It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Yes, it’s Voices of Wrestling Secret Santa time again, everyone. The brainchild of JR Goldberg (@wrestlingbubble), VOW Secret Santa sees all participating website contributors give their fellow contributors, the greatest gift of all: wrestling matches!
VOW Secret Santa Archives: voicesofwrestling.com/category/vow-latest/columns/vow-secret-santa/
Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade
January 27, 2018
Reviewed by Jeri Evagood (@TheJerriest_Jer)
Gifted by Suit Williams (@SuitWilliams)
Ahhhhhhh, those were the days. The days before the constant debating over Johnny Gargano. The days before we made so many “Why Am I So Violent” stare-at-hand jokes. Back when NXT was undisputedly loved, praised, and cherished. As Edith and Archie Bunker would sing THOOOSEEEEE WEREEEEE THE DAYYYYYYYYYS.
This is perhaps one of the finest, arguably THE FINEST, NXT Championship match you’ll ever watch. Two men who at that point were at the top of their respective games in front of a hot crowd wrestling at a high level of intensity, professionalism, and determination from both to prove they were the best. An amazing main event not just for NXT but for anywhere you choose to place such a match and have it happen. One of those “I wish I was there live” matches for sure. Gargano was at his absolute hottest, and Andrade was making everyone believe he was a can’t miss commodity for WWE (which didn’t work out because…it’s the WWE). These were the fun and exciting times of NXT. The times I genuinely miss and don’t even bother wishing coming back, for why wish for things there is no chance of coming true?
Having seen this match several times I figured I wouldn’t get into it once more, how easily I was wrong. How easily I slipped back into the emotion, the drama, the intensity, the excellent back and forth and desperation moments. How I still feel my heartbreak when Gargano fails once again to defeat Andrade. The crowd is excellent, everyone plays their part, the referee, Zelina, the competitors, the commentators. A perfect storm of excellence in pro-wrestling that only syncs up on those rare occasions to create an undisputable atmosphere of pro-wrestling at its absolute finest. This was the fine dining of wrestling, except no dress codes or portions that make you wonder if it was worth the triple-digit bill. This was pure excellence, the match I think of when I think of Andrade in NXT and one of the matches I constantly rank as Gargano’s best NXT work. Up there as one of the top NXT match… screw that… top WWE matches of all time. At the time of this writing, one of these men is in AEW, and the other is a free agent. We can make all the Gargano jokes we want, but it doesn’t change the fact he can, and has, put on some instant classics. Maybe we’ll get those classics again at some point, I’d love for the jokes to stop, and for the realization at how fucking fantastic he truly is to pop up once more. An easy ***** affair.
As for who gifted this to me???? I’m going to guess Tyler Forness if for no other reason then he’s kind of nice, and he’d want me to have a match he knows I could sink my teeth into. I’m probably wrong though, guessing isn’t my strong suit, being cute is. Makes up for a lot of things.