(CBS Local Sports) — All Elite Wrestling Dynamite debuted Wednesday night, officially starting the Wednesday Night Wars. WWE’s NXT moved into its third week on live TV. How did the two stack up, now that they’re officially going head to head?
AEW Dynamite’s premiere took place at Capital One Arena, in the nation’s capital, and the mood was electric. Right at the top of the show, Cody Rhodes takes down Sammy Guevara. But after the match, Chris Jericho, the promotion’s biggest name, just destroys Cody Rhodes. The energy was dialed up to 10 from the get-go and never flagged, right through Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz defeating Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. That last match devolved into another melee that saw Jake Hager (formerly WWE’s Jack Swagger) destroy Cody Rhodes again. In one highlight, Jon Moxley actually brainbustered Kenny Omega through a glass table.
WWE NXT led with its best, the pay-per-view quality match between Adam Cole and Matt Riddle. Finn Balor then returned to NXT, showing that WWE considers this a co-equal third brand, rather than a developmental brand. But if that’s really the case, WWE will have to consider a new location to film, one that can accommodate a larger crowd that can match the energy in the ring. Will it become a traveling promotion?
The week isn’t over, however. On Friday night, WWE SmackDown moves to a new television home. And if Wednesday night is any indication, we should expect big things. The Rock is scheduled to show up, so it’s all but assured. The card looks promising, with these matches on tap:
- WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
- Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley
- Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon (Ladder match)
- Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan
Reigns, being the face of WWE, is virtually assured of a win. But this match also comes on the heals of a new WWE partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Reigns is a two-time Leukemia survivor, and WWE is going to help LLS raise awareness of blood cancers and raise money to fight them.