by Chad Cooper
NXT has won the ratings battle the last two weeks. If you read the Wednesday Night Wars’ report last week, you know that I shit on AEW Dynamite’s episode and it showed in the TV ratings as Tony Khan’s crew bottomed out with a 663K viewing audience, which was their lowest watched show in 9 episodes.
Head to head TV ratings:
Week 9: NXT (810K), AEW (663K)
Week 8: NXT (916K), AEW (893K)
Week 7: AEW (957K), NXT (750K)
Week 6: AEW (822K), NXT (813K)
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)
The show opens with more audio issues. I don’t know what’s worse – AEW audio or Khan’s Jacksonville Jaguars?
Match 1: Young Bucks & Dustin Rhodes v Guevara, Santana & Ortiz
Hot opener with plenty of spots, which the Bucks have mastered. Most of the match had audio issues. You could hear one announcer. Then none. Superkick party? How about an audio cluster party? Anyway, match was really good. Finish was fantastic. Oh, Dustin was outfitted in Bucks’ gimmick trunks. Matt Jackson pins Sammy.
Match 2: Trent v. Rey Fenix
I don’t know if it was the placement or not…But this match didn’t do anything for me or the crowd in Illinois. Fenix with the Black Fire Driver for the victory. What could have been?
*Cody to the ring to chat with Tony Schiavone. He begs for a match with MJF… Offers his fancy Ford Black Ops truck, watch, shoes and money. Felt like more of a heel promo.
*Backstage Alex Marvez is with Joey Janela who touts his match with Jon Moxley, who happens to wander in and respond with, “Kids…”
*Vignette of Dark Order.
Match 3: Nyla Rose v. Leva Bates
Squash match. Not a fan of either competitor. Peter Avalon gets involved but gets a chokeslam for his efforts. Shanna out to help. Rose ends up putting the ref through a table…Camera cuts to Britt Baker in the crowd who is doing the “worry pose,” like the one she did when Adam Cole was put through a table at NXT’s War Games. This is the boys’ response? Great creative here. Real nice.
*AEW world champion Christ Jericho is out with Jake Hager. He has a list, but not that 2016 gimmick list. It’s the “Lexicon of Le Champion.” He names off possible opponents, which includes Moxley, Paige (yes, that Paige), members of the Scorpions, among others. Out comes Jurassic Express and we end up with a brawl.
Match 4: Kris Statlander v Hikaru Shida
What a solid match. Surprise Shida, who is the No. 1 contender for the AEW women’s title loses. BTW…Where is the AEW women’s Riho? Statlander with an inverted piledriver for the win. Lights go out and here comes Brandi and Awesome Kong…SIGH…who booked this?
A fan (Indy worker Melanie Cruise) wants to join the “Nightmare Collective” and gets her head shaved. Didn’t CM Punk do this in WWE in 2009 with the Straight Edge Society? Bad. Guess this is the boys’ answer to CM Punk shunning their offer to work with FOX on WWE Backstage.
Match 5: Christopher Daniels v. Pentagon Jr.
Solid match by two veterans. Fenix gets involved. Pentagon low blows Daniels then delivers a package piledriver for the 1-2-3.
*The Butcher, the Blade and the Bunny vignette. They tell Cody they are in his house to cut off the head of the snake. I thought Cody was in a feud with MFJ?
Match 6: Jon Moxley v. Joey Janela
It’s a Fyter Fest rematch from June when Moxley defeated Janela in an “unsanctioned match.’ It’s also apparent that Moxley is AEW’s top star. Nothing wrong with the main event. Got about 10 minutes and Mox with two “Paradigm Shifts” for the win. Show ends with Jericho walking through the crowd staring at Moxley.
Final thoughts… AEW is starting to feel like a rip off of a WCW reboot with a NJPW blueprint. Very clunky episode. Old rehashed gimmicks. Do better.
AEW Dark: Kenny Omega def. Kip Sabian; Luchasaurus/Marko Stunt def. John Silver/Alex Reynolds; Scorpio Sky def. Peter Avalon & Jimmy Havoc.
Announced for next week: Young Bucks v. Santana/Ortiz in a Texas Fight Match.
Announcer Maruo Ranallo is back but he is quickly interrupted by Killian Dain in the ring. Pete Dunne accepts his challenge and we are off and running on the USA Network.
Match 1: Pete Dunne v. Killian Dain
Hot start and solid. Nothing wrong here…I’m just not the biggest fan of these two. Dain with the win.
*Cathy Kelley backstage with that turncoat Dakota Kai. Calls Mia Yim a “hood rat.”
*Undisputed Era is out. They have bragged that they are the “Iron Men of NXT.” Keith Lee is out and he gets attacked. Tommaso Ciama with the save.
Match 2: Shayna Baszler v. Xia Li
Didn’t like the way this one started. Both with Muay Thai mishaps. Baszler stomps the arm then finally catches Xia in the Kirifuda Clutch for the win.
*Vignette of Kushida
*Vignette of Kassius Ohno
Match 3: The Forgotten Sons v. Leon Ruff/Adrian Alanis
Quick, but physical match. The Sons will not be forgotten in this match. See what I did there?
Match 4: Rhea Ripley v Dakota Kai
Match never really starts. Mia Yim is out and attacks Kai. Baszler and her MMA Cronies are out and attack Ripley. Baszler finishes Rhea off with the Kirifuda Clutch.
*Cathy Kelley backstage with Lee and Ciampa. They will team with Dominik Dijakovic to face Undisputed Era in the main event.
*Vignette of Finn Balor.
*Vignette of Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Match 5: Matt Riddle v. Kassius Ohno
Bro Riddle is so over. I enjoyed this match. Both men were physical with plenty of flying action. Riddle wins via Ripcord then Bro-Derek.
*Announced for Dec. 18 – Shayna Baszler will defend the NXT women’s title against Rhea Ripley.
Match 6: Kushida vs. Raul Mendoza
BAH GAWD CAMERON GRIMES OUTTA NOWHERE. It’s now Grimes v. Kushida. Not a whole lot of time, but enough. Kushida counters a German suplex and rolls up Grimes for the victory.
*Announced for next week: Mia Yim v. Dakota Kai; Lio Rush v. Angel Garza
Match 7: Undisputed Era v. Lee, Ciampa, Djiakovic
So much here. All are great workers and Keith Lee looks to be the next breakout star. HERE COMES FINN…Balor dropkicks Adam Cole then hits the 1916 on Ciampa. Lee catches Balor and powerbombs him then Cole superkicks Lee… Cole is about to finish Lee off but BAH GAWD WHAT A JACKHAMMER… Faces win! Yes, we had a “MAMMA MIA” spot.
*NXT GM William Regal announces that on Dec. 18, Adam Cole “BAY BAY” will defend the NXT World Title against next week’s Triple Threat Match that featurs Balor, Lee and Ciampa!
Final thoughts… Main event definitely saved this show. Love the fact that NXT continues to build storylines (TAKE A DAMN HINT AEW) and showcase their women’s roster.
Ranking the AEW/NXT matches:
1-NXT: Undisputed Era v. Lee, Ciampa, Djiakovic
2-AEW: Bucks/Dustin Rhodes v. Guevara, Santana & Ortiz
3-AEW: Kris Statlander v Hikaru Shida
4-AEW: Moxley v. Janela
5-NXT: Riddle v. Ohno
6-NXT: Pete Dunne v. Killian Dain
7-AEW: Daniels v. Pentagon Jr.
8-AEW: Trent v. Fenix
9-NXT: Kushida v. Grimes
10- NXT: Baszler v. Li
11-NXT: Forgotten Sons v. Ruff/Alanis
12-AEW: Nyla Rose v Leva Bates