Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on NXT TakeOver: New Orleans coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
NXT Championship Match: Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) vs. Aleister Black = Hot / Lukewarm
Almas has surprised me as champion. I didn’t think he’d be as interesting as he’s been, and even though I have to admit that a good portion of that is dedicated to Zelina Vega, she’s still not the one getting in the ring and wrestling for him.
Black has had some very good matches on a very consistent basis, so when he’s coupled up with Almas, who has been doing the same, I can’t help but think to myself “okay, let’s see what you guys have” and be willing to sit back and just enjoy it.
I don’t think this will be my favorite part of the night, but I do expect to be satisfied by the end of it and looking forward to what’s next for both of them.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler = Lukewarm / Cold
I was much more into this feud before they wrestled the last time, and now that they have — and, more importantly, haven’t followed it up with anything but Ember Moon being mad at Shayna Baszler for being a bully — I find myself not caring.
That’s not to say that I think this will be bad. It’ll be fine, if not good, but the feud itself has done nothing for me and the promise of this being something that steals the show just isn’t there in my mind.
I’m more interested in who WWE chooses to be the next person to pair up with Baszler once she wins the title, and trying to figure out when Moon will move up to the main roster, than I am about anything that will happen here.
NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: Adam Cole vs. EC3 vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Ricochet vs. The Velveteen Dream = Hot
Ladder matches are fun, this is the crowning of a brand new champion which may or may not be a very effective midcard title for NXT, I’m a big fan of EC3 and The Velveteen Dream, I’ve heard great things about Ricochet (not too familiar with him), Adam Cole has his benefits, it’ll be interesting to see Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan duke it out as the brand’s two monsters, and I really don’t know what else I have to say in order to justify why this is a Hot on the scale.
I’m rooting for EC3 or TVD, for sure, but in a way, I feel like WWE can’t go wrong with any of these guys winning this match, so that’s even more of a reason to like it.
Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa = Hot
This very well has the chance to be the best match of the year in WWE, based off previous track records.
The feud is hot, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa have killed it in their performances regarding this program, and the gimmick allows them to have even more flexibility for what they can do.
I see no reason why I shouldn’t go into this match with high expectations, even if I’m going to try to taper that off just a bit so I don’t over-hype it too too much and find myself being disappointed that it was just great instead of super awesome perfection or anything of that caliber.
Ehhh….look, I’m into this in a certain way, and I’m also not.
The team of Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne does nothing for me. It seems like it’s an oddball “throw two singles stars together because we don’t know what to do with them” scenario WWE does from time to time and I don’t feel like they really have much of a place here.
The Undisputed Era’s lack of Bobby Fish is interesting, but I wouldn’t call it an upgrade, nor a downgrade. It’s more of a lateral move where there is potential for this to feel a little strange as Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly may not have the same chemistry together as tag team partners. We’ll see.
The Authors of Pain aren’t going to win and they need to go up to the main roster, so I’m just waiting for that to happen at this point. I like them, but this isn’t their match, and since I’ve already seen them against The Undisputed Era before, I’m not craving it.
This could be better, but it could be much worse, and even if this is just “okay” or “pretty good” instead of as great as other tag team fights we’ve had, but the other matches live up to their hype, then this is going to be an amazing event.
Those are my thoughts, but how do you feel about these particular feuds? What’s hot and what’s cold in your mind? Fill us in on your point of view in the comments below!