For many fans and pundits alike Wrestlemania 34 was a super show, while for others the show was an utter disappointment. But love it or hate it, the whole week was unputdownable. Starting from Hall of Fame on Friday, to WWE NXT on Wednesday the whole week was full of drama, excitement and surprises.
But ask any wrestling fan and they will tell you that nothing in the week was better than the NXT Takeover New Orleans on Saturday, 7th of April. With 5 top top class matches it can easily be called the PPV of the year, if not the decade or century and millennium! And what a start it got with the 6 man ladder match for the newly inaugurated NXT North American Championship.
As mentioned in one of our previous articles, Dave Meltzer is one of the best known pundits in the world of Pro Wrestling. Many fans love him, while a lot despise him for his seeming bias in ratings. Till date out of his 60 odd 5-star rated matches, only 6 of them had been in WWE. 2 months back at NXT Takeover Philadelphia, Johnny Gargano and Andrade Cien Almas gave the world’s leading Wrestling company their first 5 star rated match since CM Punk and John Cena tore the house down at Money in the Bank 2011.
Well this time we didn’t have to wait too long to get our next 5-star match as WWE’s developmental territory has produced another instant classic in just over two months. At NXT Takeover New Orleans, the night before Wrestlemania 6 NXT superstars tore the house down to produce the company’s best ever Ladder match in 24 years(For people confused we are talking about the Ladder Match for the Undisputed Intercontinental Championship between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania X in 1994).
The night kicked off with the 6-man ladder match to crown the first ever NXT North American Championship. The match featured 6 of the top guys in the current roaster: The leader of the Undisputed Era – Adam Cole, Killian Dane – The Beast of Belfast from SaNiTy, The still unpinned Lars Sullivan, The extremely charismatic home grown talent Velveteen Dream, the returning former NXT rookie and worldwide superstar EC3, and the debuting world renowned The One and Only Ricochet.
The match started with a bang and continued to do so till the championship hanging over the ring was retrieved by the eventual champion(We’re not disclosing the result in case it might be a spoiler for people who haven’t watched).
Each of the 6 competitors brought their own unique styles to the foreplay. While the two leviathans battled it out with their heavyweight display of brutal strength, the débutante brought his incredible high-flying style to the ground. The returning superstar impressed with his all round ability while the mind games specialist brought his technical wrestling style; the home grown former Tough Enough contestant continued to impress with his risk taking abilities.
You might ask, what was so special about the match? Well at one point or the other, all the superstars had their moments of total domination in this match, where they showcased their individual skills to draw huge pops from the crowd.
EC3 slammed anyone and everyone to the mat, including the two 300+ pounders. Velveteen Dream showed zero concern for his health and dropped elbows from the top rope and even from the top of the ladder on almost everyone. The undefeated monster Lars Sullivan made jaws drop by executing “Freak Accidents” (his finisher) on EC3, by slamming him on Velveteen lying on a ladder. He later did the same by plucking 330 pounder Dane of the air and also by performing his finisher on him off the top of the ladder.
SaNiTy member Killian Dane showed his immense agility for a huge man when he performed a suicide dive on Sullivan and also when he Vader Bombed EC3 with Cole on his back! The debuting Ricochet probably produced the moment of the match when he performed an extraordinary Moonsault to the outside while he was being pushed off a ladder! Undisputed Era leader Adam Cole brought the all invited Super Kick party when he super-kicked all the 5 other competitors at a stretch!
The match was so awesome that the crowd started chanting “This is Awesome” a few minutes into the match. To add to that, towards the ending part the crowd started to chant “Fight Forever” in appreciation of the master-piece that was being performed in front of them.
This is one of those matches while seeing which, a keen follower will feel that it will be criminal if it ain’t rated 5-stars. Fortunately for us, Dave Meltzer obliged and did the right thing.
Well after a first 5-star match in 7 long years, WWE NXT followed up with another in about 60 days time. One can only wonder how long will it take the Black and Yellow brand to produce their next*.
*Spoiler alert, keep an eye for the next one. It might come very soon!