Kyle O’Reilly put up the fight of his life at NXT TakeOver 31 in hopes of becoming NXT Champion. But as good as O’Reilly was, Finn Bálor was just a little bit better, defeating O’Reilly to retain his title as a new threat emerged for The Undisputed ERA.

The early moments of the bout were a technical wrestling clinic, as both Superstars traded holds on the canvas. But soon, O’Reilly put Bálor on the defensive with a flurry of vicious strikes. The Prince reclaimed control of the bout with a devastating kick to the midsection that sent his challenger crumpling to the mat immediately. Seeing an opening, the NXT Champion went to work on O’Reilly’s midsection, whipping him chest-first into the turnbuckles.

Despite an immense amount of pain, O’Reilly fought back, driving Bálor into the canvas with a Regalplex and attacking the champion’s knee with ruthless submissions. But the NXT Champion would not be kept down, as he grounded O’Reilly and repeatedly stomped his challenger, saying that this was every night for him, questioning whether the injured O’Reilly could handle the rigors of being a champion.

Bálor and O’Reilly trade blows in epic encounter: NXT TakeOver 31 (WWE Network Exclusive)

The Prince and Kyle O’Reilly dig deep during a thrilling NXT Title Match. Catch WWE action on WWE Network, FOX, USA Network, Sony India and more.

In the face of Bálor’s trash talk, O’Reilly battled back to his feet and nearly put the NXT Champion to sleep with a guillotine hold, then locked on an armbar that forced the champion to scramble for a way out. O’Reilly looked to seize the huge opportunity in front of him, climbing to the top rope and driving his knee into Bálor’s leg before trapping the champion in an Achilles lock in the center of the ring. 

With O’Reilly potentially fighting through liver damage and Bálor limping, the fight visibly wore down both Superstars. O’Reilly’s injuries proved too much to overcome. After connecting with a German suplex on the champion, Bálor popped back to his feet and stomped O’Reilly right in the midsection, then connected with a Coup de Grace to retain his title.

After the bell, Bálor pulled O’Reilly to his feet and shook his hand. However, the showing of respect from champion to challenger was cut short when they caught sight of Ridge Holland at ringside. The bruising Brit was carrying a beaten Adam Cole over his shoulder, then dumped him at ringside. Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish, along with a battle-worn O’Reilly, rushed to Cole’s side, wondering what happened as TakeOver came to a shocking conclusion.

Kyle O’Reilly put up the fight of his life at NXT TakeOver 31 in hopes of becoming NXT Champion. But as good as O’Reilly was, Finn Bálor was just a little bit better, defeating O’Reilly to retain his title as a new threat emerged for The Undisputed ERA.

The early moments of the bout were a technical wrestling clinic, as both Superstars traded holds on the canvas. But soon, O’Reilly put Bálor on the defensive with a flurry of vicious strikes. The Prince reclaimed control of the bout with a devastating kick to the midsection that sent his challenger crumpling to the mat immediately. Seeing an opening, the NXT Champion went to work on O’Reilly’s midsection, whipping him chest-first into the turnbuckles.

Despite an immense amount of pain, O’Reilly fought back, driving Bálor into the canvas with a Regalplex and attacking the champion’s knee with ruthless submissions. But the NXT Champion would not be kept down, as he grounded O’Reilly and repeatedly stomped his challenger, saying that this was every night for him, questioning whether the injured O’Reilly could handle the rigors of being a champion.

Bálor and O’Reilly trade blows in epic encounter: NXT TakeOver 31 (WWE Network Exclusive)

The Prince and Kyle O’Reilly dig deep during a thrilling NXT Title Match. Catch WWE action on WWE Network, FOX, USA Network, Sony India and more.

In the face of Bálor’s trash talk, O’Reilly battled back to his feet and nearly put the NXT Champion to sleep with a guillotine hold, then locked on an armbar that forced the champion to scramble for a way out. O’Reilly looked to seize the huge opportunity in front of him, climbing to the top rope and driving his knee into Bálor’s leg before trapping the champion in an Achilles lock in the center of the ring. 

With O’Reilly potentially fighting through liver damage and Bálor limping, the fight visibly wore down both Superstars. O’Reilly’s injuries proved too much to overcome. After connecting with a German suplex on the champion, Bálor popped back to his feet and stomped O’Reilly right in the midsection, then connected with a Coup de Grace to retain his title.

After the bell, Bálor pulled O’Reilly to his feet and shook his hand. However, the showing of respect from champion to challenger was cut short when they caught sight of Ridge Holland at ringside. The bruising Brit was carrying a beaten Adam Cole over his shoulder, then dumped him at ringside. Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish, along with a battle-worn O’Reilly, rushed to Cole’s side, wondering what happened as TakeOver came to a shocking conclusion.