NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
FINN BALOR vs. KEVIN OWENS (c)
Balor in full “demon” paint this morning. Expected disrespect from Owens right away. He flies over the ropes early and both go crashing to the floor. It’s all Owens after that, throwing him off the barricade, into the steps, then bullying him around his opponent around the ring. Finn gets a few signs of offense but Owens heels it up and maintains control, throwing him to the floor, over and over again. He almost wins it off a count-out but Balor survives just before the ten-count. The champ runs the ropes and looks for a big move…then drops down into a simple headlock and smiles. “Are you not impressed? I don’t care. I hate this stupid country and everyone in it.” Owens with a series of shoulder tackles and a spin-out powerbomb followed by the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but he misses the AA and Balor catches him with a double foot stomp. Pele kick out of nowhere to give the challenger some space. He battles back and hits a reverse BLOODY SUNDAY and Cole actually sells it a big deal – it was his finisher for years in New Japan – but he only gets two. Slingblade connects, and they end up fighting over the top turnbuckle; huge enzuigiri from Balor, the Coup de Grace lands, but Owens kicks out a two-and-a-half. Both men are down. Again they fight to the top turnbuckle. Owens teases a brainbuster from up high but settles for a rolling senton off the second rope for a nearfall. The champ looks for the senton splash but runs into the knees; Balor with BLOODY SUNDAY again…1…2…kickout! Owens is the first one up with a half-nelson suplex. He’s visibly frustrated now, yelling “you can’t beat me!” and starting to get sloppy with mocking slaps and chops. Finn floats over the pop-up powerbomb and turns Owens inside out with a missile dropkick, then another dropkick, then a hesitation dropkick into the corner. He climbs the ropes and connects with a second Coup de Grace! 1…2…3.
Winner: Finn Balor (new champion)
-Streamers rain down on Balor as the new champion from the fans, which is a hilarious slap to the face of former Ring of Honor great Kevin Steen. WWE Hall of Famer Tatsumi Fujinami comes down to the ring and pays respect to the new NXT title holder. Cool to see ‘The Dragon’ in Japan once again. We get a staredown with Owens, Balor offers him a handshake, and of course Kevin tells him where he can put his handshake and walks off.