AEW Fight for the Fallen is in the bag, which means it’s review time. Standard operating procedure here, in that I’ll be tossing out my general “quicker than a hiccup” thoughts on each match, followed by my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast at the end of the post, which reviews the event in more detail.
Let’s dive into it!
Sonny Kiss vs. Peter Avalon:
Good entrance for Sonny Kiss. I’m glad they kept this relatively short and just used it as a means to show what Kiss can do in the ring, more than anything else. This was a decent start.
Britt Baker and Riho vs. Bea Priestley and Shoko Nakajima:
I hate that I’ve been thoroughly underwhelmed by the women’s division in AEW, but it’s true. This was good at parts, bad at other parts, and had its fair share of sloppy maneuvers here and there all throughout (mostly from Nakajima and Baker, at least from what I can remember).
But the big takeaway from this was the absurd keyboard-mashing closed captioning that popped up during the match and kept going for most of it. Production problems like that are going to make AEW feel like they are completely not on par with WWE, and this is now their third event (fourth if you count All In), so they should have figured this stuff out by now.
Jimmy Havoc, Darby Allin and Joey Janela vs. MJF, Sammy Guevara and Shawn Spears:
This might have been the second-best overall booked segment of the night, in my mind. I liked Shawn Spears using the nickname The Chairman and him coming off as the biggest heel of the bunch. I liked how Darby Allin, Joey Janela and Jimmy Havoc seemed to have a rationality to team together while MJF and his issues with Spears. I liked Spears getting the victory. I just flat out liked this.
Brandi Rhodes vs. Allie:
Just going to put it out there that if anybody has a problem with Stephanie McMahon doing her evil authority figure role and then trying to wrestle, but they don’t have a problem with Brandi Rhodes doing the same thing, that’s hypocritical, as it’s clear she still isn’t comfortable in the ring and has the same type of gimmick.
The tease of Awesome Kong against Aja Kong will do something for a lot of fans, but it doesn’t do anything for me, especially after Aja Kong’s performance at Double or Nothing.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) vs. Angélico and Jack Evans vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus:
EASILY my favorite match of the night, and it was all because of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. They came off looking like stars and I enjoyed the hell out of their performances, with Jungle Boy being the anchor of the match and Luchasaurus being the big man who was surprisingly agile on top of that.
I’m not sold on The Dark Order—particularly Evil Uno. If they’re supposed to be a big deal, they didn’t win me over yet and get that point across. Angelico and Evans were just sort of there for the sake of being there, which meant I didn’t have a particularly impactful positive or negative vibe from them. More of a positive than a negative, but they just weren’t on the same level as Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.
This was a very fun match from start to finish.
Hangman Adam Page vs. Kip Sabian:
This went on far longer than it should have, if I’m looking at this through the lens of “this guy is supposed to potentially be the first ever world champion.” This felt more like it should be two of the top midcarders, instead.
It was fine. I have no complaints about the match itself. But just being good isn’t going to get me to talk about it and rave for hours, no different than if I had a regular normal meal at a restaurant that wasn’t particularly special, you wouldn’t hear me cutting promos on how it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs. Lucha Brothers (Pentagón Jr. and Rey Fenix):
Pretty much copy and paste the previous part about it being good, but not memorable. I enjoyed the match and promptly forgot everything that happened in it.
I’m not over the moon about the ladder match for the AAA tag titles at All Out between Lucha Bros and Young Bucks. To me, I’ve seen it, and even though “it’ll be good” pretty much as a guarantee, it’s not something I’m shaking in anticipation over.
Kenny Omega vs. Cima:
Solid match. Very good all the way through. Not memorable for me, again, because this style of match happening multiple matches in a row just sort of bleeds together to me. I thought it went on a little too long, but the people in attendance loved it, so that’s a big thumbs up for all of them. This felt more like the two people who could be in the main event level than Page/Sabian.
Chris Jericho’s Promo:
Nothing that we don’t see all the time on WWE. Do better if you want me to geek out over anything. There was literally nothing different about this than what a typical heel would do on Raw or SmackDown.
The Young Bucks vs. Cody and Dustin Rhodes:
It was nice to see a match wrestled with a different style, rather than doing a normal Young Bucks superkick and flip scenario, as that would have felt like they just kept the same thing going for the last 4 matches or so.
I enjoyed seeing the tag team camaraderie of moves like the double Sharpshooter into the double Figure 4. That cohesion worked well to illustrate how both teams were brothers who could naturally sync up well.
The post-match stuff was awkward and confusing, and unnecessary. I’m glad they raised money and that this was a charitable show, but I would have enjoyed the last bit of the night much more if it were just “here’s a check and we want to thank everyone for supporting this cause” rather than an assembly of anti-WWE rally cries and odd meandering sign-off jokes to stretch out what was already going on too long for my personal tastes. But hey, the match was fun to watch, so that’s the most important thing.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews Fight for the Fallen with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.