Johnny Gargano vs Velveteen Dream (lost footage of alternate finish to professional wrestling match; 2019)

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Johnny Gargano with the NXT North American Championship following his win in the alternate ending.

Status: Lost

On the 20th February 2019 episode of WWE NXT, Johnny Gargano defended his NXT North American Championship against Velveteen Dream. The match was filmed on 31st January, and saw Dream win the title for the first time after performing a Purple Rainmaker on his opponent. The difference in the dates between filming and taping prompted concern over spoilers. To avoid this, WWE filmed an alternate ending which featured Gargano retaining the belt.


The match's origins arose after Dream won a tournament at Worlds Collide, which allowed him to make a title challenge against any champion.[1] The 6th February episode of NXT featured Dream challenging Gargano for the NXT North American Championship,[2] with the match airing two weeks later. Dream won the belt after executing a Purple Rainmaker on Gargano, which would notably mean Gargano lost the belt in his first televised defence of it.[3] This would prove to be Dream's only reign with the North American Championship, which lasted for 231 days before he lost it to Roderick Strong on the 18th September 2019 edition of NXT.[4]

Alternate Ending

The encounter was filmed during an NXT taping on 31st January.[5] The 20-day difference between the match's airing and broadcast led to concerns that the hyped bout would be spoiled in advance.[6][5] Professional wrestling has experienced challenges in avoiding spoilers when taping for upcoming televised events, primarily from the 1990s onwards. For example, when World Championship Wrestling (WCW) started filming matches for its programs at the Disney-MGM Studios in the early-to-mid-1990s, it would be for programs airing months later. Despite WCW's attempts to keep match outcomes a secret, including by filtering out wrestling fans, it did not prevent months of booking from being exposed by dirt sheets and internet forums, spoiling results and title changes, and damaging kayfabe in the process.[7]

Thus, WWE decided to film an additional ending during the taping, with Gargano running back down to attack Dream as he celebrated his win.[5][6] This ending featured Dream about to perform the Purple Rainmaker, only for Gargano to avoid it, executing the Gargano Escape submission on Dream. Dream was forced to tap-out, allowing Gargano to retain the belt.[5][6] He would then pose at the top of the ramp, with Ciampa standing by his side.[5][6] This was much to the confusion of the fans in attendance and to fans and wrestling reporters seeking information about upcoming events.[5][6] Hence, WWE was able to conceal the true ending of the match until it was broadcast, generating hype for its airing.[8][5][6]


While the broadcast version of Gargano vs Dream is easily viewable on the WWE Network, footage of the alternate ending remains completely inaccessible for public viewing. The only accessible media of the ending is a photo of Gargano with the belt on his shoulder following his victory.[5] The tape containing the alternate ending likely still remains within WWE's vaults, although the chances of a release remain slim due to how it breaks WWE's continuity and with Dream having since left the company on seemingly bad terms.[9]



Highlights of the aired match.

House show match between Gargano and Dream held in the same time period (obviously does not contain the alternate ending).

See Also