Oh hey! What’s goin’ on, wrestling fans? Welcome to the latest report back from the frontline of the AEW-NXT war. Scheduling is still a nightmare but at least I don’t have to watch 4 hours of programming in one evening. Let’s get to the action!
NXT SUPER TUESDAY II 9/8/20 (HOSTS: WADE BARRETT, BETH PHOENIX, VIC JOSEPH)
- FINN BALOR VS ADAM COLE (NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH)
- RHEA RIPLEY PROMO
- CONNOR’S CURE PROMO
- ROBERT STONE INTERVIEW
- AT HOME W/THE GARGANOS PT 1
- THATCH AS THATCH CAN
- VELVETEEN DREAM VS ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS
- BREEZANGO PROMO
- AT HOME W/THE GARGANOS PT 2
- BRONSON REED VS AUSTIN THEORY
- ADAM COLE INTERVIEW
- MERCEDES MARTINEZ PROMO
- RODERICK STRONG (W/FISH) VS KILLIAN DAIN
- AT HOME W/THE GARGANOS PT 3
- DAMIEN PRIEST INTERVIEW
- MERCEDES MARTINEZ ( W/STONE) VS RHEA RIPLEY (STEEL CAGE MATCH)
FINN BALOR VS ADAM COLE (NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH) –
- (Boo?) Well, hyping this as one of the most important matches in NXT history, only to have it kick-off the evening, seems a little counter-intuitive, but given we’re coming off an Iron-Man match, I guess I see the logic in wanting to get it “over with”, as it were, especially if they set up another feud later in the program.
- (Boo) Balor & Cole smartly keep it simple during “picture-in-picture” so they don’t take unnecessary risks and you don’t feel like you missed something important, but this just illustrates my disdain for picture-in-picture, especially for important matches.
- (Yay) Not that I thought he wouldn’t, but Wade Barrett has already settled in quite nicely on color.
- (Boo) More picture-in-picture, comprised mostly of traded forearm shots…
- FINISH (BALOR PINS COLE, SUPER 1916 DDT) – makes sense, Balor needs the belt at this point to make his return to NXT relevant. Probably should have just been these two guys last week having this match, but injuries f*ck with booking, so I get they wanted some padding to let them plan (hopefully) long-term. I think Balor could get a good program out of Kross, depending on when he’s healthy enough to return. This was the kind of solid, good stuff you’d expect from these two. It never really hit that upper-echelon of gears, but without a real crowd, I’m not even sure that’s possible. ****
RHEA RIPLEY PROMO –
- (Yay) These short n sweet promos are where it’s at. Not only does it remind me of the quick shots we’d get back in the 80s, but it helps the talent get over as it’s easier to hold character/intensity when the monologue copy is brief. Keep doing these.
CONNOR’S CURE PROMO –
- (Yay) Just a reminder you can donate to a very worthwhile cause at –
BACKSTAGE W/BALOR N’ BELT –
- (Yay?) Cole gives him props and a “Too Sweet”, so I guess that face turn was not a one-shot deal.
ROBERT STONE INTERVIEW –
- (Boo) And that nice run of credibility has come to an abrupt halt…
- (Boo) So Robert Stone was going to attack a woman from behind? Is that the kind of heat we’re going for here? This whole thing is (insert fart noise), but if it’s setting up a Shotzi/Shirai program that might show more of the Shotzi I dug on the independents, than this was at least a quick transition.
AT HOME W/THE GARGANOS (AND TEGAN…) PT 1
- (Boo) Aside from the facts that I don’t want to see wrestlers settling a feud over a nice home-cooked meal and that the multi-camera look makes it more laughable, these are 3 talented performers playing wayyyyy against their strengths.
- (Yay) The best thing about all this is Nox’s Bull Nakano shirt.
THATCH AS THATCH CAN –
- (Yay) Oh good. Let’s settle on this for a name. I like.
- (YAY) Who produced this?!? This was GREAT, with Thatcher giving his best delivery to date, with a creative spin on a traditional promo.
VELVETEEN DREAM VS ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS –
- (Boo) “Thee” Adonis? What am I missing here? Why the quotes?
- FINISH (DREAM PINS “THEE”, DREAM VALLEY DRIVER) – Squashy squash, not sure I’m gonna dig Dream as the cowardly heel given his size and ability…But then again, f*ck Velveteen Dream, or suspend him, rather. *
- (Yay) An actual program for Kushida? Gimme! Nice to see some fire out of him.
BREEZANGO PROMO –
- (Yay) Breeze calling Imperium “Emporium” is the best thing either of these guys has done in months.
AT HOME W/THE GARGANOS (AND TEGAN…) PT 2
- (Boo) Mmmm, spaghetti and lettuce. Glad to know the Garganos bring out the big guns for company.
BRONSON REED VS AUSTIN THEORY –
- (Yay) The new direction/video for Reed’s entrance is fantastic.
- FINISH (REED PINS THEORY, TSUNAMI SPLASH) – Big things are coming for both these gents. Reed gets in most of the offense, as he should, with Theory bumping like crazy while still looking strong and exuding natural heel charisma. Good way to ease him back into the NXT fold. This was quality stuff with both guys coming out of it looking good. *** 1/4
ADAM COLE INTERVIEW –
- (Yay?) Yup, that’s how a babyface talks, all right.
MERCEDES MARTINEZ PROMO –
- (Yay) Yes, short n sweet. Just like that.
RODERICK STRONG (W/FISH) VS KILLIAN DAIN –
- (Boo) Where’s Kyle? Did something happen to Kyle?!?
- (Boo?) Ok, so Roddy’s still working heel. Are we heading towards a Disputed Era?!?
- FINISH (STRONG PINS DAIN, JUMPING KNEE) – Not really jazzed for a Dain/Maverick tandem, but the tag division is weak, so why not? Match was just a match. * 3/4
AT HOME W/THE GARGANOS (AND TEGAN…) PT 3
- (Boo) Good God, can we just cut to the food fight….Oh, ok. Thank you.
DAMIEN PRIEST INTERVIEW –
- (Yay) Solid work from Priest. All the produced segments (Gargano crib aside) this week have been exemplary.
MERCEDES MARTINEZ (W/STONE) VS RHEA RIPLEY (STEEL CAGE MATCH) –
- (Yay) When Ripley enters via run-in, it eliminates that stomp she does on the entrance ramp which is like the only thing I don’t like about her…
- (Boo) Not sure either of these women need weapons to appear badass. We’ve already got the cage.
- (Yay) You know, when not pushing the comedy, Robert Stone is perfectly fine as a heel manager. Just gotta tone it down, brother.
- FINISH (RIPLEY PINS MARTINEZ, RIPTIDE THROUGH TABLE) – Hard-hitting, solid work from both wrestlers. Pacing was odd at times, but that’s a minor complaint. Used the cage effectively, but didn’t do anything too contrived. Wouldn’t normally like Martinez taking a loss this early in her push, but don’t think this hurts her much. Good stuff. *** 1/4
Gargano-house aside, this was the best NXT episode in a good while. This show was already leaps and bounds above All Out, so unless AEW becomes an adult overnight, I think this week’s contest has already been decided.
AEW DYNAMITE 9/9/20 (HOSTS JIM ROSS, TONY SCHIAVONE, EXCALIBUR)
- CHRIS JERICHO/MJF INTERVIEW
- LUCHA BROS VS JURASSIC EXPRESS
- LANCE ARCHER/JAKE ROBERTS PROMO
- MATT HARDY PROMO
- ANGELICO (W/EVANS) VS ORANGE CASSIDY
- MARVEZ KNOCKS ON BUCKS’ DOOR
- KIP SABIAN/PENELOPE FORD BEST MAN ANNOUNCEMENT
- HANGMAN PAGE INTERVIEW
- CHRIS JERICHO/JAKE HAGER VS JOEY JANELA/SONNY KISS
- MJF PROMO
- JON MOXLEY PROMO
- FTR TITLE CELEBRATION
- RICKY STARKS PROMO
- TAY CONTI VS NYLA ROSE (W/GUERRERO)
- KENNY OMEGA INTERVIEW
- DUSTIN RHODES VS BRODY LEE (TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH)
- CODY HAS BIG NEWS!
- (BOO) Big ups to that PPV last Saturday. Now my friends who tell me I shit on AEW too much can see the fruits of their labor. Even ignoring concussions and matches climaxing in a dunking booth, that was some snoretastic sh*t AEW pooped out. Let’s see how they apologize.
CHRIS JERICHO/MJF INTERVIEW –
- (Yay) MJF already with the line of the night, referring to Orange (“That soulless, ginger prick”)
- (Yay) Ok, cutting to a split screen with each guy calling each other “loser” after their mutual admiration promo was cute, I will admit.
LUCHA BROS (AND THE REST OF WHATEVER WE’RE CALLING THIS STABLE) VS JURASSIC EXPRESS –
- (Yay) Nice exchange to begin between Jungle Boy and Fenix. I’d watch these two feud.
- (Boo) I just tune out during these pointless tag matches. I mean, I’m glad it’s not an eight-man, but it’s just the same guys doing the same sequences we’ve seen countless times with no story or passion. This is why almost everyone of the characters on this show are stagnant.
- FINISH (BOY PINS FENIX, ROLL-UP) – Just a match you’d think was fun if you saw it live, but is just a waste of viewing time. ** 1/4
- (Boo) Pushing you to buy the expired PPV with clips where they edit out segments but still show you the entire finish of the title match…..GOLD!
LANCE ARCHER/JAKE ROBERTS PROMO –
- (Yay) Not buying him as a contender, but this was a return to form for Roberts, who seemed to be out of it the past few weeks, and easily the best mic work from Archer since his debut.
MATT HARDY PROMO –
- (BOO) They give him an ovation for getting hurt taking a stupid risk and then risking the health of both competitors by trying to continue? I know he was knocked out, but what the f*ck are you clapping for? Hardy is not the one to blame here: whomever at AEW produced that match and the medical team who let him continue should bear the brunt of that.
- (Yay) Someone should apologize, but you’re probably third on the list of peeps who should be giving it.
- (Boo) Maybe the reason the crowd is giving you the retirement treatment is because you should retire. Work behind the scenes, Matt. I actually think you’d excel there.
ANGELICO (W/JACK EVANS) VS ORANGE CASSIDY –
- (Boo) The amount to which the announcers are trying to convince you that Cassidy is a superstar is labored at best.
- FINISH (CASSIDY PINS ANGELICO, ORANGE PUNCH) – I’m supposed to buy a superman punch from this guy as a finish? Sigh. You know who looked like the more interesting competitor here? Angelico. * 1/4 We’ve seen all that Cassidy is capable of. Time to repackage.
- (Boo) I wince as Chuck Taylor asks for a microphone and no sooner that he gets it, he calls his rivals “ding dongs” before Trent says they are “coming to hurt you.” Can you see why I’m not buying that?
MARVEZ KNOCKS ON BUCKS’ DOOR –
- (Yay) The easiest way you will sway me into the Bucks’ camp is if you have them superkick Marvez every week.
KIP SABIAN & PENELOPE FORD ANNOUNCE THEIR BEST MAN –
- (Boo) Do people who actually like AEW even care about this? Has AEW given us any reason to give a sh*t?
- (Yay) Pillman’s mullet is more over with me than 85% of the roster.
- (Boo) Like most AEW segments, this is taking 5 minutes to tell a 30 second joke.
- (Boo) That’s how you debut Miro (Rusev) for sure, in a Gucci shirt and blond hair showing up to be best man at a wedding. Maybe having him beat the crap out of someone would have been more effective than mentioning his Twitch channel, but what do I know?
HANGMAN PAGE INTERVIEW –
- (Boo) Your tough cowboy said his ribs are “bruised n’ stuff” and notes how the humidity affected him. WHAT ARE WE DOING?!? I’ve never thought Page had the acting chops to pull off this character if he has to open his mouth, but surely someone behind the camera can tell the guy to put some f*cking bass in his voice, as it were. What makes you a cowboy exactly aside from the outfit? Everyone on this roster is just so soft.
CHRIS JERICHO/JAKE HAGER VS JOEY JANELA/SONNY KISS (NO DQ) –
- (Yay) Hoping that grim look on Jericho’s face means a return to someone we can all take more seriously.
- (Boo) In a laughable spot, Janela and Kiss go up for stereo dropkicks before Hager is even in the ring to receive half the stereo. Then they can’t even hit their pose correctly…
- FINISH (HAGER PINS KISS, URANAGE) – Did this need to be no DQ for any actual reason? If you give me a booking pen and a month I could get Sonny Kiss over, but this was wayyyyy too much offense against two guys who could individually be credible World Champs. **
- (Boo) So you’re both singles wrestlers, the tag division is bloated with teams, INCLUDING one from your own faction, but you’re declaring yourselves contenders for the tag belts? I give up.
MJF PROMO –
- (Yay) Oh good, enough of this campaign nonsense. He doesn’t need the extra bells and whistles, especially if they wanna get back to the Wardlow turn.
- (Yay) Another zinger from MJF, referring to Nina’s “Bullshit FACE!”
JON MOXLEY PROMO –
- (Boo?) Moxley is a dependable promo, but when the only real difference week to week is whether it’s brick or wire behind him, I tune out.
FTR TITLE CELEBRATION –
- (Boo) I like Tully with FTR, especially if it ends up going where we hope, but he needs to be given less of the promo responsibilities. FTR have been delivering solid mic work since they debuted. Tully just needs to stand there and look cool.
- (Yay) I CAN NOT WAIT to watch FTR beat the crap out of that dumb-ass dinosaur.
RICKY STARKS PROMO (AS DARBY) –
- (Yay) Dude, Starks is fire on the mic. I like this guy more every time they give him some screen time.
TAY CONTI VS NYLA ROSE (w/VICKIE GUERRERO)-
- (Boo) I’d probably cry on my way to the ring too, Tay.
- FINISH (ROSE PINS CONTI, BEAST BOMB) – Oof, sloppy and not a good debut for Conti, but it’s the AEW women’s division, we probably wouldn’t have seen her on tv for at least a month after this anyway. This helped neither competitor. * 3/4
- (Yay) (Upon hearing the Bucks will be fined 5K each for superkicking Marvez) You know, I might pay 5K just for the pleasure of superkicking Alex Marvez. We’ll see what the economy does this fall…
KENNY OMEGA INTERVIEW –
– (Yay) See, use Kenny’s natural ability to be unlikable to your advantage, not your downfall! I mean, just look at that face
DUSTIN RHODES VS BRODY LEE (TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH) –
- (Boo) They announce that AEW does not know when Dynamite will air next week. I know it’s my fault for titling this article the way I did, but y’all are killing me.
- (Boo) Part of the picture-in-picture is literally just Dustin standing in the ring waiting for his opponent. Think we could have cut to full commercial on that one.
- (Boo) Granted it didn’t break, but having someone do a table bump on a concrete floor after what happened last weekend is enraging.
- (Boo) I know we’re not buying Dustin as a threat, but the amount to which they are promoting Cody’s HUGE announcement after the match kinda helps give it away.
- FINISH (LEE PINS RHODES, DISCUS LARIAT) – Dustin did his best to get a decent match out of Lee, but just no suspense here. ** 3/4
CODY’S BIG HUGE NEWS! –
- (Boo) Oh, it’s a plug for a talent show that has absolutely no connection with AEW or wrestling other than Cody is guest hosting…. AEW will be the death of me… Also, how pissed off is Paul Wight right now? The Big Show?!?
Ok, wow, AEW is steadily making it harder to even enjoy hating them. This week’s offering was like a thick mud while NXT this week kicked even the PPV’s a**. Easy one this week –
THIS WEEK’S WINNER: NXT