted to the feeling, addicted to the adrenaline, the pain. He says the 3 years away from NXT were rough. Yeah, he was wrestling every night and had t-shirts, action figures, fans, posters, autograph signings and more, but he just wants to be in the ring and he just wants to prove to everyone that he is the best wrestler in the world, and the place to do that is NXT. We cut right to another commercial break.

Back from the break and Balor is talking about how he got tired of pleasing everyone. Balor goes on and says he’s 38 years old and won’t be doing this much longer. He’s not going to waste another 3 years in WWE, doing something what he doesn’t believe in. Going back to NXT is what was best for him. It’s more than going back to NXT, it’s going back to himself, going back to The Prince, to what he felt was right, to being the best wrestler in the world. He says it’s nothing personal to Johnny Gargano, this was all about himself. We go to highlights from Balor’s recent win over Gargano at the “Takeover: Portland” event. Balor says the 2018 Finn Balor was dead, a long time ago. He is The Prince, the best wrestler in the world. He says these are uncertain times, and we’re not sure what will happen but one thins is for sure – he will stand in the ring with NXT UK Champion WALTER and he will get what he wants. Balor goes on and says there are lots of other NXT Superstars who are addicted to the same thing he’s addicted to. Balor tells them to bring it if they want to dance because The Prince is here.

– We go back to Triple H and Tom Phillips. Triple H says Finn Balor made it clear – if you come at The Prince, you better not miss. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Tom plugs Charlotte Flair vs. NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania 36. He asks Triple H what it means to him, to have a NXT title defended for the first time at WrestleMania. Triple H says it’s incredible. He talks about how the NXT brand transitioned to where the Royal Rumble winner picked a title to challenge for at WrestleMania. He says that’s a bold statement. He also praises NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Tom sends us to a video package on the evolution of The Nightmare, which also looks at her feud with Flair. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and we see new interview footage from Ripley. She discusses her NXT Women’s Title win, calling it a great way to end 2019. She says people didn’t want to see Flair vs. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch again, and didn’t want to see Flair vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley because they’ve also seen that, but they haven’t seen Flair vs. Ripley for the NXT Women’s Title. Ripley goes on talking about Flair and says they are two different people. Ripley says the venue for WrestleMania might’ve changed, but the result won’t Ripley says she will pin Flair and she will walk out of WrestleMania the same way she walked in.

– We go back to Tom and Triple H. Triple H says this year WrestleMania will be unique, it will be like nothing we’ve ever seen, trust him. He says he knows what’s coming our way and WrestleMania will be one to remember this year. Tom and Triple H wrap the broadcast as NXT from the Performance Center goes off the air.

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