Hideo Itami & Finn Bálor vs. The Ascension
This simmering rivalry took root at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way in September when Konnor & Viktor, incensed over losing the NXT Tag Team Titles earlier that night, spoiled Itami’s introduction to the WWE Universe by ambushing the acclaimed grappler from Japan. Though Itami was able to handle himself that night, The Ascension’s interest in ridding NXT of the newcomer turned into an obsession, with Konnor & Viktor not only viciously attacking Itami but also his mentor and friend, Funaki.
Enter Finn Bálor. With Itami’s back seemingly against the wall, he reached out to the Irish-born Superstar to help him turn back The Ascension, and on the Nov. 6 edition of NXT, they did just that. Mere moments after Itami introduced his friend, the two international fighters cut Konnor & Viktor down to size in an exhilarating blitz.
Anxious to remind everyone — most of all, Itami & Bálor — of their well-deserved bad reputation, The Ascension made a statement weeks later when they trashed two teams, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady and Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder, in a brutal beatdown and then promised to “rise again.” Then, on the Nov. 27 edition of WWE NXT, The Ascension attacked Bálor during his match against Tyson Kidd, prompting Itami to enter the scene and setting off a wild, pull-apart brawl!
Which team will prevail when NXT TakeOver: R Evolution airs live on WWE Network? Will the dynamic combo of Itami & Bálor prove to be more than Konnor & Viktor can handle, or will they succumb to the Fall of Man? To find out, watch NXT TakeOver: R Evolution on WWE Network Thursday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.