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Bron Breakker Defeats Apollo Crews to Retain NXT Title at NXT Deadline 2022

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 11, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

Bron Breakker defeated Apollo Crews at NXT Deadline on Saturday to retain the NXT Championship.

WWE NXT @WWENXT

And STILL.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NXTDeadline?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NXTDeadline</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/bronbreakkerwwe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bronbreakkerwwe</a> <a href="https://t.co/MceVFveVvJ">pic.twitter.com/MceVFveVvJ</a>

WWE NXT @WWENXT

.<a href="https://twitter.com/bronbreakkerwwe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bronbreakkerwwe</a>'s reign continues! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NXTDeadline?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NXTDeadline</a> <a href="https://t.co/LvERwwAIra">pic.twitter.com/LvERwwAIra</a>

Breakker got the win over Crews after a spear and a pin.

However, the drama didn't end there.

Newly crowned No. 1 NXT Championship contender Grayson Waller, who earned that title after winning the first-ever men's Iron Survivor Challenge, then hit the ring and attacked the champion as the show drew to a close.

WWE NXT @WWENXT

šŸ‘€šŸ‘€šŸ‘€<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NXTDeadline?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NXTDeadline</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GraysonWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GraysonWWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/bronbreakkerwwe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bronbreakkerwwe</a> <a href="https://t.co/r7h7Rkyv0b">pic.twitter.com/r7h7Rkyv0b</a>

Despite having held the United States and intercontinental titles on the WWE main roster, Crews returned to NXT in June with the stated goal of becoming NXT champion for the first time.

His initial NXT run was much shorter than expected, as he got called up to the main roster less than eight months after making his televised in-ring debut in NXT.

The move worked in Crews' favor to some degree, since he became a fixture in WWE's midcard, but he never came close to being a main event player, and it can be argued that it had something to do with him never reaching that level in NXT, either.

When the 35-year-old resurfaced in NXT in the summer, he immediately crossed paths with Breakker and made it clear that his plan was to make good on his past shortcomings by ascending to the top of the brand.

That goal of challenging Breakker was pushed aside for a period of time, though, due to the intervention of Grayson Waller, who temporarily put Crews on the shelf with an eye injury.

After months of issues between them, Crews finally prevailed in the feud by beating Waller in a casket match at Halloween Havoc in October.

While Crews was preoccupied, Breakker was defending the NXT Championship against all comers and beating them. That included successful defenses against JD McDonagh and Tyler Bate, plus a win over both the Irishman and Ilja Dragunov in a Triple Threat at Halloween Havoc.

Crews later won a singles match against McDonagh on NXT TV to firmly establish himself as the No. 1 contender and set the stage for his title match against Breakker.

In a battle between arguably the two best pure athletes on the roster, it was Breakker who prevailed by retaining the NXT Championship and denying Crews his dream of becoming the face of the brand.


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