Coming up on today’s episode there’s been a huge AEW TNT contract update, including a second AEW TV show, Laurie recaps last night’s episode of NXT where we saw a new number one contender to the NXT Women’s Championship, and Luke takes us through last night’s AEW Dynamite, where DDP was in action.
Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk STACKED News and STACKED Reviews! I am Chopper Pete Quinnell.
It seems that since their launch to TV in October, execs behind AEW have been rather happy with the results, and as such it was officially announced yesterday that AEW have a brand spanking new contract with TNT.
The official press release states:
“WarnerMedia has extended their deal for AEW: DYNAMITE, a top 20 new cable unscripted series, through 2023.”
This new contract means they will be broadcasting on TNT through 2023, securing them in for another four years, a fact AEW President Tony Khan was sure to make sure you understood on Twitter.
But wait there’s more! The press release went on to say:
“In addition, the parties have agreed to launch another night of AEW action, offering more of the fans’ favorite wrestlers, with a second show straight-to- series.”
Not only is the extension of the contract a massive success for AEW, as part of this contract extension, they will also now be airing a secondary AEW TV show. Are we going to have to review it? Does that mean more work for us? Oh god.
While it initially wasn’t revealed what this second show was going to be, it has now been confirmed via Kevin Reilly, the Turner President in an interview with Tony Maglio of The Wrap that it will be AEW Dark, albeit with some alterations, and it may not air 52 weeks a year.
“We’re going to embellish [AEW Dark] and put some additional material, kind of behind the scenes, kind of docu-follow stuff, if you will, about the athletes and the stories…I think we’ll start doing more packages there and filming some behind-the-scenes stuff, not for the matches that night but with other talent to plant stories and grow things that could eventually become another show in and of itself.”
This would make a lot of sense, considering AEW Dark has been used to further stories when it’s only been on YouTube, there is some level of importance placed upon this secondary show already. What these changes are seem to be hinting to making it a bit more of a fleshed out show with backstage interviews and video packages, more so than just the matches themselves.
Ever since the initial launch of AEW Dynamite on TNT, there were reports surfacing that AEW may be looking to broadcast a second show, to which there were mixed reactions. Some fans may ask whether it’s too soon for AEW to broadcast two shows a week, but at the very least, we can at least hope they would learn from WWE and not make their own Survivor Series where it’s the one night of the year where Dynamite and Dark go head to head in direct competition. End me if that happens.
Regardless of the direction AEW take it from here, this has to be considered a resounding success for the company, who has exceeded the 500,000 viewership target that TNT set them every week, and on some weeks, by quite some way.
In fact, according to the press release surrounding this new contract, AEW Dynamite has averaged 1.2 million viewers per week, including 7-day playback after the fact. That is a huge number for an upstart company, and they will no doubt be looking to expand that number heading into the rest of 2020 and beyond.
President and CEO of AEW, Tony Khan seemed, understandably, quite happy with this development, stating as part of the press release:
“When we launched AEW one year ago, we wanted to start a revolution that would disrupt the wrestling business, but everyone said that it would take a strong weekly television partner to make AEW real in the eyes of everyone – above all, the fans. What virtually no one realized at the time was Kevin Reilly and TNT were committed to this very same movement from Day One, and their belief in us made it possible for AEW to think and act big from the start. Here we are, only three months into Wednesday Night Dynamite, and now we’ve been extended through 2023! We’re now making the ultimate statement that the team of AEW and TNT is here to stay and to bring fans more of the great wrestling that the fans demand and deserve.”
Whether this will be cause for concern from WWE remains to be seen, and whether WWE responds by scheduling another show to run against AEW Dark also remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t be out of the question. Considering NXTUK is now out of contention with its BT Sport deal, perhaps 205 Live could be broadcast as competition to the second AEW show. Ah who am I kidding. It’ll obviously be Table For 3. Or Swerved. Or WWE TheBump, which honestly, I’m still not sure is real. What even is it?
And now over to Laurie for the NXT recap, hot tag!
Before we crack on with the NXT review we’d just like to say thank you to “The Beast” Brock Taylor for their support on Patreon.
Couldn’t do it without you!
It’s return-a-debut-a-palooza on NXT as Alex Shelley is in the Impact Zone, Tegan Nox is back, Mercedes Martinez makes her post-signing debut, Kacy Catanzaro didn’t quit? What? and a wild Deonna Purrazzo appears, a lot less fuss was made about this one to be honest.
Another week, another ram-jammed NXT episode that doubled down on efforts to build some sort of Worlds Collide hype and started getting the pieces in place for Takeover Portland.
The show opens and Keith Lee enters the ring immediate-Lee, he says Undisputed Era have reached their peak, their limit, while he is limitless.
Top 10 Undisputed Era ring invasions and beatdowns of the week, number three will shock your system. Because the UE storm the ring and start wailing on Keith, hooking his foot through a chair and stomping on it.
Thankfully Daddy was home to run off the ruffians and I dunno, kiss the ouchie better?
This was a fun segment that adds to the tension for next week.
The Broserweights took on Southwest Subculture in a Dusty Classic all-time classic.
With Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster putting on a spirited display but ultimately falling to the combined might of Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle who have formed a Megazord that is half black pudding, half marijuana.
Daddy is still home and comes out to lecture us on how his life has been ruined by Adam Cole. Mid-life crisis much Thomas.
But he doesn’t get very far before number two on our list of UE beatdowns, thankfully it helps to have very forgiving friends as Johnny Gargano runs out to make the save.
We then get the briefest DIY reunion as the pair meet in the middle – the middle being bobby Fish’s face.
Hold the phone: Trent Seven has just texted in to say DIY should fight Moustache Mountain, I’m here for this, but it is weird because I know for a fact he was in London last night at a party and unlikely to be staying up to watch NXT. I’m beginning to think wrestling is fake.
The Timesplitters took us all the way back to 2013… and Japan as Alex Shelley and Kushida took on Grizzled Young Veterans in a Dusty Classic match up.
Initially Zack Gibson and James Drake couldn’t keep up with the lightning fast offence of Shelley and Kushi, but eventually their methodical tag-team style wore the smaller men down, giving them enough room to hit Ticket to Mayhem and get the 1,2,3. Fab match and really gives the Vets some big heel energy.
Lio Rush, Tyler Breeze and Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott then went head to head for a spot in a Cruiserweight Championship Fatal Four Way at World’s Collide.
Swerve had new music and a new tron so he’s obviously going over. It’s a great little match with some really clever combinations from all three and some amazing face offs from Rush and Scott specifically.
Ciampa and Johnny have a reconciliatory interview interruption outside, saying they’ll team to take on Moustache Mountain at World’s Collide.
But just before they finally kiss, the Undisputed Era arrive causing a ruckus, only for Keith Lee to steamroller in and start chucking security around in order to get to Roddy. This was firey and destructive and I loved it.
The we got the Women’s Battle Royal with all the usual suspects, plus the debut of Mercedes Martinez, the return of Tegan Nox, Shayna Baszler surprise entering herself, ooh matron, Deonna Purrazzo utterly unannounced and Kacy Catanzaro!
Who it was reported last year had quit the business altogether after suffering a back injury, hadn’t been at the performance centre for a while and was moved to the alumni page on WWE.com for a brief spell.
And despite people saying she hadn’t left everyone was like, where was she – well there she is.
Admittedly she doesn’t get much in the way of offense in this match as it’s dominated by Belair and Baszler for the most part.
But it’s green-haired rabble rouser Shotzi Blackheart who causes the biggest upset, doing the classic you forgot I was in this match spot and tipping Baszler out.
Conspicuous by her absence in the match was Dakota Kai, because of course she was gonna mess with Tegan, dragging her off the turnbuckle and eliminating her.
It comes down to Bel Air and Io Shirai with the crowd mostly behind the genius of the sky, but raw power overcometh all and it’s BelAir who goes on to face the Women’s Champ at Takeover, which might be either Toni Storm or Rhea Ripley because of Worlds Collide. Building two shows is hard.
But NXT handled it really well here, putting on exciting matches, booking in even more for next week and February and giving us returns and debuts aplenty. It’s getting a four out of five from me! Undisputedly Good. Over to Luke for AEW now!
Thanks for that developmental review Laurie, but it’s time to get Elite – just like this guy with his amazing sign! As I review the 14th of January edition of AEW Dynamite in about 4 minutes, aka Bash at the Beach!
Last week on the WrestleTalk Live review, I said that if Bash at the Beach didn’t have all the gimmicks around the stage and the commentators weren’t wearing haiwain shirts, then this was a waste of time and I would give this show a 1 out of 5 rating. Well, they got it right – we had sand, we had surfboards, we had palm trees, we even had a sexy lifeguard – though not as sexy as Billy from Stranger Things, you know before The Mind Flayer got him – and we had our commentators wearing haiwain shirts – wait a second! – dang it, JR. Right, this show is getting a 1 out of 5.
Dynamite kicked off with incredible tag action, as Santana & Ortiz faced off against Best Friends, The Young Bucks, and the team of Hangman Page and Kenny Omega – with the winners becoming the new number one contenders to SCU. This built on the brilliantly told story of Hangman Page’s troubles with The Elite which has easily been the best thing on AEW since Cody’s feud with Chris Jericho. This was all action all the time, with dives and finishers, and saw Page and Omega pick up the win with the V-Trigger/Buckshot combo. The real story came just moments before though, when Page blind tagged himself in while The Bucks were in control. There was some squabbling between The Elite after the match, but Page continued his brilliant subtle acting choices by saying he was cool with it when he clearly wasn’t. Later a drunken Page interrupted an SCU interview and had to be calmed down by Omega. I loved everything about this.
Cody cut a good promo on MJF, accepting his stipulations for their match at Revolution – including taking 10 whips from MJF on live TV. Kinky. Joey Janela also cut a decent promo, saying he’s going to improve his 2020, and will face Rey Fenix next week.
What I didn’t love however was The Nightmare Collective’s match against Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida. This was slow, plodding, and very boring. And, bizarrely, they built the match around showing how strong Mel is – and then they pinned her. What was that all about?
Dark Order got a promo including the voice of the actual leader of the group giving the message to recruit members of The Elite. I was certain the leader was supposed to be Evil Uno – but apparently it’s Dr. Claw. I’LL GET YOU NEXT TIME COWBOY, NEXT TIME!
The crowd was killed by Nightmare Collective, and didn’t really pick up for Sammy Gueverra and Jon Moxley’s decent match. Mox picked up the win, and afterwards got attacked by Inner Circle who blinded him with one of Jericho’s jacket spikes. It was a simple angle, and one that worked.
DDP had his first wrestling match on TNT in nearly 20 years when he teamed with Dustin
Rhodes and QT Marshall to take on MJF and THE BUTCHER, THE BLADE. The crowd didn’t really get into this match, until DDP tagged in and hit some Diamond Cutters which they really enjoyed. MJF rolled up QT for the win. It was great seeing DDP back in the ring, and I hope it’s not the last time we see him.
And the main event saw Pac vs. Darby Allin, the winner of which was set to take on Moxley next week on the Jericho cruise to determine the number one contender to Chris Jericho – which I’ll be honest I thought was already Moxley. This was a fantastic match, let down by a crowd that didn’t really care. Pac got the win with the Black Arrow, and then confronted Jon Moxley – or is that Snake Pliskin – about next week’s cruise.
So that was this week’s Dynamite in about 4 minutes, vote in the poll above my head to let me know what you thought of the show using the options on screen. This was a pretty ‘meh’ episode of Dynamite. I loved all the Hangman Page stuff, but wasn’t blown away by much else. This week’s Dynamite was Middle of the Rhodes.
WWE have signed six new wrestlers! And which WWE star has Vince McMahon given up on? Click the videos on screen to find out more. Thank you for watching and a special thank you to our Patreon Pledge Hammers some of which you can see scrolling their way into my stomach. I’ve been Luke Owen and that was wrestling.