With a heatwave crippling much of the United States this July, it’s hard to believe that summer is already coming to a conclusion. In the pro-wrestling world, we’ve hardly been starved for shows this season: AEW has been continuing to put on excellent events, the G1 remains a compelling if not overwhelming tournament, and WWE’s content creation remains as endless as ever. With our eyes set on the fall calendar, we’re taking a look at five things coming down the pipeline so we can adequately prepare ourselves for when the weather is slightly less stifling.
AEW on TNT, ‘Hell in a Cell’ and Other Fall Wrestling Events You Can’t Miss
From star-studded indie showcases to completely new programming, these are the five events you need to see
AEW’s TV Show Starts In October
It’s been almost a year since Cody Rhodes organized the momentous “All In” super-indie show, collecting a broad range of non-WWE talent into an impressive and moving showcase. Expectations could not be higher for what would ultimately turn into All Elite Wrestling, which after months of sold-out Pay-Per-Views will finally begin airing its own live TV program on TNT on October 2. Although AEW is already being hailed as WWE’s biggest threat to emerge in decades, it still seems somewhat possible the whole enterprise will totally crumble before it ever truly takes off. We’ll find out soon enough.
The New Name of Rise
RISE concluded their LGBTQ showcase in June with an announcement that they were transitioning from being a women-only federation so as to be more gender-inclusive, with the hopes of featuring talent that is not regularly given the spotlight on other wrestling shows. They’re already making good on their promise, with their September show continuing feuds that began brewing during Pride month. On September 1, shock art queen Priscilla Kelly will take on the ultra-athletic Jake Atlas in this event which is sure to continue the brand’s new progressive political mission statement.
NXT Takeover War Games III
Big-name WWE shows tend to be filled with incoherent booking and illogical stipulations. The next NXT Takeover War Games, occurring on November 23 (the same weekend as Survivor Series) is likely to far outshine the larger-scale event it’s paired with, as per usual. The signature match, in which two rings are placed side by side—and then locked inside a steel cage—is wrestling at both its campiest and most brutal. Even NXT’s mid-and undercards are so immensely stacked with rising stars it’s hard to believe a single moment of this event will be disappointing.
AAA NYC Invasion
Although NJPW and Japanese Strong Style have picked up some steam amongst American audiences, the international flair of Lucha Libre remains a slept-on commodity amongst fans. In this exceedingly rare event to be held on September 15, the biggest stars of South American pro-wrestling are making their way to Madison Square Garden. It seems unlikely casual fans will recognize many of these athletes' names—but the breathtaking acrobatics that characterizes the Lucha Libre style will certainly dazzle even the most difficult to impress of wrestling connoisseurs.
Hell In A Cell
Hell In A Cell hasn’t had the same ultra-violent appeal since WWE began shifting its content to be more family-friendly in the mid-'00s. That being said, the wacky antics brought about by a malevolent steel structure are still refreshingly bonkers compared to the drudgery of some of the less over-the-top PPVs. Let’s hope Shane McMahon gets written out of some storylines by September 15, lest he feel inclined to crash land himself onto an announcing table yet again.