Hello and welcome back! Technically this could be considered the 15th week of the Wednesday Night War, but because NXT ran unopposed on Christmas Day, and AEW only had to compete with a clip show on New Year’s Day, I decided this is the 13th week of the series. How did they fair after enjoying a break over the holidays?
Wednesday Night War – Week #13 (15)
The last time we had a straight up week in the Wednesday Night War was on the 18th and NXT beat them in the ratings. Tony Khan publicly stated they would be listening to their fans more in 2020 after admitting some mistakes had been made, but will this be enough to turn things back in to their favor?
– While Pac is always fun to me, I’m sure many others are eagerly awaiting the rubber match between him and Kenny Omega. What else does he have to do to get his attention? It’s bordering on desperate. This is only good because Pac is being one hell of a bastard; probably shouldn’t swear but that’s his given nickname.
– Not sure what the deal is with MJF and DDP, but MJF is doing everything he can with what he’s been given. DDP can still move pretty considering he’s 63, but that’s all I can say about this appearance.
– Apparently the only thing more over than Luchasaurus is Orange Cassidy. Like I said during Dynamite, you could give Cassidy his own show where he sits there barely doing anything and it will draw in the millions; he’s super over despite hardly doing anything. Jungle Boy finally got a win, although it didn’t feel significant as he should’ve had one already.
– When The Dark Order said they were going to make Christopher Daniels in to the man he used to be, I got flashbacks from his days of Curry Man. I know that didn’t happen, but at least it kept me entertained during the inevitable decline of Evil Uno’s invitation.
– While the timing seemed off a little, the ending was really good. So much so that the fans in attendance turned on Moxley before they could reach the final minute to reveal he was only joking around when he said he’d joined the Inner Circle.
– Where do I start? I’d very much like to see AEW succeed, but it’s the second episode in a row where I have to ask some major questions of the booking and creative decisions. Firstly, why book Private Party so strongly in the first few weeks only to have them lose so miserably to a thrown together team of Omega and Page? The sooner they stop hurting their full-time tag teams the better.
– The whole Nightmare Collective needs to burn in a fire, it’s just not sucking me in at all and it’s seriously affecting the women’s division. Brandi Rhodes is cringe on a live microphone, the way she talked to Excalibur and some of her comments weren’t good ways of getting heat; it just highlights how terrible she is at the job. Give The Nightmare Collective someone who can really talk, or just let Awesome Kong lead things as she’s very experienced and doesn’t need anyone leading her at this point in her career.
– During the Riho and Kris Statlander match, Kris went for a pin cover that was nowhere near covering Riho (you could fit another two Riho’s in there).. yet the ref counts the pin anyways? This is the kind of unprofessional crap which makes people laugh at AEW; like The Dark Order guy throwing phantom punches at Dustin. If there’s no pin cover, don’t count the pinfall! Why am I having to explain this?
– So Sammy Guevara gets a pin on Christopher Daniels because Pentagon Jr keeps playing mind games with him, saying he’s over the hill and doesn’t cut it anymore. All this is happening while SCU is getting into it with the Dark Order, and The Lucha Brothers should probably be focusing on their upcoming match with the Rhodes Brothers. What the hell is going on? Is it leading to a Pentagon vs. Daniels match? Are we meant to feel sorry for Daniels because he’s what.. 49? You got DDP, Dustin Rhodes and so many old dudes getting physical on the show, so why single him out specifically?
– Speaking of which, why feed TB3 (Blade, Butcher, Bunny) to DDP after debuting them quite nicely only a few weeks ago? He’s 63-YEARS-OLD DAMMIT! Like MJF said, WCW is dead and so is DDP’s career. Stop feeding the current generation to someone who is undoubtedly a great and charismatic guy, but really should put his foot down and say NO! I’m not doing this just so the old fans can see a few diamond cutters.
– Very sad about the state of the Lucha Brothers. There’s no chance in hell they should ever be losing to Cody & Dustin.. who don’t get me wrong, are pretty strong singles competitors, but the Lucha Bros are one of the best tag teams in the world today, and in any other promotion (outside WWE & AEW) they would be dominant tag team champions. Outside of SCU and The Young Bucks, every other team is suffering a great deal from poor booking against The Elite & friends.
– Stop the clearly biased booking towards Cody, The Elite, and anyone he is close to. The only person in that group deserving of any kind of push is Kenny Omega because the fans are begging to get him back as a full-time singles wrestler. Outside of Omega, Page, Young Bucks, Cody, Brandi, and even Dustin need to make 2020 about the rest of the roster if they want Dynamite to succeed. Phew.. that was the most negative episode of Dynamite I’ve reviewed so far and it pains me to do so. I’m not enjoying being this critical, but it has to be done.
WWE NXT took some healthy steps at the end of 2019 in light of them inevitably losing some stars to Raw & SmackDown. Can they keep up the momentum in the Wednesday Night War by showing AEW how to put on a quality show? Let’s find out. Bear in mind I was getting really tired by the time I got around to watching this, so I may have missed some key moments.
– Wow, well they quickly gave Rhea Ripley a viable challenger in Toni Storm, who was the one who defeated Ripley to claim the NXT UK Women’s Championship. Io Shirai is super over with the crowd, so it’s sad to hear she’s not enjoying her time in NXT at the moment. This is really good for Kay Lee Ray as well, who has struggled to get over on NXT UK due to being pushed pretty quickly.
– Tommaso Ciampa’s vignette is proof of NXT’s strengths. It’s already one of my favourite promos of 2020, and I really want to see him claim “Goldie” back.
– Imperium were the rightful winners in the tag team encounter as Aichner and Barthel are great workers and deserve some recognition. The Forgotten Sons have done nothing to prove they deserve to reach the final again this year.
– Austin Theory is a diamond in the making and his win is what NXT’s all about. I can’t believe how good he is for his age, but Tyler Bate is of similar age and is just as great (if not more so). Still, this is what sets NXT apart from AEW.
– Pairing up Chelsea Green (fka Laurel Van Ness) and Robert Stone (fka Robbie E) of TNA Impact Wrestling fame is a logical step forward for their careers. I hope they’re able to make something of it because they both have talent, but they’ve never been utilized to their full potentials.
– Alex Shelley will partner with Kushida in the Dusty Tag Team Classic! Time Splitters reunion woo! For anyone who doesn’t know, they teamed together in New Japan with great success.
– The main event was everything you could ask for from a #1 contenders match, and the right man won in Keith Lee. He’s so incredibly over and if he doesn’t go on to win the NXT North American Championship? Then I’m gonna’ get on a plane to Florida and start a one-man riot outside of Full Sail. KEITH LEE! WOOP WOOP!
– Mia Yim vs. Kayden Carter was just filler. I’m still not sold on either of them, and it’s only a matter of time til NXT officials give up on them.
– The Johnny Gargano & Finn Balor feud doesn’t sit well with me for some reason. It feels like they’re trying too hard to find ways to talk down while not listening to what the other has to say. How do you insult someone for wanting to leave NXT to find more success? And how do you put down anyone for taking time to get cleared after picking up an injury? C’mon guys… seriously? I’m not feeling the heat, and Balor still hasn’t proved anything since returning to NXT. Gargano needs Ciampa to have a great feud, while Balor needs someone he can really get under the skin of. They don’t seem to compliment each other, but that’s just my observation and your view may differ. Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong in the coming weeks? I hope so.
I think I’ve already said enough to give you an idea of which show was better. And it’s not like NXT blew my socks off this week, but there’s not much I can nitpick compared to another lackluster Dynamite. I don’t get it… AEW has enough creative people and young talent to make it a viable alternative to any WWE show, yet they’re continuing to trip over their own feet. It feels like they’re trying to cram too much in to a short time frame, desperately trying to create new stars by forcing them on us; rather than letting the wrestlers grow organically and letting fans decide who gets the airtime. Dynamite is giving me a WCW vibe in the wrong way, which isn’t progress.
It should be about the next generation, bringing us new talents in a new way… rather than relying on the old guys (we give WWE enough criticism for doing this) to carry things. This puts my tally to 6-4-3 to NXT in the Wednesay Night War, which highlights their consistency to deliver quality programming while building new stars. AEW isn’t anywhere near them in this degree, as it’s random and the only stars they’re repeatedly plugging every week are owners (or related to) of the company.
Let’s put it this way, if Chris Jericho wasn’t the AEW World Champion they’d be in very serious trouble; and Jon Moxley isn’t the answer either. I’m afraid if AEW doesn’t start plugging new stars not related to the ownership of the company? They’re going to find themselves choking on NXT’s dust. I hope they can turn things around so I don’t have to keep being so critical. Thanks for reading everyone! See you next week.