NXT Takeover 31 Results – Finn Balor Retains Against Kyle O'Reilly

It seems like NXT Takeover 31 just started less than two hours ago, but here we are, about to start the main event. Wait, you mean it really did start less than two hours ago? Can we make all PPVs limited to two and a half hours or less from now on? Who's with me? Anyway, it's Kyle O'Reilly vs. Finn Balor for NXT Championship.

Welcome to Bleeding Cool's live results and analysis for NXT Takeover 31, emanating from WWE's Capitol Wrestling Center at the newly revamped WWE Performance Center. You can scroll down to the bottom for links to our coverage of the other matches tonight.

Ashante Adonis talks to McKenzie Mitchell before the video package begins to explain why he got involved in the Swerve vs. Escobar match earlier. He says he was just tired of the cheating and transitions into talking about himself. He drops a few catchphrases and walks away.

After the video package, Undisputed Era walks Kyle O'Reilly to the stage before his entrance. They each give him a hug, and then he makes his entrance.

Finn Balor defends his NXT Championship against Kyle O'Reilly at NXT Takeover 31
Finn Balor defends his NXT Championship against Kyle O'Reilly at NXT Takeover 31

NXT Takeover 31 Results Part 5 – Kyle O'Reilly vs. Finn Balor – NXT Championship Match

  • Yeah, there's been no build to this match, but that doesn't mean there's no story. As far as these things go, NXT actually built more of one for this match in one week than they normally do for feuds that go on for months on Raw. Most of it comes from last week's episode of NXT, where video packages and a sit-down face-to-face between these two laid out how O'Reilly has traveled the world kind of in Balor's footsteps, becoming a great wrestler but not getting the kind of attention Balor does. O'Reilly is viewed as a major underdog, but are people actually underestimating his chances?
  • Probably not. But that's the story being told.
  • All we've heard from everyone all week is how great this match is gonna be, so of course, it starts with a long headlock sequence from Balor. Way to subvert expectations! O'Reilly then works on Balor's arm for ten minutes. Eventually, things do get a little more exciting, though. For example, Kyle O'Reilly soon begins bleeding from the mouth.
  • This a slow build kind of match, the kind of thing that really gets people who do star ratings going. And to be clear, I mean it gets them going sexually.
  • Eventually, it builds to the kick out of big moves while selling like you're inches from death portion of pretty much every NXT Takeover match. During this portion, Finn Balor begins bleeding from the mouth.
  • But despite nearly a half-hour of stiff shots, Balor comes out on top in the end with a Coup de Grace.

After the match, Balor helps O'Reilly to his feet. The NXT chants are so loud; I'm pretty sure they're piped in. Then Ridge Holland appears at ringside and tosses a beaten Adam Cole over the barricade. Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish run out to tend to him. Uh… weren't they with him backstage in the first place?

I'm not going to pretend this wasn't a great match, because, from a workrate perspective, it obviously was. But that's not necessarily what does it for me in pro wrestling though. I need something extra, some reason to care, and I just didn't really get that from this match. If anything, these guys are too similar, and to be honest; you could probably switch them out interchangeably in any match for the same result. But I have no doubt that the hardcore NXT audience loved this match. This is pretty much the epitome of what one imagines when they picture an NXT Takeover match.

Overall as a PPV, I feel that NXT Takeover 31 was lacking in major story developments. No titles changed hands. None of the outcomes were unexpected. All the matches were good, but nobody ever doubted they would be. We did get a few surprise returns, though not necessarily Earth-shattering ones. Probably the biggest story of the night (and it's reflected in the web traffic too) is the announcement of the return of Halloween Havoc.

Thanks for reading Bleeding Cool's NXT Takeover 31 live results and analysis. Keep checking back as we'll be posting new articles all night.

This post is part of a multi-part series: NXT Takeover 31 Results and Analysis.

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