NXT TakeOver: XXV vs. Double or Nothing - which show was better?
Last weekend, All Elite Wrestling's premier event, Double or Nothing lived up to the hype. It was a smash success. Afterward, many fans wondered how WWE would respond. Raw and SmackDown's typical lethargic presentation didn't inspire much confidence that Vince McMahon's titan would start changing its ways. The initiative would be left, as usual, to NXT.
NXT TakeOver: XXV opened with an assurance that it was "the true alternative" out there. The target of the barb was obvious.
With rumors swirling that AEW's show on TNT will land on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays this coming fall, it appears likely (as of now) that Triple H's brainchild will go head to head with AEW for viewership. The announcement of NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, to take place on the same day as All Out, made that very clear. In this sense, NXT is acting as the vanguard of WWE.
So how did the two do against one another in their first battle? Let's compare and contrast the two shows in a few crucial areas.
Double or Nothing had a better stage. The poker chips were a nice aesthetic which hammered home the theme of the show. WWE just doesn't do stuff like that anymore (unless it comes in the form of putting objects everywhere to hammer home a gimmick PPV), even with NXT. The dual entrance tunnels was also a nice touch.
Nevertheless, if there's one thing WWE is consistently great on, it's in video production. The promos that aired at TakeOver to introduce the matches were better than at Double or Nothing.
There's also the matter of the embarrassing bell ring in the Joshi match, which was actually preceded by a video flub introducing the wrong person.
AEW will get better at producing shows with time, but this is an area WWE is still clearly ahead on.
TakeOver - 1
Double or Nothing - 0