By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite “Fyter Fest Night One” (Episode 39)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired July 1, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] We got a video opening for Fyter Fest, and then some footage of wrestlers at ringside, including some women in bikinis for some unknown reason. Chris Jericho made his entrance and joined on commentary, and he wore a Canada themed jacket for Canada Day. He sat in with Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur. He immediately insulted Excalibur for never having pyro. Jericho was immediately fired up and said he was into Fyter Fest. Out first for the opening match was Wardlow and MJF.
MJF grabbed a microphone as footage was shown of his victory over Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing. MJF said he had deja vu at the thought of having to beat Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy again. He called Luchasaurus green, and not just his tongue. He called Jungle Boy Jungle Jabroni, and said he should be back at home counting Daddy’s money rather than taking another loss to him. He said he handed Jungle Boy the best match of his career on a silver platter.
MJF then said he was confused as to why this match was happening, but then he realized they were in a ratings war, and they way you get a win is with big stars like MJF on the front lines. He was interrupted by Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus making their entrance.
1. Wardlow and MJF vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (w/Marko Stunt): MJF traded blows with Jungle Boy early. The ended up out on the apron, where MJF blocked a reverse hurracarrana, which allowed Wardlow to land a kick. Wardlow then slammed Jungle Boy around on the floor. Wardlow tagged in officially and then tossed Jungle Boy with an overhead suplex. He then slammed Jungle Boy into MJF’s boot in the corner.
MJF tagged in and tried to slam Jungle Boy into Wardlow’s boot, but it was reversed. A ref distraction prevented a legal tag to Luchasaurus, and MJF and Wardlow continued the assault on Jungle Boy. After avoiding a double team suplex, Luchasaurus tagged in and chopped down MJF. He then landed a lariat to Wardlow and a punt kick to MJF’s ribs. Luchasaurus showed off some agility and superkicked Wardlow. MJF recovered enough to make a tag out to Wardlow, but Luchasaurus continued to dominate with kicks.
Wardlow briefly got back into the match with a suplex, but Luchasaurus landed a modified spinebuster before tagging out to Jungle Boy. He entered the match and sent Wardlow to the outside, and then landed multiple dives and a splash onto MJF on the floor. Wardlow grabbed and tossed Jungle Boy into the audience, but he landed on his feet and landed a gamengiri. Luchasausus then splashed Wardlow on the floor in an impressive dive spot.
In the ring, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy landed a double team Tombstone maneuver, but Wardlow broke it up. Wardlow went for an F10 on Jungle Boy but he reversed out of it. All four men ended up down, and then kipped up almost simultaneously. The action spilled out onto the ramp, where Wardlow tossed Marko Stunt off the ramp at Jungle Boy. MJF landed a low blow on Luchasaurus, and Wardlow landed a Swanton for a close near fall. They both showed frustration.
MJF put on the Dynamite Diamond, and ended up hitting Wardlow with it after missing Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy pulled Wardlow out of the ring and tossed him into the barricade. They then landed a series of offense on Wardlow. Luchasaurus hit two Tail Whips, and Jungle Boy landed a springboard twisting DDT. Luchasaurus then finished him off with a standing Moonsault for the win.
“Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy defeated MJF and Wardlow at 11:15
After the match, MJF was furious with Wardlow as Jurassic Express celebrated…
My Take: They put down a hell of a pace, and selling really suffered as a result. I enjoyed the match, and liked the outcome, but there isn’t much left for this program. Here’s hoping everybody moves on.
We saw a commercial for an All Elite Wrestling Puppy Battle Royale? In the crowd, Lance Archer and Joey Janela brawled while Sonny Kiss held him back. Jake Roberts laughed as Archer talked trash at Janela that wasn’t audible on camera. Refs and Sonny broke up the situation. The announce team ran down the remainder of the card for night one. Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope ford is up next. A video package was shown to set up the match. It showed JR and Excalibur, as well as Shida and Ford talking about the matchup. JR said if it’s a one on one match, Shida wins, but if Ford has outside help anything is possible.
Penelope Ford made her entrance with Kip Sabian. She was followed by Hikaru Shida. Britt Baker was shown in her discount popemobile next to the announce booth. Kip Sabian got involved before the bell, and was ejected by referee Aubrey Edwards. He took Shida’s Kendo Stick with him.
2. Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford for the AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida landed a running knee out of the gate. She went for a Falcon Arrow, but Ford fought out of it. Ford got an early pinfall attempt with a rollup, but only got two. Shida landed a baseball slide, and took the fight with Ford to the outside. Ford slammed Shida into the barricade and rolled into the ring to break up the count. Shida then picked up Ford and placed her on the apron, and then landed a running knee lift.
Shida placed Ford on the top turnbuckle, but Ford rolled out of the way of another knee strike and kicked her in the head. Ford then landed a running boot and a German Suplex bridge for a near fall. Ford landed some mounted punches until the referee counted to 4…[c]
Ford had a chin lock applied as the show returned, but Shida reached the ropes. Shida then landed some punches, but Ford countered with a reverse DDT for a two count. The women then traded open handed slaps, and then Shida landed an enziguri. Ford quickly responded with a big forearm shot. She then went for a springboard stunner, but Shida applied a sleeper instead. Shida then landed two backbreakers and covered for the win.
Shida went for a Falcon Arrow and landed it, but Ford reversed the pinfall for a close near fall. Shida replied with a running knee strike, but missed a dropkick from the top. Ford then landed a stunner, but only got a near fall. Ford rolled to the outside and grabbed the AEW Women’s Championship. The distraction allowed Kip Sabian to run down, but Shida turned him away with a Kendo Stick.
Ford entered and landed her springboard cutter, but Shida kicked out at two. Ford then went up top for a moonsault, but Shida moved out of the way. She then landed some knees and another Falcon Arrow for another near fall. She was finally able to put her away with another running knee strike.
Hikaru Shida defeated Penelope Ford at 11:28 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
Shida celebrated after the bell, and the announce team shifted gears to a video package where Taz explained how Brian Cage’s size will make Jon Moxley’s moveset less effective…[c]
My Take: A really good match from Shida and Ford and outpaced my expectations quite a bit. Both women deserve a lot of credit for keeping up the pace for the entire match, and for executing some clever near falls perfectly. I’d like to see them run that one back down the road.
Jake Hager made his entrance in the arena with his wife Catalina. He was followed by Cody Rhodes, who was joined by Arn Anderson. Justin Roberts made ring introductions. Apparently Hager is now “Rock Hard” Jake Hager, which I’m sure no one will make fun of.
3. Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Jake Hager (w/Catalina Hager) for the TNT Championship: They danced around each other to start. Cody landed a clothesline and didn’t move Hager. He then went for a kick, which Hager caught and quickly tossed Cody to the mat. Cody grabbed a headlock and wrenched on it. Hager pushed off Cody and then landed a shoulder block. Cody landed a hard right hand, and Hager replied by tossing him into the corner and landing kidney punches.
Cody landed a sunset flip out of the corner, and Hager turned it into an ankle lock. Cody slipped free and applied one of his own, but Hager escaped immediately. Hager started to approach Arn on the outside, and the distraction allowed Cody to splash Hager on the outside. Back in the ring, Cody applied a leglock, but Hager slammed his head to the map to escape. Cody then applied a figure four, but Hager grabbed the ropes.
Cody landed a Disaster Kick, but got caught for a spinebuster…[c] The action spilled outside, and Hager tossed Cody into the barricade. He then landed a slam in the ring and choked Cody on the second rope. Hager tossed Cody back to the floor. Back in the ring, Cody missed a crossbody and collided with the ropes.
[Hour Two] The action spilled outside again and Cody got a measure of revenge by tossing Hager into the barricade. Hager applied a sleeper in the ring, but Cody broke free with a jawbreaker. Cody landed a springboard stunner and a powerslam for a near fall. Hager counted with some strikes and a Hager Bomb out of the corner for a near fall. Hager tossed Cody across the ring, but missed the follow up Hager Bomb. Cody landed a reverse DDT for a near fall. He then climbed to the top, but Hager met him up top and tossed him over head to the mat for a close near fall.
Hager managed to apply another ankle lock, but Cody escaped. Arn got involved by distracting the ref as Cody was in a head and arm choke. Dustin Rhodes ran out and punched Hager in the face, leading to the hold being broken. Hager then landed a uranage and applied the choke again, but Cody reversed it into a pinning predicament and got a three count, despite passing out in the hold.
Cody Rhodes defeated Jake Hager at 14:59 to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Hager got in the referees face. He thought he had gotten a submission, and didn’t like the pinfall count. The ref wouldn’t budge, so Hager punched him in the face. Jericho struggled to defend Hager’s actions on commentary. His wife seemed confused why he would do that. The announce team threw to another punk rock skating video package for Darby Allin…[c]
My Take: I think I enjoyed the Women’s match a bit more than this one, if only because it had a clean finish and had more clever spots. This match was just ok for me. It never really got out of third gear, and the finish was overwrought and a bit unsatisfying. Will Hager be suspended for punching a referee?
Orange Cassidy made his entrance and joined at commentary to silently torment Chris Jericho. Santana and Ortiz made their ring entrance, followed by Private Party. Team Extreme Matt Hardy joined Private Party at ringside.
4. “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen (w/Matt Hardy) vs. Santana and Ortiz for a shot at the AEW Tag Titles at Fyter Fest Night Two: Kassidy and Santana opened the match. The match broke down right away with all four men getting involved. Kassidy splashed Ortiz on the floor with an assist from Quen a la Hardy Boyz. Quen tagged in briefly and landed some strikes on Santana. Kassidy tagged back in and got chopped down by Santana. Ortiz provided a distraction, which allowed Santana to make a tag and slam Kassidy. Ortiz tagged in and applied an Octopus Stretch on Kassidy. Ortiz released the hold and chopped down Kassidy. He then followed with a snap suplex…[c]
Santana and Ortiz dominated and isolated Mark Quen during the break. They then applied their combo Gory Special and Camel Clutch combo on both Kassidy and Quen. As the show returned, Quen fought back into his corner and made a tag to Kassidy. He entered and took down Santana with strikes, and then kind of whiffed a stunner on Ortiz. He landed a tornillo out onto Ortiz on the outside. Back in the ring, Kassidy landed a splash onto Ortiz for a near fall.
Santana and Ortiz came roaring back with a powerbomb from the top rope, followed by a slam face first into the buckle in the corner. Ortiz covered, but Quen was able to break up the pin. Quen got tossed into the barricade on the outside for his trouble. Santana and Ortiz tried to use their sock full of baseballs, but Matt Hardy pulled it away. This led to a couple of rollup near falls for Quen on Santana.
Santana and Ortiz went for a street sweeper, but Quen pulled Santana’s bandana over his eyes. Kassidy tossed Ortiz out, allowing Private Party to land the Gin and Juice on Santana for the win.
“Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen defeated Santana and Ortiz at 11:23 to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Titles next week.
Jericho was getting fired up about his inner circle members losing. Jericho tossed things at Orange Cassidy and started to attack him, but they were quickly separated by referees and talent…[c]
My Take: This match had some moments, but it was pretty clunky in others. The finish was pretty clever, but it might have taken a bit too long to develop to feel like a real surprise. Santana and Ortiz feel like they are losing far too often in AEW. I thought they’d be real major players in the tag division, but they have largely been a non-factor in the title picture.
Hangman and Kenny Omega were interviewed backstage. Hangman said he likes Best Friends, and that they deserve a title shot, but when they are in the ring together the word deserve dries up. Kenny said they’ve defeated every team the division has thrown at them, and tonight wouldn’t be any different. Jericho had left the announce table. The announce team ran down the card for night two. The Moxley vs. Brian Cage match was postponed until July 15th, and Taz and Cage made their entrance to talk about it.
Taz said the cat is out of the bag, and July 15th is now called Fight for the Fallen, and he gets his title shot. Taz accused Moxley of politicking to get the match delayed, but they weren’t mad about it. Taz said he spoke to Tony Khan, and he was told Mox was concerned for the health and well being of AEW talent. He accused Mox of being a chicken shit, because he’s already had two negative tests, and he would take one again next week if he showed up because they don’t run a sloppy shop. He said it doesn’t matter when Moxley shows up, because he would be beaten by a superior talent named Brian Cage…[c]
My Take: AEW lobbing bombs at WWE through Taz’s comments isn’t exactly a surprise. I’m sure Moxley is livid that his wife’s employer screwed up the match schedule for himself and others, but it appears AEW’s answer is to make the July 15th show another themed episode. Hopefully there aren’t any more setbacks.
Best Friends made their entrance. Trent’s Mom dropped them off in a minivan, and gave him a case before he left for the ring. Hangman Page then made his entrance, followed by Kenny Omega.
5. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent for the AEW Tag Team Championships: Omega and Chuck started the match. Chuck tripped Omega and hit the ropes, but had to pull up as Omega timed him for a knee strike. Chuck landed a hip toss and both men got to their feet. Trent and Page tagged in and traded blows. Hangman got the better of it, but got caught with a back suplex at the end of it. Trent tagged back in and landed a vertical suplex for a near fall. Hangman turned the tables on Best Friends by suplexing Chuck into Trent, and then made a tag to Omega.
Kenny entered and landed a backbreaker on Trent for a near fall. Hangman tagged back in, and they used their 10 seconds to land a double team big boot and kotaro crusher combo for a near fall. FTR joined on commentary with a cooler and a couple of lawn chairs. The offered JR a beer, but he declined. Hangman and Page continued to isolate Trent in their corner…[c]
Page and Omega continued to punish Trent and cut off the ring. Trent fired back on Omega with a swinging DDT and made a tag to Trent. The action spilled outside and Trent splashed both Kenny and Page on the outside. Trent then splashed Omega again. Trent threw Omega at Page, but he took a nasty bump on the top of his head during the process. Back in the ring, Page landed a very Stan Hansen lariat on Trent. He tagged to Omega, who landed a missile dropkick and a fisherman’s buster for a near fall.
Omega landed a forward roll slam, and tried to follow up with a moonsault, but Chuck got the knees up. Trent tagged in and landed a piledriver on Omega, but Page broke up the pin. Trent tossed Page to the outside, but Omega fired back with snap dragon suplexes for everybody. Page tagged in and they landed a double team powerbomb and knee strike on Trent for a close near fall.
The champs went for Last Call, but Omega got pulled out of the ring. Best Friends landed Strong Zero on Page, but Omega broke up the pin at the last second. Trent and Omega fought and ended up on the floor. Page fired back at Trent with strikes. He went for Deadeye, but Trent rolled through and held on for a close near fall. Hangman tried again, and landed Deadeye on Trent, but only got a near fall. Page was then able to put him away with his Buckshot Lariat.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Best Friends at 15:39 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, FTR walked down to the ring and offered Omega and Page a beer. They toasted, and the announce team said Private Party will get a shot at the Tag Team Championships next week. Omega decided to pour out his beer, which brought out The Young Bucks to play peacemakers.
My Take: A good match that didn’t feel all that dramatic. I don’t think I ever expected Best Friends to have an instant classic, but I thought I might have bought into the near falls more than I did. That said, this was a well wrestled match that had a good pace and the right finish. The FTR stuff at the end just makes it clear that they are the team to take the belts, and the Bucks will likely have to chase them.