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NXT TakeOver: New Orleans match card & rumors (SPOILERS)

WWE.com

NXT held their final tapings before WrestleMania 34 at Full Sail Live on Mar. 7, and as such moved a lot of the way toward their next WWE Network special, Takeover: New Orleans.

There’s still some details to be ironed out in backstage segments, but several big questions about the card for Saturday, April 7 at Smoothie King Center were answered in Florida on Wednesday night.

Here’s the card, as it stands based on spoilers from the taping (get them in full here):

- Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) for the NXT championship

This was actually made official after the episode which aired on WWE Network this week, with Black earning the spot by beating Killian Dain. A contract signing next week will seal the deal. That was taped at Center Stage, but further interactions were filmed this week, so expect plenty of heat on this by the time we get to N’Awlins.

- Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s title

This hasn’t aired yet, but was set-up in Atlanta last month. After getting disqualified in the first rematch and then getting her Mae Young Classic finals win back from Kairi Sane, The Queen of Spades again targeted Dakota Kai. That led to another run-in with the champ, and General Manager William Regal booked another rematch. Still think it could have a stipulation added before we get to Louisiana, but we’ll see.

- EC3, Ricochet, Adam Cole, Killian Dain, Velveteen Dream and Lars Sullivan in a Ladder Match to determine the first NXT North American champion

This was the big one, both for the news of a secondary men’s singles title, and because EC3 and Ricochet are here and competing in WWE under the names they made famous elsewhere. Before the night was over in Winter Park, they’d had a big old brawl to sell it, too.

- Authors of Pain vs. Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong vs. Undisputed ERA in the Finals of The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament for the NXT Tag Team titles

This was supposed to be the winners of The Dusty challenging Undisputed ERA for the belts, but Bobby Fish’s knee injury led to their calling an audible. There doesn’t seem to have been an official announcement in the arena about Fish, but word is he’s about to go under the knife, and Cole ran in with Kyle O’Reilly to break up the planned finals match between AoP and Dunne/Strong. It could be they’re leaving the door open for a quick return should Fish only need a scope, otherwise the Panama City Playboy will be pulling double duty... or there’s another twist in this story yet to come.

And there’s a highly anticipated match they took another step toward making...

- Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano

Gargano got around his “termination papers” at the taping by sneaking into Full Sail in a luchador mask (please let it have been a La Sombra hood) to attack his old partner. That was it, but Mr. Regal will have to weave some kayfabe contractual magic to book this anyway, and that can happen in his office.


As is the norm given NXT’s loaded roster and limited run time, that leaves some big names unaccounted for - although a six-man for the new strap certainly helps. Given the multi-man matches and the usual structure of TakeOvers, these five matches are probably it, so sorry Eric Young, Kairi Sane (plus the rest of the women’s roster), TM61 and others. That’s how it goes down in black-and-yellow town.

Let us know what you think about the latest TakeOver line-up below.

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