The 2018 NXT TakeOver: New Orleans pay-per-view is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday night and it appears as though the card has been finalized outside of any last-minute additions, which means it’s time for another look at the superstars on the roster who have been skipped over.
For whatever reason, these men and women from the brand weren’t deemed important enough to find a spot for at the event—at least as far as it’s currently being advertised. Some of those omissions might be justified, while others below are a bit more questionable. Let’s take a look at who will be sitting this show out.
From the Male Singles Division
— Buddy Murphy: At this point, I had just assumed Buddy Murphy was no longer on the NXT roster and had joined 205 Live for good, since he’s made no appearances for NXT in a long while and multiple for the cruiserweight division. He didn’t drop that weight to just do a guest spot in the tournament and then go back to the NXT live event schedule, right? The fact that they still classify him as an NXT star instead befuddles me, as he had no shot at competing here, but he had a legitimate chance at winning the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania. Oversight?
— Cezar Bononi: Bononi is in this weird state where he isn’t a live event scrub who only pops up on the television show to job out, but he’s not being granted a legitimate push, either. They want him to be a star for the future, yet not the immediate future. My guess is he’s being put on hold until they can form the stable they were thinking about doing, and that that won’t happen until at least the tapings after Mania.
— Drew McIntyre: McIntyre is still injured and has not yet been cleared to compete. He’s progressing and should be around soon enough, but I would assume he’d jump to the main roster before he’d work another stint in NXT.
— Fabian Aichner: Aichner is in the same type of role as Bononi, but with less promise of what’s to come. He isn’t quite as revered as Bononi and I think it’s going to take a lot longer for him to get to a spot where he’s actually on a TakeOver event, but I hope it does happen for him, as he’s got a good imposing look to him and he’s talented as hell.
— Kassius Ohno: NXT’s resident “jobber to the stars” of sorts, Kassius Ohno, has been more of a choke artist than a knockout artist since coming back to WWE. If he were to have been booked for this event, he would have lost anyway and probably had just been another person in the mix for the North American Championship, but there were bigger fish to fry.
— Lio Rush: If you’re looking for Lio Rush, you’re better off keeping your eyes open on 205 Live than on NXT, as I doubt WWE is going to look at someone like Rush and not want to utilize him there instead. If he does pop up in NXT any time soon coming up, he’ll just lose anyway.
— No Way Jose: No Way Jose went out of his way (Jose) to say that he’s going to fix the trajectory of his career, but that didn’t happen. He’s made a habit out of not doing anything noteworthy for a very, very long time, so I’m not surprised to see no attention going his way for this event.
— Wesley Blake: Poor Wesley Blake split with Buddy Murphy and received no singles push whatsoever before fading away into oblivion, and then he finally seemed to have something going for him when he announced that he would be in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, but that match never aired, nor was he even in that tournament in a first-round loss capacity. There goes that idea of a push.
From the Tag Team Division
The most noticeable absence from this section is Bobby Fish, who would normally have competed in the tag team title match on this card had he not succumbed to an injury that is forcing him to be out for however long his recovery will be.
The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament pretty much ran through all of the other teams in NXT and gave them a reason for why they aren’t competing here, as elimination from the bracket basically took them out of the running for a match.
Tyler Bate and Trent Seven of Moustache Mountain didn’t even get a chance to compete in their first-round match due to Bate’s injury, causing them to be replaced by Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne, who defeated The Brit-Am Bruisers Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. They followed that up by defeating SAnitY (taking Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe out of this event), who had previously eliminated Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss.
Heavy Machinery were taken out by The Street Profits, who in turn lost to The Authors of Pain, who also managed to knock off TM61 early on.
All of these tag teams served a purpose building up the NXT Tag Team Championship match that will be happening at TakeOver: New Orleans, so at least while they won’t be performing on that card, they were utilized in the formation of its lineup, rather than just not being put on television over the course of the past few months. That’s more than what some of them can normally say.
From the Women’s Division
This card is rather stacked as it is, and this time around, there just wasn’t room for any more matches in the women’s division but the standard NXT Women’s Championship affair, meaning it’s only Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler who are representing the female side of NXT.
Some of the names not booked for the show, as a result, are pretty noteworthy, while others aren’t so much because they’re much newer to the field.
For instance, it’s been a while since we’ve seen either member of The Iconic Duo, but Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have just gotten over breast augmentation surgeries and should be returning to the ring soon (hopefully for the main roster and in the women’s battle royal).
Kairi Sane is perhaps the next biggest omission, unless you count SAnitY’s Nikki Cross. The former was somewhat tied into this feud between Moon and Baszler, but could be held back for now in order to become the next contender once Baszler dethrones Moon and becomes the new top woman in charge. With Cross, well, SAnitY only has Killian Dain competing, so she might make an appearance to help him out ringside or she might just have fallen victim to the “nothing for you” creative dud right now.