Photo credit: WWE.com.
Finn Balor beat Adam Cole on Tuesday’s episode of NXT to win the vacant NXT Championship and become only the third two-time NXT champion ever.
The Prin❌e of #WWENXT is now KING! @FinnBalor defeats @AdamColePro to win the #NXTTitle at #NXTSuperTuesdayII! #WWENXT https://t.co/0PxEQcCJPe
Karrion Kross won the NXT title from Keith Lee at NXT TakeOver: XXX, but he had to vacate it just days later because of injury, which prompted Triple H, Shawn Michaels and NXT general manager William Regal to reach a unique decision regarding how to crown a new champ.
It was announced that Balor, Cole, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano would face off in a Fatal 4-Way 60-Minute Iron Man match, with the winner being crowned NXT champion.
Balor seemed to have the match won, as he scored a pinfall late to break a 1-1-1-1 tie, but Cole hit him with the Last Shot from out of nowhere in the closing seconds and pinned him, giving both Balor and Cole two falls.
Each Superstar pleaded his case until Regal decided on the spot there would be sudden death the following week, with the winner of Balor vs. Cole being crowned the new NXT champion.
The booking of the Fatal 4-Way was a logical move on NXT’s part, as it set the stage for another huge title match between two of the most successful NXT champions of all time.
Balor’s title reign lasted 292 days, which stood as the longest run in NXT history for years until Cole broke it. Cole held the belt for 403 days before losing it to Lee in July.
There was a strong case to be made for either man winning Tuesday given their accomplishments and star power, but Balor seemed to be the slight favorite since Cole was coming off a title run far more recently.
Balor entered Tuesday’s match having not yet won a title during his current NXT run, and there is no question that he seemed overdue to hold gold.
By virtue of his win, Balor is the NXT champion once again, but this reign figures to be far different from his first since he has a new attitude and no longer leans on the demon character in big matches.
If Kross eventually comes back in search of the title he never lost, however, perhaps the demon can be pulled out of Balor once more.
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