Date: July 14, 2021
Location: H-E-B Center, Cedar Park, Texas
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
It’s another special show this week with Fyter Fest Night 1 as they’re out of Florida for the first time in over a year. The big story this week is the return of Jon Moxley to defend the IWGP United States Title against Karl Anderson, as we have an AEW wrestler defending a New Japan Title against an Impact wrestler. I for one can’t wait on the recreation of Taz vs. Mike Awesome so let’s get to it.
IWGP United States Title: Jon Moxley vs. Karl Anderson
Moxley is defending and here’s Eddie Kingston with a pipe to jump Doc Gallows before the bell. They slug it out to start and then proceed to slug it out some more, this time with Moxley winning a battle of the forearms. Back up and Anderson knocks him to the floor for a ram into the barricade. Moxley comes back with some microphone choking but Anderson kicks him off the apron for a crash. Anderson grabs a spinebuster for two and goes up, with Moxley biting his head to cut that off.
The superplex plants Anderson but Moxley can’t cover. Instead he has to block the Gun Stun and it’s a double clothesline for a double knockdown. Anderson is back up and tries an Owen Hart piledriver but stumbles and nearly drops Moxley on his head for two. A middle rope neckbreaker gives Anderson two and a quick Gun Stun is good for the same. Anderson’s TKO gets two more but Moxley grabs a short arm clothesline. The Paradigm Shift retains the title at 9:40.
Rating: C+. It was hard hitting and back and forth, with Kingston getting rid of Gallows being a nice plus. Moxley is a great choice to open the show as he is one of the most popular wrestlers around here tonight. If nothing else, maybe the Good Brothers will be gone from the rest of the show, or at least we can only hope.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
Lance Archer wants the IWGP US Title back. Jon Moxley took the title from him in a Texas Death Match in Japan, so let’s have another one next week in Dallas.
Andrade El Idolo asks where the Death Triangle has gone because he is looking for them.
FTW World Title: Brian Cage vs. Ricky Starks
Starks is challenging in his first match back from a broken neck and the rest of Team Taz is in a neutral corner. Taz is on commentary and offers some insight of how these two were backstage today (Starks was more serious, Cage was more outgoing). Cage can’t quite get some kind of slam to start so he goes with a gorilla press instead. Some whips into the corner put Starks on the top rope and the kicks to the ribs crotch Starks on the top.
Cage misses a charge into the corner though and Starks kicks away at the arm. Said arm is snapped across the middle rope and a middle rope dropkick gives Starks two. We take a break and come back with Starks getting two off a crucifix bomb as Excalibur calls the FTW Title an outlaw championship. Cage heads outside so Starks slides to the floor for a clothesline. Back in and Starks grabs a choke, only to get driven into the corner.
Cage kicks him in the head and nails a pumphandle faceplant for two. Starks’ springboard tornado DDT is blocked and Cage hits a superkick for two more. Starks slips out of the apron superplex and hits a sitout powerbomb for his own near fall. With nothing else working, Starks goes for the title belt but Powerhouse Hobbs won’t let him. That allows Cage to hit the F5 for two so Hook distracts the referee. Hobbs blasts Cage with the title and Starks’ spear connects for the pin and the title at 9:23.
Rating: C. Starks looked a bit rusty here but that’s quite understandable given the injury and time off. Cage losing the title is fine and he can probably go off on his own after the loss. It could be interesting to see Starks as the star of the team for once as he has all of the skills you could need to go somewhere.
We look at Malakai Black debuting last week and kicking Cody Rhodes’ head off.
Here is an annoyed Cody (in a white suit) to the announcers’ table to call out Tommy End/Malakai Black. All Black needed to do was make a phone call and he could have been here. We don’t kick a 62 year old man in the face around here though so please bring him a mic so he can head to the ring. Cody doesn’t win every fight he’s in but he has a better chance when he knows it’s coming. This is Fyter Fest and he feels like fighting.
Black appears on screen to ask if Cody heard the fans cheer when Black kicked him in the face last week. Black talks about a man having a horse who took him everywhere but one day that horse was done. The man took him to a nice field, put a bag over the horse’s head and finished him. Cody calls Black out again so the lights go out and here he is in the ring. Referees break it up in a hurry.
Tully Blanchard talks about attacking Konnan last week when he runs into Santana and Ortiz, who bust out a tire iron. The shot to the head is teased, but they say next time won’t be so nice. Tully promises to get his boys.
Here is Hangman Page, who is feeling weird, for a chat. Page talks about how he wanted to be World Champion from day one, but he failed. He tried to hide from his failure but he still needs that championship. That’s why he is here to challenge….and here are Don Callis and the Elite to cut him off. They insist that Page is not that guy, with Matt Jackson going to the ring to say something to Page’s face.
Matt knows there is only one person to blame for Page’s issues and he is one step away from being the next great wrestling tragedy. The fight is on with the Elite coming in but the Dark Order runs in for the save. Page issues the challenge to Omega but we’ll make that a ten man elimination tag instead. That’s fine with Page, who says if they win, he gets the World Title and the Dark Order gets a Tag Team Title shot against the Bucks. Omega: “YOU DIDN’T EARN IT!!! NONE OF YOU EARNED IT!!!”
Omega thinks Page is making a lot of demands so he’ll make one of his own: if Page’s team loses, there are no title shots and Page is done. He can’t wait for the COWBOY S*** chant to turn into BELT COLLEC-TOR. Page gets in Omega’s face and says yes, which freaks Omega out a bit. They had a lot of people here, but it got the job done.
Chris Jericho recaps the Five Labors of Jericho that MJF has set up for him, but points out that Hercules won in the end. MJF can send Superman or the Black Panther out after him because Jericho will walk across broken glass to get MJF again. Jericho is the god of thunder and the god of war….and here is Shawn Spears to hit him in the throat with a chair. MJF pops in to make the match against Spears next week, where Spears can use a chair but Jericho can’t. Spears gets in a bonus chair shot to the arm.
Matt Hardy vs. Christian Cage
They grab a lockup to start and fall out to the floor with the lockup continuing. Christian slides back in and tells Matt to bring it, only to slide outside and send Hardy face first into the apron. A big dive takes Hardy down again and a reverse DDT gives Christian two back inside. The right hands in the corner keep Matt in trouble until he sends Christian shoulder first into the post to take over for the first time. Choking on the ropes sets up the catapult to send Christian throat first into the rope and we take a break.
Back with Christian countering the Twist of Fate and hitting a spear for two. The frog splash gets the same but the tornado DDT is countered. Instead Matt takes him up top for a superplex into the near fall and extra breathing is required. Back up and Matt grabs the referee to block a Killswitch. The low blow into the Twist of Fate gets two and it’s back to the floor for the Leech (double underhook neck crank) but Christian makes it back in at nine. The Killswitch finishes Hardy out of nowhere at 12:59.
Rating: C. This was your nostalgia match of the week and that is about all it was going to be good for here. Neither of them are what they were in the ring before but at least they did their thing without getting bad. The ending was out of nowhere but the whole thing worked out well enough.
Post match the Hardy Family Office comes in but Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus run in for the save.
Miro talks about a man who had to figure out what he was and then went on to destroy everyone. He holds up the TNT Title (which appeared to have been redesigned) and says this is his reward, which he will defend anywhere.
Tony Schiavone brings in Britt Baker to talk about facing Nyla Rose next week. Baker has been through tables, ladders and chairs and nothing has scared here, just like Rose won’t next week. Rose might be at the top of the food chain but Baker is off the menu. Baker knocks Vickie Guerrero is listening and she has the name to keep her relevant in wrestling. Rose doesn’t have that and needs the title to be mean something. She isn’t getting it back next week, because with the title, Baker is the hottest thing in wrestling. Without it though, she is still Britt Baker DMD. Baker continues to be feeling it on the mic.
Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero promise to take the title next week.
Sammy Guevara vs. Wheeler Yuta
Sammy gets the big hometown pop as Bunny and Blade are watching from ringside. Yuta runs the ropes to start so Sammy flips over him and loads up a dive, only to flip back inside. The posing brings Yuta back in and charges into a powerslam, setting up the running shooting star press to give Sammy two. The shooting star press hits knees and Yuta walks the ropes for a middle rope dropkick. A German suplex drops Guevara and a huge top rope splash gets one. Guevara is back up with a backdrop into an enziguri out of the corner. The double springboard cutter into the GTH finishes Yuta at 3:43.
Rating: C+. This was just a step beneath a squash and it gave Guevara the nice hometown win. That’s all it was supposed to be and Yuta looking good in defeat was a nice bonus. You don’t need much more than that and they had a pretty good spectacle here. Guevara still seems ready to explode and getting a win here was the right call.
Earlier today, QT Marshall poured coffee onto Tony Schiavone’s head.
Penelope Ford vs. Yuka Sakazaki
This is Sakazaki’s first match in AEW in 16 months. They start fast with Ford being sent outside for a middle rope flip dive. Back in and Ford chokes on the ropes as we take a break. We come back with Sakazaki muscling her up for a suplex, setting up a rolling kick to the face. A middle rope elbow to the face gets two but Ford is back with some pump kicks for two. Sakazaki throws Ford on her shoulder for a spinning faceplant, setting up a spinning splash for the pin at 7:30.
Rating: C-. Just a match here as Sakazaki is back. I’m not sure if she was exactly a big deal around here in the first place but the division could use some extra blood at this point. The match itself wasn’t anything of note, but Ford is hardly the one that you bring in for a great in-ring performance.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page
Coffin (casket) match with Allin jumping him to start. Allin pulls off his jacket to reveal a metal plate attached to his back. A springboard body block drops Page and it’s time to go to the casket….with Scorpio Sky inside. Cue Sting to take care of Sky and the two of them fight into the crowd, with Sky getting crotched on a barricade. Back to the actual match, with Page being thrown over the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Page throwing he steps in, along with the unhooked bottom turnbuckle. Page uses the actual hook to pull Allin down by the neck….so Allin hooks his Page’s mouth. Point to Allin. They fight outside into the coffin to slug it out until Allin gets launched out. Back inside and Allin hits his flipping Stunner off the steps but the bleeding Page catches him on top. The super Ego’s Edge onto the steps leaves Allin down but he busts out the skateboard for a shot to the back, sending Page into the coffin for the win at 11:40.
Rating: B. Much like Kingston taking out Doc Gallows, it was nice to have Sting get rid of Sky here. This was a big grudge match and in theory it should wrap everything up between the two of them. There isn’t much left for them to do as it wasn’t exactly a huge feud in the first place. Allin is ready to move on to something else, though I’m not sure what that is going to be.
Post match, Allin hits the Coffin Drop through the coffin and….well pretty close to Page. That man’s poor spine.
Overall Rating: B-. Pretty good show here with a bunch of mostly fine matches. It wasn’t quite last week, but they set up enough going forward and the main event was fun. I’m curious to see where AEW is going with some of these things and that is one of the best things that you can say about a wrestling show. Not their best stuff tonight, but it was more than enough to get by. Also, thankfully they dropped the Fyre Fest deals this time as the idea was played out when it first aired.
Jon Moxley b. Karl Anderson – Paradigm Shift
Ricky Starks b. Brian Cage – Spear
Christian Cage b. Matt Hardy – Killswitch
Sammy Guevara b. Wheeler Yuta – GTH
Yuka Sakazaki b. Penelope Ford – Spinning splash
Darby Allin b. Ethan Page – Allin put Page in the coffin
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