NXT Takeover: New Orleans took place on Saturday 7th April at the Smoothie King Center. The card looks awesome plus we will get to see a new Champion crowned. So let's take a look.
The first match of the show is Lars Sullivan, Velveteen Dream, EC3, Adam Cole, Killian Dian and Ricochet in a ladder match to crown the first ever NXT North American Champion. Highlights of the match include: Ricochet doing a springboard shooting star press on Dian and Sullivan; Dian doing a suicide dive on Sullivan; Cole super kicking everyone; Dream hitting a Purple Rainmaker on Sullivan from on top of a ladder; and Sullivan sending EC3 and Dream through a ladder with a Freak Accident. In the end, Ricochet comes close but Cole tips him off the ladder then climbs up to get the belt and get the win.
This match was absolutely amazing with Ricochet standing out, especially after that awesome springboard shooting star press. I'm surprised that Cole won but you could have seen anyone of them winning.
Winner: Adam Cole (0 for 1)
The next match is for the NXT Women's Championship as Shanya Baszler challenges Ember Moon. Baszler punches Moon out of the ring but Moon quickly recovers and tries to win it early. The match goes back and forth before Moon attacks the left elbow. Moon does manage to hit the Eclipse but it was outside the ring. In the end, Moon does for another Eclipse. However, Baszler catches her and applies the Kirifuda Clutch, having to grip her own hair to complete the hold. Moon passes out and Baszler is the new NXT Women's Champion. This was a good match and with Moon now off to RAW, it will be interesting to see how Baszler dowa as Champion.
Winner: Shanya Baszler (1 for 2)
Adam Cole doesn't have very long to celebrate being North American Champion as he has to compete with Kyle O'Reilly in the next match. They face the challenges of The Authors of Pain and the team of Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne and it is for the NXT Tag Team Championship as well as the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Early on, The Authors of Pain powerbomb Cole through the Spanish announce table and it takes a long time before it actually becomes a proper tag team match. The Authors of Pain hit Dunne and O'Reilly with the Super Collider then hit The Last Chapter on O'Reilly but Strong breaks up the pin. The end comes when Dunne hits The Bitter End on O'Reilly. However, Strong breaks up the pin and hits The End of Heartache on Dunne. He then pulls O'Reilly on top of Dunne and The Undisputed Era win. This was another good match and I was shocked that Strong betrayed Dunne and join The Undisputed Era. As for The Authors of Pain, they've been called up to RAW, bizarrely dumping Paul Ellering in the process. Hopefully, they will do well there.
Winners: The Undisputed Era (2 for 3)
The penultimate match is for the NXT Championship as Aliester Black challenges Andrade "Cien" Almas. Black immediately goes after Almas but it's stopped by Zelina Vega hitting Black with a hurracarrana. Later on, Vega hits another hurracarrana but Black kicks out at 2. Black manages to hit the Black Mask but Vega puts Almas' leg on the ropes. Eventually, Vega's constant interference comes back to haunt her. After Black kicks out of a Hammerlock DDT, Vega attempts a crossbody. However, she misses and is caught by Almas. Almas then walks into a Black Mask and Black is the new NXT Champion. This was a really enjoyable match and I'm looking forward to seeing him as Champion. Almas, meanwhile, has gone to Smackdown and I wish him luck there.
Winner: Aliester Black (2 for 4)
The main event is an unsanctioned match between Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. They beat the fuck out of each other with Gargano getting the early advantage. Ciampa suplexes Gargano off the announce table and later on, puts him in a cloverleaf. The match goes back and forth with Ciampa almost winning it with an airplane spin into a powerbomb. Gargano gets Ciampa into the Garagno Escape but Ciampa rakes the eyes to get out of it. In the end, Ciampa tries to hit Gargano with his knee brace but he misses and is put in the Gargano Escape. Gargano then transfers it into a STF, putting the knee brace across Ciampa to get the win by submission.
I was expecting this match to be more brutal and I'm glad it wasn't. It told a really good story and it really had the fans invested. Dave Meltzer gave this one and the ladder match 5 stars. I think the ladder match was better in terms of the wrestling but this match had a better story. The only reason I didn't predict Gargano to win was that I thought it would be a good way to get him to the main roster but it looks like he will be NXT for now. Hopefully, it will not be for very long.
Winner: Johnny Gargano (2 for 5)
This was my favourite Takeover to watch since Toronto. All the matches were really good. The question is, will Wrestlemania continue on that trend?