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    Saturday, July 11, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (7/8/20): Fyter Fest Night Two

    Despite a disappointing main event, I thought the first night of Fyter Fest was a pretty good night for AEW. The advertised card for Night Two took a beating when AEW World Champion Jon Moxley backed out due to COVID-19 concerns, so we were all curious about how this night was going to go.

    I’m happy to say that Fyter Fest Night Two was a pretty big improvement over last week’s big AEW event. The pacing for this show was just right and they didn’t blow their load early like in last week’s episode where the best matches happened right at the start. Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of a few segments here, like Taz bringing out the FTW Championship for Brian Cage, but this was a very good show despite that.

    Now, let’s get on with this festival of fryers.

    Party’s Over


    Kicking off with the AEW Tag Team Championship match between Private Party and Kenny Omega and Hangman Page was smart since the champs were already in last week’s main event. To my surprise, this match was better than both Omega and Hangman’s bout last week, along with The Private Party affair against Santana and Ortiz.

    Private Party’s offense looked silky smooth tonight and though they did look good here, this was a pretty dominant win for Omega and Page. This was fine since every match shouldn’t be a take-it-to-the-limit affair and giving the champs a decisive win makes them look stronger. We’re sure Private Party will get their time in the limelight sooner or later so this loss doesn’t hurt them one bit.

    The combination of a fast pace and just the right amount of time made this a perfect opener, giving us something exciting while also not being a blow-away match. Plenty of great offense in both the singles and tag variety, with nothing overstaying their welcome. That’s not to say the Jurassic Express/MJF and Wardlow match last week was a bad opener, but it was a little too good and everything else coming after could barely compete with it, whereas this match simply set a standard without stealing the show.

    Joey Janela Dies (But Not Really)


    Lance Archer vs. Joey Janela was a nice little surprise in that they gave The Bad Boy a lot of offense throughout. Archer was victorious sure but Janela looked really strong in this match, going toe-to-toe with The Murderhawk Monster and making some of us believe that he was going to pull off an upset.

    The match was put together well in that it established Archer as a monster without ruining Janela’s credibility. While I was fine with the opener not taking the champs to the limit, Private Party has a higher stock than Janela does right now thanks to a win over Santana and Ortiz, while Matt Hardy acting as their manager ensures that a story can come from their loss. Joey does need a bit of building up since his tag team with Sonny Kiss is finally getting some screen time in Dynamite so this was a solid compromise.

    Speaking of Kiss, my favorite spot of the match was when Jake Roberts tried interfering in Archer’s behalf but almost cost him the win when Janela and his tag partner hit a diving senton and 450 Splash respectively. Archer kicked out and eventually won but it was a nice hope spot in a surprisingly entertaining match.

    Too Early


    While Fyter Fest Night Two was smart in not blowing their load early when it came to match order, this segment showed that the company can still jump the gun a bit too early.

    Taz giving Brian Cage the FTW Championship can be seen as a nice passing of the torch from one former badass to a current one, but they shouldn’t have done it on this show. If anything, they should have done this after the match with Jon Moxley in next week’s Fight For the Fallen but it looks like they needed to fill in more time after the world championship match was canceled.

    It also doesn’t help that WWE just introduced a new version of the US title, making this look a bit low-rent in comparison. I know Taz’s FTW Championship has been a thing since ECW in the ‘90s and that this show was taped last week before RAW came out but it’s just not a good look.

    Beautiful Chaos


    Every smark worth their salt probably creamed their pants when The Young Bucks and FTW vs. Lucha Bros and Butcher and Blade was announced since it basically ensured that we would be getting a chaotic match filled with awesome spots. That ended up being true—I could look watch that Canadian Destroyer spot for DAYS—but this match also had a solid story behind it.

    Maybe I should stop being surprised about Young Bucks matches having solid stories?

    In between all of the chaotic spots and stiff strikes—give me Dax Harwood vs. Pentagon Jr. please—was a simple story of two rival groups getting along. The beginning portions of this match had The Bucks and FTR tagging themselves in whenever one of their own wasn’t in the ring but that mistrust slowly went away throughout the match. Later on, they even began helping each other do their signature tag moves, which was actually pretty awesome.

    That’s why the ending where a mistimed superkick from Matt Jackson to Dax Harwood cost them the match was perfect. It not only gives The Lucha Bros, Butcher, and Blade a huge win but is clearly a sign of things to come. FTR vs. The Young Bucks is going to happen but I’ll be enjoying the slow burn build-up before we get this inevitable clash of tag team titans.

    Arguably the best match of the night but not my favorite.

    Nyla Rose Does Not Need a Manager


    Yeah, I’m just going to be blunt about it here. While I appreciate how AEW pairs up legends with younger stars to make them more credible, Nyla Rose is not one of those wrestlers who needs a manager. As her promo here shows, the former AEW Women’s World Champion knows her way around a microphone and doesn’t need any help in that regard. Maybe the manager she gets will be entertaining as hell but this just sounds like a dumb idea.

    Stu Grayson is Awesome


    Colt Cabana’s journey into The Dark Order with Mr. Brodie Lee continues to be an intriguing one but man, how awesome was Stu Grayson in this match? I can see why they had him in a majority of this match, partly because Cabana was injured and also because Grayson is one hell of a worker. This guy needs to challenge Cody for the TNT Championship ASAP.

    We all knew The Dark Order would be beating SCU here since Mr. Brodie Lee is seen as a main event talent and this story with Cabana is genuinely interesting. The fact Cabana’s so desperate not to get lost in the AEW roster that he is considering joining Lee’s cult just piques my interest.

    As for the match itself, it was fine. Everyone in SCU is pretty good in the ring and I already sang Stu Grayson’s praises earlier so if you’re a fan of his, check this match out. Mr. Brodie’s timing was a bit off here but hey, everyone makes mistakes.

    The Star Maker


    Man, Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy was a great match, wasn’t it? The fact that it was a simpler, old-school singles match in a card packed with spots and dives made it stand out from everything else, while also hiding some of Jericho’s weaknesses. It also made Orange Cassidy a goddamn star and we’re ready to see him get a big win.

    Plenty of little things to enjoy here. There’s the juxtaposition of Cassidy telling The Best Friends to stay behind as he gets serious while Jericho does no such thing, keeping Santana and Ortiz at his side. Jericho doing his best Triple H impression by doing the abdominal stretch submission while holding on to the ropes was also a nice touch.

    Of course, we all know the best spot was when Cassidy started doing his shin kick shtick. Just when it seemed like he would go for the final “shin kick,” the former CHIKARA wrestler waffled Le Champion with a superkick. The fact that this superkick had more impact than the various superkicks we saw throughout Fyter Fest really shows that less is more sometimes.

    Jericho winning was the foregone conclusion but even though he likes to go by his Painmaker nickname, we all know the guy is a Starmaker. The guy made Cassidy look like a million bucks and we’re sure he’ll gladly do the job when a rematch is booked, whenever that is.

    Final Grade: Fyter Fest Night Two gets an A. Just a great night of perfectly-paced wrestling, even if some of the segments were lackluster.

    All images from All Elite Wrestling.

    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 (7/8/20): Fyter Fest Night Two Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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