A title defence, a role model, and a shocking revelation? All this and more in our first edition of Wednesday Night War!
The fallout from Sunday night’s TakeOver: In Your House certainly made things interesting over on NXT. We saw a potential new challenger for the NXT Championship, while several feuds still seem to be going strong.
On the other hand, AEW is building towards its next big show, Fyter Fest. Several matches were announced for it, and things got out of control on more than one occasion throughout the night.
So, the question is: who had the better show this week? Let’s take a look at some of the highlights, starting with AEW!
Starting things off was the opening match of the night, which saw the debuting FTR take on and defeat The Butcher & The Blade.
It was a very solid match and a great way to kick off the show. We all know how good FTR is, and the announce team made sure to hammer that point home. I do have to give some props to The Butcher & The Blade, however. While their time in AEW has been extremely forgetful, they deserve some credit for making this match as good as it was.
The Young Bucks then made an appearance while Tony Schiavone attempted to interview the winners. They congratulated them on their win and thanked them for helping them a few weeks ago. But The Butcher and The Blade attacked once again, and things escalated into an all-out brawl.
AEW Tag Team Champions Kenny Omega & ‘Hangman’ Adam Page came out to assist The Young Bucks and FTR. Once the dust settled, all three teams stared each other down. Things certainly are heating up in the AEW tag team division!
Up next is an appearance from everyone’s favorite role model, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.
She recapped her last two weeks on Dynamite, which included a wide-ranging conspiracy theory and a very inspiring rehab montage. She then continued to go after Big Swole, annoyed with how she always talks about her struggles.
I absolutely love what Baker has done in the last few months. It’s a shame that she got injured when she did, especially since she was on a roll. However, they’ve been able to still find a way to use her week after week. They could have just put her on the shelf and waited until she was fully healed, but instead have found a way to keep her relevant in the women’s division.
We should all be thankful that we have a role model like her to get us through these trying times.
Wrapping up the AEW highlights for this week is the main event of the night, where Cody put his TNT Championship on the line against Marq Quen.
On paper, it seemed like a total mismatch; everyone knew what Quen was capable of with Private Party, but could he hold his own against one of the top guys on the brand? The answer was yes, because he gave a breakout performance that will help him going forward. Much like Jungle Boy the week prior, he pushed Cody to the limit even in defeat.
I think having Cody defend the title every week is a great idea; it gives the younger stars on the roster time to shine and keeps the title relevant. But perhaps his biggest challenge yet will come at Fyter Fest in the form of Jake Hager.
The big man came out after the match and attacked both Cody and Arn Anderson. Private Party & Matt Hardy made the save, but then the rest of The Inner Circle joined the fray and all hell broke loose.
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop between Cody and Hager in the coming weeks. But one thing’s for sure: their match at Fyter Fest won’t be for the faint of heart.
Moving things over to NXT, we start their highlights off with some mixed tag action. The Yimitless team of Mia Yim & Keith Lee took on their recent rivals, Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano.
It was a fun match, even though we saw it before a few weeks prior. What made it more entertaining was the fact that it didn’t just stick to the men vs. the men and the women vs. the women. We saw Yim suplex Gargano, while LeRae was inadvertently the recipient of a Lee splash.
Overall, it was a great way to kick off the show. However, I’m not so sure I agree with the Gargano’s stealing the win. Johnny lost clean to Lee at TakeOver: In Your House, so hopefully this doesn’t put him right back in the front of the line for a title shot.
Our next highlight is easily the most shocking moment from Wednesday night.
Newly crowned Cruiserweight Champion, El Hijo del Fantasma, was out cutting a promo, but Drake Maverick interrupted him. He asked the champion for a shot at the title, to which he obliged.
But then two masked men appeared and cornered them in the ring. These were the same men who have been attacking competitors backstage for months now. Suddenly, El Hijo del Fantasma turned on Maverick and hit him with the Phantom Driver. The two men revealed themselves as Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza, who were kidnapped by masked assailants a while ago.
The champion removed his mask, declaring that he was Santos Escobar and was now completely untouchable.
This was a fantastic segment, and a reveal that I don’t think many saw coming. It’s a great way to not only get Wilde and Mendoza some proper exposure, but to help Maverick out as well. He was already the ultimate underdog, and this can be another instance of him overcoming impossible odds to capture the Cruiserweight Championship.
Finally, we wrap our highlights up with an ominous warning from one of NXT’s newest signees.
NXT Champion Adam Cole just finished defeating Dexter Lumis, thanks to some help from Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong. The three started attacking him before The Velveteen Dream came down to make the save.
All of a sudden, the lights went out and Scarlett appeared. She walked down the ramp and set an hourglass in the ring, sending a clear message that time was running out on Cole’s title reign.
While Karrion Kross going after the NXT Championship seems rather early, I’ll be interested to see the dynamic between him and Cole. Kross’ stoic demeanor would certainly break through Cole’s cocky attitude and leave him intimidated and fearful.
We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out in the coming weeks.
Both shows were pretty good this week, even if one was a fallout show and the other was a build-up. Hopefully they can keep this trend going for a little while, but for this week I’m going to give the edge to…
While NXT had some good matches and promos, AEW was just more consistent throughout the whole show. Adding new matches to the Fyter Fest card makes things more interesting and sets things up for the next several weeks. You also can’t forget waiting to see who Cody puts the TNT Championship on the line against next.
Let’s see if NXT can rebound and top them next week!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!