Written by Bill Bodkin (AEW) & Kimmy Sokol (NXT)
Here’s a fun fact, by the time I was born (Kimmy), the Monday Night Wars was already completed so I never got the opportunity to experience WCW vs WWE. I, Bill, however, was there live every single week. Luchadors, Austin 3:16, If Ya Smell What the Rock is Cookin’, the nWo, D-X, Goldberg’s streak was glorious.
Although we have seen NXT vs AEW in the past, this just felt different. NXT had all the top stars while AEW had match-of-the-year candidates. When it comes down to it tonight, what show did better? Well here is the duel review of both Dynamite and NXT.
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday: Buy-In Eddie Kingston vs. Minoru Suzuki:
CHOPS ON CHOPS ON CHOPS. 50K+ people watched this match on AEW’s YouTube Channel. This was a classic Eddie Kingston vs. Japanese legend match — a stiff as-all-hell battle between two battle-hardened warriors standing toe-to-toe, neither giving ground. Well, that was until Suzuki clobbered the living soul out of Kingston on multiple occasions, catching The Mad King multiple times right in the jaw. However, Eddie Kingston gives no quarter and doesn’t know when to quit — he fought back with his signature moves (the Exploder, the Back Fist, the Northern Lights Bomb). But “Murder Grandpa” (yes it got chanted) isn’t the King of Pancrase and a multi-time champion based on his boyish good looks. He fought, scrapped, and clawed to stay in the match but eventually fell to Kingston.
Winner: “And Still” Eddie Kingston
Post-Match: Kingston and Suzuki trade chops as a show of respect. That’s because they’re insane.
AEW Title Tuesday Opening Segment: Christian Cage, Father of the Year:
Christian Cage is in the TV truck, and announces he’s secured 30 minutes of commercial-free from TNT (since he’s the face of Warner Bros Discovery) and he’ll address Adam Copeland after Luchasaurus destroys him.
NXT’s Opening Segment Cody Rhodes’ Big Announcement:
They are going crazy for Rhodes in Florida, and he starts off by saying his new favorite word “Yeet!” Rhodes says that everything just feels right because of the Rhodes family history in Florida. Rhodes says he has multiple announcements which include; the men’s breakout tournament, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and that he will be the special guest general manager throughout the night.
Ilja Dragunov comes out by saying his announcements bring a sense of excitement in NXT and that he wanted to meet Cody Rhodes in person. He also says that he is proud to be carrying NXT on his back. Judgement Day enters the chat as Dom Dom says that everyone at NXT came to see him as he is the top champion in NXT. Dom challenges Dragunov to an NXT Championship match tonight, as Dom refuses to put his North American championship on the line. Cody makes the match official and makes LA Knight the special guest referee. There are a lot of moving parts to this, but that is to be expected.
We then see John Cena pulling up to the arena in style as well as Kelly Verbil saying that there is a viewing party in the locker room because tonight is the “biggest NXT episode in history.”
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday Match #1: “Swerve” Strickland vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson for the #1 Contendership for the TNT Title:
Wow. Wow. Wow. Swerve put on, what I think, is his finest match … potentially ever. And this isn’t a case of Danielson carrying the match. No, Swerve has ascended to a level of greatness that we always thought, and now, we’re seeing it in full force. He and Danielson gelled so effortlessly in this match and by effortlessly, I mean they really murdered each other in the ring. Swerve at one point hit the Swerve stomp on the outside as Dragon was hanging from the top rope. It was a sickening move. They really played up Dragon being hurt during the match (obviously playing into tomorrow). Nana goes to hit Bryan with his crown, but a wild Hangman Page appears and takes the crown. This allows Dragon to hit the Busaiku Knee for the W.
Winner: Bryan Danielson
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday Match #2: Chris Jericho vs. Powerhouse Hobbs:
“The Kansas City Children’s Choir” sings Jericho in and its wild people are still into singing “Judas” at the top of their lungs. Powerhouse Hobbs methodically and systematically beats the brakes off of Jericho, and the crowd is BOOING. Like, this crowd is really, really into this show. It’s almost like they know what’s on the line for this show against NXT. They are reacting like mad at everything Callis and Hobbs do. Jericho worked to Hobbs’s game with more power-based moves. The crowd went wild when Jericho put on a very deep Walls of Jericho. In a SHOCKING turn of events, Hobbs spikes Jericho with a version of the Hall of Pain and drapes a KNEE across Jericho’s for a surprise win. This is a signature victory for Hobbs’ career. BIG TIME win. Post-match, he does the Hall of Pain again and Jericho lies limp. Perfect match to establish Hobbs as a killer, something AEW had established and then lost the plot on.
Winner: Powerhouse Hobbs
NXT Match #1 Roxanne Perez vs Asuka:
Shotzi Blackheart joins us on commentary to tell us she is hosting Halloween Havoc and she is bringing Scarlett along for the fun on Night 1. This match was a little shorter than I expected but Perez really held her own against Asuka. Commentary made sure to say that within NXT Asuka is undefeated so if Perez would have won it would have been Asuka’s first loss in NXT. After the match, Kiana James tried to get in the face of Perez when Blackheart made the save.
As Heyman arrived at the building Heyman yelled at the cameraman saying ‘Is anyone going to tell me what door to walk into”, classic.
Gallus and The Brawling Brutes Promo:
Both teams are getting hyped for the big pub rules match, Butch says he needs this win more than anything.
Pub Rules Match: Butch, Tyler Bate, and Ridge Holland vs Gallus (Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey and Wolfgang)
They used a dart board and a bowling ball in this match, that is how crazy we were going in this match. This match was crazy. Weapons galore, crazy moves, and just an overall fight. The ref almost got hit with a pool club halfway through the match that’s how intense NXT was getting on this episode. The match ends with Joe Coffey stealing Booker T’s beer and throwing it in Butch’s eyes. Butch and Holland get back on track and put him through a table. Brawling Brutes win! Fun Match!
Winners: Butch, Tyler Bate, and Ridge Holland
Lyra Valkyria Promo:
We get a really cool video package for Becky Lynch and Lyra Valkyria hyping up their match at Halloween Havoc. After Valkyria says how much this match, means to her Tegan Knox comes and interrupts. She says she knows how much this opportunity means to her, but the match is going to have to wait because she couldn’t get the job done on Raw, but she was so close to doing so. Valkyria says no, she has waited her whole life for this shot and it is not her fault Knox couldn’t get the job done.
Adam Cole, Roddy Strong & “Neck Health”:
Adam Cole has been at Roddy’s for a week. Still hasn’t gotten surgery. Now he’s mowing the lawn with The Kingdom smugly looking on. They present Cole with a “Neck Strong” t-shirt. Taven explains the significance of the giraffe, while Roddy says there are no TVs because it’s the devil. Cole tries to leave, but ADAAAAAAAM. Roddy also needs ONE. MORE. THING. (Kimmy Note: I love these segments keep Adam Cole doing this stuff.) Hard agree from me, Kimmy. It’s great. People hate this type of comedy. Those people need to RELAX.
AEW Note: We’re 38 minutes in and no commercials.
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday Match #3: Rey Fenix vs. “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy for the International Title:
A match dedicated to my boy Kenny Pete — the biggest OC fan, and the biggest Rrrrrrrrrrrrey Fenix hater. This is a wildly different OC match as he’s way more aggressive than normal employing the outside as a weapon as opposed to his speed and quickness — which makes sense since Fenix is faster. Fenix’s back, which he’s been selling for weeks, keeps him from the kill shot. Orange hits one of his best Satellite DDT’s ever. Orange goes for the OrRange punch but he eats a superkick. Fenix goes for the rolling cutter, but the back locks up. Beach Break from Orange, but no dice. ORANGE PUNCH followed by the Mouse Trap and OC wins!!!! We’re back bay-beeee. FRESHLY SQUEEZED IS BACK, BROTHER. Pentagon comes out and immediately shoots daggers at OC. Best Friends with Rocky and Hook come out to celebrate their friend.
Winner: “And New” Orange Cassidy
Timeless Toni Storm:
My God. Toni Storm is the best. References “cinema” in wrestling — God Bless you. Her segment is eaten up by Picture-in-Picture which at first is disappointing, but actually works brilliantly. She keeps running around and now dancing, almost taking a crack at the commercials happening. This is all very weird and in the best way humanly possible.
John Cena Promo:
NXT Universe was actually singing his song and Cena says this is one of the most special receptions of his career. He runs down the night so far and adds that he is waiting for his pint of beer because of the last match. He says NXT feels special and being in NXT has been long overdue for him. There is a reason everyone wants to be in NXT and it is because of the talent and fans that make the show special. When Hayes made the call he knew he could not pass that opportunity up. Breaker interrupts and the whole crowd is singing Bron Breaker sucks to Cena’s theme song. Breaker says Cena is not the GOAT and that everyone is here to see him and not Cena. Cena says Breakerr is athletically gifted but his attitude is not good as he lacks respect. He wishes Breakerr luck and goes to shake his hand and instead, he beats Cena up. Cena tries to give Breakerr the AA but he escapes.
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday “Match” #4: Wardlow vs. Matt Sydal:
I love Matt Sydal but he got straight-up NUKED by Wardlow (and sold the power bombs excellently). Wardlow back in the Goldberg role is perfectly excellent. I don’t know why he hasn’t been pushed consistently, but he is back over. The match doesn’t even end in a pinfall — he just KO’s Sydal with 4 powerbombs.
Chris Jericho Promo:
Renee is in the back with Jericho. Daniuel Garcia checks on him by Daddy Magic pulls him away because they aren’t affiliated anymore. That Daniel Garcia turn is coming folks (Kimmy is very excited about this).
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday “Match” #5: Hangman Page vs. Switchblade Jay White w/Bullet Club Gold and Card Blade:
A bit of an FU to Triple H with this one. Remember “The Leader of the Bang Bang Gang” was a no-brainer to WWE? Well, guess not. Bullet Club Gold coming down in low rider trikes is very, very on-brand and absurd. Good on Excalibur reminding audiences that these two met at Forbidden Door in 2022. These two brought the lumber and I don’t mean they moved slow. This was physical, intense, and a human chess game with Hangman’s leg playing into the match every time he went for the dub. Nana came out which allowed Jay to grab the trunks and steal the W. Perfect.
Winner: Jay White
The Family and Cody Rhodes Promo:
The Family says they have a problem and since Rhodes is the special guest GM he can fix it. They say they do not have any challengers for their tag titles. They explain the concept of a Tag Team Battle Royal and Rhodes sanctions for next week and call it the Bada Bing Bada Boom over-the-top battle royal.
Baron Corbin Promo:
Corbin says that Dragunov is making the championship look like a joke and he keeps running away from Corbin. He says the more he looks around NXT the more he sees how similar everyone is and that no one respects him. He is interrupted by LA Knight’s music as we get ready for our championship match.
NXT Championship Ilja Dragunov vs Dominick Mysterio LA Knight Special Guest Referee:
Dom chopped Dragunov halfway through the match which was such a mistake. Dom has really come into his own in NXT and you can tell his confidence has grown since coming down to NXT. To me, I don’t know why we had LA Knight here because that did not help the number games at all because Ripley kept getting involved. Balor, McDoungln, and Ripley get involved but Trick Williams and LA Knight fight them off. The distraction was enough to help Dragunov retain as the whole crowd chanted Thank You Trick. After the match, Baron Corbin comes out while Dijack attacks him from behind. Dijack says Corbin is his and he beat him to the punch
Winner: “And Still” Ilja Dragunov
Note: At this point, NXT was the #1 trending topic in the world as AEW was #2
MJF Promo: He’s not joking around this time. Jay says it’s his time to talk. The dude knows how to get heat, with a capital H. MJF cuts a babyface promo about being better and how much he hates it, but he’s earned the people’s respect. He also talks about how much the belt means to him. He puts over Jay White, but he says one day he’ll be a champion, but it ain’t today. Jay won’t give him the belt till Full Gear … if he wins it, which he won’t. Jay says he has no friends, but if MJF finds friends to fight them, and wins, they’ll get the belt. Juice says he’s gonna take the Diamond Ring in the Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royale. Oh, and they went there with the quarters, don’t think his was necessary at all.
Carmello Hayes Promo:
Hayes thanks Cena for taking his call and Trick Williams comes to join the party. Hayes apologies for last week and Williams says he doesn’t want to fight in front of Cena he says “You can see me?”. Hayes goes to change as Williams gives him a look. Cena asks if he’s okay and Williams asks when Cena knew it was his time. The two go off to talk.
We go to a video NXT Anonymous tweeted involving Ava Raine and Paul Heyman having a conversation about joining The Bloodline, things are certainly getting interesting.
Jade arrives at NXT where Shawn Michales meets her in the parking lot. He says tonight is a big show and is happy Jade is here. She says she is honored to be here and let’s do this thing, whatever that means.
Cody Rhodes Promo:
Corbin says Rhodes owes him and to make him and Dragunov official at Halloween Havoc. Rhodes says he can make the case for a lot of people to challenge Dragunov at Halloween Havoc. Rhodes says next week it will be Corbin vs Dijack vs the winner of the main event, the winner will wrestle Dragunov at Halloween Havoc.
Dominick Mysterio Promo:
Dom Dom is looking to leave the building with Ripley when he is confronted by Nick Frazer. Frazer says he wants a shot at Dom Dom for the title, Dom replies who are you and walks off.
NXT Women’s Breakout Quarter Finals: Lola Vice vs Dani Palmer:
Vice is over and extremely talented. This was not that long of a match and Vice basically destroyed Palmer. Good win
Winner: Lola Vice
Toni Segment #2: Still a very weird thing that’s happening in the breaks. Again, just seems like she’s mocking the ads and I think it’s great.
AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida vs Saraya: This out-kicked its coverage in every way possible. First off, Shida was absolutely killer in this match. It’s very weird she isn’t consistently on television, because the crowd loves her and she really is one of the most consistent in-ring competitors in AEW. Saraya, on the other hand, had a great win in Wembley, but a whatever title run. Tonight, she really, really brought it. She took bumps hard, worked the crowd well, and made Shida look like a million bucks.
Mid-match Ruby Soho comes out to distract Shida, but Toni Storm comes out to a monster reaction and hits Ruby with a SHOOOOOOOOOOOOE. You love to see it. After a number of near falls, Shida scores, what is 100% an upset victory to become a three-time AEW Women’s Champion. Great call and the crowd was here for it.
Winner: “And New” Hikaru Shida
Chase U Segment:
Thea returns to class with Jacey Jane! We are going over the history of Halloween Havoc as Jane is a distraction to the whole class. Chase yells at his students for going on their phones while Jane announces that Chase and Duke Hudson are in the Battle Royal next week. Jane says the class was insightful and can not wait for next week.
Heyman says he worked with his dad and he is honored to be here. Breaker is the future of WWE and Hayes is the only thing standing in Breakerrs way. Breakerr says he is going to break everyone and get to the top of WWE. Heyman then calls Roman Reigns.
Brian Pillman JR. Promo:
Pilman says he has no fond memories of his dad and the last thing he wanted to do was become a WWE Superstar. He says he tried other things but wrestling has been in his blood and he can not escape it. He says he is no one’s junior and does not want to be reminded of his father he says he is taking the last name King for the real man who raised him.
A bunch of the female locker room went to talk to Asuka to ask for advice and learn from one of the best. Tiffany Stratton pushes past everyone and tells Asuka if she needs anything to let her know. Stratton and Fallon Henley lock eyes and Stratton says although her dad may not have taught her manners she knows how to deal with people like her.
NXT Main Event: Carmello Hayes with John Cena vs Bron Breakerr with Paul Heyman:
Heyman gave one hell of an introduction for Breakerr, including the fact he is the future of WWE. Breakerr toyed with Cena and did the you can’t see me when Hayes quickly came back with a fight. Sikoa came out to attack Cena as Heyman, Cena, and Sikoa all went to the back. Hayes gets the win in a very competitive match. Breakerr attacks Hayes and says there can only be one badass in WWE. In comes the Undertaker, who had the pop of the night. Taker comes in biker mode with his old theme song and all and arrives on a motorcycle in true fashion. Breakerr calls him an old-timer and says that he is the true badass of WWE. Taker says he has been watching Breakerr for a long time and one day he is going to be a very special talent, but it won’t be today. He clocks Brakerr with a shot to the face and chokeslams him. NXT ends with Taker saying there is always a bigger and better badass around the corner and Breakerr just met him. Hayes celebrates with Taker and Breakerr watches on, awesome way to end the show.
Winner: Carmello Hayes
Tony Schiavone Announcement: AEW will be donating 50,000 toys to Toys for Tots!
MJF Promo #2: He calls Adam Cole and unfortunately, they can’t connect. MJF is frustrated. Max Caster of The Acclaimed comes over and says they will help. This plays into the whole Max Caster is in love with MJF Twitter stuff.
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday Main Event: Luchasaurus vs. Adam Copeland
This crowd was living and dying with everything Adam Copeland did. I was very surprised. Kimmy reminded me that he was massively over in WWE, but it’s been a minute since I’ve seen a Dynamite crowd that passionate about a main event. Christian Cage opens the match on the mic and absolutely burns everything to the ground. Luchasaurus has really fit his “AEW Kane” role nicely, and this is probably the most impressive he’s been in AEW since the early days of the company when he blew people’s minds. As for The Cope, he sold for 90% of the match, but when he got offense in, it was not his run of the mill stuff. He did a diving DDT off the apron, an insane spear where he jumped off the apron, onto steel steps and dove into Luchasaurus and of course, the super duper plex. Nick Wayne has also leaned into his role, quickly. Cope scores the Big W with a huge spear, and the crowd loses it.
Pier Six Brawl: In classic AEW fashion — we got ourselves an absolute melee. Nick Wayne and Christian hit the ring, Bryan Danielson jumps Christian, the Gates of Agony jump Bryan, the BCC run in to grapple with GOA, Swerve and Nana hit the scene and then Hangman jumps Swerve. That is how you finish a show.
Winner: Adam Copeland
NXT Overall Review:
They tried to jam pack way too much into one episode. Every other segment was another main roster star with the point to defeat AEW in the ratings. There was a lot of hype to this episode, but since the point of NXT is to get younger talent over I feel as if that was not accomplished. Also, there were way too many backstage segments, I also feel this way about ROH so maybe it’s just a me thing. Sometimes it was three to four in a row, what is the point? The women’s matches were extremely short, which is rare for NXT and a lot of the things were confusing the opening segment has my head spinning. Next time we do NXT vs AEW on Tuesday’s I hope NXT does not try this hard. AEW’s show felt natural they did not need to do anything special to put on a good episode. That’s saying something.
AEW Dynamite Title Tuesday Overall Review: This was a classic “put AEW up against a wall and watch them come out swinging” show. This was a huge wrestling first, second and third type of show. The promos, minus the Juice Robinson stuff, worked really well. The character work was really good. Young talent got over big. I’m not sure if AEW will win the ratings given how loaded NXT was — but the fact WWE had to load the show up this much just to beat a company they don’t view as competition is pretty telling.