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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

RAW Reactions: Monday Night Recap and #AEWDark

On the heels of what has been a, let’s say… tumultuous week for WWE, their newest competitor All Elite Wrestling continues on with business as usual, as they continue to add to their weekly lineup. Cody Rhodes announced on Twitter the debut of AEW Dark tonight, Tuesday 8 October, and four of the matches that will be featured.

AEW Dark will be exclusive to the AEW Youtube channel, and will take place on Tuesday, beginning the wrestling week for AEW before Dynamite on Wednesdays. Last week was, of course, the debut of Dynamite on TNT, going head-to-head with NXT and won the first ratings battle in what is being built as the Wednesday Night War.

Fans are eagerly awaiting the next Wednesday night clash. As AEW look ahead to building their card for their next PPV, Full Gear taking place on 9 November at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, they’ve also announced matches for Dynamite in Boston tomorrow.

Meanwhile, WWE appears to be doing all they can to make fans forget about the… um, let’s go with not ideal, ending to Hell in a Cell on Sunday, and are instead doing their best to move with business as usual.

Though NXT lost the ratings battle last week, the show was not subpar by any means. A good main event title match between Matt Riddle and Adam Cole, followed by two huge returns from Finn Balor and Tommaso Ciampa capped off a night that also featured an NXT Women’s Championship match between Shayna Bazler and Candice LaRae and a NXT Tag Team title match. It was a Takeover-calibre card, so that aspect of the show doesn’t seem to be suffering.

The real question heading into the week was how both the company and the fans were going to behave on Monday for Raw following the aforementioned disappointing PPV. Though it’s not something I’d normally condone, part of me was hoping that the fans would do something to show their displeasure from the previous night. They never really got the opportunity, though, as there wasn’t a whiff of either Universal Champion Seth Rollins or “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. At first glance, this could be seen as the cowardly move, and perhaps it still is. But on the other hand, the crowd in Bakersfield was hot, and they were showing love to the wrestlers who were doing their job, so in the end, I think that has to be looked at as the proper response. Becky Lynch was getting the hottest reaction, and it’s better to see that rather than a pissed off crowd just trying to shit on the show the entire night.

Does this excuse the weird, and frankly dumb, finish that they booked in the main event on Sunday? Definitely not, but they also didn’t just try to blow through the backlash, put Seth Rollins out there to open the show, have him get booed out of the arena, and just set a bad tone for the rest of the night, screwing the rest of the roster in the process.

WWE is heading towards the draft on SmackDown on Friday and continuing on Raw next Monday. That should be the focus right now, and eventually deal with the shitstorm surrounding the Universal Championship later.

Or, they could pretend like none of this ever happened, and just move on to the next program. That has never happened before…