A shocking title change opened tonight’s episode of NXT.
Leon Ruff defeated Johnny Gargano on tonight’s show to win the NXT North American Championship. Ruff got help from Gargano being distracted by Damian Priest.
In storyline, Gargano was looking to break his curse of never being able to successfully defend a title. He had promised that he would be facing a “worthy opponent” tonight. Gargano opened the show in the ring with the “Wheel of Challengers.” It had Ruff’s name written over one of the spots and was made so it would land on Ruff’s name.
Gargano was distracted by Priest appearing in the crowd during the match. That allowed Ruff to hit a crucifix bomb and pin Gargano to win the title.
As Gargano looked on in disbelief, Priest celebrated with Ruff on the stage. Priest put the North American title around Ruff’s waist, but it fell off due to Ruff being too small.
There was a segment after the match where Ruff was being interviewed backstage. Priest told Ruff that Gargano is going to be pissed and try to kick his ass, so Priest told Ruff to take the black Challenger that was outside. Gargano then came looking for Ruff. Gargano shoved Priest and had to be stopped by officials. Gargano asked whose stupid idea tonight’s title match was — and Priest pointed out that it was Gargano’s.
Gargano became NXT North American Champion by winning the title from Priest in a Devil’s Playground match at Halloween Havoc two weeks ago. The stipulation was determined by Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal. Gargano won after getting help via interference from someone wearing a Scream costume. The person in the costume was presumably Indi Hartwell.
Ruff is a former EVOLVE Tag Team Champion and was officially introduced as a WWE signee when last month’s Performance Center class was unveiled. Ruff has made several appearances on WWE television since March.