The War Report - March 17 2021: Blood. Thumbtacks. Ripped Jackets.
NXT vs. AEW: Dynamite - which was the better show this week?
Like I’ve said, NXT this week was the first official stop on the 'Stand & Deliver' train.
This episode was underpinned by three main storylines; Bálor vs. Kross. Cole vs. O’Reilly. Ciampa/Thatcher vs. Imperium.
For starters, I’m really not feeling Bálor vs, Kross, but I am willing to give it time. It’s as Cultaholic friendos Steve & Larson said; NXT has a ‘badass’ problem - everyone wants to be cool and hard, but it sometimes makes it hard to care. For this to work, I want Bálor either full-on babyface again, or Bullet Club style arsehole, this 'too cool for school middle-man' ain’t working for me. That said, Finn, Kross, and Scarlett all played their roles well tonight.
Cole vs. O’Reilly leapt forward massively this week. Cole started off by directing his anger towards O’Reilly (who wasn’t there) by saying he made a mistake when he attacked him last week. Cole said Kyle is jealous of him, Regal said he isn’t medically cleared so is at home, Kyle showed up on the screen and vowed revenge. Later on Regal was called to an incident that saw Cole in handcuffs swearing his head off, as Kyle was also in handcuffs in a car, also swearing. A bit of attempted vehicular manslaughter for the ol’ palate it seems. This eventual match will be amazing
But the biggest storyline beat for me saw WALTER make his return to NXT, chopping the soul out of Tomasso Ciampa before folding him in half with a powerbomb. This is my TakeOver main event right here.
So for AEW we already covered The Pinnacle’s official coming out party, and that was the biggest non-wrestling portion of the show.
Brian Cage seemingly going against Team Taz is interesting, and the right move, as Cage is better on his own. It was also nice to see Darby’s focus return to the TNT Title, with John Silver answering the call to face him next week. -1 did accept the challenge first, but Evil Uno put the kibosh on that because he is a child. Spoilsport.
The Kenny Omega/Good Brothers/Young Bucks union had another spanner thrown in it by Don Callis, with the YBs stopping the GBs from Pillman-ising Moxley’s throat after snapping Eddie Kingston’s ankle. Even worse, Matt and Nick refused to ‘too sweet’ their Bullet Club buddies. The disrespect.
And would you look at that! A Miro segment that was actually good. The Bulgarian Brute told Kip Sabian not to have his wife ringside - wink nudge - and that when Miro is in the ring nothing matters to him except destiny, and he wants to be world champion. Kip agreed, and the two said they’re still friends out of the ring. Looking forward to seeing an unhinged Miro judo throwing everyone to be honest with you.
And I have to put it here because I went too long earlier; we finally heard from Christian Cage who said he is in AEW to cement his legacy and outwork everybody. He also admitted he needs a few wins under his belt before he comes for Kenny Omega.
Oh and a special shout-out to Penta for taking the piss during his match with Cody and wearing a delightful green Paddy’s Day bowler hat.
Winner: NXT. WALTER VS. CIAMPA. And everything else too I suppose.
We also got Robert Stone Brand issuing a challenge to the new Women’s Tag Team Champions. Devlin vs. Santos Escobar is looking spicy. Bronson Reed ripped LA Knight’s ugly jacket, and Io Shirai gave a contract to Raquel Gonzalez.
…WALTER VS. CIAMPA THOUGH AMIRITE