Who should win each 2018 NXT Year End Awards?
The 2018 NXT Year End Award nominees were all announced on the January 2, 2019 edition of NXT. There will be 9 different awards including Male Superstar of the Year, Female Superstar of the Year, Overall Superstar of the Year, Breakout Star of the Year, Match of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, NXT Takeover Event of the Year, and Future Star of the Year. Several top superstars including Undisputed Era, Shayna Baszler, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, Andrade 'Cien' Almas, Aleister Black, Ember Moon, The Velveteen Dream, and Tommaso Ciampa were nominated for awards:
NXT Takeover of the Year: NXT Takeover: NXT New Orleans
NXT Takeover: New Orleans was the best NXT Takeover event of 2018. NXT Takeover: Philadelphia did have 2 MOTY contenders and a pretty good NXT Tag Team Title match but both Shayna Baszler vs Ember Moon and Kassius Ohno vs The Velveteen Dream floundered. NXT Takeover: Chicago II also had several good matches but both the NXT Women's Championship match between Shayna Baszler vs Nikki Cross and the NXT Championship match between Aleister Black vs Lars Sullivan could have been much better. NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV was almost perfect but a concussion suffered from EC3 prevented the EC3 vs Velveteen Dream match from being much better. NXT Takeover: War Games II would have to be the number two choice as both shows were nearly perfect.
However, NXT Takeover: New Orleans was slightly better than NXT Takeover: War Games II. The card started with one of the best opening matches ever as debuting superstars like Ricochet and EC3 faced off with the Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole, Killian Dain, & Lars Sullivan in a ladder match where Adam Cole won his first title in WWE. The second Shayna Baszler vs Ember Moon match was a huge improvement from their disappointing first match at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia and the triple threat NXT Tag Team Title match was a solid affair that was overshadowed by Roderick Strong's shocking heel turn. Andrade 'Cien' Almas and Aleister Black then had an excellent match where Andrade 'Cien' Almas finally got his comeuppance when Aleister Black won the NXT Championship due to unintentional interference from Zelina Vega.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa then had one of the best WWE matches of all time. This match was unsanctioned so there were no rules and Johnny Gargano needed to win in order to get his job back. This match definitely deserved to be the main event and was just incredible.