The War Report: March 10, 2021 - Bálor vs. Cole, Christian Cage Meets Kenny Omega
NXT vs. AEW: Dynamite - which was the better show this week?
Get the sparklers out it’s time for The War Report, in a week when NXT have put on every match ever, and AEW are cursing their pyrotechnics team.
So what can we expect this week? Well obviously, the elephant in the room is the fallout from Revolution, and the fact that Eddie Kingston was absolutely done in by a few sparklers and some smoke. Will be interesting to see how AEW write their way out of this one. That aside, Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky should be a banger if given the time.
As for NXT, in the build to the ‘alleged’ two-night TakeOver they’re pulling out all the stops, with a Men’s NXT Title Match, a Women’s NXT Title match, the prospect of William Regal announcing more NXT Titles, and other non-NXT Title related business.
So let’s compare the two shows shall we?
The criteria on which I will be judging the two shows are as follows;
• 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
And remember these are just my opinions - if you agree with me then great, if you disagree then that’s also great. After all, I’m the man who thought Lash LeRoux was going to be a major star. Those sideburns broke a million hearts.
As always, wrestling is meant to be fun, don’t take it too seriously.
A six match card this week from NXT including three title matches. That’s what we like to see.
Unfortunately the Women’s NXT Title match felt a little underwhelming. I don’t know if it’s because my expectations were too high, but it felt like they were just trying to get this out of the way so Io could have a new challenger. I dunno. Good match, just felt a little… off?
The Women’s Tag title match was decent too, but again felt unnecessary. What was the point of making Kai and Gonzalez Tag Champs for them lose them after an hour? That makes them look crap. That aside, the match itself was good, but Kai getting pinned was very WWE. Got to make the smaller wrestler lose after all.
Men’s NXT Title match between Cole and Bálor was sound too - it’s Cole vs. Bálor what did you expect. Nice to see Adam sticking to WWE’s new ‘no leg slapping’ policy as he slapped his repeatedly like he’d heard some ripping yarns.
We also saw Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro unleash on Xia Li, Pete Dunne manipulated Jake Atlas’ joints, and Legado Del Fantasma beat Grizzled Young veteran in about a minute after MSK distracted them.
A five match card this week from AEW as the fall-out from Revolution unfolded.
We opened with Rey Fenix defeating Matt Jackson ahead of the upcoming Death Triangle vs. Young Bucks Tag Title match. A good back and forth bout, which was not surprising considering who was in it. SCU watched on from the crowd, because they’ll take on whoever wins the Tag Title match.
Cody Rhodes had a pointless squash win over Seth Gargis because he just had to look strong now, while Ethan Page made his Dynamite debut defeating Lee Johnson. I like Page - nothing flashy just good psychology and fundamentals. Plus his Ego’s Edge is a beauty.
The funnest, if not sloppiest, match of the night was the six-woman tag match between Thunder Rosa, Ryo Mizunami, and Hikaru Shida defeating Britt Baker, Nyla Rose, and Maki Itoh. Maki continuing to sing her theme as carnage was unfolding all around her was amazing, like some kind of wild west saloon brawl.
While our main event saw Darby Allin retain the TNT Title against Scorpio Sky. Another really good match, with Scorpio doing everything in his power but unable to capitalise. I’m ready for Darby to lose the title, but if they’re going to build this as a feud with Sky as a new-age Mr. Bob Backlund then I’m all for it. About time they did something with him to be honest.
Winner: AEW. Ahead of this week I thought NXT would walk this, but half the matches on the card weren’t really matches, just angles. The title matches were all good, but with TakeOver coming up it felt like they were there just to clear the slate before Stand and Deliver (terrible name).
AEW may have had a pointless squash win for Cody, but a good showing for Ethan Page, a great opener, a really good title match, and the frenetic women’s tag match give it the big W this week.