Finn Balor Beats Adam Cole, Retains NXT Championship on WWE NXT TV

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Finn Balor defeated Adam Cole on Wednesday to retain the NXT Championship.

Balor finished off Cole with a 1916 outside the ring before pinning the challenger following the Coup de Grace.

The champion took advantage of a distracted Cole outside the ring to set up the final sequence.


A distracted @AdamColePro leads to a victorious @FinnBalor as The Prin❌e retains his gold! #WWENXT #NXTTitle #AndStill https://t.co/M2fQiRq9Dx

Balor threw Cole out of the ring, and both men were down after pummeling each other for the entire match.

Cole then got up and saw Kyle O'Reilly emerge ringside.


A ghost from @AdamColePro's past returns. @KORcombat #WWENXT #NXTTitle https://t.co/QfArIDOdQz

That gave Balor, who survived numerous submissions and a Last Shot earlier in the match, the chance to swing the momentum. He took advantage of the situation to retain the title.

After the match, O'Reilly walked into the ring to confront Cole, who attempted a low blow in defense.


That's not gonna work again, @AdamColePro. #WWENXT @KORcombat https://t.co/rwH11GfkJ9

O'Reilly caught Cole's arm and ripped off his Undisputed Era armband before attacking his nemesis inside and outside the ring despite numerous referees attempting to stop him.


.@KORcombat gets a measure of revenge on @AdamColePro! #WWENXT https://t.co/AZjST0zxt8


.@AdamColePro's actions have officially caught up with him... bay-bay. #WWENXT @KORcombat https://t.co/yCWBq2D5gi

Balor then appeared on screen and asked someone off it: "What took you so long?" That someone turned out to be Karrion Kross, and the two men stared each other down as the show went off the air.


"What took you so long?" ❌ #WWENXT @FinnBalor @WWEKarrionKross https://t.co/U7zaOlGJDX

Balor and Cole largely seemed to be on the same page, with both The Prince and The Undisputed Era battling the likes of Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch and even Pat McAfee in recent months, but that changed at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day on February 14.

After Balor beat Dunne in a hard-fought match to retain the NXT Championship, Undisputed Era ran down to prevent The Bruiserweight and Co. from attacking the titleholder.

O'Reilly seemed to be offering Balor entry into the group when the unthinkable happened. Cole laid out both men with superkicks, cementing a heel turn and essentially marking the dissolution of the stable.

O'Reilly demanded answers on the ensuing episode of NXT, and he paid for it when Cole put him on the shelf by suplexing him onto the steel steps.

Balor also wanted to make Cole pay for his actions, which is why he announced last week that he was challenging him to an NXT Championship match, knowing the former UE leader would show up with such huge stakes on the line.

In addition to turning his back on O'Reilly, Cole did the same to Roderick Strong. Cole hit Strong with a low blow a couple of weeks ago and put him down with a superkick as well, proving that Cole wanted to clean his hands of Undisputed Era completely.

Last week, both Balor and Strong wanted to get their hands on Cole, but when he didn't emerge, they decided to face each other instead. Balor beat Strong in the main event, and Cole showed up to stare The Prince down to close out the show.

Balor put himself in a potentially dangerous spot Wednesday by putting the title on the line against the longest-reigning NXT champion of all time.

Cole held the title for 396 days before dropping it to Keith Lee in July, and he has been hungry to regain it ever since.

He was unable to become a two-time NXT champion on Wednesday, and while his pursuit of the title could continue, he will likely have to deal with the O'Reilly issue he created first.


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