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Wrestling night wars are back

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Roar Rookie
8th October, 2019
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It’s certainly been a big week in the world of professional wrestling thanks to the debut of All Elite Wrestling’s flagship show AEW Dynamite.

WWE’s newly revamped flagship shows – Monday night’s Raw, Friday night’s Smackdown and NXT – are moving to two hours on the USA Network on Wednesday nights (US time) to compete for ratings with AEW Dynamite.

For a good six years during the late 1990s and early 2000s Monday nights in America gave wrestling fans at home the ability to flick over to WCW Monday Nitro on TNT or WWE Raw on USA Network. It was called the Monday night wars and for six years it gave us some memorable moments in professional wrestling, from the New World Order dominating ratings and whoever they approached and Stone Cold Steve Austin beating the living hell out of Mr McMahon to D-Generation X running amok all over the world.

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After WCW went out of business in 2001, TNT Network hadn’t televised any wrestling until last Wednesday Night, when AEW Dynamite premiered, while just last month the WWE and USA Network reached an agreement to televise WWE’s developmental flagship show NXT, which was previously televised exclusively on the WWE Network.

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AEW Dynamite and NXT kicked off at the same time on Thursday morning (Australian time), and it was a battle that many wrestling fans have been waiting for. AEW Dynamite started with Cody Rhodes versus Sammy Guevara. Cody, who is the executive vice president of All Elite Wrestling as well as a wrestler, has been at the forefront of AEW’s success so far, delivering a fantastic opening match win against the highly rated Sammy Guevara.

NXT, meanwhile, provided a shock by opening their show with the NXT Championship match on the line, with Adam Cole defending his title against Matt Riddle. Cole picked up the win in one of the matches of the year. Riddle had his chances but Cole was just too strong at the end, retaining his championship.

AEW Dynamite had only one championship match, which saw Riho defeat Nyla Rose in an upset to become the inaugural AEW women’s champion. That compared with NXT having three championship matches, including the NXT men’s and women’s championships as well as the NXT tag team championships. Although NXT’s strategy was built to draw ratings, it didn’t end up being the case, as AEW Dynamite drew over 500,000 more viewers in the USA.

Both shows provided some incredible moments and world-class wrestling that hasn’t been seen in recent times in the WWE’s flagships. The Wednesday night wars have only just started and will most likely draw more fans week by week, which is great for the sport.

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