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Was Andrade "Cien" Almas Vs. Johnny Gargano The Best Match In NXT History?

NXT is in its sixth year in its current format, and the brand has grown from a hidden, underground cult following to a worldwide phenomenon. It has seen WWE’s top future talent put their skills on display leading to some of the most incredible matches the wrestling world has ever seen. Ranking the top matches in NXT history isn’t easy, but we can all agree on the top few. After NXT Takeover: Philadelphia, we may have a new Number One as Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas put on a match that I’ll personally never forget.

The lead-up to the match was brilliant, as Johnny Wrestling’s redemption story makes fans around the world like him even more than they already did. Andrade is the perfect heel: incredibly talented, yet is able to get the crowd to actively root against him, and when these two forces collide, only good things can happen. The match itself delivered in spades, and despite the somewhat lackluster finish, it deserves at least a 4.5 star rating from Dave Meltzer. But the match has already been talked about enough, this article is all about where it ranks in NXT history.

via wwe.com

We’ve seen some matches like Bayley vs. Sasha, Finn vs. just about anyone and the legendary Zayn vs. Nakamura battle, and while they were all fantastic, there was just something special about this one. The near falls, the interference, the collision between Candice LeRae and Zelina Vega, plus some incredible spots between two fantastic wrestlers all combined to bring the fans to the edge of their seats for the entirety of the match.

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Many wrestling commentators have agreed and called this the best match in NXT history, but it falls just short in my top 5 list. If I were to give it a star rating, it would fall just short of a perfect 5-stars, due to the ending, but the conclusion with Tommasso Ciampa has given us something to look forward to for the next Takeover. Either way, I have watched it back and enjoyed it more each time, and would recommend it as a match to show someone new to wrestling to make them fall in love with the business. But as I said, it falls just short in my top 5, which is:

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  1. Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover: Chicago
  2. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley – NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
  3. Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas – NXT Takeover: Philadelphia
  4. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – NXT Takeover: Dallas
  5. DIY vs. The Revival – NXT Takeover: Toronto

Every little thing came together in this match to make it just a joy to watch, and it proves that both of these men have incredibly bright futures in the WWE. One or both should go on to win a World Title on the main roster some day. So there’s my opinion; the latest Takeover main event was a phenomenal bout, and it’s not being overhyped, but it falls just short of a few other matches in the brands very young history. So let me know your opinions, comments and thoughts below, and most importantly, what do you think the best match in NXT history is?

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