By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Fyter Fest
Aired live June 29, 2019 on B/R Live, FITE.TV, ITV Box Office
Daytona Beach, Florida at Ocean Center
The show opened with a brief mockumentary clip playing on the Fyre Festival debacle with AEW crew member QT Marshall discussing a permit that Kenny Omega asked him to get. When he was asked if he got it, the crew member bit into an apple…
The broadcast team of Excalibur, Goldenboy, Logan Sama checked in from ringside and discussed some of the matches. The ring announcer was Justin Roberts…
Pre-Show: “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy vs. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor in a three-way tag match. The play on Fyre Festival continued with a tent on the stage and four women in bikinis standing by it as the wrestlers made their entrances.
Quen wore shades in the corner while his partner was in the ring. Quen tagged in and kept the shades on once he actually wrestled. The broadcast team played up that the winning team would earn a spot in a match at the All Out pay-per-view that will determine which team gets a by in the first round of the AEW Tag Title tournament.
Private Party got a big pop for a sequence that we saw half of at home, as production missed Kassidy performing a move onto a group of wrestlers at ringside. The other teams ganged up on Private Party. Kazarian performed a tornado DDT on Quen that knocked his shades off. Kazarian put them on for a second.
Best Friends did their hug and the crowd cheered. Later, Kazarian and Sky performed a double team move on Kassidy that resulted in a near fall. They set up for a Doomsday Device, but Kassidy shoved Sky into the corner, which crotched Kazarian. Quen went up for a superplex, but Beretta followed and suplexed him only for Quen to land on his feet. The Private Party duo performed a nice double team move that resulted in a near fall. Best Friends came back and performed a double stomp into a reverse DDT on Kassidy that led to the pin…
Best Friends beat Private Party and Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky in 16:00 in a three-way tag match to earn a spot at All Out.
After the match, the Dark Order appeared on the big screen and said they’d selected Best Friends to be their first. The masked man snapped his finger and the lights in the building went out. When the lights turned on, several of the masked Dark Order minions were standing around the ring. Excalibur reminded viewers that this also happened at Double Or Nothing. The lights went out again and the wrestlers were gone once the lights turned on again.
Powell’s POV: Tremendous athleticism in the opening match. The live crowd didn’t choose sides, they just popped big for the many fun spots.
Backstage, Matt Jackson told Nick Jackson that it was a nightmare and they were bleeding money. Nick said he knew. They agreed that it was just like the (Fyre Festival) documentary. They looked at the camera and asked if the cameraman was making a documentary. They cut to separate interviews with the Jacksons continuing to play on themes from the Fyre Festival documentaries.
They cut to Kenny Omega telling the Jacksons that everything was going to be okay with Fyter Fest and that he’d cleared the budget for everything. They cut back to the Matt interview. He said Kenny blew half the budget on something and they could only afford half the models on the stage. QT Marshall was shown ushering two of the models off the stage. They were replaced by mannequins dressed in bikinis…
The female librarian Leva Bates walked onto the stage and shushed the crowd. She opened the tent and found the male librarian Peter Avalon inside. He exited the tent and pushed it off the stage an into a wading pool, then knocked one of the mannequins over. The librarians walked to ringside. Bates encouraged the fans to read. Avalon repeated her words and the broadcast team called him her hype man. They shushed each other. Allie came out for the first women’s singles match in AEW history…
Pre-Show: Allie vs. Leva Bates (w/Peter Avalon). Paul Turner was the referee. Brandi Rhodes was shown watching the match to scout Allie for Fight For The Fallen. Late in the match, Bates picked up a couple of near falls. Avalon shouted instructions to Bates, who listened to him. Avalon threw a book over Bates. Allie tossed it back to Bates, then superkicked and pinned her…
Allie defeated Leva Bates in 8:50.
Powell’s POV: The highlight of the match was actually the shot of Brandi watching the backstage monitor. Yeah, that sounds crazy and insulting, but it’s neither. What’s crazy is when WWE talent have to stand at the side of the television so that the cameras can get the best shot of them. In this case, Brandi watched the way a normal person would. The librarian gimmicks haven’t done anything for me yet and the live crowd didn’t seem all that enthusiastic about them either.
Omega was shown carrying a drum and talking about having all the instruments for the bands to perform. Omega was informed that all the bands had pulled out. Omega acted devastated and then said “we’re done”…
Pre-Show: Michael Nakazawa vs. Alex Jebailey in a hardcore match. Excalibur said that Jebailey is the one time you’ll see indulgent nepotism in AEW (um…). Jebailey had pyro as part of his entrance and the broadcast team played up that that’s where all the money went. Nakazawa took a mic before the match and ended up taking a cheap shot at Jebailey’s surgically repaired leg.
Jebailey grabbed Nakazawa from behind, leading to Nakazawa pouring baby oil all over himself and then escaping. Jebailey and the referee both slipped on the oil, then Nakazawa slid over it to land on Jebailey. They went to ringside where Jebailey ran Nakazawa into the barricade. Jebailey hit Nakazawa with weapons and got a two count once they were back inside the ring. Nakazawa tried to leave. Jebailey followed and ended up dunking Nakazawa’s head underwater in the small pool by the stage. Nakazawa hit Jebailey with a inflatable pool toys, and Jebailey slammed him into the pool.
Jebailey brought Nakazawa back to the ring and then threw a bunch of weapons inside before setting up a table on the floor. Nakazawa picked up a video game contoller that was amongst the weapons and hit Jebailey with it and choked him with the cord. Nakazawa speared Jebailey off the apron and through the table, which drew “holy shit” chants.
Nakazawa rolled Jebailey back inside the ring and had him pinned, but he pulled him up to continue the attack. Nakazawa used a kendo stick as a weapon. Jebailey suplexed Nakazawa and the broadcast team played up that he dropped him on the crown of his head. Jebailey pulled a bag out from underneath the ring and he poured some type of buttons into the ring and then backdropped Nakazawa onto them. Jebailey low blowed Nakazawa a short time later and then picked up a visual pinfall while the ref was selling the smell of a thong that Nakazawa used. Nakazawa rolled Jebailey over and pinned him…
Michael Nakazawa defeated Alex Jebailey in 9:30.
Powell’s POV: Painful. The live crowd had fun with it, but it’s hard to not wonder if people who are watching AEW for the first time are wondering what in the world all the hype is about. It’s worth noting that I was not a fan of the Double Or Nothing pre-show and the main show turned out to be a blast.
Jim Ross made his entrance and joined the broadcast team for the main show…
A Jon Moxley pre-taped promo aired. He told people to stop what they were doing and said that if you don’t know what Jon Moxley is then you’re about to find out. This closed the pre-show…
[Main Show] A video package opened the main show… Jim Ross welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary by Goldenboy and Excalibur. The trio ran through the lineup…
Powell’s POV: It’s worth noting that Alex Marvez wrote on social media that he was going to be at this event doing backstage work. Did they pull the plug on him as the third man in the broadcast booth already?
1. Cima vs. Christopher Daniels. The wrestlers slapped hands before locking up to start the match. Daniels performed a Blue Thunder Bomb and an Angel’s Wings suplex for a near fall at 8:00. Cima came back and performed a running powerbomb and then performed a Michinoku Driver style move for a near fall of his own at 9:00. Cima followed up with a double knee press from the top rope and scored the clean pin…
Cima defeated Christopher Daniels in 9:40.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to have a straight forward match after the pre-show insanity. The right guy went over given that Cima will be facing Kenny Omega on the Fight For The Fallen event in two weeks.
2. Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho vs. Nyla Rose in a three-way. Sakazaki and Riho shook hands before the match. Rose shook hands with one and then attacked the other. A short time later, Rose performed a double camel clutch. Rose pressed Sakazaki over her head and tossed her at Riho. Sakazaki came back with a clunky huracanrana that sent Rose to ringside with Riho. Sakazaki went to the middle of the top rope and dove onto both opponents.
Sakazaki and Riho had a nice exchange before Rose returned to the ring. Riho performed a 619 on Rose, then Sakazaki dropped a dime on her. There was a clunky rollup by Riho on Sakazaki, but they recovered quickly. A short time later, Rose performed a nice slam on Sakazaki for a near fall. The broadcast team called out Rose for being cocky with her cover.
Rose splashed Riho in the corner and then dropped her onto the middle of the top rope. Rose went up top and performed a flying knee to her head. Rose smiled rather than go for a cover. Rose went up top again, but Sakazaki cut her off. Rose kicked her away and then went for a swanton, but Riho rolled out of the way. Riho went up top and performed a cross body block, but Rose caught her. Sakazaki followed with a cross body block and Rose caught her simultaneously in an impressive spot. Riho and Sakazaki ended up getting Rose into a pin position for a near fall.
Rose powerbombed Sakazaki and had her pinned, but Riho broke it up and it knocked Sakazaki on top of Rose, so Riho had to break that up with another running kick. Rose set up Riho for a move, but Riho rolled her into a pin and scored the upset pin.
Riho defeated Nyla Rose and Yuka Sakazaki in 12:30.
After the match, Rose attacked Riho, but Sakazaki made the save. Riho shoved Sakazaki and left the ring. Sakazaki looked devastated she headed to the back…
Powell’s POV: This was really fun. The pre-show opening tag match was a fun spot-fest, but this was the first match that really clicked with me. The broadcast team did a nice job of telling the story that Rose was her own worst enemy due to showboating during the match.
3. Hangman Page vs. Jungle Boy (w/Luchasaurus) vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. MJF in a four-way. Kip Sabian joined the broadcast team. Ross noted that Sabian will face the winner of the four-way match. Ross also said MJF reminds him of Paul Heyman. MJF cut a promo and told the fans that their mother who lives above the basement they live in swallows. He said that if he wanted their opinions then he’d turn on reruns of My 600-Pound Life. MJF said he loved video games and then he lost his virginity.
MJF ran the ropes and teased diving onto his opponents a few minutes in, but he stopped and taunted the crowd instead. Jungle Boy performed a nice powerbomb on MJF from the ropes for a two count at 4:20. The wrestlers did a tower of doom spot that resulted in Jungle Boy on top and landing on MJF, who was the only man not involved in the tower.
Page and MJF went nose to nose in the ring. Page got the better of the exchange and blew snot on MJF, who responded by chop blocking Page’s bad knee. MJF set up for a Sharpshooter while the broadcast team recalled MJF interrupting Bret Hart at Double Or Nothing. Page countered into a cloverleaf, and MJF reached the ropes to break it at 8:30.
Havoc caught Jungle Boy going for a springboard move intended for MJF and ended up performing a Death Valley Driver that threw Jungle Boy onto Luchasaurus on the floor. MJF gave Havoc a thumbs up, and Havoc responded by flipping him off. Page returned with a Buckshot Lariat intended for MJF, who ducked, causing Havoc to take the move instead. MJF tried to clear Page from the ring, but Page reversed it. Page followed up with a Rite of Passage on Havoc and pinned him…
Adam Page defeated Jimmy Havoc, MJF, and Jungle Boy in a four-way in 10:50.
Powell’s POV: Another logical finish in that Page will face Chris Jericho at All out to determine the first AEW Champion. MJF continues to be an entertaining heel who actually gets heat rather than cheers. Jungle Boy was the star of the match in a lot of ways thanks to his memorable high spots. From a production standpoint, it would be nice if there were more replays of key moves and spots during the actual match rather than just a collection of them that are shown afterward. ROH pulled off those in-match replays nicely last night on their pay-per-view. Sure, some of that me being selfish because I’m trying to cover the show and it’s easy to miss things, but I also believe it viewers would enjoy quick replays of some of those key moves.
A video package recapped the Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes match from Double Or Nothing and the post match promo from Cody stating that he needs his older brother. A well produced Darby Allin video aired where he spoke about how some may not know him, but everyone will know his name coming out of this match…
4. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. Darby Allin. Darby brought a bodybag to the ring that read “Cody 1-1” in reference to Cody’s AEW record coming out of this match. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers. Ross spoke about how it’s hard to prepare for Allin because he’s one of the quickest in the game. At 3:40, Cody threw Allin toward the corner and Allin went through the ropes and took a bump on the floor. Cody did pushups in the ring.
Cody remained on the offensive. Excalibur said pain is the only constant in Allin’s life. Cody targeted the knee of Allin, who bit the bottom rope. Ross said there’s no telling where that rope had been. Cody sent Allin to ringside. Allin returned to the apron. Cody reached through the ropes and Allin grabbed his left hand and slammed it into the post. Cody remained on the offensive and continued to sell the hand injury as the match reached the 10:00 mark.
Cody went for a suplex, but Allin grabbed the bad left hand and Cody gave up on the move. Allin sat on Cody’s arm and punched at the bad hand, then applied a wristlock until Cody reached the ropes to break the hold. Cody rolled to the apron and sold the move. Allin kicked him from behind a couple times. Cody tried to sweep Allin’s legs, but Allin flipped back into the ring and then performed a dive onto Rhodes at ringside. Allin tried to stomp Cody’s hand on the ring steps, but Cody avoided it and then tripped him up.
Cody performed a suicide dive and Allin crashed into the camera behind him for a cool visual. Ross said Cody had to be thinking that he needed to finish the match as quickly as possible. Allin performed a sunset bomb for a near fall. Cody caught Allin on the ropes and performed a reverse superplex. A short time later, Allin chewed at Cody’s hand and pulled his shoulder into the ropes. Allin performed a coffin drop (trust fall dive) while Cody was lying under the ropes. Cody moved and Allin crashed back first onto the apron (they showed an immediate replay). Damn!
Cody knocked Allin onto the bodybag. Cody quickly zipped up Allin in the bodybag. Allin stood up and Cody dropkicked him. Cody unzipped the bag so that he could pin him, but Allin kicked out. Justin Roberts announced that there was one minute remaining. Cody took off his weight lifting belt and whipped Allin with it twice. The referee barked at him, but did not disqualify him. Allin stuffed a CrossRhodes attempt and performed a cutter. Cody hit CrossRhodes and had the pin, but the time limit expired.
Cody fought Darby Allin to a time limit draw in 20:00
A “let them fight” chant broke out. Shawn Spears entered the ring and slammed a chair over the head of Cody (gross). Brandi entered the ring and the referee stood between her and Spears, who looked at Brandi and left the ring without showing any remorse. Cody bled from the back of the head. MJF ran out just as Spears was leaving. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky also ran out to check on Cody. Dean Malenko was among the office staff that checked on Cody. They placed a rag over the cut and Brandi held it in place while the headed to the back…
Powell’s POV: Are unprotected chair shots to the head really going to be a thing in AEW? Disgusting. Tony Khan is a lifelong pro wrestling fan and is an executive with the NFL team that his family owns. He is fully aware of the risks involved. So are the wrestlers, but I’m singling out Khan because it’s his job to save the wrestlers from themselves if they want to do this sort of thing. It overshadowed an intriguing attack by Spears, who really does feel like a new man in AEW compared to his role as the 10 guy n WWE. I like the storytelling of the match ending in a draw and how it sets up the need for a rematch at some point between Cody and Allin. I’m all for time limits in wrestling for reasons like this. There are plenty of stories that can be told around them, and it’s silly that Vince McMahon doesn’t want time limits in WWE.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside. Ross said it shouldn’t have happened and questioned why they even have folding chairs in wrestling anymore. Ross said Alex Marvez would be doing some investigative reporting on the matter…
7. Kenny Omega and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Pentagon Jr., Fenix, and Laredo Kid. The Lucha Brothers and Kid made their entrance first. The Bucks came out in Street Fighter attire. A guy ran on the stage and did a machine gun style motion (or something) and then the lights went out and Omega made his entrance sporting red hair with a Japanese symbol on his back. The guy who ran to the stage was laid out. The broadcast team explained the Street Fighter themes to Ross, who said he’d play along.
Omega whispered to Roberts, who then delivered a Street Fighter “fight” call to start the match. The lucha trio got off to a quick start with impressive dives and an ice poison rana before the 5:00 mark. The Elite trio came back and the Bucks did the Terminator clap for an Omega dive, but Pentagon stood in Omega’s way to prevent him from following through with it. Pentagon slowly removed his right glove, threw it to the ref, then did his Cera Miedo (zero fear) hand gesture. Omega got the better of their brief exchange.
At 12:00, Pentagon performed a wicked backstabber on Omega. Pentagon held the rope open while Fenix performed a lightning quick suicide dive on Nick. In the ring, Matt performed a Canadian Destroyer on Pentagon, then followed up with a spear. Matt tagged in Omega at 14:00. Omega hit Kid with a V-Trigger knee to the head and followed up with a snap dragon suplex. Omega went to the ropes. Pentagon cut him off with a kick and then catapulted Fenix over Omega onto Nick at ringside in a ridiculously crazy move. Wow. The superkick party started with everyone giving or taking a superkick at 16:00. Ross conceded he had no clue who the legal men were.
The Elite performed triple sit-out powerbombs that resulted in a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Omega and Matt held out Kid and Fenix, than Nick performed a flip from the top onto both men. Pentagon caught Omega with a kick. Nick went for a back flip onto Pentagon, who ducked it and caught him with a sling blade clothesline. In the ring, Omega caught Kid with a V-Trigger and sent him out of the ring. Omega set up for another dive, but Fenix cut him off. Nick performed a neckbreaker on a celebrating Fenix. In the end, Omega performed a V-Trigger on Kid and another move that led to a near fall. Omega performed another V-Trigger and then hit the One Winged Angel for the win.
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks beat Pentagon Jr., Fenix, and Laredo Kid in 20:50.
Afterward, Omega and Pentagon spoke in the ring. The broadcast team assumed that Pentagon wanted a rematch…
Powell’s POV: This was exactly what it looked like on paper in terms of innovative spots, insane high spots, sensational athleticism, and even Omega pinning Kid. I’m not a Street Fighter guy, but I know enough about the game to understand the basics of the tribute. This was really fun and the live crowd loved it. I’m surprised that it didn’t close the show. I’m anxious and admittedly fearful of what we’ll see in the main event given the guys involved and that the unprotected chair shot to the head occurred earlier.
The broadcast team set up the main event. In the ring, Justin Roberts said the six-man tag was officially the last match of the night. There were some upset in the crowd before Roberts explained that the main event is unsanctioned by AEW…
6. Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela in an unsanctioned match. Paul Turner was the referee. Moxley wore long pants and combat style boots while Janela wore regular gear. A table was set up at ringside early on. Janela used a fan’s prosthetic leg as a weapon while he and Moxley were fighting at ringside. Moxley came right back and brought Janela back inside the ring and slammed him onto a chair. Moxley suffered a cut above his right eye. Janela put Moxley on a chair in the ring, then went for a move from the ropes. Moxley moved, and Janela crashed and burned onto the chair. Ross noted that they were still awaiting an update on Cody.
Moxley pulled a chair wrapped in barbwire out from underneath the ring. The chair had bloody tissues on it, which Moxley plucked off. One of the broadcast team members said that the blood came from Moxley’s hand when he wrapped the barbwire around the chair earlier in the day. Janela was hit with the chair. Fans chanted “you sick f—” at Moxley, who took a bow. Janela flipped Moxley from the ropes onto the chair, but he didn’t land on the barbwire. Moxley took a bump on the chair a short time later and came up with blood on his lower back.
Janela set up a table in the corner of the ring. Moxley scooped him up and tried to throw him to ringside, but Janela stopped him and ended up on the apron. Moxley performed a Russian leg sweep from the apron, causing both men to crash through the table that was set up on the floor earlier in the match. Back in the ring, Moxley picked up Janela and drove him through the table in the corner. Moxley sold pain as he rolled to ringside and set up two tables next to one another on the floor. In the ring, Janela flipped off Moxley and smiled at him, then gave him a crotch chop. Moxley returned to the ring and hit Janela with punches. Moxley went back to ringside and pulled out a board with barbwire on it and slid it inside the ring at 9:30.
Moxley and Janela both teased going through the barbwire board, but eventually Janela scooped up Moxley and threw him through the barbwire board. Janela rolled Moxley off the board and covered him for a two count. At 12:25, Janela pulled a ladder out from under the ring and then set it up inside the ring. Moxley pulled Janela back to ringside. Janela slammed Moxley’s head onto the ring steps and placed him on the two tables on the floor. Janela climbed the ropes and then the ladder and played to the crowd before performing an elbow drop that drove Moxley through one of the two tables at ringside. A “holy shit” chant broke out around 14:00.
At 15:30, Moxley performed a Death Valley Driver that sent Janela from the ring and through a barbwire board that was set up over the ring and ringside barricade. Moxley had small cuts on his back, and Janela was shown pulling his gear free of the barbwire. Once both men returned to the ring, Moxley talked smack. Janela hit him. Moxley got fired up and worked him over with knees. Moxley went back to ringside and pulled out a bucket and brought it into the ring. Moxley pulled a bag out of the bucket and poured thumbtacks into the ring. Moxley removed Janela’s shoes and socks and then tried to drop him feet first onto the tacks. Janela fought free, but Moxley ended up dumping Janela onto the tacks moments later. Moxley picked up up and slammed him feet first onto the tacks. Janela screamed and another round of “you sick f—” chants broke out.
Janela barked at Moxley and flipped him off again. Moxley kicked Janela, then poured another bag of tacks into the ring. One of the broadcast team members noted that this was not this is not the PG version of Moxley, who then performed his DDT finisher onto the tacks and pinned Janela to win the match.
Jon Moxley defeated Joey Janela in an unsanctioned match in 20:00.
After the match, Moxley was selling as he was leaving the ring when Kenny Omega ran out and gave him a V-Trigger knee at ringside. Omega put Moxley through a table, put another one on top of him, and then performed a double stomp onto the table. Omega roughed up Moxley and hit him with a mic stand that was part of the set “for the bands that never showed up.”
Moxley threw a punch, but Omega worked him over with more punches and then ran him face first into the bass drum of a drum set that was on the stage. Omega played the drums for a second and then hit Moxley with the sticks. Omega picked up a guitar that was on the set and slammed it over the back of Moxley. Omega pretended to play the guitar and then dropped it before leaving. Two referees helped Moxley down to ringside so that they could help him up the ramp while a “thank you, Moxley” chant started.
Moxley shoved both referees aside. Omega ran out and hit Omega repeatedly with a trashcan. Omega performed a DDT onto the trashcan while Ross noted that it was the same double underhook DDT that Moxley uses. Omega posed on the stage. Moxley was shown lying on his back smiling and sticking his tongue out. Ross was in the middle of hyping the Jacksonville event when the feed cut and a “thank you for watching this event graphic appeared on the screen…
Powell’s POV: The line about this not being a PG version of Moxley seemed to be the entire point of his match with Janela They worked really hard and while I’m not always crazy about hardcore wrestling, they definitely got that message across and the live crowd loved it. It was well done for what it was and the style is something that makes AEW stand out as being grittier than WWE. The post match angle was Omega’s revenge for Moxley attacking him at the end of the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view and was also well done as they build to Omega vs. Moxley at All Out in September.
Overall, AEW continued to deliver a mix of various styles and did so effectively for the most part. I’ve made my point about the chair shot to the head and hopefully it won’t happen again. Putting that aside, the main show was entertaining. The opening match of the pre-show was fine, but the rest was more of a turnoff than anything. The broadcast team was improved this time around without a nervous Alex Marvez. This show wasn’t as hot as Double Or Nothing and perhaps that’s to be expected given that this was a free event in the U.S., but the top matches delivered and I’m looking forward to Fight For The Fallen in a couple weeks. Dot Net Members will hear an exclusive audio review of this event hosted by Jake Barnett and I coming up later tonight.
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The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Brian Fritz of Sporting News and Between The Ropes discussing WrestleMania 36, WWE television from the empty WWE Performance Center, his own travel woes, NFL free agency, and more...