ADAM COLE BAY BAY!!!!!!! And other stuff too – NXT TakeOver: New Orleans Recap and Reaction

It’s a little late to tell you there are spoilers, I suppose.

So we’ve got a lot to cover this weekend, but don’t for a second believe that I’m going to half ass a second of this TakeOver show because HOLY SH&^.

That being said, this show may have seen a new NXT Champion and Women’s Champion crowned, but it was absolutely all about ADAM COLE BAY BAY!

Let’s do this.


You didn’t think I was going to type all of this out did you?  No sense burying the lead.  Make no mistake, nobody came out of this match looking like a chump.  I even have to give props to Lars Sullivan, who I thought might be a touch of a detriment to what I knew some of these guys would put into a ladder match, because he even took some gnarly bumps.  If you needed any proof whatsoever that the hype Ricochet had was real, this is all you’ll need.  The man landed a flawless moonsault to the outside from a ladder that was being pushed over.  Let that sink in.  He had the level of control over his own body that he made that happen with wildly limited stability to kick off.  In the end, all six guy went up the ladders and fought back down.  Sullivan appeared to be on his way up until Ricochet leap-frogged onto his back and cause his ladder to topple over, and in that moment, Adam Cole saw the opportunity.

Adam Cole is the new and first-ever NXT North American Champion.  If his most recent string of interviews is any indication, he’d very much like to work a program with Velveteen Dream, so hopefully we get that soon.

Sad Emoji: And the new NXT Women’s Champion….

I’m still not on board this whole leap frog thing they’ve given Baszler, but after giving it a lot of thought you have to realize that Ember Moon only has that belt because they sent Asuka to the main roster to make it so.  She did fight her way through the women’s division, but never could get the job done at the top so they had to send Asuka away in order for her to actually win the belt, and even in that match she wasn’t the crowd favorite.  I still want to know where the hell Nikki Cross disappeared to.  In any event, Shayna gives you three options, and here Ember Moon elected to “nap”.  Shayna wins by referee stoppage.


Adam Cole (Bay Bay) was banged up as hell going into this one, and after about two minutes in the ring with AoP, he might as well have been dead.  All three teams were out to beat the hell out of each other, and much like the ladder match, they all looked good doing it.  With Adam Cole put through an announcers table and AoP incapacitated, Pete Dunne landed the Bitter End on O’Reilly for what appeared to be the start of a Dunne-Strong Title Reign, but then the swerve came.  Roderick Strong slid back into the ring and kicked Dunne in the back of the head to break up the pin, then landed a neckbreaker and rolled O’Reilly over him for the pinfall.  Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly retain, and Roderick Strong has joined The Undisputed Era, or as Michele referred to it, “it’s like a little Bullet Club, with a shittier name.”


Watching this show was borderline exhausting.  The show kicks off with that incredible ladder match, then a surprisingly good showing from Baszler in a match that featured an Eclipse to the outside, and you follow that one with the Roderick Strong swerve and Cole leaving TakeOver with two belts!!!  So by the time you get here, you might think “oh they’ll probably slow the pace here a little bit before Gargano-Ciampa tear the house down.”  And you know what, you are out of your f*^&ing mind because these two laid it all out there.  Not even a full minute into the match, Black had already launched into moonsaulting to the outside.  This match was an absolute clinic, and honestly by the time it was over I didn’t care who was going to win because they both deserved it.  In the end, Zelina Vega tried to cross body Black from the top rope but he moved and Almas caught her, tying up his hands so he couldn’t block the Black Mass that swung in over top of her flailing body.  Aleister Black is the new NXT Champion.  (Now go win the Andre Battle Royal, Almas)

Fight Forever!

You’re not getting a recap out of me.  Honestly, I shouldn’t have given you as much as I already did here because you owe it to yourself even if you’re the most casual of wrestling fan to watch this entire show.  This match was the No-DQ sequel to their Cruiserweight Classic match, and while it may have just been the emotion of the build, it was very much their Empire Strikes Back.  This is what wrestling is supposed to be.  It’s a well crafted story thread played out by phenomenal athletes.  I’ve already seen a ton of wrestling this weekend, and if I’ve gotten anything out of it, it was a refresher course in why wrestling is so wonderful.  Progress Wrestling Chapter 67 reminded me that it doesn’t have to be intense melodrama as long as the performers are clearly enjoying themselves, and NXT TakeOver: New Orleans showed beyond anything else that well crafted story changes everything.  I don’t even know what the promo to follow will sound like, but Roderick Strong threw a hell of a swerve in that tag match and it climbed from a storyline that saw his turn down the offer, fail with AoP at War Games, fail in his quest for the NXT, UK and Cruiserweight Championships alone, and I’m assuming finally come to the realization that he can’t beat them, so he might as well join them.

I understand that wrestling isn’t real.  I’m not here because I truly believe that these guys are beating the hell out of each other (I mean, they really are, but in a controlled way).  Professional Wrestling and Sports Entertainment is no different than your favorite show with an athletic element to it.  There’s actors, some good, some bad.  There are multiple on-going story threads, you know, like various clans strategically plotting to take a certain metallic throne, that isn’t given the luxury of a lengthy off-season for their room of writers to craft continuations from season to season.  They’re doing this one or two nights a week, 52 weeks a year, and in instances like the Seth Rollins-Triple H build from last year, they’re weaving three years of story variation into a broader story arch.  Do we get a little obsessive?  Maybe.  Do we love it?  Absolutely.  Oh, and Johnny Gargano won by submission, locking in an STF using Ciampa’s own knee brace across the face.  Welcome back, Johnny Wrestling.