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
“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.
Fyter Fest and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
We’re back with another PPV brought to you by the throne smashers themselves, AEW! Things have certainly changed since Double or Nothing, haven’t they? For one, WWE has completely lost the plot from what I’ve heard and responded to AEW with nonsense, bad story lines, and an overabundance of Shane McMahon. With their primary rival of sorts doing such a poor job of responding to the new challenger, which is surprising in its own right, it only got stranger when AEW announced that THIS PPV would be completely free; a move that still baffles me considering how successful they’ve been up to this point. Sure, Double or Nothing MIGHT have been a bit pricey at fifty bucks, but they could have at least charged twenty or even ten for it which would have gotten them a heck of a lot more money than ZERO! I guess TBS and the Khan family have the money to throw around, and I’m not about to complain TOO much about not having to pay for a show like this. The bigger question is what’s different in this show and have they improved since Double or Nothing? Eh… sort of. As far as commentary, Excalibur has improved but JR still sounds a bit rusty and out of touch; especially when he referred to Cima as “an Oriental.” I mean look, we can argue about how much of a slur that is or whether JR has any genuine ill feelings about Asian wrestlers (and I can think of WAY worse people they could have gotten as an announcer where the answer to those questions wouldn’t even be debatable), but it really does make him seem like an awkward fit for what is supposed to be a very modern and forward thinking wrestling company. While the announcing has improved, sadly the camera work still has a few rough patches that will hopefully get ironed out before they go to TV. I only mentioned this very briefly in my last recap, but the editing sometimes misses spots or more often will miss whenever there’s drama at the end of a match. Someone does a low blow, someone else enters the ring, stuff like that will almost go by unnoticed because whoever is running the cameras is focusing on something else an nearly misses the action. Again, this is the kind of thing that can be easily fixed with experience and I’m not gonna begrudge them this learning curve, but it is even more noticeable here than it was last time. In fact, I’d say that’s the overall vibe I’m getting from Fyter Fest. It’s still really good stuff, but I think the high from Double or Nothing has started to wear off and so it’s easier to see and evaluate its flaws. The big one that MOSTLY stayed in the pre-show but kept coming back to annoy me was the show’s theme where they didn’t JUST name it after something topical but had to do little skits to make sure we ALL KNOW that they saw the documentaries too. Kenny Omega is trying to find instruments for bands that don’t exist, The Young Bucks lost their luggage and need to find new costumes, and they even brought models out before swiftly replacing them with mannequins. It all just felt so corny and unnecessary when they could have used that time to put up a few promos for the matches which frankly were desperately needed as many of them seemed to have a story but one that we weren’t informed of ahead of time. Let’s put all that aside though and just focus on the matches! So how did the pre-show kick things off?
Six-man Tag Team Match
Private Party: Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen
vs. SoCal Uncensored: Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky (Schuyler Andrews)
vs. Best Friends: Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta
There’s a lot going on in this first match which is good because you want to get the crowd on board right away so they can carry that energy for the rest of the show. We’ve got Private Party as the newcomers who I think AEW is trying to push as future superstars of the company considering they got a whole episode of Road to Fyter Fest dedicated to them. We’ve got two thirds of SCU who had one of the best matches in all of Double or Nothing, and while I wasn’t really impressed with The Best Friends last time (definitely a victim of the last show running long), they get a pretty good pop from the crowd so I was willing to give them another chance. The only thing that I didn’t like right off the bat was the fact that this was a Triple Threat tag match and they always use this weird rule where only two compeitors can be in the ring at a time; leaving one team to just sit on the sidelines while the other two actually fight. I don’t understand why they don’t have one member of each team in the ring like say… an ACTUAL Triple Threat, but we’ll get back to this later on in the match. For now, I just want to point out that everyone in this looks great and does some very impressive acrobatics! SCU continues to be the best tag team as far as I’m concerned as they can take already impressive wrestlers like Private Party and Best Friends and make them look even better than they already are! There’s this really impressive spot where Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen go back to back on Kassiran in beautiful and brutal fashion! If I could say one thing about the match it’s that it FEELS a bit too much like an exhibition; like everyone is here to help the other team show off their moves instead of win the fight, but frankly that’s a rather minor complaint when the moves are THIS impressive!