Kyle O'Reilly Defeats Adam Cole at WWE NXT TakeOver 36

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

In perhaps the final chapter of their rivalry, Kyle O'Reilly defeated Adam Cole in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match at NXT TakeOver 36 on Sunday night.

O'Reilly and Cole split the first two falls to set up the decisive steel cage match.

Cole appeared to have O'Reilly in a vulnerable position when he handcuffed him to the cage. Somehow, O'Reilly managed to apply a heel hook on his one-time friend. With nowhere to escape to and no way to break the hold, Cole tapped out.


2️⃣-1️⃣ @KORcombat gets the submission victory against @AdamColePro while HANDCUFFED to the #SteelCage! #NXTTakeOver https://t.co/g1VZOVGena

Just a couple of weeks before the pay-per-view, the 2-out-of-3 Falls stipulation was announced with O'Reilly choosing a basic singles match, Cole choosing a Street Fight and NXT general manager William Regal choosing a cage match as the deciding third fall.

Cole and O'Reilly had been at each other's throats ever since the dissolution of Undisputed Era at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day in February.

The stable saved Finn Balor from a post-match attack at the hands of Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, only for Cole to lay out both Balor and O'Reilly with superkicks.

Cole then put O'Reilly on the shelf in subsequent weeks by suplexing him on the steel steps, which is something they would proceed to do to each other multiple times during their feud.

The former Undisputed Era stablemates clashed for the first time in NXT when they met in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in an unsanctioned match. O'Reilly was victorious when he drove Cole's head into a steel chair with a top-rope knee.

That was far from the end of their rivalry, as Cole was out for revenge and said their match at Stand & Deliver didn't even count since it was unsanctioned.

As a result, they met again on the special Great American Bash episode of NXT. Cole turned things around in the rematch by beating O'Reilly to even the series at 1-1.

Cole winning did little to quell the issues between them, and when it became clear that neither Superstar would rest until they put the other down for good, Regal booked the match for TakeOver 36.

Given Cole's uncertain contract status with WWE, as reported by Wrestling Inc's Raj Giri, there was some question whether Sunday could be the date of his final match with the company.

O'Reilly winning could be a sign that Cole is off to wrestle elsewhere, or it could mean the time has finally come for him to join the main roster.


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