wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s AEW vs. NXT Week One Preview

October 2, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Chris Jericho LAX Young Bucks Kenny Omega AEW Dynamite

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview the Week one of the AEW vs. NXT Wednesday night war, which represents a really exciting time for wrestling fans. This show will be the debut of AEW on TV, so they have a lot to do here. They have to overcome some production issues that hurt the previous events, they have to start to get a roster over that is unknown to the vast majority of the main stream, they have to put on a show that makes a fan feel like AEW is worth the weekly two hour investment, and they have to back up all of their talk of being a true alternative… all while battling a mini-Takeover with limited commercial interruptions. NXT has started off well on USA, drawing over 1 million viewers a week and delivering good hours of TV, but the issue for them has been unsuccessfully filling the full two hours, as both weeks went off air on the WWE network early. NXT needs to stay true to itself, but also needs to start introducing the talents better so that they can become more that wrestlers having good matches. So today I will breakdown and preview the shows. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

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Cody vs. Sammy Guevara: According to everything we know, this match will kick off the show, and I am far from convinced that’s the right choice. While Cody has some name value, Guevara has none and hasn’t done much inside of AEW so far. Guevara is very good, but the main thing that concerns me is the complete clash of styles. Cody is a very slow it down, storytelling driven performer, while Guevara is more of a fast-paced spots guy. I’m not completely convinced that these two will work well together, and that’s a big chance to take on your first ever TV match. With Cody scheduled to battle Jericho for the title at the upcoming PPV, he should pick up the win here, while Guevara hopefully gets to look goof. WINNER: Cody

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MJF vs. Brandon Cutler: MJF is a growing star in the business and you can already tell that AEW has big plans for him and that he will be a big star for them in the future. Brandon Cutler, with all due respect, is a perfectly serviceable professional wrestler, but is more valuable behind the scenes, which his why he was hired by his good friends, the Young bucks. While Cutler isn’t anything spectacular, he’s a solid performer that is unlikely to have a bad match, and will be perfect to put MJF over. Hopefully MJF gets some promo time before or after the match. WINNER: MJF

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Pac vs. Hangman Page: This was the match originally scheduled for Double or Nothing, but nixed due to, depending who you believe, creative bullshit or VISA issues (it was totally VISA issues, you think Pac wanted to pass up that shit ton of sweet USA indie money that was being offered to him?) Anyway, Pac made it to AEW, and defeated Kenny Omega in his first match, which was a bit surprising but in a good way. The match was great and Pac was immediately established as a player. He faces Hangman Page, coming off of a disappointing match and loss to Chris Jericho at All Out, failing to win the AEW championship. I have high hopes for the match, as both guys can certainly deliver the goods. I have seen a lot of calls for Page to win here, since he lost the title match, but that makes absolutely no sense to me because you don’t burn that Pac win over Omega so soon. Depending on how they lay out the commercial break and such, this could really be great. WINNER: Pac

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Inaugural Women’s Championship Match: Nyla Rose vs. Riho: Up next we crowd our first AEW Women’s champion as Nyla Rose battles Riho. I personally think there were way better matches to book, as I have found Rose to be a really inconsistent performer. I think that Riho is the superior in ring talent, and would personally rather see her as champion, but I feel she’s just here to play adorable babyface to the monster Rose here, which will at least create a good dynamic and will allow them to play the classic David vs. Goliath formula. I am sure that they will work hard, but this could either be really good or end up really messy; I see Rose taking the title here following her dominant casino royale performance. WINNER: Nyla Rose

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The Elite vs. Chris Jericho, Santana, & Ortiz: And here we comer to he main event of week one, the Elite, coming off of big losses at Double or Nothing, including a Kenny Omega who hasn’t been himself so far in AEW facing off with the world champion and two mystery opponents. The obvious play here, following their debut at Double or Nothing when they attacked the Bucks, is Santana & Ortiz, which not only makes complete sense, but would also be a great match on paper. But, I’m not completely sold on them as the partners, because it seems almost too obvious and I’m curious to see if AEW has something up their sleeves in terms of delivering a big week one surprise. Gentlemen, you had my curiosity… but now you have my attention. This will either “just be Santana & Ortiz,” which again makes complete sense and will be a great match, or we potentially get a cool surprise here. I am excited to see how it shakes out and will go with team Jericho here. It was confirmed on the Countdown to All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite that it will be Santana & Ortiz, so this could be really great. WINNER: Team Jericho

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Johnny Gargano vs. Shane Thorne: One of the interesting aspects of NXT to USA has been the lack of Johnny Gargano, and it’s not something I think was wrong to do. Gargano was coming off of the loss to Cole, and there were doubts about his NXT future, which he later answered and then returned. That return was interrupted by the disgruntled Shane Thorne, angry over the Breakout tournament stars getting opportunities over him, because he felt that he deserved more. He had put together some wins, and now looks for the biggest win of his NXT career as he set up a match with Gargano. Gargano will get a God like reaction at Full Sail, which will come off great on TV. He’s a valuable guy to have around as he doesn’t have to be in the title picture right now, but almost anything he does will feel over thanks to the crowd reactions. This is a huge test for Thorne, who is a good wrestler, has never had a big time, top tier performance in NXT. He’ll have that chance working with Gargano. This is Gargano’s debut match on NXT (on USA) and someone who likely will be and should be a star going forward for the brand on TV, and he should pickup the win here. WINNER: Johnny Gargano

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Champions The Undisputed Era vs. The Street Profits: As Jeremy mentioned in our latest podcast (links below) there is a very good chance that this match kicks off the show, because Uncle Paul loves kicking off Takeovers with tag team matches, and since this is a mini-Takeover and you’re up against AEW, you want something hot and no offense, if I was a fan picking, I’d chose this over Cody vs. Sammy. This one should deliver, as they have had very good to great matches in the past. The Street Profits continue to grow and improve, while Fish & O’Reilly are one of the best tag teams in all of wrestling and always deliver. The Undisputed Era finally accomplished their golden prophecy, and it makes no sense to end that now, especially since the Street Profits are heading to the main roster as a Paul Heyman project. The match at the very least will be really good and may even be another great one, but the gold stays put with the Undisputed Era. WINNER: The Undisputed Era

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Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae: Throughout 2019, there have been many viable challengers to Baszler and her championship, but every time Baszler steps into the ring, she ends up retaining. In NXT, the only things that have been for sure are death, taxes, and a Shayna Baszler win at Takeover. But this isn’t a Takeover, even though it feels like one. There is a group of fans that feel Baszler has hurt the division and has been a bad champion, and many want to see her finally drop the championship. There has been even more talk of a Baszler call up, Fox reportedly wants her for Smackdown, while Hyman reportedly wants her for Raw. I’ve been wrong in regards to Baszler losing in the past, but I think this is the time. They need to “call her up” if they hope to get anything out of her beyond NXT as she’s only getting older. Also, Candice has proven herself not only as a great babyface but totally delivered in her Takeover debut against Shirai, which is a feud I’d love them to revisit Plus, going up against AEW, who is crowing their first women’s champion, I am feeling the Baszler loss even more here. Belt up Candice, and don’t be a coward uncle Paul. WINNER: New Champion Candice LeRae

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Champion Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle: And here we come to what appears to be our main event of the evening, NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle. Adam Cole has done nothing but deliver during his NXT run, while Riddle is a huge star in the making. Cole slayed Johnny Gargano and is the undisputed (no pun intended) champion, but is dealing with a legit hand/arm injury, which they worked into the angle last week as he confronted Riddle. I do worry that it may hamper the match a bit, but then again, Cole always delivers and Riddle is great, Riddle is coming off of the big win over Killian Dain, which got him this championship match. He will be a big star for the company and likely a future NXT champion, but I am not feeling the title change now. The Undisputed Era finally accomplished their golden prophecy, and it really makes no sense to end that now. I see Cole leaving with the championship, but am not completely sure that we get an actual clean finish as it feels too soon to have Riddle lose to him, and I think they can build to something bigger, possibly a Takeover rematch out of this, Cole somehow leaves with the title, but this feud will continue. WINNER: Adam Cole Retains


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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 54. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka as the guys will preview week one of the Wednesday Night War, review ROH Death Before Dishonor 2019, and talk some potential WWE returns. The show is approximately 86-minutes long.

* Intro
* John Morrison Is Coming Back To WWE: 1:55
* CM Punk Rumored To Be Coming Back To WWE: 8:01
* ROH Death Before Dishonor Review: 21:55
* AEW Dynamite Preview 10.02.19: 57:45
* NXT on USA Preview 10.02.19: 1:13:57

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.