(Ambush Sports) — Another week in the Wednesday Night Wars between All Elite Wrestling’s Dynamite and WWE’s NXT brand is in the books. So how did both wrestling shows fare this week?
Dynamite revealed the successful retention of the AEW World Tag Team Championships by Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page against Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky of So Cal Uncensored in a bout that popped just about as much as their previous match where Omega and Page won the titles from them during the Jericho Cruise weeks prior. The match had some pre-bell video vignette interruption from Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and members of the Dark Order, which fired up some things for Christopher Daniels, who left ringside to ensure Dark Order did not interfere with the match.
In some recent angles, there has been much confusion as to whether Daniels has gone to the dark side as the faction’s “Exalted One,” where there’s still speculation that it could possibly be Matt Hardy, who recently made his final WWE appearance, or if it’s Marty Scurll of ROH and NWA renown.
However, after Omega and Page left the ring victorious, the Dark Order enters to attack SCU. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent) charges in, followed by The Butcher (Every Time I Die’s Andy Williams) and The Blade (Pepper Parks), TH2 (Angelico and Jack Evans), and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson). This presents a sneak preview to the tag team battle royale slated to take place next week in Atlanta.
Jim Ross has an interview with Santana from tag team Proud and Powerful, part of the Inner Circle, who was fueled with rage following Jon Moxley’s attack, which resulted in Santana’s eye getting poked by a set of car keys. Santana had expressed that he wanted to Moxley to experience the darkness he lived in his life one decade ago.
Darby Allin has a video promo calling out the Inner Circle, specifically Sammy Guevara, calling for a match at AEW Revolution in Chicago. Allin has not been cleared to wrestle as of the broadcast
Dustin Rhodes faced off again in what seems to be an ongoing rivalry with Guevara. While there some moments that popped, Dustin was able to secure the pinfall and continue to push the proverbial dagger into the egos of the Inner Circle.
Rhodes wasn’t quite content with the win: he wants more. Not from Guevara, but rather that of Jake Hager, who Rhodes called “Jericho’s bitch.” An open challenge was made for a match at Revolution.
Another promo with Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., who continues to roll in this heel turn she’s had since before the cruise. Baker continued to berate and abuse commentator Tony Schiavone while trying to explain her actions from last week. She berated the crowd by mocking Whataburger, which is a huge fast food restaurant chain in Texas and even mocked the Longhorn signal by turning it upside down.
Also revealed was the first title change for the AEW Women’s Championship, as Nyla Rose defeated champion Riho. While Rose has the mentality, much similar to that of the Dudley Boyz, at one point in the match did she “get the tables,” but never got to use them. It’s also amazing that a 98-pound defending champion was as resilient compared to other wrestlers in the women’s division.
Inner Circle was backstage with Lexy Nair, where Chris Jericho cuts a promo on Jon Moxley, hinting at someone who would face him next if he survived against Santana. That’s right — Jericho revealed that Jeff Cobb of New Japan, ROH, Lucha Underground, and PWG renown is coming to AEW.
A brief flashback to last week’s main segment, which involved Maxwell Jacob Friedman delivering ten lashes to Cody Rhodes, one of the three conditions for a match at Revolution.
Brandi Rhodes joins Jim Ross and Excalibur at commentary for Friedman’s match against “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry. Nothing good to say about that match, as it was all MJF and Wardlow playing dirty and can’t get a clean win. Cheap post-match attack by Wardlow, when Jurassic Express teammates Marko Stunt and Luchasaurus storms into the ring while MJF and Wardlow retreat.
PAC has a video promo relating to the upcoming 30-minute rubber match with Kenny Omega, confirmed for the Kansas City broadcast in two weeks from the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Confirmed for next week’s Dynamite from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta and AEW Revolution in Chicago:
- Cody Rhodes v. Wardlow in a steel cage match
- Tag Team Battle Royal with the winner getting a title shot at AEW Revolution
- AEW World Tag Team Championship match: Lucha Bros. (Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr.) against Omega and Page
- Dustin Rhodes v. Jake Hager in singles action at Revolution
The main event match is dubbed ‘eye for an eye’: Jon Moxley is performing with only one good eye following an attack several weeks ago, while Santana is doing the same following an attack on Dynamite last week.
Inner Circle watches the match from the luxury seats. Santana is joined at ringside by Ortiz.
A lot of back-and-forth action with some close pinfalls and some cheap shots from Santana and Ortiz, but Moxley got the pinfall.
A lot of post-match attacks by Ortiz and the Inner Circle, but the final shots coming from Jeff Cobb to end the broadcast.
NXT is having their go-home show prior to NXT TakeOver Portland.
The show kicks off with a promo by Roderick Strong from The Undisputed Era on Velveteen Dream, demanding an apology. Instead, he gets an interruption and a match with Bronson Reed.
Bianca Belair stood tall, victorious over Santana Garrett, but also laid out NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley with the KOD.
Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox brawled, leading up to their street fight at TakeOver.
Johnny Gargano defeated Cameron Grimes during in-ring action.
Video packages aired during the broadcast, including Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne’s road trip to Portland and Mark Henry, hyping up the North American Championship match between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic.
According to Paul Fontaine from Wrestling Observer, Dynamite finished with an average viewership of 817,000, down 12 percent from last week. The show averaged a 0.3 rating, down 17 percent, and finishing tenth on cable.
NXT viewership dipped two percent to 757,000, but finished up nine percent among the key 18-49 demo at an 0.24 average, finishing 21st on the night.
The NXT demo results reveal one of their best shows since their first few weeks on the USA network, while the 0.6 demo gap between the programs is the closest NXT has been since December 18, when they last beat Dynamite in the ratings.
NXT had a slight win among women 18-49, 0.18 to 0.16 over AEW, while AEW’s strongest demo was among men 18-49, with a 0.41 to 0.28 advantage over the WWE property.
In other demos, both shows were either tied or within a short gap of 0.03 or less of each other.