Hi folks! We continue to the 7th week of the Wednesday Night War. Apologies, I did my best to focus on both shows, but it was difficult due to personal reasons. What I know is there’s hardly anything between them from my point of view.
Wednesday Night War – Week #7
The first ever post PPV Dynamite needs to set up new storylines and rivalries in ways which feel logical. Did they manage it?
- Showing the aftermath of Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley. Kenny looked disappointed when told that Moxley is cleared while he isn’t. Jon’s later open challenge led to Darby Allin accepting it later in the night, which is sure to tear the house down next week.
- Admired Evil Uno putting over Marko Stunt, before the very well-received return of Luchasaurus. Watch this space, Jurassic Express could be big stars in a year or two.
- The whole MJF and Chris Jericho segment. Also Cody getting busted open yet again, when he really could’ve been wrote out early on to save his forehead anymore damage.
- Pac absolutely needed this victory after the recent loss. Hangman is good, but Pac is more rounded and the crowd hates his guts. Another solid match from them, but I hope they move on to other opponents.
- Young Bucks vs. P&P backstage brawl, and the brief, yet ‘freshly squeezed’ Orange Cassidy cameo.
- If they really wanted to make Inner Circle the biggest threat in AEW, they would’ve won the tag titles here. But in doing so, they would have undermined all the work put in to building the tag team division. Scorpio Sky’s win over ‘Le Champion’ Chris Jericho wasn’t just a major victory for himself, but for the division as well. The World Champion isn’t impossible to beat anymore, which is great because we’d soon get tired of seeing the rest of the Inner Circle taking losses on his behalf.
- The women’s division didn’t get anywhere near what they achieved the previous weeks. Nyla Rose isn’t over yet, and her squash match was pretty dull. Awesome Kong destroying Allie just by throwing her around… was also pretty pathetic.
- Jim Ross has been good lately, but he wasn’t completely on his game and expressed frustration with his mistakes. He needs to laugh these things off and quickly move on, because no one’s perfect in any line of work.
- Wardlow appears from nowhere. You’d only know about this guy if you watched the second or third episode? They aired his vignette only once, so it was a less than stellar debut as the crowd went mild. Schiavone sold it like they’d been talking about him for months… but no Tony, trust me when I say we all forgot about him.
The key to NXT’s success is to continue making the next generation of WWE superstar. Chris Jericho compared it to WWE’s ECW from ten years ago, but I really don’t see the comparison. NXT is ten times WWE ECW without even trying.
- For the second week in a row, I can say Angel Garza is stealing the show. He’s definitely the future Eddie Guerrero, I was saying it back when he was with Impact Wrestling, and he’s still proving me right. Gotta’ give kudos to Lio Rush as well, as he’s been having some cracking matches on NXT and 205 Live since returning from obscurity.
- Some might have missed this, and I didn’t see it reported, but Scarlett Bordeaux (of Impact Wrestling fame) made her debut on this episode. She was looking after the downed Candice LeRae while talking to Triple H. Looks like we’ve got another mystery attacker in NXT.. I bet it’s Dakota Kai.
- I love seeing Xia Li, but it’s the only good thing I can say about her match. Just don’t care about Aliyah for some reason.
- Balor vs. Riddle going to be great, I just hope they keep the heat up. Riddle’s a beast, but Balor has the experience to get in his head and force mistakes.
- Probably the best NXT moment of the night was Dominick Dijakovic and Keith Lee setting their differences aside so Dijakovic could join the WarGames team. Both of ’em deserve to be in such a high-profile match.
- I have no idea why Killian Dain and Damien Priest want Pete Dunne’s blood so much, but I’m enjoying the carnage nonetheless.
- Using Kay Lee Ray to help Io Shirai win her match. It’s awesome that they are not leaving the NXT UK brand out of the equation, as we’ve seen their champions crossing over. Gallus will be next maybe? NXT’s women’s division is miles better than AEW’s.
- Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Bronson Reed was just slotted in to give Scott a win after losing to Dijakovic the week before; which I felt was unnecessary and probably should’ve been against someone he can feud with.
- They keep plugging these Forgotten Sons, but we never see them and I always forget they exist. Jaxson Ryker (fka Gunner in TNA) deserves more, and I think he’s being held back by the others.
- Everything about Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, and parts of the ladder match. Unless they’re trying to turn Dakota heel by revealing her as the mystery attacker, it did Mia Yim no favors at all to have Kai watching her back… after she essentially had her WarGames spot stolen away. The NXT fans at Full Sail do not care for Yim at all.
- While the ladder match had its good points, what I didn’t like was the huge botch and the ending. You’re supposed to protect yourself in dangerous spots, but Mia failed to do so and paid the heavy price by taking a ladder to the nose. Io had to stall heavily while medics saw to Yim, and in that moment… I felt like they should’ve ended it. For Mia to come back and take that nasty bump at the end? No sorry, it’s too much. The fans hardly reacted to it, and the result could’ve been a serious injury. It gave me flashbacks to when Abyss seriously injured Daffney (TNA) and ended her career in a spot she was heavily encouraged to do. The fans were cheering for Io anyways, so just end it early and save Mia’s body. It made me cringe more than anything I saw in Moxley vs. Omega at Full Gear.
Such a mixed bag this week in the Wednesday Night War, with neither show ending in style. Much of the excitement was to be had before that, which is surprising because both brands have done well to find ways to close out shows well. But while Jericho threw a fit, I accepted it because he put over a young rising star in Scorpio Sky. On the other side though, I was left annoyingly concerned at the way NXT let the ladder match end; with Mia Yim probably picking up some serious injuries only a couple of weeks from a (damn!) WarGames match.
What NXT has going for it lately, is its superior women’s division and opening matches. While Moxley was squashing Nakazawa, Lio Rush and Angel Garza worked (probably) the best match of the week of any wrestling show. NXT kept the intensity up throughout, but AEW produced more memories. I bet we’ll always remember the time when MJF and Chris Jericho had their first verbal exchange on-screen, along with Santana closing the door on the supremely relaxed Orange Cassidy. Oh! And don’t forget about Luchasaurus returning to reunite with his Jurassic Express buddies in monstrous style.
With that said, while NXT maintained its level of intensity and urgency, AEW Dynamite is steadily becoming a moment machine. Kinda like how Raw & SmackDown worked in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, we’re seeing a product giving the best of both worlds. They are finding the right balance, while I think NXT is relying a bit too much on talents from elsewhere (Balor, AJ, Bayley) to draw viewers. In fact, I’m still surprised that most of Raw & SmackDown have yet to invade NXT… it’s almost like they don’t consider the “main roster” a threat. So in the end, I think AEW wins this week, which I believe tips the scale in their favor (3-2-2) in the Wednesday Night War. But for how long? We will have to wait and see. Thanks for reading everyone! Take care out there.