NXT fans have more thing to look forward to at NXT Takeover: New Orleans on April 6 – fair warning wrestling fans because spoilers for the next set of NXT tapings are ahead.
During tonight’s NXT tapings, General Manager announced the introduction of the NXT North American Championship.
WWE.com issued a news release below not only confirming the news, but also announcing what type of match in which the first North American champion will be decided.
A new title, the NXT North American Championship, will debut at TakeOver: New Orleans, NXT General Manager William Regal announced during tonight’s NXT tapings at Full Sail University.
The inaugural NXT North American Champion will be decided in a Six-Man Ladder Match featuring Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Killian Dain, Lars Sullivan and new NXT signees Ricochet and EC3.
This six-man bout joins three other title bouts – Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT title, the Shayna Baszler vs. Ember Moon women’s title match and the tag title bout between Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. the winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Multi-man ladder matches are a good way to bring on some featured players onto a Takeover card. Wrestlers like Velveteen Dream, Dain, Sullivan and Cole have built an impressive body of work in the last year. All four would benefit from having a championship around their waist.
There’s also the excitement of what EC3 and Ricochet will bring to the match. Just like the aforementioned competitors, both EC3 and Ricochet would benefit by becoming the first North American Champion.
For Ricochet, it would be the first step of establishing himself as an NXT/WWE superstar. As for EC3, the NXT North American Championship would be a bit of vindication for him.
This is also different than how NXT showcase new talent at a Takeover. Usually talents like EC3 and Ricochet are given singles matches against veteran NXT talent to showcase their abilities. Sometimes they’re squash matches like in the case with Moon vs. Billie Kay at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II. On the other hand, they can be classics like the match with Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takeover: Dallas.
NXT adding a midcard title adds another layer to its brand. It also provides another championship for NXT superstars to chase. It can be defended on both television tapings and house shows by wrestlers.
Adding “North American” also harkens back to territories that used the “North American” moniker for their championships. The NWA’s North American title is currently being held by Mike Mustang. The WWF North American Championship, which was first held by Ted DiBiase, was a precursor to the Intercontinental Championship.
The NXT North American Championship helps the brand be a step closer to being more than just WWE’s developmental territory. Another championship could lead to NXT being two hours a week, or holding longer events. The brand can’t seem to do no wrong at this point, so another championship is a welcome addition to the overall package that NXT presents.
NXT Takeover: Blackpool Card
WWE is preparing for their upcoming NXT event, NXT Takeover: Blackpool, and after the airing of this week’s NXT, the full card is now in focus.
NXT UK’s first Takeover event hits the WWE Network, live from Blackpool, England, this Saturday.
Here is the card, at the time of this writing:
NXT UK Women’s Championship Match – Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Match – Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake)
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match – Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey
No DQ Match – Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis
Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
WWE Reportedly Interested In KUSHIDA
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA is reportedly drawing interest from WWE, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
KUSHIDA, 35, has been the cornerstone of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s light heavyweight division and one of their most recognized stars, globally.
The report indicates that NXT is the destination if WWE were to lure KUSHIDA from New Japan.
With NXT globalizing, an NXT Japan seems like a natural progression for the brand and KUSHIDA could be in those potential plans moving forward.
Matt Riddle Talks About Joining WWE/NXT
NXT superstar Matt Riddle has been gaining popularity since his landmark signing earlier this year, and during a recent interview with ESPN for their story on the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, Riddle says that he should have been with WWE long before his 2018 signing.
“I moved my family down here, I’ve got three kids and a wife, so it’s nice,” Riddle said.
“I just wrestle in Florida every weekend. We occasionally do tours or TakeOvers, but for the most part, now I get to spend more time with my family. I’m more local, and it’s great. The training here is top-notch,” he continued. “Where I was, I was lucky to even train three times a week, because my schedule was so insane — and I didn’t have the coaches or amenities to do [much more than that].”
“I just feel like I belong here. I felt like I belonged here three-and-a-half years ago when I had my first try out.”
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