Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    304

    NXT Versus AEW: Week 1 (Oct. 2nd)- Who Won? And A Breakdown/What's To Come

    Well the time has come! We are back to days where WWE has direct weekly televised competition, this time against the phoenix known as AEW that is coming out of WCW's ashes. It isn't a coincidence that they are on TNT, just like WCW was. It's no coincidence that they had Rhodes family members both opening and closing the show. It's no coincidence that Tony Schiavone popped back into the announcing role after a very long sabbatical, nor that they played on Nitro and Thunder with their show name, Dynamite. This show represents fans reborn resentment for a company that has become complacent and bloated once more, WWE. The nostalgia.is.dripping! And they are going up against WWE's once developmental product, NXT!


    And let's set the record straight. NXT isn't WWE's 3rd show. Let's be honest, even if being subjective, RAW and Smackdown both largely suck these days. NXT is the only must see television WWE produces weekly at this point if you ask me. And we are gonna put that to the test today as we compare the two companies first foray into direct competition! You see, AEW had their premiere episode this past Wednesday night, while NXT picks up in week 2 of their USA deal where they left off in week 1, so the battle is officially on!


    Having said that, regardless, it is good that WWE has any other company on TV to try and keep them at least semi honest in their programming/booking. We haven't felt it's true effects yet, as is clearly evident by Smackdown's absolutely abysmal debut episode on Fox, and RAW's painful episode this Monday. WWE's main roster- still bloated, still complacent, still oblivious. But NXT isn't. NXT has churned out cards in it's first two weeks on USA television that looked and felt like a solid Takeover PPV, much, much better than Hell In A Cell was on Sunday at that! So AEW has some work to do. But did they start strong?


    Obviously our enjoyment of pro wrestling is subjective, so take my opinion as you will, but know that I want AEW to succeed, and I do owe NXT my gratitude for keeping my fandom for pro wrestling alive for the past half a year now. I have my reasons for both products to shine. But I won't be "unbiased" like Dave Meltzer- no 6 star ratings for AEW, or either company here, but in my opinion, after their first week's clash there was a clear winner in my eyes. I do want to state up front though that AEW is still essentially in their infant stages as a pro wrestling federation, brand new to TV, so some absolute slack needs to be given while the company learns and grows. That kind of gives away that I thought NXT pretty easily won the week, but I'll explain why as we go.


    Don't fret AEW fans, and those still deciding on watching, as the company has a lot going for it! They have some truly great wrestlers, quite a few disenfranchised by WWE themselves. Including names like Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Pac (Neville), Dean Ambrose, and even Jack Swagger, who all showed up in week 1. They also have commodities in the wrestling world like the Young Bucks, Adam "Hangman" Page, and NJPW IWC current wrestling darling, Kenny Omega. Make no mistake, this roster has a lot of talent on it.


    And a lot of variety. But that is part of why I felt they didn't excel as much as they should have in week 1. They seemed to dial back on aspects that many fans have mentioned being staples of their product, or things that separate them from main roster WWE. "Sideshow attractions", or variety acts if you will. As they gain their feet on TV, I think we will have to settle for glimpses of who this company's identity truly is until they get comfortable. Pretty much meaning marketing will make them dial back on their uniqueness until they have built a solid ratings foundation. And in week 1 they showed amazing promise with a 1.4 opening in the Nielsen ratings compared to NXT's .890. So on paper, AEW technically won the night.


    Though keep in mind why Nielsen is a bit outdated, in that there are way more avenues to get your wrestling now. In NXT's opening week, unopposed, they drew a little over a 1.0. You can comfortably assume that a percentage of people like myself have a WWE Network subscription, and therefore switched over to AEW for the night, knowing that we could catch NXT on the Network a few days later. This certainly helps explain the .110 ratings dip from week 1 to week 2 for NXT. And shows that the gap is much closer than those ratings show between the two companies.


    What is promising for AEW though, is when adding in their replay of the show, that 1.4 bumps up to nearly a 1.9. In other words, a lot of people tuned in. Week 2 for them will be very telling in terms of their Nielsen rating, but I imagine many will stick around. Which means only good things for pro wrestling as a whole.


    While AEW had the ratings win, their lineup wasn't quite on the level of NXT's. NXT boasted championship matches for their Women, Tag Teams, and Men, while also establishing a number 1 contender for the Women. I will openly say about 4 matches on NXT all exceeded the best match AEW had on the night, so if you value wrestling over spectacle, NXT might be your jam this past Wednesday. Though AEW was merely setting the stage for what is to come.


    If you're looking for highlights from NXT, set your sights on Adam Cole versus Matt Riddle for the NXT Men's Championship, Shayna Baszler versus Candice Larae for the NXT Women's Championship, IO Shirai versus Mia Yim for the Women's #1 contendership, and The Street Profits versus The Undisputed Era for the Tag Team Championships. Cole vs Riddle was absolutely inspired in the opening 10 plus minutes of the match, Baszler was on full heel display, Io Shirai showed off her incredible in-ring skill, and The Undisputed Era showed again why they may be the best tag team in the entire world presently.


    On the AEW side, focus your attention on Cody Rhodes versus Sammy Guevara, Adam "Hangman" Page versus Pac, and to lesser extents, Riho versus Nyla Rose for the AEW Women's Championship, and the 6 man tag match that closed out the show, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks versus Chris Jericho with Ortiz and Santana. Cody and Sammy gave their all with chemistry and consequence, Adam and Pac displayed their vast skill sets, Riho and Nyla told an underdog's tale, and the 6 man match was chaos, surprises, and the Young Bucks shining brightly.


    In the end, NXT brought so much intriguing in ring action that it felt almost overwhelming, as in, there isn't much room to improve for their next PPV event wrestle wise, while AEW seemed to focus more on establishing characters, and setting the stage for storylines to grow. A big reason why, in my opinion, that NXT dominated week 1, though I truly enjoy good in-ring action. Going ahead I hope that AEW focuses more on solid in-ring action over spectacles like Riho versus Nyla, and their over saturated 6 man tag match, and I hope NXT puts more focus on their character development, so we have more substance to go along with all the outstanding wrestling.


    Things to avoid were Finn Balor putting us all to sleep with his NXT return, and a less than inspired Pete Dunne match, capped off by an equally uninspiring run in by super green Damien Priest. And on the AEW side MJF versus Cutler stunk out loud, while for me, the Women's match was too far gone from the realms of reality, while the logic of the referee in the 6 man tag was a glaring distraction, paired with simply too much going on to digest the spectacle easily.


    Things to look forward to next week include the blazing start to the heavily stacked AEW Tag Team tournament, and Dustin Rhodes and Adam "Hangman" Page versus Y2J and Sammy Guevara, along with a deeper look into the women's division. While for NXT two matches you must see, are between Leo Rush and Drew Gulak for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, and Japanese prodigy/wrestle wizard Kushida faces off against the NXT UK Men's Champion, the wrestling purist/building legend and leader of Imperium that is WALTER! Also expect returning heel master, Blackheart Tommaso Ciampa to have a segment, and I'd bet money on my man Keith Lee making an appearance!


    So in conclusion, AEW won the night in ratings, while NXT won the night in show quality, but, ultimately, we all win going ahead! Week 2 should be filled with highlights on both sides of just that. And I for one cannot wait! Hopefully I will bring you a week 2 breakdown sometime this upcoming weekend, with a possible talent ranking system for both sides.








    Until then, thanks for reading, feel free to chime in below, and dig in to your pro wrestling fandom, as a new era has just kicked off in a big way!
    Last edited by Kleckamania; 1 Week Ago at 02:47 AM.


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    3
    I believe I'm right in saying that 1.4 & .890 were the number of viewers in millions and not Nielsen ratings. Can't find the article now but from memory the Nielsen ratings were around .6 and .4 respectively for the shows

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    304
    Forbes. Yep AEW had a .7, while NXT had a .5. I usually only see the numbers discussed as what I put in the column (in terms of millions) Sorry for the confusion!


  4. #4
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,589
    Enjoyed the write up Kleck.

    While I don't wholly disagree with your conclusion I feel like AEW were a little more honest with their offering than NXT. While AEW did have one championship match and a big tag team match for thr main event, NXT threw up just about every major title they had and put on some of their biggest possible match ups, it was almost a mini Takeover and certainly not something they can do every week.

    What this means long term I'm not sure and I'm not saying NXT wasn't a good show because of it, just noting down how the two compare. This week will probably be a little more of an upfront assessment of what we can expect on both sides.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    345
    I think, from a ratings perspective (which is the only thing people are going to look at), that AEW has the advantage her because fans who have the WWE Network know that they can skip NXT on USA and just watch it on the network when they feel like it. Also, AEW came in with ALOT of hype for their first show so the ratings were understandably good. But now the true test begins in seeing if they're able maintain and increase those ratings. If so, WWE might have a serious problem on their hands.

  6. #6
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,084
    Pretty fair look at things here, I thought! I don't necessarily agree with it all, but I think much of it comes down purely to taste. I was drawn to watch Dynamite and enjoyed it quite a lot for the most part, whereas I've dropped NXT from my watching schedule in the past couple years as it began to appeal to me less. Case in point, I loved the women's match in AEW, and the last thing I would want to see if I came back to NXT was an Adam Cole match! But that's just fine, I think appealing to different fans is what will make this fun. You touched on a little, but NXT's ratings didn't really dip THAT much when AEW came along, whereas Dynamite scored a big number out of the gate, which to me says there are tons of fans on both sides who are going to have a lot of fun with this whole thing.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    18
    coolstamp.png
    Good on you for capturing the Wednesday night wrestling fun, Kleck.

    I loved both opening matches. Exciting kickoff. Fell asleep watching AEW, but that's cause it was early AM when I got to it.
    Naturally, I chose nXt to watch live because...it's my fav and I write on it!

    nXt can't put out a show like that every week though and it will be more usual to see 1 championship match per show. They'll spread it out to keep the hype going towards WarGames. It seems like they'll be able to feature more matches/stories per episode and maybe give a bit more time to matches that would've otherwise gotten 3-4 minutes. Now, they'll be 8-9 minutes. That's a win for wrestling fans.

    One thing I'm liking with AEW is the stable/faction stuff. It's an easy way to get multiple feuds going with a common purpose. Wrestlers can be mixed up to face one another, tag matches can suffice for furthering the feud without exhausting singles matchups...these are good things.

    Looking forward to the next one, buddy!!!
    Check out all the Cool Points columns here.
    LOP's resident nXt guy
    CF since 2013

  8. #8
    Good stuff, Kleck. When you think wrestling ratings, you have to think of a commodity that can be entertaining every week in an episodic way. Which company will be first to build an exciting quest. NXT putting a PPV against AEW and losing, to me shows WWE's desperation to keep this company from rising and them failing at it. I think there's going to be a stigma on NXT, because AEW is the underdog and WWE has turned it more into AEW competition than it being their best brand. If WWE can hold AEW back with NXT, they can keep being lazy with RAW and Smackdown!

    In ring work means much more when the characters matter more. I'm wanting to see characters enhance week after week.

    But still we're all winners when there's more options. I hope AEW and NXT hits that must see thing that want to tune in and see where it leads the next week.

    Maybe, best of all is its inspired Kleck to write more columns!
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 1 Week Ago at 07:26 PM.
    See the latest of my Ric Flair saga click here. http://lordsofpain.tv/showthread.php...acock-(Part-2) View my story inspired by colorful wrestlers I've come across in my fandom. http://lordsofpain.tv/showthread.php...-the-Challenge

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    304
    Sam- True. I think NXT is toning down a bit now, focusing more on character development instead of marquee matchups one on top of another, whereas AEW is ramping up. We are 2 weeks in, and it is already fun watching the two products evolve. I'm enjoying both personally!

    Don- That is exactly what I do. My Tuesday-Wednesday is insane, so I have to just watch AEW at 8, then catch NXT on the Network a few days later. And a lot of people are doing that. I think WWE knows that. The numbers though are dipping, so Im nervous that WWE might run some audibles around the 5-7 week markers, we'll have to see how the numbers play out in the next 2-3 weeks.

    Miz- I get why you would stop watching NXT, but there are some genuine talent forming there atm. Shayna Baszler is an absolute blessing as a heel. Keith Lee is one of my favorite guys to watch at the moment, I'm amazed at his abilities as a big. Roddy Strong is stringing together one awesome match after another. Tommaso Ciampa is one of the best male heels currently going. I get the Adam Cole dislike, but there is plenty else to enjoy. I think AEW really hit their stride in week 2 as well. I am just happy to have a reinvigorated fandom thanks to those 2 feds atm.


    Mr Cool! I marked out a bit seeing you feed this. The NXT legend himself!

    The extra match time in NXT has already been noticeable for me. And they are spreading the big time matches out more this past week which is nice. I saw some definite strides in character development this past week too.

    Great point out about the factions in AEW. You could write a killer column about that, as it really is a great strategy for a new fed to get as many people over asap, while making the card flow very smoothly in terms of storytelling.

    Ben- aww shucks

    I think NXT focused more on character development this past week. I also think there are a lot of angry fans driving AEW to success atm, which will force WWE to at least consider that going ahead. Im excited to watch both shows evolve, and they both already have. It's like watching young children develop, always fascinating and often very enjoyable.

    I wish you the absolute best of luck on the MP. You deserve it, and they need your unique style up there.


    Thanks all! Week 2 will be posted momentarily!


  10. #10
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,084
    Oh for sure, NXT has some GREAT talent at the moment! I think two things contributed to me drifting away, first the fact that booking has seemed bland (with a few exceptions) in the past couple years, and second that I always feel like I'm just waiting for these guys to get called up to the main roster and wasted, so it's tough to invest. I still check them out from time to time, but they've got work to do if they want me as a weekly viewer!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •