NXT's Damian Priest Beats Johnny Gargano and Retains at TakeOver 31

Tonight's NXT TakeOver 31 featured several Championship matches, and things kicked off with a thrilling match between Johnny Gargano and Damian Priest. Priest came out swimming early on, but Gargano was relentless and kept finding opportunities to target the left leg of Priest. He would attempt submissions several times throughout the match, and it was starting to show, but Priest powered through it and punished Gargano. At the end of the matchup, it was Priest though that stood tall as the North American Champion.

The momentum would sway quite a bit here, but at one point Priest seemed to have it locked in, though Gargano would just evade the pin and then evaded a Priest flurry until Priest connected with a punch to the jaw. Priest would try the Razor's Edge but Gargano countered and managed to almost pin the Champion, though he kicked out.

The fight would be taken outside, but Champion's advantage meant that Gargano had to get Priest in the ring if he wanted to take the title. Gargano would eventually get him in the ring and kept going for that left leg, though again Priest would power through and ground Gargano.

Gargano was able to ground Priest after a one-two punch of offense, but Priest would kick out of the pin. He went for a superkick but Priest evaded, though Gargano was able to switch gears and get Priest in a rollup and almost took the victory but Priest kicked out. Priest got Gargano by the neck though and went for a lateral press, but Priest couldn't get the air he usually does, and Gargano kicked out.

Gargano would leave the ring to get some air and managed to get security in the mix, and when Priest was distracted he went for a low blow. He then rolled Priest into the ring but Priest somehow kicked out. He then locked in the Gargano Escape, and while Priest got the ropes initially, Gargano dragged him back to the center of the ring. He did eventually get to the ropes, causing it to break.

Gargano then looked to the steel steps, but Priest kept Gargano off his toes reversed his attacks into a pin, and that was enough for the win.

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 Scott


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!