Live from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach Florida, All Elite Wrestling presents Fyter Fest.
The second ever show from the Elite-run company takes place as part of the CEO fighting game event and will see the likes of Evolve stand out Darby Allin and the former WWE champion Jon Moxley make their in-ring debuts.
The Buy In
Three matches were set for The Buy In. The first saw The Best Friends, SCU, and the debuting Private party for a first-round bye in the AEW tag title tournament. The second saw Allie make her on screen debut against the Librarian Leva Bates. Finally, the nightmare of Matt Jackson, Michael Nakazawa took on CEO chairman Alex Jebailey in a Hardcore match.
The show opens with a hilarious parody by Michael Cuellari of Andy Kings confession from the Fyre Fest documentary. The Fyre Fest references kind of felt forced later in the show.
However, this was a good way to use the most well-known moment of the film to get laughs. We then go to the arena to see models standing next to tents at the entranced ramp. This may be a tongue and cheek event, but it certainly is refreshing to see a unique PPV set after years of WWE’s bland sets.
So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Barretta) vs Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)
This match to determine which team gets a first-round bye in the AEW tag title tournament did 2 things well. First it proved why The Best Friends and SCU are two of the most beloved tag teams in the world.
Secondly it introduced the main stream world to the duo of Kassidy & Quen, Private Party. The VIP duo had large chunks of offense in this fast-paced opener. They showed exactly what the Young Bucks seen in them when they handpicked them for AEW. It wasn’t to be for the debutants however as The Best Friends kept up their 100 percent record as a team in AEW, picking up the win.
Post-match the former Super Smash Bros, now known as the Dark Order, appeared on the titantron, reminding the duo of what they did to them at Double or Nothing and continued to play mind games with the BFF duo.
Winners – Best Friends
Allie vs “The Librarian” Leva Bates (with “The Librarian” Peter Avalon)
Before the former Impact Wrestling women’s champion made her way to the ring, Leva Bates spoke to the crowd on why reading is better than gaming. However, much to hers and Daytona’s chagrin, Peter Avalon felt the need to be her hype man. This match had a few good comedy spots, like Peter sweeping Allies leg, all while still reading his book. Not much more to report on and this straight forward if forgettable match did its job of introducing Allie to the AEW audience and promoting her match with AEW chief brand officer Brandi Rhodes. Side note, Brandi Rhodes watching TV at a normal angle? Exposing the business this kid!
Winner – Allie.
Michael Nakazawa vs Alex Jebailey.
This match at times just felt like an advert for CEO and Jebaileys products. It was also an advertisement for how risky having non wrestlers in the ring is. Let’s just say Stephen Amell he was not! The match runs a bit too long and ends with Nakazawa rolling up Jebailey with a thong to the face. Let’s just forget this whole thing happened.
Winner – Michael Nakazawa.
Cima vs Christopher Daniels.
A solid match to start the Fyter Fest main show was the ever popular Christopher Daniels vs the OWE stand out Cima.
The commentary team were solid throughout the night and this match here was no exception. They filled the viewer in on the long-time friendship between the combatants and painted Cima as Daniels equal, despite being the lesser known to western audiences. Daniels shows no sign of slowing down.
Despite being in his mid-forties, he shows his blend of technical ability and high-flying showmanship that has made him a stand out in the industry. Cima uses a lot of the same styles as Daniels and the two go back and forth, with Cima even kicking out of the Fallen Angel finishing move.
Cima’s match in two weeks with Kenny Omega was plugged throughout the match so the result was never really in doubt. That being said, both men still put on an incredible match. Cima hits a top rope Meteora for the win.
Winner – Cima
Riho vs Nyla Rose vs Yuka Sakazaki.
This match sold the quickness and speed of Riho and Yuka’s almost Cruiserweight style, whilst at the same time making Nyla Rose look like a beast.
The first 5 minutes saw the Japanese duo team up to use a variety of quick reversals, dives, and hurricanerannas to counter the explosive power of Nyla. Nyla though showed she’s not just some hulking powerful heel, breaking out an amazing flying knee from the top rope onto a prone Riho.
Although there was some typical “Being the Elite” humor on display during the pre-show, this match felt like an actual athletic contest. Commentary on point once again in this match, calling out Nyla for her lackadaisical covers and arrogant time wasting hung up in the ropes. The match ends as Riho pulls out a classic out school little vs big guy counter, reversing a beast bomb attempt into a roll up.
Post-match Nyla takes out her frustration by attacking Riho but Yuka makes the save. In an interesting development Riho pushes Yuka away, almost frustrated that she tried to help her. It’s refreshing to see that not all faces need to be friends.
Winner – Riho
MJF vs Jungle Boy vs Jimmy Havoc vs Hangman Page
Kip Sabin is introduced on commentary and we learn that at Fight for The Fallen, he will face the winner of this fatal four way.
The first man out to the ring is the salt of the earth, MJF. This is only the second time I have watched this guy and my god do I love him. Only 23 years of age, great in the ring and quick witted on the mic. He already has the ability to control a crowd. I want him to be first in line for a world title shot when the first champion is crowned. He runs down the crowd and the competitors before my favorite line of the night. With an entire crowd yelling you suck, his quick response of your mother swallows was hilarious to me.
We then get the entrances of the other three competitors, with Jungle Boy riding a dinosaur to the ring in Luchasaurous. Side note, I want them as the first ever AEW tag team champions!
In the ring
The match starts and commentary put over the importance of winning for Adam Page heading into his world title bout at All Out. They also say how important wins and losses are in wrestling which was a refreshing change of pace.
The match itself was a fun and fast paced affair. At one point Page kipped up from a fall away slam to dive at MJF, only to be immediately sentoned by Jimmy Havoc. More heel tactics from MJF as he mocks Bret Hart, calling back to the events of Double or Nothing, setting up for a sharpshooter which is reversed by Hangman.
Adam Page gets the win by hitting Havoc with the dead eye. Another result that was pretty much telegraphed what with Adam Page in the world title picture. Still fun none the less and a great way to show off some of the great talent AEW has. Page will now face Kip Sabin at Fight for The Fallen in a match I am very much looking forward to.
Winner – Hangman Adam Page.
Cody vs Darby Allin
I knew nothing about Darby Allin heading into this event bar what I had seen on road to Double or Nothing and Fyter Fest. However from the get-go he seems like someone who draws you in. His real life tragedies mixed in with a demoic character makes him feel almost super villain like.
He adds a lot more creepyness by bringing a body bag to the ring. Cody then makes his entrance with a bit of unnecessary pyro it has to be said, tad self serving.
The match itself made Darby Allin look like a star. The guy has no quit in him and was made to look this way against the bigger Cody.
One part of the match I didn’t like however was the coffin drop when Allin falls back first from the top rope onto the ring apron. It’s a recent trend in the likes of Japanese and indy wrestling where competitors put their necks and backs on the line, for me it was just unnecessary.
The importance of wins and losses was once again mentioned by commentary. Cody wanted to keep momentum going heading into his Team Rhodes vs The Young Bucks match in two weeks at Fight for The Fallen, while Allin wants to make an impact in his first outing.
The 20 minutes flew by in this fun fast pace match and Cody couldn’t quite make it in time to cover for 3 as the time runs out.
Post match is where most of the controversy from this show has came from. As the crowd began chanting for overtime, the former perfect 10 Shawn Spiers ran to the ring.
After a brief stare down, Shawn hit Cody over the head with a steel chair. Fans complain about a lot of things WWE no longer does but chair shots to the head I think we can all agree is a necessary sacrifice for the wrestlers health.
Golden Boy even remarked the there is a time and a place for that, yeah mate its in the past, before we knew about CTE and brain related trauma. A good match but a bitter after taste with the post match antics.
Winner – Time limit draw.
The Elite vs The Lucha Brothers & Lareto Kid
Say what you will about The Elite, they know their target audience. The Street Fighter themed attire got a massive pop from the gamer friendly crowd.
They then had Justin Roberts yell “Round One Fight” which got another big pop from the crowd. The Match was described as an all-star game and from bell to bell all 6 men delivered.
My personal favourite spot was the Lucha brothers super kicking Nick Jackson into a reverse ranna by Lareto. There is so many great spots worth talking about in this match.
It would take you longer to read them than just watch the match, which is more than worth the watch. It’s all the high flying action we wish 205 Live was. Another gamer friendly spot saw The Elite Hadoukan the Luchador’s in response to a triple superkick.
The match ends with Kenny Omega getting the better of an exchange with Lareato kid with a flying knee to the face in mid air, every bit as good as Adam Coles superkick to Ricochet. Followed up by the One Winged Angel, and The Elite get the win.
Another fun match, but also a match whos result was very predictable. Kenny gets his first win in AEW and sets himself up well for both his matches with Cima and Moxley at Fight For The Fallen and All Out Respectively. The Young Bucks also back on the winning side after losing their AAA tag titles to the Lucha Brothers in Mexico.
Winners – The Elite.
Jon Moxley vs “Bad Boy” Joey Janela
The previous match was referred to as an the official main event of the evening to really ramp up how unsanctioned this match is. I do have some questions however. How can an unsanctioned match have music, titantrons, and pyro? Cant get over how much Janella looks like Blake from Workaholics, then again Moxley looks very Dean Ambrose like!
Not a technical wrestling classic
So many amazing spots in this match, with even the fans playing a factor in the match.
A fan passed Janela his prosthetic leg to bust open Moxley, wonder if it counts as a big boot? Moxley then pulls out some toys of his own, with a barbed wired covered chair grinding into Janela. The crowd began chanting you sick fuck at Moxley which he was only too happy to take a bow to.
However, Janela not to be over shadowed by this PG shadow, pulls out a top rope Frankensteiner from the top rope.
Momentum then swings back to Moxley, but in an amazingly quick move out of no where, Janela manages to Russia Leg Sweep Moxley from the ring apron through a table on the floor.
Janela knew he was going through the table, and was taking Moxley with him. Back in the ring, Moxley shows hes willing to punish himself to take down Janela.
In Hound taking down the mountain in Game of Thrones style, Moxley charges head first through a table in order to take out Janela. These two moments were great, but paled in comparison to the final table spot of the night. Janela placed a prone Moxley on a table on the outside. He then performed an elbow drop off the top of a ladder inside the ring.
It wasn’t just table spots the 2 went tit for tat on, as barbed wired boards made their ways into the match. Moxley was first to be backdropped onto the board, and then dragged off it by Janella. However, after the ladder spot, Moxley got his revenge.
Janela setting up a bored between the barrier and ring apron got distracted by the crowd and walked straight into a Paradyme shift DDT. He then picks Janela up to deliver a death valley driver to the outside and through the board.
Finally at the matches home stretch, the death match staple that is the thumb tacks made their always welcomed appearance.
Moxley in a page from the Hans Grubber book of being a bastard made Janela go bare foot before dropping him in the tacks.
The John Mclean in this story Janela was then put out of his misery with a second Paradyme shift DDT on the tacks to end this unsanctioned brawl.
Winner – Jon Moxley
Post match in the rules of alls fair in love and war, Kenny Omega delivered a receipt for the Double or Nothing assault by knocking Moxley from pillar to post. Piledrivers, big stomps, and trash can shots a plenty before the icing on the cake. Kenny hits his own Paradyme shift onto a trash can to end the assault. As we go off air we see a batterd and bruised Moxley laughing at Omegas actions.
All in all, a fun if frankly meaningless night of wrestling from AEW. Most of the matches you could telegraph the winners with big matches coming up at Fight For The Fallen and All Out.
That’s not a knock at the booking, as big stars heading into PPV matches should have wins behind them and not every show can be like All Out. I would rate this as a pretty good B PPV, no better than your average Takeover or WWE PPV.
The biggest disappointment of Fyter Fest was nothing to do with the in ring action, but the chair shot to Cody’s head, as an industry I hoped Wrestling was past that, but clearly I was wrong.