WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland rages on and we’ve got a dream match up now! Johnny Gargano taking on Finn Balor in a battle of NXT’s past vs. NXT’s present!
Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano
Staredown from across the ring. Circling around as a dueling chant commences. Finn with an arm wringer, Johnny counters with a roll-up for a quick kickout! Top wristlock from Johnny, to a trip, Finn with a headscissor counter. Johnny handstands out, side headlock cinched in. Finn up, side headlock takeover, Finn with the headscissor once more. Balor cinches in deep and does a few push-ups! Crowd loves it! Gargano kips up out of it though, standing dropkick, side headlock takeover!
Finn fighting his way to his feet, throws him tot he corner, floatover, Gargano with an arm drag, dropkick! Finn reverses a whip, sunset flip from Johnny, escaped, rolling kick from Gargano! Finn with a chop in the corner, forearms to the small of the back. Whips him to the opposite corner, charging knife edge chops! Johnny gets the boot up, takes him to another corner for big chops! Mean ones!
Finn fights to the apron, Gargano slips out there too, SPEARS HIM TO THE FLOOR!
Throws him right into the barricade! Knife edge chop! Throws him into the ring, Finn rolls to the opposite side and escapes. Johnny stalking… wants a Hesitation Dropkick but Finn stops him with the Slingblade! High knee to the face! Throws him into the ring, drives an elbow into his shoulder and cinches him with a chinlock. Basement Dropkick, snapmare. Head-and-arm clutch holds Johnny down.
Gargano fights his way up but gets taken back down. Back elbow on his way up, trips him to his face! Grabs the wrist for a shoulder breaker. Backslide for a quick two count, Johnny keeps working over the left arm. Charges, Balor with a back body drop but Johnny goes to the apron, tries for the WWE Headkick but Finn catches it, pulls him to the mat! Running kick to the back of the leg flips him onto his face! Balor with a Cross Arm-Breaker attempt but Gargano escapes, stomp to the face! Balor takes advantage though, wins out a brawl in the corner and drapes a leg on the second rope, springing knee drop to that leg! Works it over now.
Johnny counters, kicks him out of the ring. When Finn slips back in, Johnny with an inside cradle reversal! Finn kicks out, gets the legs, Deathlock cinched! Johnny slaps him away as another dueling chant commences! Levels him with a lariat as the crowd applauds.
Finn bails, Johnny hits the ropes, suicide dive but Finn catches him! Wants a 1916 onto the floor! But Johnny fights out, throws him into the steps!
Johnny onto the apron, charges, Flying Senton nails Balor and Gargano lands hard on the floor! Johnny throws him into the ring, Slingshot Spear for a nearfall! Balor begs off but Johnny chops him into the corner, takes him up top, wants the Lawndart! But Finn escapes, Final Cut for a nearfall! Loud duel kicks up! Springing stomps to the face, official has to pull Finn off! Gargano wants his Slingshot DDT, Balor blocks, tries for the 1916 but Gargano reverses into the Lawndart! Big boot from Finn, Gargano with an enziguri, Finn with an immediate Pele Kick – Gargano falls on top of Balor for an accidental nearfall!
Johnny rolls to the apron as another duel starts. Exchange of forearms. They just keep going! Johnny wants his Slingshot Spear but Finn catches him, hangs him on the second rope, goes up top for a Coup de Gras but Johnny avoids it, Slingshot DDT nailed for a nearfall! Beautiful sequence! “This Is Awesome”! They’re standing off now as everyone rises. They each hit the ropes but avoid one another, Johnny with a forearm, discus lariat doesn’t really connect but Finn falls anyway. Johnny going for the DIY Superkick but Balor stops him with a Slingblade! Charges but Gargano cuts him off with a superkick! Slingblade again, hesitation dropkick takes Gargano into the corner! Crowd is reaching a crescendo as Finn goes up top, Coup de Gras but Johnny rolls out of the way – Tilt-A-Whirl into the Gargano Escape!
Finn tries to roll out of it but Johnny keeps it cinched in! Finn with a reverse, double foot stomp! Pulls him up for a 1916 but Gargano reverses back into the Gargano Escape! Finn makes it to the ropes to break the hold! “Fight Forever” chant now! Finn looks to be in real pain as he rolls to the floor. Johnny with the finger guns! Charges – Hesitation Dropkick takes Finn right into the barricade! Johnny with a wicked smile, pulls him to his feet and hooks him for a 1916! Looks at the announce table though… pulls off the lid to a big pop! Hooks him again but Finn with an Inverted Suplex slams him against the table!
Johnny stands on the table as Finn climbs an adjacent one… TABLE RUN FOR A JOHN WOO DROPKICK, JOHNNY SENT FLYING FROM THE TABLE INTO THE BARRICADE! “Holy Sh*t”!Finn rolls Johnny into the ring, VICIOUS COUP DE GRAS! Finn with the double finger guns sent Johnny’s way. Pulls him to his feet, hoists him up high for the 1916 and that is that!
Winner: Finn Balor
Awesome stuff. Paced a lot slower than what we have seen but that was totally necessary really, I needed the breath anyway. Built to a real good crescendo.
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