Chris Aiken has your Wednesday night preview for the AEW Dynamite and NXT shows, or the “Wednesday Night War.”
What is normally a contest of sorts between two competing wrestling companies does not seem all that important this week. The two Wednesday night wrestling shows are back tonight airing head-to-head, but this week battling grief is far more important than a ratings battle.
The wrestling world is in mourning after the passing of Jon Huber. He was Mr. Brodie Lee in AEW, and the WWE audience knew him for years as Luke Harper. His family knew him as a beloved father and husband. Countless others called him a friend. He will be missed by many.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 27, 2020
It’s Wednesday. You know what that means.
A tribute to Brodie Lee airs this Wednesday on Dynamite. AEW was set to begin the first of a two week supercard called New Year’s Smash. Those cards will be delayed by a week.
New Year’s Smash now begins next Wednesday on January 6th, and the second part airs on January 13th. Tonight is a tribute to Brodie Lee, in what is the final episode of the year.
12/30/20 AEW Dynamite
“This Wednesday on [Dynamite], we’ll celebrate the life of Jon Huber (Mr. Brodie Lee) with a show including tributes and a special card of matches dedicated to The Exalted One,” Tony Khan wrote on Twitter. “This night is intended to honor Jon, but also this is for Amanda, and their sons Brodie (-1) & Nolan.”
This Wednesday on #AEWDynamite, we’ll celebrate the life of Jon Huber (Mr. Brodie Lee) with a show including tributes and a special card of matches dedicated to The Exalted One. This night is intended to honor Jon, but also this is for Amanda, and their sons Brodie (-1) & Nolan.
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) December 28, 2020
The special card celebrating the life of Jon Huber includes a match with some of his son’s favorite wrestlers teaming together. Cody Rhodes teams with Orange Cassidy and Preston Vance, who is “10” from Dark Order. They face Team Taz in a six-man tag team main event on Dynamite.
Tonight’s episode of Dynamite features most all of Dark Order, which was the faction led by the character of Mr. Brodie Lee. He really turned around the group after becoming their leader, and “The Exalted One” got Dark Order over.
With Brodie Lee helping to get the group over, that in turn allowed others to also shine. Wrestlers in the group, like Jon Silver, are becoming breakout stars in AEW. Silver is on the tribute show in another trios match on the card.
Silver teams with Dark Order stablemate Alex Reynolds and their new friend, Hangman Adam Page. The trio teamed together last week on Dynamite, and Dark Order has recently courted Page. That likely all takes a proverbially back seat to them honoring their friend. Page, Silver and Reynolds face an Inner Circle team of MJF, Santana and Ortiz.
In another six-man tag, Colt Cabana of Dark Order teams with The Young Bucks. They meet the team of Matt Hardy and Private Party in a trios match on Wednesday. More six-man tag action when Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Stu Grayson team with Lance Archer in a match against Eddie Kingston, The Butcher and The Blade.
Anna Jay of Dark Order teams with Tay Conti in a women’s tag team match against Dr. Britt Baker and Penelope Ford.
Besides the matches themselves, expect other tributes to Mr. Brodie Lee throughout the night.
AEW Dynamite airs on TNT starting at 8pm ET.
WWE’s black-and-gold brand presents its year end awards this Wednesdays. NXT also features several matches on what is essentially the go-home show for New Year’s Evil.
NXT ends the year with a North American title bout and a grudge match on the last NXT episode of 2020.
12/30/20 WWE NXT
Headlining NXT tonight is Johnny Gargano defending his North American Championship against Leon Ruff. Ever the underdog, Ruff is still a former champion. The bout this week is a rematch a few months in the making.
Gargano previously held the North American Championship, and Ruff in a shocker, defeated him for the title. Gargano with the help of The Way regained the title in a triple threat match that also involved Damian Priest. Now Ruff gets another chance to again upset the champion.
The story also plays on the supposed curse on Gargano. Although he has won several titles in NXT, he always loses the belt on his first title defense. Most recently that first defense was against Ruff, and Gargano lost again. Johnny Wrestling looks to reverse that trend, and the curse would be broken.
Also announced for NXT is a singles bout with Pete Dunne against Roderick Strong. The grudge match stems from ongoing issues between Dunne and Undisputed Era. The match was set up last week on NXT when Dunne attacked Strong at ringside during a match where Adam Cole was facing Velveteen Dream.
Besides the two matches already announced, the year-end awards for NXT will be revealed on tonight’s episode.
Here are the categories for the 2020 NXT Awards:
- Breakout Star of the Year
- Rivalry of the Year
- Tag Team of the Year
- Male Competitor of the Year
- Female Competitor of the Year
- Event of the Year
- Future Star
- Match of the Year
WWE NXT airs on USA Network starting at 8pm ET.
Here are the lineups for the two shows:
- Cody Rhodes, Orange Cassidy & Preston “10” Vance vs. Team Taz (Brian Cage, Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs)
- The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) & Colt Cabana vs. Matt Hardy & Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen)
- Hangman Page, Jon Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. MJF, Santana & Ortiz
- Anna Jay & Tay Conti vs. Dr. Britt Baker & Penelope Ford
- Lance Archer, Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Eddie Kingston, The Butcher & The Blade
- North American Championship: Johnny Gargano vs. Leon Ruff
- Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne
- 2020 NXT Awards