Christmas has come early for WWE fans as the latest edition of NXT featured two blockbuster title matches that opened and closed this week’s show on the USA Network.
Adam Cole put his NXT Championship on the line against Finn Balor. WWE had been teasing the feud ever since Balor’s return to the black-and-gold brand and last night’s showdown was apparently the beginning of a lengthy rivalry.
Balor gained the upper hand during the early stages of the matchup but Cole managed to turn the tables by hurting his opponent’s knee on the apron. The Prince sold the knee injury for the rest of the title defense to ensure there was a constant shift in momentum between both Superstars.
Balor planted Cole with a Coup de Grace followed by a 1916 and was moments away from capturing the NXT Title just when the unexpected happened – a returning Johnny Gargano appeared on the stage and The Extraordinary Man couldn’t believe his eyes!
Cole wasted no time to deliver a low blow to a distracted Balor followed by the Last Shot to retain the NXT Title.
Post-match, Gargano led a chair-assault on Balor until the latter had managed to flee through the Full Sail crowd.
Rhea Ripley challenged Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship in the main event of the show.
The former NXT UK Champion started things off on a strong note but Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir carried out their ‘duties’ to halt her momentum. Ripley single-handedly took them both out at ringside before Baszler stomped her left arm into the steel steps.
After narrowly escaping the Kirafuda Clutch, Ripley and Baszler battled to the top rope where the challenger gained the upper hand and planted The Queen Of Spades with an earth-shattering Avalanche Riptide on the mat. 1-2-3, and Ripley had successfully dethroned Baszler in a highly physical title showdown.
As Baszler’s 415-day reign came to an end, fans stormed to the ring to celebrate Ripley’s NXT Women’s Title victory in an extremely heartfelt moment.