tommaso ciampa vs. aleister black

On this week’s episode of NXT, the unthinkable happened: the universally reviled Tommaso Ciampa defeated Aleister Black to become the new NXT Champion.

Then again, it wasn’t wholly unthinkable – because the finish to the match was spoiled more than a week in advance.

But the incredible thing about Black vs. Ciampa was that, even though I knew Ciampa would win, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire contest.

Spoilers Don’t Matter When The Product Is Good

A lot of fans were upset when they found out in advance that Ciampa had won the NXT Championship. However, anyone who willingly clicked on a spoiler link has no one to blame but themselves. We all know NXT is filmed weeks in advance; if you don’t want to see spoilers, don’t seek them out.

As for those who genuinely had the finish spoiled for them thanks to the cruel, uncaring world of social media – they have a legitimate reason to be upset. But the good news is that spoilers don’t matter when the product is excellent.

First, Ciampa is arguably the most hated person in all of WWE right now, if not all of professional wrestling. He’s a villain in the purest sense of the word; not an anti-hero, not a person who fans cheer even though they’re “supposed” to boo. He. Is. HATED.

A genuinely hated heel is a rare and beautiful thing, and as Ciampa is a REAL hated character, it added a boatload of intrigue to the match. Because even though we knew Ciampa would win, we still had to tune in and find out in what dastardly way he did it.

Second, the action in this match was non-stop.

The back and forth was almost too fast to keep up with, and every time I thought Ciampa would get a cheap and dirty pinfall, Black kicked out. They built up the suspense so well that, even though I knew the result, I found myself wondering what would happen next. The storytelling was masterful. If Meltzer doesn’t give this match five stars, he’s wrong.

So yes: spoilers suck. But when the product is this good, they don’t matter.

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