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Opinion

Candice LeRae Needs To Turn Heel At NXT Takeover: Chicago

This is the story that WWE NXT needs to tell!

Women are at the heart of any a discussion headed into WWE Money In The Bank weekend. You have the performers involved in the third ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match for the women. You have Carmella defending her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Asuka (who she is presumably not ready for), and of course you have former UFC champion Ronda Rousey opposite Nia Jax for the former’s Raw Women’s Championship. Even in NXT you have Nikki Cross getting a shot at Shayna Baszler and the NXT Women’s Championship. But the woman you really need to keep an eye on is Candice LeRae.

Yes, that Candice LeRae.

As you can see in the video above, Candice LeRae the character is “done” with Johnny Gargano’s issues with Tommaso Ciampa, since he supposedly exorcised the demon at NXT Takeover: New Orleans.

But NXT Takeover: Chicago offers a unique opportunity for husband (real life and on-screen) Johnny Gargano. Gargano is signed to fight Tommaso Ciampa in a Street Fight.

That isn’t just any old Street Fight, it’s a street fight that takes them both back to the scene of the crime, the city (and arena) where Tommaso Ciampa turned his back on Gargano and DIY in a brutal attack after the duo lost a ladder match to The Authors Of Pain (remember them?).

LeRae has been by Gargano’s side through all of this, including his other battles with the likes of former NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas (and Zelina Vega). But this time, she’s taking a different stance.

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“You’re becoming the very thing that you despise.”

This line is so very telling. Johnny Gargano has been called the “last white-meat babyface” by Triple H himself, and even though he might have another one at his disposal in Dakota Kai, Johnny Gargano is the pure babyface the likes of which we haven’t seen since Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Daniel Bryan, circa WrestleMania 30. And even then, Daniel Bryan’s “YES Movement” started as the fans’ reaction to his constant pleas of “NO!”

But there is one character–one person–more pure than Johnny Gargano. That person is Candice LeRae.

Candice is so pure, she cannot even fathom why her husband would put himself them through more of this. That Gargano is so obsessed with revenge, he is becoming the very thing he despises.

They wouldn’t do that, would they?

Oh if you don’t think they’d do that, you’re dead wrong, pal!

Candice LeRae is an amazing performer, likely to retire with her best in-ring matches coming against (and teaming with) men. But she’s about to pull off her greatest performance ever, when she turns on husband Johnny Gargano at Takeover: Chicago.

It’s a simple story, really. She’s not falling in love with Tommaso Ciampa, she’s falling out of love with this new Johnny. The one more obsessed with vigilance and revenge than Disney World and butterfly kisses.

And look at the main man behind NXT: Triple H. The man basically booked himself into a real-life marriage with Stephanie McMahon, ruining the career (and maybe life) of Test in the process. Now he sits as the heir to the proverbial throne of the largest and most powerful pro wrestling entity in the world.

So yeah, they’d do that.

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Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano have a happy ending, right?

This one, in my opinion, does.  Maybe it stretches all the way to Takeover: NYC for WrestleMania 35 weekend, or maybe it ends in Phoenix the night before the Royal Rumble.

But I believe this ends with Johnny Gargano winning the NXT Championship, likely from Tommaso Ciampa, and more importantly regaining the love of Candice LeRae.

Johnny and Candice have a relationship solidified at the Magic Kingdom, and this story will have an ending equally suited to their beloved Happiest Place On Earth.


Hate this perspective? Tell me about it at @ChairshotGreg or gregdemarco@thechairshot.com!

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