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All Elite Wrestling followed up an explosive first night of its 2020 Fyter Fest extravaganza with a second, headlined by “Le Champion” Chris Jericho battling “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy in a much-anticipated main event.
With the promise of a massive announcement from Taz and No. 1 contender to the AEW World Championship Brian Cage, and two blockbuster tag team matches, the night was must-see TV for fans of wrestling’s hottest new promotion.
What went down, who emerged victoriously and what does it mean for AEW in the weeks and months to come?
Find out now with this recap of the special July 8 edition of Dynamite.
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After a star-studded night one, Fyter Fest continues Wednesday with the following already announced bouts:
- Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho
- SCU vs. Colt Cabana, Stu Grayson and Brodie Lee
- FTR and The Young Bucks vs. The Butcher, The Blade, Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix
- Nyla Rose in action
- A major announcement from Taz and Brian Cage
If the last few weeks are any indication, Jericho vs. Cassidy has the makings of a wild, chaotic and immensely entertaining encounter.
The huge Eight-Man Tag Team Match in which FTR and The Young Bucks will have to set aside their philosophical differences if they hope to defeat Butcher, Blade and The Lucha Bros may very well be the show-stealer.
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A week after Private Party knocked off Santana and Ortiz of The Inner Circle, and Kenny Omega and Hangman Page successfully defended their AEW Tag Team Championships against Best Friends, the two teams battled in a title clash to kick off night two of Fyter Fest.
The challengers weathered the early storm to deliver Silly String to Kenny Omega. Isiah Kassidy launched himself onto Page at ringside to continue the momentum but a big lariat by Page turned Marq Quen inside out as the champions regained control.
Kassidy dropped Omega with a lower backbreaker and followed with a big enzuigiri. The Cleaner answered, sending Kassidy into his own partner. Page tagged in and slammed Kassidy into Quen for a near-fall.
Quen recovered and delivered a shooting star press for two but the champions answered with The Last Call for the win and successful title defense.
Omega and Page defeated Private Party
This was far too disjointed early to be as good as it had the potential to be.
With that said, the teams finally hit their strides late, particularly when Quen hit the shooting star press.
Omega and Page winning was the right call as their acclaimed title reign continues, but they are in need of another quality feud because these last two title defenses have lacked the intensity and storytelling. The result? Subpar results in comparison to what fans have come to expect out of Hangman and Omega.
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Two weeks after him and partner Sonny Kiss found themselves on the receiving end of a beating at the hands of “Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer, Joey Janela battled the seemingly unstoppable big man in singles competition.
The Bad Boy withstood an early attack and wiped Archer out at ringside with a crossbody from the top rope. He set up a table and teased a steel chair assault but referee Paul Turner cut him off. Archer seized the momentary opening and delivered a big pounce that sent Janela into the ropes.
Archer punished and pummeled Janela heading into the break.
The monstrous heel continued his dominance during the break, sending Janela into a guardrail. The Bad Boy, though, delivered a rolling elbow and a flurry of clotheslines. They had very little effect on Archer, who caught Janela in midair. He set up for the Blackout but Janela countered for a near-fall.
A bicycle knee strike by Janela stunned Archer. Bad Boy followed with a senton, and Sonny Kiss added a 450 splash while Turner was distracted by Jake “The Snake” Roberts, but the babyface could only score a count of two.
Archer recovered and delivered a nasty Blackout through the table Janela had set up earlier in the match and followed with the pinfall victory.
Archer defeated Janela
Janela was exactly the gutsy babyface to program in this match opposite Archer. He took a hellish beating but kept fighting, pushing through the pain and punishment and nearly scoring the upset on more than one occasion.
As Archer found himself refocused by Roberts, who coached from ringside, he was able to overcome the tenacity and resiliency of his opponent, not to mention the interference from Kiss, and pick up the win.
The commentary team put Archer over strong after the match, reminded fans that he was able to capture any title at any time, and the result is the reheating of a star who looked to be the next big thing in AEW not all that long ago.
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Taz and “The Machine” Brian Cage joined Tony Schiavone in the ring for a major announcement.
The Human Suplex Machine said Cage would be crowned AEW World Champion next week at Fight for the Fallen when he defeats Jon Moxley, but he is not going into that match uncrowned.
He produced the FTW Championship that he, himself, created two decades ago in ECW and handed it over to The Machine.
“That’s some renegade s!” he exclaimed before warning Moxley of what awaits him next week.
Taz was great here on the mic but the last thing AEW needed right now was another championship.
Sure, it’s not recognized by the company and is just a way for Taz to play mind games with Moxley ahead of the big match next week, but it introduces a belt as a prop and that is almost never necessary.
Not to mention that Cage, a former world champion in Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling, is hardly what you would call a “renegade” in the sport of professional wrestling.
The angle here didn’t really work as well as another straight fire promo from Taz would have to put over next week’s match.
Wrestling belt marks probably loved it, though.
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FTR has wasted little time making an impression on AEW television since their debut, making enemies of The Butcher and The Blade while expressing their philosophical differences with The Young Bucks when it comes to tag team wrestling.
Wednesday night, Dash Harwood and Cash Wheeler teamed with Matt and Nick Jackson to battle Butcher, Blade and The Lucha Bros. Travel restrictions had kept Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix from teaming during the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this spring.
The Bucks and FTR controlled the early portion of the match, overwhelming their opponents with their tag team expertise before a big pump kick from The Blade earned the villains the upper-hand. Nick momentarily halted their advantage but the heels regained control heading into the break.
Matt tagged in but ate a big kick from Fenix. Harwood made the blind tag and dropped Blade, then joined Jackson for a double superkick that leveled Butcher. Wheeler and Nick Jackson teamed up for the Goodnight Express, FTR’s finisher.
Harwood and Matt delivered a spike piledriver to Blade for a near-fall, broken up by an alert Pentagon.
A great sequence saw the Bucks and FTR execute three tags, then deliver a double superplex to Blade, followed by a splash from Wheeler and senton from Nick. The pinfall was broken up by Fenix. Another phenomenal spot saw Fenix launch himself off Pentagon’s back and deliver a destroyer to Nick, onto a pile of competitors on the floor.
An errant superkick from Matt dropped Harwood off the apron and Lucha Bros made the pin for the win.
Lucha Bros, Butcher and Blade defeated FTR and The Young Bucks
The action here was unmatched by anything we are likely to see the rest of this show but it was the storytelling that elevated it to an “A” grade.
The Bucks and FTR surprising themselves by their seemingly flawless chemistry, only to prove their own worst enemy following a moment of miscommunication, was an excellent bit of booking and furthers the tension between the two teams.
Their eventual showdown is going to be a great match, perhaps a Match of the Year candidate.
Pentagon and Fenix picking up the win sets them up for a showdown with Page and Omega, which could be every bit as excellent as AEW continues to prove why tag team wrestling may be its strongest suit here in year two of the promotion.
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Nyla Rose returned to action this week, battling Kenzie Page and KiLynn King in a Two-on-One Handicap Match.
The Native Beast wasted no time, lying waste to the overmatched and outpowered tandem en route to an impressive victory.
After the match, she stared down AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida before taking a mic.
“I firmly believe my actions spoke louder than words,” she said, before revealing that she has taken it upon herself to hire a manager. She refused to announce who it was but promised they would bring her a championship.
Rose defeated King and Page
Rose looked like an absolute beast, womanhandling her opponents on her way to victory.
The post-match promo and revelation that she has acquired a manager, adds a new wrinkle to her character at a time when it needs it. While we don’t know who it may be, we do know seconds have been incredibly successful in getting other monster characters like Archer and Cage over.
Expect more of the same with Rose.
That the cameras were as focused on Penelope Ford as they were Rose and Shida suggest she should not be counted out of the women’s title picture at this point, either.
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The neverending rivalry between SCU and The Dark Order, and the latter’s recruitment of Colt Cabana, combined to make up a high-profile Six-Man Tag Team Match pitting Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian against Stu Grayson, Mr. Brodie Lee and Cabana.
The babyface team controlled early, using quick tags and double-team maneuvers to down Grayson while an unamused Lee watched on. Cabana, nursing a hematoma on his left side, took the fight to Sky as the heels assumed control heading into the break.
The heels continued their beatdown of Sky, scoring a near-fall off a frog splash by Grayson as the commentary team put over the often overlooked competitor.
The action broke down, with SCU’s Daniels wiping out the opposition on the floor. Cabana cut off a pinfall attempt by Daniels, creating tension between friends. Lee grounded Daniels with a lariat and ordered Grayson tag Cabana back into the match so he could pick up the fall.
He did and the commentary team put over the effect the relationship between Colt and The Dark Order has had on his win-loss record.
The Dark Order and Cabana defeated SCU
This probably should have been better but the closing moments were messy.
What was not was the story of Cabana and The Dark Order working seamlessly en route to victory. Will it cost Cabana his friendships? It appears so if the closing moments are any indication but with his professional life hitting its stride, thanks to his association with Lee and the cult-like Dark Order, it does not appear to matter.
With that said, Cabana has not pledged allegiance to Lee, creating intrigue for fans going forward.
That is evidence of effective storytelling.