The October 2nd edition of Monday Night RAW ended concluded with both a top-tier match and a surprise appearance from one Johnny Gargano.
The main-event match saw InterContinental Champion GUNTHER defend his title against Tommaso Ciampa. The match went almost thirty minutes including commercials and ended with GUNTHER retaining his title after a hard-fought battle that included several powerbombs, multiple close calls, and GUNTHER nearly destroying his own hand after going for a chop only to miss Ciampa and hit one of the commentary tables instead.
But despite his best efforts, Ciampa couldn’t overcome the champion and passed out to a sleeper hold after taking two consecutive powerbombs in quick succession.
As GUNTHER left the ring with his title around his waist, his Imperium allies Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser came to the ring to add insult to injury. As Ciampa came to his senses following his beating, the two Imperium underlings beat him down, only for them to be interrupted by Johnny Gargano.
Gargano made a beeline for the ring and stopped both Kaiser and Vinci from continuing their assault. Then as the crowd cheered, Gargano and Ciampa hit a double-team kick combo as Michael Cole implied on commentary that the duo formerly known as #DIY were now back together.
Johnny Gargano has long and storied history with Tommaso Ciampa
The story between Gargano and Ciampa goes back years to when both of them were on NXT together. They rose through the ranks as one of that brand’s top tag teams and had many highly-regarded matches, especially with the likes of The Revival.
However, the teammates became enemies when Ciampa turned on Gargano in 2018 and then the two feuded until well into 2019. The two went their separate ways afterwards crossed paths a few more times throughout 2020 and 2021.
Gargano has spent most of 2023 bouncing around between different roles ranging from Kevin Owens’ tag team partner, to failed challenger for GUNTHER’s IC title, to wrestling Omos at WWE live events.