It’s a massive week for the Wednesday Night War, with AEW inching one week closer to their next PPV, Revolution, while NXT will surely have a stacked night with the fallout from TakeOver: Portland from this past Sunday.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect on both NXT and Dynamite.
This week’s edition of NXT on USA appears to be shaping up to be a combination of settling old rivalries while setting off new ones.
The two main storylines coming out of the weekend clearly revolve around the two top titles: will now that Charlotte Flair has officially accepted Rhea Ripley’s challenge to face her for the NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 36, will “The Queen” be making regular weekly appearances on NXT, making a theoretical trade between the Black and Gold brand and Monday Night RAW for Shayna Baszler?
The other huge storyline coming out of Portland is, of course, Johnny Gargano turning on his #DIY partner and costing Tommaso Ciampa the NXT Championship against Adam Cole is a hard-fought main event. This will undoubtedly spark a feud that should carry all the way to TakeOver: Tampa Bay on WrestleMania weekend, and we hopefully get an explanation as to why Gargano made the turn. It will also be interesting to see what the plan is for Cole and the NXT Championship moving forward.
As far as actual matches go, The Velveteen Dream makes his long-awaited in-ring return to take on the man who put him on the shelf, and won the North American Championship from him, Roderick Strong. This feud is already fully underway, with Dream antagonising Strong by invoking the Undisputed Era member’s wife and son, turning what is normally a heel-led storyline over into the hands of the returning babyface.
Jordan Devlin defends his Cruiserweight Championship against Lio Rush, who earned the opportunity after defeating Angel Garza in a #1 Contender’s match last week. This will be a well-contested match, and will be a nice palette-cleanser of pure work-rate in between all the storyline drama.
We will also see Robert Stone also re-launch the Robert Stone Brand as Chelsea Green takes on Kayden Carter. It was a curious decision to book Green to lose in her first few matches after her debut, so perhaps with this “re-launch” she’ll be set on a course to pick up a bunch of wins with some chicken-shit heel tactics.
Over on Dynamite, Cody completes the last of his stipulations to face MJF in ten days at Revolution facing Wardlow in AEW’s inaugural Steel Cage Match. This is no doubt the main event, and what the show will be built around as the Atlanta crowd will surely be hot for it.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley faces yet another opponent as he runs the gamut of Chris Jericho‘s cronies as he fights to get to Revolution to challenge for the AEW World Championship. He takes on Jeff Cobb, who made a surprising debut last week, attacking Mox and hitting him with his finisher, Tour Of The Islands, and setting up this match. Apparently Cobb is not debuting as a mainstay on the AEW roster going forward, and is wrestling in a one-off tonight. Regardless, this will be another hard-striking match for Mox, as he only has to survive one more episode of Dynamite before he finally gets his World title shot in Chicago on Saturday 29 February.
“Hangman” Adam Page & Kenny Omega also defend their AEW Tag Team Championship again, this time against The Lucha Bros. Last week, the storyline of Page’s dissension towards The Elite– particularly The Young Bucks– was put on hold as he and Omega had a successfully defence on their titles against SCU, so it will be interesting to see if that gets re-hashed again, or if it’s another clean title defence.
Well, that might all depend what happens in the Tag Team Championship #1 Contender Battle Royal. The match will feature Best Friends, The Young Bucks, A Boy and His Dinosaur, The Butcher & The Blade, Private Party, The Hybrid2, Santana & Ortiz, and SCU, with both members of each team having to be eliminated. The natural progression of the storyline would be to have Nick & Matt Jackson win, setting up an uncomfortable match-up against Page and Omega at Revolution, finally bringing all the drama between The Elite to a head.
It all goes down at 8pm EST tonight on TNT and USA!