#AndNEW: Finn Balor Wins the Vacant NXT Championship

Finn Balor NXT Championship

On NXT Super Tuesday II, Finn Balor faced Adam Cole in the opening match for the vacant NXT Championship. The title had been vacated by Karrion Kross weeks prior due to a legitimate shoulder injury. With Kross being out of action for an extended period, he had no choice but to relinquish the NXT Championship. In response, it was decided that four former champions would face off in a four-way Iron Man Match at NXT Super Tuesday I to determine a new titleholder.

The road to deciding a new champion wouldn’t be without its bumps in the roads, however. During the four-way Iron Man Match in question, Adam Cole, Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa struggled to gain the upper hand. Nonetheless, each wrestler was on the board with one fall. With just seconds left in the match, Balor was able to pick up a second fall. It seemed as though “The Prince” was on the cusp of victory. However, he didn’t count on Cole. The Undisputed Era leader hit the Last Shot with seconds remaining in the match to pick up a second fall of his own. By the end, Balor and Cole reached a stalemate. With no other alternative, NXT General Manager William Regal decided that they would face off in a singles match the following week for the vacant title. There would have to be a winner.

The match started slow at first, with Balor and Cole feeling one another out. As one would expect from “The Prince” and the leader of The Undisputed Era, it wouldn’t take long for the pace to pick back up. From Cole hitting a Lungblower to Balor executing a double stomp, neither man let up on the other. However, as the match progressed, Balor’s problematic knee started to become a deterrent. It became such an obstacle, in fact, that not even the Coup de Grace could net Balor the victory. Cole kicked out of the flying double stomp in question, becoming the first Superstar to do so.

However, Balor was not about to let up, no matter how much pain he was in. He was so driven to become the NXT Champion that not even a Last Shot or attempted Panama Sunrise could keep him down. Ultimately, the match started to reach its conclusion when Balor and Cole ascended the turnbuckle. Going for broke, Balor landed an Avalanche 1916! This proved to be enough to keep down the inaugural NXT North American Champion, as Balor covered Cole for the pinfall victory. Finally, the black and gold brand crowned a new NXT Champion.

Following the match, Finn Balor was congratulated by various personnel backstage, including Triple H. He was also approached by Cole, sharing a “too sweet” with the same man he had been at war with minutes before. With this victory, Balor becomes one of the few multi-time NXT Champions, winning the title twice. This is a feat shared only by Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe. Furthermore, Balor holds the second-longest NXT Championship reign in history at 292 days.

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