Cole continued to attack though, beating Balor and preventing him from using his speed and aerial abilities. He also continued to focus his attacks on Balor’s arm and shoulder, which were also targeted during Balor’s match with Pete Dunn.
Eventually Balor was able to gain momentum with back-to-back slams and target Cole’s legs and back, and it seemed to work. Cole was clearly in pain, and that continued as Balor made another attempt, but Cole managed to reach the ropes to break it up.
Things took a dramatic turn when Cole Balor delivered a superkick to the jaw and he almost got the pin and the win. Cole continued the attack, locking in a submission and holding Balor’s jaw. Balor manages to break free of him and turn him around, but Cole locks him back up before he reaches the ropes and grabs his jaw again.
Cole went after him again, but Balor fought back, attacked and threw a series of punches, then lifted Cole up, but Cole ducked and hit Balor in the knee. He then bounced off the ropes and hit Balor in the face with a knee, but Balor dropped the pin at the last moment.
Cole then launched himself off the top and hit a Panamanian Dawn, but Balor kicked away again. Cole wanted to hit him again, but Balor threw him over the top rope to the floor, buying him time. While Cole was out, however, Kyle O’Reilly came at him from behind the barricade, shocking Cole enough to distract him and give Balor time to dive in and knock him to the ground.
Balor then hit Coup De Grace with the top turnbuckle from the ring and got the pin, retaining his championship.
It’s not going to work anymore, @AdamColePro. #WWENXT @KORcombat pic.twitter.com/rwH11GfkJ9
– WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 11, 2021.
O’Reilly looked angry and focused and stepped into the ring to confront Cole. Cole kept apologizing, but O’Reilly didn’t believe him. Cole attempts a low strikeout, but O’Reilly intercepts it, grabs the ERA armbar, and launches a barrage of strikes. Then he stormed up to him and hit him again, before grabbing him by the lock of his hair. He continues to attack from the outside, hitting Cole and taking him to the barricades on both sides of the arena.
He kept yelling at him and hitting him, then he tried a suplex on him in the steel kick, but the referees knocked him down and let him go. O’Reilly wasn’t done yet and struck again, with a barrage of punches that sent him reeling.
What’s taking so long? #WWENXT @FinnBalor @WWEKarrionKross pic.twitter.com/U7zaOlGJDX
– WWE (@WWWE) March 11, 2021
When he was back in the ring, Balor looked behind him and said So long, and there was Carrion Cross.
Here’s the official description of tonight’s NXT.
This week there are two big title matches on the schedule for NXT! Finn Balor finally faces Adam Cole as Prince puts the NXT Championship on the line, and Tony Storm faces Io Shirai in a one-on-one match for the NXT Women’s Title. NXT General Manager William Regal also promised an announcement that will change the landscape of the black-and-gold brand, with Cayden Carter taking on the ruthless Xia Li.
Here’s the full map:
NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole
NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai vs. Tony Storm
Cayden Carter versus Xia Li.
NXT Tag Team Champions Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai vs. Amber Moon and Shotzy Blackheart
What do you think of today’s NXT? Let us know in the comments or, as always, you can talk to me about all things NXT on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!