By Chad Cooper
We had a fucking tie last week in television ratings…Seriously? A tie? Both NXT and AEW drew a 778,000 television audience and last night’s shows were buried, especially on social media, thanks to the Democrats false sense of hope, which is what they call “impeachment.” Sore losers is much better. Anyway, let’s jump into Week 12 of the Wednesday Night Wars recap.
Head to head TV ratings:
Week 12: NXT (795K), AEW (683K)
Week 11: NXT (778K), AEW (778K)
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: Adam Cole v. Finn Balor
The NXT Championship is on the line and what a freakin’ opener. Both of these guys are so over that the crowd at Full Sail University is split in cheers. Ending sequence was super dope – Balor misses the Coup de Grace; Cole hits the Last Shot for a 2 count; Balor with a dropkick to the corner then nails the Coup de Grace. New champ? NOPE! Johnny Gargano is out and Cole takes advantage with the Last Shot to retain. Gargano then drops Balor with multiple chair shots.
Match 2: Killian Dain v. Damian Priest
Enjoyed this one despite having to cool down after Balor/Cole. It got plenty of time and was a very physical matchup. Priest blocks a Vader Bomb and pins Dain after The Reckoning for the victory.
*Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was announced for 2020 and participants will be announced on the Jan. 1 edition of NXT.
Match 3: Cameron Grimes v. Kushida
Talk about sneaky good… Very solid match and I am enjoying Kushida. Grimes blocked a Hoverboard and converts a Big Stomp for the 1-2-3.
*NXT Takeover announced for Sunday, Feb. 16 in Portland.
Match 4: Santana Garrett v. Io Shirai
So excited for Santana… Not only is she a gorgeous lady, but she is even a better person. Follow her on IG, you won’t be sorry. As for the match, I knew Santana wasn’t going over but she had her moments and loved the vintage Santana submission bridge. Shirai with a moonsault for the victory.
Match 5: Pete Dunne v. Travis Banks
NXT UK superstar Travis Banks is quietly becoming a favorite of mine. Good squad here but Dunne is the victory via the Bitter End.
*Cathy Kelley is backstage with Dakota Kai and is pissed off because she received staples to the head because of Mia Yim. I like heel Dakota.
*Announced for next week: Lio Rush & Keith Lee v. Damian Priest & Tony Nese; Roderick Strong North American Championship Challenge
Match 6: Shayna Baszler v. Rhea Ripley
Here we go. The ladies get the main event 25+ minutes. Unreal how women’s wrestling has continued the wave of momentum from Evolution, headlining WrestleMania. It’s fun to watch.
My words can’t do this match justice. It was phenomenal storytelling from start to finish. False finishes, ref bump, and Ripley hulking up out of the Kirifuda Clutch. Rhea ends Baszler’s 415-day reign as NXT Women’s Champion. Crowd goes nuts and many enter the ring to celebrate. Over on Twitter, the entire WWE roster tweeted. Bravo.
Final thoughts… One of the better NXT shows. By far this is the best wrestling show on TV and it’s not close. To get Cole/Balor and Baszler/Rhipley on one show was enough for me. Still, I want to see Chelsea Green on TV…Oh wait, I hear she will be on RAW Monday against Charlotte.
Match 1: Kenny Omega & Hangman Page v. Lucha Bros.
AEW counters NXT’s Balor/Cole with what looked to be a fantastic tag match, but it failed. Yes, the crowd in Corpus Christi was super hot but the match lacked. Pentagon pins Omega with a Double Foot Stomp for the win. Omega and Page aren’t happy with each other, but PAC is on the big screen and wants Omega’s attention. He enters Nakazawa’s lockerroom and Omega follows. Blah.
Match 2: Cody & Darby Allin v. The Butcher & The Blade
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Ok, whatever. I’m a huge Darby fan, so I am excited he is on TV this week. I was OK with this match, despite it being another tag match, and Cody gets the pin on Blade with a Cody Cutter. Guess this storyline is already over.
*Vignette of Jungle Boy
Match 3: Awesome Kong v. Miranda Alize
BAH GAWD is Texas’ own Miranda Alize (cheap plug: Miranda will be in Beaumont TX for Hurricane Pro’s Glory & Pain show Dec. 28 plus HPW’s all women show Queens of the Ring 2 on Jan. 18). Squash match. Brandi cuts a piece of Miranda’s pretty red hair.
Match 4: Chris Jericho v. Jungle Boy
It’s a match of a lifetime for Jungle Boy Jack or whatever drunk JR decides to call him. His family is at ringside. First observation, Jericho looks terrible. It’s beyond a “dad body.” He has a gut and now has to use a weight lifting belt to help keep that stomach in. Fun match. Would have loved to seen Jericho put him over, but it ends in a 10-minute draw. Post match Jericho says Moxley has a surprise coming Jan. 1. Neat.
*Jennifer Sterger interview SCU but Lucha Bros interrupt.
Match 5: Britt Baker v. Kris Statlander
Boy does AEW love them some Kris Statlander. She has been on every show since signing with the company and is now the No. 1 contender for the AEW Women’s title. Poor Britt was the first person signed by AEW and was getting her first TV match in a month, and puts Kris over. Statlander declines Brandi’s invitation to join the Nightmare Collective and in return gets her eye gouged.
*It’s announced Statlander v. Riho for the championship Jan. 1.
*Vignette of Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard.
Match 6: SCU v. Young Bucks
The AEW tag team titles are on the line and the crowd is absolutely dead. Spot Fest City, but that’s what we come to expect with a Bucks match. Too bad the crowd was too tired to enjoy the moves. Definitely the best match on the card. Kaz with a SCU on Matt for the win. Thanks crowd, you suck. Welp, here comes the Dark Order with the masked creepers. The fucking “Creepers.” Who booked that name Billy Corgan? Creepers beat down the 4 plus Omega and Dustin. What a shit show ending.
Final thoughts… Several steps back here. Maybe Tony Khan is trying to fix the dumpster fire that are the Jacksonville Jaguars but this is a mess. Not only was the show lacking, but no MJF, no Orange Cassidy? And “BAH GAWD” Jim Ross needs to retire. As great as he once was, he is a shell of himself now.
Ranking the AEW/NXT matches:
1-NXT-Baszler v. Ripley
2-NXT-Cole v. Balor
3-AEW: Bucks v. SCU
4-NXT-Dain v. Priest
5-NXT-Grimes v. Kushida
6-AEW: Jericho v. Jungle Boy
7-AEW: Page/Omega v. Lucha Bros
8-AEW: Cody/Allin v. Blade/Butcher
9- NXT-Dunne v. Banks
10-NXT-Shirai v. Garrett
11-AEW: Baker v. Statlander
12-AEW: Kong v. Alize