NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?

Hey gang!  They've been building to tonight's main event for weeks, and now all they need to do is have the match.  NXT Champion Karrion Kross will defend his NXT Championship in a rematch against former champion Finn Balor, looking to win the title for an unprecedented third time.  Can Balor do it and put himself in the history books?  Or is Kross truly unbeatable?  Let's find out!

NXT Preview For Tonight: A Big Return And A Big Debut
The new official logo for NXT, courtesy of WWE.

Dakota Kai & NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart, courtesy of WWE.

Blackheart and Gonzalez start things off with a battle of speed vs. strength.  Blackheart tries outmaneuvering Gonzalez, but she grabs her at every chance.  Moon tags in and tries some crossbodies, but Gonzalez is able to catch her each time.

Kai tags in, and they double team Moon for a two-count.  Gonzalez tags back in quickly and tosses Moon into the corner, and then tags Kai.  Moon tags Blackheart, and she takes it to Kai with a running sling blade and then a splash into the ropes for two.

Moon tags in, and they double team Kai for two.  Blackheart tags in and gets Kai in a Texas Cloverleaf, but Gonzalez pulls her partner out of the hold and tags in.  She drops elbows on Blackheart and beats her on the mat.

Moon tags in and catches Gonzalez with dropkicks and some taunting punches.  She then double knees her in the ribs before going to the top rope and hitting a diving face crusher.  Kai interferes, and Gonzalez tags her.

They double team Moon and Kai gets two.  Moon tags Blackheart, and she gets Kai with an enziguri and a series of kicks before hitting a sort of GTS for two.

Moon tags in and gets Kai on her shoulders for a doomsday device, but Gonzalez pulls Kai off, only to get hit with a flying crossbody from Blackheart.  Moon then locks Kai in her modified STF submission, but Gonzalez breaks it up and sets her up for the single-arm powerbomb, but Moon reverses into the Eclipse.  She and Blackheart then hit their version of a Hart Attack on Kai for the pinfall.

Winners: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart.

Right after the pinfall, Gonzalez hits them from behind with the belt.  She gets Blackheart outside and powerbombs her first into the crowd barrier, then the ring post, then the barrier again, and then gets her on her shoulders and military presses her onto the barrier, all while Kai holds Moon in the ropes to make her watch.

Next, we get a backstage promo from Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher, where they say they're coming for Grizzled Young Veterans and will break their limbs.

Bobby Fish vs. Pete Dunne

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
Bobby Fish vs. Pete Dunne, courtesy of WWE.

They charge each other right off the bell and exchange strikes.  Dunne tries to get Fish in a hold, but Fish kicks and elbows him down.  Dunne finally responds with a hard forearm and knocks Fish to the mat.  He then grabs his ankle and goes to work, twisting and torquing it.

Fish fights to his feet, but Dunne gets him with some hard kicks and then a couple of different elbow locks.  Dunne tries a headlock, but Fish rolls it into an armbar.  Dunne eventually fights out, but Fish drops him on the ropes and kicks him through the ropes to the floor.

Dunne responds and locks Fish a sort of surfboard stretch.  He then tries kicking Fish in the face over and over, but Fish takes it and explodes on Dunne, tackling him into the corner and then hitting a hard spinebuster.  Fish locks him in a sleeper hold, but Dunne grabs his fingers and starts bending them.

Dunne then knee drops his hand, forcing Fish to roll out of the ring.  Dunne follows and runs at him, but Fish back body drops him on the outside.  They get back in the ring, and Dunne hits a step-up enziguri.  Dunne tries a Kamura lock, but Fish counters into a suplex.

They get to their feet, and Fish starts kneeing Dunne hard in the stomach.  Dunne rallies with a German suplex and then hits a Shining Wizard.  He goes for a running knee, but Fish dodges and hits him with a leaping knee to the jaw for two.

Dunne grabs his arm and twists his fingers, and gets an armbar in, but Fish rolls it over and tries the move on Dunne.  Dunne breaks out and hits the pump handle DDT for the pinfall.

Winner: Pete Dunne

After the match, Oney Lorcan starts beating on Fish and drags him to the ring apron and steps on his surgically repaired arm until the refs get him off.  Even when they do, he runs past them and kicks him in the arm again.

We now get a backstage promo from Mercedes Martinez, saying tonight is night one on her road back to the title.  As she walks off-camera, we see Boa watching her.

We now get a promo from Hit Row in their studio, where they say it's time for them to go "gold."  They call out each NXT champion and say they're after their titles.

Mercedes Martinez vs Zayda Remier

Martinez is all over Remier with holds to start.  She responds with a fast dropkick and some strikes, but Martinez catches her.  Remier hits an enziguri for a two-count, but Martinez responds with a hard punch and three double underhook suplexes for a two-count.  She then locks in a Dragon Sleeper hold on Remier, but she sneaks out of it, only to catch a spinebuster from Martinez for two.

Remier gets Martinez with a hurricanrana and a rear choke, but Martinez fights her off.  Remier goes to the top rope, but Martinez catches her and slams her, and knees her.  She then hits Remier with an Air Raid Crash for the pinfall.

Winner: Mercedes Martinez

After the match, the lights go out, and when they come on, it's all red, and the ring fills with smoke.  We see Mei Ying on the screen and then some Chinese writing.  The lights go out again, and when they come on, it's back to Martinez's theme music, as if nothing happened.  She looks at her hand, and there's a black mark on it now.

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
Tian She appears to have marked Mercedes Martinez, courtesy of WWE.

Backstage, we see Toni Storm chatting with Ted DiBiase, and they're interrupted by Robert Stone.  He tries to speak, but DiBiase cuts him off and throws cash in his face before walking away laughing.

The Million Dollar Face-Off

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
"The Million Dollar Face-Off" between "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Cameron Grimes, courtesy of WWE.

Grimes enters and grabs the mic.  As soon as he speaks, the "Million Dollar Man" theme hits, and out comes DiBiase to the ring.  Grimes asks DiBiase why he's messing with him?  He says he didn't use to be rich, and now that he is, he's trying to have fun, but DiBiase keeps showing him up.  He says DiBiase was his hero, and he taught him he could treat people horribly and still be liked cause he has money.

DiBiase tells him he really does like him, and they have a lot in common.  He says he put him through hell cause he sees himself in him.  He tells Grimes he's here because he's looking for the one person that represents the Million Dollar legacy.  He says it's not just money, but it's also in-ring performance, and Grimes has it.

He says since he got rich, he's lost his focus and needs to find it.  They're then interrupted by LA Knight, who struts onto the stage and says he sees a million-dollar opportunity.  He walks to the ring hyping himself up and saying he's done it all himself.  DiBiase is listening, and Knight pitches himself to DiBiase, saying that he'd bring his legacy to new levels if they join forces.

DiBiase tells him he knows who he is and that he's got what it takes to be a megastar.  This pisses Grimes off, and he goes on a rant about how Knight has a great body, but he's not a millionaire.  Grimes gets in Knight's face and demands he gets out of the ring, or he'll kick his ass to the moon.  Knight jumps Grimes then and knocks him out before hopping out of the ring.

DiBiase stands over Grimes and tells him, "Kid, you're just never gonna get it, are you?"  DiBiase laughs hard and leaves with LA Knight as Grimes looks on.

We now see Franky Monet getting her make-up prepped for her debut match next.

Backstage, Indi Hartwell is frantically looking for Dexter Lumis and interrupts Ever Rise filming their stupid show.  They get pissed and challenge her to take a swing at them when Drake Maverick intervenes and tells her he saw Lumis in the room across the hall.  Hartwell goes running to it and turns on the light, where we see all of these drawings on the wall of Lumis with his heart being torn out and him being hurt.

Franky Monet's Debut Match

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
Franky Monet will have her first NXT match tonight, courtesy of WWE.

Monet takes on Cora Jade here and is immediately taunting the young wrestler.  Monet is in control right away and hitting hard slaps and a series of splashes into the corner on Jade.  She then chokes her on the ropes and takes her out with a series of kicks.

Jade tries to fight back with some forearms and a spin around Russian Leg Sweep, but Monet spears her and follows with a gut-wrench powerbomb.  She then hits a Glam Slam for the pinfall.

Winner: Franky Monet

Not really an impressive debut match in any way.  Awkward pacing to it, and honestly, Monet was just annoying to watch.

Next, we see Grizzled Young Veterans backstage, where they say they're done with Ciampa & Thatcher and are here for the tag titles.  They say they're all-in on facing and defeating MSK for the NXT tag titles, and Ciampa & Thatcher are not their concern.

We now see NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed taking photos backstage with NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida before Reed heads towards the ring.

Next, we see a video package of Walter chewing out Barthel and Aichner for losing to Breezango.  He then orders them to win the NXT tag titles.  Kinda weird, and there was an odd sound-thing they were doing with Walter's voice that didn't help things.

Bronson Reed hits the ring and cuts a promo about his title victory last week.  He tells us it took him 14 years of falling and getting back up to get here.  He then says that the title is proof that you don't need to take no for an answer and you can fight to become a champion.  He then challenges anyone in the back to try and take the title from him.

Legado del Fantasma enters to interrupt him, and Santos Escobar congratulates him and tells him he brought tears to his eyes (as he wipes them with a tissue).  He tells him he can't relate to anything he just said cause he was born a champion, and this business belongs to him.  He then says after Reed's victory; the North American title caught his eye.  He says he sees the North American title and sees the USA and Mexico.  Wilde asks about Canada, and Escobar says not Canada, though, cause Canada doesn't matter…aw poor Canada.  Back to his point, the title represents the USA and Mexico, which means it belongs to him.

Escobar, Wilde, and Mendoza then try to jump Reed, but MSK run-in to make the save, and they duel-superkick Mendoza and Wilde out of the ring while Reed hits Escobar with a splash.

We now see NXT Commissioner William Regal in his office, and he announces that next week we will see a triple threat match between Kyle O'Reilly, Pete Dunne, and Johnny Gargano, and the winner will be the number one contender for the NXT title at In Your House.

Karrion Kross, with Scarlett vs. Finn Balor – NXT Championship Match

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
Karrion Kross vs. Finn Balor for the NXT Championship, courtesy of WWE.

It's title match time!  The two have an intense face-to-face staredown to start things off.  They size each other up, and Balor tries some low kicks before grabbing Kross in a side headlock.  Kross shoulders him down and tosses Balor out of the ring, but Balor charges right back in and dropkicks Kross's legs out from under him.  Kross exits the ring to calm down and re-enters to grab Balor in a waistlock and slam him to the mat.  They exchange grapples on the mat, and Balor escapes.

Balor now goes low and tries to take out Kross's legs, but Kross drops on him and tries to lock in an armbar.  Balor fights the hold, turns it into a single leg lock on Kross, and then rolls into a front face lock.  Balor gets him in a wristlock, but Kross reverses to try and scoop slam Balor.

Balor reverses it and again gets a wristlock on, this time with his knee in Kross's face.  Kross breaks out and body slams Balor.  He then slams Balor into the corner and throws him into another before hitting him with a series of elbows, knocking Balor off his feet.

Kross hits a vertical suplex and then stomps on Balor's ankle.  He then locks in a rear-face lock, but Balor fights out, only to eat an elbow from Kross.  Kross tries another, but Balor turns it into an abdominal stretch, begins hammering Kross's ribs, and drops an elbow on them.

Balor gets him up and keeps punching Kross's ribs, but Kross fights back and hammers Balor into the turnbuckle before hitting a running knee on his spine and crushing him in the corner.  He then grabs Balor and throws him across the ring before hitting a German suplex.

He goes for another, but Balor turns it into a crossface.  Kross breaks out and tries whipping Balor, but Balor rolls him over and hits a double stomp.  He gets Kross in the corner and again works on his ribs, but Kross fights out and throws Balor out of the ring.

Kross follows, but Balor traps him in the ring apron and hammers him with blows to the midsection, and then hits him with a running kick to the face from the apron.  Kross walks to the crowd barrier, holding his ribs, and Balor plants him into the barrier with a running knee.  He then hits him with a series of kicks as Kross is on the ground.

Balor throws him back in the ring, and as he follows him, Kross boots him in the face.  Kross hits a vertical suplex and taunts Balor as he lifts him, which allows Balor to fight back, but Kross hits him with a Northern Lights suplex for two.  He sets up Balor for a powerbomb, but Balor backdrops him, and Kross tries rolling him up, but Balor rolls out to dropkick him.

They get to their feet and exchange blows, but Kross gets Balor up on his shoulder and slams him into the corner before power slamming him for two.  Balor tries punching Kross, but Kross gets him up again, only for Balor to reverse into a reverse DDT.  Kross kicks out at one, but Balor hits a double stomp, only for Kross to turn it into the Straight Jacket submission.  Balor fights and is able to roll to the ropes for a break.

Kross tosses him out of the ring and slams him into the barrier over and over.  He then powerbombs Balor into the barrier before tossing him back into the ring.  He goes for another powerbomb, but Balor reverses into a DDT.  Balor then hits a Sling Blade and clotheslines Kross out of the ring before hitting a running Swanton over the ropes onto Kross on the outside.

Kross no-sells it a backdrops Balor onto the announcer's table.  Kross tosses Balor back in the ring, but Balor catches him with a kick and punches before hitting another double stomp.  He then dropkicks Kross into the turnbuckle and goes up to do the Coup de Gras, but Kross rolls out of the way and tackles him into the corner before hitting him with a German suplex.

Kross picks Balor up and hits the Saito suplex, and tries the running elbow, but Balor rolls him up for two.  He then gets him in another stretch, but Kross rolls him over and pummels him.  Balor slips out and pummels Kross from behind now.  Balor locks in a sleeper hold while kicking Kross in the ribs.

Kross rolls out, but Balor gets a Triangle choke on Kross.  The ref tries to check Kross's hand, but Kross grabs his hand and won't let him drop it.  He then lifts Balor and powerbombs him to get him to release the hold.  They both get to their feet, but Kross clotheslines him over and over.

Kross then stomps Balor a ton on the match and locks in a sleeper hold.  Balor passes out, and the bell rings.

Winner and still NXT Champion: Karrion Kross

NXT Recap- Was Karrion Kross Able To Hold Off Finn Balor And Retain?
Karrion Kross retains the NXT title, courtesy of WWE.

Wow.  What a match!  That might have actually been a better match than their great one at Stand & Deliver.  Phenomenal storytelling and action.

Well, that does it for tonight, everyone.  Talk about ending the show on a strong note!

Till next time friends!

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About Ryan Fassett

As a lifelong fan of movies, comics, wrestling, and collectibles, Ryan is excited to share his thoughts on all of it with you. He is also an active filmmaker and published comic book writer, along with being a connoisseur of soda.
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