AEW vs. NXT: The Wednesday Night Wars

Source: (YouTube/Montel Griffith)

The moment wrestling fans have been clamoring for nearly two decades has finally arrived. A good ol’, knock down, drag out war that has the potential to shake the entire wrestling world to its core.

For nearly five decades, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), has dominated the world of professional wrestling. However,  in the 1990s, WCW (World Championship Wrestling) put the challenge to WWE as the top wrestling promotion of the world. The two companies continuously traded blows towards each other but the biggest shots took place every Monday night. 

The infamous “Monday Night Wars” between the two companies flagship programs, WCW Monday Nitro and WWE Monday Night Raw, showcased the best and brightest of professional wrestling during the mid to late 1990s. When two gladiators are at war, you have to out duel you opponent each and every step of the way.

Nitro and Raw both had financial and network backing. WCW had the backing of media mogul Ted Turner and Turner Broadcasting which aired Nitro, while WWE was supported by owner and chairman Vince McMahon, while Raw aired on the USA Network. 

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The Undisputed Era, a faction of wrestlers that have run rampant throughout NXT for two years. Source: (YouTube/WWE)

That was the entire Monday Night War. Battlelines were drawn and fans took sides.

The Monday Night War helped shoot professional wrestling into the mainstream culture and helped change professional wrestling forever.  The impact that the Monday Night War brought to professional wrestling continues to be felt to this day. However, the war was only temporary.

 WCW closed their doors and was eventually bought out by the WWE in 2001, ending arguably the biggest rivalry in professional wrestling history which thus ended the last boom period in professional wrestling.

Nearly two decades later, a spark has been lit and a sense of change is brewing yet again in professional wrestling.

A new, upstart promotion called AEW (All Elite Wrestling) has the potential to lead for the change in professional wrestling that wrestling fans have been hungry for, as the WWE has grown stagnant throughout the years.

Lots of smaller wrestling promotions have attempted to take the fight to the juggernaut that is WWE, but no one has been able to come close at dethroning the top. So, what makes AEW such a threat to WWE?

The wrestlers who started AEW, Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, addressing the crowd after their Double or Nothing pay-per-view event. Source: (YouTube/All Elite Wrestling)

AEW, unlike other wrestling promotions, has a backing and support that can lead them into the future. AEW has financial security from Shahid and Tony Khan. The Khan family are wealthy businessmen who own sports teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham Football Club in England. 

AEW also has a network backing from Turner Broadcasting. Yes, The same Turner Broadcasting that aired WCW programming nearly two decades ago.

Turner Broadcasting will air AEW’s PPVs on B/R (Bleacher Report) Live and will air weekly two-hour shows called Wednesday Night Dynamite, starting on Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. on TNT. This is a big moment for wrestling’s future, but in a battle, you need two to tango.

Wednesday nights, fans were accustomed to watching WWE’s developmental brand, NXT airing pre-taped episodes on the WWE Network. So, how did WWE retaliate from AEW’s news? 

WWE moved NXT to the USA Network, but kept it on Wednesday nights, same time. However, NXT has begun to air live and the show has been extended to two hours, now airing during the same time slot as AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite. This only adds fuel to the fire. The war is most definitely on.

WWE’s look at what NXT has to offer to the average wrestling fan, showcasing some of their biggest stars. Source: (YouTube/WWE)

Each brand has a roster of the best and brightest of professional wrestling. Each brand has the opportunity to change professional wrestling forever.

Who will send the first shot? Who will create the moment that gets remembered forever? What name will be the name that gets etched in the record books as arguably the greatest of all time?

Just like the Monday Night Wars in the mid-1990s when WCW Monday Nitro went head to head with WWE Monday Night Raw, the Wednesday Night Wars is upon us and is ready to shake the wrestling world to its core once again.

AEW’s YouTube channel chronicles the build to each of the companies big events, including the debut of Wednesday Night Dynomite. Source: (YouTube/All Elite Wrestling)

Only time will tell where professional wrestling will go heading into the future. The only statement that is left to say is, what a time to be a fan of professional wrestling!

David Jacobus
Staff Writer

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