WADE KELLER PODCAST - Royal Rumble preview with Sam Roberts
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Former NXT champion Finn Balor wrestled his final NXT match Saturday night in Houston, Texas.
Balor teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat NXT champion Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode in the tag team main event to complete his NXT run.
Balor, who had a break-out week on the main WWE roster, now officially joins the Raw brand after wrapping up his advertised NXT commitments.
Before the main event, Balor was emotional and embraced Nakamura while waiting for Joe and Roode to be introduced.
The match was followed by a “graduation party” hosted by Bayley, who talked up Balor’s work as the leading star of the NXT brand over the past year.
Balor was then joined by other “graduates” Mojo Rawley, Carmella, and Nia Jax. The only draftees missing were Alexa Bliss and American Alpha, who got a strong reaction when mentioned.
Balor then closed out the show with a speech recognizing the wrestlers who were part of the NXT: Houston show, the audience, and head coach Matt Bloom, who came out from backstage to be recognized.
Now, Balor looks ahead to facing Seth Rollins for the first-ever WWE Universal Title at Summerslam on August 21 in Brooklyn, New York.
This time last year, Balor headlined the first “NXT Takeover” special against Kevin Owens the night before Summerslam, which helped propel NXT to new heights selling out the same building as WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year.
Special night for NXT. Thank you #NXTHouston.
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) July 31, 2016
— Finn Bálor (@wwebalor) July 31, 2016