AJ Styles Eyes Edge, Triple H; Young Bucks Talk AEW-NXT Ratings; WWE Raw Latest

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2020

World Wrestling Entertainment stars AJ Styles, top, and Shinsuke Nakamura, wrestle during their match at the
Amr Nabil/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW. 

Styles Wants Dream Match vs. Edge or Triple H at Mania

Don't look now, but WrestleMania season is upon us. Sunday's TLC pay-per-view was the final event before the Royal Rumble, which will give WWE around six weeks to put the puzzle pieces into place for the January-March run of shows.

With AJ Styles currently in a program with Drew McIntyre (which also includes, to various degrees, The Miz, John Morrison, Sheamus and Keith Lee), it's hard to tell what the future holds for him heading into the Rumble. It seems possible, if not likely, there will be some sort of formal blow-off between now and the Rumble to set up Styles' WrestleMania program.

A year after wrestling The Undertaker in what proved to be Taker's final match, Styles says he's eyeing two legends for 'Mania. 

"If it can't be Drew McIntyre, give me Edge. If it can't be Edge, give me Triple H," Styles said on Inside the Ropes. "But, of course, a number of other guys are willing to step up if it can't be those matches.

"I want Edge because at the Royal Rumble, he separated my shoulder with that spear. So, it's time that he gets some payback. With Triple H, I feel like I'm putting him in a situation similar to The Undertaker [before every WrestleMania]. Will he accept? I don't know."

Edge has been out of action since June after suffering torn triceps. The injury was given a four-to-eight-month timeframe, so it feels like a given that Edge will be back for the Rumble—potentially as a "surprise" entrant.

Triple H did not wrestle all of 2020. His last match was against Randy Orton at WWE SuperShowdown in 2019.

Young Bucks Admit They Pay Attention to Wednesday NXT Ratings

The so-called Wednesday Night Wars are ones largely of WWE's creation. The company put NXT on Wednesday night in a move that was seemingly designed to snuff out rising competition in AEW.

It hasn't worked. AEW has been the best weekly wrestling program since its inception and has continued to improve in quality as the people in charge get used to doing episodic programming. AEW has also been winning in the ratings, regularly trouncing NXT—particularly in the coveted 18-35 demographic. 

Matt Jackson said that while he doesn't watch NXT, you can't help but get wrapped up in the ratings competition. 

"Our fans, I've learned, are very loyal to us and no matter what is on we still have a good base, and they're always going to watch at this point now that we're a little over a year in," Jackson said on the Chris Van Vliet Show (h/t WrestlingInc). "But yeah, we definitely pay attention to everything. You have to pay attention to everything because everything is competition."

It's refreshing to hear Jackson admit to what we already know: These dudes care about this stuff, whether they want to admit it or not. While Jackson's status within AEW makes his knowledge of ratings more necessary than others, there's a natural competition here that can't be denied.

Right now, AEW's winning from a numbers and qualitative standpoint. Continuing the progression will be necessary to AEW's success.

WWE To Host Legends Night in January


In TWO weeks ⤵️ 𝑹𝒂𝒘 𝑳𝒆𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝑵𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 📺 @USA_Network https://t.co/tqb5J5pV91

WWE has announced the following legends will make an appearance on Jan. 4's episode of Raw:

Alicia Fox
Beth Phoenix
Big Show
Booker T
Candice Michelle
Hillbilly Jim
Hulk Hogan
IRS (Irwin R. Schyster)
Jeff Jarrett
Jimmy Hart
Kurt Angle
Mark Henry
Michael "PS" Hayes
Mickie James
Ric Flair
Sgt. Slaughter
Torrie Wilson

WWE has made these Legends Nights or "reunions" a seemingly annual occurrence at this point as a way to temporarily boost ratings. Raw's ratings have been sagging well below expectation for months now, dipping to an all-time low of 1.53 million viewers last week.

Odds are more legends will be announced in the coming days, but that is an impressive starting list, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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