NXT Takeover: New Orleans Preview
It’s Mania week, so that means a lot of wrestling going on this weekend, especially for WWE. For the last year, NXT Takeover has overshadowed it’s bigger brother’s events putting on top level matches, including WWE’s latest 5 star match. Will Takeover: New Orleans steal this mania weekend as well?
NXT Takeover: New Orleans Matches
NXT Championship – Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) vs. Aleister Black: Black finally gets his shot at the NXT title this weekend against el idolo himself, Almas. Black has shown he is one of the best strikers in the world in the ring and has won the favor of a lot of fans over the last year. However, Almas is blazing hot since becoming the NXT champion. His promos have been fantastic, and he’s coming off the back of a 5-star match. This match will be very explosive for the crowd.
I think it’s time to call up Almas to the main roster. Almas already had a showing earlier this year at the Rumble, and I believe that was some foreshadowing. Almas would make a great heel on the main roster, and the roster is very thin of those. Black’s star is on the rise as well, so putting the belt on him to feud with a heel Adam Cole will be incredible an incredible feud.
Predicted Winner: Aleister Black
NXT North American Championship (Ladder Match) – Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dane vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Ricochet vs. EC3: The debut of the second men’s singles title on NXT will feature a star-studded ladder match including the debut of Ricochet and EC3 in NXT Takeover action.
There’s a lot of guesswork in this match as there are good reasons to put the belt on everyone in the match. Velveteen is rapidly growing in popularity since his feud with Black. Ricochet and EC3 are both very hot signings who would be legitimate champions out of the gate. Lars and Killian would both benefit from winning a title to legitimize their monster status. Adam Cole would be a good champion, but I think they’re saving him for a title feud with Black.
In the end, I think they’re going to put the strap on EC3. I have a feeling that EC3 and Ricochet are going to be fast-tracked to the main roster, and putting a belt on EC3 will jump start that. Velveteen Dream would be my favorite pick to win, and I’d love for them to put the belt on him. However, I can also see Dream feuding with the winner of the belt if he doesn’t take it himself. He’s got some time to grow in NXT, so there’s no need to rush Dream to the main roster.
Predicted Winner: EC3
NXT Women’s Championship — Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler: Baszler is taking another shot at the title from Ember Moon. In the first match, Ember was able to counter a Baszler hold into a pin. This time I see it going to the challenger, Baszler. Giving Baszler the belt can help legitimize women MMA fighters in WWE. I’m sure they’re hoping it rubs off on Ronda Rousey.
Ember Moon is main roster ready, and she’s had a great NXT career. Much like Almas in the men’s Royal Rumble, she was called up to participate in the women’s Royal Rumble match, and she had an excellent reception. I expect to see her on the main roster very soon and dropping the strap here would be the first step.
Predicted Winner: Shayna Baszler
Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (Unsanctioned Match): The first of the what I hope is an intense series between the two.. Ciampa has become arguably the best heel character in all of WWE at the moment with his relentless attack on fans and Gargano. NXT has a gem with this storyline and how it’s played out both on TV and on social media. A feud for the ages, I can’t wait for this match.
I think the first match goes to Ciampa. From a healthy storyline perspective, the next Takeover will be in Chicago, where the ruin of #DIY started, and that calls for a considerable babyface payoff happening there.
Predicted Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
NXT Tag Team Championship — Undisputed Era (c) vs. Authors of Pain vs. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne: After a grueling Dusty Rhodes classic, we have the Undisputed Era defending against the Authors of Pain and the makeshift duo of Dunne and Strong. Adam Cole is plugging in this match for the injured Bobby Fish.
I think this match will be a fascinating clash of various wrestling styles. The tag matches on Takeovers have historically been fantastic, and this is lined up to do so. I think the Authors will be going to the main roster soon, and I don’t think they need another title run before the call-up. Dunne isn’t glued to NXT so I can’t see them taking it. Undisputed Era needs to be built up strong before their main roster run, so a lengthy titled reign looks nice.
Predicted Winner: Undisputed Era
See you this Saturday, peace.