NXT "TakeOver: Portland": Gargano Turns on Ciampa, Charlotte Sets Her Sights on NXT Gold
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, February 17, 2020
NXT delivered another entertaining TakeOver event in Portland on Sunday night, which ended with Johnny Gargano turning heel by attacking his former tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa with the NXT Championship, allowing Adam Cole to take advantage and retain his title.
Gargano being the one turning heel adds another element to this long rivalry with Ciampa because the roles will now be reversed as they head towards another clash during WrestleMania weekend. It will be interesting to see how this storyline develops in the coming weeks and what both superstars have in store for TakeOver: Tampa.
In addition, Women’s Royal Rumble winner, Charlotte Flair, made an appearance following the NXT Women’s Championship match and attacked both Rhea Ripley, who had just defended her title in a grueling match, and Bianca Belair, and officially announcing that she will be challenging for the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
Charlotte challenging for the NXT Women’s Championship is significant because it will bring more attention to NXT as well as featuring a young star like Ripley in a prominent position at WWE’s biggest show of the year.
A WrestleMania match with Charlotte is an incredible opportunity for Ripley because it will lead to a large portion of WWE audience getting familiar with her work and may lead to more opportunities down the road. As seen during the buildup to Survivor Series and the aftermath that saw her dethroning Shayna Baszler, WWE clearly have high hopes for Ripley and believe she can step in that role of being one of the main focal points of their women’s division.
There is a large portion of WWE’s fanbase that don’t watch NXT, so Ripley getting a high profile match with arguably the best female wrestler in the company is a step in the right direction for both the long term development of her career as well as the NXT women’s division.
With NXT losing the Wednesday night ratings battle with AEW: Dynamite, it’s possible that Ripley loses the title to Charlotte while looking as strong as possible in defeat, so NXT will have a stronger women’s division with the likes of Charlotte, Ripley, Belair on a weekly basis while also ensuring that Ripley becomes a bigger star in the process.
Photo Credit: WWE Network (@WWENetwork)