The WWE NXT TakeOver Philadelphia event was yet another critically acclaimed show from the WWE Network exclusive show. However, at the end of the day, the huge matches and high-quality performances did not result in a single title change, but instead set up the WWE for their big show in April, during WrestleMania weekend. With the NXT TakeOver Philadelphia show over with, and TV tapings started for next week’s show, here is a look at what the WWE seems to have planned for their WrestleMania weekend TakeOver event.
The WWE NXT Title
In what some are calling a five-star match, Andrade Cien Almas successfully defended his WWE NXT title against Johnny Gargano. While announcer Mauro Ranallo kept reminding the audience about the similarities between Gargano and another underdog, Daniel Bryan, the WWE chose to keep the title on Almas and do it with a three count in the center of the ring.
However, things look to be headed in two different directions for the two WWE NXT superstars after NXT TakeOver Philadelphia. Since this is the third time Almas has beaten Gargano, he won’t get another title shot anytime soon. Instead, after the match, Gargano’s former tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa came out and bashed Gargano with a crutch and ended the show with fans booing him out of the building.
On the other hand, Aleister Black had a huge night. He started off winning three awards — for Male NXT Competitor of the Year, NXT Breakout Star of the Year, and Match of the Year (with Velveteen Dream). Then, Black pinned Adam Cole in a hard-hitting anything-goes match.
From the look of it, the WrestleMania weekend NXT TakeOver show would likely see Andrade Cien Almas defend his title against Aleister Black. Also, Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa is almost a guarantee.
Andrade "Cien" Almas defeats Johnny Gargano to retain the NXT Championship in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. It's early but that's easily the best match of 2018, pic.twitter.com/5ib4vjF4BR
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 28, 2018
The WWE NXT Tag Team Titles
The WWE NXT tag team titles were defended in a huge match with the monster tag team of The Authors of Pain taking on the champions of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish. The match was power vs. technical skills and O’Reilly and Fish won a great match.
The end of the match between Aleister Black and Adam Cole almost ended differently when Fish and O’Reilly ran out and interfered. However, Sanity came out and fought them off, making it look like O’Reilly and Fish will set up a feud with Sanity, possibly leading to a tag title match at NXT TakeOver on WrestleMania weekend.
The wildcard here concerns whether or not Authors of Pain is leaving yet. New signees War Machine was shown in the crowd, and they will likely start to make their names known as well very soon.
— Hanson (@WarBeardHanson) January 28, 2018
WWE NXT Women’s Title
Ember Moon is still the champion, surviving an arm injury to barely pick up the win over Shayna Baszler. However, after the match, Baszler attacked and injured Moon even further. Expect these two women to continue their feud, which could possibly stretch to a rematch at the next NXT TakeOver event.
WWE U.K. Championship
The WWE U.K. Championship was not on the line at NXT TakeOver Philadelphia. However, there was a television taping for next week’s episode (via 411mania), and there was a No. 1 contender’s match on that show. In that match, Roderick Strong beat Tyler Bate and earned the No. 1 contenders spot. It seems like WrestleMania weekend might be too long to wait to pay that off.
There is also a question of whether the U.K. championship will be on the NXT TakeOver show or at WrestleMania itself to give Pete Dunn a bigger stage to show the world how great he is. Regardless, the top contender’s spot was awarded on NXT television, so it will likely be a focus there leading up to the next NXT TakeOver event.