It’s Fyter Fest Night One, and there were plenty of big matches taking place. Yuka Sakazaki returned after 18 months to take on Penelope Ford, Christian Cage looked to defeat Matt Hardy, and the Spanish God went one-on-one with Wheeler Yuta. Hangman was in the ring to talk about the AEW World Championship, Brian Cage defended his FTW World Championship against his former friend Ricky Starks, and Darby Allin was finally able to get his hands on Ethan Page in AEW’s first-ever Coffin Match. First up, Jon Moxley defended the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship against one half of the Good Brothers, Karl Anderson.

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Jon Moxley (C) W/ Eddie Kingston vs Karl Anderson (NJPW Rules)

Kingston attacked Gallows with a pipe as the bell rang. In the ring, Moxley and Anderson traded blows for ages until Mox got the advantage. Anderson hit an uppercut and some strikes in the corner. Moxley headbutted Anderson then clotheslined him to the outside. He whipped Machine Gun into the barrier but got dropped by a suplex on the ramp by Anderson. Mox punished Anderson outside, but as he climbed on the apron, Anderson hit a cutter and a boot to knock him into the barrier.

Anderson hit a spinebuster but only got a two-count. Mox hit a superplex and a release German suplex. They connected with a couple of clotheslines on each other as the ref counted both of them down. Mox locked in a sleeper and tried to hit a piledriver, however, Anderson hit one of his own. Mox almost hit Paradigm Shift but got caught with a cutter. Anderson almost got the win with a modified stunner. Mox landed a short-arm clothesline and nailed the Paradigm Shift to retain the gold.

Thoughts: A methodical opener to the show with a good old-fashioned brawl. Anderson was never going to win, was he? ***

Lance Archer wants Jon Moxley

Jake was talking to Lance Archer, but Archer turned his attention to Moxley. He said it was time for his rematch, and next week he wanted a Texas Deathmatch to decide whether he’d become the new IWGP US Heavyweight Champion.

Thoughts: Yes, please. Archer needs a proper focus, and a match with Moxley is exactly what he needs.

Andrade Puts Death triangle On Notice

Andrade El Idolo was being interviewed backstage. He asked where the Death Triangle was because he was looking for them.

Thoughts: Oh boy. Give me Andrade and PAC now, please.

FTW World Championship Match: Ricky Starks vs Brian Cage (C) W/ Powerhouse Hobbs & Hook At Ringside

Cage dropped Starks with a hanging military press, then whipped him into the turnbuckles. He hit a running powerslam, but Starks kicked out. Starks started to work on Cage’s bicep by kicking it, then landed a dropkick off the turnbuckle. He drove his knees into Cage’s left bicep and bit his fingers. They traded chops until Starks gouged at Cage’s eyes. Starks continued to work on Cage’s injured arm. He dived off the apron, but Cage caught him and did some single-arm curls before Starks somehow hit a crucifix bomb.

Cage pulled Starks into the ring post outside, but Starks was able to knock Cage to the ground with a sliding clothesline. Back in the ring, Starks went for a rear-naked choke but got thrown into the corner. Cage hit an epic pump handle overhead slam, but Starks got a foot on the rope. Cage kicked Starks in the jaw and went for a pin, but it was only a two.

Starks hit a powerbomb on Cage after countering in the corner and almost won it. Hobbs stopped Starks from using the belt on Cage, allowing Cage to hit an F5. With the referee distracted, Hobbs hit Cage with the belt and Starks connected with a spear to pick up the victory and become the new FTW World Champion.

Thoughts: I’m happy for Starks. It may not have been a clean victory, but it was cool nonetheless. That powerbomb by Starks was awesome too. ***½

Cody Rhodes Gets Angry

Cody Rhodes walked over to the announce table and said if Malakai Black wanted to be in AEW, a phone call would have sufficed. He said you don’t kick a 62-year old man in the face. He grabbed a mic and walked down the ramp. Cody said he doesn’t win every fight, but he has a better chance when he knows it’s coming. He said it may be an abuse of his power, but he said he feels like fighting and called out Malakai Black.

Black asked Cody if he heard the fans cheer when he kicked Arn in the face. He said they enjoyed it, and they were violent. He said maybe they didn’t care about him as much as he did about them. Black gave an analogy about a horse (don’t ask), then Cody begged him to come out. Black said he hoped he would say that. Black appeared in the ring and they went at each other until officials tried to separate them.

Thoughts: Anyone else confused by the horse story? Regardless, I’m so high on Black in AEW. he seems to be under Cody’s skin, so the inevitable match should be a damn good one.

Santana And Ortiz Confront Blanchard

Tully Blanchard was being interviewed backstage about The Pinnacle’s win against Inner Circle last week and was questioned about his cheap shot on Konan. Santana and Ortiz grabbed him and threatened him with a tire iron, but it was a fake one.

Thoughts: I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I’m getting a bit bored of this now. Until Jericho and MJF have fought each other, this feud will drag out for at least another few months.

Hangman Makes His Intentions Known

Tony Schiavone was in the ring and welcomed Adam Page to the ring. Page said since literal day one, he wanted to be AEW World Champion, but he failed. He said the Dark Order was right, he needs that World Championship. Page challenged Omega for the title, but as he did, Don Callis walked out with The Elite. He said Page knew he wasn’t that guy. Nick said the same, as did Gallows. Matt said he was going to say something to his face.

He got in the ring and asked if he remembered him. Matt said Page abandoned them, and it smelt as though he was still hitting the bottle. He called Page a sad, drunk, and lonely cowboy. He said Page was the next great wrestling tragedy. Page hit him, and Omega was about to hit him from behind until Dark Order ran out. Page said he came here tonight for a match, and he wasn’t leaving without one.

Omega said if Page wants a match, then his guys would face Page’s guys. Hangman said that wasn’t the match he wanted, but if they win it, he gets a shot at Omega and the Dark Order get a shot at the tag titles. Omega got in the ring and said if his team win, Page would have to walk away from a title opportunity. Omega asked Page if he was afraid to fail in front of the fans. He said he would take an extra measure of pleasure when cowboy s*** turns into belt collector.

Page said Dark Order doesn’t back down from a fight, so the match is on.

Thoughts: What an awesome segment. Damn, Page is amazing. A 5v5 elimination match is going to be incredible.

Jericho’s First Challenge Is Revealed

Jericho was being interviewed about MJF’s demands. Jericho talked about Greek mythology again, then said it doesn’t matter who MJF puts in front of him, whether it be Black Panther or if they resurrect the Great Mohammed Ali, he’d beat them all. Shawn Spears threw a chair out of nowhere at Jericho’s throat. MJF said the first match Jericho would have to fight in was against Spears. He also said Spears could use a chair, but Jericho couldn’t.

Thoughts: Nice stipulation, MJF. Of course, Le Champion is going to obliterate him.

Matt Hardy vs Christian Cage

Both guys locked up and tried to get an upper hand, falling through the ropes still in position. Cage reversed into a side headlock, then climbed back in the ring. Christian threw Hardy into the barricade, then climbed the turnbuckle and flew through the air to the outside and caught Hardy with a double axe handle. Christian hit a reverse DDT in the ring, then landed some chops to Hardy’s face. He pummelled Hardy in the corner but ended up getting dropped face-first into the steel steps.

Hardy landed some elbows into Christian’s face on the apron. He dropped Christian with a neckbreaker, but could only get a two-count. He catapulted Cage’s throat into the second rope, then landed an elbow drop off the second rope. Christian was thrown outside and got thrown onto the barrier by Hardy. In the ring, Hardy locked in a sleeper, then slammed Christian’s face into the turnbuckle.

Hardy was pulled off the second rope by Christian. He hit a flying elbow, but Hardy kicked out the pin. Hardy went for Twist of Fate, but it was countered. Christian landed a spear, but Hardy kicked out the pin. Christian wrenched Hardy’s neck on the top rope, then landed a frog splash off the top turnbuckle. Hardy was able to land a superplex but still couldn’t pick up the victory. With the ref distracted, Hardy booted Christian between the legs and hit Twist of Fate, but Christian was able to kick out. Hardy locked in the Leech outside the ring.

Christian only just got back in the ring before the ref reached ten, then landed a Killswitch to pick up the win. After the match, the Hardy family ran down, but Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy ran down to even the odds.

Thoughts: It wasn’t a bad match at all, but it didn’t really do anything for me.***

God’s Favourite Champion Says A Few Words

Miro cut a promo about a hero being lost. He said the man should forgive himself and remember who he was. He said that he was God’s favourite champion, and the TNT Championship was his reward. He said he was the redeemer.

Thoughts: Solid promo by Miro and a nice new belt. I genuinely don’t know who is next for Miro. At this point, I’m not sure who’s going to be able to defeat him.

Britt Baker Focuses On The Native Beast

Britt Baker walked to the ring as Schiavone askes her about her wellbeing. Baker said she is the baddest bitch on the block after suffering all the pain she’s endured. She turned her attention to Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero. She said the belt would go back around her waist where it belongs, and she is still Britt Baker D.M.D. Guerrero screeched about something backstage. Rose said she was going to destroy her.

Thoughts: Nice promo from Baker. Looking forward to her defeating Nyla Rose next week, but please, get Vickie Guerrero off my TV screen. That voice is unbearable.

Moxley Responds To The Murderhawk

Jon Moxley was talking backstage about surviving Lance Archer in Japan and Jacksonville. He said he would get Archer before he did the same. He called himself not the hunted, but the hunter. He was the bogeyman, and next week in Dallas, Archer wasn’t Texas born and bred, he was Texas dead.

Thoughts: Moxley is always great cutting great promos, and despite the bad play on words at the end, I can’t wait to see them go at it next week.

Wheeler Yuta W/ Best Friends vs Sammy Guevara

Sammy was flying as the match got underway. He hit a dropkick and went up to fly over the ropes, but Yuta moved out the way. Guevara hit a powerslam and standing shooting star press. He went for another off the top turnbuckle, but Yuta got his feet up. Yuta landed a missile dropkick and a German release suplex, then connected with a frog splash. Guevara chopped at Yuta’s chest and hit a back body drop, followed by a top rope cutter and the GTH for the win.

Thoughts: Sammy looked sharp here. Are we on the cusp of a title push yet? I’d sure like to see him step out from the Pinnacle feud and go after Miro.***

Tony Schiavone Gets An Unnecessary Shower

Schiavone talked to QT Marshall earlier in the day. He poured his drink over Schiavone and walked off. What a douchebag.

Thoughts: QT Marshall doesn’t seem to have taken his loss to Cody Rhodes very well, does he?

Penelope Ford vs Yuka Sakazaki

Sakazaki was incredible earlier on, landing a cannonball from the ropes to the outside after springboarding to get there. Ford choked her with her leg on the ropes, then drove her into the ropes. Ford booted Yuka in the jaw as she rested in the corner. Ford dropped her knees into Yuka’s mid-section on the apron and continued the punishment outside of the ring. Ford locked in the Indian Death Lock, but Yuta was able to crawl to the ropes.

Ford locked it in again, and once more, Sakazaki grabbed the rope. Yuka dropped Ford with a suplex and a cartwheel kick. She hit a diving back elbow on Ford, but couldn’t get the win. Ford landed two pump kicks. Yuta landed an airplane slam and a Magical Girl Splash to pick up the win.

Thoughts: Ford was rather impressive, and you can see just how much she’s improved over the years. However, Yuta was able to pick up the win in a beautiful fashion. ***

Coffin Match: Ethan Page vs Darby Allin

Allin went straight after Page before the bell rang. He landed a cannonball through the ropes, knocking Page into the barrier. Scorpio Sky broke out of the coffin and attacked Allin, then Sting walked to the ring and attacked him by whipping Sky back and forth into the barrier. They fought into the crowd as Page unscrewed the ropes. Sting pulled Sky’s leg to drop onto a barrier in the crowd, then smashed him with a trash can.

Allin and Page fought into the crowd as well. Allin jumped off the rafters, but Page caught him and rammed him into some railings. Page then choked Allin between the railings and carried him back to the ring in a military press position before throwing him over one of the barriers. He booted Allin in the face and sent him over the metal barrier at ringside. Page pulled the steel steps away from the post and slid them in the ring.

Back in the ring, Page pressed Allin face-first into the steps. Allin jumped off the turnbuckle, but Page shoulder blocked him. Page grabbed the steel hook of the turnbuckle and attacked it to Allin’s neck before using it to pull Allin off his feet. As Page dragged him to the coffin, Allin hit him with the hook, then fish-hooked Page. The two traded blows inside the coffin. Page landed some palm strikes on Allin’s ear, then launched him through the air with a back body drop.

Page climbed the steel steps in the ring with Allin on his back, but he broke free and connected with a stunner. Page connected with Ego’s Edge off the turnbuckle onto the steps. After recovering, Allin grabbed his skateboard and jumped on it and onto Page who then fell into the coffin. Allin closed it to pick up the win. After the match, Allin hit a Coffin Drop off the top turnbuckle and through the coffin with Page inside.

Thoughts: I have to say, that wasn’t quite as good as I thought it would be. The finish was pretty terrible as well. Luckily, that high impact Coffin Drop at the end made things a little better. ***

Match of the Night: Ricky Starks vs Brian Cage

Best in Show: Ricky Starks

Overall Rating: ***

What’s Happening Next Week?

  • The Blade vs Orange Cassidy
  • Chris Jericho vs Shawn Spears
  • IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Match: Jon Moxley (C) vs Lance Archer
  • AEW Women’s Championship Match: Britt Baker D.M.D. (C) vs Nyla Rose

All images and videos courtesy of AEW – Very special thanks to Fite TV for the captures


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