The Authors of Pain finally met their match Saturday at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, as they lost to Sanity and dropped the NXT Tag Team Championships in the process.
While the bout was initially supposed to pit Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe against The Authors of Pain, Sanity called an audible with Eric Young replacing Dain.
Dain and Nikki Cross played a role in the match by interfering on numerous occasions, and the numbers game worked to Sanity's advantage.
WWE tweeted the following photo of Young and Wolfe celebrating their win:
The celebration didn't last long, though, as Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish hit the ring and attacked Sanity, per WWE NXT on Twitter:
O'Reilly and Fish were a hugely successful tag team on the independent scene and appear poised to make a name for themselves in NXT.
Akam and Rezar won the titles from DIY more than 200 days ago, which set the stage for one of the most impressive championship runs in NXT history.
AOP went on to vanquish DIY, The Revival, Heavy Machinery and various other teams while establishing themselves as a seemingly unstoppable force.
No team had been able to match their physicality and sadism, but that changed when Sanity stepped up to the plate and announced themselves as challengers.
Dain and Wolfe initially played mind games with The Authors of Pain, as they confronted them and caused pages from the Book of Dominance to rain down from the rafters.
Then, prior to a scheduled match involving The Authors of Pain, Sanity attacked two enhancement talents before tussling with AOP.
While Akam and Rezar managed to clear them from the ring, Dain and Wolfe seemed unfazed and ready for more punishment.
With Sanity refusing to back down, NXT general manager William Regal booked a highly intriguing match for TakeOver pitting Sanity against The Authors of Pain.
AOP's manager, Paul Ellering, fired a verbal warning shot in Sanity's direction ahead of their meeting in Brooklyn:
Due to AOP's pure size and power, essentially every contest they took part in prior to Saturday was a significant mismatch in their favor.
Sanity closed the gap more than most, however, and posed the most real threat to The Authors of Pain to date.
Saturday's bout had an interesting dynamic since both AOP and Sanity are technically heel teams. That put the onus on the Barclays Center crowd to pick a team to support, and that made for a unique atmosphere.
NXT's tag team division has lacked credible challengers since The Revival got called up to the main roster and DIY split up, but Sanity emerged as a force at TakeOver.
With Sanity handing The Authors of Pain a surprising loss, those two teams promise to continue feuding and carrying the NXT tag division for the foreseeable future, but O'Reilly and Fish are undoubtedly in the mix as well.
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