NXT Takeover 31: What Went Down, Results, and New Surprises: The Black and Gold brand of WWE registered another brilliant Takeover. This takeover had many questions as the build too many matches were out of nowhere. But NXT delivered another brilliant Takeover show, just because of the sheer quality of their matches. This has been going on so long, even though the stories are not as good as we expect NXT to deliver, the quality of matches makes up for it. Let’s take a look at what went down in this takeover.
Damian Priest vs. Johnny Gargano for NXT North American Championship
Damien Priest as the North American Champion has been somewhat of a miss hot. His sudden face turn was unexpected, and fans didn’t seem interested in this new Damien Priest. But the way Gargano elevated Priest in this match was something marvelous. There were lots and lots of near falls, with Priest breaking the count at the possible last second after Gargano’s superkick. But after Priest hit Gargano with the draping version of “The Recoking,” he pinned Gargano and retained his championship. This match showed why Johhny is considered as one of the best in NXT. This match had the right booking and right execution, which resulted in Priest feeling like a powerhouse now. Now, let’s hope he can get into some meaningful feuds.
The result – Damien Priest defeated Johhny Gargano via pinfall and retained his title.
Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream
This match has a doubtful booking from the start. Kushida needed a win against a big star to summon his NXT legacy, as he has done absolutely nothing since coming in NXT. But Velveteen Dream being that star is one of the most questionable things we have ever seen. Just because WWE has cleared that allegations made on Dream are false doesn’t mean they are as we know how WWE conducts their “investigations.” Only because Dream is guaranteed money he was installed in the feud.
Nonetheless, the booking of the match was near-absolute perfection. You can say that it was a squash match too, with Kushida looking healthy right from the start. He attacked Dream during his entrance and was on attacking almost the whole game. The match was a technical spectacle with Kushida locking Dream’s arm over and over. Dream submitted to Kushida’s Hoverboard lock, which was the right decision.
The Result – Kushida defeated Velveteen Dream via submission
New Attitude or Heel Turn?
The post-match attack on Dream by Kushida was good but stated that the feud would continue, which is not good. We need to take Dream out of the screen as soon as we can till he is cleared of everything. Nonetheless, the match was terrific, and Kushida looked strongest since he has come to NXT.
Santos Escobar (c) vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott For Cruiserweight Championship
We have to applaud Triple H and other writers how they have handled the Cruiserweight championship picture in NXT. The decision to make Escobar and his crewmate the mystery parking lot attacker were questionable at first. Still, they have established all three of them so well now that you can’t deny their credibility. Isiah was hot coming into the match, as he has already pinned the champion on three different occasions. The game was once again excellent, as we expect from two wrestlers of this caliber. Isiah was flying everywhere, but later in the match, Escobar was able to take control.
New Tag Team?
There were Shenanigans in the match, too, with Legado del Fantasma interfering in the match. But Adonis came to even the odds for Isiah. Adonis chase the two members of Fantasma backstage, but it was enough for Escobar, and he pinned Isiah after double underhook shoulder buster. We can see a new Tag-Team in Adonis and Isiah’s form, and that is good as NXT needs new Tag-Teams desperately.
The Result – Escobar defeated Isiah via pinfall to retain his championship.
Io Shirai (c) vs. Candice LaRae for Women Championship
This match was everything you could have asked for. LeRae and Gargano, as heels are so quirky that you can’t help but hate them. We have seen their match with Io as a heel previously. But we got this match again with the role reversed. The match quality was terrific, we did not doubt that. Io Shirai, at this point in her career, can have a fantastic match with a log of wood. This match was fast-paced from the start, and it was big moves after big moves. Shirai had the upper hand, but LeRae took advantage of Shirai’s missed moonsault and got herself back in the match. After that, we see Gargano’s interference as a referee due to which Candice was so close to winning. But in the end, Io won after hitting the Spanish fly.
The Result – Shirai defeated Candice via pinfall to retain her championship.
New Entrants in Women Roster
Right after the match, we saw Toni Storm on the big screen stating that she is coming in NXT will go for Shirai’s title. We also saw the person behind the vigilante-style video we were seeing fo the past two weeks. It turns out it was Ember Moon. The women roster of NXT is the best WWE has to offer, and with the addition of these two, it’s looking far superior than ever.
Finn Balor vs. Kyle O’Reilly for NXT Championship Match
I didn’t think I would be this interested in this match. But the scenario they built around Riley chasing Balor wherever he goes, and now he finally got his hands on him is so good. You can’t help but get invested in this match. This match’s sheer quality is proof why Kyle O Riley needs to go on a solo run now. The way he took Finn Balor to his limits and looked this strong is fantastic. In no way, Balor carried Kyle for even a moment. The hard-hitting nature of the match was a delight for NJPW wrestling fans. Kyle showed his MMA background. But Balor was able to win after hitting his Coup de Grace from the top rope. The instance where blood gushed out of Balor’s nose just elevated the match. After the game, Balor offered his hand to Kyle as a sign of respect.
— WWE (@WWE) October 5, 2020
The Result – Balor defeated Kyle O’Reilly via pinfall to retain his championship
A new enemy of Undisputed Era
After the match, Ridge Holland appeared in the audience section and had Adam Cole on his shoulder. He dumped Cole in the ringside area. The other two undisputed Era members came running and were acting like they didn’t know anything. The NXT Takeover 31 ended with Adam Cole lying on the floor and other members of Undisputed Era around him and asking everyone what happened.
— WWE (@WWE) October 5, 2020
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