NXT TakeOver 31 featured some big matches, but NXT saved one of the best for last, as the heavily anticipated match between Finn Balor and Kyle O'Reilly wrapped up the night, and it more than delivered. The two have been going back and forth for several weeks, and tonight was the night they had to back it all up in the ring. Early on they focused on holds, with Balor grounding O'Reilly a bit, though O'Reilly would counter and ground Balor as well. After all was said and done though, it was Balor who held the NXT Championship high.
Balor would even get in a dig at O'Reilly by playing O'Reilly's arm as a guitar while he was extending the arm in a hold. Balor kept up the assault, going to work on O'Reilly's shoulder and eventually chopping him into the corner.
Balor kept going, punishing O'Reilly's arm against the ropes but O'Reilly finally showed signs of life, hitting Balor with a flurry of attacks and knocking him to the ground. Balor would put a halt to that momentum with a brutal kick to the gut, and. he capitalized with a flurry of kicks to the body.
Balor would then send O'Reilly chest first into the turnbuckle and continued to dish out punishment to O'Reilly, who was then bleeding. a bit from his mouth. He would get offense in at times, but Balor kept up the attack, never letting him get into a rhythm.
O'Reilly got a shot of energy though and hit Balor with quick punches and kicks, and even after taking a kick to the head came back and sent Balor to the ground. O'Reilly would try and capitalize but Balor countered, though O'Reilly would get him into a sleeper, giving him just enough time to hit Balor with a suplex. He didn't get the pin, but he kept up the attack with a submission.
Balor was able to escape though, and he set up on the top turnbuckle, but O'Reilly cut him off. He then got Balor's leg over the ropes and twisted it twice, taking advantage of Balor's slightly injured knee. O'Reilly kept going for the knee, hitting it from the top rope and then locking in a submission targeted towards. the leg, knee, and foot. Balor would get to the rope, but the damage was definitely done.
O'Reilly would kick the back of Balor's knee again, grounding him once more. Balor countered O'Reilly's next attack with a double foot stomp, but it did some damage to Balor as well. O'Reilly would try and capitalize but Balor would hit him with another double foot stomp. He would then go up to the top turnbuckle and hit O'Reilly with the coup de grace, and that was how he sealed the win.
Finn Balor was bleeding quite a bit, but he still reached over to shake O'Reilly's hand. That's when Ridge Holland showed up with Adam Cole over his shoulder and threw him over the barricade.
You can find the official description for NXT TakeOver 31 below.
See Finn Bálor defend the NXT Championship against Kyle O'Reilly, NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai battle Candice LeRae and more at NXT TakeOver 31 this Sunday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on the award-winning WWE Network!
Here is the full card:
NXT Champion Finn Balor vs Kyle O'Reilly
NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae
NXT North American Champion Damian Priest vs Johnny Gargano
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar vs Isaiah Swerve Scott0comments
Kushida vs The Velveteen Dream
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!