00DIY00garganoOn 4/7/18, Johnny  “Wrestling” Gargano battled Tomasso Ciampa in a violent and dramatic Anything Goes Street Fight at NXT Takeover in New Orleans.

These boys had been partners who hugged frequently in the DIY Tag Team until Ciampa brutally assaulted his vulnerable partner and broke all our hearts.  They then feuded and hurt each other for a year.

Now it’s time to either break up once and for all or get married.

01OTKThe action is violent and gut-wrenching as a Former Partner Break-Up and Street Fight should be.

Here we see Ciampa flirt with Gargano, blowing in his ear after breaking his back.  This mix of affection and hatred is peppered throughout their fight.


For some reason, Johnny Wrestling agreed that, if he loses, he must leave NXT forever.

So every time Ciampa destroys Johnny’s tight little body (such as Suplexing him off a table, oh fuck!), I’m like “Please don’t lose Johnny!  I will miss you too much!



The true conflict being resolved by this  epic match, the real question being answered, is Johnny’s choice of partner.  Will he go back with Ciampa in a homo-social (or sexual?) partnership (relationship)?   Or will he commit to a more traditional marriage?   The tension is represented by the image of the above embrace, forehead to forehead, echoed almost identically in the below Bro Hug.  In which embrace is Johnny Wrestling more fulfilled?




Remind me to never break up with a brutal hard-ass Gladiator like Tomasso Ciampa.  I sure don’t need a crutch broken over my back!

Ciampa is looking ripped by the way with that savage tan and shredded up stomach.  His body is easy on the eyes even if his beard is scary.

03cloverleaf03spinslamMuch of Ciampa’s abuse is focused on Johnny’s back.

And Johnny impresses us, as always, by bumping all over the arena, flopping around inside and outside the ring.  He knows how to make it look like his back was just broken, over and over and over.



I was thinking, what if they did a big battle like this where the Baby=Face never suffered?  That would suck — everyone knows the REASON we watch wrestling is to enjoy the suffering.  Everyone knows it — and everyone knows it’s gay as fuck, and everyone watches it anyway.

04punchesCiampa loosened his wrist tape and somehow he and Johnny were bound together by the wrists.

This gave us a fun visual metaphor: two partners bound together, inseparable, unable to get apart as they pound each other, hurt each other.  Just like a messy love affair.



Here Gargano injures his knee while trying (again) to destroy Johnny’s spine.  Gargano then removes the knee brace (maybe it’s damaged or maybe it’s hurting him).  Later we will see that brace used as a weapon, like an atom bomb dropped to finish a war.



Johnny grabs a crutch for a weapon (which is legal), but Ciampa then begs for mercy, looking hang-dog and apologetic, his eye swollen and ugly.

This moment is just beautiful.  Johnny is clearly torn — hesitant to strike the man who showed him so much love in the past.


But then Ciampa, the dirty lieing Heel, swings his kneebrace at Johnny, who dodges it.

Johnny then slaps on this cool Leglock and pulls that brace into Ciampa’s face.  OUCH, did you see his swollen eye?!   Ciampa is forced to tap out and our beloved Johnny Wrestling wins!!


As Johnny embraces his female wife, his choice is made clear for us.  He has opted for the traditional hetero-normal lifestyle and rejected Ciampa (but really only after Ciampa betrayed him.  Before that, Johnny was still kind of torn, which was kind of hot.)


So it appears the Gargano-Ciampa feud is over after nearly a year — one of the longest running and hottest feuds in the past few decades of WWE.

Hopefully they will give us more male-on-male, sexually suggestive and passionate  relationship stories after seeing the success and popularity of this failed love story.  Hopefully Johnny will find a new man to strive against, be harmed by, and suffer for.  I’ll sure be watching for it!






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3 Responses to Resolution

  1. battle-porn says:

    This is easily one of the best matches in 2018. I have been so engaged in their love and hate relationship ever since CWC tournament. And the match itself has so many subtleties like the wrist tape you mention. Not to mention all the hot and brutal attacks they do to each other. The funny thing is Gargano’s wife doesn’t show up until the end. So the whole match is really all about these two studs. And I’m so glad their feud is not over because Ciampa just turns more vicious and costs Gargano a title shot with Aleister Black. So I am looking forward to more sizzling moments between these two lovers.

  2. Mike says:

    I was really torn when DIY split…like, my heart literally hurt for Johnny who sold the hell out of that post-match beatdown (and really really well) as he always does. I was worried they would push him to the main roster too quickly, but I’m glad he is staying put for now.

  3. RayAtL says:

    the last several posts on Arsenal have been winners but this one is just incredible…
    Your prose and the photos really do the match justice … it almost makes me want to subscribe to “the network” in order to view this match.
    Though I did go back and revisit various Gargano and Ciampa indy matches to tide me over…
    Great work, Arsenal!