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Contract signings are infamous for leaving lasting, indelible images that the WWE Universe doesn’t forget. Tuesday night’s Heatwave Summit was no different, as JD McDonagh established himself as Bron Breakker’s most brazen challenger yet, causing the NXT Champion to be at a loss for words at one point.
Moderated by NXT color analyst Wade Barrett, the Heatwave Summit was set for last night’s episode and had one end goal in mind: to have both Superstars sign their names on the dotted line to make their upcoming NXT Championship match official.
Before the two signed the contract, the champion had a few words of warning to the challenger.
“When this is on the line, I am an animal.” Breakker said, gesturing to the glimmering NXT Championship draped around his shoulder. “And I’m glad that you like pain so much, because at NXT Heatwave, you’re gonna be in a lot of it.”
JD McDonagh seemingly wasn’t fazed by Breakker’s threats.
“The difference between you and me, Bron, is that you like to endure pain — and I welcome it,” McDonagh calmly responded as the Capital Wrestling Center showered him with chants of “shut the hell up.”
And with that, McDonagh refused to sign the contract, demanding that the champion sign first, breaking WWE tradition and adding that he thinks Breakker has a little apprehension and fear behind his eyes as he looks across the table at McDonagh.
Undeterred, Breakker demanded Wade Barrett pass him the contract. “You think there’s fear on this face, you freaking sicko?” he yelled as he scribbled his name on the dotted line amidst cheers from the CWC crowd.
And that’s where things took a turn.
“Bron, this summit isn’t going to end in violence. But it is going to end in blood,” McDonagh said.
And with that, the top contender to the NXT Championship stabbed himself in the finger with a pen, and signed the contract in his own blood.
And we’ll be honest, it was at that moment when we saw a little apprehension and fear on Breakker's face.
But just for a moment.
The fear quickly disappeared as McDonagh extended his bloody hand for a handshake, which is when Breakker’s instincts took over and he reaffirmed his alpha-dog status by confidently raising the title high above his head, undeterred by the latest mind game from his challenger.
It’s a lot to take in, to be honest.
Never before has the WWE Universe seen a challenger so capable inside the ring — and so devious outside the ring. Bron Breakker has made a career out of inflicting as much pain as possible on his opponents. What happens now that the pain and punishment is seemingly welcomed by his latest challenger?
If JD McDonagh isn’t scared to bleed to become NXT Champion — if he is actively welcoming the violence that Bron Breakker is promising to give him — that makes McDonagh the single greatest threat to the champion’s impressive title reign to date.
As the rivalry between these two Superstars reaches yet another level, one thing is certain after last night’s episode of NXT 2.0: their first-ever meeting is finally official. On August 16 at NXT Heatwave, the NXT Championship will be on the line.
Will the “Irish Ace” dethrone Bron Breakker and usher in a new era of uncertainty in NXT?
Or will JD McDonagh become just another name on Breakker’s list – just another challenger who didn’t have what it takes to dethrone the champion and capture NXT’s most coveted title?
In two weeks, we’ll find out.