AEW vs NXT – Week 1

Here is a breakdown of how I, Jason, felt the first week of AEW vs NXT went! This will be a weekly report and analysis of AEW vs NXT that will compare both shows, apples to apples. We will evaluate the crowd reactions, match quality, storylines, and shock values (appearances, etc). Each will be graded on a scale of A+ to F. With that being said, here we go!


NXT had a quality show throughout the night in the ring. It started off with a phenomenal match between Adam Cole and Matt Riddle, and just got better (for the mast part from there. The crowd was into nearly every match with several high risk, high flying moves that would steal the night.

AEW had some quality spots as well, but the match between Cutler and Friedman was the low point of the night. The high point? The AEW Women’s Championship match, hands down! Riho and Nyla Rose put on an absolute in-ring clinic that I don’t think many expected due to the size difference, but they made it work!

NXT: “A-” due to a lacking women’s match
AEW: “B” due to the women stealing the night, but lackluster performance mid-show.

Crowd Reaction

The crowd for NXT was vocal, vibrant, and interactive, making themselves known through the entire night. The crowd for AEW was all over with several highs and lows. During the opening match, women’s match, and main event, they were very vocal and boisterous. But during the others, they were low key and quiet at many points.

NXT: “A-” for keeping the crowd involved, awake, and alive throughout the night
AEW: “B” for having several high spots, but the lows are what reduced it for me


Both promotions kept the talking to a minimum and let the in-ring action do the talking. This is what most fans of wrestling want. Keep off the mic and show us what you’ve got! The shock returns/debuts made it worthwhile as well by setting up potential down the lines for extended storylines.

NXT and AEW both get an “A+” here

Shock Value

NXT kicked this one off in high gear with the shocking return of Balor! That was a swerve that absolutely no one saw coming and was kept secret even from the talent of NXT! The return of Ciampa wasn’t very shocking as it was reported here in August that he was likely returning at either the debut of NXT on USA or the first head to head show.

With AEW, we had one shock debut with Jack Hager, which had been sort of spoiled (even though not confirmed) earlier in the day that he may be turning up in AEW. Now the biggest shock, at least in my opinion, is how well Nyla Rose and Riho did in the ring.

NXT: “A-” with the shocking return of Balor and Ciampa
AEW: “A” due to the shocking debut of Hager and the women’s match.


Both brands definitely brought, or at least attempted to bring, their A game. Both shows were great, however, I have to give this one to NXT. The middle of AEW, especially the SoCal spot and Cutler vs Friedman, brought it down for me. I also graded AEW on a slight curve since it’s their debut on TNT, where NXT has had 2 weeks on USA (plus the Network) to prepare and build. As many have said, it’s a great time to be a wrestling fan (again) because I can guarantee both only get better from here!

NXT: “A” for a solid overall night from start to finish
AEW: “B” for a semi-solid first show, but they need to maintain the crowd and performance in the ring if they expect to compete


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