We get a video package for Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano. We see Gargano arriving earlier today, and Balor.
Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor
We go to the ring and out first comes Johnny Gargano. Finn Balor is out next.
The referee can barely hold them back as they meet for trash talking in the middle of the ring. Balor turns and goes to the corner to finish his entrance. We get the bell and they stare each other down as fans do dueling chants to start. They lock up and trade holds. Gargano with a quick roll-up pin attempt. Balor shows off some by doing push-ups while having Gargano locked in a head-scissors. The hold is finally broken as Gargano fights. Balor keeps control and unloads with chops in the corner.
Balor controls the match into the corners again, rocking Gargano with chops. Gargano blocks a shot with a kick. Gargano finally hits a Spear to send Balor off the apron to the floor. Gargano works Balor around ringside now. Balor ends up blocking a dropkick on the floor with a big Slingblade. Balor with a knee to the head as the referee counts. Balor brings it back in and keeps control for a few minutes. Gargano avoids a pin but Balor keeps him grounded with ease.
Fans do louder dueling chants. Gargano finally fights free and rocks Balor. Gargano focuses on Balor’s arm now. Gargano takes Balor back down by his arm and grounds him. Gargano turns it into a pin attempt. Gargano keeps control and rocks Balor into the corner. Balor catches a kick from the apron and turns it into a Dragon Screw leg whip into the ropes. Balor keeps Gargano down and grounds him with the knee again. Balor continues to dominate, taking Gargano back to the corner for strikes and focus on the knee. Balor taunts Gargano but Gargano rocks him. Balor keeps control and takes the knee out again. Balor orders the referee to ask Gargano if he quits. Balor uses the ropes on the knee again as the referee warns him. Gargano kicks Balor to the floor this time. Balor comes right back in but Gargano rolls him for a close 2 count.
Balor goes right back to the mat with focus on the leg and knee of Gargano. Balor rolls Gargano into a submission as Gargano yells out in pain. More back and forth now. Gargano goes for a suicide dive to the floor but Balor grabs him in mid-move. Balor goes for the 1916 on the floor but Gargano rams him back into the steel steps. Gargano goes back in and hits a big rolling senton to take Balor back down on the outside. They bring it back in and Gargano hits the slingshot Spear as Balor turns around. Balor still kicks out at 2.
Balor pleads as Gargano backs him in the corner and stomps. Gargano stomps away on the face and then chops him. Gargano tries to drive Balor off the top but it’s blocked. Gargano blocks Balor’s inverted DDT but Balor levels him for a close 2 count. Fans do dueling chants as Balor stomps on Gargano while he’s down. The referee warns Balor as he unloads with stomps using the ropes. Gargano rolls to the floor. Balor misses a dropkick and flies through the ropes to the floor. Gargano superkicks him. Gargano brings it back in. Gargano goes for a slingshot DDT but it’s blocked. Gargano counters and launches Balor into the turnbuckles like a dart. Balor comes right back. Gargano almost gets the pin after they trade pele kicks, falling on top of Balor. Fans go wild again. They trade big forearm shots from the apron and the ring now. They unload with strikes as fans cheer them on. They go down and get back up. Gargano slingshots himself in but Balor catches him and hits knees. Balor keeps control and goes up top for a big stomp. Gargano dodges the Coup de Grace and hits a big slingshot DDT but Balor kicks out. Gargano and fans can’t believe it. Fans chant “this is awesome!” now.
They get up and stare each other down before going at it again. Gargano drops Balor with a discus clothesline. Gargano rallies the fans and looks to put Balor away but Balor nails a Slingblade for a pop of his own. Balor charges for the dropkick but Gargano superkicks him. Balor hits the Slingblade and then the big dropkick into the corner. Fans go wild. Balor goes to the top but Gargano dodges the Coup de Grace again. Gargano counters into the Gargano Escape in the middle of the ring. They struggle and fans cheer them on. Balor breaks free and stomps on Gargano’s chest with both feet. Gargano blocks the 1916 and goes back to the Gargano Escape. Balor finally makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Balor rolls to the floor as fans chant “fight forever!” again.
Balor stumbles around in front of the announcers. Gargano comes out and pints at Balor. Gargano runs and nails the big dropkick into the barrier. Gargano is all smiles as fans cheer him on. Gargano brings Balor over in front of the announce table but stops. He starts taking the announce table apart and fans pop. Balor counters and slams Gargano on top of the table, with the monitors still on it. Balor climbs up on the main announce table now. Balor runs as Gargano stands up on the Spanish table. Balor leaps and dropkicks Gargano from the Spanish announce table into the barrier.
Balor brings Gargano back into the ring and hits Coup de Grace as the fans continue cheering. Balor points down at Gargano as he rolls around in pain. Balor grabs Gargano for the 1916 and drops Gargano on his head in the middle of the ring. Balor covers for the pin with ease and gets it.
Winner: Finn Balor
After the match, Balor stays on top of Gargano as his music hits. Balor holds Gargano by the throat, talks trash and strikes him as the referee backs him away. Balor stands tall as we go to replays. Balor comes back down and walks over Gargano on his way out of the ring. Balor talks more trash to the camera while making his exit.
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Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov
It’s time for the opener as Finn Balor makes his way out to a pop as Alicia Taylor does the introductions. Ilja Dragunov is out next for our first NXT vs. NXT UK match.
The bell rings and they lock up. They tangle and go to the mat for more. They break and lock back up. Balor takes Dragunov down with a headlock. Dragunov turns it around. Dragunov ends up hitting a crossbody for a quick pin attempt. Dragunov taunts Balor in the middle of the ring and tells him to bring it. Dragunov with a shot to the mouth. They go at it and Balor rolls through, then slaps Dragunov in the mouth. Balor sends Dragunov to the floor and nails a big running dropkick through the ropes.
Balor brings it back into the ring and chops Dragunov in the corner. Dragunov counters and drops Balor. Dragunov hits a big senton for a 2 count. Dragunov keeps Balor grounded now. Balor ends up on the floor for a breather and Dragunov puts on the brakes when charging. Dragunov goes on and leaps out, taking Balor down. Dragunov brings it back into the ring but Balor rolls right back out. Dragunov goes back to the top for a double ax handle to the floor but Balor moves and Dragunov lands hard.
Balor with boots to the face as the referee counts them. Balor brings Dragunov back into the ring and nails a dropkick to the back of the head for a 2 count. Balor keeps Dragunov grounded now. Balor slams Dragunov back to the mat and covers for a 2 count. Balor with boots to keep Dragunov down as the referee warns him. Balor gets back in the face of the referee and then stomps away on Dragunov for a pop as the referee backs him off.
Balor keeps control and delivers more chops. Balor grounds Dragunov now. Dragunov fights up but Balor goes for a suplex. Dragunov counters and hits one of his own for a pop. Dragunov with a running knee to the face in the corner. Dragunov keeps control and levels Balor. Dragunov yells out for some boos. Dragunov with a clothesline in the corner. Dragunov exposes the knee and nails a knee drop to the throat from the second rope. Balor still kicks out at 2.
Dragunov with strikes to the neck, then knee strikes. Balor takes him down but ends up getting dropped with another big knee for a 2 count. Dragunov scoops Balor but Balor slides out and hits a double stomp to the mat. Dragunov tells Balor to bring it now, while on his knees. They trade big strikes in the middle of the ring now. Balor with a chop. Dragunov with a kick to the head. More back and forth. Balor goes for 1916 but it’s blocked. Balor drops Dragunov with the elbow across the throat. Balor with a Slingblade from the corner. Balor runs into a kick to the face. Dragunov with a huge dead-lift German suplex for a 2 count. Dragunov comes back with a big clothesline. Balor goes out but Dragunov leaps from the top and takes him down on the floor.
Dragunov brings Balor back into the ring. Dragunov goes to the top with a Coast 2 Coast for a close 2 count. Balor is bleeding from his nose now. Dragunov goes to the top for a big senton but Balor gets his knees up. Balor with a running dropkick into the corner. Fans pop as Balor goes to the top and hits Coup de Grace. The pop continues as Balor nails 1916 in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Finn Balor
After the match, Balor stands tall and walks around the ring, looking out at the crowd, as his music hits. We go to replays. Balor poses in the corner and wipes the blood from his nose, then points out at the crowd as the referee checks on Dragunov.
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Back from the break and we get a vignette with Ilja Dragunov, sending a warning to Finn Balor for their match at Worlds Collide. Dragunov says when he beats Balor on Saturday, everyone will see that he’s invincible. Ilja says he will not miss.
Finn Balor vs. Joaquin Wilde
We go back to the ring and out comes Finn Balor for the next match. Joaquin Wilde is out next with his custom helmet on.
The bell rings and fans chant for Balor. They lock up and Balor unloads, aggressively beating Wilde down. Balor stomps while Wilde is down on the mat. The referee backs Balor off and they have some words. Wilde gets back to his feet but Balor beats him into another corner, then delivers a chop. Balor takes it into another corner for another big chop as fans pop.
Balor runs into a big boot in the corner. Balor come right back with a big dropkick in the middle of the ring. Balor with another big dropkick, sending Wilde back into the turnbuckles. Balor goes to the top and hits a Coup de Grace. Balor picks Wilde up and sends a warning to Dragunov, then drops Wilde with 1916 to get the easy pin in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Finn Balor
After the match, Balor stands tall as we go to replays. Balor poses on the stage, pointing his guns at the camera, as his music plays.
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We see recent happenings between Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano. Gargano will be here tonight. Back to commercial.
We go to the ring and out comes Johnny Gargano to a mixed reaction.
Gargano says he’s been waiting a long time to get a live mic to talk about The Prince. The boos get louder. Gargano says he’s not going to take anything away from what Finn Balor did for NXT, for building the brand, and he won’t take anything away from Balor putting him on the shelf for a few months. But all of that is the past. Gargano says Balor likes to say his future is his past, and now his past is standing in the ring because Balor didn’t finish the job when he had him on the ramp.
Gargano goes on and talks about how Balor couldn’t wait to put the NXT flag down and get the hell out of here to the main roster. Gargano says he got the same phone call from WWE but he turned it down and stayed here, because when he says he loves this place, he actually means it. More fans cheer for Gargano now as the “Johnny Wrestling!” chant starts up, but there’s still a mixed reaction overall. Gargano talks about how he came to NXT and took it to new heights, with the fans, but without Balor because he abandoned the place. Gargano says NXT left Balor behind and that eats Balor alive, it eats him alive that NXT didn’t need him. The music finally interrupts and out comes Balor.
Balor congratulates Gargano on the promo and says maybe he should be called Johnny Promo now because that’s the only thing doctors will clear him for. Balor admits Gargano cost him the NXT Title a few weeks back. Gargano laughs and Balor threatens to knock his head off. Balor goes on and calls him soft. Balor says he will give Gargano his match at “Takeover: Portland” on February 16, if Gargano makes it that far. Balor drops the mic and they stare each other down as the music hits.
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NXT Title Match: Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole
We go right to the ring and out comes Finn Balor first. This was previously announced as being a commercial-free match but Mauro notes that it will have “limited commercial interruption.” NXT Champion Adam Cole is out next as Alicia Taylor does the introductions.
The bell rings and we get formal introductions from Taylor. Fans do dueling chants as they lock up and trade holds. Balor takes Cole down first and they tangle some more on the mat. Balor with the upperhand again, keeping Cole grounded. Cole turns it around on their feet and beats Balor down to some boos. Cole with a forearm to the jaw. Balor comes back with a basement dropkick for a 2 count. Balor keeps Cole grounded by his arm now. They get up and Balor chops Cole into the corner. Balor keeps control and dropkicks Cole in the back of the neck while he’s down. Balor with another close 2 count. Fans chant for Balor as he works on Cole while he’s down.
Balor stomps away on Cole, sending him out for a breather. Balor with a dropkick through the ropes now, sending Cole into the barrier. Balor goes for a big kick from the apron but Cole superkicks the knee out. Balor goes down on the apron and Cole works him over, bringing it back in for a Hangman’s neckbreaker. Cole mounts Balor with strikes now. Cole goes on and hits a snap suplex for another pin attempt. Cole stomps away in the corner now as the referee warns him. Cole plays to the crowd for a mixed reaction. Cole takes Balor back down, drives a knee to the back and grounds him with a headlock now. Balor tries to fight up and out but Cole takes him back down, talking trash as the referee checks on Balor. Balor gets up and hits a jawbreaker to break free. Balor charges but Cole counters and takes the left knee out to take back control. Cole drops Balor with a right, then nails a forearm. Cole drops Balor again for another 2 count. Cole drives more knees into Balor’s back and keeps him down with a scissors on the mat.
Cole keeps control and shows off some as Balor stumbles to the corner. Cole runs into boots. Balor mounts some offense now. Balor drops down on Cole for a 2 count. Balor with chops in the corner. Cole comes back and hits a backbreaker out of nowhere for a 2 count. More back and forth on their feet now. Cole with an enziguri. Balor with a Slingblade. Balor runs into a big superkick and Cole covers for a 2 count. They trade suplex attempts and then strikes in the middle of the ring. Cole with a big boot to the face and another shot. Balor comes right back with a pele kick but Cole falls on him for a close 2 count. They get up and stare each other down. Cole drops Balor with a kick. Balor blocks the Panama Sunrise. Cole counters the 1916. More back and forth and big counters between the two. Balor drops Cole and goes to the top but Cole knock him off. Balor lands hard on the floor as the dueling chants start back up.
Cole goes for a Sunrise from the apron but Balor back-drops him to the floor, then hits a big running dropkick. Balor brings it back in and misses the Coup de Grace. Cole follows up with the Last Shot for another close 2 count as the crowd goes wild and the “NXT!” chants start up. Cole can’t believe it. Fans chant “this is awesome!” now. Cole drops his knee pad and runs the ropes but Balor nails a huge clothesline. Balor with a dropkick into the corner. Balor goes back to the top and nails a Coup de Grace. Balor grabs Cole for a 1916 but Johnny Gargano appears on the stage and everyone is distracted.
Cole takes advantage of Balor being distracted, rocks him and then delivers the Last Shot for the pin to retain.
Winner: Adam Cole
After the match, Gargano slowly walks down the ramp as Cole’s music hits. Cole exits the ring. Balor is down in the ring. Gargano brings a steel chair into the ring as fans chant “Johnny Wrestling!” now. Balor looks up from the mat as Gargano stares him down, chair in-hand. Gargano unloads with chair shots now, beating Balor out of the ring. The chair shots continue until Balor retreats through the crowd. Gargano touches the steel part of the bottom of the ramp, which Balor dropped him on when he turned heel several weeks back. Gargano tosses the chair and leaves.
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