Fyter Fest Night Two
July 21st, 2021
1) Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard)
"We're just gonna chip away at this guy and it's gonna be delightful." -MJF
Jericho to start the show hot with a great entrance and reaction. MJF joins the commentary booth and is immediately cracking jokes on Jericho. The stip here is that Shawn can use a chair, but Jericho can't. I'm whatever on the stipulation, but the fire is there for this given the crowd's investment in Jericho and the Inner Circle. Shawn Spears may be mostly a dud, but he gets a nice array of boos here and the crowd is counting along all match and gets into Jericho's comebacks. Tully Blanchard tries to interfere when Jericho locks in the walls (which brought the crowd to it's feet) and SAMMY GUEVARA makes the save to a huge pop.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, something happens that I never thought I would see. MJF starts talking about the next challenge he has for Jericho in order for him to earn another match against him and.. ohm y god.. it's NICK... NICK FUCKIN GAGE~!!!!!!!! NO DQ MATCH NEXT WEEK - GAGE VS JERICHO HOLY FUCKKKKKKKKKK. I HAAVE LOST MY MIND!!! I still can't breathe. Gage comes out in a MDK shirt on national television. AND I JUST REALIZED. I WILL BE THERELIVE NEXT WEEK IN CHARLOTTE FOR THIS!!!
Pre-tape from Team Taz. Ricky Starks will have an FTW Title celebration next week.
Meanwhile, Brian Cage is excited about this because he loves celebrations.
2) Frankie Kazarian vs. Doc Gallows (w/ Karl Anderson)
I have to note, I was still so wound up because of Nick Gage showing up that I couldn't fully focus on this (or much else of the first hour). BUT it's still BIG LG and the almighty ELITE HUNTER. So it's naturally a blast. Shocked that LG got the victory.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, Kenny Omega shows up to help Anderson & Gallows continue to stomp out Kazarian. Hangman Page makes the save to a huge pop as per usual. He has a shot glass in his hand. Don Callis is great here as well asking if Page is dumb or just drunk. Page swings off on Anderson & Gallows before the numbers get ahold of him and DARK ORDER RUNS DOWN. Man, everyone got good pops here even after Gage stole the show earlier. Kenny retreats as Hangman recovers and nails Anderson with a buckshot lariat. It’s the 5 on 5 Elite vs Dark Order elimination match next week!
They pan over to NJPW star and Bullet Club member Hikuleo in the crowd. What the fuck is happening tonight? Hikuleo is the brother of the Guerrillas of Destiny and original Bullet Club founding member Tama Tonga.
3) Darby Allin (w/ Sting) vs. Wheeler Yuta (w/ Orange Cassidy)
I liked this a lot more than Yuta’s match against Sammy last week. That could also be just because of Sting and
Orange Cassidy’s epic interaction at ringside. No, but really this was a blast. Yuta got better reactions than last week and although it was definitely a prolonged squash, he definitely was able to get some shit in. Darby wins and I say it every week, but damn that dude is such a star.
Match rating - **3/4
The Blade runs down to attack Orange Cassidy to hype their match for later.
4) Britt Baker (c) vs. Nyla Rose - AEW Women's World Title Match
This is a match I wasn't very invested in despite there being a decent story there due to their history and being a huge fan of Britt. However, I soon found myself INVESTED. This was better than all their prior meetings, in my opinion, even if there was a weird count from the ref that the crowd picked up on. Britt wins after some fun nearfalls and some shenanigans where both women tried to make the ref think the other hit them with the title belt. RIP Eddie. Great little match here. DMD BABY.
Match rating - ***1/4
They do a pre-taped FTR/Santana & Ortiz thing. It’s fine and all. I like the premise they’re going for, but this thing is heated up enough I'm ready for the match!! And we are gonna get it next week at Fight for the Fallen!
Andrade El Idolo is here and he brings out his new manager or whatever. CHAVO GUERRERO! OOOOO CHAVO! This is a nice throwback considering I’m watching Smackdown 03 right now. This is also a big upgrade from Vickie. I think Chavo will do a much better job in this role. Death Triangle comes out next and this segment gets a little disjointed, but this is also a lot of these guys’ first extensive live TV promo work so some of that has to be forgiven. I’m just excited to see what comes of this. Andrade tries to get the Lucha Bros to join him and leave PAC, but PENTA SAYS Andrade isn’t on their level so why would they do that? They tease a brawl, but refs come out to cool things down. Oh and WELCOME BACK REY FENIX!
QT Marshall apparently needed to address pouring water on Tony Schiavone’s head last week and also apparently it needs to be dragged on to next week because next week QT will issue his “apology.”
5) Orange Cassidy vs. The Blade (w/ The Bunny)
I absolutely love everyone involved here. This seemed to go a little long, though and lost its way somewhere along the route. Crowd remained into all the big moments despite a minor flat segment or two. Kris Statlander comes down to combat the Bunny which ruled. Blade almost kills Orange with a gutwrench powerbomb on the top of the turnbuckles that sends him to the floor. They do some shenanigans and yeah. Blade hits a spinning piledriver on Orange BUT HE KICKS OUT BAH GAWD. Beach break wins it for Orange when all is said and done.
Match rating - **1/4
Backstage, Chris Jericho announces he’s bringing back his “Painmaker” gimmick for one night only to face Nick Gage next week.
6) Jon Moxley (c) vs. Lance Archer - Texas Deathmatch for the IWGP US Heavyweight Title
This turned out to be absolutely insane. I expected a good little hardcore match, but this was a lot more than that. From the time Moxley pulled out a fork, I knew it was about to get bad. They did some stuff like that to set this apart from previous matches and really sold me on the possibility of Archer winning in his hometown. I didn’t think that was a possibility heading into this, but as the match went on, the vibe was clear - this is Lance Archer’s time. And that it was. After a crazy brawl, Archer pummels Mox with the fork he used on him and chokeslams him onto two barbed wire board covered tables for the win. Both men are bleeding, but the barbed wire sealed the deal for Mox having the worst of it as the wire appeared to have cut his ear and god knows what else. Insane shit that this is happening on TV. AND WE GET NICK GAGE NEXT WEEK WJAY THE FUCK. But such a sensational moment really. Good for Lance. We have a new IWGP US Heavyweight Champion.
Match rating - ****
Post match, the man who appeared in the crowd earlier, Hikuleo hops into the ring AND HOLY SHIT HES BIGGER THAN I REMEMBERED AS HE TOWERS OVER LANCE. Archer’s first defense comes against Hikuleo NEXT WEEK! What a show closer. I feel like I say that every week, but seriously man.
AEW is so good at this shit. Everyone and everything feels important and big. Surprises you don’t expect and an eagerness for next Wednesday to hurry up and get here. This is an all time great television run we are witnessing. AEW really found their groove in the pandemic and the crowds coming back allowed it to fully shine through. I hope they pop another big rating this week.
Next week, Fight for the Fallen, is loaded with:
Chris Jericho vs. Nick Gage in a No Rules Match
FTR vs. Santana & Ortiz
The Elite vs. The Dark Order - Elimination Match
And as soon as I’m done writing this review I’m going to buy tickets so I will be in attendance for this insane lineup.