NXT TakeOver: New Orleans was a professional wrestling show in the NXT TakeOver series which took place on April 7, 2018 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event was produced by WWE, showcasing its NXT developmental brand, and streamed live on the WWE Network.
The card included matches that have results from scripted storylines and have results predetermined by WWE. Storylines were produced on the NXT television program. NXT TakeOver is a series of professional wrestling shows that began on May 29, 2014, as the WWE developmental league NXT held their second WWE Network exclusive live broadcast billed as NXT TakeOver. In subsequent months, the "TakeOver" moniker became the brand used by WWE for all of their NXT live specials. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia was the nineteenth overall show held under the NXT TakeOver banner, and the first to be held in 2018.
At NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, Ember Moon defeated Shayna Baszler to retain the NXT Women's Championship. After the match, Baszler attacked Moon. On the February 7 episode of NXT, Baszler stated that Moon was afraid of her. Later, a tweet from Moon was shown challenging Baszler to a rematch from TakeOver: Philadelphia for the title for the following week. The following week, the rematch ended in a disqualification when Kairi Sane attacked Baszler, thus allowing Moon to retain. After the match, Sane attacked Baszler. Two weeks later, after defeating Sane, Baszler called out Moon.
On the February 21 episode of NXT, NXT General Manager William Regal announced that there would be a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the winner would receive a shot at NXT Tag Team Championship at Takeover: New Orleans. The tournament began on the March 7 episode of NXT. Over the next couple of weeks, The Authors of Pain, Sanity and The Street Profits advanced to the next round by defeating TM-61, Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli and Heavy Machinery, respectively.
On the March 28 episode of NXT, NXT General Manager William Regal announced the introduction of the new NXT North American Championship. He was interrupted by EC3, who was making his return to WWE after previously appearing under the ring name Derrick Bateman. EC3 was subsequently announced by Regal as one of six wrestlers who would compete in a ladder match at Takeover to crown the inaugural champion. Later that night, Regal also announced the other five participants as Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan, Killian Dain and the debuting Ricochet.
At NXT TakeOver: Chicago in 2017, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, then teaming together in DIY, were defeated by The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar), failing to win back the NXT Tag Team Championship. After the match, Gargano and Ciampa stood on the stage, expressing sadness of defeat. Ciampa then turned heel on Gargano, attacking him and throwing him into the setup, and then hitting a Gargano with a knee. Ciampa would sustain an ACL injury following the match and would be out for several months. Gargano began to rise as a singles competitor, with Ciampa finding various ways to cost him big matches. At NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, Gargano was defeated by Andrade "Cien" Almas to retain the NXT Championship. After the match, with Gargano leaving up the ramp, Ciampa made his first appearance since the betrayal by attacking Gargano with a crutch. Over the next few weeks, Gargano developed an obsession for getting back at Ciampa, going as far as ambushing him outside the WWE Performance Center and attempting to break into his house. A match between the two would be made official on the March 28 episode of NXT, with added stipulations of an Unsanctioned match, and Gargano's NXT career on the line.
It was also announced that former Indianapolis Colts punter and current Barstool Sports personality Pat McAfee will join the pre-show panel.
This is the first ever TakeOver event to feature Spanish play-by-play commentary live from the ringside, as Spanish color commentator Marcelo Rodriguez announced via Twitter.
The event opened with a Ladder match for the NXT North American Championship involving EC3, Ricochet, Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan and Killian Dain. In the end, Ricochet attempted to retrieve the title but Cole pushed the ladder, causing Ricochet to fall. Cole retrieved the title to win the match.
After that, The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly) defended the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) and Roderick Strong and WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Trophy also on the line. Dunne performed the Bitter End on O’Reilly, but Strong attacked Dunne, voiding the pinfall at a two count. Strong performed End of Heartache on Dunne and placed O'Reilly on top of Dunne, causing the Undisputed Era to retain the titles and win the cup. After the match, Strong put on Cole's Undisputed Era armband, turning heel and joining the group.
In the penultimate match, Andrade "Cien" Almas, accompanied by Zelina Vega, defended the NXT Championship against Aleister Black. Whilst the referee was distracted, Vega performed a Hurricanrana off the ring apron into the steel steps on Black; Almas subsequently scored a near-fall. Black performed the Black Mass on Almas but Vega placed Almas’ foot on the bottom rope, voiding the pinfall at a two count. Almas performed a double knee smash on Black, who was seated in the corner, for a near-fall. Almas performed another double knee smash on Black, who was seated against the ring post, and attempted an elevated hammerlock DDT, but Black countered. Almas performed a hammerlock DDT on Black for a near-fall. Vega dove off the top rope but Almas caught Vega, allowing Black to perform the Black Mass on Almas to win the title.
In the main event, Johnny Gargano faced Tommaso Ciampa in an unsanctioned match. Ciampa performed a suplex off the announce table on Gargano. Gargano performed a powerbomb off the ring apron onto the exposed concrete on Ciampa. Gargano struck Ciampa with a crutch and performed a slingshot DDT on Ciampa for a near-fall. Gargano applied the Garga-No-Escape but Ciampa raked Gargano's eyes. Ciampa performed a powerbomb dropped into a Backstabber on Gargano for a near-fall. Gargano performed a Lawn Dart into an exposed turnbuckle and two superkicks on Ciampa, who was kneeling, for a near-fall. Ciampa performed a superbomb dropped into a Backstabber on Gargano for a near-fall. Ciampa attempted to strike Gargano with his knee brace but Gargano countered and applied the Garga-No-Escape, transitioning into an STF using the knee brace. Ciampa submitted, meaning Gargano won and was reinstated in NXT.
The event received widespread praise from fans and critics. Gene Guillot of The Times-Picayune described the show as "wrestling at its finest", involving "spectacular wrestling and incredible story telling" with "moment after moment of high impact". Guillot wrote that the "show kicked off with one of the best matches in NXT history and finished with another Match of the Year candidate that told one of the great stories in wrestling history". John Moore of Pro Wrestling Dot Net wrote that "each match delivered at a main event level", describing the main event between Gargano and Ciampa as a "perfect end of their year long tale". Matty Paddock of The Independent wrote that the event "delivered in breathtaking style", calling it "a classic night of wrestling that will be hard to match".
|North American Championship Match||Preview|
|Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler||Preview|
|Triple Threat Tag Team Match||Preview|
|Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Aleister Black||Preview|
|Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa||Preview|
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Adam Cole defeated EC3, Killian Dain, Lars Sullivan, Ricochet & Velveteen Dream in a Ladder match to win the inaugural NXT North American Championship (31:24)
- The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly) (c) defeated The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) & Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne in a Triple threat tag team match to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship and Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy (11:38)
- Aleister Black defeated Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) (w/ Zelina Vega) to win the NXT Championship (18:19)
- If Gargano wins, he will be reinstated to NXT. If Ciampa wins, Gargano will be banned from NXT forever.
Other on-screen talent
- NXT TakeOver: New Orleans at WWE.com
- NXT TakeOver: New Orleans Pre-Show on WWE Network
- NXT TakeOver: New Orleans on WWE Network
- NXT TakeOver: New Orleans (ES) on WWE Network
- NXT TakeOver: New Orleans at CAGEMATCH.net
|NXT TakeOver: New Orleans previews|
Takeover • Fatal 4-Way • R Evolution • Rival • Unstoppable • Brooklyn • Respect • Dallas • The End • Back to Brooklyn • Toronto • San Antonio • Orlando • NXT TakeOver: Chicago • Brooklyn III • WarGames • Philadelphia • New Orleans • Chicago II • Brooklyn IV • WarGames II • Phoenix • New York • XXV • Toronto II • WarGames III • Portland • Tampa Bay • TakeOver: In Your House • Boston •
|2018 World Wrestling Entertainment NXT pay-per-views|
|2018 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia • Royal Rumble • Elimination Chamber • Fastlane • NXT TakeOver: New Orleans • WrestleMania • Greatest Royal Rumble • Backlash • NXT TakeOver: Chicago II • Money in the Bank • Extreme Rules • NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV • SummerSlam • Hell in a Cell • Super Show-Down • Evolution • Crown Jewel • NXT TakeOver: WarGames II • Survivor Series • Starrcade • TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs