PWInsiderXTRA - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE



By Michael LeBlanc on 10/3/2019 9:39 AM

Hello, Wrestling Fans!  It’s been a while, but I’m here with a special Wringer column, to celebrate a new era in professional wrestling.  I take a humorous, sarcastic look at pro wrestling, hopefully for your enjoyment.  For the first time in many years, we not only have a new wrestling promotion in prime time, but a new head-to-head war with two competing promotions.  All Elite Wrestling will take on WWE’s NXT, in a battle to see which can garner the lion’s share of the wrestling viewers.  For this special occasion, I thought I’d look at both AEW Dynamite, and WWE NXT, since here in Arizona, they air at separate times (no having to choose one over the other for me, at least for the immediate future).  As a disclaimer, I have previously seen several of NXT’s Takeover PPV specials, and the first week of their USA show (which I really liked a lot), while I have not seen ANY of AEW’s PPV or free-show content, including their “Being the Elite” YouTube content.  But I’ll be judging (and Wringing) both shows on a purely neutral basis.

Let’s get to the Wringing!

AEW: Dynamite
From: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Commentators:  Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur

Uhh, what the hell are the promo title cards (“Inject #1”, etc.) doing airing on TV (during the last 20 minutes of the preceding Suicide Squad)?!  Are we sure they actually know what they’re doing?!

Why have a masked wrestler as a permanent commentator?

Are they seriously bringing back time limits?!

Why does Sammy Guevara remind me of Ben Stiller’s character in Tropic Thunder?

Does Cody really think we don’t know his last name, especially when he uses a variant of his father’s nickname?!

I guess Jericho’s going with the rock-star-on-a-reunion-tour look….long hair, glittery outfits and slightly out of shape?

Were the boos after the finish of the MJF match because it unexpectedly super short (real knee injury?), or because MJF won?

So, the Kevin Smith segment sets up a confrontation to…nowhere?!  Who were these tag teams?  Why should I care?

Does Jason Mewes really need to work on his insults?

Did I really see a section of the arena that was almost entirely empty (camera pan after the Kevin Smith segment)?

SCU pulling out a “Dyn-o-MIIITE!” reference that you only get if you’re over 40?

Why put the wrestler names on the side of the graphic?  I literally don’t know who most of these people are – put the name with the picture!

Is Niho AEW’s version of Rey Mysterio?

So for their first main event, they give us a schmozz both at the beginning and the end?

Final Thoughts:  All in all, this was a genuinely enjoyable show.  The commentating was very good (although I still question the need for a masked commentator), and hearing JR without Vince McMahon or Kevin Dunn pushing their ridiculousness in his ear was great.  I did sense some nervous energy from both the commentators and the performers, which is totally expected and forgiven in this first episode.  I am totally unfamiliar with 90% of this roster, so it will take a few weeks to become accustomed to these performers (and to putting names with faces).  This was a good first episode, and I will be watching going forward (assuming the two shows continue to air in separate time blocks).

From: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:  Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix & Nigel McGuiness

Does NXT win the “first strike” battle by airing the first 30 minutes commercial free…and having an overrun?

Matt Riddle really wrestles barefoot?!

Adam Cole pointed to his head and shouted “BOOM!”?  Uhh…okay.

Can Maura Ranallo please not SCREAM absolutely EVERYTHING?!

I would argue that Finn Balor returning to NXT (after a main roster run) isn’t exactly the demotion it used to be…or IS for some performers.

So Velveteen Dream is doing…a Prince gimmick?!

Dream’s segment was……interesting.

Remember what I said about Finn’s return not being a demotion?  Can you really say that about Lio Rush’s return?

Why do so many wrestlers like fur collars?!


Limited commercial interruption….really?

Uhh, so the Street Profits worship…red Solo cups?!  Did they invest?

And they want the smoke?  From “special” cigarettes, maybe?

Does anyone else think “Kylo Ren”, whenever someone says “Kylo Riley”?

Was that main event a bit of a mess for anyone else?

Final Thoughts:  This was a really good show, which probably had my favorite match of the entire evening (both shows), LeRae vs. Baszler.  I admit, I’m dreading the return of Lio Rush.  He grated all the wrong nerves on Raw, and his reported behind-the-scenes behavior doesn’t endear him to me either.  But I’m willing to give him a fair shake.  The only thing that really bothered me was Mauro’s constant and unrelenting yelling/screaming.  It’s not necessary, and it will get annoying REAL quickly.  I’ll definitely be watching weekly, though.

OVERALL FINAL THOUGHTS:  This was a really good night for pro wrestling.  Both shows concentrated on the in-ring action, and it was good to excellent all night long.  While they both had limited promos and vignettes, they will definitely have to dive in on future episodes.    Hopefully, both shows can get enough viewers to satisfy their respective networks.  Competition is good for the industry, and I want both shows to do well.

You can send any comments, feedback or questions to me at