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    Saturday, July 4, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (7/1/20): Fyter Fest Night One

    Night one for the 2020 edition of Fyter Fest has passed and I think we can all agree that it was a pretty good night of wrestling. Dynamite is always at its most explosive when we get a big wrestling-heavy show after weeks of hot build-up, and this was no exception. It still sucks that they won’t be taking a break after these episodes but hey, television deals don’t come cheap.

    I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but the fact that AEW World Champion Jon Moxley is still doing more COVID-19 tests to make sure he doesn’t affect anyone, officially being pulled from the Fyter Fest card, should have been some sort of wake-up call for them to announce a break in live programming. Again, AEW is only a year old, and maintaining a television deal for a wrestling promotion not named WWE isn’t easy but I can’t help but worry about the talent.

    Sorry for the rant. Back to the people in tights who do awesome fake fights.

    Prehistoric Upset

    Like many smarks who have seen the show, I personally consider this match to be the best of night one. I’ve already gushed about MJF and Jungle Boy’s in-ring chemistry before, but Wardlow and Luchasaurus were far from dead weight here. Add the prehistoric upset win for Jurassic Express and this made for a pleasant opening match that almost overshadowed everything after it.

    This match had a bunch of highlights; from Wardlow’s fantastic Swanton Bomb to the trifecta of dives Jungle Boy hit on MJF, it was hard not to keep your eyes off the action. We also had a number of callbacks from previous matches between the competitors, like Luchasaurus getting hit with another low blow, Wardlow giving Marko Stunt a military press, and Jungle Boy’s ringside poisoned rana getting countered.

    You could complain about MJF’s opening promo setting us up for the upset since it pointed out how he and his muscle have constantly beaten Jurassic Express, but that’s a stretch. Easily the best match of the night, showing that AEW’s future is in good hands.

    Far From Superbad


    While a bit rough during the middle portion, AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida and Penelope Ford managed to put on the second-best match of the night. Shida is clearly the best female competitor in AEW and Ford continues to improve in each of her match outings. There was some pressure on Ford since this match would have likely gone to Britt Baker or Kris Statlander had they not been injured but you can’t say the Superbad Girl doesn’t make the most of her chance in the spotlight.

    Like I mentioned earlier, the middle portion was a bit rough since Ford had to get heat on Shida and some of her offense during this part didn’t look too great. She’s clearly a bit green but nothing was botched and her athleticism during the latter part of the match was pretty tremendous. That Matrix-style bend to evade Shida’s missile dropkick was a thing of beauty.

    Shida needs to hold this belt for a while so I see no problem in her winning clean here, especially since Ford looked so good in defeat, even kicking out of multiple knee strikes and a Falcon Arrow. Before you make any jokes, Shida ACTUALLY WINS with the Falcon Arrow so the kickout was legitimately shocking.

    An American Nightmeh


    Cody vs. Jake Hager wasn’t terrible but it was easily the lowlight of the show. I know not every match can be against Ricky Starks or Jungle Boy, it’s just that they saved this for a special event and it didn’t feel that special.

    There were parts that I liked. Cody sold Hager’s punches like death and he should, since the guy is undefeated in MMA. Hager going for Arn Anderson made him look like a big bully and his attacking of a referee adds to that. AEW treating referee attacks seriously is a nice detail but also funny since their officials don’t know how to maintain rules or call tags at times but I digress.

    Beyond that, this match was just lacking something. Maybe it was the fact that Cody, the babyface, needed so much interference to retain the belt or the weird finish where Hager thought he won, even though a pinfall count was made and they played Cody’s music after. This was just not very good.

    You know what else isn't very good? Hager's tights. Yeesh, wear trunks or a singlet man.

    Lacking Pride and Power


    I am loving that new Private Party theme song. Their old theme song where someone would shout “HEY IT’S A PRIVATE PARTY” was amusing but obnoxious so this a huge upgrade. Speaking of improvements, this was also a better match than the one they had on Dynamite last year, which went for two commercial breaks and had a long babyface-in-peril spot so a big thumbs up for learning from your mistakes.

    It was a pretty good match, and had everything you wanted from both teams. Santana and Ortiz continue to perfectly toe the line between comedic and threatening in their character work while Private Party’s unique high spots continue to delight. Matt Hardy didn’t do much, but his presence was appreciated, since he does make Private Party more interesting.

    I am a bit sad that Santana and Ortiz ate another loss though. These guys have been on a losing streak for the longest time, and hearing JR say they aren’t even in the top five of AEW’s rankings was depressing. Granted, those ratings are a farce and the booking team manages to flip-flop whoever they want into getting a title shot anyway but that’s another complaint for another day.

    As a result of this match, and Moxley pulling out of due to COVID-19 reasons, we are now getting Private Party vs. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page in Fyter Fest Night Two. That’s a pretty solid replacement match, though no one’s going to choose that over Adam Cole and Keith Lee next week. You know it’s true.

    Speaking of the champs…

    Thriller Filler


    As a big fan of The Best Friends, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page, this match was a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, it was a serviceable main event and had some great action throughout, but it didn’t feel like much was at stake here, which is bad since this is a match for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.

    Once again, the action was consistent, fast-paced, and well-executed but when the most memorable moments were Trent’s mom driving The Best Friends to the venue and FTR watching in the background, that doesn’t speak highly of the match itself.


    Personally, this match would have been more engaging if FTR didn’t come out right away. Having them at ringside removed some of the tension between the competitors since there’s no way they’re going to build to an FTR/Best Friends match at this point in time. That’s not to say I wouldn’t want to see FTR and The Best Friends wrestle but there’s no money to be made from that rivalry, at least not yet.

    I did like the post-match angle where Hangman seemingly sided with FTR about the whole beer thing. Kenny doesn't like beer but the way he declined their drink was pretty damn disrespectful. Will Adam Page actually turn on The Elite and form a stable with FTR? That's intriguing.

    Final Grade: Mostly good wrestling throughout nets the first night of Fyter Fest an A- 

    Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.
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    Item Reviewed: Reviewing the Elite (7/1/20): Fyter Fest Night One Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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