Analysis: First year of the Wednesday Night Wars

The Wednesday Night Wars have come to its first year. Both sides have done interesting things in just one year and made Wednesdays a wrestling night.

NXT

The third brand of WWE has changed a lot since their move to the USA Network. The NXT product for most weeks was the best show WWE had to offer. One of the biggest positives of NXT during the first year of the Wednesday Night Wars has been Adam Cole’s reign as NXT Champion. Adam Cole as NXT Champion provided a lot of great TV content on a consistent basis.

NXT’s women’s division has been one of the major strengths of the brand. The recent additions of Toni Storm and Ember Moon will contribute big time. Rhea Ripley’s first few months as NXT Women’s Champion was really good in terms of matches and feuds. In particular her stuff with Shayna Baszler was really good content.

While the women’s division in NXT has been great in general during “the war”,  a major negative point was the Rhea Ripley-Charlotte Flair feud. Rhea Ripley never being able to defeat Charlotte was a major setback for the raising star and has yet to recover from that.

The weakest division on the NXT brand has to be the tag team division. This division is non-existent and is only comprised of 4 teams. NXT needs to work big time on establishing more teams. The weak state of this division is comparable to the main roster’s tag team division.

In addition on improving their tag team division, NXT needs to start giving more TV time young talent like Jake Atlas and others that are barely featured.

NXT has a clear obsession with AEW and because of this, they have done a lot of counter-programming. The best example of this was the return of Great American Bash when AEW booked Fight For the Fallen. Because of this, the NXT product has suffered a lot in terms of quality.

AEW Dynamite

AEW’s first year has performed better than expected in several aspects and granted them an early contract renewal from TNT. The best run of Dynamite shows, in terms of quality, has to be the last three weeks before the PPV Revolution. Especially the ironman match between PAC and Kenny Omega that happened during that span of time.

AEW’s tag team division in particular has become the best tag team division in the world with a lot of great tag teams in it. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega’s run as Tag Team Champions was great and are favorites for the Tag Team of The Year Award.

Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley’s runs as AEW Champion should not overlooked. Both have done a fantastic job as AEW Champion. Even though the other divisions in AEW are doing well, on the other side of that coin is the women’s division. AEW needs to improve their booking on this particular division as soon as possible. It doesn’t help the fact COVID-19 and injuries affected this division.

The women’s division in AEW needs a lot of work and there’s potential for greatness in it. Britt Baker has had an incredible comeback and now is one of the most entertaining heels AEW has to offer. In the booking department AEW can still improve big time to make storylines and matches even better. People forget a good portion of the roster didn’t have TV experience before joining AEW.

One of the biggest criticisms AEW has faced has been the booking of Kenny Omega. People expected Kenny Omega to be the face of the promotion and in fact he’s taken a secondary role. This has been due a severe shoulder injury and Omega’s run as Tag Team Champion. AEW needs Omega on his A-game and clues indicate he will take a prominent position soon.

One of the biggest positives of this first year is their eye for young talent. AEW has a lot up and coming talent like: Jungle Boy, MJF, Darby Allin, Will Hobbs and many more that could be future stars. Year two will definitely be interesting for these wrestlers.

Conlusion

The Wednesday Night Wars are the most entertaining weekly television out there. Both promotions now have more experience and things will only get better. Only time will tell how both promotions will evolve from here.