In one of the main events of Night Two of NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver, Finn Balor defended the NXT Championship against Karrion Kross. This match was several months in the making, especially given that Kross had not been truly beaten for the title. Instead, due to injury, his first title reign was cut short before it had a chance to bloom. Now, several months later, Kross challenged a new titleholder in the form of “The Prince.” Despite a valiant, confident effort from Balor, it was “The Tollman” that emerged with the gold in his possession.
Going into this match, the differences between the two opponents were obvious. While Finn Balor was the smaller of the two, relying on fast-paced offense and ring savvy, Karrion Kross fought using strength, catch wrestling, and precision strikes. The differences between the champion and challenger, specifically from a combat standpoint, were nothing short of stark. Despite these differences, Balor was able to provide perhaps the greatest challenge Kross had faced to date. Early in the match, Balor seemed to laugh off Kross’ offense, showing that he didn’t fear his adversary or his valet in the form of Scarlett.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) April 9, 2021
The match reached a fever pitch when Balor trapped Kross in the Rings of Saturn. Scarlett encouraged Kross to escape, however, which the challenger was eventually able to do. From there, Kross transitioned to his signature striking ability, raining down on Balor with a series of forearms. Next, Kross landed a Doomsday Suplex followed by a powerful elbow to the back of the champion’s head. One pinfall later and a new NXT Champion was decided at TakeOver: Stand and Deliver.
With this victory, Karrion Kross is now a two-time NXT Champion. Kross first won the title at NXT TakeOver: XXX this past August, where he defeated Keith Lee prior to the latter’s move to the main roster. However, during this match, Kross sustained a separated shoulder, which kept him out of action until the following December. Thus, Kross was forced to relinquish the title after just 4 days. Now that Kross is back on the top of the NXT pecking order, one must wonder what the future holds for him. Regardless, he will ensure that anyone brave enough to step to him will “Fall and Pray.”
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