Cody (C) def. Sonny Kiss – TNT Championship
Probably Sonny’s best match in his Dynamite career so far, and a pretty solid match to open the show. It was kind of rough around the edges early, with some noticeable botches, but they were able to catch a rhythm as the match progressed. I was actually surprised at some of the high impact moves that Sonny was able to kick out of. In addition to that, I have to give a hand to Aubrey Edwards here for actually doing her job as a referee, which is an often underrated task.
Cody hit an Alabama Slam onto Sonny on the platform outside the ring, and he slid in to pin him, but his bottom two feet were under the ropes. In many situations, the referee would have let it go. It’s the tiny details. Overall, a pretty good match that showcased Kiss’ in-ring skills. I also couldn’t help but notice Cody was bordering on acting like a heel here. Interesting. ***1/4
FTR def. The Lucha Brothers
More or less the match that I expected, but I’m still waiting for FTR to break out and have some of those NXT-esque quality matches that they had, which I know that they’re capable of doing. This match kind of fell a couple of levels short of that. I think the first half of the match was kind of just dragging a long and things didn’t really get going until the second half. I also liked the fact that FTR was finally starting to act like true heels, and nothing is more heelish than removing the mask off a masked wrestler, especially if that’s what you have to do in order to win. The match didn’t keep me engaged throughout, but it was serviceable for what it was. I’m looking more forward to the Young Bucks/FTR clash. ***1/4
The Elite def. Jurassic Express
Holy shit was this a fun match. This is one that I’ve been waiting for, for a while and boy did it deliver and then some. The interactions that carried this match for me were the ones featuring Marko Stunt with Kenny Omega. The two just click together and they made the rematch very entertaining. From Stunt trying to get under Omega’s skin to seeing how brutal Omega’s offense looks like against someone smaller than him, they just did fantastic work. And that Canadian Destroyer spot from the outside was just something I had to watch on replay again, because I couldn’t believe my eyes. Add in The Young Bucks doing their usual spiel and Jungle Boy/Luchassaurus’ athleticism, and you had one hell of an effort from all six men that kept me happy and engaged throughout. And we’re getting a little tease of Omega heading towards the dark side because he couldn’t believe someone like Stunt almost scored a victory over him. Loved everything about this. ****1/2
Nightmare Sisters def. MJ Jenkins and Kenzie Page
It was what it was and what it was was definitely what it was. Don’t got much else here.
Jon Moxley (C) def. Brian Cage by forefit – AEW World Championship
Okay, so I got quite a bit to say about this match. First, let’s address the good. I did enjoy the limb work by Moxley here, as it was clearly the only way he was to gain the advantage. The story on Jon’s side going into this match was that Cage recently suffered a torn bicep injury, and if he couldn’t hit the Paradigm Shift (which he ended up doing anyway), he’d end up tearing his bicep. Well, you could give him points for at least trying.
The submission work was well done, and Cage’s selling of it was pretty solid too. The rest of the match took on a very WWE-style main event kind of match from the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Basically, the referee used discretion as to when a disqualification or a count-out would be called for, a lot of outside action, you know the usual. That was all well and fine.
However, we do need to address the finish and the booking, which I believed was just straight awful. First of all, of all the finishes you could have conceived of for this match, you have Tazz throw in the towel? If you ask me, that might have been even worse than Cage tapping outright. Tazz has been the one doing all the talking and all the trash talk on Cage’s behalf. At least if Cage tapped out, you could have used the recently repaired bicep excuse. In this case, Tazz essentially had to take back the last month’s worth of trash talk because he himself knew Cage was going to tap.
What’s worse is that they had Cage throw some (super weak looking) punches on Moxley after the match before Darby Allin returned and make the save? Why not just have one of those things the finishes? Sure they’d be a crappy way to finish it, but at least it protects Cage a little. And the show is free, so it’s not like fans watching at home are getting robbed of anything. If you can’t book a world title match where the challenger can’t be protected and you can’t have the champion drop the title, then don’t book the match. It’s that simple. Instead, Cage looks rather weak and his debut looks like a waste in hindsight.
The match itself isn’t anything special. It’s fine and served its purpose, but the booking was especially off the mark. **3/4
One of the best things AEW has going for it is that they’re basically giving the fans PPV’s for free. So I’d be hard pressed to complain too hard about what I’m seeing these days. As for Fight for the Fallen, as a show, I’d put it somewhere in the thumbs in the middle category. Truth be told, the six-man tag team match is the only match I’d replay in full. You won’t really miss anything else of substance with the matches.
There are certain things that will get wrestling fans talking after, such as Vickie Guererro returning to her managing duties, Jericho’s promo about winning the important demographic in the ratings war, Omega selling offense for Marko Stunt, and more. So I guess you can call it somewhat memorable if anything. The wrestling wasn’t about average overall. That’s where I stand. How about you