by Chad Cooper
Head into Week 11 of the Wednesday Night Wars. Last week, AEW claimed a very small victory in the ratings wars. AEW was in the Lone Star State on Wednesday night Garland near Dallas while NXT is back at Full Sail University in Florida. Let’s get to the shows…
Head to head TV ratings:
Week 10: AEW (851K), NXT (845K)
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)
Match 1: Jon Moxley v. Alex Reynolds
Hot crowd for a squash match. Moxley ends it early with a Paradigm Shift then gave Reynolds’ buddy John Silver one for good measure. ENTER Le Champion Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. Jericho comes in peace, and offers Moxley a spot in the Inner Circle.
*Vignette of Young Bucks/Santana & Ortiz
Match 2: Cody & QT Marshall v. The Butcher & The Blade
MJF with a picture in picture promo and you couldn’t hear much he said. #AudioIssues. A few spots in this match with Butcher/Blade getting the win as Cody looks frustrated outside the ring… Darby Allin sprints to Cody to help him up… Hmm.
MJF in-ring promo with his pal Wardlow (no clue who he is or why he is here). MJF calls the Texas crowd “white trash hicks” to get some good heat. He also tells us he won’t announce his match stipulation with Cody tonight… Jan. 1 will be the time.
*Dark Order vignette
Match 3: Big Swole v. Emi Sakura
Big Swole was announced earlier this week as the newest member of the AEW roster. Wasn’t a fan of this match. Went on far too long. Swole wins via ripcord forearm.
*Whoa…stop the clock…We have a backstage interview on AEW…Jen Decker with PAC.
Match 4: Kip Sabian & Shawn Spears v. Kenny Omega & Hangman Page
For the life of me IDK why KO isn’t on TV every week. Don’t give me “they are building AEW Dark…” Horseshit. Oh, I love me some Penelope Ford. She is smoking hot and a damn good wrestler. LET HER WORK IN THE RING! Back to the match, solid stuff here. Didn’t understand why Joey Janela attacked Shawn Spears. Thought he was a heel? Some good spots from Kip, KO and Hangman. Page tags himself in for a buckshot lariat win over Sabian.
*Brandi vignette. She rips Riho and Britt Baker. Melanie Cruise is shown so is the back of an older gentleman with a shaved head. Makes me think of the rap song, “Bald Headed Hoes” by Houston’s own Willie Dee.
Match 5: Sammy Guevara v. Luchasaurus
Jericho and Hager on commentary. Don’t like the way they are using Guevara. Vlogging during the match? Wasting talent. Not much of a match as Luchasaurus wins. Jericho and Hager hit the ring to bounce Luchasauras as Jungle Boy and Lil Marko Stunt make the save.
Match 6: Young Bucks v. Santana/Ortiz
For the love of Pete!!! Can this be the last time we see these two teams go at it? Thankfully we have a Texas Street Fight with weapons. Fantastic moves by the Bucks and one of my favorite parts of the match is when Ortiz spits on a Dallas Cowboys football helmet. Bucks win and will face SCU next week for the AEW tag team titles in Corpus Christi.
Final thoughts… It was announced AEW would head back to Chicago for the 14th time in February for the PPV “Revolution.” Thought this episode was much better than last week.
Next week: Jungle Boy v. Chris Jericho; Britt Baker v. Kris Statlander; Lucha Bros. v Hangman & Omega; SCU v. Young Bucks
AEW Dark: Kris Statlander def. Bea Priestley; Britt Baker def. Machiko; Best Friends def. PAC, Jack Evans & Angelico; SCU def. Private Party.
Match 1: Lio Rush v. Angel Garza
The NXT cruiserweight title is on the line and these two are trading blows before the bell rings. Fans chanting “NXT” for most of this match and it really got fast and furious near the end. New champ, Angel Garza wins via submission and then he proposes to his girlfriend. What a moment for Garza and will be curious to see what direction Lio goes in.
*Vignette of Finn Balor
*Vingette of Shayna Baszler
Match 2: Cameron Grimes v. Raul Mendoza
I like Cameron Grimes, but IDK what went wrong here. Had a botch too. Kushida comes out to distract Grimes and Mendoza rolls up for the win.
*Cathy Kelley backstage with Mia Yim.
*Vignette of Travis Banks
Match 3: Jaxson Ryker v. Travis Banks
IDK about this match either. Banks getting the win…Guess we are pushing towards NXT Worlds Collide on Jan. 25 in Houston. Banks busted open during the match and looked like his brow was hanging off his forehead.
Match 4: Mia Yim v. Dakota Kai
I’ve fallen for Dakota Kai. Call me a mark, don’t care. Solid match between these two with Kai winning as she slams Yim into an exposed turnbuckle. Postmatch, Yim attacks Kai and puts her thru a table for a big pop from the crowd.
Match 5: Breezango v. Singh Brothers
Back and forth affair with some good move sets from Tyler Breeze and Fandango, who won.
Match 6: Kayden Carter v. Bianca Blair
Nothing wrong with this match. Bianca is solid and I can see her making the move to the RAW or Smackdown in 2020. She won via the Torture Rack, btw.
Match 7: Finn Balor v. Keith Lee v. Tommaso Ciampo
Winner faces Adam Cole next week for the NXT championship. This match was everything advertised with fans blowing their shit the entire match. Several “Mamma Mias” and false finishes. Balor stands tall with a Coup de Grace on Lee to become the No. 1 contender.
Final thoughts… WHERE OH WHERE IS MY FIRST WOMEN’S WRESTLER CRUSH – Chelsea Green… Either free the Hot Mess or book here. So is too damn good to be off TV. Show was bookended with 2 solid matches. The middle of the book was filler.
*Announced for next week: Adam Cole v. Finn Balor for the NXT World Title; Shayna Baszler v. Rhea Ripley for NXT Women’s championship.
Ranking the AEW/NXT matches:
1-NXT: Balor v. Lee v. Ciampo
2-AEW: Moxley v. Reynolds
3-NXT: Lio v. Garza
4-AEW: Hangman/KO v. Sabian/Spears
5-NXT: Yim v. Kai
6-AEW: Cody/Marshall v. Butcher/Blade
7- NXT: Carter v. Belair
8-AEW: Swole v. Sakura
9-AEW: Guevara v. Luchasaurus
10-NXT: Breezango v. Singh Bros.
11-NXT: Ryker v. Banks
12-NXT: Mendoza v. Grimes