Tonight's main event featured five individuals who all want their shot at the NXT Championship, and to earn that match against Finn Balor they had to survive the first-ever Gauntlet Eliminator Match. Cameron Grimes, Kushida, Kyle O'Reilly, Bronson Reed, and Timothy Thatcher were ready to go, and they did not disappoint. At the end of it all though it was O'Reilly left standing, and now he'll face Balor at TakeOver.
Up first was O'Reilly and Kushida, and they came out cautious and looking for opportunities to capitalize on. They were then joined by Bronson Reed, and it was during that altercation that Velveteen Dream came in and knocked Kushida out while the referee wasn't looking, clearing the way for his elimination.
Timothy Thatcher and Cameron Grimes would eventually join the fray, and Thatcher would bring his ultra physical style along with him, dishing out some punishment to Reed at several points.
Then it was O'Reilly vs Reed, but Reed's pure power was too much for him, though the slam wasn't enough for the pin. Grimes then got in the fight against Reed, but it was Reed who would turn the tables and clear everyone from the ring.
Thatcher would then get Reed up on the turnbuckle but that backfired, as did Reed's missed slam. That would leave the lane open for O'Reilly to pin Reed and eliminate him, and then it was Thatcher and O'Reilly dueling with ankle submissions and hard chops.
Grimes would then come in and dish out a German Suplex to O'Reilly, but he couldn't capitalize thanks to a submission from Thatcher. All three would get some offense in, but Thatcher locked in a sleeper on O'Reilly while O'Reilly would lock in an ankle lock on Grimes. O'Reilly would escape but couldn't get the pin on Thatcher.
Grimes would get sent out of the ring for a bit leaving Thatcher and O'Reilly, who would trade uppercuts and knees. O'Reilly would manage to get the best of Thatcher, leaving just O'Reilly and Grimes. Grimes would taunt O'Reilly while he kept kicking him down, but O'Reilly would hit him with a flurry of offense, and though Grimes pinned him O'Reilly kicked out.
They would trade punches and kicks, and then O'Reilly would do some damage to Grimes' ankle. O'Reilly then locked in a submission on the knee and Grimes would tap, giving O'Reilly the win.
You can find the official description for tonight's NXT below.
It's the NXT Takeoff to TakeOver! Tonight's NXT comes to you with major implications for next month's black-and-gold brand showcase, as an opportunity to challenge Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship will be on the line in the first-ever Gauntlet Eliminator Match, while a No. 1 Contender for Io Shirai's NXT Women's Title will be determined in an 11-woman Battle Royal. Elsewhere, Tommaso Ciampa will square off with Jake Atlas. Catch it all tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network!
Here's the lineup:
First Ever Gauntlet Eliminator Match
NXT Women's Championship No. 1 Contender Battle Royal
Jake Atlas vs Tommaso Ciampa
Are you excited for O'Reilly vs Balor? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!