Both nights of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver have been epic, but one of the biggest matches of the night was the long-awaited matchup between NXT Champion Finn Balor and Karrion Kross, who never actually lost the title but had to relinquish it after an injury sustained against Keith Lee. Now it was time for these two to finally throw down, and after a theatrical entrance from both, it was time to get started. Both got a feel for each other early on, exchanging holds and grapples, but Kross did get a small advantage after he kicked Balor after Balor wiggled out of a hold.
Balor hit Kross with another hold, and Kross tried to send him into the ropes but Balor kept it locked in. Balor tried to strike Kross and he kept laughing, which perplexed Kross, motivating him to throw Balor to the other side of the ring. Balor then laughed and smiled again, but this really unleashed Kross, who charged at Balor and hit him with shoulder charges multiple times. indifferent corners, but Balor evaded him and sent him into the post, and the smile afterwards revealed that was Balor's plan.
Balor capitalized, going to work on Kross' left arm, pulling it over the ropes and then locking it into a hold as he applied pressure to his shoulder. Balor kept u the pressure with another hold, but Kross got free and set out for some payback, suplexing Balor into the mat hard twice in a row.
He then locked Balor's legs into the ropes and hit him with several kicks, followed by another huge knee to the midsection,. He punished Balor again, but Balor countered and went back to work on Kross, focusing on the arm and the shoulder, and he succeeded in grounding the challenger.
Balor kept targeting it, trying to hyperextended it, and then he kept smiling. Kross was hurting, and Balor hit him with more chops and a big kick to the midsection. Balor hit Kross with another kick, and then several stomps after Kros went down, holding his midsection. Balor then put Kross under the ropes and chopped his midsection, but Kross charged Balor and clotheslined him. He then picked him up and slammed his back into the corners. Balor got free and countered, hitting Kross with an elbow and sending both men down.
Balor kept up the momentum, but Kross came back, suplexing Balor and then slamming Balor down with another powerbomb, and the pin attempt got to two before Balor kicked out. Kross was holding his ribs but was going for Balor before Balor hit him with two big kicks, and then he locked in another hold and punched Kross in the ribs to keep the pain flowing.
Kross then sent Balor to the mat with a powerful move, but Balor countered and was feeling the energy. Unfortunately, Kross clotheslined him and then hit him with the Doomsday Suplex. Kross waited for this moment, but Balor hit a pele kick and then a dropkick, and then another dropkick to knock him down. Balor then went to the top rope for a Coup De Grace, but a pin had Kross kicking out at two. Kross then locked in a submission on Balor, and Balor managed to get out of it and hit another Coup De Grace. More kicks to the ribs on Kross and then Balor locked in that same submission.
Scarlett was talking to Kross, and Kross broke the hold and slammed Balor with forearms to the back of Balor's neck and back. Kross hit a German Suplex and then hit a Doomsday suplex. Kross charged at Balor and slammed him in the back of the head, and then he did it again. That was enough to notch Kross the win and the return of his Championship.
You can check out the official description for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver below.
The NXT Women's Title will take center stage on Night 1 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, as Io Shirai defends against Raquel González in a commercial-free main event. WALTER will also put the NXT United Kingdom Championship on the line against Tommaso Ciampa, MSK, Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado del Fantasma will clash for the vacant NXT Tag Team Titles and more. Catch all the action tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network and simulcast on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network everywhere else!
Here are the full cards and the results so far for Night 1 and 2.
Zoey Stark defeated Toni Storm (Pre-show)
NXT Women's Championship Match: Raquel Gonzalez defeated Io Shirai
NXT United Kingdom Championship Match: Champion Walter defeated Tommaso Ciampa
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: MSK defeated Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado del Fantasma
Pete Dunne Defeated Kushida
Gauntlet Match for North American Championship Opportunity: Bronson Reed defeated Leon Ruff, Isaiah Swerve Scott, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, and LA Knight
NXT Championship Match: Champion Finn Balor vs Karrion Kross
Unsanctioned Match: Adam Cole vs Kyle O'Reilly
NXT North American Championship Match: Champion Johnny Gargano vs Bronson Reed
NXT Women's Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon vs The Way
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Ladder Match: Champion Santos Escobar vs Champion Jordan Devlin0comments
NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver kicks off tonight on USA Network, while Night 2 will air on Thursday, April 8th exclusively on Peacock.
What have you thought of TakeOver so far? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!