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NXT Showcase: #DIY

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Topic/Subject: Today, I will be showing a backstage interview that involves a tag team that will do it themselves.

Wrestlers: #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa).

Background Information: Johnny Gargano is from Cleveland, Ohio. was born on August 14, 1987, in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered a professional wrestling ring for the first time at age eight, when Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling owner J.T. Lightning, who ran shows behind John’s father’s catering business, allowed him to roll around in the ring.

While studying in St. Edward High School, he decided to enter CAPW’s professional wrestling school in order to become a professional wrestler. At age 16, he began training at the Cleveland All Pro Training Center under J.T. Lightning and Josh Prohibition. He cites Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho and Johnny Saint as his role models.

He made his professional wrestling debut for Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling (CAPW) in 2005. He calls his wrestling style Lucharesu, a mix of British chain wrestling, lucha libre and puroresu and describes his character as someone lacking self awareness and living in his own deluded little world.

Throughout his CAPW career, he became a CAPW Junior Heavyweight Champion. He would continue to make appearances for the company until August 5, 2007, teaming up with Prohibition in his CAPW farewell match, where they defeated Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin.

On March 27, 2007, he appeared as the Champion of Liechtenstein, Cedrick Von Haussen, on an episode of World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) television program SmackDown, losing to Montel Vontavious Porter. He made another appearance for WWE on May 25, 2010, on an edition of NXT, portraying a security guard.

On June 24, 2009, he wrestled in a dark match at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s (TNA) Impact! television tapings, losing to Jay Lethal. The following day he wrestled in another dark match, this time losing to Eric Young.

He has also wrestled in a dark match for Ring of Honor (ROH), defeating Sami Callihan on August 15, 2008. After his ROH tryout, it was discovered that he had a hairline fracture in his back, caused by his left leg being shorter than his right leg, which led to his doctor advising him to rethink his career choice. However, he returned to the ring six months later.

He wrestled another tryout for WWE, now working under the ring name Joey Gray, at the September 20, 2011, tapings of Superstars, losing to Brodus Clay.

He made his debut for Cleveland–based Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) on February 26, 2006, losing to Kano. He would pick up his first victory in the promotion two months later on April 30, 2006, defeating future WWE performer Tyrone Evans.

On April 9, 2010, he teamed up with Aeroform (Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon) to form Team Oreo for the Jack of All Trios tournament, a tournament held for sixteen teams of three.

Throughout his AIW career, he became an AIW Absolute Champion, a 2x AIW Intense Division Champion, he won the 2012 Gauntlet for the Gold, and won the 2010 Jack of All Trios. He continued to compete with AIW until he signed a full-time contract with WWE.

He appeared on the very first episode of Pro Wrestling Ohio (PWO) on Sports Time Ohio on November 20, 2007. He would lose his debut, in what many called an upset, to Gregory Iron, a wrestler with a disability known as cerebral palsy.

He suffered a hairline fracture in his vertebrae during the Last Man Standing match and did not return to active competition until March 2009, when he faced off against Mike Tolar and Jason Bane in a three–way match to become number one contender for the PWO Heavyweight Championship, in which he was victorious.

Throughout his PWO career, he became a 2x PWO Heavyweight Champion. He competed with PWO until he signed a full-time contract with WWE.

He made his debut for Philadelphia–based Chikara on June 14, 2008, taking part in the sixth Young Lions Cup tournament, only to be eliminated in his first round match against Marshe Rockett. He would return to the company almost two years later on April 23, 2010, taking part in the 2010 King of Trios tournament, teaming with Aeroform.

On the second night of the tournament, he came out during a quarter-final match between F.I.S.T. (Icarus, Gran Akuma and Chuck Taylor) and Team Osaka Pro (Atsushi Kotoge, Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke), wearing a F.I.S.T. shirt and witnessed how Icarus, Akuma and Taylor were eliminated from the tournament. After the event, he wrote on his Facebook page that he liked F.I.S.T., but thought that the team might have a weak link which led to the stable’s members pointing fingers at each other.

In early 2013, the members of F.I.S.T. began having problems with each other, leading to Icarus turning on him on May 3, 2013, over his treatment of Sugar Dunkerton. Following the turn, he announced that he was quitting F.I.S.T. which was followed by Chikara removing his profile from the promotion’s official roster page.

While wrestling for Chicago–based All American Wrestling (AAW), he ran into Colt Cabana, who suggested he get in touch with former Ring of Honor booker Gabe Sapolsky, who was looking for talent for the Dragon Gate USA and Evolve Wrestling promotions, and tell him that Cabana sent him. He received a tryout match for Dragon Gate USA on July 25, 2009, at the tapings of the Enter the Dragon pay-per-view, wrestling in an eight–way elimination dark match, which was won by Lince Dorado.

On September 6, 2009, he wrestled in another dark match at tapings of Untouchable, where he defeated Arik Cannon, Flip Kendrick, Hallowicked, Louis Lyndon, Prince Mustafa Ali, Shiima Xion and the Great Malaki in an eight–way elimination match. On November 28, 2013, at Freedom Fight, he made his pay-per-view debut by entering the tournament to crown the first Open the Freedom Gate Champion, but was eliminated in the first round in a six–way match with Hallowicked, Lince Dorado, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and the winner of the match, Gran Akuma.

On January 16, 2010, he participated in Evolve Wrestling’s first show, defeating Chris Dickinson in a singles match.

Throughout his DGUSA and EVOLVE career, he became an Open the Freedom Gate Champion and an EVOLVE Tag Team Champion. He competed with DGUSA and EVOLVE until DGUSA closed down and he signed a full-time contract with WWE.

On March 1, 2011, he made his Japanese debut, when his Dragon Gate USA stable Ronin started their first three–week long tour of Dragon Gate. In their first match of the tour, he, Chuck Taylor and Rich Swann defeated Blood Warriors representatives CIMA, Naruki Doi and Naoki Tanisaki in a six-man tag team match.

He returned to Dragon Gate in October 2012, now aligned with the World-1 International stable. In his first match of the tour on October 6, 2012, he teamed with Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi to defeat Kaettekita Veteran-gun representatives Don Fujii, Gamma and Masaaki Mochizuki in a six-man tag team main event.

On March 22, 2013, he made his debut for Southern California-based Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) during the promotion’s All Star Weekend 9, teaming with Chuck Taylor in a non-title tag team match, where they were defeated by the reigning PWG World Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks. He competed with PWG until he signed a full-time contract with WWE.

In June 2015, he took part in a WWE tryout camp and also wrestled at the June 18 NXT tapings, losing to Uhaa Nation. Though he did not sign with WWE, he continued making appearances for NXT over the next months.


Tommaso Ciampa is billed from Palermo, Sicily. He was trained by Killer Kowalski and debuted in January 2005. He predominantly wrestled for independent promotions located in Massachusetts, most notably Chaotic Wrestling (CW) and Top Rope Promotions (TRP).

On May 22, 2005, he had an IWF Junior Heavyweight Championship match against champion Sean Royal, but was unsuccessful. Later that day, he also failed to win a battle royal to earn the number one contendership to the IWF Heavyweight Championship.

He debuted in Chaotic Wrestling as Tommy Penmanship in 2005. On April 1, 2005, he lost a qualifying match for entry in the Chaotic Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Tournament to Fred Sampson.

Throughout his CW career, he became a Chaotic Wrestling Heavyweight Champion and a Chaotic Wrestling New England Champion. His last match with CW was in February 2007 in a Loser Leaves CW match.

He appeared on an episode of Smackdown on July 14, 2005, as Thomas Whitney, ESQ one of Muhammad Hassan’s lawyers and confronted The Undertaker. He read a statement from Hassan before being attacked by The Undertaker. On August 25, 2006, on an episode of WWE Heat, he and Kofi Kingston had a dark match against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.

On February 4, 2007, it was announced that he signed a developmental contract with WWE and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling. He debuted on February 21, 2007, and wrestled as Tommaso.

He would eventually make his in ring debut during a 6 man tag at Six Flags, tagging with Bolin Services to take on Elijah Burke and Cryme Tyme. On June 27, 2007, he debuted a new gimmick when he began wrestling under a mask as Prodigy.

On August 9, 2007, he was released from his WWE developmental contract.

In late 2007, he returned to the independent circuit. On September 29, 2007, he made his debut for Millennium Wrestling Federation (MWF) where he defeated A.J. Styles and Eddie Edwards to become the MWF Television Champion.

In September 2008, he debuted in Harley Race’s World League Wrestling (WLW). In October, he took part in nine man battle royal for the vacant WLW Heavyweight Championship which was won by Go Shiozaki. He also unsuccessfully challenged WLW Tag Team Championship twice on November 22, 2008, alongside Steve Anthony and on March 21, 2009, alongside Marc Godeker.

After returning to New England in 2008, he went on to compete in the ECWA Super 8 Tournament in 2009 and 2010 before finally winning the tournament in 2011 when he defeated Adam Cole.

On August 30, 2013, he made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) when he entered the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles losing to Brian Cage in his first round match.

It has been announced that he will be making an appearance for Northwest Ohio Wrestling (NOW) in Toledo, Ohio in February 2016.

At Honor Reclaims Boston he, Alex Payne and Ernie Osiris lost a dark match to Bobby Dempsey, Grizzly Redwood and Rhett Titus. He appeared in dark matches for Ring of Honor (ROH) in both 2007 and 2009.

In January 2011, he began working regularly for ROH. On January 22, 2011, at the Ring of Honor Wrestling tapings, he defeated Mike Sydal. He joined Prince Nana in his heel stable The Embassy.

Througout his ROH career, he became a ROH World Television Champion and won the 2012 March Mayhem Tournament.

On March 29, 2015, he announced his departure from ROH. His final match was a failed effort to win the TV title from Jay Lethal who retained after delivering a low blow to him. He then attacked referee Todd Sinclair with a low blow as payback for not calling a DQ for the illegal move.

He made an appearance for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) on a pre-taped episode of Impact Wrestling on September 30, 2015, in an X-Division triple threat match, also involving DJ Z and winner Trevor Lee. He wrestled for TNA once again on April 1, 2016, on an edition of TNA Xplosion in a losing effort against Crazzy Steve.

Although not re-signed to WWE, on September 2, 2015, he was announced as part of the WWE NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.


Both Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa began to participate in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament defeating the team of Bull Dempsey and Tyler Breeze in their first round match on September 9, 2015.

On April 2, 2016, it was confirmed that they had signed with WWE earlier in the week. Their NXT contracts was a so-called Tier 2 contract which allowed him to continue working independent dates alongside his now regular NXT bookings.

On June 23, 2016, they entered the Cruiserweight Classic tournament where Johnny Gargano defeated Tommaso Ciampa in his first round match.

On July 21, 2016, it was reported that Johnny Gargano was signing a new full-time NXT deal which would prevent him from taking further independent bookings. The following month, Tommaso Ciampa announced that his final independent booking was set for September as he was entering a new exclusive NXT contract.

In late 2016, their tag team name became known as #DIY (Do It Yourself).

Throughout their NXT careers, they became NXT Tag Team Champions. They still compete in NXT to this day and they are the current NXT Tag Team Champions.


Even though they have only teamed up for a year, these two together are a great tag team that are only going to get better from here. Do It Yourself!

My Thoughts: #DIY are a great tag team that started out with just two single great independent wrestlers into one tag team that worked extremely well with each other as they just clicked. They have unique looks, they have the presence in and outside of the ring where the fans can support them, they have the characters where fans can get behind them, they have the charisma, and they’re great in the ring, but they’re excellent when they teamed up with each other. Do It Yourself!

Video: This video contains a backstage promo from #DIY after NXT Takeover: Toronto on November 19, 2016.

My Thoughts: This was a good interview that showed the emotions of #DIY after their big title win at NXT Takeover: Toronto.

At first, #DIY didn’t have any words to say as they were in the emotion that they couldn’t believe that they won the NXT Tag Team Championships. Johnny Gargano said that he couldn’t say how he’s feeling at the moment because it was too emotional for him that he and Tommaso Ciampa have won the NXT Tag Team Championships. Tommaso Ciampa then said that they have worked for over a decade to finally win gold in NXT and people told them that they couldn’t do it, but they did.

Then both Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano said that they love each other in terms of being best friends that the emotions going through them after winning the NXT Tag Team Championships is surreal to them as they can’t believe that they did it. However, they did it and they were emotionally happy as a result.

Even though #DIY didn’t really say much here, you can tell how much winning the NXT Tag Team Championships means to them and it was a great moment for them that you can’t help, but smile for them. This was a great moment for the careers of #DIY in NXT and I’m happy that they finally won the NXT Tag Team Championships. They deserve it.

Good interview here that really showed the emotions of #DIY after their big title win at NXT Takeover: Toronto.

#DIY have come a long way since they started in NXT as they were just two wrestlers from the independent circuit that came together to participate in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. However, as time goes on, they started to work well as a tag team and then later, they become better and better each week as a tag team to the point where they are one of the best tag teams in NXT today.

I really hope that this tag team never breaks up because the chemistry between these two as a tag team is out of this world. However, both of these men can also do well in singles competition, but as of right now, they’re needed in the tag team division. Their careers in NXT have been great so far and it’s only going to get better from here. Do It Yourself!


After watching the video, give me your thoughts on the video or the wrestlers themselves. Thank you.

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