Behind the direction – and at times interference – of business manager Zelina Vega, Andrade “Cien” Almas outlasted Drew McIntyre in an epic title bout to win his first NXT Championship at TakeOver: WarGames.
Almas used his unorthodox and devastating offensive attack to chop down and topple the bigger, stronger McIntyre to cap off a complete career resurgence and take down the NXT Champion in jaw-dropping fashion -- thanks to some assistance from the fiery Vega.
The mind games between the challenger and champion were on full display before the bell even rang, as both men sized each other up. Once the bell sounded, Almas and McIntyre wasted no time laying into one another with a barrage of jaw-rattling blows.
Vega attempted to make her mark in this NXT Championship Match when she tried to hit a hurricaranna on McIntyre outside the ring, only to have the Scotsman catch Almas’ business manager and place her back up on the ring apron.
The champion remained unfazed in the face of Vega and Almas’ attempts to distract him, using his size and strength advantage to toss the smaller Almas across the ring. The pace reached frantic levels, as Almas hit a sensational moonsault on the Scottish Superstar that left the champion reeling.
Back inside the ring, McIntyre hit his Future Shock DDT, but he managed to only get a two-count to his shock and dismay. The challenger responded by venturing to the timekeeper’s area to grab the NXT Championship, a move that distracted the referee long enough for Vega to hit a spikerana on McIntyre back in the ring. Almas seized the opportunity provided by his manager, hitting his Hammerlock DDT on the champion. But, to his amazement, McIntyre kicked out at two.
The titleholder responded with an explosive Claymore that sent Almas head-over-heels. It seemed McIntyre had the victory in the bag, but Vega put her client’s leg on the bottom rope. The NXT Champion would attempt another Claymore, but missed badly, and went sailing over the top rope.
Almas pounced, draping the champion over the top turnbuckle before hitting a devastating DDT for the win. An elated Almas celebrated the emotional victory with Vega, standing tall on the TakeOver announce table with his NXT Championship in tow.
With the NXT Title now in his possession, can anybody stop the supremely talented Andrade “Cien” Almas and his wily business manager, Zelina Vega?