Leon Ruff is your new NXT North American Champion.
Tonight’s NXT episode on the USA Network opened up with Johnny Gargano spinning his custom “Wheel of Challengers” to determine his mystery opponent, in an attempt to break his championship curse. Ruff ended up winning the match after former champion Damien Priest watched from ringside and briefly distracted Gargano for the huge upset.
This is Ruff’s first title win since signing with WWE back in late July. The former EVOLVE star has mostly worked enhancement talent spots for WWE this year. Gargano won the title from Priest back at the NXT Halloween Havoc special on October 28.
It’s interesting to note that Gargano’s “Wheel of Challengers” had Priest, Roderick Strong, Pete Dunne, Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes, Tommaso Ciampa, NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar, Adam Cole, The Velveteen Dream, Kyle O’Reilly, Kushida, Austin Theory, and Timothy Thatcher earlier in the day. Theory’s name was missing when Gargano came to the ring for the opener, and Ruff’s name was written over it.
Below are several shots from tonight’s opener at the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, including the post-match celebration with Priest: