Wednesday Night War! WWE NXT vs AEW Dynamite – Week #1 (10/2/19)


Hi folks! What a great night it turned out to be yesterday. Never have we experienced such hype and activity in the middle of the week. And the cool thing is the Wednesday Night War is set to continue, so there will always be something going on in the world of professional wrestling & sports entertainment. Having watched AEW Dynamite live, I found a way to see WWE NXT‘s response not so long after. This type of article could become an ongoing series (please let me know if you would like it to continue) where we discuss the highs & lows of both; and see if we can come to a conclusion on who won the battle for the week.

AEW Dynamite

Before the event, I posted a Facebook poll to see how many of our users would watch AEW or NXT live. I also asked for comments if they were planning on watching both (or neither) at the same time. While WWE NXT went in the lead to begin with, it soon switched to AEW Dynamite’s favour and averaged out around 56%-44%. We also saw over 40 comments, many of whom said they’d be either switching back-and-forth or having two screens for both shows simultaneously.

The Good

  • The historical significance and hot crowd made this event memorable and exciting. Having Cody winning the first match lit up the audience, as they shared their appreciation for all the hard work he’s put in to ensure this event happened for all the wrestling fans looking for an alternative.
  • Hangman Page vs. Pac was one of the best matches of the night on any show, and it sure made Pac look like a very talented bastard. Two losses in a row is not good for Page’s momentum, so I was expecting this to end in a draw.
  • Tony Schiavone sounded like he’d never been away from TNT. Excalibur did a decent job as well, but Jim Ross needs to find the old passion we know lies within. Loved some of the exchanges between them, as well as Tony reminiscing over his WCW days.
  • Chris Jericho established himself as the man of AEW, and his new faction (?) was an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise. Jake Hager could be amazing if used correctly, although it will take time to shake loose the WWE mid-card perception fans still have of him.
  • Riho winning the Women’s title was the right call, as she’s made so many fans in a short time and has earned it. She shows all the young girls out there that you can be tiny (and not even speak English), but still have what it takes to be a Women’s Champion.
  • Some of the antics in the main event reminded us of the chaos we used to see in the Attitude Era. Anywhere else, that match would have stopped due to disqualification. That glass table spot .. ouch! Also, someone threw a wiener in the ring and Jericho crushed it. What’s not to love?

The Bad

  • Who is that? And why is that person doing that? Basically, if you haven’t watched any independent wrestling, the countdown show, or the preceding PPVs, you’re obviously not going to be as emotionally invested as you would be with a WWE show. But there’s an easy fix to this .. we just need more time to get acquainted with the new faces.
  • The Jay & Silent Bob reboot plug. I don’t think it was that bad honestly, but some wanted to nitpick it like it was the worst thing to happen since Triple H jumped in to a casket with Kane’s deceased girlfriend. Is it against the law to talk to celebrities in attendance in exchange for plugging their movie?
  • While MJF looked good going over in quick time, it seems Brandon Cutler picked up an injury. Either that or it was done purposely to protect him. It was a bit odd, and I feel bad for Cutler as he seemed keen to impress.
  • Riho and Nyla Rose’s match was rather sloppy. Not the worst I’ve ever seen, but the dynamic of Nyla repeatedly killing (that flying knee spot probably could have) Riho so she could kick out of everything made her offense look weak; while Riho’s offense was way stronger than it looked. I know Kenny Omega signed Nyla Rose, but they better have a match soon after he came out to save Riho, or it’s pretty pointless.
  • The main event did not end up being as exciting as it could’ve been (wrestling quality wise), but this is free TV. I know some were expecting something similar to their PPV efforts .. but why give it all away for free? Either way, it seems chaotic main events are likely to become the norm, and that’s a good/bad thing depending on preference.


The Good

  • Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle is probably the match of the night on either show, and it opened against Cody’s well-received victory over Sammy Guevara. This probably should have been the main event, but I understand why it was booked this way. Triple H wanted to suck people in and keep them for the rest of the night. Even more so after Finn Balor appeared with the announcement he is back in NXT!
  • The Velveteen Dream is delicious. He’d be better suited on a TV-14 show, but he still manages to get away with a plethora of double entendres for all the sexy adults in the audience.
  • Have I ever said how much I love the new Io Shirai? There’s so much untapped potential there, and I’m glad she got a win over Mia Yim (who isn’t ready for the title yet).
  • Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae was a fun match, although there’s not much else that can be said about it.
  • Pete Dunne vs. Danny Burch shouldn’t be forgotten, it was Danny’s biggest match to date. But it wasn’t what people will remember, it will be the post-match beatdown by Damian Priest on The Bruiserweight. This feud will be epic.
  • Tommaso Ciampa making his long-awaited return to confront the NXT Champion at the end of the show. Perhaps not as exciting as the other shows ending, but at least it shows what’s in store for the future.
  • Overall match quality was better than AEW Dynamite’s, although it’s to be expected as they’ve been doing this like clockwork for years now. Anything less than what we got would be considered lazy and/or managed badly by officials.

The Bad

  • Outside of Finn Balor’s announcement, Ciampa’s return, and Damian Priest attacking Pete Dunne, not much else progressed in terms of storylines or feuds. It had no chance of being more memorable than the first-ever episode of AEW Dynamite.
  • Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were sat at ringside but didn’t do anything! I’m sorry, but I think the show would’ve benefited had they helped to get someone over.
  • When you look at the card before the show, the results are so very predictable. We know Riddle and LeRae aren’t ready to be champions yet. Street Profits are on Raw .. so why would they win the tag titles back? Johnny Gargano is beating Shane Thorne, there’s no question. And Io Shirai can’t afford to lose any singles matches after her latest transformation. Danny Burch is a tag team wrestler and has never seen a huge singles victory; so it was obvious Pete Dunne would beat him.
  • We could say there was a lack of controversy. Not enough talking points really, aside from who Adam Cole is likely to face next. It’ll probably be Ciampa, although Velveteen Dream and others will also be in the running. Ciampa works so much better as a heel. I get the feeling he will be the face in this feud .. which doesn’t sit well with me.

The Winner

Some will have expected more out of AEW, while others are used to NXT and know when they’ve had a great show or not. Having seen all of NXT’s shows for a few years, along with AEW’s PPVs, I think both could’ve been better in different ways. But like I’ve said before, no show can be perfect for everyone. There will always be things we love and other things we despise. That’s the nature of wrestling, it’s always been this way.

WWE NXT has been doing this for years and there’s no reason not to hit it out of the park every time. We could say AEW should’ve had better matches, but Cody (and co.) did state they weren’t expecting their roster to go 110% on free TV; you have to leave something for PPV .. or what’s the point in having them? At the end of the day, what I saw last night were two entirely different shows doing all they could to prove who’s best. And you know what? I really wanted to pick one over the other.

WWE NXT had better matches, while AEW Dynamite gave us more memories and historical significance. So in the end, I believe the real winners of October 2nd, 2019 were the fans (wrote this before WWE said this exact same line .. damn you WWE!). AEW and NXT charged at each other like angry bulls .. they collided hard, but neither of ’em went down. We’ll see next week who is able to get the upper hand as the Wednesday Night War continues! This battle may be over, but we can be happy in the knowledge the war will rage on for many years to come. Thanks for reading!

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