AEW Fyter Fest: Week One kicks off a two-week Fyter Fest event on TNT on Wednesday.
It’s a stacked, two-week card, and arguably has greater star power than last month’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. Fyter Fest even has a bigger card than April’s two-night WrestleMania event.
AEW Fyter Fest: Week One is apparently a big enough deal that WWE feels the need to counter-program. NXT will run a two-week Great American Bash special directly opposite Fyter Fest.
It would be very easy for AEW to just go on like it’s another week of AEW: Dynamite like the Bash at the Beach specials earlier this year.
But AEW Fyter Fest: Week One seems like another animal altogether. Let’s break down the card, and we’ll put in our two cents on how we think things will go.
Private Party (W/ Matt Hardy) Vs. Santana & Ortiz
Odds are AEW Fyter Fest: Week One will open with Private Party taking on Santana & Ortiz of the Inner Circle.
The real question isn’t necessarily which team will win. Rather, the real question is which Matt Hardy version will show up?
It’s weird that both Hardy and WWE’s Bray Wyatt are both going through a “multiple personality” schtick at the moment. But I digress.
This is a hard one to call, as Private Party needs to get a win to make Hardy’s recent tutelage worthwhile. After all, if it doesn’t produce results, why would Private Party keep listening to Hardy? On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time Santana & Ortiz picked up a tag team win.
I’m going with Private Party for the win in AEW Fyter Fest: Week One. Santana & Ortiz have that built-in relevance as part of the Inner Circle. And Private Party desperately needs a big win.
Winners – Private Party
MJF & Wardlow Vs. Jurassic Express (W/ Marko Stunt)
So Wardlow and Luchasaurus put on a freakin’ clinic this past week on AEW: Dynamite with probably the most agile big-man match I’ve seen in years.
And while MJF and Wardlow each keep racking up the victories, and both already have a win over the babyfaces in singles action, I’m going with the heels to take this match, too.
Jurassic Express is another evergreen act. Jungle Boy fell to Cody as the first challenger to the TNT Championship a couple weeks back, and Luchasaurus could come out and wrestle a phone book and still be over.
MJF, on the other hand, seems poised to be the first main-event-level (sorry Hager and Cage) challenger to Jon Moxley’s AEW Championship. And in the lead-up to the battle royal on AEW: Dynamite a few weeks back, AEW very gently teased a turn for either Wardlow or MJF.
AEW pay-per-views are where MJF shines the best, and I think the PPV-level AEW Fyter Fest: Week One will be no exception.
Winners: MJF & Wardlow
AEW Women’s Championship – Hikaru Shida (C) Vs. Penelope Ford
The first title match on AEW Fyter Fest: Week One pits AEW Woen’s Champion Hikaru Shida against Penelope Ford.
Ford has been on the rise in recent weeks. She took the injured Britt Baker’s place at Double Or Nothing and has kept herself in the women’s title mix ever since.
But as well as she’s acquitted herself, I don’t think she’s a top level heel yet. She’s doing great for the role she’s in, but it’s too soon to take the title off of Shida. Shida just won the belt from Nyla Rose a little over a month ago, and AEW has yet to put forth a standard bearer for its women’s division.
Hikaru Shida has moved into that role nicely. Besides, with the heat Britt Baker has been generating with her “Roll Model” gimmick, I feel like AEW is going to keep the title on Shida at least until Baker’s return.
Look for Shida to retain at AEW Fyter Fest: Week One.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
AEW Tag Team Championship – Kenny Omega & ‘Hangman’ Adam Page (C) Vs. Best Friends
Page and Omega have held the AEW Tag Team titles since the January Bash At The Beach edition of AEW: Dynamite.
But I think their road as champions ends after AEW Fyter Fest: Week One.
After months of starts and stalls, I think Best Friends is in a position to pick up a big win. AEW kept them split up in singles matches, and with Orange Cassidy starting to branch further into singles action himself, it just feels like time.
AEW Fyter Fest: Week One could be as good a time as any for the next big push toward Page and Omega breaking up and having their own singles match. And with FTR vs. Young Bucks having potential to be a big title feud, Best Friends would make a solid and deserving transitional team to hold the belts.
Plus, with every championship up for grabs across two weeks of Fyter Fest, the tag titles are the only ones that make sense to change. Speaking of championships.
Winners: Best Friends
TNT Championship – Cody (C) Vs. Jake Hager
The TNT Championship bout between Cody and Hager will undoubtedly main event AEW Fyter Fest: Week One.
And smart money has the American Nightmare retaining that ugly, ugly belt.
As with Shida and the women’s title, it’s just far too soon to crown the second TNT Champion. Plus, it’d be a pretty big blow to Cody’s credibility to kill the open challenge for the title after just over a month.
Plus, there’s potential for a creative finish here, and an opportunity to broaden Cody’s character. For weeks, Cody has seemingly been teasing a heel turn. There was a promo where he blew past the thought of only being the fourth person called by Tony Khan to found AEW. And a week later, he lamented not having help from the Elite or the Nightmare Family in his matches.
I have a feeling the Inner Circle will interfere on Hager’s behalf, and one of two things will happen. Either someone from the Elite will try to fight the IC off and only make things worse, or no one from the Elite will show up at all.
Pushing Cody just a couple inches closer to the dark side.
But one way or another, Cody is going to emerge from AEW Fyter Fest: Week One as the TNT Champion.
The Breakdown & How To Watch
You can bet that Le Champion will bail on the announce desk at least once during the proceedings. Although, whenever he does depart, I hope he comes back. Jericho’s commentary has been an unsung hero of pro wrestling in the coronavirus era.
But no matter who’s on the call, AEW Fyter Fest: Week One looks to be a great show. And a show with a lot of potential to plant seeds for new stories as AEW marches toward the Labor Day Weekend All Out PPV.
AEW Fyter Fest: Week One will air in the usual AEW: Dynamite time slot, on Wednesday, July 1 on TNT.
The show is scheduled to start at 8 PM/ET.
Feature image provided by All Elite Wrestling.