April 14 • Devin

Nothing indicates NXT’s readiness to compete with Raw and SmackDown LIVE more than the brand’s ability to land sports-entertainment’s top free agents.

Whether it’s a former champion’s surprise appearance in the crowd at NXT TakeOver, or a full-on press conference heralding the arrival of an international competitor, the excitement that surrounds new Superstar signings has become a hallmark of WWE’s hottest organization.

As NXT continues to bolster its stock, look back at 10 of the brand’s most notable signings since the dawn of TakeOver in 2014.

2 – Finn Bálor

The signing of one ripped Irishman in 2014 registered on some social media feeds, but even those familiar with Finn Bálor’s success in Japan and the United Kingdom probably didn’t realize he was fated to become the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history.

Yet, it was under The Demon King’s 293-day reign that NXT blossomed into a worldwide sensation. Bálor’s coronation took place after a triumph against Kevin Owens in Tokyo, the first time the NXT Title changed hands outside its home state of Florida. And, as his immediate success on Raw proves (not to mention becoming WWE’s first-ever Universal Champion), Bálor’s signing wasn’t just a boon for NXT.

Posted in WWE NXT, WWE.com

July 14 • Devin

Finn Bálor vs Shinsuke Nakamura

 

Finn Balor makes his entrance to a big pop. Balor is not coming in as “the demon” tonight, but in his normal leather jacket and all black gear. Balor still has one of the better entrances in recent memory in NXT or WWE. Speaking of pops and great entrances, out comes Shinsuke Nakamura. As Balor reveals a smile at Nakamura’s popularity, we head to break before the bell rings. This show has done a fantastic job of making this feel like a huge match.

 

A “this is awesome” chant breaks out as we return. The lights lower and we get full blown ring announcements for both competitors.

 

Balor and Nakamura trade lockups as they feel each other out early. Nakamura rests his head on Balor. Finn doesn’t take it lightly and does “too sweet” right in Shinsuke’s face. Lots of stiff kicks and strikes from both men as the pace remains methodical to this point. We head to break.

 

We return to a quick two count cover. Finn Balor takes out the left knee of Nakamura. Balor continues to work the knee with a submission. Nakamura fights out but eats a front drop kick from Balor for a two count. Big chops from Balor to Nakamura in each corner of the ring. Another big blow to the knee and goes into a modified surfboard. Balor uses the double stomp for a two count. Finn stays in control with a heel hook but Shinsuke makes it to the ropes. They trade strikes but Nakamura uses the injured knee for a reverse strike that takes down both wrestlers. Nakamura strikes Balor repeatedly with the injured left knee and takes down Balor. Nakamura delivers the patented knee lift to Balor for a two. Balor hits a shot that sends Nakamura to the outside. Balor sends a swift kick to Nakamura’s face as we head to break.

 

We return with Balor delivering a double stomp for a two count. Balor applies another submission to Nakamura’s left leg but reverses. Nakamura sneaks into an arm bar and then a triangle choke! Balor gets his leg to the rope to break the hold. Nakamura gets in a flurry of strikes to weaken Balor. Balor recovers and does a reverse version of his “1916” for a 2! Nakamura regains control and lines up the “kinshasa” but Balor counters with a double stomp. The crowd begins chanting “fight forever,” and well they should. They trade extremely stiff shots in the center of the ring and Balor hits a slingblade! Balor kicks Nakamura do the corner to set up the “Coup De Grace,” but misses. Nakamura delivers a big knee from the second rope. Nakamura lines up Balor and hits “Kinshasa”! One, two, and three! Nakamura defeats Finn Balor in the battle of NXT icons.

 

Winner via Pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura (Kinshasa)

 

Both men show each other respect after the match. You can feel a passing of the torch if Nakamura remains in NXT after the brand extension. Nakamura celebrates in the ring as we go off the air.

 

Related Links, Photos & More:
» FINNishing TOUCH: World Wrestling Entertainment > Live Event Digitals > NXT > 2016 > July 13th
» FINNishing TOUCH: Screen Captures > World Wrestling Entertainment > NXT > 2016 > July 13th


June 25 • Devin

[spoiler]July 13 Episode

Main Event: Shinsuke Nakamura beat Finn Balor at 18:08 via pinfall following Kinshasa.[/spoiler]

Posted in Spoilers, WWE NXT

June 23 • Devin

Following an enticing confrontation between the two competitors one week ago, William Regal made the official announcement that Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Bálor will go head-to-head on the July 13 episode of WWE NXT.

However, as Nakamura relished in the honor of facing the “icon of NXT,” Buddy Murphy opted to rudely interrupt hm. As a result, he would have to deal with Nakamura in NXT’s main event.

Posted in WWE NXT

June 18 • Devin

Main Event: Finn Balor & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe and Austin Aries. Pinfall win for Balor on Austin Aries after a Kinshasa/Coup De Grace double from the face team. Epic match to finish the show.

After the main event, Finn cut a nice promo about everything NXT have done in the last two weeks and how it is all worth it when they see and hear the reactions they get from the fans. They finished with a double Shinsuke rope-hang pose to send the crowd home smiling.

Related Links, Photos & More:
» FINNishing TOUCH: World Wrestling Entertainment > Worldwide > 2016 > Plymouth, England (June 17th)


June 17 • Devin

NXT Championship
Finn Balor defeated Samoa Joe
– Balor wins via disqualification

Related Links, Photos & More:
» FINNishing TOUCH: World Wrestling Entertainment > Worldwide > 2016 > Bournemouth, England (June 16th)


June 17 • Devin

Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Bálor meet the NXT Universe in Bournemouth, England, during NXT’s United Kingdom tour.

Related Links, Photos & More:
» FINNishing TOUCH: World Wrestling Entertainment > Worldwide > 2016 > Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Bálor meet the NXT Universe in Bournemouth, England



Finn Balor

While you might know him as Prince Devitt“The Real Rock ‘n’ Rolla” or “The Real Shooter”, one thing’s for sure: Finn Bálor will offer the WWE Universe something they’ve never seen before. Born and raised in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland; Finn is not your average WWE superstar as he brings the wrestling experience of a man who competed in places like Mexico, the UK and Japan. He might not be the “Prince” anymore, but that won’t stop Finn Bálor from claiming his throne in the WWE as the resident Demon King on the SmackDown brand.

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