NXT Takeover: New Orleans had several headlining moments: Aleister Black and Shayna Baszler claiming the top titles in their divisions.
The Undisputed Era made history with Adam Cole becoming the first North American Champion, then later Roderick Strong betraying Pete Dunne to help UE retain the tag team titles and win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy.
Johnny Gargano defeating Tommaso Ciampa and being reinstated in NXT.
Takeover New Orleans had great wrestling and beautiful moments. It was a glorious night for NXT fans – one that began a new chapter for the brand. Whenever NXT is in the process of shuffling the deck and superstars are called to the main roster, fans wonder whether or not the brand’s television product will be as good as it was before.
Looking at the quality of talent in NXT, especially their champions, the brand will continue to be a good alternative to Raw and Smackdown Live.
With Black winning the NXT title, it appears he will feud with Andrade “Cien” Almas, if the latter isn’t called up to the main roster soon, which makes sense. Usually NXT likes to give former champions a rematch, along with 1-2 programs before they’re called up to the main roster.
After Almas, there are several wrestlers who Black could have a good match with – assuming he keeps the NXT title for a lengthy run including Ricochet and the returning Drew McIntyre. Gargano and Ciampa would be great opponents for Black, assuming one of them challenges for the NXT title after their program is finished.
At some point, he could also face old rivals like Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream.
Baszler is in a somewhat different situation. Ember Moon, who she defeated to win the NXT Women’s title, recently made her Raw debut. Moon’s absence allows other faces in NXT’s Women’s division to step up to challenge Baszler for the title. The first choice would be Kairi Sane – her and Baszler are essentially 1-1 against each other. Both wrestlers can work and control the crowd.
Another choice is Candice LeRae, who Baszler defeated in the Mae Young Classic. LeRae isn’t afraid to mix it up with the baddest wrestlers in the world – male or female. She’s someone who is tough and will stand up to Baszler.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) April 8, 2018
Then you have the Undisputed Era – Cole holds the North American title and the NXT Tag Team titles are essentially being defended via the Bullet Club rule – all four wrestlers can defend the title, but he and Kyle O’Reilly only recognized as the champions. Bobby Fish is currently on the shelf with the injury.
Of everyone who wrestled at Takeover: New Orleans, UE’s spotlight shined the brightest. Cole having a singles title makes him the target, especially with the participants from the ladder match – Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan, Ricochet, Killian Dane and EC 3.
Tag teams will also be chomping at the bit to take the tag titles from UE, which will be more difficult with Strong in their fold. With former champions Authors of Pain debuting on Raw, it allows other tag teams to step up.
— Adam Cole (@AdamColePro) April 8, 2018
The debuting War Raiders – formerly War Machine – could be early contenders for the titles. Duos like TM-61, the Street Profits and Heavy Machinery could build some wins before they challenge for the gold.
Speaking of Gargano and Ciampa, those two have the pick of the litter when it comes to future feuds. Both wrestlers have progressed in their character work since their angle kicked off Takeover was a great blow off match – perhaps the most emotional bout WWE has had in years.
Either wrestler could be placed in a feud – title or not – and perform well.
It’s a new day – no pun intended – for NXT and there might be some questions surrounding what the next several months have in store for the brand, there is going to be some quality wrestling and storylines that will have fans on the edge of their seats.
Donovan Dijak Suffers Injury at NXT Vengeance Day
NXT Vengeance Day was a rousing success for WWE on Saturday which saw a number of headlines come out of the event that was well-received by fans, including an injury suffered by Donovan Dijak during his match with Wes Lee for the North American Championship.
Dijak suffered an apparent broken finger during the match, which was seen on camera and shared on social media.
Following the event NXT general manager Shawn Michaels provided an update on Dijak, stating he did not suffer a broken finger – “Yeah, everybody is good” Michaels said. “I announced it at gorilla, it’s got to be a miracle, It’s not broken.
“We got him x-ray, they said it’s not broken and so yeah, I guess what you do is you kind of numb it and put it back in place and that’s what’s happening now. But it is, again, a modern miracle because we all saw it, it was pretty gnarly looking. But, apparently, he’s going to be okay, which is obviously fantastic news for us and him.”
William Regal’s New Title in WWE Return
William Regal has made his return to WWE following his brief stint with AEW and now has a new title that is much different than what he had prior to his release from WWE during budget cuts last year.
Regal was Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting prior to his release. Regal was also the former General Manager for NXT and also had an on-screen role before he made his way to AEW.
According to PWInsider, Regal is now the Vice President, Global Talent Development for WWE.
Ahead of his return to WWE and amid his exit from AEW, Regal issued the following on social media:
“Yesterday was my last official day with @AEW. I’d like to thank @TonyKhan, Megha and all the hard working crew. Contrary to people who’ve never spoken to me or have their information from people who don’t know me or are trying to make themselves noticed, I had a lovely time working there and had a great time. Lots of talented Wrestlers, and lovely people to work for. To my fellow BCC members, it was a special, albeit brief few months but it cemented our already strong friendship. To everyone there, thank you for welcoming me. Best wishes.”
Ex-NJPW Star Karl Fredericks Signs with WWE
Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Karl Fredericks has officially signed with WWE following the conclusion of his four-year tenure with NJPW. Fredericks announced on social media back in summer 2022 that he would not re-sign with NJPW.
Fredericks was initially linked to WWE last September, when he was reportedly spotted at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
According to PW Insider, Fredericks has officially signed with WWE and will be a part of the NXT brand initially.
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