Not much of what was revealed for NXT’s next live special on their Mar. 28 episode was terribly surprising. It would have been more of a shock if the grudge match the brand’s been building to for almost a year wasn’t on their WrestleMania weekend show, and WWE had already broke the news about the black-and-yellow brand’s new championship back when the episode was taped.
Doesn’t mean the flurry of news delivered for TakeOver: New Orleans wasn’t pretty dang exciting, however.
Before we even got into the arena, Tommaso Ciampa made good on his promise from the middle of last night to confront General Manager William Regal about Johnny Gargano. The GM came to the conclusion we thought he might (and since this was done in a segment filmed outside and presumably after the last taping, it hadn’t even officially been spoiled)... the former #DIY partners will face each other in an unsanctioned match in NOLA. If Gargano wins, he gets his job back. If Blackheart does... Johnny Wrestling is gone for good.
IT'S OFFICIAL!@RealKingRegal has announced that, at #NXTTakeOver: New Orleans, it'll be @ProjectCiampa vs. @JohnnyGargano in an #UnsanctionedMatch!— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 29, 2018
And if Ciampa wins... #JohnnyWrestling will be BANNED from #WWENXT! pic.twitter.com/b6l4MyfMLh
Regal then opened the show proper with the announcement of the new North American Championship. He touted it as a way to identify new talent from “the region”. But since he used the United Kingdom title as an example of what he meant and we’ve already seen Americans challenge for that, and considering he put an Irishman in the match to crown the first N.A. Champ a little later, it’s not clear there’s much definition to who gets to fight for the belt. It’s another secondary prize for a loaded roster though, so let’s not sweat the details.
EC3 was the first man to be named to the ladder match on April 7 which will determine the first champ. Before the night was over, Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan would be entered. And then the show closed with the final wrestler in the bout...
"I'll see you at #NXTTakeOver."@KingRicochet will be competing in the #LadderMatch to crown the inaugural #NorthAmericanChampion in New Orleans! #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/qhAJKBa83k— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 29, 2018
Here’s your spoiler-free line-up for the Smoothie King Center:
- Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) for the NXT Title
- Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler for the Women’s Championship
- Undisputed ERA (c) vs. the winner of The Dusty Rhodes Classic final between Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong/Pete Dunne for the NXT Tag Team Championship
- EC3 vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dain in a Ladder Match for the North American Title
- Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in an Unsanctioned Match
And if you want to see if anything changes, click here for a spoiler-y update (that doesn’t have Ciampa/Gargano for the reason stated above).