The NXT “Takeover: 31” Pre-show opens up with Scott Stanford and Sam Roberts at WWE TV studios.
We get a shot of the new Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida, formerly known as the WWE Performance Center. We also get a shot of The Undisputed Era arriving to the building earlier today. They also show NXT Champion Finn Balor arriving by himself earlier today.
Stanford and Roberts hype tonight’s show before sending us to McKenzie Mitchell at the CWC. She sends us to a video package for tonight’s NXT Women’s Title match.
Stanford shows us video of Rhea Ripley confronting Triple H and McKenzie earlier today during their Facebook interview, making it known that she wants a title shot after tonight. Triple H gave her praise for the future but Ripley stated that she wants the winner of tonight’s match.
Sam predicts there will be a new NXT Women’s Champion tonight.
McKenzie announced earlier that the NXT North American Title match will open tonight’s show.
Back from a break and we see Isaiah “Swerve” Scott arriving to the building earlier today. We also see Legado del Fantasma arriving. Stanford sends us to a video package for tonight’s NXT Cruiserweight Title match. We also get a promo for Kushida vs. The Velveteen Dream. Sam believes Dream will be in trouble if we get the Kushida of old, and he hopes Dream will be in trouble.
We get a video package with NXT Loud artist Corey Taylor hyping tonight’s show, which will feature his “Culture Head” as the official theme. Taylor predicts Balor will retain his NXT Title in tonight’s main event.
We get another promo and more talk for tonight’s NXT Title match.
Matt Camp and Pappolla of WWE’s The Bump give their predictions for tonight’s matches. Sam and Scott give their final plugs for tonight as we see Johnny Gargano and NXT North American Champion Damian Priest warming up backstage. That’s it for the “Takeover: 31” Pre-show.
NXT Takeover 31
NXT “Takeover: 31” event opens up with a video package that shows the history of Capitol Wrestling, the inspiration for the WWE Performance Center being changed to the new Capitol Wrestling Center.
We’re live from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida as the music hits. We hear Triple H yell out, “We are NXT!” and then crowd chants start. Vic Joseph welcomes us to Takeover. He says he will be joined by Wade Barrett, and also WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix from her home. We see fans and developmental trainees behind the fence barriers at ringside. Vic sends us right to the ring.
NXT North American Title Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest
We go right to the ring and out first comes NXT North American Champion Damian Priest. It sounds like Barrett may be calling the action from home. Johnny Gargano is out next.
Priest misses a punch and Gargano with punches. Priest misses some kicks when Gargano backs away and he goes to the floor. Priest follows but Gargano gets back into the ring and kicks Priest. Priest with an Irish whip and Gargano floats over. Priest with a spinning heel kick. Priest with a punch and kick. Priest punches Gargano in the corner. Gargano avoids a back breaker and Gargano tries to get Priest to the mat. Priest goes for the Reckoning but Gargano escapes. Priest kicks Gargano in the corner. Priest with a jumping back elbow for a near fall.
Priest with a wrist lock and he goes to the turnbuckles to go Old School but Gargano pushes Priest to the apron. Gargano kicks Priest in the knee and he goes for a power bomb into the fencing but Priest avoids it. Gargano pulls Priest off the apron. Gargano with a suicide dive that sends Priest into the fencing and then Gargano sends Priest into the ring steps. Gargano returns to the ring to break the referee’s count and then he goes back to the floor. Priest with a forearm. They return to the ring and Gargano kicks Priest in the ropes. Gargano with a forearm while Priest is hanging in the ropes. Gargano with a drop kick while Priest is in the ropes. Gargano goes to the turnbuckles for a senton onto the back for a near fall.
Gargano with a single leg crab. Priest kicks Gargano away and Johnny goes to the floor but gets back in. Priest with punches an Gargano with a kick to the leg. Priest sends Gargano into the turnbuckles. Gargano goes for a tornado DDT but Priest pushes him away. Priest kicks Gargano away. Priest with forearms and kicks. Priest boxes the ear and hits a leaping flatliner. Priest with a running elbow into the corner and follows with a second one. Priest with a third elbow into the corner and a Broken Arrow for a near fall.
Gargano avoids a power bomb attempt and Gargano with a back elbow. Gargano goes for the rolling kick but Priest blocks it and he punches Gargano. Priest gets Gargano up for a full nelson and sends him to the mat. Gargano counters a Razor’s Edge into a Code Red for a near fall. Gargano with forearms to Priest. Priest with a punch and Gargano with a clothesline but Priest stays on his feet. They go back and forth. Gargano with an enzuigiri but Priest with a thrust kick and Priest with a springboard punch to Gargano. Priest misses a cyclone kick and Gargano sends Priest into the ring post. Gargano clotheslines Priest over the top rope to the floor. Gargano with a suicide dive but Priest catches Gargano. Gargano gets to the apron and he kicks Priest. Priest with a kick to the leg to trip Gargano on the apron.
Priest with a Razor’s Edge onto the apron. Priest gets a near fall. Priest misses an elbow in the corner and Gargano clips Priest. Priest with a clothesline. Gargano with kicks to the head and he tries to get Priest to the mat. Gargano wit a kick and Priest goes for The Reckoning but Gargano with a Shiranui. Gargano with a forearm to the back for a near fall. Gargano mocks Priest and Priest blocks a super kick. Gargano with a victory roll for a near fall.
Gargano goes to the apron and connects with a shoulder and goes for One Final Beat but Priest blocks it. Priest catches Gargano on a sunset flip attempt. Priest with South of Heaven for a near fall. Priest goes up top and Gargano rolls to the floor. Priest with a plancha onto ringside security when Gargano moves. The referee calls for help for security and Gargano with a low blow and they return to the ring. Gargano with a super kick for another near fall.
Gargano with a La Mistica and he applies the GargaNo Escape but Priest is able to escape. Gargano returns to the GargaNo Escape. Priest gets to the ropes to force a break. Gargano with knees to the shoulder. Gargano sees the ring steps on the floor and Gargano punches Priest while hanging on the apron. Gargano runs into a forearm. Priest tries to suplex Gargano to the floor but Gargano with forearms. Priest with a kick and he comes off the ropes into a super kick followed by a second one. Gargano goes for One Final Beat but Priest blocks it. Priest with The Reckoning for the three count.
Winner: Damian Priest
After the match, Priest recovers as the music hits. Priest gets back to his feet as we go to replays. Priest stands tall and raises the title in the middle of the ring now. Priest pulls back and fires his invisible arrow into the LED boards going around the CWC.
– We see Finn Balor and Undisputed Era arrive at the building earlier today.
KUSHIDA vs. Velveteen Dream
We go back to the ring and out first is Kushida. The Velveteen Dream makes his entrance next.
KUSHIDA attacks Dream before the bell rings. KUSHIDA kicks Dream and Dream goes to the floor and he grabs a chair and throws it into the ring. The referee keeps KUSHIDA from using the chair.
The referee starts te match and KUSHIDA with a waist lock. Dream with a take down and KUSHIDA with a front face lock into an mar bar and punches. Dream with a waist lock but KUSHIDA with a wrist lock and Dream gets to the ropes. KUSHIDA mocks Dream and Dream backs up and then he follows KUSHIDA around the ring. KUSHIDA with a back heel kick and a handspring kick to knock Dream down on the apron. KUSHIDA with a running divorce court. KUSHIDA misses a splash into teh corner and KUSHIDA with a reverse atomic drop and he tries for a drop toe hold but KUSHIDA with a wrist lock take down. KUSHIDA traps the arms and drops back.
Dream sends KUSIHDA to the floor and connects with a forearm from the turnbuckles. KUSHIDA is sent into the fencing. Dream tells Marty to get back into the ring. Dream with a double sledge to the back. Dream with a European uppercut for a near fall. Dream with forearms and a bronco buster to KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA has a kick blocked but KUSHIDA iwth forearms. Dream blocks a handspring back elbow and applies a sleeper. KUSHIDA backs Dream into the corner and then connects with an elbow. Dream and KUSHIDA exchange punches and forearms. KUSHIDA with a double leg take down and he punches Dream. KUSHIDA with a hip toss and cartwheel followed by a drop kick.
Dream avoids a stomp and gets a rollup. KUSHIDA with a punch and he stomps on the back of the head. KUSHIDA with boots to the chest. Dream sends KUSHIDA to the apron and KUSHIDA grabs Dram and pulls him shoulder first into the ring post. KUSHIDA pulls Dream’s shoulder into the ring post again and then he drops kicks the steps into the arm. Dream with a super kick. Dream goes up top and goes for the elbow drop but KUSHIDA catches Dream and applies a cross arm breaker and Dream gets to the ropes. Dream punches KUSHIDA while the referee counts. Dream with a thumb to the eye because the referee was looking the wrong way.
Dream with a power bomb for a near fall and KUSHIDA with a cross arm breaker. KUSHIDA releases the hold. Dream with a Dream Valley Driver and then he goes back up top. Dream with the Purple Reignmaker but he cannont capitalize due to the damage done to his left arm. Dream gets a near fall. Dream with a short arm clothesline. Dream goes up top but KUSHIDA goes to the turnbuckles with forearms. KUSHIDA with a hammer lock take down into the Hoverboard Lock and Dream gets to the ropes but KUSHIDA holds on and rolls through into the middle of the ring. Dream gets KUSHIDA up for a Dream Valley Driver but KUSHIDA holds on to the Hoverboard Lock and Dream taps out.
After the match, KUSHIDA recovers as his music hits. We go to replays. KUSHIDA attacks Dream while he’s down and goes right for the arm. Dream screams out in pain. The bell rings over and over but KUSHIDA won’t break the hold. Additional referees hit the ring and they finally get KUSHIDA off Dream. KUSHIDA charges again and attacks Dream while he’s down, applying another submission on the arm. KUSHIDA finally breaks it and storms off to the back as Dream whimpers on the mat, dazed and in pain.
– We will have NXT Halloween Havoc hosted by Shotzi Blackheart on October 28th.
– Johnny Gargano gives his wife, Candice LeRae a pep talk while we see Io Shirai preparing for her match.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match – Santos Escobar vs. Isaiah Scott
They lock up and Escobar with a wrist lock. Scott with a take down. Escobar with a wrist lock take down and a rana but Scott rolls through to his feet. Scott with a head scissors take down. Scott with a waist lock but Escobar counters into a victory roll for a near fall. Escobar with a leg sweep and cover. Scott with a leg sweep and cover. Both men prepare for a punch but stalemate. Scott with a kick and Escobar with a forearm. Scott sends Escobar over the top rope ot the floor. Scott with a moonsault off the apron.
Scott goes to the turnbuckles and hits a corkscrew moonsault. Escobar rolls to the floor when sent back into the ring and Scott with a Fosbury Flop. Escobar rolls back to the floor. Scott works on the arm using the turnbuckle. They return to the ring and Scott gets a near fall. Scott works on the arms and splashes onto the arms. Escobar gets to the ropes and Scott kicks Escobar. Scott with a back drop into a short arm scissors and Escobar gets to the apron. Scott goes to the apron and he wrings Escobar’s arm into the middle rope. Escobar drops Scott onto the top rope and then Escobar kicks Scott to the floor. Escobar with a suicide dive.
Escobar with a clothesline. Escobar with an elbow drop for a near fall. Escobar with kicks to the chest and he chokes Scott in the ropes. Escobar slaps Scott and kicks him in the head. Escobar threatens to spit in Scott’s face but Scott covers his mouth and Scott with punches. Scott with a discus clothesline and a running European uppercut into the corner. Scott with a European uppercut off the turnbuckles to the back. Escobar goes to the floor and Scott with a kick. Scott with a second kick from the apron. Scott with a rollling flatliner for a near fall.
Scott goes up top but Escobar goes to the turnbuckles. Scott gets to the mat. Escobar with a kick but Scott with a drop kick and a hanging DDT for a near fall. Scott wtih a half nelson and Escobar gets to the ropes. Joaquin WIlde and Raul Mendoza come to the ring and Wilde distracts the referee while Mendoza trips Scott and Escobar with a shoulder breaker for a near fall. Escobar is dropped on the top rope crotch first by Scott and Scott with a springboard rana to Escobar onto Wilde and Mendoza. Ashante Thee Adonis comes out and goes after Wilde and Mendoza.
Scott with a back elbow from the apron and he goes for a rolling move but Escobar with a super kick and Phantom Driver for a near fall. Escobar with a suplex and he holds on for a second one. He holds on and goes for the Three Amigos and hits it. Escobar goes up top and misses a frog splash when Scott moves. Scott stomps on the forearm and he hits House Call and then goes to the turnbuckles for a 450 splash and he gets a near fall.
Escobar sends Scott to the floor. They go to the apron and Escobar blocks a half and half suplex on the apron. Escobar knocks Scott back into the turnbuckle. Escobar with a butterfly facebuster for the three count.
Winner: Santos Escobar
After the match, the music hits as Escobar recovers and takes his title. We go to replays. Escobar poses on the stage and raises his title in the air now.
– We see Kyle O’Reilly and Finn Balor getting ready for their match.
– Beth leads us to a video package for tonight’s Women’s Title match.
NXT Women’s Title Match – Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai
We go back to the ring and out first comes Candice LeRae. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai is out next. Taylor does formal ring introductions.
Candice pushes Io and Io pushes back. Candice with a side head lock. Io with a hip toss and drop kick. Candice goes to the floor to slow down Io’s momentum. Candice with a waist lock and Io with a standing switch. Io with a wrist lock take down and misses a splash into the corner. Io lands on her feet on a monkey flip and Candice goes to the floor to avoid knees in the corner. Io goes for a sunset flip power bomb into the ringside barrier but Candice blocks it and hits a cross body off the apron. Io kicks Candice from the apron and Io with an Asai Moonsault.
Candice is sent back into the ring and Io gets a near fall. Io with knees in the corner and she gets a near fall. Candice with an Irish whip but Io goes for a pendulum kick from the apron but Candice blocks it and hits a lungblower for a near fall. Candice with a rear chin lock. Io with elbows but Candice with a forearm to the back. Candice with a head scissors but Io lands on her feet. Candice with a clothesline for a near fall. Candice with boots to the head and she runs the eyes across the middle rope.
Candice gets a near fall. Candice with a double wrist lock and she traps the other arm using her leg. Candice sends Io to the mat and gets a near fall. Candice with a near fall. Candice sends Io into the turnbuckles. Candice with a running European uppercut into the corner. Candice says something to Io and Io slaps Candice. Candice fires back. Candice sends Io into the turnbuckles. Candice kicks Io in the corner. Candice tosses Io to the mat by the hair. Candice tosses Io to the mat by the hair again. Candice with a suplex.
Candice gets a near fall. Candice with a slam for a near fall. Candice with a knee to the back and a second one. Candice works on the neck. Candice with a knee to the midsection and she misses an elbow in the corner when Io moves. Candice misses the step up back senton. Io with a rollup into a double stomp. Io with a shoulder tackle followed by a second one. Io with a flapjack. Io with a Tiger Feint Kick and she sets for a springboard move and hits a springboard drop kick for a near fall. Io goes for a victory roll but Candice sends Io to the mat and hits a step up back senton. LeRae goes for a quebrada but Io gets her knees up. Io with a butterfly back breaker.
Shirai goes to the corner but gets slammed to the mat. Shirai comes with a Meteora in the corner. LeRae counters a move and rolls Shirai for 2. Shirai comes back with an open palm thrust. Shirai with a German suplex. LeRae comes back with a snap German of her own. LeRae with a Backstabber in the middle of the ring. LeRae with a second rope moonsault for a close 2 count and LeRae can’t believe it.
LeRae smacks Shirai around and taunts her. Shirai takes a shot and pulls LeRae down into the Crossface in the middle of the ring. LeRae struggles and screams out. LeRae turns it into a 2 count as Shirai kicks out. LeRae with a submission now. Shirai tries to make it to the bottom rope but LeRae avoids it and keeps it locked. Shirai finally grabs the bottom rope for a pop. Shirai looks to deck Shirai but accidentally hits the referee with an elbow. She sees an opportunity and goes for Shirai but Shirai counters and lands the Air Raid Crash. Shirai goes to the top for the moonsault but LeRae gets her knees up. Shirai lands on the knees and gets knocked into the referee. The referee has been hit twice now and ends up on the floor, possibly taken out for good. LeRae ends up hitting the Wicked Stepsister. LeRae covers but there is no referee. Johnny Gargano runs down wearing a referee t-shirt as fans boo.
Gargano counts the pin but Shirai kicks out. LeRae and Gargano aren’t happy. Gargano goes to ringside and grabs the title belt, saying it belongs to his wife. He returns to the ring with the belt but the original referee has recovered, but is hurting. He argues with Gargano for the title and it gets dropped. The two referees argue about who needs to leave now. LeRae picks the title up and nails Shirai in the face with it. Gargano stops arguing and exits the ring. The referee turns around to count LeRae’s pin attempt but Shirai kicks out at 2.
The Garganos are furious now. LeRae goes to the top but Shirai rocks her in the jaw with an open palm strike. Shirai climbs up and hits the super Spanish Fly on LeRae. Shirai leaps back to the top and hits her big moonsault for the pin to retain.
Winner: Io Shirai
– After the match, the music hits as Shirai recovers. We go to replays. Shirai raises the title in the middle of the ring now. NXT UK Superstar Toni Storm suddenly appears on the big screen and congratulates Shirai. Storm also wants to make sure Shirai and everyone else has their head on a swivel because as of right now, Storm is back in NXT. She promises to turn NXT upside down and inside out, and reminds everyone that NXT has, and always will be, Toni Time. She will see us soon. Shirai nods her head and gives a thumbs up to end the segment.
We see the mystery figure arrive to the building on a motorcycle, with the same interface we’ve seen over the past few weeks in the teaser promos. Shirai is shown watching in the ring. The mystery person enters the arena and stands on the stage as the lights come up. The mystery person remove the helmet and it’s Ember Moon, making her return to TV. She stares back at the ring and acknowledges the crowd as Shirai looks on to end the segment.
– Ashante The Adonis is in the back with McKenzie. She asks why did he come out tonight. He says he has respect for Swerve and he wanted to help a brother out. He was sick of Legado del Fantasma interfering. He says this is about him. He says this is his ritual… r-i-c-h-u-a-l. You know what time it is. It is showtime!
NXT Men’s Championship Match – Finn Balor versus Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle with a kick to the leg. They go to a Greco Roman Knuckle Lock and Balor with a waist lock but Kyle with a wrist lock into a hammer lock and side head lock. Balor with a waist lock take down and Kyle with a front face lock. Balor with a head scissors and Kyle escapes. They lock up and Balor with a side head lock. Balor holds on to the side head lock when Kyle tries to send Balor off the ropes. Balor with a shoudler tackle for a near fall. Balor with a side head lock take down. Kyle with a rollup for a near fall. Kyle with a belly-to-back suplex but Balor holds on to the side head lock. Balor holds on to the side head lock again when Kyle tries to send him off the ropes.
Balor with a sunset flip but Kyle does not go over and he goes for a submission but Balor gets to the ropes. Kyle with a wrist lock and he works on the shoulder. Kyle with an arm bar. Kyle with a double wrist lock. Kyle with a hammer lock into a divorce court. Kyle with knees and elbows to the arm and ribs. Kyle with a sliding knee to the ribs and shoulder. Balor with a take down but Kyle with a hammer lock. Balor gets his foot on the rope to force Kyle to release the hold.
Kyle with a wrist lock take down and Balor with knees to the head. Kyle with a wrist lock and Balro with a back body drop and Kyle with a sunset flip but Balor rolls through and hits a drop kick. Balor with a kick to the back. Balor stomps the arm. Balor with a wrist lock on Kyle and he plays the air guitar on the arm. Balor furher works on the arm. Balor with a hammer lock. Balor with a knee to the arm in the hammer lock. Balor with another knee and he starts to work on the shoulder. Balor with an elbow and he wraps the arm in the ropes. Balor with a chop. Balor with another chop and kick to the leg. Balor with an Irish whip and chop in the corner. Balor with another Irish whip and chop.
Balor with an Irish whip and Kyle with a knee out of the corner. Balor with a chop and Kyle with a pop up round kick and Kyle follows iwht knees and kicks. Kyle with a leg sweep. Kyle with a knee to the midsection and he follows with rolling butterfly suplexes and a double underhook DDT for a near fall. Balor with elbows but Kyle with a kick to the knee. Kyle with knees and forearms. Kyle with a knee to the midsection. Balor with a forearm and Kyle returns fire. Balor with a kick and Kyle goes down to the mat and the referee checks on Kyle. Balor kicks Kyle and the referee tells Balor to back up. Balor with more kicks to the midsection.
Balor sends Kyle into the turnbuckles and connects with shoulders. Balor with a sternum first Irish whip and Kyle goes down. Balor with a chop and he puts Kyle in the ropes. Balor with a forearm to the back and a kick to the ribs. Balor kicks Kyle. Balor with a seated splash to the back. Balor gets a near fall. Balor with an Irish whip and Kyle goes for the leg but Balor stops Kyle and he goes for an abdominal stretch but Kyle escapes and gives Balor a hip toss. Kyle with a jumping knee to the midsection and a RegalPlex for a near fall. Balor with a forearm to the back and a reverse DDT for a near fall.
Balor with slingblade and he sets for the running drop kick but Kyle with a drop kick to the knees. Kyle goes for the leg but Balor with an abdominal stretch as Kyle bleeds from the mouth. Kyle with an atomic drop to the knee and a heel hook. Balor with a sharpshooter on Kyle. Kyle crawls to the ropes to get there to force a break. Balor moves slowly to Kyle and then he kicks Kyle in the collarbone and head. Balor with a boot to the back of the head. Balor with a kick to the ribs. Balor with more kicks in the corner. Balor with a boot to the head but Kyle blocks it and he connects with forearms. Balor with a kick to the midsection but Kyle with a kick to the leg. Kyle with Axe and Smash but Balor with a Pele Kick.
Kyle almost falls out of the ring but holds on and hits a clothesline. Kyle kicks Balor in the chest. Balor with a slap and Balor blocks a suplex. Kyle with a guillotine on Balor. Kyle with a knee to the chest and a brainbuster. Kyle gets a near fall and Kyle goes for a cross arm breaker but Balor blocks the application. Kyle gets the cross arm breaker applied and Balor rolls through and stomps on Kyle. The referee checks to see if Balor wants to continue. Balor with forearms to the back. Balor with 1916 for a near fall.
Balor goes up top and Kyle kicks Balor to crotch him. Kyle goes to the apron while Balor hangs on the top rope. Kyle with a dragon screw that sends Balor to the mat. Kyle with a dragon screw in the ropes. Kyle with a knee drop off the turnbuckles with Balor’s leg in the ropes. Kyle with a knee drop to the back of the knee and Kyle with a heel hook. Kyle with an achilles lock. Balor kicks Kyle to try to get out of the hold but Kyle grabs the other leg.
Kyle reapplies the hold using both legs. Balor tries to get to the ropes and he finally gets there. Both men struggle to get back to their feet. Kyle with a kick to the back of the leg. Kyle sets for a kick but Balor falls back and he holds his knee. Balor iwth a double leg take down and double stomp. Kyle with a knee and German suplex but Balor rolls through and hits a double stomp. Balor goes up top for the Coup de Grace and hits it for the three count.
Winner: Finn Balor
After the match, the crowd gets louder as the music hits. Balor, with blood also coming from his mouth now, snatches the NXT Title belt from the referee and stands tall. Balor puts the belt around his waist as we go to replays with the referee raising his arm. We come back from replays and Balor is approaching O’Reilly, who is still down in the corner. Balor extends his arm to help O’Reilly up and O’Reilly lets him. They do a show of respect as the “NXT!” chant breaks out. O’Reilly raises Balor’s arm in victory as they stand together.
We suddenly see Ridge Holland standing on the other side of the barrier, staring at O’Reilly and Balor. He has a knocked out Adam Cole over his shoulder. Balor and O’Reilly turn and see Holland standing there with Cole. Holland drops Cole over the barrier, to the floor at ringside. A furious Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish run down to check on Cole but Holland has disappeared. The 31st Takeover event goes off the air with Balor and The Undisputed Era tending to Cole at ringside, furious at Holland getting away.