The main goal of NXT tonight (Sept. 1) was to crown a new champion after Karrion Kross had to relinquish the belt last week.
William Regal booked a fatal 4-way 60 minute Iron Man match between Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Bálor, Adam Cole, & Johnny Gargano to do just that. He picked established men, four who could be considered NXT’s greats, so the winner would be immediately credible.
Here’s how it went down:
The match had a feeling out process early and went a while without seeing an initial fall. This made sense as normally a fatal 4-way would go a good 20 minutes before someone picked up a win.
The first fall went to Finn Bálor when he landed a Coup de Grace on Adam Cole. This went down at about the 23 minute mark.
Bálor 1, Cole 0, Gargano 0, Ciampa 0
The next fall came about 30 minute in.
For some reason, Finn stopped Ciampa from slightshotting Cole under the ring like Tommaso did to Jake Atlas last week. Given that resulted in Atlas leaving on a stretcher, you’d think Finn would want to let that happen to get Adam out of the match. I
Instead he suicide dived onto Ciampa, stomped him, and tossed him in the ring. However, Tommaso turned it around and delivered Willow’s Bell as Bálor followed him in the ring. Tommaso followed up with the Fairy Tell ending. But before he could cover, Gargano tossed him out of the ring and took the pin for himself.
Bálor 1, Cole 0, Gargano 1, Ciampa 0
Cole had a rally soon, delivering a Panama Sunrise to Gargano to get himself on the board the first time.
Bálor 1, Cole 1, Gargano 1, Ciampa 0
It would not be long until Ciampa would tie everything up, delivering a Willow’s Bell to both Cole and Gargano. He would then deliver a Fairytale Ending to Cole and cover to make it all even once again.
Bálor 1, Cole 1, Gargano 1, Ciampa 1
Tommaso had a great run around the 40 minute mark. That is until Adam Cole slipped out of a middle rope Air Raid Drop and kicked Ciampa’s bad knee. Then the other competitors took turns working over the Psycho Killer’s bum leg. (Seriously, the dude spent an entire picture in picture in various Figure Fours.)
At about the 10 minute mark, the Prince took a tornado DDT on the floor from Gargano after attempting his own DDT which was reversed by Johnny Wrestling. Much like with Ciampa earlier, this put Finn in a bad way.
Ciampa came firing back at about 5 minutes to go, breaking up a Gargano Escape locked onto Adam Cole. Tommaso beat down the other three men on the floor, including a successful slingshot under the ring to Johnny’s throat.
Tommaso got his old enemy in the ring for an easy cover, but Cole pulled him off. Ciampa disposed of him and went back for the cover and this time, Bálor pulled him off. So Tommaso disposed of him too. He attempted a third cover on Johnny, but Gargano rolled up the Psycho who just kicked out before three.
The last minute came down to Gargano and Ciampa in the ring. Ciampa hit an Air Raid drop but with 12 seconds to go, Bálor delivered a Coup de Grace to Ciampa as Tommaso landed from the Air Raid. This gave Finn a big last minute pin.
Bálor 2, Cole 1, Gargano 1, Ciampa 1
But as time was about to expire, Adam Cole delivered a Last Shot to Bálor who was celebrating a bit too early for a 1-2-3 as clock hit zero.
Bálor 2, Cole 2, Gargano 1, Ciampa 1
With a tie to close it out, William Regal made the ruling that Bálor and Cole will go one on one for the title next week on the creatively named Super Tuesday 2 (or is it Super Tuesday Too?) Perhaps then, they’ll actually crown a new champion.
Finn vs. Cole should be a great match. The two longest reigning champions in NXT history were bound to go one on one soon or later in a high stakes match. This is it.
Let us know your thoughts below? A bit salty they didn’t give you a finish? Or excited enough for Cole vs. Bálor not to care?
You can find the results to tonight’s episode at the live blog here.