Fight for the Fallen 2022
July 27th, 2022
AEW World Champion: CM Punk (since 5/29/22)
AEW Interim World Champion: Jon Moxley (since 6/26/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee (since 7/13/22)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Thunder Rosa (since 3/16/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Wardlow (since 7/6/22)
1) Jon Moxley (c) vs. RUSH - AEW World Championship Match
Listen, firstly, I’m not calling Mox the interim World champ because that’s just short selling this run he’s having. Rush had an insane match with Dragon Lee this past weekend and that was enough to get me hyped for this considering how killer Mox is right now. We get the best Mox entrance in recent memory as he comes out super fired up and throwing bottles in the crowd. This match couldn’t have happened at a more perfect moment in time. Rush gets the jump on Moxley early and we see blood from the forehead of the champion just minutes into this. This was a great brawl that fell into the vein of Moxley’s style of match while also leaning into Rush’s brawling side which truthfully isn’t very far off from Moxley’s in a way if you look at some Rush’s past grudge matches and such. This just rocked. Stiff strikes, suplexes, nearfalls and some blood. Everything you expect from 2022 Mox and nothing less. Everything you’d want from Rush after his barnburner with his brother last weekend. Andrade tried to run down to interfere, but the Lucha Bros made the save and ran them off which added some drama to the final stretch. Mox retains off of a paradigm shift.
Match rating - ***3/4
After the match, Chris Jericho comes out with Anna Jay, Angelo Parker, Sammy Guevara, & Tay Conti. Jericho looks beat the fuck up after this match with Eddie last week. He says he is invoking his overdue rematch clause from when Moxley beat him two years ago. He wants Moxley at QUAKE BY THE LAKE in two weeks. Mox proceeds to cut one of his best promos of the year. Moxley says if he’s gonna face Chris Jericho.. he wants THE FUCKING LIONHEART, not this incarnation of Jericho. I never get excited for Jericho matches anymore, but this promo from Moxley made this match feel more special than it ever would have otherwise.
Back at the commentary booth, THE TRIOS TITLES ARE HERE. FINALLY. AND THE FINALS OF THE TOURNAMENT WILL HAPPEN AT ALL OUT! This shit is finally happen. I’m so ready for the brackets to be announced and so excited that I’ll be in attendance for the crowning of the first champs. The belts look NICE too.
Backstage, Dante Martin lets us know that he will be bringing Skye Blue to the ring with him tonight to combat Tay Conti who will undoubtedly be accompanying Sammy Guevara.
2) Ricky Starks (c) vs. Danhausen - FTW Title Match
Huuuuuge pop for Danhausen. Unfortunately, he doesn’t bode too well and is put away via a spear after a minute or two. They aired an amazing video package on Ricky before this match. He is finally starting to feel like the star and feature attraction that he was always destined to be. With that in mind, him putting Danhausen away quickly here makes sense. It’s just so awesome that AEW has these lower card acts that can eat losses and never be a real threat, but still be so fucking over.
After the match, Starks get on the mic and says that just like last week, he’s feeling like taking on another challenger… the lights go down and THEY SEND HOOK.
3) Ricky Starks (c) vs. HOOK - FTW Title Match
CHILLS as HOOK makes his way to the ring in orange trunks to challenge for the FTW Title in his Dynamite debut with his father Taz on commentary. This was perfect. I’m not gonna play by play it even though I could because it doesn’t go long, but this is just picture perfect. The crowd lost it, I lost it.. HOOK looked like a million bucks. He takes a spear, gets hoisted up for the Rochambeux and counters into the Redrum forcing Starks to tap. Hell yes. HOOK IS FTW CHAMP.
Match rating - ***1/2
After the commercial, Ricky Starks is still in the ring and Powerhouse Hobbs has joined him. Starks cuts another impassioned promo about being overlooked and how his time is NOW, but also mentions the work he put in to make the FTW Title relevant again. Basically.. Starks turns face in one singular promo and it rules and just as the crowd is peaking in reaction to him.. HOBBS KNOCKS THE ABSOLUTE (no pun intended) DOG SHIT OUT OF HIM. WhaTTTT. Unbelievable moment that will be replayed for years to come. It looked great and felt huge. Team Taz is officially no more, but Starks, Hobbs, and HOOK are all on the fast track to superstardom after tonight. Finally.. FINALLY booking all these men perfectly, I am sooo happy.
The Acclaimed do a rap backstage about The Gunn Club. The way they filmed this was different than normal and it gave a whole new feel to the promo. I loved it. This entire show just feels different and fresh.
4) Dante Martin (w/ Skye Blue) vs. Sammy Guevara (w/ Tay Conti)
“Trying to regroup out here.. a lot just happened.” -Taz
This episode fucking rules. Now we have this fucking juniors/flying style showcase between Sammy who has kind of already peaked, but can still pull off crazy shit and the actual future of that style in AEW for the next decade, Dante Martin. Then at ringside, Tay Conti who, even though she hasn’t been wrestling as much, seems to finally be in a role that she can sink her teeth into. I can’t wait to see her wrestle now because there’s gonna be so much more behind it. I also love that they threw Skye Blue at ringside to get her into something meaningful as well. The match itself is a blast. Sammy and Dante run through flippy shit and do some crazy counters to each other’s big spots. They don’t overdo it, though, so this is pretty awesome in my eyes. Good TV flying match and not nearfall overkill. Both men look awesome, Sammy wins off a GTR.
Match rating - ***1/2
After the match, Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti begin kicking Dante Martin while he’s still down. Sammy goes up for a 630, but Skye Blue steps in front of him. This brings out THE CALVARY. Eddie Kingston, Ruby Soho, & Ortiz hit the ring like a pack of wild animals to a huge pop to make the save. I’m beginning to worry at this point, though because Eddie is down checking on Dante and some officials are there as well. It looked like Dante’s leg or knee buckled late in the match, but I thought it was just selling. I hope he’s ok. Great save by the babyfaces here, once again… everything is clicking for this promotion right now. So many young and fresh faces getting put into stories in the limelight. Everything intertwining.. it’s just awesome to see.
Backstage, Daniel Garcia says he hasn’t heard Bryan Danielson’s name in months because he’s been at home working in his garden with his kids. Garcia says tonight he defeats Danielson and proves himself to be the best technical sports entertainer in the world.
Back from commercial, Sonjay Dutt and the goofballs are backstage. They are approached by the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy. CHUCKIE T SAYS THEIR DANCE CARD IS LOOKING EMPTY FRIDAY AND CHALLENGES LETHAL AND SINGH TO A MATCH. HI CHUCK.
“CHRISTIAN CAGE… YOU ARE THE BIGGEST PUSSY I HAVE EVER MET IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.”
WOW. I didn’t know Jungle Boy had this in him. I can’t even properly recap all the insane shit he said here. Christian interrupts on the tron from backstage and says it’s funny JB is out there wearing the same jacket he draped over him last week because the next thing he’s gonna drape over him is a body bag so he can lay next to his late father. Jesus CHRIST I gotta GO. This feud just continues to ramp up. JB mouths to the camera “I’m gonna kill that motherfucker” as we head backstage.
Backstage, The Young Bucks are asked by Brandon Cutler if he can team with them in the trios tournament, which they decline. They walk up on Hangman Page and it’s super awkward. They awkwardly wish him a happy birthday and Matt seems to begin to finally issue Hanger an apology and confess that they’ve been wanting to mend things with him when all of a sudden, The Dark Order walks up. Hangman tries to let The Bucks continue despite this, but they walk away. GOD THIS RULED. Anybody who has ever had a friendship or relationship fall apart and then run into that person in public can relate to this segment. The slow burn of the HUNG BUCKS reuniting is painfully beautiful.
5) Swerve Strickland vs. Tony Nese & Mark Sterling
Well, we now begin to head into the slight cool down portion of the night. Keith Lee is watching from backstage as his tag team partner competes in this handicap match. Despite this being average and whatever, Swerve looked awesome and he & Lee are a breath of fresh air to the tag team division. Swerve wins despite shenanigans and yeah. Not much else to say. However, Swerve did hit a nasty hanging double stomp on Nese off the apron which alone makes this worth a look.
Match rating - **
Backstage, Josh Woods has attacked Keith Lee and is standing over him. Apparently, Woods has some sort of working business relationship with Nese & Sterling.
Pre-tape from House of Black. Malakai draws comparisons between himself & Miro and Brody King challenges Darby Allin to a coffin match. Oh lord. That will be fucking insane.
6) Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Miyu Yamashita - AEW Womens World Championship Match
This is a rematch from TJPW’s Summer Sun Princess event which I actually stayed up to watch live and was my first TJPW event in full. Their match there was fine, nothing to write home about, but not bad by any means. Hoping for more here. Rosa gets a great reaction, she’s still very over. They trade holds and arm drags and such in a fast paced opening sequence that leads to a stalemate. Things get a little rough on the apron and floor, but we settle in as Yamashita hits a step up enziguiri on Rosa to take the advantage as we head to commercial. After picture in picture, they really start laying shit in and get into what turns out to be the finish sequence. Rosa fights back and Yamashita counters her finisher. They run back the cradle finish from a few weeks back. Yamashita hits her signature kick for a great nearfall before getting caught in Rosa’s driver finally for the three count. The final few minutes were great. The first half felt a little disjointed. I’m ready for Rosa to drop this belt, but I think Yamashita got a great first showing in.
Match rating - **3/4
7) Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia
And how do you top this great night off? With the return of the greatest wrestler of all time in one of the best TV matches of the year. Danielson starts this match off in perfect fashion, hitting a running drop kick on Garcia in the corner as the bell rings and the entire arena comes absolutely unglued. There is no one like this motherfucker, I swear. HOT, HOT start. They trade some shots and brawl around ringside for a bit. Then, Danielson adds in his second little charm of the match as he hits a missile drop kick during this ongoing flurry and collapses immediately after. Commentary had been questioning if Bryan was back too soon the entire match which turned out to be such a nice touch when this happened. Personally, I immediately got worried, but seeing how they handled, it was clear it was indeed a work and I calmed down. That doesn’t take away from the brilliance of this though. Bryan Danielson just came back from an injury after being forced to retire years prior as well.. any time this guy is in the ring, you’re almost stressed out as much as you are excited. For him to pull this out here was so genius. Garcia immediately smells blood in the water, literally and figuratively as he charges Danielson and assaults him during the commercial and when we return, Danielson is bleeding. With every few shots that Garcia throws, though, Danielson fires an even stiffer one back. Constant defiance and a glimpse of hope & fire. Danielson begins his gradual comeback and these two trade suplexes on the mat and from the top that will make you wince. Garcia counters the running knee with a lariat. Lots of good shit in here. Things head to the floor after Garcia escapes the labelle lock. Bryan hits a running knee off the apron, but on his way back into the ring, someone grabs his leg from under the apron which allows Garcia to lock Danielson in an Indian death lock and wrench back on it causing Danielson to seemingly pass out. Bryce calls for the bell. What a fucking upset even with the screwy aspect at the end. This was awesome. Just absolutely phenomenal. Bryan Danielson continues to exceed expectations in ways you never anticipate him to. The ways he chooses to approach pro wrestling is unmatched and he just furthered the birth of a true star in Daniel Garcia. In his first match back, Danielson gives a win to an up and coming star. Amazing. And with how this show has seemingly been booked with the future more than the past or present in mind? This was the most flawless main event you could’ve asked for.
Match rating - ****1/2