NXT’s second bout took place last night between Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa and it did not disappoint.
The two men have been engaged in a simmering rivalry over the last couple of months with this match pitched as an end to their feud.
As expected, Thatcher and Ciampa brutalised one another with strikes and wince-inducing grapples in the no-rope cage match.
The rules of Fight Pit say the match can only end in submission or knock out. As it transpired, it was a submission that ended the bout.
With Ciampa finding himself upside down, leg caught in the cage, Thatcher saw his opportunity and applied an inverted stretch muffler which induced a blood-curdling scream from the former NXT Champion who was quickly forced to tap out.
This win means Thatcher is now 2-0 in the Fight Pit. His first win coming back in May against Matt Riddle in a match overseen by special referee Kurt Angle. This ended up being Riddle’s last match in NXT.
In a particularly intriguing twist, these two bitter rivals seemed to share a moment of mutual respect after the match as both sought to overcome the pain they had put the other through. This match is likely to see the end of their rivalry, but could it also lead to an alliance of some sort?
In a pair of social media videos after the show, Ciampa first learned that Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis and Desmond Troy had been pulled from the Dusty Classic Tournament ahead of their first round match with Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese. The withdrawal comes after both men were brutalised on this week’s show by Karrion Kross.
Thatcher directly referenced this in the above video and at this point, it seems an absolute lock that this is leading to Ciampa and Thatcher forming the most brutal team in NXT history to enter the tournament.