With their NXT Title showdown set for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Finn Bálor and Karrion Kross were face to face for the second week in a row, and the tension was palpable with The Prince declaring Kross could not beat him. When Scarlett proclaimed she had foreseen both men "draped in gold," NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch joined the fray, insisting Bálor should be facing Pete Dunne and not Kross.
Little did Lorcan & Burch know they would be goaded by Scarlett into defending their titles later in the night — against the potent but volatile duo of Bálor & Kross.
Austin Theory looked as intense as we've ever seen him in NXT, likely as a result of Dexter Lumis' hurtful comments about Theory's "abdominal region" — at least if one believes Johnny Gargano. "All Day" scored several near-falls, though eventually Lumis appeared to be ready to let bygones be bygones, offering Theory a handshake. Theory bought it hook, line and sinker, responding with a hug only to be pulled right into Silence by Lumis. Though Theory broke free, he found himself back in the potent hold moments later with Lumis putting him out for the win.
The already turbulent situation between Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly escalated to an entirely new gear Wednesday night. Incensed with O'Reilly costing him his NXT Championship Match last week, Cole refused to leave the ring until O'Reilly met him. But Cole instead got NXT General Manager William Regal, who informed Cole that O'Reilly was banned from the Capitol Wrestling Center after reaggravating his existing injuries.
Cole had harsh words for Regal, and that was just the beginning of the headaches for the NXT General Manager. Mr. Regal later found Cole and O'Reilly apprehended by police outside the CWC after an apparent altercation. Regal demanded both come together next week, promising a solution for the bitter rivalry that has spiraled out of hand in a hurry.
Though they got the better of Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza a week earlier, Tyler Breeze & Fandango could not accomplish the same feat in this fast-paced, back-and-forth contest, with Breeze falling victim to Legado's devastating enziguiri-legsweep combination to seal the victory.
Afterward, NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar demanded that fellow champion Jordan Devlin meet him, and The Irish Ace granted Escobar his wish. Devlin derided Escobar as merely a fill-in, and the Legado leader fired back by challenging Devlin to a bout at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver to finally prove who the true champion is.
Devlin answered emphatically without any words, blasting Escobar with a headbutt and hitting the Devlin Side before Wilde & Mendoza could come to Escobar's aid.
Already showing she could go toe to toe with Io Shirai, Zoey Stark impressed once again, taking Dakota Kai's hardest hits and coming back from more. Kai was even on her heels at several junctures, most notably following a spectacular leap to the outside from Stark. The Captain of Team Kick even received a dose of her own medicine, eating high-impact strikes from Stark.
But Kai took control, meeting Stark's springboard attack with a huge superkick and following up with a kick in the corner. Though that only netted Kai a near-fall — one that even stunned Raquel González at ringside — Kai connected with the Go-To Kick moments later to lock up the win.
Shirai hit the ring, making a beeline for González and shoving what appeared to be a match contract into her chest, once again making it clear what she wanted from "Big Mami Cool."
Tommaso Ciampa brought a calculated plan with him, ambushing Marcel Barthel before he could even get off the blocks. After deducting that Imperium were responsible for Timothy Thatcher's absence from the CWC tonight, it was a smart strategy deployed by The Blackheart, and one that earned him a victory after he dropped Barthel with Willow's Bell.
NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER made a stunning return to the black-and-gold brand afterward, and Ciampa appeared eager to stand face to face with the dominant Austrian. But Barthel and Fabian Aichner attacked Ciampa from behind, setting him up for a thunderous chop and powerbomb from WALTER, allowing Imperium to stand tall.
While LA Knight walked the walk in his in-ring debut after talking the talk for weeks, he's not likely to be pleased after having his spotlight stolen by Bronson Reed. Reed came out with Knight's signature jacket during the bout and even tried it on for size, ripping it to shreds with his Colossal physique. Knight took care of August Grey with a huge facebuster, but he was livid afterward with Reed destroying his garb.
The dominant Karrion Kross immediately showed the champions they weren't dealing with an ordinary opponent, dropping Oney Lorcan on his neck before dealing Danny Burch the same fate moments later. Lorcan & Burch later took control with a double team while Finn Bálor was not in any rush to provide assistance for his TakeOver opponent.
While Bálor later found himself in trouble against the hard-hitting Lorcan, The Prince soon took control, and the action spilled to the outside, catalyzing a series of events that would not end well for the NXT Champion. Bálor's flying dropkick sent Lorcan crashing into Scarlett. By the time Kross recovered and realized what had happened, he snapped on Bálor, slamming him into the ringside barricades and sending him back into the ring to eat a big-time uppercut from Lorcan, who then pinned Bálor to retain the titles.
Kross disposed of Lorcan with a Doomsday Saito before refocusing his attention on Bálor and brutalizing The Prince, almost putting him unconscious with the Kross Jacket. Scarlett helped Bálor slowly find his footing, only to be smashed with an elbow to the back of his head from Kross.
Draping Balor's NXT Championship over his fallen body, Scarlett told The Prince that "Everything happens for a reason. You can't escape fate," and Bálor's odds of preserving his title at TakeOver suddenly looked much less probable.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dexter Lumis defeated Austin Theory
- Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde) (w/ Santos Escobar) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
- Dakota Kai (w/ Raquel González) defeated Zoey Stark
- Tommaso Ciampa defeated Marcel Barthel
- LA Knight defeated August Grey
- Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan (c) defeated Finn Bálor & Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett) to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship
Other on-screen talent
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