Come one, come all, it’s Thursday so of course it’s time for The War Report, where I Jack ‘long time wrestling fan with no experience in the business’ Atkins give my thoughts about last night’s AEW: Dynamite and NXT.
So what was in store for the Wednesday Night Wars? With NXT: TakeOver: Stand & Deliver (awful name) officially rubber stamped, NXT can go full throttle towards the big two-night event in several weeks time. Personally, I’m most looking forward to seeing if the burgeoning Tomasso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher vs. Imperium feud gains any ground this week.
AEW subtitled this week’s edition of Dynamite the ‘St. Patrick’s Day Slam’, and if they don’t do a St. George’s Day Rumble in June then I bet your dad will fill his kecks with rage.
So how do I cobble together my thoughts on AEW and NXT I hear you ask, well 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 am the man who thinks Marvellous Marc Mero should have been a much bigger star in the WWF, so take that as you will.
As always, wrestling is meant to be fun, don’t take it too seriously.
I was disappointed with NXT last week, as the matches felt like either obligations that needed getting over and done with, or were just there to further an angle without a proper outcome. This week was far better though, with all eyes on TakeOver.
After a conspicuous absence last week, Austin Theory went toe-to-toe with Dexter Lumis in a fun opener. Theory showed no fear when across the ring from Lumis, and enjoyed spells in control. Big Dex eventually got the win with Silence, and it was the correct move.
Legado Del Fantasma had a quick win over Breezango, and while it was all to set-up Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin having words, the bout itself was good, with Breezango showing fire and determination, which is always nice.
Dakota Kai beat Zoey Stark in what was arguably the best match of the show. Stark is looking really good and you can tell WWE has high hopes for her, but Kai needed this win after eating all the pins recently in the tag division.
Tomasso Ciampa and Marcel Barthel had a quick intense match with the Sicilian Psychopath getting the expected win, whilst LA Knight made short work of August Grey in his NXT debut.
The main event saw Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeat Finn Bálor and Karrion Kross. Burch took a nasty bump off of a double suplex, and may be out for a while, so Lorcan had to hold his own against the two main eventers. I mean, technically it should have been a no contest but whatever. Nice to see the Champs retain though, I hate when two singles rivals win tag gold, one of my most hated tropes in wrestling.
AEW held the St. Patrick’s Day Slam! Why? Well, a holiday is always a good reason for a special show.
We started off with Cody Rhodes vs. Penta, all stemming from when Penta taunted Cody’s duff shoulder last week. This was intense and heated, and saw Cody get the surprise win with a roll-up. However, I didn’t like this. The in-ring quality was good, but it felt like they skipped several weeks of this feud. Also, Cody no-selling an arm snap to get the roll-up win was rubbish. Should have been a DQ finish or ref stoppage or something.
Jade Cargill squashed Dani Jordyn, and Matt Hardy and his clients defeated Jurassic Express and Bear Country because the faces couldn’t get on. Elsewhere Rey Fenix and Angelico had a surprisingly competitive bout. I was sensing a Fenix squash, but Angelico actually was allowed to wrestle, and the two enjoyed a back-and-forth affair. Fenix won though, because of course.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston defeated The Good Brothers in a good match. Mox and Eddie work well as a team, and had nice chemistry with The GBs, but I’m not sure if this was the right result. It was all about the post-match angle anyway.
And our main event; Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker in an Unsanctioned Lights Out match. This was fantastic, as Rosa and Baker beat the absolute bejesus out of one another. There were chairs a plenty, ladders, tables, thumbtacks, and Rebel/Reba going wild with a crutch. Both competitors gave it their all, and Baker looked like a megastar, faced covered in the crimson mask, as she took huge thumbtack and table bumps.
Winner: Draw. Now before you break your thumbs Tweeting obscenities, hear me out on this one.
Of course Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa was match of the week, and will be a definite MOTY candidate, but the rest of Dynamite’s card was just good at best. Whereas across the board NXT was stronger in-ring for me this week. But then nothing on NXT could hold a candle to Rosa vs. Baker. So you see my predicament.
So it all depends on how you view wrestling - if you think one match should be the measuring stick then give it to AEW. If you’re a fan of a well rounded card, then give it to NXT.