by Chad Cooper
It’s Week 3 of the “Wednesday Night Wars.” AEW Dynamite reigned again in Week 2, but numbers were way down for them and NXT. The excuse? Baseball playoffs. Well, with Astros/Yankees Game 4 being postponed, one would think numbers would increase for both programs.
Week 1: AEW (1.409 million), NXT (891K)
Week 2: AEW (1.018 million), NXT (790K)
1st match: SCU v. Best Friends
Lucha Bros. attacked Christopher Daniels before the match so Scorpio Sky gets the call. Match was hot hot hot and definitely deserves match of the night honors. It was so good Scorpio lost both of his shoes. SCU with the win and advance in the AEW Tag Team Tournament.
2nd match: Santana & Ortiz v. John Silver & Alex Reynolds
As good as the opener was, this was definitely not. Santana/Ortiz with an easy victory.
Solid video package on Cody’s chase of the AEW title.
3rd match: Riho v. Britt Baker
The AEW women’s world title match on the line and we could have done without this match. It never followed and felt clunky. As much as I like the good Dr. Britt Baker, this match struggled. Riho retains the title with a rollup.
4th match: Jungle Express (Jungle Boy/Marko Stunt) vs. Lucha Brothers
It was announced before the event that Luchasauras was injured with a possible torn hamstring. That’s a tough blow because he and Jungle Boy are stars. No chance Jungle Express was winning this match.
5th match: Jon Moxley & PAC v. Hangman Page & Kenny Omega
Big match feel here. Happy Birthday chants for Omega, who is one of the best in the world. He delivered snap-dragon suplexes and the crowd went nuts. Mox with the barbwire bat but PAC stops him from using it. Mox in return drops PAC with a double-arm DDT and leaves the ring. Omega follows with a V-trigger and Page ends it with a dead-eye.
6th match: Chris Jericho vs. Darby Allin
The AEW world title on the line in a Philadelphia street fight and it really came through. Darby is a star, that’s for sure. Dude got his hands taped behind his back and was able to pull off several moves. Didn’t understand the rope breaks in the street fight ruled match…Jake Hager interferes and Jericho will the Walls of Jericho for the 1-2-3. Inner Circle is out to celebrate to end the show.
Few thoughts before we get to NXT…If you like tag team action, tonight was your show as 4 of the 6 matches were tag and it looks as if we will get more next week. I feel the shows are overall getting better. I know they want to focus on wrestling, but would like to see more building of stars and interview segments. Where the hell is Orange Cassidy? Dude is so over and he has yet to be in a singles match…Where is Penelope Ford? And Shawn Spears 1 time in 3 weeks?
Final Grade: B+
AEW Dark match results (which has TAZ on commentary): Joey Janela def. Brandon Cutler; Nyla Rose def. Leva Bates; Cody/Dustin Rhodes/Young Bucks def. Private Party/Cima/T-Hawk
Announced for next week: Private Party v. Lucha Brothers; SCU v. Dark Order; Moxley v. PAC; Britt Baker; Young Bucks
1st match: Tommaso Ciampo v. Angel Garza
“Welcome back” chants for Ciampo who gets the win via Willow’s Bell and gets a pop for stomping the Mexican flag. Post match has Undisputed Era out taunting Ciampo.
After the break, Undisputed Era has laid out Velveteen Dream in the back, so it looks as if Dream may be out of action for awhile due to injury…Ugh.
2nd match: Imperium (Marcel Barthel/Fabian Aichner) v. Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan
Decent action that really picked up after the break as the finish came with a European cutter into a power bomb as Barthel pinned Lorcan.
3rd match: Io Shirai v. Kayden Carden
Not much of a match here. Few early spots but Shirai win the easy victory. Shirai calls out Shayna Baszler but Rhea Ripley answers. A future Shirai-Ripley match will be awesome.
Cathy Kelley interviews NXT GM William Regal, who said Dream is out next week vs. Roderick Strong so the winner of Keith Lee/Dominik Dijakovic will get the North American title shot instead.
4th match: Keith Lee v. Dominik Dijakovic
These 2 continue to put on strong matches. Crowd hot with “this is awesome” chants after Lee hits a frogsplash and chokebomb. Strong out to cause a DQ and in return, Regal announces Strong will defend the title next week against both men in a Triple Threat match.
5th match: Matt Riddle v. Bronson Reed
Riddle is damn good and a future main roster star. He picked Reed, the much bigger man, up several times and even delivered a power bomb. Riddle wins.
Video preview of Bianca Blair.
6th match: Tegan Nox v. Taynara
The long-awaited return of Tegan Nox who wins with a Shinniest Wizard. Gal Pal Dakota Kai out to celebrate, which is short lived because of Baszler and the MMA Horsemen rain on their parade.
7th match: Boa v. Killian Dain
Boa tries to get revenge on Dain, but couldn’t do it. Dain with a big lariat, cross-body and vader bomb. He ends it with a Wrath.
8th match: Pete Dunne v. Damian Priest
Dain challenges Dunne before the match starts, but gets his fingers snapped. This match was insane. Somersaults, Frankensteins, moonsault to the floor, enziguri and over the top rope somersault senton. Helluva finish that saw Damian lowblow Dunne and finish with the Reckoning.
Few thoughts… This NXT show seem to flow and they do a much better job storytelling/story building than AEW.
Final Grade: B+
Dark matches: Lio Rush def. Austin Theory; Santana Garrett & Xia Li def. Chelsea Green & Deonna Purrazzo.
Announced for next week: Rhea Ripley v. Bianca Blair; Roderick Strong v. Keith Lee v. Dominik Dijakovic.
Ranking the AEW/NXT matches:
1-NXT: Dunne v. Damian Priest
2-AEW: SCU v. Best Friends
3-AEW: Jericho v. Allin
4-AEW: Moxley/PAC v. Hangman/Omega
5-NXT: Lee v. Dijakovic
6-NXT: Ciampo v. Garza
7-NXT: Riddle v. Reed
8-NXT: Imperium v. Burch/Lorcan
9-NXT: Dain v. Boa
10-AEW: Jungle Express v. Lucha Brothers
11-NXT: Knox v Taynara
12-NXT: Shirai v. Carter
13-AEW: Santana/Ortiz v. Silver/Reynolds
14-AEW: Riho v. Britt Baker