One week after a fatal four-way 60-minute Iron Man match ended in a tie between former NXT Champions Adam Cole and Finn Balor, the two are set to square off one more time. This time, though, it’ll be a one-on-one match, with one fall to a finish deciding the new NXT Champion.
While this is not the first time Cole and Balor have faced each other in singles competition in NXT, their first bout against each other was six years ago, before either were WWE superstars. “I wrestled Finn Balor on his farewell tour of the independents to go to NXT,” Cole told GameSpot. “That was the first time I had met Finn. It was the first time we had ever wrestled each other and there was this instant chemistry.”
That match took place in 2014 for the British company Revolution Pro Wrestling, and ultimately Balor–who wrestled as Prince Devitt at the time–got the victory. Now, though, Cole sees a different outcome on the horizon–and he’s got good reason to.
“When you’re NXT champion, you’re preparing at the highest level all the time, not only because you’re the champion, but to keep the championship,” he explained. “So Finn Balor–don’t get me wrong–he’s a high-level performer, he has been for years. But again, he’ll tell you as a former NXT champion, you’re at your peak physically and mentally when you’re firing on all cylinders as an NXT champion.”
And it’s been a long time since Balor was the champion. Cole, on the other hand, still has his loss to Keith Lee fresh in mind. “I’m still in that regiment and in that mindset of that championship preparation and mentality,” he said. “So as grueling as the 60-minute Iron Man four-way match was this past week, I’m ready to go with Finn Balor.”
What’s more, he couldn’t imagine a more fitting opponent to be facing off against in his quest to become a two-time NXT Champion. “I’ve been ready to go with Finn Balor for a long time, because there’s been this constant comparison between Adam Cole and Finn Balor. There’s always this discussion of who was the actual greatest NXT champion of all time,” Cole said. “All the respect in the world for Finn, but I want people to remember me as the greatest NXT champion of all time–not him.”
Cole and Balor will face off for the vacant NXT Championship on NXT Super Tuesday II, airing Tuesday, September 7, on USA Network.