Beasts, championship belts, and… citrus fruits? All this and more on this week’s edition of Wednesday Night War!
After last week’s shows, both AEW and NXT looked to continue their respective momentums this week in the ratings war. Fyter Fest and The Great American Bash had stacked cards going into the night, providing fans with a little bit of everything.
While both shows were excellent, one shined just a little bit brighter. Which one was it? You’ll have to wait and see, but let’s start things off with highlights from AEW’s Fyter Fest!
AEW Fyter Fest
Kicking things off is some tag team action, which saw FTR & The Young Bucks fall to The Butcher, The Blade, & The Lucha Bros.
The biggest question going into this one was how well FTR & The Bucks would coexist as a team. However, they surprised many (and even themselves) with their impressive chemistry that almost secured them the win.
But almost is the operative word here, as one moment of miscommunication was all it took for them to lose the match. It adds even more tension between the two teams and continues the buildup to their inevitable showdown.
The Lucha Bros. picking up the win almost guarantees them a shot at the AEW Tag Team Championships down the line. While I still think that Best Friends should have won last week, Pentagon & Fenix taking on Kenny Omega & ‘Hangman’ Adam Page should be wildly entertaining.
Up next is an absolute beatdown at the hands of Nyla Rose.
She took on Kenzie Page & KiLynn King in a handicap match, but it was hardly a challenge for The Native Beast. It was an impressive win that showed she is still a legitimate threat within the AEW women’s division.
But then Rose took to the microphone afterwards, and that’s where things got interesting. She said that every superstar with a manager in AEW has found success, so she took it upon herself to find one of her own. However, she wouldn’t reveal their identity, but promised they would help her win gold once more.
I think this was a good move; it spices things up for Rose at just the right time and adds a little mystery into the mix as well. Who knows when her manager will reveal themselves, but one thing is for certain: don’t count The Native Beast out of the title picture just yet.
Wrapping up our AEW highlights is the main event, where Chris Jericho outlasted a game Orange Cassidy.
If there was any doubt that Cassidy could shine in a main event role, he certainly proved otherwise. More than once it looked like he was pulling off the upset, overcoming interference from Santana & Ortiz, orange juice, and a baseball bat.
While Jericho will certainly brag about his win for weeks to come, a hint of doubt will still be stuck in his mind. A man that he essentially shrugged off came within inches of beating him several times and gave him a fight that he was not expecting.
Now it’ll be interesting to see where Cassidy goes from here; will he stay with Best Friends or go out on his own and chase some championship gold?
Moving over to NXT, we start with the show’s opening contest. Candice LeRae bested Mia Yim in a hotly contested street fight.
I really looked forward to this one and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The buildup was spot on and deserved something more than just a traditional one-on-one match.
Both women were put through the wringer, with each having their fair share of nasty looking spots. While LeRae is no stranger to these hardcore-style matches, Yim would not be denied and held her own just as much. The use of the brass knuckles was a nice touch and a subtle nod to NXT General Manager William Regal.
I feel like this might be the end of this feud, but if it’s not I wouldn’t mind at all. I could watch these two go at it all day!
Next, we look at more tag team action that saw Legado del Fantasma defeat Drake Maverick & Breezango.
This match once again proved how Maverick’s passion for the business makes anything he’s a part of entertaining. Everything was set up perfectly, so he and Santos Escobar didn’t get ahold of each other right away.
While I expected Jake Atlas to be involved in this feud, Breezango wasn’t a bad choice either. They work well with Maverick and are a solid team to help put other guys over.
It didn’t seem like this ended things, so expect these six to keep going at it over the next several weeks.
Finally, we come to the match that everyone was waiting for. Keith Lee became the first dual champion in NXT history, defeating Adam Cole in a winner-takes-all main event.
If anyone expected this to not steal the show, they were kidding themselves. Both men’s track records speak for themselves and we all knew we were in for a fantastic match.
What sets Cole apart from most is the fact that he never seems totally outmatched. He could be going against someone twice his size but can still find ways to wear them down and beat them. But on this night, Lee would not be denied. If anyone was going to beat Cole, he was the man to do it.
As The Limitless One celebrated his win, Karrion Kross & Scarlett were watching from above. This certainly indicates who they are targeting next, which is sure to be an intense feud. On the other hand, who knows if Cole will stay in NXT or move to RAW or SmackDown.
Honestly, I’d rather see him stay on the black-and-yellow brand. Given the recent track record of NXT call-ups (see my girl, Shayna Baszler), it doesn’t really give fans confidence that he would find the same success on Monday or Friday nights.
AEW and NXT did not make this an easy choice this week. While opinions will certainly be divided, my winner this week is…
For the first time here on TWM’s Wednesday Night War, NXT takes the top prize. To be fair, I probably would have picked NXT last week as well.
What gave them the edge for me was LeRae and Yim’s street fight and Cole vs. Lee in the main event. Both matches had me hooked the entire time and were great ways to kick off and end the show.
Will AEW rebound, or will NXT keep their momentum going? Check back next week and find out!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!