The Wednesday Night Wars are upon us.
With NXT moving to USA Network on September 18th, WWE has given their response to AEW. AEW on TNT starts on October 2nd, and wrestling fans will be able to choose a side and watch either AEW or NXT.
If you need any swaying here are five reasons why, in my opinion, NXT is the superior brand to All Elite Wrestling
5. WWE’s Production Levels
AEW’s first few pay-per-view events have looked visually pleasing. Their ability to change the sets and deliver a quality viewing experience has been impressive. As impressive as their first efforts have been, they still don’t match up to the quality presentation that WWE has had for years.
Over decades, WWE has been the standard bearer for production value. From camera work to hype videos to entrance themes, WWE has been on top of their game. NXT is always the cream of the crop. TakeOvers are crisp and clean with amazing video packages. Yes, the sets are always the same. It is still an incredible set, and there are never any production slip-ups. NXT looks really good, and until AEW can consistently match that quality it is a tick in NXT’s favour.
4. TakeOvers Are All Thriller, No Filler
Through Double or Nothing, Fyter Fest, and All Out, AEW has given us standout matches. It has also given us matches fans were not nearly as keen on. With a longer run-time and pre-show matches, AEW pay-per-views have the potential to wear you down in a way that TakeOvers just don’t.
In the past three TakeOvers, there was only one match that was below par. That was Mia Yim versus Shayna Baszler at the most recent TakeOver in Toronto. That means that NXT has hit on 14/15 of their last TakeOver matches. It is consistent quality wrestling and storytelling, and it usually wraps up in under 3 hours. AEW fans have had great matches, but also some filler during their pay-per-views. NXT TakeOvers trim the fat, and give you the best.
3. Adam Cole Is A Better Champion Than Chris Jericho
One of NXT’s biggest advantages is the Undisputed Era. Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong make for one of the best factions in the world of wrestling right now. Their leader, Cole, also represents NXT as it’s champion. By having the younger, more exciting Cole at the center of their brand, NXT feels fresher.
I’m saying all of this as a long-time Chris Jericho fan. When Jericho became the inaugural AEW Champion, it was a surprising move to choose him over the younger, fresher Adam Page. Wrestling fans have been complaining about part-timers and older wrestlers getting too much limelight over fresh stars. Jericho can be seen as an example of that right now, giving Cole and NXT the edge in terms of leading men.
2. NXT’s Women’s Division Is Stacked
AEW is full of talented tag teams and men’s division stars. NXT however has the edge in the quality of the women’s division. AEW has a lot of potential in it’s womens competitors. Britt Baker, Riho, and Nyla Rose all represent exciting building blocks for their division. As of right now, it isn’t on the same level as NXT.
NXT’s women’s division has created four absolute stars in Becky Lynch, Bayley, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks. Even with those four now entrenched on the main roster, the women’s division continues to excel. Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, Bianca Belair and more make the women’s matches NXT can put on must-watch. NXT has a history of amazing women’s matches that shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re a fan of women’s wrestling, NXT might be the better option for you.
1. Johnny Gargano
Mr. NXT himself. Johnny Gargano is the man who has made NXT the juggernaut it is over the past two and a half years. He has had some of the best matches WWE has ever seen, not just NXT. His long-term feud with former best friend and tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa is the best overall feud in NXT history. Gargano’s presence on the brand gives the yellow show someone fans are invested in.
Many were worried that Gargano would be moving to the main roster permanently after losing to Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver Toronto II. Instead, Gargano will be on Wednesday nights to stay. With the move to USA Network and exposure to a more casual audience, Gargano will be key to getting viewers to stay with the product. Watching his growth will keep hardcore fans coming back, and his likeablilty and in-ring talent can woo the new fans.
There’s lots to be excited about with the Wednesday night wars upon us. Right now, comparing NXT’s long track record to AEW’s few outings is hard to do. We have such a small sample size from AEW, and they could improve on all of these things. For now though, NXT has these advantages. They’ll need to keep improving and building on these as well, or AEW will pass them by sooner rather than later.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @EvanGomes_. Thanks for reading!