Night two of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver was one of those WWE events that boasts two main events. The NXT title fight between Finn Bálor and Karrion Kross was the one that went on second-to-last.
Bálor carried the belt to the ring, but Kross had a valid claim on it, seeing as the Irishman won it after the larger man was forced to vacate the championship after suffering an injury. That knowledge was part of what made Karrion think he had a psychological advantage over Finn. But The Prince turned that around, laughing off Kross’ early offense to enrage the challenger.
.@FinnBalor is... smiling? #NXTTitle #NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/kszhNB85Rg— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) April 9, 2021
When he sidestepped a charge and left his opponent to crash into the ringpost with his recently rehabbed shoulder, it looked like it was Bálor who was in Kross’ head. A liver kick put further doubt into Scarlett’s man.
Mind games only went so far, however, and Kross was able to use his size and power advantage to good effect. That was the story that played out across the bulk of this main event, the champ targeting the shoulder while in control, with occasional bursts from the challenger.
Can @FinnBalor do enough against @WWEKarrionKross to retain the #NXT Championship? #NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/ypwmZKItVl— WWE (@WWE) April 9, 2021
Each man was able to land their signature spots, but neither could connect with their finisher...
Locked and l̶o̶a̶d̶e̶d̶ BLOCKED. ❌#NXTTakeOver #NXTTitle @WWEKarrionKross @FinnBalor pic.twitter.com/nUSXIWs5LQ— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) April 9, 2021
...until Scarlett seemed to encourage her partner to fight out of a submission. Kross rained down clubbing blows to the back of Bálor’s head. He managed to get to his feet again after that, but only for more of the same. A short time later, Finn had suffered his first loss in a TakeOver title defense.
The Prin❌e has been dethroned. All hail your new leader and NEW #NXTChampion, @WWEKarrionKross!!! #AndNew #NXTTakeOver #NXTTitle @Lady_Scarlett13 pic.twitter.com/R2K0zstsDu— WWE (@WWE) April 9, 2021
Kross still hasn’t been defeated in WWE.
For a complete rundown of everything happening on Night Two of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, head to our live blog here.