It’s Thursday, you know what that means; The War Report, where we compare this week’s NXT and AEW: Dynamite and pick a winner, because the internet didn’t have quite enough contrary opinions so I thought I’d throw mine into the arena. You’re welcome.
Last week was a very strong showing for AEW, and a fairly ho-hum show for NXT leading into TakeOver: Vengeance Day. But how will this week fair? With the fallout of Sammy Guevara leaving the Inner Circle going against the dissolution of The Undisputed Era this week is shaping up to be an exciting prospect. Plus I’m sure we’ll hear from Cameron Grimes, after last week which I said was ‘crap’ yet everyone else said was ‘fantastic’. Am I that out of touch? No, it’s the children who are wrong.
If you’re new here - and seeing as this is week two of The War Report then you ALL are - then here’s the criteria on which I’ll be judging the two shows;
• Match Merit
• Promo Performance
• Storyline Development
• Watercooler Talk; the big moments we’ll all be talking about on Twitter for the next week
• The Whole Damn Show
As always, these are just my opinions - if you agree with me then great, if you disagree then that’s also great. After all, I thought Buff Bagwell was the coolest thing ever in the late 90s, so do with that information what you will.
Let’s get stuck in.
Both shows put on a six match card this week. Starting with NXT, we had a rematch from last week pitting The Way against Shotzi & Ember. Decent match, but it was more an angle as it kept cutting away to Dexter Lumis’ grotty sex wagon.
Leon Ruff got a shock win over Isaiah Scott, and I really enjoyed this match. Swerve is getting cockier and more entitled, while Ruff is that babyface that you can’t help but get behind. Another good match saw Kushida defeat Tyler Rust, after Malcolm Bivens called for ref stoppage to protect his client. Result wasn’t a surprise, but at least this could build something for Rust and Bivens.
Elsewhere Zoey Stark squashed Valentina Feroz after a lovely wheelbarrow GTS thing. And Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Cross despatched Aliyah & Jessi Kamea with ease, before Xia Li came out being all spooky.
NXT was all about the main event this week though; Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch defeating Finn Bálor, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong. Classic six-man action that told a multitude of stories, before Adam Cole ran in to plant a crisp superkick on Finn’s gorgeous face.
AEW kicked off with Adam Page & Matt Hardy swatting away TH2. At one point Jack Evans got powerbombed onto his neck and looked a little woozy afterwards, hope he’s alright. I do wish TH2 could be more than just jobbers to the stars though.
More tag action with FTR defeating Matt & Mike Sydal. Again, decent match but nothing special. Was just to re-establish FTR after a few weeks away. No Tully though as he was snowed in. Literal snow though, this ain’t the 80s. Meanwhile Orange Cassidy squashed Luther in a quick but pointless affair. Miro and Kip nowhere to be found, which was weird.
The Young Bucks squeaked a win against Santana & Ortiz for the tag titles. Again, a good match, but who do I have to pay to put the titles on Santana & Ortiz eh? Easily the most undervalued act in AEW right now. The main event was fun too, a big six-man just like NXT which saw Jon Moxley, Lance Archer, and Rey Fenix defeat Eddie Kingston, The Butcher & The Blade. Bit messy, but I was never bored. Archer a beast again.
Match of the week though was Riho vs Serena Deeb in the Women’s Title Tournament. Probably Riho’s best match in AEW, as she pulled off the shock win after a good back-and-forth bout. Riho will take on Thunder Rosa in the semis. Just a shame the other first round matches will be on YouTube, could have easily cut OC vs Luther, and the FTR match this week instead.
Winner: AEW. NXT put on good matches this week, and the main event in particular was really good, but AEW’s matches just felt more important. Check out the Women’s Title Tournament match, it was great.