Due to the continued global pandemic, All Elite Wrestling decided to change the format for their Fyter Fest special event. Fyter Fest 2020 would be a two-night event, starting on the 1st of July and finishing on the 8th of July 2020. AEW’s Fyter Fest Night One featured three championship matches as we saw the AEW World Tag Team belts up for grabs, as well as both the AEW Women’s World Championship and the TNT Championship which were fought over. We also saw MJF continue his feud with Jungle Boy, and Private Party used their new mentor Matt Hardy’s experience against Proud N Powerful.
"We're shaking it up already!"
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_gif) July 2, 2020
Jurassic Express (w/ Marko Stunt) Vs MJF & Wardlow
The second the bell rang, MJF and Jungle Boy went straight to punching the hell out of each other. After a matter of moments, the brawl included all four competitors and got outside the ring. Wardlow helped MJF secure some control as they threw Jungle Boy back into the ring. Wardlow used every opportunity to cheat and anger the big bad dinosaur Luchasaurus. MJF and Wardlow took turns in beating Jungle Boy until Wardlow accidentally kicked MJF in the face. A distracted referee meant that Jungle Boy wasn’t able to tag out for some much-needed rest.
Jungle Boy finally raced across the ring to tag out and Luchasaurus focused on turning the match into Jurassic Express’s favour. We have all been waiting to see Wardlow versus Luchasaurus and they had a pretty even competition. That was until Luchasaurus threw Wardlow spine first into the ring, both monsters needed an escape as they tagged Jungle Boy and MJF back into the match. Jungle flew out of the ring three times into his opponent. Another brawl broke out as Wardlow tried to take down Jungle Boy but the other Jurassic Express members were having none of it.
Jungle Boy hit Wardlow with a poison runner but MJF quickly jumped in to break the pin. All four competitors brawled into each other until everyone was laid out in the ring. Jurassic Express tried to take down their opponent by working together but Wardlow was just too strong, crushing each member one by one. MJF hit Luchasaurus with a low blow, tired a roll-up but was only a two. Wardlow then tried to beat Luchasaurus but was to no avail. MJF hit Wardlow with the AEW Dynamite Diamond ring, Luchasaurus then kicked him. Jungle Boy hit a swinging DDT and Luchasaurus knocked Wardlow down, three-count and a win for Jurassic Express.
A great start to Fyter Fest Night One. This match had a fantastic ending, as even though Wardlow was pinned he wasn’t buried, only being pinned due to accidentally being hit by MJF’s Diamond ring. So while Jurassic Express won clean they only won due to mishap by MJF. Jurassic Express versus Wardlow and MJF worked well to develop MJF and Wardlow’s trouble in paradise relationship we have been seeing in recent weeks. Their storyline was further developed while MJF screamed at Wardlow “can’t you do anything right” just before he knocked him out with the Dynamite Diamond ring. Jungle Boy was the stand out for Jurassic Express as his in-ring ability looked incredibly strong. Whereas his teammate Luchasaurus looked like he may have picked up another knee injury as he seemed to be slowed down after an earlier move, this didn’t affect the match though as it was still a great, strong match. I can only hope we will continue to see the feud between Jungle Boy and MJF for a long time to come.
Winner: Jurassic Express Rating: 4/5
We returned after the break to see Lance Archer attacking Joey Janela, Sonny Kiss did his best to hold his tag team partner back while Jake Roberts looked quite similar to a mad laughing hyena in the background. They will face each other next week on Fyter Fest Night Two.
Hikaru Shida (C) Vs Penelope Ford (w/ Kip Sabian) – AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Kip Sabian was quickly ejected from ringside after fighting with the referee and trying to attack Hikaru Shida. Once the bell rang, Shida went straight to knocking Penelope down and attempted the Farron Arrow, near miss. Penelope left the ring as she struggled to get any offence in, Shida then flew out of the ring after her. Penelope used the hard side of the ring and the guard barrier to start the damage on the champion. Shida shook it off and went back into the driving seat of the match. Penelope tricked Shida into a fake sense of security as she trapped her in the corner and started to show some fight. Penelope continued her control as she worked on the left arm and spine of the champion. Penelope scraped her nails down Shida’s back and then pulled her hair. She was clearly focused on bending the rules as must as possible.
Hikaru Shida suffered one too many beat downs though as she started to fight back. The two competitors had a back and forth slap fight before Penelope knocked Shida down with a big boot. Shida grabbed Penelope and attempted to get a sleeper hold locked in but settled on a backbreaker for a two-count. Shida hit a Falcon Arrow but is quickly rolled up for a long two-count by Penelope. Shida had to check she was still the champion before hitting Penelope with a big knee. Penelope counters and tries another count with little success. Penelope argued that she should be the champion and tried to steal the belt, while Kip Sabian ran back to the ring with the kendo stick.
Shida countered and knocked Kip out. Penelope dropped the belt seeing her plan hadn’t worked and she ran back to the ring to hit the champion with a stunner. Another long 2-count. Penelope took too long to fly off the top rope, Shida hit her with another big knee and a falcon arrow. No one kicks out the falcon arrow but Penelope did once again. Shida hit another big knee to win the match.
Hikaru Shida versus Penelope Ford was a pleasant surprise for the Fyter Fest night 1 card. I never expected it to be half the match it turned into. It was intense and insanely brilliant, easily one of the best matches of the night. It was obvious to anyone who watched how Penelope Ford’s in-ring ability has been further developed. She truly put one hell of a shift in against the current AEW Women’s World Champion. Of course, the chances of Penelope winning were slim as Shida only recently won the belt, there were moments where it was fully believable that Penelope Ford could win due to some amazing booking decisions. I also loved that Sabian was ejected from the match early on, as this allowed Penelope to show her wrestling ability and character without the need for help. Overall, a sensational match that did a great job raising Ford up to a higher competitor in the women’s division while making our current champion look increasingly strong.
Winner: Hikaru Shida Rating: 4.5/5
Cody (C) (w/ Arn Anderson) Vs Jake Hager – For the TNT Championship
Cody focused on dodging Hager, but they locked up after a few moments. The two continued with a back and forth, when one hit a move the other countered or dodged. Cody tried to focus on Hager’s leg but was quickly shoved off, then focused on a headlock, but Hager lifted Cody mid-air and pushed him off. Cody then tried to fly into his opponent but was lifted up and Hager reversed to repeatedly punch Cody’s kidneys. Cody tried again to hit Hager, but it was turned into an ankle lock. Neither opponent seemed to be getting anywhere with taking control. That was until Hager got distracted by Arn Anderson and Cody flew off the top rope. Back in the ring, a back and forth continued. Cody locked Hager into a Figure-four but Hager grabbed the ropes.
Cody flew off the ropes again but was caught and thrown down face-first into the ring. Hager then turned his focus to knocking down Anderson, trapping Cody and suplexing his opponent into the mats. Hager threw Cody ribs first into the barrier. Cody tried to fight back, punching, and chopping Hager but was knocked down in one simple hit. Once they returned to the ring, Hager trapped his opponent in the ropes, the champion tried once again to fight back but was thrown out the ring and stepped on by Hager’s wife. At this point in the match, it seemed Cody would struggle to gain control as he struggled to counter any of Hager’s moves. Cody was thrown around both inside and outside the ring.
Anderson helped Cody once again to distract Hager, Cody threw his opponent into the guardrail and they returned to the ring. Cody started to get some minor hints of control as he flew into Hager and hit him with a submission move. The fatigue was clearly getting to Cody though as he was unable to take advantage. Hager hit his Hager bomb on Cody, but it only gained a two-count. Hager clearly started to get worried about the time limit remaining, which was set to twenty minutes. He threw his opponent into the ring which he was rewarded with a long two-count but still no win. After crawling to the ropes, Hager’s wife once again got involved hitting Cody in the face. Dustin then ran to the ring to hit Hager with a huge right fist. Cody attempted a Cross Rhodes but was powerslammed into the ring. An incredibly quick roll-up by Cody and a three-count meant he retained the TNT Championship belt. Hager then disputed the win stating Cody had tapped out, the backstage team ran out as Hager took out the referee.
Another great match as both opponents were made to look phenomenal in their own ways. Hager was focused on being the more dominant competitor, only losing due to a spot of bad luck. While Cody struggled to get any dominate moves into the match he showed incredible fight, refusing to be beaten down. Cody continued to fight back against Hager and his obvious fatigue. Towards the end of the match, we saw both men do whatever was necessary to secure the win. They both used cheating in their own ways, Hager had the help of his wife while Cody used both Arn Anderson and his brother Dustin’s years of experience with in-ring psychology to finally secure him the win.
Winner: Cody Rating: 4/5
Private Party (w/ Matt Hardy) Vs Santana & Ortiz
Isiah Kassidy started the match against Santana in the squared circle. Santana offered one free hit to the face for Isiah. Private Party then worked together to take their opponents out of the ring, Isiah flew through the air into both Santana and Ortiz. Marq Quen tagged in to keep the pressure on Santana. Santana had one hit too many to the face as he started to hit back. Ortiz then tagged in and focused his anger on Isiah Kassidy, locking him into several different submissions. Ortiz attempted a pin but only received a two-count, Santana tagged in. Isiah focused on racing across the ring to tag his partner. Marq Quen quickly brought a new lease of life to the match as he knocked both Inner Circle members down.
Santana and Ortiz worked together to stop Private Party’s momentum, they locked both Private Party members into an intense submission. Quickly tagging in and out the Inner Circle members focused on beating down Marq Quen until he was also able to tag out. Shots, shots, shots to the face of Ortiz, Isiah flew out the ring into both Inner Circle. Santana and Ortiz turned the match once again as they signalled out Marq Quen in the corner, making easy work of taking him down. They double suplexed Quen into the ring. Isiah jumped into the ring to break up the pin. A now angered Santana threw Isiah out of the ring and into the barrier. Matt Hardy got involved trying to attack Santana, who was then quickly rolled up by Marq Quen.
The Inner Circle members were doing so well until Quen pulled Santana’s headband off and his partner was able to get into the ring. Some amazing teaming from Private Party meant they took the win against Santana and Ortiz. I wasn’t expecting too much from this matchup as it was thrown together due to suspensions at the last moment. Though I was rather shocked as it was a good match, it wasn’t the best match of the night but it wasn’t meant to be. My only real problem was that Santana and Ortiz had to lose once again. Though hopefully, this could be due to building a storyline for them to leave the Inner Circle as they never really fitted in with that faction. Private Party was also able to continue building their characters as for another week they showed how well they can work together and pull off impressive moves with ease.
Winner: Santana & Ortiz Rating: 3/5
Best Friends Vs Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page (C) – AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
We joined to the current tag team champions being interviewed by Dasha Gonzalez backstage before their match. Hangman was incredibly happy while Omega looked a lot less secure, he even seemed rather worried, almost like something was bothering him. Best Friends arrived at the stadium in a Honda which was driven by Trent’s mum, who demanded a kiss from her son before Best Friends walked to the ring. Chuckie and Omega started the match after a lock-up Omega knocked Chuckie into the ropes, but Chuckie quickly countered. Chuckie’s arm dragged Omega down. Both opponents tagged out as they seemed to get nowhere in their battle for dominance.
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_gif) July 2, 2020
Hangman and Trent started a similar battle, but Trent saw an opening and suplexed Hangman back first into the ring. Chuckie tagged in and continued to slowly beat one of the champions down. Hangman showed fight as he was able to escape for a moment as Omega knocked Trent down. The champions then worked together to continue their dominance against Trent, they got an unsuccessful two-count. FTR then decided it was the perfect time to come out and watch this match-up. Omega stayed focused on Trent, repeatedly booting his head, and throwing him from corner to corner.
Hangman tagged in to get a two-count. Hangman tried a new tactic of throwing Trent headfirst into Omega’s boot. The champions swapped around a few times as they seemed to work well as a team. Hangman and Omega seemed to focus on keeping the match at a slower pace, making sure they were hitting hard. Trent kept getting manhandled so his Best Friends partner helped keep him out of trouble. Chuckie tagged in and flew into both champions. Chuckie continued to hit Hangman into the barrier outside the ring. Omega kicked Chuckie in the face which meant Trent flew out the ring, throwing Omega into the barrier as well to get revenge.
Hangman returned to the ring to knock down Trent. Flew into Chuckie and then hit Trent with the buckshot lariat. Omega climbed to the top rope and flew leg first into Trent. Omega tagged in and focused on pinning Trent to no success. The fresher Chuck Taylor tagged in for Best Friends, he stayed focused on tiring down Omega. Omega regained some control as he destroyed both members of Best Friends. The champions worked together to try and regain dominance. They went for a buckshot lariat V-trigger, but Omega was pulled out of the ring. Best Friends hit Hangman with a strong zero. Omega flew into the ring to break the pin and keep the belts for this moment anyway.
An attempted one-winged angel was reversed and Omega quickly rolled out the ring. Best Friends had their signature hug. Hangman and Trent continued their battle. An extremely close two-count for Hangman but still no success. Hangman then raced to the side of the ring to hit Trent with a buckshot lariat, a three-count and the champions retained. After the match, FTR came towards the ring, offering beers to both retaining champions. While both Omega and Hangman accepted the beer, Omega quickly poured it on the floor. This, of course, angered FTR who were rightly outraged, before a brawl could break out the Bucks of Youth came racing to the ring to Omega’s aid.
This match was incredibly important to the current AEW World Tag Team Champions as it was the first real title defence on the mainstage since the travel restrictions came into place. Due to this, the match was booked to tell a brilliant story, it started off as a slow burner and then got incredibly quick. I’m not sure if there were timing problems with the TV schedule as the finish seemed to be a little rushed. Maybe I had built this match up a little too much in my head as I just wanted a little bit more. I thought this match could challenge for Match of the Year but it just missed that bar, close but just fell short. I am not trying to take anything away from this match-up though as it was incredible, a high four. I just became greedy due to how astounding the overall show was by this point. I wanted it to end on an extremely high note.
Winner: Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Rating: 4/5
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_gif) July 2, 2020
Before the main event, Taz and Brian Cage walked down to the ring to explain that Moxley would not be facing Cage next week but instead at Fight for the Fallen which is set for July 15th. Instead, next week, Private Party will be facing the AEW World Tag Team Champions, Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page.
Fyter Fest Night One was incredible, every single match was great in their own way. Every match received a pretty high rating which seems to be a norm for AEW PPV or special events. It truly was an amazing show and well worth a watch. It was a PPV standard of a show without the price tag. Let’s see what AEW puts on for Fyter Fest Night Two.
Fyter Fest Night One Rating: 8/10
All images and videos courtesy of All Elite Wrestling and TDE Wrestling