The War Report - March 24 2021: Cole And O’Reilly Make It Personal
NXT vs. AEW: Dynamite - which was the better show this week?
As the Wednesday Night Wars appears to be heading towards its final battle - not the ROH PPV - it’s as exciting a time as ever to be a fan of wrestling, never mind the fact there’s WrestleMania and TakeOver in a handful of weeks.
But this is all about the here and now, and what goes down on Wednesday nights. So what’s in store for us this week?
NXT have already announced that Lorcan and Burch have sadly been stripped of the tag titles, so I expect some news regarding the state of the tag division. We also have a Women’s Tag Team Title match scheduled, and hopefully some more tidbits on the burgeoning Ciampa/WALTER feud.
AEW has Matt Sydal taking on Kenny Omega for a potential future shot at the AEW World Title, and we’ll likely hear from Britt Baker after her star making performance last week. And no doubt Tony Schiavone will interview Sting. Again.
Now you’re here you’re probably wondering what’s the point of this article? Well, to make baseless comparisons between two wrestling shows that happen to broadcast on the exact same night. Of course.
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 someone who was never liked Jeff Hardy, so don’t take my opinions to heart
Wrestling is meant to be fun, don’t take it too seriously.
NXT pre-announced a handful of matches this week, in what turned out to be a six-match card.
We opened with former Women’s Tag Champs Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeating Io Shirai and Zoey Stark. I really enjoyed this match. Stark impresses me more with each passing week, and Io and Raquel always deliver. And even though I’m not a fan of Dakota Kai, I can’t deny that she’s a good wrestler. Raquel got the win here though, of course.
Match two saw Bronson Reed get the shock win over LA Knight. Decent match, but nothing special, I’m just glad Knight has been defeated, because the last thing NXT needs is another debuting star with an undefeated streak. Reed’s Tsunami splash is lovely though.
Karrion Kross defeated Oney Lorcan. It was good, if not inevitable. Then WALTER murdered Drake Maverick in about 30 seconds. I’m disappointed WALTER didn’t chop Maverick all the way back to Birmingham though. No disrespect intended Mr. Spud, but come on it would have been a spectacle.
The Women’s Tag Title match between Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon against Aliyah & Jessi Kamea was changed, with Mercedes Martinez taking the place of the injured Kamea. Still wasn’t good enough though, as the champs retained in three minutes.
And your main event saw Jordan Devlin defeat Kushida. The two complimented each other really well, and this was a fast paced affair. Devlin got the win due to distraction from Legado Del Fantasma, and Kushida went berserk. Too right he did.
Similarly, AEW promoted a six-match card with a handful of pre-announced matches.
We kicked off with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega taking on Matt Sydal. If Sydal won he’d get a title shot, but this is Kenny Omega we’re talking about, and The Cleaner got the win with One Winged Angel. Great opener.
Hangman Page made light work of Cezar Bononi, and it was nice to see Bononi on Dynamite again to be honest.
The Pinnacle defeated Varsity Blonds and Dante Martin in an entertaining six-man tag. The faces got far more offence than I thought they would, and I want a proper feud for The Blonds soon. Shawn Spears got the win with the C4, and it was good to see The Chairman get the deciding pinfall.
Sticking with six-man action, Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid defeated The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler. Another good match, but it felt like an exhibition match really. Just lots of quick sequences and very little selling. Cutler looked good though, but took the pinfall because we all knew he would.
Surprise of the night (for me) was Tay Conti defeating Nyla Rose. Going into this I thought Rose would dominate, but Conti used her BJJ background to out manoeuvre the Native Beast. A really good showing for Conti, and with The Bunny attacking her post match, it looks like she’s got a feud too.
The main event was my match of the week; Darby Allin vs. John Silver. Not huge on the Darby Allin gimmick, but the guy is a hell of a wrestler who always delivers. This was the John Silver show though, and Meatman looked great tossing Darby about like an old toy.
Winner: AEW. Simply put, there was far more meat to AEW’s matches this week. NXT put on zero duds don’t get me wrong, but with a three minute tag title match, a WALTER squash, and the inevitable Karrion Kross victory, NXT’s in-ring action didn’t grip me as much as AEW's did.