Championships were up for grabs, rivalries were settled in intensely personal grudge matches and six Superstars thew caution to the wind in the name of making history as NXT presented TakeOver: New Orleans Saturday night.
Just 24 hours from WrestleMania 34, Andrade “Cien” Almas defended his NXT Championship against Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa battled in a brutal Unsanctioned match and the first-ever NXT North American champion was crowned in an explosive Ladder match, setting the bar incredibly high for the main roster stars to meet.
NXT Takeover New Orleans 2018
The Dusty Rhodes Classic wrapped up with the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line as The Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly defended against The Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne in a Triple Threat match while the rivalry between Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler came to a head in a match for the NXT Women’s Championship.
With championship matches all over the card and personal rivalries wrapping up in grand fashion, who emerged victorious and what does it mean for WWE’s most consistently acclaimed brand going forward?
Adam Cole, EC3, Killian Dain, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan and Ricochet kicked off Saturday’s spectacular, the allure of history fueling them as they put their bodies at risk, all in the name of becoming the first NXT North American champion in a Ladder match.
Ricochet made an immediate impact, popping the audience during his entrance and wowing them with his high-flying offense once the bell rang. Not to be one-upped, big man Dain delivered a suicide dive that wiped out half the field at ringside.
The massive Sullivan wreaked havoc, using a ladder to wipe out the rest of the field, his unmatched fury his greatest weapon.
Sensing the need to collude in order to combat the massive opposition, EC3 and Cole momentarily worked together to flatten Dain and Sullivan before the former Ring of Honor star delivered a Death Valley Driver to his ally, onto a ladder. A flurry of superkicks wiped out the competition as chants of “Adam Cole” rang throughout the arena.
Velveteen Dream seized the opportunity to steal the spotlight next, delivering his top-rope elbow drop to Ricochet, then climbing the ladder and delivering another from the tippy top of it to Sullivan. In the process, he launched himself higher in the air than the title.
The war continued, the six Superstars continuing to punish each other for the right to etch their names in the history books. In a notable spot, Ricochet launched himself off the top rope with a Shooting Star Press, landing on a prone EC3, who was sprawled out on a ladder.
Dream delivered a Death Valley Driver to Ricochet on a ladder. Sullivan returned to the fray, delivering a Freak Accident to EC3, off the apron, onto Dream, through another ladder. Dain followed up that spot with a slam to Cole, onto Ricochet and through yet another ladder.
In the finish, Cole knocked Ricochet off the ladder and became the first NXT North American champion.