Preview: 6-Man Ladder Match For The Inaugural WWE North American Championship, NXT Takeover: New Orleans (4/7/18)

Just over one year ago, WWE introduced the WWE United Kingdom championship and it has been defended in NXT as well as other promotions around the world like Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) and PROGRESS Wrestling. This year WWE is rolling out the WWE North American Championship with the inaugural champion to be decided in a six-way ladder match at NXT: Takeover New Orleans. NXT may steal the weekend before we even get to WrestleMania on Sunday, with a star studded lineup of veterans and fresh faces. Time will tell if the WWE North American Championship will live up to it’s name and be defended across North America the way the WWE United Kingdom championship is, but this title will be more prestigious than just a mid-card secondary championship for NXT. Triple H gave us a first look at the WWE North American Championship and it’s certainly a throwback to the big titles of fifty years ago in pro wrestling. Let’s break down all six competitors and their odds of taking home the gold in the Big Easy this Saturday night live on the WWE Network.

Killian Dain

Photo: WWE

“The Beast Of Belfast” hasn’t gotten too many singles opportunities in his WWE career to date and this could be a breakthrough victory. Dain was arguably the show stealer of the NXT War Games match in November, he moves around the ring much faster than many Heavyweights with an unpredictable move-set. Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan have unfinished business after they took each other out of contention for the NXT championship in a four-way number one Contender’s match on NXT TV two months ago. The two big behemoths of the match may have their eyes on the prize more this time but it will be more of a challenge for them climbing the ladder than Ricochet for example. If Dain has the ladder tipped over on him that would be a lot of weight colliding with the mat or the floor, his chances aren’t overwhelmingly positive in this car crash spectacle. The rumours are pointing to Sanity going to the main roster after WrestleMania weekend so this may be Dain’s last chance to impress the NXT faithful or he gets help from his stablemates in the No-Disqualification’s environment and brings the title down from the rafters.

odds of victory: 18-1


At twenty-nine years old, There aren’t many as exciting in the ring as Ricochet and he may be the worlds best high-flyer after fifteen-plus years of experience. Oddly enough, Ricochet has not been in more than a handful of ladder matches despite his wild in-ring style. Rest assured though, “The Future Of Flight” has been waiting for a match like this to show off revolutionary high-risk moments we have never seen before with a ladder. Pro Wrestling Guerilla along with New Japan Pro Wrestling among other companies have provided the absolute best of Ricochet the past few years and Ricochet has past altercations with Adam Cole that could be further exploited. The nonstop, care-free and fluid offense of Ricochet has been beloved around the world but it’s Ricochet’s first chance to prove what he can do on the big stage of WWE in New Orleans. The fans will have to catch their breath after this performance and Ricochet is the favorite going in, that’s why he may chase the winner of this match down the road instead for future rematches at the WWE North American Championship.

odds of victory: 6-1

Velveteen Dream

Photo: WWE

After a blockbuster spectacle with Aleister Black last Fall, Velveteen Dream’s career has only gone up even after a pinfall loss. Dream is everything WWE enjoys out of a young and hungry athlete: arrogant but he can back it up. Many have already fallen to the Purple Rainmaker elbow drop, even Kassius Ohno who had double the experience of Velveteen Dream. The ladder match stipulation could favor Dream, the former Tough Enough competitor thrives in new settings and is just as aerodynamic as any competitor in NXT, with the exception of Ricochet. This would be the biggest win of the former Patrick Clarke’s career but he may have to wait a little while before he can claim a victory over six elite pro wrestlers in one match.

odds of victory: 25-1

Lars Sullivan

Photo: WWE

The past year has been all about building Lars Sullivan on NXT, with little effort Sullivan squashes them all, left and right. Sullivan has added a top rope headbutt to his offense of power moves and it sets up the Freak Accident perfectly. Sullivan can’t just manhandle his opponents and hope to win this time however, he will need to have his head on a swivel. If the action goes to the floor however, Lars Sullivan will be in top form looking to throw the smaller competitors onto ladders and out of the match entirely. The first WWE North American champion should he somebody that embodies North America with a consistent string of excellent matches. That isn’t Lars Sullivan yet but he is improving with every match and a monster champion is hard to keep your eyes off.

odds of victory: 40-1

Adam Cole 

Photo: WWE

The Undisputed Era has a big night, Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole (replacing an injured Bobby Fish, who suffered a knee injury at a WWE live event) defend the NXT tag team championships against the WWE Dusty Classic finalists and Cole receives his second WWE championship match of his career, in one night pulling double duty. Adam Cole was unable to defeat Drew McIntyre when McIntyre was NXT champion so this could be a new starting point for Cole and he never disappoints in a big match scenario. The Undisputed Era may not last long in NXT and they shouldn’t, the WWE main roster is in need of fresh tag teams and a dynamic heel like Adam Cole. That’s why Cole could be on his way to Raw or Smackdown Live sooner rather than later but he would make for a fantastic first WWE North American champion if he defended against Donovan Dijak, Ricochet, Lio Rush and others . Cole is the complete package and he knows how to wrestle smart, Cole may just lie on the floor and bide his time until he scales the ladder and steals the victory.

odds of victory: 8-1


Photo: Impact Wrestling

EC3 was the first competitor announced for this match by William Regal on NXT TV and how appropriate would it be if he was the winner and he could claim he should have been awarded the championship like he had thought. A future feud with Ricochet would benefit both men, Ricochet gaining the fans support for the chase and EC3 cheating his way out, every single time they get in the ring. There will surely be lots of chaos in this one and if it’s a lengthy match that just makes it better for EC3. Cole and EC3 are a couple of the best heels today so one will have to be smarter than the other. It should all boil down to Ricochet earning the fans adulation only to be shoved off the ladder by the eventual winner and former NXT competitor as Derrick Bateman, EC3.

odds of victory: 4-1