Match #5 is a Ladder Match for the NXT Tag Team Championships: NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors Of Pain (Akam & Rezar) w/Paul Ellering vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa)
The bell rings and a brawl immediately breaks out, the champions work over the challengers in opposite corners, DIY battles back, Gargano rocking Akam with an enzuigiri. They dump The AOP to the outside, Gargano & Ciampa looking for ladders under opposite sides of the ring, the champions ambush them from behind, driving Tommaso & Johnny into the barricade. Rezar looks to send Ciampa into the stairs, The Psycho Killer puts on the brakes, delivers a drop toe hold and Rezar hits the ring steps face-first. He clobbers Akam with a high knee, Johnny Wrestling comes off the apron with a somersault senton to Rezar, DIY then heading to the stage to grab the big ladder.
They stand it up at ringside, Johnny rolls in and Ciampa tries to pass it to him, the champions attack Tommaso from behind, Gargano hits the ropes and flies through the ropes between the ladder with a suicide dive. DIY rolls into the squared circle and stand a ladder up under the titles, Akam slides back in, eats a couple of shots, Ciampa & Gargano stat to climb back up, Akam pushes them over, but they land on their feet and ram the ladder into Akam’s head. Rezar climbs back inside, the challengers look to drive the ladder into him, Rezar blocks it, but DIY fires away with right hands and kicks. Gargano whips Tommaso in for a high knee, leaps off of The Psycho Killer’s back for a corner splash, Rezr catches him in the air, plants Gargano on top of his partner, then starts to go for the belts. Ciampa grabs another ladder and bashes the champions seperately, Johnny Wrestling grabs another side of it, they drive the ladder into The AOP’s spines then start to stand it up.
Rezar reaches for Gargano’s foot, Akam takes the ladder, Tommaso starts to climb up at Akam holds it, doesn’t quite reach the titles and the champions clobber DIY with the ladder. AOP heads up after the championships, Gargano & Ciampa pull them back down, the champions set them up for the Super Collider, DIY slips out onto the ladder, reaches for the straps, but gets pushed over and hung up in the ropes. Akam drops Johnny throat-first off a ladder, Rezar props another in the corner, AOP deposits The Psycho Killer into it, then pin him behind it in the corner. The champions kick the ladder into Tommaso’s ribs, position it under the titles and go up to retrieve them, Akam holds the ladder for Rezar, but notices DIY getting back to their feet and stops him to deliver more punishment.
The champions ram DIY with the ladder and send them to the outside, AOP steps out, goes under the ring for two even bigger ladders, then plank them from the ring apron to the barricade. The AOP drags the challengers onto the apron, set for powerbombs through the ladders, DIY slides out of it, Gargano clobbers Akam with a superkick, then collapses the champions onto the ladders with a knee/kick combo. The challengers ascend up the standing ladder on the floor, crash down onto AOP with in-sync splashes, now all four guys are laid out. The Psycho Killer drags himself back into the ring, sets a ladder up to climb for the championships, Akam pulls himself into the squared circle and heads up the other side. Johnny Wrestling slides in, sets a ladder up next to them, Ciampa & Akam trade shots, Rezar’s back in, climbs up the opposite side of Gargano’s ladder and now everyone’s trading off shots.
Tommaso gets knocked to the mat, pushes Gargano’s ladder over, Rezar crashes to the canvas, Johnny hops onto the other ladder, knocks Akam down with a left hand and reaches up for the belts. Ellering steps in and tips the ladder over, Johnny Wrestling lands on his feet, drills Ellering with a superkick, turns around and Akam runs him over with a big boot. Rezar sends a ladder into the squared circle, props it up in the corner, they drive Tommaso off of it head-first, then bludgeon him with the heavy artillery. Ellering gives them the sign from the outside, the champions use another ladder and looks to clobber Ciampa with it, Gargano slides in, pushes his partner out of harm’s way and takes it in the face. AOP stands the ladder up, Rezar reaches up for the championships, The Psycho Killer climbs up to meet him, tosses him off with a german suplex and Rezar crashes through the propped up ladder in the corner.
Akam starts to ascend up for the titles, Johnny hooks him by the foot, Akam drops back down, clobbers him with a boot to the jaw, then lifts the ladder up over his head. Tommaso surprises Akam with a knee to the midsection, Gargano follows with a kick to the breadbasket, the ladder gets caught around Akam’s head and DIY connects with Meeting In The Middle. The challengers stand the ladder up and climb rung-by-rung, AOP takes the ladder out from under them, DIY is left hanging in the air and the champions pull them down for the Super Collider. They set the ladder back up, retrieve the titles and that’s all she wrote.
Winners and STILL NXT Tag Team Champions: The Authors Of Pain
- After The Bell: The crowd gives DIY a standing ovation, Ciampa & Gargano turn to acknowledge the crowd from the stage, but The Psycho Killer drives Johnny into the LED board, then levels him with a running knee. Gargano starts to stagger back to his feet, Tommaso exposes his knee, clocks him again, then tosses Johnny onto the announce table. He muscles Gargano up for a white noise, leaps from the table off the stage, driving Johnny through multiple tables..
- EA’s Take: I was pretty surprised that this was the main event, but I can see why that was the case since this was the first-ever Tag Title Ladder Match for NXT. However, I don’t think it was done because nobody would have been able to follow it. It was a brutal match, that’s for sure, especially that shot to the jaw Gargano took with the ladder (watch the replay, it absolutely connected). Props to both teams as well on attempting to be innovative and pulling it off. We’ve seen so many of these tag ladder matches over the years that it’s hard to come up with anything new that wasn’t already done before. No surprise to me on the winners, for weeks now it has seemed like Heavy Machinery is being built for a showdown with the champions and I’m totally alright with that. For DIY, I do not understand why you’re splitting these guys up, I thought for sure they should have gone on to the main roster together and I’m not sold on them as singles guys because of their size. I definitely don’t want to see them in the Cruiserweight Division, so perhaps this split is a way to further their time in NXT.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne
2 – The Authors Of Pain vs. DIY
3 – Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami