Although I wholeheartedly feel that Fight for the Fallen would not have been the very week after Fyter Fest wrapped up had it not been for Moxley missing last week’s show due to quarantine, building another big show to build the Brian Cage vs. Jon Moxley match around made complete sense.
So, how did the card stack up on this week’s super show?
TNT Championship: SONNY KISS vs. CODY (c) – The champion tried to come out of the gates a house of fire, but several early botches hampered what should’ve been a more fast-paced affair. Kiss has a hell of an arsenal, like the intense axe kick in the second turnbuckle and the well scouted counter of the Crossroads. Cody retaliated with very stiff strikes and even pulled out a Vertebreaker for good measure.
Unfortunately, the indyriffic style didn’t mesh with Cody’s more old school offense and they didn’t really get on the same page until the last few minutes of this match. I would like to see this one revisited in a future bout when both competitors are on the same page. – 2.75/5
LUCHA BROS. vs. FTR – For all intents and purposes, this is a true dream match. Luckily, they gave it their all even on free TV, despite a few blown spots — the assisted victory roll splash by the Lucha Bros, for example.
Much like the last match, it took a bit for the competitors to get on the same page. Once they did –and once the Lucha Brothers finally acknowledged tag rules for a change– this became an intense trade off of stiff chops (a bloody chest by Dax Harwood was proof of this) elbow drops and super kicks. A finish that came out of nowhere (Dax snatching off Rey Fenix’ mask and getting the roll up pin) felt abrupt. Nevertheless, this is a feud that I hope continues for the foreseeable future. – 3.5/5
The post match saw the Elite bring beers out to try and make amends for last week’s altercation. However, FTR dumped their beers on Kenny Omega. The Young Bucks broke it up before there was a full on brawl.
Jericho then cut a peculiar promo about being the top ratings draw on Wednesday nights. These types of promos were questionable in 2000 WCW and 2010 Impact and unfortunately, even Le Champion doesn’t get a pass for it. Either way, Jericho rubbing in his win so hard along with the face-off with Cassidy where the Inner Circle got doused in Orange Juice (in a scene reminiscent of Carrie) makes me think that there’s going to be a rematch coming sooner rather than later.
JURASSIC EXPRESS vs. THE ELITE – The mat work and high flying between Jungle Boy and Nick Jackson in the first minute of this match alone made me a believer that this was going to be a fun ride. Omega made Marko Stunt look better than he has in nearly his entire AEW run. The camera work, normally on point in AEW, was a bit off in this match. There were a plethora of spots where the angle chosen exposed moves not connecting.
Luchasaurus looked like an unstoppable monster, not even a triple Tiger Driver 98 couldn keep him down. Stunt nailed a Canadian Destroyer off of Luchasaurus’ shoulders but still couldn’t get the pin fall. Omega capitalized and delivered a hellacious One Winged Angel to end Stunt. After picking up the win, Omega laid some brutal shots into Stunt, with the Bucks once again having to pull him off. If this is leading to an Omega heel turn, I am all for it. – 4/5
Alex Marvez had a quick interview with Hikaru Shida, discussing the many women’s contenders that are out of action right now. Shida stated she is ready for Nyla Rose whenever she wants the match.
NIGHTMARE SISTERS vs. MJ JENKINS & KENZI PAGE – In what was essentially a squash match, the Nightmare Sisters showed complete dominance. I have to begrudgingly admit that Brandi Rhodes has improved quite a bit. Allie got the win with a reverse DDT/elbow combination. This won’t go down as a classic, but it furthers an interesting AEW Dark storyline. – N/A/5
Nyla Rose had an interview segment with Dasha Gonzalez, the subject of which was who would be Rose’s manager. It was revealed to be the incomparable Vickie Guerrero, who hasn’t lost a step as far as cutting entertaining promos. While I feel that Nyla was improving by leaps and bounds as far as promos were concerned, this is a hell of a pairing.
AEW World Championship: BRIAN CAGE vs. JON MOXLEY (c) -I will do my best to ignore the creative faux pas of Taz bequeathing the FTW Championship to Cage before this match and not after. Moxley went on the attack early; working over Cage’s surgically repaired shoulder and arm. But every time he seemed to be on a roll, Cage unleashed his brute strength, laying out the world champion.
The fight spilled out onto the floor and throughout the arena. Mox was done in at one point by his own trap, getting suplexed onto a leaning guardrail. This was a cool spot, but repeating it with a steel chair felt like overkill. Several unique submissions wearing down Cage led to his manager, Taz, throwing in the towel. – 3.25/5
After losing the match, Cage drilled Mox with the FTW title. The lights went out, only to come back on, showing a returning Darby Allin, taking out Cage with his skateboard. A good match with a slightly marred finish capped off an overall entertaining show. I just wish that big bruisers would stop being brought in to AEW, only to lose their first big match (Cage, Brodie Lee, Lance Archer, etc).
Matches = 3.25-3.5/5
Entertainment – 3.75/5
Overall = 3.5/5 Bibles