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Old faces return and a top star gets demolished – Hits and misses from NXT TakeOver 31

Ridge Holland with Adam Cole
Adam Cole was injured at NXT TakeOver 31 (WWE)

NXT TakeOver 31 was a huge success with some brilliant matches

WWE has a record of getting some quality matches in during TakeOvers and TakeOver 31 was no different from NXT.

Finn Balor and Kyle O'Reilly picked up injuries at NXT TakeOver 31
Kyle O’Reilly attacks Finn Balor at TakeOver 31 (WWE)

There were some spectacular matches as several titles were defended. Many big names also name their WWE returns while the overall show was a great spectacle of wrestling.

NXT TakeOver 31 had only five matches but all of them were great. There was just one gripe from the event though as we look into the hits and misses.

Misses

1) Questionable ending

Santos Escobar and Isaiah Swerve Scott put on quite a show in the Cruiserweight battle. The champion, Escobar, used all the tricks in his book to get the win but Scott always found a way to come back.

Even the interruption from Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza didn’t help Escobar all that much. Both stars also kicked out of each other’s finishers but the champion had to use the exposed turnbuckle to get the win.

Santos Escobar kept the title at NXT TakeOver 31
Santos Escobar kept the title at NXT TakeOver 31 (WWE)

That finish wasn’t needed as Escobar could have picked up a clean win. However, this was a small problem from an otherwise brilliant clash.

Hits

1) Double comebacks

Candice LeRae might have been broken after losing her shot at Io Shirai’s NXT title. However, there was a lot to digest after this match.

As Shirai celebrated another tough win, Toni Storm appeared on the titantron and claimed she was coming soon.

Ember Moon made her WWE return at TakeOver 31
Ember Moon made her return at TakeOver 31 (WWE)

Ember Moon, who had been out for a long time, also appeared on the show, and the women’s roster will be stacked now.

Getting to see Moon back will be amazing and the former champion already has Shirai in her sights.

2) Tearing the house down

Finn Balor vs Kyle O’Reilly will go down as a classic in wrestling. The two stars put everything on the line as Balor defended his title while O’Reilly tried to win the NXT Championship for the first time.

Finn Balor and Kyle O'Reilly at NXT TakeOver 31
Finn Balor shakes hands with Kyle O’Reilly after their clash at TakeOver 31 (WWE)

While O’Reilly couldn’t become the champion, he did put on a fantastic show. There was blood, sweat, tears, broken teeth and a possible fracture in all this.

NXT’s main event was something else and the handshake between the pair at the end was perfect too.

3) Cole destroyed

Adam Cole, however, got the last shot of the show after he was destroyed and then left by ringside by Ridge Holland.

The leader of the Undisputed Era was in no shape to stand up and Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong came out and didn’t know what happened.

Ridge Holland with Adam Cole
Adam Cole was injured at NXT TakeOver 31 (WWE)

This led to a lot of questions regarding Cole’s attack, and should be a huge talking point ahead of the next NXT.

Cole is one of the top performers on the show but he was laid to waste so easily.

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