Hi everyone! We’re in to the 10th week of the Wednesday Night War. WWE NXT looks to keep its edge after two straight wins in the ratings, while AEW Dynamite seeks to get back on track after a dreadful fall last week in the Wednesday Night War.
Wednesday Night War – Week #10
After losing over 300k viewers in one week, can the All Elite Wrestling roster put Dynamite back in to contention? Let’s see.
– The first match was exciting, yet short for a six man tag. The last spot was easily the most memorable thing. Fans made note of having two matches back-to-back in the first thirty minutes of the program. This contrasted heavily to the previous episode, when Le Champion opened with the Celebrashon.
– Fenix vs. Trent was another decent match, but didn’t pull me in like expected. Lucha Brothers had to come back strong after losing to Best Friends last week.
– Cody consistently gets a heart warming reception, and I had similar thoughts about his scar reminding him of failure.
– Jon Moxley interrupting Joey Janela’s big man talk with one simple word: “Kids”. His entrance is one of the best at pumping up the crowd.
– The Dark Order initiation is giving me second thoughts about joining. Not minding the slow build, it’s like nothing else and I want to see where it goes.
– They left the best part of the Nyla Rose segment til the commercial. Luckily, they showed the reply of her powerbombing Shanna and the referee through a table.
– Chris Jericho updating “The List” to the “Lexicon of Le Champion”, made me laugh out loud. Never stop evolving Chris.
– While I wish it was Luchasaurus getting the shot at Jericho, I know Jungle Boy will benefit a great deal. AEW wants to mold him in to a young stud for the girls, and it’s a good start if we can put win-loss records aside.
– Like I said last week, Kris Statlander is impressive. Even more so now she’s found an alien image. Beating the #1 contender in only her second outing is the biggest win of her career so far, and she didn’t look afraid of Awesome Kong.
– Pentagon Jr. finally getting a singles match and a victory over Christopher Daniels. I’m a big fan of Pentagon as he’s produced several classics before signing with AEW (Kenny Omega and Sami Callihan spring to mind). He’s World Championship material, so if the Lucha Brothers aren’t winning the tag titles soon, then perhaps they should go solo for a while.
– TNT giving NXT free advertisement. I’m not a business guru or anything, but it doesn’t make sense to plug a direct rival on your commercials. There was also audio issues in the opening match.
– Where do I start with Cody? He sounded disappointed at having no help from his family & friends, and desperate in his attempts to entice MJF in to a match. And he’s still making jabs at WWE, although it was easily missed. And since when do faces offer a heel a boatload of money and free stuff to wrestle them? Just find the guy and hit him repeatedly til he agrees.
– I have tried, but have yet to connect with Joey Janela. He’s had some good matches, but usually only when weapons are involved. He doesn’t come across like a star, and the main event was predictably average and one-sided.
– Jake Hager corpsing almost every week. And while it’s funny to see him enjoying himself, I’m sure he’s supposed to be acting serious. Someone send for the man!
– Brandi Rhodes looks like a million dollars, but when she talks.. it’s like listening to a badly acted superhero TV series. She’s clear in the delivery, but it sounds too rehearsed.
– They built Hikaru Shida up to face Riho in the past few weeks. But again we see a low, or unranked competitor beating the #1 contender? I don’t understand why #1 contenders keep losing like this, before they have a chance to challenge for the title. Statlander winning was great, but did it have to be against Shida? What about #2, 3 or 4?
– Jericho copying Moxley’s ending from last week. It’s a bit lazy, and I’d have preferred him sending The Inner Circle down to the ring for a chaotic finish; seeing as they outnumber him considerably.
Last week was tough to see any significance in, as it marked the sixth time we’d seen NXT’s talented roster in eight days (Raw > NXT > SmackDown > TakeOver > Survivor Series > NXT). So with a whole week gap to refresh, I went in to this episode eager to find out how they’d progress rivalries on the road to December 18th, and NXT TakeOver: Portland in February.
– Wow, the ending of the opening match with Killian Dain & Pete Dunne! Dain needs to fall on his opponents more often, he might win a championship. Seriously though, I’m glad they gave Dain something as he deserves it with his latest performances.
– I’ve said it since the day he showed up in NXT, but Keith Lee is a mega star and the fans are 100% basking in his glory. Don’t screw this up WWE! You got a major player here. Am also digging the cocky attitude from Kyle O’Reilly on the mic.
– There are multiple challengers to face Adam Cole for the NXT title. Will it be Finn Balor? Tommaso Ciampa? Keith Lee? They gotta’ settle it soon. Triple H and the writing team have done a sweet job putting these pieces in to place, as it’s not easy to predict who will go on to face Cole.
– Xia Li gets a promo!? Neat. She didn’t have to say much to be effective. While the match was shorter than I’d hoped, Xia Li showed her hand really well against the champion Shayna Baszler.
– Refreshing to see Kassius Ohno, it’s been a while since he’s been on NXT UK.. never mind NXT. His match against Riddle is the best they’ve had together (Riddle squashed him several times a few months ago); as Ohno uses all the British influence he’s picked up. Kassius Ohno is reliable and capable of working a good match with anyone.
– The Forgotten Sons got a win against two EVOLVE jobbers, and they were put over well and didn’t take up too much time. A little stiff in some of the offense, but otherwise perfect.
– Dakota Kai being attacked by Mia Yim, and Rhea Ripley getting knocked out by The Horsewomen segment. Excellent! Truly great to see Rhea isn’t invincible, as Shayna’s been made to look second rate against her specifically. Loved the intensity and how Shayna reacted, like it was a huge weight lifted off her shoulders.
– Raul Mendoza looked happy to be facing the legendary KUSHIDA… then BANG! Cameron Grimes outta’ nowhere. Another moment made, leading to yet another entertaining match. Felt a little sorry for Mendoza, but that spot was epic.
– Another great main event, ending with Finn Balor’s interference; which luckily didn’t end it or influence the result too much. Keith Lee’s reaction, yeah! That’s some real emotion shining through. William Regal set up matches for the December 18th episode, with Baszler vs. Ripley, and Balor vs. Ciampa vs. Lee.
– I’m trying my hardest to find something. NXT was flawless this week.. so if I were to say anything bad I’d be seriously nitpicking. Didn’t feel like any wasted minutes.
This week’s Wednesday Night War is easier to decide. NXT wins because it was a flawless show which kept me entertained throughout, while AEW has some questionable things going on at the moment. Recent episodes haven’t felt the same, and it’s likely because they’re trying to make new stars too quickly. It’s a rush job, as Jericho’s likely to continue picking his challengers to get around the win-loss records. They also need to focus on themselves and stop advertizing the “other show”, because the competition is fierce and there’s more rewards putting your own brand over all day, every day.
I wouldn’t be surprised if NXT wins in the ratings for a third week in a row.* Hoping for more urgency from AEW in the coming weeks, but if their ratings decline even further? There’s not much they can do. We’re back to an even 4-4-2 (not the football formation) in the Wednesday Night War tally, and I feel like the pendulum is swinging more in NXT’s favour. Tune in next time to see who breaks the deadlock. Thanks for reading guys! See you next week.
*After seeing the rating, it seems last week’s Dynamite rating is unlikely to be a regular thing, meaning both shows are evenly split. For the second week in a row, it appears I enjoyed the lesser rated show. Yowie wowie!