In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the year, NXT Champion Finn Balor retained his belt by pinning the dangerous Samoa Joe at NXT Takeover: London.
In terms of match quality, it was everything we could have asked for. Balor started by mounting some offense on Joe, including some Flair chops and a running drop kick into the steel steps, but then Joe’s aggressive nature took over.
Balor was tossed around like a rag doll by the 300-pounder, but he refused to give up. The moment he broke out of an attempted Muscle Buster, there was no doubt what was going to happen. Balor knocked Joe out of the ring with a running enziguri shortly afterward. Then a Pele kick. Then some more Flair chops.
Except Joe wasn’t done. He locked Balor in the Coquina Clutch not once but twice, only for the champ to break out each time. The champ was then taken to the top rope for what looked like a Muscle Buster/superplex, except one Flair chop sent the challenger down. Cue the Coup de Grace, and the belt was retained.
That all being said, despite NXT essentially being WWE’s minor leagues, tonight’s show in London proved just how great a thing the company has down in Florida. Balor’s entrance drew such a pop that for him to lose would have been a crime. The same goes for Women’s Champion Bayley. Simply put, these entertainers are the future and should be rewarded accordingly.
But what’s next for Balor? Maybe a match with Apollo Crews? Maybe he’ll feud with former champion Sami Zayn. The possibilities are endless.
Anyway, that’s all for now, wrestling fans. See you in January for the Royal Rumble!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports