Super Wrestling: AEW – Fight for the Fallen

AEWFFTF0

Fight for the Fallen and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

We’re back for Part 3 of the AEW saga which will hopefully be better than Alien 3, but probably not as good as Back to the Future Part 3.  Will it be better than the last PPV Fyter Fest?  Well we’ll find out soon enough, but can I point out that twice in a row now they’ve given these shows out away FOR FREE which, even with the TNT deal approaching fast, STILL feels like it’s riding the line between confidence and foolishness.  All I’m saying is that I came to peace with having to pay money for these things, and it’s feeling kind of weird that the moment I do they decide to give them away!  I’m usually not that lucky with these kinds of things, but I guess I’ll ride this no charge train until it derails!

So before we get started, let’s talk about the setup of the show itself.  There’s a slight change to the ring here in that there’s a ramp leading directly to it rather than a ramp to the outside where they have to then climb in.  At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of a raised platform on the outside of the ring, but I never noticed it hindering anyone and they managed to sue it effectively a few times throughout.  The open air theater is fine even if I’m usually not a big fan of it as natural lighting feels a bit dull, but they do it late in the day so most of the matches are at night under controlled lighting anyway so it works out fine and it ends up feeling like a casual affair rather than a full on Double or Nothing production.  It’s good that they kept things on a much lighter note here because I’ll tell you right now, this is the worst show they’ve done so far even if it’s still a solid wrestling program.  We’ll get to why soon enough, but if it has an edge over Fyter Fest they at least set the tone right with this almost picnic vibe to keep it all feeling more casual.  That also extends to the announce table though as our three announcers feel like they’ve regressed back to Double or Nothing; struggling to find things to talk about; especially in the lower key matches that really could have used the boost.  Matches like, just for example… the first one on the preshow!

.

Peter Avalon “The Librarian” vs Sonny Kiss

AEWFFTF1“The Librarian” is accompanied to the ring by Leva Bates “The Librarian”

First things first!  The last time we saw Sunny Kiss was when he was shoving her butt into Tommy Dreamers face back in the Double or Nothing Battle Royale and on top of that, I referred to him as a woman.  I did in fact assume their gender and it turns out that I was wrong.  According to a tweet from Sonny Kiss, he uses He/Him pronouns so I will use those going forward.  ANYWAY!  The Librarians have gotten quite a bit of flak in the short amount of time and while I DO appreciate what they’re going for and just how much heat they’re willing to take from the audience, I honestly I don’t think this match is doing them much favors.  First major problem is that Peter Avalon shouldn’t take off his librarian costume.  Wearing traditional wrestling trunks as he does in this match, he looks like a dork and not in the good way.  Certain heel gimmicks need to carry into the ring for them to work; particularly ones where the gimmick is that they are not in fact wrestlers.  Just look at Baron Corbin who is a pretty effective heel and never takes off his “manger” outfit when he’s in the ring, at least as far I’ve seen, and it helps convey his status as a sniveling authority figure.  Sonny Kiss on the other hand projects style, grace, and attitude through every costume choice, every move he makes in the ring, and every appeal to the audience whenever Peter’s on the ground.  I think the gimmick can work, but there’s certainly room left to tweak it.

AEWFFTF2

“Can I join your team?”     “Only if you can look half as good as I do.”     “Dang it…”

Sonny is in control for most of this and lands some sort of split dropkick from the middle rope to pin The Librarian for the win.  It’s a fun match that focuses more on comedy and style over pure technical skills, but it’s clear that both of them are very talented in the ring.  It’s DEFINITELY clear that The Librarians could use a bit more work so I don’t begrudge anyone for complaining about their presence in AEW, but I see plenty of potential there even if it means we’ll get obnoxious “READING SUCKS” chants every time they show up.

.

Women’s Tag Team Match

AEWFFTF3Dr. Britt Baker and Riho
Vs.
Shoko Nakajima and Bea Priestly

I don’t know about this one.  At first I was ready to call this the worst match of the night which it MIGHT still be, but after watching it a second time… well it’s got a lot of great stuff in it but is still dragged down by some blown spots and a crushing length.  So we’ve seen Britt Baker and Riho before with the latter being one of my favorite stars so far, but the other two are fresh faces to AEW and I’ve got to say that I like what I see  from them.  Shoko Nakajima in particular was impressive and stood out due to her rather short height (only 4’ 11’’) and her fuzzy tail which makes her the first confirmed furry of the promotion.  Oh who am I kidding?  You KNOW Kenny Omega’s got a fur suit in his closet somewhere!  Her partner Bea Priestly has an interesting look and is practically a giant standing next to the other women in this match, but I need to see more of her actually wrestling to say much more than that as she doesn’t have a WHOLE lot to do here.  Sadly the major flaw in this match turns out to be the doctor who is fine but feels a bit middling, and she also makes a huge flub early in the match.  After escaping from an assault by Bea Priestly she goes for the tag but heads for the wrong corner.  She runs back to the other side, makes the RIGHT tag, but then smashed her face into the turnbuckle in the process.  It was bad enough to earn her “YOU F***ED UP” chant.

AEWFFTF4

“You alright!?”     “I… I made the tag… right?”     “Uh… yeah.  You managed to do that.”     “Then my work here is done…”

I don’t know.  Maybe I shouldn’t blame all of this on Baker.  Sure, that was no doubt her mistake, but I think she doesn’t click well with Nakajima’s fast style because she does manage to pull of a few moves with Bea Priestly when those two lock it up, but even so Riho doesn’t have any trouble with either opponent and frankly neither of them have any noticeable screw ups either; at least as far as I saw.  There are some great moves here and some fun exchanges, but the other problem is that it just won’t end.  There’s not build up of tension because nothing seems to be leading us towards the finish of the match and it just keeps going on and on.  I clocked it at fifteen minutes which doesn’t SOUND too long for a tag team match, but it just didn’t get enough steam to justify that length.  The ending was pretty good though as Riho and Nakajima start really turning up the heat, but it all comes to an end when Nakajima jumps rolls Riho under her, and lands the pin.  Even in losing though Riho looks good as she carried a good chunk of the match and hopefully this means good things for both Nakajima and Preistly going forward.  Baker though?  Well… let’s see where she’s at once we get to the weekly show.

.

Six Man Tag Team Match

AEWFFTF5MJF, Sammy Guevara, and Shawn Spears
Vs.
Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc, and Joey Janela

Now for the most part this is a REALLY great way to start things off.  Every last one of these guys is recognizable if you’ve been following AEW up to this point and they even brought them together into smartly crafted teams; basically THE GEEKS vs THE HEELS.  Everyone on TEAM GEEK has shown off their hardcore devil may care potential so far with Darby Allin still taped up after his fight against Cody Rhodes (not sure how I feel about that, but I’m willing to believe it’s at least somewhat for show and I’m sure a doctor cleared him) and the other team has the phenomenal MJF alongside Shawn Spears who bashed Cody over the head with a chair.  Even the two who feel at least a LITTLE out of place are Jimmy Havoc and Sammy Guevara; not because they don’t fit into the paradigm but because they haven’t had a chance to shine yet.  Jimmy’s definitely got the LOOK of a hardcore wrestler and Sammy carries himself like an obnoxious heel, so as long as they show off what they can do here we’ve basically got two factions of AEW already in place and to build up on with more matches and added talent.  The only thing that feels off about this match is that even if the two sides match thematically, neither actually feels like much of a TEAM the same way SCU, Lucha Bros, and The Young Bucks do.  The two ways to fix this is for the members to still have great chemistry and put on a great match (aka, what the Six Woman Tag Match from Double or Nothing did and decidedly NOT what happened in the Women’s Tag Match from earlier in the preshow) or make that a factor in the storytelling in the match itself which is what we get here.  It starts off with MJF and Shawn Spears bucking up on each other over who goes first which leads to MJF getting the crap kicked out of him by Janela and Havoc immediately.  Can I just say that MJF is quickly becoming my favorite wrestler here?  Not just because I have a soft spot for guys like this, but because he’s absurdly talented at working the crowd.  In three shows he’s managed to draw more heat from the audience than anyone else while also making whoever he’s fighting look VERY good, and is basically a complete character while everyone else is still trying to build themselves up.  Sure, Cody, The Bucks, and ESPECIALLY Jericho and Moxly get a strong reaction wherever they go, but they also had a reputation with mainstream wrestling fans prior to AEW.  I don’t follow indie stuff, so for me basically everyone else is coming in completely from the ground up and out of all of them MJF has cemented himself as a superstar of the brand.

AEWFFTF6

“THAT’S MY POINTING FINGER, YOU UNCOUTH BRUTE!!”

So yeah, MJF needs no help from anyone to build up his cred, but what about everyone else?  First of all, Jimmy Havoc FINALLY has a chance to show off some moves and does some pretty impressive stuff throughout the match; especially one point where he runs wild on all three of his opponents and suplexes Sammy of the top rope.  Sammy, despite his slacker brat persona, is a phenomenal athlete who can not only move with grace but can take a beating like a champ.  The afforentioned suplex being a highlight, but he also gets his head dropped onto the apron by Janela which starts a “HOLY S**T” chant in the audience.  Shawn Spears has size on his side, but can also play a smart heel.  I’m catching up on the WWE and I get a strong Drew McIntyre vibe from the guy in the way he carries himself, but I don’t buy him as a true killer just yet, and Janela and Allin don’t get as much to do here, but they also have less to prove because they’ve had their big matches already.  All good stuff but I gotta give the highlight to Havoc who really did a number on all three of them and I’m glad he finally got a chance to be a star here.

AEWFFTF7

“THAT’S THE BACK I USE TO TURN ON PEOPLE, YOU BLITHERING FOOL!”     “Not helping, buddy!”     “SHUT UP SAMMY!”

Things start to heat up towards the end and it becomes such unmitigated chaos that I can’t even follow the tags, but at some point Spears has Allin in the ring, drops with something called a Death Valley Driver, and gets the pin.  This was the best way to end it, but in my opinion he really shouldn’t have been thrown in something like this for his first match and perhaps should have stayed out of the ring until he gets a match against Cody.  Getting the win here DOES help, but not as much as if he’d been a guy running roughshod outside of matches or even if he had a few one squash matches to build him up.   We’re not quite at the point where story lines feel cohesive from show to show, and even if the matches themselves can tell a decent story, they don’t quite fit together yet.  Other than needing three heels here, why on Earth would MJF team up with Spears considering how angry he was at him for attacking Cody?  Sure, they didn’t get ALONG here, but we saw in the first Road to Fight for the Fallen video that MJF was ready to beat the crap out of Spears yet that disgust didn’t materialize in the match itself.  Again though, this does feel like a fluff show so I won’t worry too much about that and I actually still liked this more than either Young Buck match because the moves here, while impressive and often being a bit of a showcase, still feel like they hurt their opponents and weren’t just flexing their acrobatic chops.

.

Brandi Rhodes Vs. Allie

AEWFFTF8Brandi is accompanied to the ring by Awesome Kong

So this match isn’t as SLOPPY as the Tag Match, but this might be the most underwhelming one on the show, and it’s mostly because there’s a lack of CHARACTER to the fight.  The first big problem is that they are completely confused about how the audience is supposed to feel about this match from the outset as they blur the line between what’s real and what’s the story. We get a video package about Brandi right before the fight begins which shows her feeling like a failure and wanting to prove herself to be worthy of the AEW ring which would be fine… IF SHE WAS THE FACE IN THIS MATCH!  She’s the authority figure, with someone on the outside of the ring watching her back, AND she cheats throughout, so why are we getting sob her stories?  On top of that, the match is just kind of dull to watch and it’s clear that Awesome Kong is the most interesting thing about it.  How do we know that?  Because we missed the first punch of the match due to the camera being focused on Kong’s entrance instead of the ring!  Even JR wasn’t sure the match had begun and had to be informed by Excalibur!  The announcing is a problem throughout this match as they seem to have just as much trouble getting into this match as I am and can barely even call the shots; let alone give any interesting insights.  Brandi isn’t projecting much personality here despite being the heel, and to be successful bad guy you generally need to do two things; they need to work the crowd to get them riled up, and they need to project some sort of menace.  Brandi isn’t doing much of either here.  Frankly Kong is the one getting all the heat so Brandi feels like a proxy to that which the crowd picks up on immediately as they start chanting “AWESOME KONG” right as the match starts

AEWFFTF9

“Go get’em Kong!  I’ll be right there, just need to catch my breath…”

Things go back and forth, neither one of them is particularly bad but neither is lighting the stage on fire, and it’s really distracting just how much Awesome Kong is overshadowing the whole proceedings.  The crowd does eventually get into it and start cheering for the other two (by sheer force of will one dude gets a LET’S GO BRANDI chant going), but it never really rises above just okay.  The final move was a bit of a screw up as Brandi was CLEARLY starting to run the ropes but had to stop halfway through for Allie to get into position.  She starts running again, hits with a spear, and wins the match.  This would be completely forgettable if not for one last thing.  AJA KONG WALKS INTO THE RING AFTER THE MATCH AND STARES DOWN AWESOME KONG!!  WE ARE SETTING UP KONG VS KONG!!  YES!!

AEWFFTF10

Whoever blinks first must fight a tiger before the match.  Hey I don’t make the rules here, I just explain them!

Aja Kong you may recall was in the Six Woman Tag Team match back at Double or Nothing where she nearly turned Riho into a smear on the mat, and the prospect of her having a match with Awesome Kong is easily the best thing in this entire match!  Sadly that doesn’t say much for Brandi’s first match in AEW, but I’m still optimistic about her prospects here as long as everyone gets on the same page of what kind of character she’s supposed to play.

.

Three-Way Tag Team Match

AEWFFTF11The Dark Order: Evil Uno (Nicolas Dansereau) and Stu Grayson
Vs.
The Best Friends: Jack Evans and Adam Bridle
Vs.
A Boy and his Dinosaur: Jungle Boy (Jack Perry) and Luchasaurus (Austin Matelson), accompanied by Marko Stunt

Right off the bat this match got my attention because they bothered to specify a stipulation at the begging.  The winner of this match would be first in line for the Tag Team Tile once the weekly show started which I THINK is going to be after the next PPV, All Out.  That at least gives us an idea as to what’s at stake, and on top of that this match might have the most build up and drama for any match at this show.  I’d DEFINITLEY contest that it has more set up than the Rhodes Bros vs Young Bucks match later on because I at least know why the two sides are fighting.  The Rhodes have a great build up for themselves as wrestlers in this company as well as the relationship between him and his brother, but I still don’t know what the point is of the match against The Bucks.  At least with this we know that The Dark Order (formerly The Super Smash Bros) wants to fight The Best Friends and have been trying to get in their heads since Double or Nothing!  Now it’s time to blow off that feud with a bout between these two teams to see who the best of the best is! Oh wait, they have a third team in there for some reason.  Seriously, why is it a three way tag match?  What does Jungle Boy have to do with the feud between Dark Order and Best Friends?  Absolutely nothing as far as I can tell which takes away from the gravity of The Dark Order vs The Best Friends, but as yet another showcase of the talent to get us pumped for the weekly show it DOES do its job.  Luchasaurus in particular is getting a HUGE crowd pop and completely dominates this match with Jungle Boy as a close second which I found kinda funny; just like how Awesome Kong was the focus of Brandi’s feud with Allie.  It’s a bit early to say (at least for me because I’ve only seen him AEW), but Luchasaurus might have a decent Kane thing going on here since he’s a huge guy, hides behind a mask, and everyone is terrified of him.  He even moves at a very methodical pace (his kicks look very slow) which add to his lumbering monster mystique.

AEWFFTF12

“We now watch as the Luchasaurus feeds on its prey.  I would like to remind everyone that the first three rows ARE a splash zone.”

The Dark Order manages to break a few covers to keep the match going before finally getting Jungle Boy alone in the ring.  Uno holds him up, Stu jumps from the ropes with what looks like a Neck Breaker, and Uno gets the pin.  Even if the match felt a bit cluttered with the inclusion of an extra team, The Dark Order at least picked up the win to build up their menace and we got to see a dinosaur beat the crap out of people throughout, so what more could you ask for?

.

“Hangman” Adam Page Vs. Kip Sabian

AEWFFTF13

So this is the resulting match of the four way bout from Fyter Fest where Adam Page won a chance to fight Kip Sabian for a chance to fight Jericho, even though I thought he already secured his chance by winning the Battle Royale on Double or Nothing.  I could be getting that wrong but it’s a bit annoying how one of the few matches that have a clear stipulation has one that’s so confusing.  In any case, this is the first straight up singles match of the night.  No interference on the side like with The Librarian or Awesome Kong; just two dudes in a ring beating the crap out of each other!  It’s good stuff for the most part.  Hangman looks like a guy right out of WWE and Sabian’s got the right amount of agility to give his opponent a run for their money.  There was a pretty bad kick out spot where Hangman didn’t even MOVE to force the break, but there were some bright spots like the epic clothesline from Page and the double stomp from the top ropes by Sabian.

AEWFFTF14

“Adam Page may be the hangman… but Kip Sabian IS THE EXECUTIONER!!”     “That hurts way more than what’s about to happen…”

The two drag this out until the final minutes of the match; just constantly punishing each other and throwing out  super moves back to back!  Eventually though, Adam Page lands one of his finishers called The Dead Eye (it kind of looks like a reverse Tombstone?) and manages the pin Sabian with less than a minute before the time limit expired.  BUT WAIT!! While Page is celebrating his victory some dude in a mask comes in beats the crap out the worn out fighter!  He pulls off his mask to reveal… JERICHO!!  WRESTLING SHOCK!!

AEWFFTF15

“Adam Page may be the hangman… but Chris Jericho-”     “Kip already did that.”     “DARN IT!!”

See, THAT’S how you be a heel!  THAT’S how you build up to a match!  Overall, this was a good match.  I don’t have much more to say about it, but take that for a good sign because I’m much better at complaining than enjoying things.

.

SCU Vs. Lucha Brothers

AEWFFTF16SCU: Scorpio Sky (Schuyler Andrews) and Frankie Kazarian accompanied by Christopher Daniels
Vs.
The Lucha Bros: Pentagón Jr and Rey Fénix

Yeah, I’ll say it!  Aside from MJF’s promos, SCU is the best thing about this promotion so far!  Their two matches so far have been some of the greatest highlights of AEW and they are chock full of charisma whenever they get inside that ring, so as far as I’m concerned they are poised to dominate the Tag division once it’s in full swing!  It’s also interesting to see The Lucha Bros against another tag team as the two matches they’ve had with The Young Bucks have been fine, but were lacking a bit of punch to it which SCU will hopefully be able to provide.  Right off the bat things start off great because SCU actually gets a chance to work the crowd prior to the match beginning which is really useful for getting the audience excited for the match; especially when they aren’t built up prior to the show.  Once everyone is in the ring and fighting however, things do start to waver a bit for me.  Like with their matches against The Bucks, The Lucha Bros are still showing off a bit too much here and SCU is doing it right along with them, getting in each other’s faces for much more of the match than I would have liked, but the moves are still great and when they heat things up its some of the best wrestling out there.

AEWFFTF17

IS THIS THE FINGER POKE OF DOOM I’VE HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT!?

Things heat up as the match goes along, Christopher Daniels gets ejected at one point for interfering, and in the end The Lucha Bros do this weird combination of a pile driver and a stomp to take out Scorpio and land the pin.  Lucha Bros win the match which is a good thing in this case because, as much as I love SCU, you can’t have guys as talented as The Lucha Bros come off as jobbers and they had already lost two matches.  The bros get on the mic after the match and challenge The Bucks to a Ladder Match, and while another match with these two teams isn’t the MOST exciting thing, dding ladders will definitely make it more interesting!

.

Cima (Nobuhiko Oshima) Vs. Kenny Omega

AEWFFTF18

Kenny Omega DID NOT come out dressed like a cartoon character which is a bit of a disappointment, but otherwise this is a really great matchup as both of him and Cima has been great in AEW.  What makes this match stand out is that more than any other so far it looks like it HURTS.  Both these guys are throwing out huge bone crunching moves on each other and are selling it like nobody’s business; the same way you’d sell a hardcore match only they don’t need barbwire and tables to get the point across.  Thankfully the don’t seem to do anything PARTICULARLY dangerous like Allin’s coffin drop onto the ring apron, though they do get a few hard hits on the outside of the ring.  At one point Cima puts Kenny on a table (okay, there’s ONE table but it’s not one of those breakable things they usually use!) and climbs on top of an elevated section outside the ring to deliver a devastating double knee drop to the stomach of Kenny.  DANG that must have sucked!  There are a lot of great spots here including that one, but personally my favorite moment was earlier in the match when Kenny Omega has Cima on his shoulders while standing on the top rope, but Cima manages to escape and toss Kenny clear across the ring in one fast and clean movement.  THAT’S some skill right there!

AEWFFTF19

“NOT THE FACE!!  MY VEGETA COSPLAY WON’T WORK WITHOUT THESE CHISELED FEATURES!!”

Cima tries his hardest to put Kenny Omega down with a few more jumps on him for good measure, but nothing can put the guy down!  Both just get near fall after near fall which is driving the audience completely wild but neither one of them is giving an inch even after so many devastating blows!  Eventually they can barely move anymore and just start wobbling in the middle of the ring throwing halfhearted chops and knees until Omega gets a small opening and manages to land his One Winged Angel super move (it’s still seriously called that) and it’s all she wrote for Cima.  Even in defeat though, Cima comes out looking amazing because of just how devastating this match was for both men who gave it everything they’ve got and probably more than most in the roster could manage.  It’s a tough call with so many great and varied matches, but I think I’m gonna call this one the best of the show.  As much as I love SCU and the Lucha Bros, they didn’t really bring anything new to the table, and as great as the four way match was it DID become kind of a cluster where no one particularly stood out.  THIS was a true battle of wills against two seasoned competitors until neither one could stay standing, and it certainly got me a lot more engaged than the hardcore match from Fyter Fest, so it’s getting a big thumbs up from me!

.

Chris Jericho Promo

AEWFFTF20

This was actually really fun to see since AEW hasn’t put a whole lot of emphasis on cutting promos which in the right hands, like Jericho’s for instance, can be just as memorable as any of the matches.  Jericho is such a pro at this that the audience hangs on every word he says, and he manages to get a lot of his characters’ pathos across not just by telling us outright what he wants but by his tone and word choice.  His contempt is palpable even before he starts railing against the fans and AEW’s management.  His ego is clearly on display even if he wasn’t wearing that ridiculous jacket with the silly hat.  The content of the speech itself is straightforward enough, he wants to win against Hangman Page and will do whatever it takes to succeed, but the WAY he says is brings the audience to life in ways that a couple of the matches here couldn’t.  Seriously, right after snagging Moxly from WWE, Jericho was the best decision AEW could have made and it’s paying off big time.  Oh, but it’s not JUST talking!  There’s a guy in the backroom who’s rather peeved with the guy, isn’t there?  Perhaps he wants a bit of payback!?

AEWFFTF21

“IT LOOKS LIKE THE REAL EXECUTIONER WAS THE HANGMAN ALL ALONG!!”     “Boo…”     *PUNCH*

Again, THIS is how you build up your heel!  THIS is how you get heat for the next match!  A lot of people aren’t a big fan of the melodrama that WWE can devolve into, but it’s important to remember that that’s half the fun of watching these matches!  The context builds the characters and sets the tone for the match which is what takes these impressive feats of athleticism into the realm of truly artful entertainment, and I hope that more people get a chance to speak their mind as AEW continues to solidify its place in the industry.

.

The Rhodes Brothers Vs. The Young Bucks

AEWFFTF22Cody Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes Vs. Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson

The one thing that’s kept me from getting into this main event despite everyone involved being super talented and big stars is that there just didn’t seem to be a REASON for the match in the first place.  To their credit though, they DO have a video package prior to the match where it seems that The Young Bucks were making fun of the Rhodes brothers, but that was also AFTER Cody had already scheduled the match, so it’s still kind of a flimsy excuse.  But whatever!  I mean I’ve said before that you don’t really need a reason for competitors to want to get in the ring in the first place, so focusing on that is beside the point if the match itself is something special.  Admittedly, it starts a bit slow.  Cody and Nick circle each other pose for a long time which I guess is to show off their egos but looks more like they’re both deathly afraid to hurt one another.  Once Dustin tags in things start to kick into gear and I gotta say that he’s VERY good at selling a lot of power behind his moves.  His punches look like they hit harder, he takes Nick down to the mat and it looks UTTERLY devastating, and he’s convincing whenever he fights both Bucks at the same time and gets a slight advantage.  The Bucks also seemed to have slowed down a bit to accommodate their opponents, but it works because things feel much more methodical and their lighting speed and agility feel that much more special whenever the break it out.  I particularly liked one spot where Dustin had Matt up in the air for a suplex, but Nick catches him mid fall and they counter with simultaneous drop kicks.

AEWFFTF23

“Tuck and roll, bro!  It’s gonna get worse before it gets better!!”

I do wish there was a bit more Cody in here (and when he IS in the ring he seems super protected), but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to take a step back due to the injury he got at Fyter Fest.  Once again, kids!  ALWAYS PUT YOUR ARM UP WHEN ABOUT TO TAKE A CHAIR SHOT!  After a while there comes a point where Matt Jackson hurts his arm and things slowdown from there as both Dustin and Cody work it nonstop for like eight straight minutes of the match.  I understand that you need to dish out the pain in order to build up the tension on the hot tag, but this just goes on forever and I think even the audience starts to lose interest after a while.  Eventually The Bucks get the tag and run roughshod on The Rhodes brothers which is cathartic after such a long stretch of basically nothing, and the two of them do land a few double team hits which is always fun to see, but by now I’m ready for the match to either REALLY kick into next gear or come to a close.

AEWFFTF24

STOP!  STOP!! THEY’RE ALREADY DEAD!!

The match goes on for a full thirty minutes which very few matches can justify and this one certainly didn’t.  It’s not BAD by any stretch, in fact it’s pretty good overall, but it’s another one that is brought down by its crushing length.  Eventually The Young Bucks grab Cody and Matt does a pile driver while Nick… just kinda jumps at them while he does it.  Matt gets the pin and The Bucks win the match which I think gives them the best record out of anyone at AEW, at least so far.  They get on the mic, say that making fun of the Rhodes was just in the spirit of competition, and… everything is fine.   Fair enough I guess.  Again, we’re still in the early days of the promotion and so things aren’t going to have as much gravity and weight as they will once they’ve got a bit of time and history under their belts, so we’ll leave it at that.  BUT WAIT!!  There’s still one more thing before we go!  So the big theme I guess you could call it of this PPV is that it’s actually for Charity to support victims of gun violence in Florida; hence the name Fight for the Fallen.  After the match a few of the wrestlers, managers, and even Shahid Khan himself come out to present a big check for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the city while Cody fires up the crowd about how awesome AEW is and how NO ONE can do what they do!  Like say… a multi-billion dollar company that’s been hemorrhaging ratings recently!  All good stuff, but then Kenny Omega gets on the mic… and I don’t know what he said.  I think he was trying to say Good Night to the crowd, but had to do it in a needlessly elaborate way?  I don’t know, it was weird.

AEWFFTF25

“Blah Blah Blah Boing!  Blah Blah smooches.”     “What the heck is saying?  Is it an anime reference or something?”

So overall this was by far the WORST SHOW AEW HAS EVER PUT ON!!  On the plus side though, they’ve only had three so far and even if this one felt a bit lacking it was still a good time for the most part!  I think they should have cut it down as this one as the shorter length helped Fyter Fest not get stale while this one over three and a half hours long (four if you include the pre-show) and frankly I don’t think they need THAT much time for these.  Then again, they ALSO have a live audience who want their money’s worth and not just us at home with schedules and stuff to do between watching matches, but I still think a swifter pace would have definitely helped.  They need to get their production issues fixed as well as a stronger emphasis on story rather than razzle-dazzle ring work, but I’m still very optimistic for this company and every show gets me more and more invested in the talent they’ve gotten.  WWE may not be battening down the hatches for when AEW goes on television in November, but they’re definitely cementing their place as a viable alternative that people want to support.  Let’s just say I hope they go all out… for All Out!  HA!  See what I did there!?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s