Fight For The Fallen caps a busy three weeks for AEW: Dynamite.
After the two-week Fyter Fest event, AEW goes for another PPV-level event. Last year’s Fight For The Fallen, a B/R Live special, fell a little flat.
This year, AEW put together an incredible show.
Headlined by the long-delayed AEW Championship match between Jon Moxley and Brian Cage, Fight For The Fallen crushed it.
Let’s run through the results of AEW’s last major event of the summer.
TNT Championship Match – Cody (C, W/ Arn Anerson) Vs. Sonny Kiss
Jim Ross opens Fight For The Fallen by calling it Fyter Fest Part 2. Sigh.
Cody comes out with Arn Anderson. Sonny Kiss comes out with the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders. What, Arn’s presence isn’t unnecessary enough as it is?
The champion opens with a scissor kick right off the bat and beats Sonny into the corner. Cody puts Sonny in a suplex position and drapes him over the ropes before showing off with some push-ups. Very heelish. Sonny throws him over the top, but Cody hangs on an swings back in. A Disaster Kick gets two for Cody.
Arn chastises Cody for wasting time with the push-ups. Sonny tosses Cody over the top, and they brawl on the outside. With Cody draped over the apron, Sonny drops a big boot. Back inside, Sonny gets Cody in the shoulder with an enziguri. But Cody catches Sonny with a full nelson. Sonny breaks free and takes Cody down with an armdrag followed by a dropkick into an inverted uranagi. The challenger runs at Cody in the corner an hits a standing rana. Another headscissors has Cody reeling, an a big forearm has the champion propped on the middle turnbuckle. Sonny hits a running ax-kick for two.
— ALL ELITE WRESTLING (@AEW) July 16, 2020
The challenger goes for a split legdrop, but Cody moves. Sonny hits the Crossroads, and Cody kicks out. With Cody on the mat, Sonny goes up top and hits a 450 for two. Awesome form on that 450, though. Sonny pulls Cody up, but Cody throws him over the top onto the entrance ramp. And Cody hits an Alabama slam on the floor. Ouch. Back inside, Cody goes for the cover, but Sonny gets a foot on the rope. Arn is really laying into Cody for going for the pin so close to the ropes. Cody hits a standing destroyer on Sonny, but it only gets two. The champ goes for another pin and gets another two-count.
Cody teases whipping Sonny with the weight belt, but he tosses it instead. The champ props Sonny up on the top turnbuckle and hits a superplex for two. The camera keeps cutting back to Tully Blanchard in the crowd. Fight For The Fallen, don’t tease me by making me think AEW’s gonna do something with Shawn Spears. Cody argues with the referee, and Sonny rolls the champion up for two. The American Nightmare locks in a crossface, and Sonny gets to the ropes again. I love how Cody is just heeling it up in this match but not taking it to extremes. Just enough to make you wonder.
The champion pulls the top turnbuckle pad off and teases throwing Sonny into it. Sonny dodges, though, and sends Cody crashing into the exposed turnbuckle before rolling the champion up for two. A slugfest follows , but Cody catches a Sonny punch and reverses with the Crossroads to pin and retain.
I didn’t expect this match to be this good. Sonny was a little sloppy to start, but he got better the longer the match went on. And Cody playing the heel just made it better. Decent enough opener for Fight For The Fallen.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Cody
Match Rating: ***
FTR Vs. Lucha Brothers
Butcher and Blade drive Lucha Bros to Fight For The Fallen in FTR’s truck. Seriously, this is still about a truck. I mean, as McGuffins in wrestling go, it makes as much sense as anything.
Y’know, I like FTR, but their entrance music is as generic as it gets.
Pentagon beats down Harwood to start as JR wonders why the Jacksonville police haven’t busted Butcher and Blae. Valid question. They slug it out for a while until Pentagon puts Harwood down with a superkick. Fenix tags in, and they double-team him. Rey Fenix goes for a vertical suplex,, but Harwood evades. Wheeler makes the blind tag and hits an over-the-top legdrop on Fenix. It gets two. Wheeler hits a drop toe-hold followed by an elbow drop from Harwood, who tags in. Another tag from FTR, as they work over Fenix in their corner.
Wheeler goes for a suplex, but Fenix pushes him back to the Luchas’ corner. Pentagon tags in and they hit a double superkick, sending Wheeler out of the ring. On the outside, Fenix takes down Harwood.
— ALL ELITE WRESTLING (@AEW) July 16, 2020
Pentagon keeps Wheeler beaten down, but Wheeler comes back with a powerslam, but Fenix makes the tag. Fenix leaps from the top but eats an uppercut. Harwood comes back in and lays in the punches and hits a pair of snap suplexes on Fenix before snap suplexing Pentagon onto Fenix.
A clothesline puts Pentagon down, but Fenix attacks from behind only to get slingshotted into the turnbuckle. Harwood gets two off a sliding uppercut. Wheeler’s in now but takes a high roundhouse. Pentagon tags in and, with Harwood on the outside, they double-team Wheeler. A springboard dropkick gets two for Pentagon. This match is killing it at Fight For The Fallen.
They set Wheeler up for the spike piledriver, but Wheeler evades. FTR hits a tandem bulldog off the top, but Pentagon runs in to break up the pin. Pentagon heads up top, but Harwood stops him with an uppercut. Harwood hits a superplex, but Fenix makes a blind tag. He goes for a splash on Harwood, but Harwood gets the knees up. All four guys are down now.
They’re all fighting in the ring now, and Harwood and Fenix take each other over the top. Pentagon hits a sling blade on Wheeler before setting him up for a piledriver on the apron. Wheeler fights out of it, and after a couple reversals, hits a tope into a DDT on the floor, but Fenix takes him out with an escalara. Fenix catches Harwood with a superkick on the outside. Back inside, Harwood unmasks Fenix forcing him to cover his face and cradles Fenix for the pin.
That match was fantastic. Perfectly paced, no wasted motion, and nothing too fancy. The rest of the Fight For The Fallen card has some work to do if they want to top that.
Match Rating: **** 1/2
After The Match
Butcher and Blade taunt FTR about the truck, but the Young Bucks come out of nowhere and take them out with a superkick party.
The Bucks come to bring FTR the keys, and Omega comes out with a cooler of beer as a peace offering. Omega offers them both a beer. Which FTR promptly dumps on Omega’s head.
Matt and Nick have to hold Omega back, and FTR beats a path out of town.
Great storytelling here, and a rare spark of life out of Kenny Omega at Fight For The Fallen.
Le Champion Speaks
Chris Jericho comes out to Fight For The Fallen with the Inner Circle to talk smack about Orange Cassidy.
For some reason, he starts explaining ratings and demographics. You know, I know both Jericho and Tony Khan were ratings-splaining this on Twitter last week. But don’t take up TV time with it. Even though he did come up with a cool new nickname: “I am the demo-god!”
He says he knows that his feud with Cassidy is making money for AEW and that a rematch would make even more. But he declares that he’s done with Cassidy, and that the King of Sloth Style will never get another shot.
Cassidy makes his way out through the empty seats and gives Jericho the half-thumbs-up. But it slowly turns into a half-thumbs-down, and gallons of orange juice fall from the ceiling onto the Inner Circle.
— ALL ELITE WRESTLING (@AEW) July 16, 2020
The overacting from Jericho and Ortiz is a thing of beauty.
Orange Cassidy’s star just keeps rising higher. This was great.
The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) Vs. Jurassic Express
Fight For The Fallen rolls on, as an orange-soaked Jericho joins JR, and Excalibur on commentary. He’s less than pleased, and now he promises there will be a rematch.
Jungle Boy and Nick start out and trade armdrags. And then they trade springboard armdrags. Nice exchange. Nick goes for an over-the-ropes bulldog, but Jungle Boy evades. Meanwhile, ‘Hangman’ Page is having a drink somewhere while watching the match.
Omega and Marko Stunt tag in, and Omega bullies Marko a little bit. Holy crap, Kenny Omega has a personality. Marko throws fists at Omega’s mid-section but takes a huge chop from Omega. But Marko builds some momentum with a couple headscissors takeovers. Luchasaurus tags in, an Omega tags in Matt Jackson.
Matt avoids the big boot, but Luchasaurus tosses him into the corner before hitting a slam followed by a kick to the head. It only gets a two-count. Luchasaurus tags Jungle Boy back in, and they use Marko as a weapon before taking the Elite down on the outside. That whole sequence was awesome. Back in the ring, Omega goes for the snap dragon but settles for a dropkick, sending Luchasaurus out of the ring. Omega hits the Terminator dive over the top rope. Seriously, Kenny Omega has a personality?
During the break, Omega works over Jungle Boy before tagging Matt in. Matt cinches in a headlock, but Jungle Boy fights out of it. He gets thrown over the top but takes Nick down with a neckbreaker on the way down. Back inside, Jungle Boy gets a swinging DDT. Nick and Luchasaurus tag in, and Luchasaurus dominates all three of the Elite. He goes for a chokeslam on Nick, but Matt breaks it up. Both Young Bucks take a roundhouse, and Luchasaurus hits the chokeslam into a standing moonsault. It only gets two.
Meanwhile, the Hangman is still drinking at the bar. FTR joins him, and they all drink together. I like where that’s going.
— ALL ELITE WRESTLING (@AEW) July 16, 2020
Back inside, Luchasaurus and Omega have a chopping stalemate. Omega hits two V-triggers, but it doesn’t put Luchasaurus down. He hits the snapdragon on Luchasaurus, but Marko and Jungle Boy run in only to eat snapdragons of their own.
Omega gears up for another V-trigger, but Luchasaurus catches him with a back elbow. The Express triple-team Omega but only get two. Luchasaurus goes for the tail whip but eats dual superkicks from the Bucks. The Elite team up to hit Tiger Driver 98, but Luchasaurus kicks out. This is great.
Nick and Marko tag in, and Marko gets the crap kicked out of him. They slug it out on the ropes, but Jungle Boy comes over for the assist, taking Nick down with a huricanarana. Marko follows with a 450 but it only gets two. The Bucks toss all three guys from the Express over the top, and Matt tags in. A wicked tower-climbing move follows, and Marko hits a destroyer, but Omega breaks up the pin. Seriously, this match at Fight For The Fallen is great.
Omega tags in and hits Marko with the snapdragon. He calls for the V-trigger, but Luchasaurus leans in to take the bullet for Marko. With Luchasaurus out, Marko takes the full brunt of the V-trigger. Omega goes for the One-Winged Angel, but Marko rolls him up for two. Kenny hits the V-trigger followed by the One-Winged Angel to put Jurassic Express away.
After the match, Omega beats down Marko and the Bucks pull him off. The match was great, and after 14 months, Kenny Omega has a character. Fight For The Fallen continues to impress.
Winners: The Elite
Match Rating: **** 1/2
Alex Marvez interviews Hikaru Shida. He asks if she’s ready to defend against Nyla Rose, an Shida more or less issues an open challenge. Okay, AEW? Enough with the open challenges. We can’t have every single champ in the company telling anyone and everyone they can have a shot.
Moxley cuts a promo and acknowledges Taz’s belief that Cage is too big for him to hit the Paradigm Shift. The champion doesn’t necessarily disagree – so he promises to tear Cage’s bicep off the bone.
Damn, Jon Moxley. You morbid.
The Nightmare Sisters (W/ Dustin Rhodes) Vs. Kenzie Paige And MJ Jenkins
Brandi and Paige open up, and Brandi hits a big pump kick followed by an elbow. She throws Paige into the corner and tags in Allie. Allie hits a sliding clothesline before driving the knee into the midsection. Brandi makes a blind tag and hits a superkick, an the Nightmare Sisters argue.
Paige lays in a couple of forearms but eats a running bulldog. Jenkins and Allie both tag in, an Allie runs wild. She hits a Dustin-like dropping slap followed by another bulldog. Brandi tries to run in but eats a spear from Paige. Allie picks up the win with an inverted neckbreaker and elbow drop combo.
It was quick and offense-heavy, and the story with Brandi and Allie was well-told. Otherwise, nothing special here. Just women’s division B-listers taking on enhancement talent. This Fight For The Fallen match could easily have been a Divas match in 2010.
Winners: Nightmare Sisters
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Nyla Rose Promo
Nyla Rose comes out to Fight For The Fallen and makes good on her promise to reveal her new manager.
And it’s Vicki Guerrero. Okay, I can see that. Not exactly Heyman and Lesnar, but this could definitely work. Also, Vicki’s entrance music is pretty great.
Vicki puts the women’s division on notice and promises that Nyla Rose will steal every opportunity they’ve ever dreamed of.
I mean, watching Survivor Series 2016 already did that for me. But this was a solid promo and an interesting direction for Rose.
AEW Championship – Jon Moxley (C) Vs. Brian Cage (W/ Taz)
Moxley goes after Cage the instant the champion hits the ring. He lays in the strikes on Cage in the corner, but Cage charges out with a wicked clothesline. Cage hits a few shoulder tackles in the corner before taking Moxley down with an inside clothesline. Moxley goes for the Fujiara armbar, but Cage puts him down with an overhead throw.
A charging uppercut followed by a rising roundhouse follows from Cage, but Moxley counters with a second-rope missile dropkick. Moxley hooks in an armbar on the bad bicep, using the bottom rope as leverage. The champion continues to work the arm, but Cage rolls out of a cross armbreaker and scores with some stiff fists to the champ’s forehead. Cage hits a German suplex on Moxley and triers to suplex the champ to the floor. But Moxley goes after the arm again, sending Cage crashing to the floor.
The champion hits a tope suicida, driving Cage into the barricade. He tries to hook in a wrist lock to work the arm, but Cage brushes Moxley off. They fight on the floor for a while, and Moxley props Cage’s arm between the bars on the barricade and kicks at the bicep. Moxley props one of the barricades on the ring apron and tries to suplex Cage onto it. But the challenger reverses and hits a belly-to-back on Moxley onto the metal barricade. Back inside, the champion builds some momentum, cinching in a headlock. But Cage fights back and tosses Moxley around a bit. A sidewalk slam gets two for Cage.
Cage locks in a headlock, but Moxley powers out only to get dropped with a torture rack into an inverted fireman’s carry slam. It only gets two. The challenger hooks Moxley in the camel clutch, but Moxley fights out only to take a back elbow. That throws the champion to the outside. Moxley sets up a chair, but Cage suplexes the champ straight through it. Cage throws Moxley back inside, and the champ gets an inside cradle for two. A roll-up gets another two-count. Moxley charges Cage but eats a powerslam. Cage takes a chance and goes for a moonsault, but Moxley dodges and hits a trio of running knees.
But Cage counters with a clothesline to put Moxley on the mat. Moxley returns in kind. Mox goes for the Paradigm Shift, but Cage counters. The challenger goes for a discus lariat, but Moxley hits the Paradigm Shift. And Cage kicks out.
Moxley props the challenger on the top turnbuckle and hits a superplex. He rolls over for the cover, but Cage kicks out only for his arm to fly right into Moxley’s hands. Moxley hooks in the armbar, but Cage bucklebombs the champion. The champ rolls onto the apron, but Cage suplexes him back into the ring. Cage goes for the Drill Claw, but Moxley rolls over the top and Moxley locks in a cross armbreaker.
Cage can’t get to the ropes, and Taz has no choice but to throw in the towel.
Okay, a couple things. I know they had Cage kick out of the Paradigm Shift. And I realize he didn’t give up; Taz threw in the towel. But this wasn’t a great way to present Cage. I don’t necessarily think he loses anything by taking the loss at Fight For The Fallen, but he definitely doesn’t gain anything.
Winner (And STILL Champion): Jon Moxley
Match Rating: *** 1/4
Moxley doesn’t get long to celebrate, as Cage just waylays the champion. But the lights go out.
And holy crap, Darby Allin is back! He comes off the top rope and takes Cage out with the skateboard, getting a measure of revenge for Double Or Nothing.
Really cool way to end Fight For The Fallen after the iffy booking for Cage.
I have no complaints. Fight For The Fallen didn’t have the big PPV feel of either week of Fyter Fest.
But judged solely as an AEW: Dynamite special, this was a great show. You can’t go wrong with five matches, two of which rank above four stars.
The women’s tag team match wasn’t the best, but it advanced a story. All-in-all, Fight For The Fallen is definitely a win for AEW.
AEW: Dynamite resumes regular episodes next Wednesday on TNT at 8 PM/ET.
Images provided by All Elite Wrestling.
'AEW: Dynamite - Fight For The Fallen'
- It's official: Orange Cassidy is a top guy.
- FTR vs. Luchas was one of the best TV matches I'd seen in a while
- And then the Elite Vs. Jurassic Express topped it.
- Darby Allin's return felt like a big deal.
- Cage could have been booked better.
- That women's tag match just wasn't good at all.