Welcome to Ringside News’ live results coverage of NXT TakeOver 31, the start of a new era in NXT.
Tonight’s PPV is the first to emanate from the redesigned WWE Performance Centre, now known as the Capitol Wrestling Centre. And to mark the event, we’re going to see Kyle O’Reilly of The Undisputed Era get the first major shot of his time in NXT, as he challenges Finn Balor for the NXT Championship. O’Reilly sprang forth from relative obscurity to become the number one contender and he will prove stiff competition for the new Champion.
Of course, every NXT TakeOver features five matches in total, and the others tonight are Kushia Vs. Velveteen Dream, Santos Escobar for the Crusierweight Championship, Johnny Gargano Vs. Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship, and Io Shirai Vs. Candace LeRae for the NXT Women’s Championship. I’m probably wrong but I can’t remember another NXT TakeOver without a NXT Tag Title defense.
Anyways, that’s the card that kicks-off at 7 PM EST, with a 30-minute pre-show at 6:30 PM. Let us know what you’re excited to see and check out our pictures of the Capitol Wrestling Centre. Enjoy the show!
Sam Roberts and Scott Stanford host the NXT TakeOver Kick-Off Show, and it’s revealed that Damian Priest Vs. Johnny Gargano will be the first match of the show.
We see a video package for the NXT Women’s Championship match between Io Shirai and Candace LeRae. Sam Roberts says both women have changed since they last wrestled, at NXT TakeOver Toronto, and Io has softened while Candace has turned a new leaf. He reckons Candace will walk out the new Women’s Champion.
Rhea Ripley got interviewed on Facebook earlier today and she says she still owes Io. And so if Io wins tonight, she’ll be there waiting. Triple H is there and he chimes in, saying Candace has the same fate awaiting her. Triple H then says he looks at the wrestling industry five years from now and he sees one person at the very top: Rhea Ripley.
Roberts and Stanford discuss the Cruiserweight Championship match following a video package and Roberts says Swerve has all the attributes necessary to beat the incredible Escobar, but he’s not sure if he believes in himself enough to win tonight.
We see a hype video for Velveteen Dream Vs. Kushida. Roberts says Kushia was signed a year ago and he has been a disappointment. But since coming back from injury Kushida has shown the hunger that brought him to the dance. And tonight he gets his first ever TakeOver match to prove himself against one of NXT’s best and most tenured stars.
Rock legend Corey Taylor weighs in on who he thinks will win the NXT Championship match tonight. He says Finn Balor has always been his man and he expects him to retain tonight, then says Finn can come for his own CMFT title whenever he likes. Adam Cole was interviewed with Triple H on Facebook live and Cole said O’Reilly has proven himself time and again as one of the world’s best. And if anybody is ready for that chance it’s Kyle. Roberts says Adam Cole is not humble, so a win for O’Reilly could spark a crack in The Undisputed Era. Stanford says we’re seeing the best ever Finn Balor and Roberts agrees, saying this is a dream match and it’s going to be a match of the year candidate.
The hosts of WWE’s The Bump run down their predictions for tonight’s TakeOver. Sam Roberts says this is the start of a new era for NXT, and not one you’ll want to miss. And that’s it for the Kick-Off Show, the main card starts right now!
NXT TakeOver 31
TakeOver 31 starts with a great vide package showing the original contract and debut episode of Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the show ran by Vincent McMahon Senior. The new Capitol Wrestling Centre is shown in all its glory, and the barricade now has a cage surrounding it.
NXT North American Championship
(C) Damian Priest Vs. Johnny Gargano
The match gets underway and Gargano is reluctant to lock-up. Priest swings a few kicks but Johnny avoids them and rolls outside. Gargano gets back inside and punches Priest into the corner, but the Champion fires back with a heel kick. Damian takes control of the match with big power shots. Priest attempt a backbreaker but Gargano escapes and hits a chop to the chest…which gets him kicked backwards into the buckles.
Priest whips Gargano to the ropes and hits a flying elbow for a short two-count. Priest goes up top and holds Johnny’s arm but Gargano yanks him down onto the top rope, then slides out under the ropes and slams him off the apron onto the hard floor. Gargano rams Priest into the barricade/cage with a suicide dive, then shoves him into the steel steps.
Priest punches Johnny and gets him back in the ring but Gargano ties him up in the ropes and hits a dropkick to the chest. Gargano connects with a senton from the middle rope to the back of Priest for a two-count. Gargano applies a single-leg Boston crab but Priest fights it and kicks him off. Priest is favouring the leg and trying to keep Gargano at bay. The Champion punches the hands of Gargano, kicks his shins, then lands a reverse STO.
Priest hits two big back elbows in the corner, then shoots an arrow for a third, followed by the broken arrow for a near-fall. Gargano counters Priest and attempt the rolling kick to the head but it’s caught and Priest punches him. Priest lifts and slams Gargano, then attempts a Razor’s Edge but Johnny counters with a sunset flip for a near-fall. Gargano builds a head of steam with strikes but Priest cuts him off and hits a springboard forearm. Priest attempts the spinning kick but Johnny ducks and shoves him shoulder-first into the ring post.
Gargano clotheslines Priest over and out, then looks for a suicide dive but gets caught. Johnny climbs onto the apron and jumps off but gets caught with a kick. Priest lifts Johnny and hits a Razor’s Edge onto the apron. Priest gets Gargano back inside and scores a near-fall. Both men get up and stand in opposite corners. Priest runs and jumps for a spin kick but Gargano chop blocks him in mid-air. Priest fires back with a boot to the face, then moves to lift him but Johnny kicks his arm over and over.
Gargano lands a kick to the head, then attempts the Gargano Escape but Priest counters with a Reckoning attempt, only for Johnny to hit Sliced Bread! Gargano hits a running forearm to the back of the head for a near-fall. Gargano lines-up, mocks Priest’s taunt, then runs for a kick but gets caught. Gargano with a roll-up for another near-fall, then he rolls to the apron. Gargano looks for a sunset bomb but Priest counters with South of Heaven for a near-fall.
Gargano rolls outside to avoid Priest but the Champion then dives over the ropes at him…but Johnny pulls NXT officials in his way and he wipes them out! Gargano low-blows and gets a stunned Priest back in the ring and hits a superkick for a near-fall. Johnny tries to apply the Gargano Escape and gets it! Priest crawls to the ropes so Johnny releases and re-applies it, while also tying up the knee he’s been targeting. Priest again crawls to the bottom rope and Johnny releases at 4.
Gargano knees the shoulder a few times, then rolls Priest to the apron. Gargano tries to knock Priest off the apron onto steel steps below but the Champion kicks him. Priest jumps into the ring and gets hit with a superkick. Gargano goes to the apron and looks for the float-over DDT but gets caught with the Reckoning and that’s that.
Winner: Damian Priest
Velveteen Dream Vs. Kushida
The match begins and Kushida rushes the Einstein-looking Dream, taking him down and unloading punches and out-wrestling him. Kushida mocks Dream, then rolls out and suckers him into a chase, then knocks him off the apron with a handspring kick. Kushida targets the arm of Dream and slams him down by it.
Kushida kicks Dream down, then hits an inverted atomic drop and gets him down by the arm. Kushida twists both arms behind Dream’s back, then throws himself down to snap them. Dream gets up and drops Kushida with a right hand, then tosses him out of the ring. Dream goes up top and hits a flying clothesline to the floor. Dream throws Kushida into the cage/barricade, then puts him back in the ring while calling him “Marty McFly”.
Dream beats Kushida down in the corner and hits a Bronco Buster. Kushida attempts a springboard but gets caught in a sleeper. Kushida fights free and hits a hip toss and a dropkick. Kushida grabs Dream’s arms and stomps his face over and over until the referee stops him. Dream flips Kushida onto the apron but the time-splitter grabs his arm and yanks him shoulder-first into the ring post.
Kushida does it again, then puts Dream’s arm between the steps and ring post and dropkicks it! Kushida gets back inside but runs right into a superkick. Dream lifts him and hits a powerbomb but Kushida counters a pin attempt into an armbar. Dream fights free after Kushida bites his fingers. Dream drops Kushida and goes up top, then jumps and lands the Purple Rainmaker!
Dream can’t make the pinfall for a minute and Kushida kicks out when he does! Dream goes back up top for another Purple Rainmaker but this time Kushida meets him up there and flips him off the top and goes into the Hoverboard Lock. Dream fights it, lifts him up and hits the Dream Valley Driver…but Kushida holds onto the armbar and Dream taps!
After the match Kushida attacks Velveteen until referee’s come in and pull him off. Kushida walks away but runs back in and reapplies the armbar until he’s forced off and to the back. Dream writhes on the mat.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship
(C) Santos Escobar Vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
The match gets underway and Scott catches Escobar with a few hurricanrana’s right off the bar and taunts him. Scott grabs Escobar but gets rolled-up for a near-fall. They trade quick pinfall attempts then come up and stands face-to-face. Scott talks some trash then blocks a punch and kicks Escobar in the gut. Escobar runs but Swerve tosses him up and over the ropes, then goes to the apron and hits a moonsault to the Champion on the floor.
Escobar moves around the ring to try and get away but Scott quickly climbs to the top rope and hits something like a Phoenix Splash to the floor. Escobar again tries to leave up the ramp but Swerve hits a twisting tope to wipe him out. Scott puts Santos’ arm over the turnbuckle rod and bends it, then puts him back in the ring for a two-count.
Swerve applies an armlock to Escobar, then snaps his arm over the ropes. Escobar kicks Swerve off the apron, then hits a huge suicide dive that drives Scott into the cage wall. Escobar puts Scott on the top rope and hits a Frankensteiner, followed by a Rock-style elbow drop for a near-fall. The Champion talks some trash but gets battered by rights and lefts for his trouble.
Swerve hits a raucous clothesline, then lands a running uppercut in the corner. Scott goes to the middle rope and hits a diving European uppercut to the back and Escobar rolls outside. Swerve lands a few kicks from the apron, then gets Santos back inside for a rolling thunder flatliner and a near-fall.
Swerve puts Escobar on the top rope and hits a huge DDT for a near-fall. As Scott continues, out comes Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza. The distraction allows Escobar to hit the shoulderbreaker for a near-fall! Ashante “Thee” Adonis runs down to even the odds and he helps Swerve beat Wilde and Mendoza to the back. Scott runs back into the ring before the count and gets hit by the Phantom Driver…but kicks out!
Escobar is shocked and angry, nobody’s ever kicked out of that move before. Escobar stomps Swerve a few times, then hits the three amigos and goes up top. Scott dodges a frog splash, then hits the house call and a 450 splash for a near-fall! Both men roll to the apron and Scott tries to suplex Escobar, but the Champion shrugs him off and Scott falls, his head connecting with the turnbuckle rod. Escobar gets him back inside and hits a double-underhook facebuster for the win.
Winner: Santos Escobar
On October 28th, a very special event returns after twenty years: NXT Halloween Havoc!
NXT Women’s Championship
(C) Io Shirai Vs. Candace LeRae
The bell rings and Candace shoves Io, who shoves her back. They run and dodge each other until Shirai hits a dropkick and LeRae rolls out. Candace gets annoyed so she runs back in and catches Io with a monkey flip but Shirai lands on her feet. Candace rolls outside to avoid the Champion. Candace gets on the apron and Io jumps over her, attempting a sunset bomb but Candace holds on, kicks her back, and hits a crossbody on the floor.
Candace tries to roll Io back inside but Shirai kicks her and hits a springboard moonsault on the floor! Shirai gets Candace back inside and hit a knee to the back for a two-count. Candace avoids Shirai in the corner and hits a backstabber to turn the momentum. LeRae attempts a headscissors but Shirai lands on her feet, only for Candace to follow-up with a dropkick.
Candace uses the ropes to choke Shirai, then hits a snapmare and a roll-up for two. LeRae slows the pace and kicks Shirai, then hits a sidewalk slam for a two-count. LeRae slams Shirai into the buckles, then hits a running back elbow. Candace starts to feel herself and talks trash to Shirai before stomping her down in the corner. LeRae shoves the face, then tosses Io across the ring a few times before hitting a suplex for a near-fall. Candace drives a few knees to the back, then twists the neck of Io.
Shirai fires back and drops LeRae before hitting a flapjack. Shirai connects with a 619, followed by a springboard dropkick for a two-count. LeRae counters Shirai with a wheelbarrow splash, but Io counters a moonsault with a kick. Io hits a double underhook backbreaker, then goes up top but Candace intercepts her. Candace hits a powerbomb but Io rolls through and hits a meteora in the corner. LeRae rolls-up Io for a near-fall but the Champion hits an uppercut thrust and a German suplex.
Candace comes right back with a backstabber and a springboard moonsault for a near-fall. Candace grabs Shirai but gets put in a crossface. LeRae rolls Shirai over for a two-count, then immediately goes to the Gargano Escape. Io slowly crawls to the ropes but LeRae doesn’t let go. When she does she inadvertently hits the referee! Io grabs Candace and hits the air raid crash. Io goes up top for a moonsault but Candace puts her feet up and Shirai bounces off, crashing into the referee and knocking him from the ring.
Candace capitalises and hits a curb stomp but there’s no referee! Johnny Gargano comes running down in a referee shirt, then attempts a fast pin but Shirai kicks out! Gargano goes out and grabs the NXT Women’s Championship but the referee comes back and they argue. Johnny drops the belt to canvas behind the referee’s back, which she uses to hit Shirai but the Champion kicks out! Candace gets frustrated and goes up top but Io meets her there and hits a Spanish fly. Shirai goes back up top and hits her patented moonsault for the win!
Winner: Io Shirai
After Io’s win, Toni Storm appears on the screen behind her. Toni congratulates Io on her big win and says she just wants to make sure everyone is keeping their head on a swivel, because as of now, she’s back in NXT. She tells Shirai she’s coming for the title and plans on making NXT Toni time. As soon as Toni’s video ends, the camera cuts to outside where a woman is on a motorcycle and she arrives at the Capitol Wrestling Centre. The woman enters the building wearing a bike helmet and comes out to stare at Io…it’s Ember Moon!
Ashantae Adonis gets interviewed backstage and he says he got involved tonight because he respects Swerve Scott and he wanted to help out. But he’s here now and he plans on making waves of his own. He does a little rapping and says it’s showtime.
(C) Finn Balor Vs. Kyle O’Reilly
The main event gets underway and they lock-up and try to outwrestle each other. O’Reilly gets the better of Balor using his Jiu-Jitsu but Finn fights out of a headscissors and takes a headlock. O’Reilly tries to fight out and even hits a belly-to-back suplex but Finn continues to hold on. Kyle finally manages to transition to an armbar but Balor scrambles to the bottom rope.
Kyle targets the left arm of Finn, grinding the shoulder and elbow. O’Reilly torques the arm behind Finn and drills it with knees over and over. O’Reilly holds Finn down until the Champion rolls through and dropkicks him right on the money. Balor kicks the back of O’Reilly and then bends his arm and mocks him by pretending to play guitar with it.
Balor forces Kyle to the corner and chops him, then whips him to the opposite corner and hits a running chop. He does it again, then on the third attempt O’Reilly bounces out with a knee to the gut. O’Reilly throws Finn up and kicks him in the chest. O’Reilly hits a rolling butterfly suplex, then another, and a facebuster for a two-count.
Kyle grabs the back but Finn elbows himself free, only for O’Reilly to unload a flurry of elbows, forearms, and knees to force him back. Balor connects with a spin kick to the gut and Kyle collapses, rolling around and holding his sides. The referee steps in to check on Kyle but Finn pushes him aside and kicks the ribs over and over until the referee forces him back.
Balor continues to work on the ribs and Irish whips Kyle hard into the buckles and he collapses again. Balor applies a camel clutch and grinds on those ribs, then jumps and lands an elbow drop to the back. Balor goes to an abdominal stretch but O’Reilly hits a hip toss. Kyle hits a running knee to intercept Balor, then lands a tiger suplex for a near-fall!
The suplex and bridging pin hurt O’Reilly ribs, so Finn is able to get back on top and hit a spinning elbow drop, followed by a slingblade. The Champion looks for the bullet dropkick but Kyle dropkicks Finn’s shin! O’Reilly kicks Finn’s shin again but Balor gets him in the abdominal stretch and Kyle is bleeding from the mouth. Balor attempts 1916 but O’Reilly counters into a kneebar.
Finn transitions out of the kneebar into a Boston crab and O’Reilly screams in pain, the blood dripping from his mouth, and he gets to the bottom rope. Balor stomps the back of O’Reilly while telling him he does this every week, this is no problem for him. Finn face washes O’Reilly in the corner but Kyle grabs his boot, shoves him back and punches him. Balor lands a Pele kick but O’Reilly rebounds off the ropes and hits a lariat and both men are down!
O’Reilly kicks Finn’s chest but Balor catches the second, then Kyle applies a facelock choke and Finn fades. O’Reilly hits another kick, followed by a brainbuster for a near-fall. O’Reilly moves to an armbar but Finn climbs to his feet and stomps his face. Balor slowly gets to his feet and lifts O’Reilly for 1916…but he kicks out! Finn looks shocked and incredulous.
Balor goes up top for Coup de Grace but O’Reilly crotches him. O’Reilly drags Finn down and hits a dragon whip across the ropes, then another. O’Reilly goes up top and hits a flying knee to Finn hanging on the ropes. Kyle goes up top and hits a flying knee drop to the back of Finn’s leg! O’Reilly goes to the kneebar again and Finn cries in pain. Finn tries to power out but O’Reilly transitions to a heel hook. Balor considers tapping but eventually finds the bottom rope.
O’Reilly kicks the back of Finn’s leg but the Champion responds by tipping him over and landing a double foot stomp. Balor stumbles to the corner, holding his leg. O’Reilly hits a knee to the face in the corner followed by a German suplex but Finn rolls through and hits another double stomp. Finn climbs to the top rope and hits the Coup de Grace for the win!
Winner: Finn Balor
Finn’s mouth is bleeding after the match and the announcers say he may have a broken jaw. We see replays of the great main event and it seems the final knee in the corner is what hurt Finn’s jaw. Balor approaches O’Reilly after the match and helps him up.
They shake hands and the show looks to be over but the camera turns around and Ridge Holland is standing behind the barricade, holding Adam Cole on his shoulder. He drops Cole over the barricade and Fish and Strong run down to check on him with O’Reilly; Cole’s eyes are bruised and his shirt is ripped. Holland leaves as The Undisputed Era look for a doctor.
And that’s it for NXT TakeOver 31. Let us know what you thought of the show and be sure to come back tomorrow for more news and results. Until then, stay safe!