NXT vs. AEW Dynamite: Who Won the Week? (Dec. 18)

Welcome to the latest edition of Who Won The Week?, the series where ComicBook.com's team of wrestling writers come together and vote on which Wednesday night wrestling show put on a better episode — NXT or AEW Dynamite? We then tally up the score and declare the winner for the week, then check out the fan poll results. Be sure to check back every week, as we'll be keeping score on who wins and who has the advantage in the "Wednesday Night Wars."

A couple things to keep in mind — these votes have nothing to do with television ratings. Just because one show had more viewers doesn't necessarily make it the better episode. Also this isn't to determine which one show you should watch each week. We want you to watch both of them so you can join in on the conversation!

Check out the results for Dec. 18 below!

Connor Casey: NXT

Dynamite was definitely a step up from the past few weeks, but it just couldn't match what NXT was doing. I dig that they're doing with Cody/Darby, the gradual heel turn from Hangman, a star-making performance by Jungle Boy, Kris Statlander's rise up the card and everything they're doing with the tag teams. Heck, even the Dark Order stuff at the end didn't bother me. But the spark from that first month of episodes seems to be fading, and I can't help but wonder if AEW's decision to keep Rhodes, the Bucks and Omega from dominating has something to do with that.

Meanwhile, NXT was just nonstop the whole night. Balor/Cole was great (a real shocker, I know), it's great that Gargano is back in the mix, Kushida vs. Grimes blew my expectations out of the water and Ripley's win was a wonderfully emotional moment.

Also, can I just take this moment to say Mauro Ranallo exponentially improves each show with his commentary? Because that doesn't get said enough.

Matt Aguilar: NXT

AEW brought out some of their biggest names last night, but it was not enough to overcome the event that was NXT. NXT kicked things off with a fantastic match between Finn Balor and Adam Cole, one that lived up to the hype and wasn't disrupted by annoying commercial breaks. NXT also found a way to protect Balor's momentum and Cole's surging popularity with the anticpated return of Johnny Gargano, laying out Balor with a chair.

That was up against an entertaining tag match between the Lucha Bros. and Kenny Omega and Hangman Paige, but it never reached the same energy as Balor and Cole. The same can actually be said for the majority of Dynamite, which offered up entertaining matches throughout but they never reached the pure adrenaline that NXT managed to hit, including one hell of a main event that had me on the edge of my suit.

The only time Dynamite hung with NXT was during the Jungle Boy and Chris Jericho match, which was fantastic and showed just what Jungle Boy can do up against a legend. SCU vs the Young Bucks was a standout as well, but the main event was just too much to overcome. Rhea Ripley vs Shayna Baszler was simply a phenomenal match, with near-perfect near falls and setups that had the crowd in the palm of its hand, and it was an amazing way to end the show. Dynamite was good, but NXT was great.

Ryan Droste: NXT

I can't fathom anyone picking AEW this week. This was probably the biggest blow-out in regards to which show "won the week" since the Wednesday Night Wars began.

The NXT card was absolutely loaded with the men's and women's championship matches, and both of those contests more than delivered. AEW countered with some title contests of their own, but the problem is that AEW was lacking in star power versus what NXT offered. While I like Jungle Boy a great deal, I'm also a wrestling writer who represents the hardest of the hardcores. I can't imagine the general public being all that interested in watching him challenge for the AEW title at this stage, nor has the company given you a very compelling reason to be interested or buy him in that role. Meanwhile, over at NXT, we had Adam Cole (arguably the best wrestler of 2019 signed to WWE) and Finn Balor. It's no contest.

Then, just look at the way the shows closed. It perfectly encompasses the problem that AEW faced this week. The Dark Order, which has completely and utterly failed to take off since AEW launched, closed the show by getting the upper hand on The Elite and SCU. I mean come on! Meanwhile, over at NXT, we had Rhea Rhipley and Shayna Baszler battling over the NXT Women's Championship. Again, this was no contest if you were channel flipping.

That's not to say AEW didn't have enjoyable parts of the show. Jungle Boy vs. Jericho was a really good match. I also really enjoyed Omega and Page versus the Lucha Bros. And on paper, SCU vs. The Young Bucks is something to be excited about, but the ending of the show soured that for me.

What we're learning of late is that booking a wrestling company isn't as easy as some would have you believe. While AEW has a good roster, they've struggled in terms of booking storylines. Outside of Cody Rhodes, Jon Moxley, and Chris Jericho, I find most of the characters floundering at this stage, which has started to make the show feel skippable. While Kenny Omega and The Bucks have been generous in putting over talent so much in the first few months of the company's existence, I do think they need to start showing people why they are supposed to be a big deal. Omega should be one of the difference makers for this company, but as of the end of 2019, most people tuning in for the first time would have no idea why.

The Winner: NXT

Record: NXT 8 AEW 4

0comments

Fan Poll

Do you agree with this week's results? Sound off in the comments section and be sure to cast your vote in next week's poll!

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.