By Chad Cooper
Week 6 of the Wednesday Night Wars as both shows come into the week off all-time low viewership (as marks say due to Game 7 of the World Series). AEW will their “go home” show as their “Full Gear” PPV is scheduled for this Saturday night and NXT invaded RAW & Smackdown, so the stakes were high for both shows. Hopefully no one is blaming “The Masked Singer” on ratings. Expect both AEW and NXT to be significantly higher than last weeks bottom of the barrel numbers.
Head to head TV ratings:
Week 5: AEW (759K), NXT (580K)
Week 4: AEW (963K), NXT (698K)
Week 3: AEW (1.014 million), NXT (712K)
Week 2: AEW (1.018 million), NXT (790K)
Week 1: AEW (1.409 million), NXT (891K)
1st match: PAC v. Trent of Best Friends
Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy out with Trent…No surprise the biggest pop from the crowd went to Orange Cassidy. PAC with plenty of heel heat.
Best part of the match is when OC faux kicks PAC. PAC sells a DDT like Dolph Ziggler, but gets the win after he submits Trent with a Brutalizer. Definitely the match of the night on TNT. PAC with the mic and yada yada yada Hangman is my bitch.
*Triple H II…errr I mean Cody is out with his major announcement. Great promo by Cody who says if he doesn’t beat Chris Jericho, he will never challenge for the AEW world title again. <insert the ok emoji>
2nd match: Dark Order v Private Party
Winner is the 3rd team at Full Gear with SCU and The Lucha Bros. for the AEW tag team championship. And some silly bronze medals. This Dark Order gimmick is stupid. Action heats up at the end with PP hitting the Gin & Juice for the win.
*Chris Jericho video package that included Virgil or “Soultrain Jones.” Good stuff.
3rd match: Jamie Hayter/Emi Sakura v. Riho/Shanna
Sakura dressed as Freddie Mercury…I give up. Match had some good moments but the ending was a train wreck. Went on way too long, too.
*Brandi Rhodes vignette. She’s a heel now. Waste of time.
4th match: Brandon Culter v. Shawn Spears
I guess Cutler is on TV to job for people. Bravo the boys decided to put Shawn Spears on TV. Easy win with a Death Valley Driver. Spears about to put Jay Cutler through a chair, but Joey Janela makes the save.
*Jon Moxley/Kenny Omega video package
5th match: Hangman Page/Kenny Omega v. Sammy Guevara/Chris Jericho
So Cain Velasquez was made fun of because of his body…What in the world is that called that Jericho is sporting? For God’s sake cover that up MAAAAN.
Decent spots, Jake Hager gets involved as does PAC. Jericho pins Page after a Judas Effect. The Inner Circle mauls Page. Cody is out to chase away the heels. MJF with a chair from behind. Jericho back in the ring and Cody with the Cross Rhodes. Moxley is out and he and Omega face off with barbwire. Santana/Ortiz attack both. Young Bucks out and chaos is in order. Nick Jackson off the top of the entrance and we get a “Holy Shit” chant as show ends.
Final thoughts… Opening match was the best on the show and the ending of the show was damn good. Everything in between was a lukewarm.
AEW Dark match results: Nyla Rose/Leva Bates def. Shalandra Royal/Shazza McKenzie; Hikaru Shida def. Big Swole; SCU/CIMA def. Kip Sabian/Hybrid 2.
Show opens from Full Sail University with The OC – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson in the building. They attack a few crewmembers then AJ styles says they are bringing the war to NXT. Out comes Tommaso Ciampa who welcomes the OC to “the main roster.” Keith Lee and Matt Riddle join him and our main event is set – The OC v. Ciampa/Lee/Riddle.
1st match: Pete Dunne v. Damian Priest
Very solid. I wasn’t a Dunne fan, but over the last few weeks he has definitely changed my opinion. He head-kicked Priest then a moonsault off the top rope to light the crowd up.
Dunne with the armbar for the finish…Out comes Killian Dain who attacks both men.
*Cathy Kelley interviews Dakota Kai
2nd match: Taynara v. Santana Garrett
Yes! Yes! Yes! Love me some Santana and Taynara is not too bad herself.
Santana is making her NXT TV debut and has good chemistry with Taynara. The Brazilian with a knee to Santana’s face and Santana returns the favor with a cartwheel handspring back elbow. Taynara gets the win via vicious kick to the face.
*Angel Garza video promo
3rd match: Shayna Baszler v. Dakota Kai
The ladies of NXT shinning brightly. Fans with dueling chants with a hot finish. Baszler catches Kai with the Kirifuda Clutch for the 1-2-3.
MMA Horsewomen join in for the post match beatdown of Kai, which brings out Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox and Candice LeRae…HERE COMES MIA YIM with a kendo stick and cleans house.
*Cathy Kelley interviews Ciampa
4th match: Tony Nese v. Angel Garza
Winner gets a NXT Cruiserweight title shot vs. Lio Rush. Damn good match. Nese with a 450 splash, but Garza kicks out. Garza with the win after a backkick to the dome and Wing Clipper. Garza and Rush face off and Garza with a stiff slap to Lio’s face.
*Cathy Kelley interviews Rhea Ripley, who basically tells Dakota Kai she isn’t tough enough to be on her War Games team, but Mia Yim is.
Mauro Ranello confirms another NXT War Games match – Undisputed Era v. Ciampa/Lee/Riddle/? plus Viking Raiders v. Undisputed Era v. The Revival announced for Survivor Series.
5th match: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott v. Dominik Dijakovic
Nothing short of solid here. Not the longest match, but both get plenty of offense. Dominik with the win via the Feast Your Eyes.
6th match: The OC v. Keith Lee/Matt Riddle/Tommaso Ciampo
Awesome to see Styles, Anderson & Gallow in the ring at Full Sail. My words would not do this match justice. Ciampo about to finish off AJ with the Fairytale but…FINN BALOR.
AJ with a Pele Kick to Ciampo then gives the 2 Sweet to Finn, but BAH GAWD it’s ADAM COLE. The NXT champ with a superkick on AJ then Last Shot on Ciampa. End Show.
Final thoughts… NXT continues to produce a solid wrestling show each week. Their ratings may be down because of the lack of “names,” but their matches are better than AEW… Don’t @ me. I think this was one of their better shows since debuting on USA Network. Still waiting for Chelsea Green.
Announced for next week: Lio Rush v. Angel Garza and Mia Yim v. Io Shirai in a ladder match.
Ranking the AEW/NXT matches:
1-NXT: The OC v. Ciampa/Lee/Riddle
2-AEW: PAC v. Trent
3-NXT: Tony Nese v. Angel Garza
4-AEW: Page/Omega v. Guevara/Jericho
5-NXT: Pete Dunne v. Damian Priest
6-NXT: Swerve v. Dominik Dijakovic
7-NXT: Dakota Kai v. Shayna Baszler
8-AEW: Private Party v. Dark Order
9-NXT: Taynara v. Santana Garrett
10-AEW: Shawn Spears v. Brandon Cutler
11-AEW: Hayter/Sakura v. Riho/Shanna