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AEW Fight For The Fallen

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I enjoyed the show. It felt like an old Clash of Champions to me. The wrestling ain't my favourite, but the wrestling's basically irrelevant. The wrestling will always be there to nit-pick, and I will. It's the whole package, it's everything else. It was more coherent than anything they did before and they did a great job spotlighting key guys. Production is up and there's a great sense of momentum. It went too long and Hangman/Sabian in particular was a drag.  It heightened my optimism for them. I hated the end.

The commentary was good, or at least it was never distractingly bad. My standards have plummeted and these days I mostly tune them out. JR would get in the way sometimes but he's alright, I'll take him for the occasional show. If he said anything stupid then I missed it.  He shat all over Marvez but he deserved it. Excalibur was brilliant as always, filling you in, but two men would be better obviously, we all know that. 

The pre-show was easily their best yet. Good to see them acknowledge their failings right out of the gate. Video packages, backstage interviews, no bullshit, let’s get on with it.

Sonny Kiss vs Pete Avelon - fun warm up with defined faces and heels, perfect to get the crowd rolling. I wish Sonny leaned more into his inner 2 Cold Scorpio and made his flips look more like they hurt. Avelon's getting some good heat, I think they've salvaged the gimmick. Sonny's finisher stinks.

Britt Baker and Riho vs. Shoko Nakajima and Bea Priestly - 
Was alright, had its moments. Priestly looked good, her and Riho should have a singles match together. Baker must have got clobbered somewhere because she looked off all match. Hate the sloppy, NJPW main event, co-operative dance routine she and Priestly did. Good God, Priestly dropped her right on her head as well. 

Kip Sabian cut a hideous pre-show promo. To be honest, seeing guys sink or swim unscripted is way more fun than the other.

Shawn Spears, MJF, and Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc, and Joey Janela -
Lots of fun, did its job as an opener. They advanced the Spears/Darby story and the angle's elevated Spears. He's a great heel - size, slow, methodical - exactly what they need. It fell off the rails when the rules went out the window and everybody took turns doing spots. Spots. Seriously, who’s legal? 

I can’t be doing with Jimmy Havoc. Sammy Guevara fair enough, he works as an annoying prick flyer. But sorry, Jimmy Havoc working like a badass is near unwatchable. I can’t take Janela seriously anymore either, fucking hell.  They played their roles well enough. Things sparked up whenever Darby Allin got in the ring. He's incredible and I'm happy to see him not do anything stupid. I loved the finish, logical booking! 

~ It’s barely cool when one guy gives the middle finger, when every fucker does it you look like desperate nerds. Fucking hell. Book Moxley to flip the bird and fuck off everyone else. ~

Brandi Rhodes vs Allie
Weakest match all show, no surprises there. It had a story at least. I don't quite get the angle; I think Brandi turned full-on heel but she's always turning on a dime. She's like Stephanie isn't she, oh shit. This had Kong. Both of them. Cool surprise for the finish but the match should’ve been shorter, and it should’ve been more Kong. I’m guessing there's a tag for All Out? Brandi's going to be all over these shows.

Dark Order vs. Jack Evans and Angelico vs. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (w/Marko Stunt) 
What a cracker, what a barn burner, this is a contender for MOTN. 
The Dark Order looked fantastic, but the gimmick is KILLING them. What do they need the minions for? Jesus, sack the minions.  It's killing 'em. I loved Grayson slinking dead-weight Jack Evans into his corner and drawing a line in the sand, The Order means business. Uno taking down Jungle Boy by snapping his nose was the spot of the night.  More small guys here but fair fucks to Angelico and Evans, they did a bang-up job, they put The Dark Order over strong and happened to be there when Luchasaurus turned into a fucking GOD. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (Christ, haven't they got a name?) do an insane double team power bomb and I hope that’s their finish. Booking was perfect with the Order finally making a mark. Great showing for the new strong heels in the tag division.

You really can't help but smile at Luchasaurus and co. can you? They're so great. The crowd came unglued for them. They’re fucking money. Luchasaurus got the crowd molten in this match, I can't stress it enough. I feel like Vince; I already want to split and push him. Unless these tags are hiding some deficiency I’ve yet to see, this is a Top Guy. But he's good for now, the group is adorable, and they got incredible movez.

Hangman Page vs Kip Sabian 
Decent, but waaaay too long. Page still hasn't got much momentum. He's got some nice offence, and some mild fire, but again I’m underwhelmed by the Hangman. Some of that is down to the booking. Some of that is down to The Hangman, I think he'd click better if he leaned more into being a classic blue eye rather than trying to be badass. They must be feeding him to Jericho while they build somebody else, because there's no way he is primed for the title. Jericho appeared and while the costume did him no favours, he looked awful. It was the same old attack. Jericho was better later. The brawl later in the evening did more for Page than his matches ever did. He now goes out with less of a whimper. I did love the angle though, again - I just couldn't help but think of something like Flair and Steamboat at Clash V. 

Lucha Bros vs SCU 
Banged mostly, I don't remember much else about it. Fenix looked like a complete plank blowing a spot and making it so bloody obvious. He had a mare. Him stopping dead. shrugging like a tit and sticking to the pre-scripted spot looked ludicrous. One of the worst things I've seen all year. Another corking match though, and Lucha Bros post-match promo was ace. These are Top Guys as well. I can see it. Nice to see them not have to talk too much English and kill their cool.

Kenny Omega vs CIMA
Possibly MOTN. I liked the slower pace and they got to the finish without descending into epic movez trading. Kenny Omega is like a better version of Seth Rollins. Great at delivering main event level crackers that bring buildings to their feet. But he doesn't really get it. He shows signs of getting it, especially when the action revs up and he's building to that finish. But there's nothing else about him. Upper mid-card at best.  He comes across heel as well - the coolest he ever looked was at Wrestle Kingdom 11, when he did the Terminator entrance, he should do that all the time. Wasn't a massive fan of the finish. The natural finish was Omega's Tiger Driver spot just after CIMA's wheel finally stopped working but they got a bit too cute. Strong win for Kenny.

The Rhodes Brothers vs The Young Bucks
Tad disappointing as the main event. Plenty of goodness in it but they got in their own way and it fizzled out towards the end. There's a few minutes of Dustin-in-peril, a 100% guaranteed winner. A few minutes later he's a brilliant heel too, where he’s wrestling like an Anderson. Dustin is sublime. I didn’t mind the washy heel/face dynamics in this one, The Young Bucks were being utter dicks and it played into the intensity of the match. Cody looks more like a star than Cody in WWE did. Or anyone in WWE. The difference it makes when the jets are lit-up behind you.

Cody gloms the missile spot onto the entrance ramp because of course he fucking he does! LOL. He really is his father's son! And HHH! Guess they’re all the bloody same. What are the rules? Ref is counting pins on both teams at once, for fucks sake. It's like some psychedelic Lucha. Brilliant finish again, they go back to Cody's busted head. It's so simple, fucking hell. 

If this company needs anybody then it's Dustin.  He's no Johnny Gargano, he can pull off potentially cheesy drama bullshit, and he's an all-round master. Out of all the 50-year-old relics from the 90's left, he's the only one that I want around. They'd be mad not to do Dustin vs Moxley in a blood feud. Give me what I want.

They should have cut the feed there. The post-match was rotten. They timed-out again and them rushing into the charity stuff was jarring as fuck. Good lord, the Hunter/Steph parody is becoming all too real. Heel, face, tweener, it doesn't matter. Whatever suits them in the moment. It isn’t good mojo. Kenny sounds like heel Miz and I don't think he means to. Was he doing a bit? After coming across well all night this was same old weird, goofy, Kenny.
Top 5 Music:
Shawn Spears
A boy and his dinosaur
Young Bucks

Finally, I loved the outdoors set-up. That extra bit of effort adds so much to my enjoyment of the show. Smoke and pyro for the big stars as well! They nailed it in terms of feeling fresh and relevant. I think they shouldn’t be afraid to trim certain matches, not everything has to be a New Japan style epic. And I wished they'd refine their tag formula.

Really liked it overall. Felt like wrestling again.

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Loved the arena - especially before it got dark.

Derby is over and I'm into it so far, but it'll be tricky to do the psycho risk taker & plucky underdog gimmicks at the same time.

Omega so far is a bit meh to me so far in AEW - which is odd because I loved him in Japan.

Dark Order & Luchasorous + Jungle Boy were great, but I didn't like the big guys bumping so early for the smaller lads (and have mixed feelings about Lucha doing flips when in ring with small guys)


I'm not a fan of him in ring, but as a gay wrestling fan for 30 years it did touch me to see Kiss get such a positive reaction from the crowd

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On 7/18/2019 at 4:44 PM, Mr Butternut Squash said:

 Good lord, the Hunter/Steph parody is becoming all too real. Heel, face, tweener, it doesn't matter. Whatever suits them in the moment. It isn’t good mojo. 

Yup. This. I hope they are doing this intentionally otherwise their lack of self awareness [especially after having smashed the throne at the first show] is hilarious.

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11 minutes ago, courageous said:

Derby is over and I'm into it so far, but it'll be tricky to do the psycho risk taker & plucky underdog gimmicks at the same time.

Jeff Hardy managed it, and he was drugged up to his eyeballs half the time. 

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The Jeff Hardy comparison is a good one. Weirdo, plucky underdog in face paint. He's already over after only appearing on two shows, so I definitely think there's potential for him to be pushed him in that manner. Ideally he isn't a drugged up mess and a constant real-life fuck-up, too.

For anyone who hasn't seen it, I don't think it's been posted in this thread,Tony Khan did another one of those press-friendly scrums after the show. There's something definitely charming about his dorky, friendly, open, passionate approach. I think it's much easier to do these and face open questions when you put on a simple, fun show where no-one gets their heads smashed in, too. Good stuff.


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