NXT to Debut North American Championship at TakeOver: New Orleans

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

NXT will award a brand-new title at TakeOver: New Orleans on April 7 when it unveils the NXT North American Championship, WWE announced Wednesday.

A six-man ladder match will determine the champion, with EC3, Ricochet, Adam Cole, Killian Dain, Lars Sullivan and Velveteen Dream competing.

The NXT North American Championship will be the fifth title belt on WWE's developmental brand, joining the NXT Championship, NXT Women's Championship, NXT Tag Team Championship and WWE United Kingdom Championship.

To some extent, creating a new championship is a testament to NXT's growth. WWE may see the North American Championship as the brand's version of a secondary title such as the Intercontinental Championship on Raw and United States Championship on SmackDown Live.

At the same time, it's easy to envision the North American Championship slipping into irrelevance. That's largely happened with the secondary belts on Raw and SmackDown Live despite the best efforts of The Miz to elevate the intercontinental title.

And unlike Raw and SmackDown Live, NXT only has one hour of programming every week, compared to three for Raw and two for SmackDown.

The participants in the ladder match at TakeOver: New Orleans means the North American Championship should enjoy a strong debut. That momentum will only carry so far, though, and WWE's recent handling of secondary championships doesn't provide an encouraging outlook.

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