Coming off a well-received two night special, Fyter Fest, AEW presented Fight for the Fallen. The show has been hyped since night one of Fyter Fest, but can it live up to the high standards Fyter Fest left in the minds of the fans. Let’s find out.
TNT Championship match: Cody (c) vs Sonny Kiss
We started the night off with what this author predicted as the opening match up. Cody made his entrance first, which, for AEW, seems a bit odd; they usually stick to tradition and have the champion come out last.
Following Cody was the entrance of Sonny Kiss, with bit of a surprise. Sonny came in with a special entrance for his first big time Dynamite matchup, coming out to new music and being flanked by female cheerleaders.
The match kicks off with Cody on the offensive. This gave the idea that Cody was too powerful an opponent for the usually Dark-ridden Sonny Kiss. After toying around with Kiss, going as far as throwing him out of the ring, Arn Anderson gave Cody a stern talking to telling him to get his head out of his ass (and boy did he need to be told that).
Sonny Kiss was able to get some offense in eventually, nearly hitting his split-legged splash before Cody countered with a super kick. Highlight spot of the match for Sonny was when Cody attempted a Cross Rhodes before Sonny countered with his own version of Cody’s finisher and hitting Cody with a 450 splash, both earning Sonny a close nearfall.
Toward the end of the match, Cody was able to hit a vertebreaker for a two, before taking Sonny out onto the ramp and slamming him with an Alabama Slam. He rolled Sonny back into the ring for a two as Sonny put his foot on the rope. The finish saw Cody finally hit Sonny Kiss with a Cross Rhodes for the victory. Post match, Cody hugged Sonny Kiss to congratulate his efforts, a show of respect that was much deserved.
This was the most enjoyable Cody match for this author in quite a while. Cody’s heel turn has to be imminent after the not-so-subtle heel tendencies. I, for one, am all for it. This was my favorite Sonny Kiss match as well. I have taken a liking to him. He totally deserved everything he got from Cody in that match. I would like to think we will see a lot more of Sonny in this new tag team with Joey Janela.
The Lucha Bros vs FTR
Making their entrance, the Lucha Bros enter the arena in FTR’s signature truck along with the Butcher and the Blade. FTR, as expected, would make their entrance through the stage. However, they would come out of the right hole. This hole is usually the babyface hole. Interesting.
In the beginning, the Lucha Bros double team Dax Harwood, before Cash Wheeler tags in and gets the advantage over Rey Fenix. FTR do their usual and over power Fenix, returning the favor. Pentagon tags in and both men take out Wheeler with a double super kick before Fenix knocks out Harwood on the outside with a running apron drop kick as the show goes picture-in-picture.
Coming back, Fenix unsuccessfully attempt a 450 splash on Cash, before he tags in Harwood. Harwood would do the usual babyface hot tag sequence as he successfully performs a one on two fight against the Lucha Bros. He would go on to knock Pentagon outside and nail Fenix with a back suplex (somehow a very devastating move in wrestling today) for a two.
Fenix hits a springboard splash off his brother before Pentagon gets a two count on Wheeler. The Lucha Bros goes for their double team spike piledriver, but Wheeler outpowers them and FTR hit Fenix with a double team wheelbarrow facebuster for a two.
While Pentagon and Harwood were legal, FTR attempted to perform the Power Plex, a superplex into a splash. As Harwood set up Pentagon for the superplex, Fenix tags in. The superplex was successful, but Pentagon countered the splash by Wheeler by putting his knees up. Fenix tried to follow with a springboard splash to Harwood, but he would get his knees up as well.
Both teams square off in the ring as if to say “we aren’t finished yet.” Fenix takes himself and Harwood outside the ring as Pentagon hits a slingblade on Wheeler. The latter two would fight out on the apron before trading off running in the ring and Wheeler hit and tope to Pentagon. Shortly after, Fenix would hit what is called by commentary as an “escalara” to Wheeler on the outside.
It is Harwood and Fenix left in the ring. As Fenix went to swing around the ropes and nail Harwood with a spinning back kick for a second time, Dax would rip the mask off the face of Rey Fenix, normally a disqualification in other countries, and roll him up for an FTR win.
Post match, the Young Bucks square up to B&B (the Butcher and the Blade) and hit them each with a superkick. Kenny Omega came out on stage with a tub of beer and hand FTR a can each. As Kenny expected a “bottoms up” moment, FTR spilled their beer cans over the best bout machine before leaving in their truck with no shirts or pants like true southerners would do.
Great TV tag team match and great story told for the tag team division. FTR rightly went over; it’s quite clear that they are slowly building to the much anticipated FTR vs Young Bucks match that has been built for nearly two years. How soon until, as the wrestlers famously said, “everyone will rejoice?”
Le Champion Has Something to Say
The one segment advertised prior to the show that is not a match is up next. Jericho, as normal, comes to the ring with the Inner Circle (less Sammy for obvious reasons). Jake Hager enters in the background with his own jug of orange juice, a reference to Jericho’s win over Orange Cassidy last week. Jericho is also said to be doing commentary starting at the top of the hour.
Chris Jericho says that his match with Orange Cassidy is “the best in AEW history.” Jericho is bringing light to the ratings, and the “all important” key 18-49 demographic, calling himself the “King of the Demos,” and the “Demo God.”
Jericho alludes to everyone wanting a rematch between himself and Orange before telling the world “you aren’t getting one.” He says that O.C. (Orange Cassidy) is not good enough; however, the wrestlers in the crowd say that Jericho is scared. Jericho declares Cassidy’s career dead as he dumps out the orange juice in his hands.
Surprisingly, O.C.’s new music hits and he comes in through the empty seats on the far side of the arena from Jericho. Jericho goes on to say O.C. is lazy, has a bad attitude, is entitled, and tells him there will never be a rematch (I wonder where this is going…). O.C. does not say a word before giving Jericho his signature thumbs up, then a thumbs down. Seconds after, the Inner Circle get dumped on with orange juice (convenient, right?).
A serviceable segment, I hated Chris Jericho after bringing up the key demos. Jesus Christ, why? Like, I get that WWE has counter-programmed quite a bit, but they have not gone onto their live shows and blatantly said their booking was such. How insecure must someone be to bring up “you won the total views, but we won the key demos so at least we won something” (may have paraphrased)? I will always love Orange Cassidy, but this was a very telling segment showing the insecurity of AEW. AEW is basically saying their fine, when they need to accept that in some way they are not fine.
We followed with a backstage interview with the Jurassic Express, and Marko Stunt is still laughing at the humiliation of the Inner Circle. Luchasaurus goes on to say there’s nothing funny about facing the Elite. That was about it. We go back to see Jericho joining commentary and complaining to JR and Excalibur. JR calls for a replay, and we go on to see several replays of the orange juice dumping, a couple of shots in slow motion.
The Elite vs Jurassic Express
This is the first time the Elite has competed in six-man tag team action since the homecoming show on New Year’s Day, when they defeated PAC and the Lucha Bros in the main event. ‘Member January??
The match begins with Nick Jackson and Jungleboy. A good combination to get the pace going, for sure. Nick Jackson goes for his signature over the top rope into a facebuster spot, but Jungleboy countered it in the same way Mustafa Ali counters an RKO. We get a shot of Hangman Page mid match in which his nameplate said “unlicensed bartender.” Once again, Page’s lower third goes over everybody.
They teased the audience with an altercation between Luchasaurus and Kenny Omega, before Omega tagged in Matt. Got to make the fans wait, sometimes. As we go into commercial, we get a spill to the outside which leaves Kenny and Luchasaurus alone in the ring, making the tease seem like it was not such after all. Omega fights L.S. (Luchasaurus) out of the ring, and the Youngbucks hold him and Jungleboy in position for Omega’s famous terminator senton to the outside.
We come back from commercial with Matt Jackson and Jungleboy legal before we get a surprise hurricanrana by J.B. (Jungleboy) to Nick Jackson, who is on the apron, to the outside. Eventually Luchasaurus is left in the ring to fight off the entire Elite. L.S. catches Nick with an amazing tail whip kick, a chokeslam, and splash for a nearfall. After the fall, we see FTR approach Hangman Page backstage, then we come back to L.S. and Kenny Omega in the ring.
Omega catches him with a V-Trigger, before having one knee blocked and hit L.S. with the other knee and J.B. and Marko Stunt with snap dragon suplexes. L.S. and J.B. hit Kenny Omega with the Extinction event DDT, but the Youngbucks break it up and catch L.S. with a double superkick. They would assist Omega with a triple Tiger Driver ’98 for a two count.
J.B. and Marko Stunt catch Nick Jackson with a frankensteiner and 450 splash respectively for a two. As all but Omega spill onto the ramp, Matt balances on the rope above L.S. before J.B. lifts Marko Stunt up onto L.S.’s shoulders and hits Matt with a Canadian Destroyer for a two.
Kenny Omega hits L.S. and Marko Stunt with V-Triggers, and, after having a One-Winged Angel attempt countered by Stunt, Omega hits him with another devastating V-Trigger and a successful One-Winged Angel for the winning pinfall.
Post match, Omega shows some heel tactics by going after Marko Stunt and punching him in the head while he is down. The Bucks plead with him and Omega begins to look apologetic, while at the same time not looking sorry for what he did.
Amazing match. Nearly impossible to keep up with, as this is your’s truly’s first time covering this live. A great showing for the Elite, a continuation of star-making performances for Jurassic Express, and a third thing for the list of three rule. The Elite are back, and All Elite Wrestling is always better when the Elite are on top form.
We go backstage with Alex Marvez standing by with the Women’s World Champion, Hikaru Shida. It is noted that many top contenders are unable to challenge Shida for various reasons. In a “too long, didn’t read” version of Shida’s promo, she says it is not hard to get a title match. If anyone thinks they are ready, she will be waiting.
Coming back from commercial, we get an “earlier today” promo from the world champion, Jon Moxley. He cut a promo in which he had to get “fight for the fallen” in as smoothly as possible. He alludes to the fact that Brian Cage is too big for his Paradigm Shift finisher, before saying that he will tear Cage’s recently surgically repaired bicep.
The Nightmare Sisters (Allie & Brandi Rhodes) vs Kenzie Page & MJ Jenkins
A weird time to put this match in place, one which is normally referred to as the “death slot,” we get the Dynamite debut of the first official women’s tag team of AEW. This has given many hope for an AEW Women’s Tag Team Championship.
An academic, insultingly short match, Allie hit Jenkins with a reverse DDT for the win.
What was this?? Why does THIS give fans hope for a Women’s tag team title? This is Divas Division booking, and it needs to be fixed. Brandi Rhodes does not have much in roles that are not her being Cody’s manager or interacting with the Elite. I was alright with this Allie story; this match has tainted the story for me.
Nyla Rose’s BIG Announcement
Last week, Nyla Rose announced that she has obtained a manager. She expressed how she felt she could use one with all the managers currently around the AEW roster. What will happen when the show comes back from commercial?
Dasha is in the ring as we come back, and she introduces Nyla Rose as the former Women’s World Champion. Vickie Guerrero comes out. If this is what I think it is, what a turnout and good choice for manager! She tells the locker room to stop lying to themselves and thinking they are better. She says that Nyla Rose will destroy everything any woman has ever dreamed of.
This is fantastic! I miss Vickie Guerrero so much, and this is a great way to get her on any kind of wrestling television. What an amazing choice to stick her with Nyla Rose. We were needing a female manager (who was not Brandi or Allie) and who better than Vickie? A+ from this writer for sure!
Up next, we get what this author has coined elsewhere as The Runthrough. We learn that Cody will defend his TNT Championship again next week, Hangman Page will face Five (Alan Angels), Ivelisse will face Diamante, MJF will be in singles action, The Young Bucks will face the Butcher & the Blade under Falls Count Anywhere rules, and Jurassic Express (L.S. and J.B.) will face Jake Hager and Chris Jericho in tag team action. It will be great to finally, after three weeks of PPV-lite cards, get back to a pure AEW Dynamite show.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs “FTW Champion” Brian Cage
Jon Moxley enters the ring, in which his opponent is already, and Cage quickly goes after the champ and throws him in the corner. Cage is giving Mox no chance to even get his shirt off, which is surely something fans are in anticipation for (lol).
Moxley finally gets Cage down and quickly takes the time to take his shirt off before wrenching Cage’s arm against the ropes and working the injured left bicep. As we get closer to commercial, Moxley sends Brian Cage bicep-first into the ring post before he hits a successful tope suicida and hooks in an arm bar.
Cage takes control as they spill to the outside, but Moxley quickly takes it back, wreches Cage’s bad arm into the bars of the barricade, and lands his foot right into Cage’s arm. Moxley drags another railing and leans it against the apron, but takes a german suplex into it by Cage just as we go to commercial.
We come back with Brian Cage holding Jon Moxley in a torture rack position before swinging him for a reverse neck breaker and applying a Camel Clutch. Mox fights back, but gets knocked outside and into the barricade. Cage once again fights out of a move Mox planned to do into a weapen, and he suplexed the world champion into a set up steel chair.
Back in the ring, Cage gets caught by a small package and school boy for a two count each. Cage goes for a moonsault, but Mox rolls out and hits a dropkick followed by a single boot and knee each to the side of Cage’s head. Both men follow by exchanging big clothesline. Moxley finds his spot to hit a paradigm shift, but cannot put Cage away with it.
Moxley puts Cage up on the top turnbuckle and successfully hits a superplex. Once again, he gets a two count, but locks in a kimura on Cage’s injured arm. Cage was able to pick up Mox with one arm and slam him into the corner before grabbing him from the apron and delivering a suplex from the second rope into the ring.
Brian Cage goes for the Drill Claw, but Moxley maneuvers into a cross arm breaker. After quite a long hold of Cage’s arm in the submission, Tazz is finally forced to throw in the title, thus Jon Moxley wins and remains the AEW World Champion.
Post match, Cage nails Moxley in the face with the FTW Championship. As he pumbled the retaining champion, the lights go out and come back on to reveal Darby Allin on the top rope before he jumped and drilled Cage out of the ring with his signature skateboard.
While this was nowhere near a bad match and the ending worked for me, I have never been a big fan of Brian Cage. In fact, I always hate the “unstoppable machine that is better than everybody” debut. I did not like Cage’s win at Double Or Nothing, and I like that Moxley came out of this with his championship in tact. If AEW still has plans to build Cage as a monster, then I trust they can prove he can be great. They have protected him well here. Only time will tell for Brian Cage.
Overall, a great episode of Dynamite and a good, and quite better, second edition of Fight for the Fallen, albeit one little stink of a match. A better episode of AEW on TNT in quite a while. It will be great to see how AEW move on after they get back to their usual Dynamite form next week. Let us all hope, though, that Chris Jericho no longer flaunts his, or the company’s, insecurity by talking up the key demos again.
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