Ever since the self-destruction of #DIY, the rivalry between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano has defined NXT programming. However, with that feud firmly in the rear view mirror, it’s time for both sides to move on. Enter Karrion Kross.
It was at NXT TakeOver: Chicago in 2017 when one of the top tag teams in NXT imploded. After #DIY lost their match, Tommaso Ciampa closed out the evening by turning heel on his friend and partner Johnny Gargano. Thanks to a series of unfortunate injuries sustained by Ciampa, their feud ended up being extended far longer than anyone anticipated. During that time, both men became NXT Champion and lost it. They also switched sides, with Gargano now the heel and Ciampa the face.
After a final loss to Gargano thanks to the interference of Candice LaRae, Ciampa was finally ready to look to the future. Then, Karrion Kross made his presence felt. Formerly known as Killer Kross in Impact, Karrion was confirmed as a member of NXT in February 2020. Mysterious promos started airing that fans theorized might be him. While Ciampa was giving a post Gargano feud promo, he was jumped by an unknown assailant who has since been revealed to be Kross managed by his real life wife, Scarlett Bordeaux.
This could be the beginning of a huge feud for both men. While Ciampa has already been to the top of the mountain in NXT but he needs to find a way back there now that other names are in the main event picture. Similarly, Karrion needs to make a name for himself. He did good work in Impact, AAA and Lucha Underground but Kross has never really had the opportunity he needed to make it to the next level. The same could be said of Scarlett Bordeaux who also wrestled briefly in Impact.
Despite becoming its own brand, the essential point of NXT is to cultivate new talent. Kross and Bordeaux are exactly what they are looking for, with some experience and all the potential in the world. Karrion has six years under his belt but Ciampa has 15. Going up against someone who has the experience, the talent and the fan support of Ciampa can only raise the stock of Karrion Kross. The ultimate goal of this feud should be to put him over.
Ciampa has been in the business long enough to know that winning a feud isn’t the only way to benefit from it. He can still launch back into the main event picture by being a professional and helping Kross get to the top tier spot he also belongs in. Ciampa will look good by helping make Kross look good.
The Gargano feud had gotten stale, and fans were losing interest. It definitely needed to come to an end as it paled in comparison to where it was at years earlier. Gargano versus Ciampa was a main event attraction for months in NXT. By the time it finally came to an end, there was collective sigh of relief from fans online. When a storyline ends and it no longer matters who wins to the fans, that’s not a good sign.
A new feud between Karrion Kross and Tommaso Ciampa could prove to be one of the biggest rivalries in 2020 for NXT. Now that things with Gargano are done, Ciampa has the chance to re-energize his career and help Kross jump start his. While it won’t directly lead to titles for either man, great performances from both men could put them in line for shots at the NXT Championship or the NXT North American Championship down the road.
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Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano's NXT feud is over. However, the former's newest feud is shaping up to be a big one.