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Rumored change to NXT TakeOver: New Orleans could point to an issue with one Superstar (SPOILERS)

There’s an interesting rumor going around, which originated with Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio over the weekend, that could point to an injury or some kind of issue with a guy whose star was rising in NXT until recently.

Discussing this means discussing spoilers for the brand’s recent tapings and plans for their pre-WrestleMania 34 TakeOver: New Orleans show, so... you’ve been twice warned by this point. Here goes...

According to Meltzer, the original plan for the NXT title match on April 7 was Lars Sullivan vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas.

Sullivan was definitely in the midst of a (pun intended) monster push leading into last month’s TakeOver: Philadelphia. After a win at WarGames, he worked his way into the #1 contender Fatal 4Way eventually won by Johnny Gargano. In the wake of that, they seemed to be setting up another live event showcase for him against SAnitY’s Killian Dain, Roderick Strong or both, and then...

Strong ended up on the pre-show, Dain ran-in during Adam Cole’s Extreme Rules match with Aleister Black and Lars was nowhere to be found. He didn’t appear at last week’s two nights of taping in Atlanta, either. At those shows, Black was booked for the match with Almas in New Orleans that Meltzer claims was originally pencilled in for Sullivan.

Now, Black vs. Almas makes a ton more sense than Sullivan vs. Almas from just about every conceivable angle. Aleister’s better built for a main event-caliber match, is the right alignment for a program against the heel champ and has history with Cien going back to his own televised debut at the pre-’Mania show last year.

But, if WWE wanted to save Black vs. Andrade for Chicago or Brooklyn, they could have put a non-title match (cough - Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa - cough) atop the New Orleans card and seen what Lars could do.

They’ve allegedly opted to not go that route, at a time where Sullivan has disappeared (and gone mostly silent on social media, for the conspiracy theory-minded crowd).

Something’s probably up, but who knows? Keep watching...

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