Deeper Dive: Ciampa’s Heel Turn One For The Ages?
Now, I am not about to go into the history books and analyze what happened at the conclusion of NXT TakeOver: Chicago to all of the epic heel turns we’ve ever had. It’s 11PM, I am tired from a great show (and from moving a ton of stuff out of a house). But, I am capable of at least looking at what happened, and trying to quantify it.
First off, this one was a long time coming, in my humble opinion. I had felt, at times (mostly before they won tag team gold) that a split-and a violent one at that-was just too obvious to not happen. As beloved as Gargano and Ciampa had become as DIY, all good things must come to an end. Saturday night was no different, as DIY is no more.
So, aside from thinking that it was a long time coming, what do I make of it? It was about as well executed a heel turn as you could ever expect to see. If you wanted to make someone extremely and universally despised, that is precisely how you’d do it, in that instance. Tommaso Ciampa destroyed the man he had considered a friend, and did so not long after that same man effectively took a ladder-sized bullet for him. There was nothing during the match that was clear as day to make him snap. It wasn’t like Gargano was useless for the bulk of it, or that he had obviously cost DIY the titles. But, heels gonna snap, and snap Ciampa did. He flung his exhausted partner into the facade of the NXT stage and then just unloaded on him. Ultimately, it ended when Ciampa nailed a driver on Garagno…putting him through two tables on the floor, after leaping from the announce position.
Look, I don’t know where this one will rank in the annals of WWE history, in terms of memorable turns. I think it was a more brutal one than say, HBK turning against Marty Jannetty. That one was one of my all-time favorites, because of the shot through the rigged glass. I am quite certain that both Ciampa and WWE hope this heel turn could yield similar results, while poor Johnny is hoping he doesn’t end up like Marty did, in terms of his career success after going through the glass.
There’s but one thing I can say now, after that stunning close to the show: Tommaso Ciampa just became public enemy number one to the vast majority of NXT fans. If you have any doubts, just listen to the crowd that final five minutes. Don’t watch…just listen.
So, WNZ readers…how good a job did WWE in turning Ciampa heel?