At NXT Takeover 31, Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly stole the show with an incredible main event over the NXT Championship. Balor won, but still left with a broken jaw. O’Reilly is now back for Round Two, after beating Pete Dunne to once again become #1 contender.
Balor has a chance to solidify this reign, and O’Reilly can prove he had Balor beat, but either way this is going to be an incredible match. Their last match was the 2020 NXT Match of the Year but a hard standard to live up to, but if anyone can, it’s these two.
Finn Balor Attacks The Jaw Of O’Reilly
They’d lock up, and O’Reilly was shoved off into the ropes, before crashing into Balor with a shoulder tackle, right to that jaw. Balor would look to ground O’Reilly, forgetting that is where O’Reilly thrives. A slow pace saw Balor get an abdominal stretch, but be sent to the mat with a hip toss, and trapped in an armbar.
Balor was able to turn this back into the abdominal stretch, grabbed all the limbs, and O’Reilly bit the ropes to break the hold, very creative. However, the ropes were kicked and the jaw of O’Reilly was seriously damaged. Things started to get hard hitting with some strikes, and Balor was sent to the apron. Some dragon screws to the arm attacked the previously injured shoulder of Balor, but just fired him up.
O’Reilly was taken down and had his head stomped, before taking a Belly to Back Suplex and it was turned right into a crossface. Another suplex was attempted, but O’Reilly saved it and got a knee to the gut. A big takedown got O’Reilly back in control, but missed a knee strike in the corner.
Kyle O’Reilly Once Again Shines Bright
Balor hit O’Reilly into the ropes, only for O’Reilly to bounce back with a strike. He’d fail to take Balor out, and was PK’d out of the ring, barely making the ten count. Back in the ring, he applied a triangle choke, and Balor was turning purple.
He’d move into a double heel hook, but a shot to the jaw had him break the hold. Some big elbow strikes to the head of a grounded O’Reilly was followed by a Final Cut, reverse Bloody Sunday, and right into a crossface. Balor lost the hold, and they went back to some hard strikes, but Balor got the slingblade out of nowhere.
O’Reilly was tripped up, and hit with the short coup de grace. Shotgun dropkick to the jaw was the setup for the top rope Coup de Grace, but O’Reilly cut him off and nailed a superplex. He tried to move into a second suplex, but Balor got a small package. O’Reilly kicked out but maintained the hold for a brainbuster, before moving into an armbar.
Balor fought free, and kicked O’Reilly in the kidneys before going back to that abdominal stretch combined with a crossface. O’Reilly was forced to tap out, or suffer a broken jaw of his own.
It was impossible to match the lightning in a bottle of their first encounter. That said, it was as good a follow-up as you could ask for, perfectly playing off what made the first match so good. Just another hard hitting classic, surely to be one of the best NXT matches this year. Match Rating: 4.75/5 (**** ¾)
Who will step up to Finn Balor next? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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