Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Takeover: New Orleans

Takeover New Orleans was a hell of a show. Long, too. Probably longer than it needed to be, honestly. But still excellent.

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: EC3 vs Killian Dain vs Lars Sullivan vs Adam Cole vs The Velveteen Dream vs Ricochet: It’s gotta be Dream.

I still think it should have been, but under the circumstances, given what happened elsewhere, Adam Cole makes sense and is a good choice. I just thought he’d be at th emiddle of the main event scene, not the top of the midcard. Match was impressive, even if Dream’s inexperience with ladder matches showed on a few spots. (0/1)

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler: Baszler wins. They call up Moon and Baszler does a mean version of Asuka for a while.

NAILED IT. Baszler did indeed win, Moon did indeed get called up. Moon passed out rather than submit, which is the classic move and the right call. And Baszler reversing the Eclipse into her submission finisher was a sight to see. (1/2)

NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Undisputed Era vs. Strong/Dunne vs. Authors Of Pain: I’m going to say he and Dunne get the belts and AoP gets the callup to Raw on Monday to challenge Tag Team Champions Braun Strowman.

I was close. And nobody could have seen that finish coming. Strong turns on Dunne, drags O’Reilly over him, and joins the Undisputed Era, presumably replacing the injured Bobby Fish as tag champ while Adam Cole defends the NA title. It’s an excellent solution to their problems, and worked great as a swerve at the time. (1/3)

NXT Championship Match: Andrade Almas vs Aleister Black: Almas retains.

In my defense, I was right about them not changing all the titles in one night, I was just wrong about which titles changed. Black beat Almas in what seemed like a less interesting version of the Gargano-Almas match, because I was way more invested in Gargano’s story than Black’s. I like Black as champ, but unless Almas shows up as a Smackdown midcarder tonight (a distinct possibility, come to think of it) I don’t see where he goes from here in NXT. (1/4)

Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa: Gargano gets his big revenge win in NXT, where it belongs.

Yep. This was a good match, but it was self-indulgent. You hear wrestlers talk al  lot about how they need the time to tell their story in the ring. Well, Gargano and Ciampa’s story wasn’t that complicated, and they could have told it in five to ten fewer minutes. I’m not saying it wasn’t good, just saying that it would have been just as effective with some of the middle bits cut out. But man, Ciampa is the purest heel NXT has right now. (2/5)

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