Date: July 13, 2022
Location: Enmarket Arena, Savannah, Georgia
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We’re on the way to Death Before Dishonor and thankfully the build for that show hasn’t taken everything over like the Forbidden Door stuff did. It’s the first of four Fyter Fest shows and the Tag Team Titles are on the line as the Young Bucks defend against Swerve Strickland/Keith Lee and Team Taz. Let’s get to it.
TNT Title: Wardlow vs. Orange Cassidy
Cassidy is challenging, with the Best Friends in his corner (complete with managers’ licenses). They go with the test of strength to start and Cassidy puts his hands in his pockets….which are torn off by Wardlow. Now Wardlow’s straps come down….with Cassidy putting them right back up. The Powerbomb Symphony is broken up and Cassidy snaps off a headscissors but comes up favoring his eye. The referee checks on him, allowing Chuck Taylor to whip out A CHAINSAW.
Believe it or not, that’s enough for an ejection, with Wardlow blocking a quick Orange Punch attempt. The lazy kicks annoy Wardlow and he misses a charge to the floor. Cassidy has to slip out of an apron powerbomb, leaving Wardlow to choke an interfering Danhausen. Back in and an overhead belly to belly sends Cassidy flying as we take a break.
We come back with Cassidy driving him into the corner but Wardlow hits the F10….for two, making Cassidy the first person to ever kick out of it. Another powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana and there’s the Orange Punch. The Beach Break connects for two but another Orange Punch is countered into powerbomb to retain the title at 11:44.
Rating: B-. This was a good example of a match that got a lot better once they dropped the nonsense with the Best Friends (and some with Cassidy). Once you let Cassidy do his thing, you can get a nice match, especially with him fighting from underneath. Wardlow won as he should have, but Cassidy was hardly destroyed.
Respect is shown post match.
Quick look at Pac retaining the All-Atlantic Title at a Rev Pro show in England.
Here is Chris Jericho for a chat. He’s here talking as Chris Jericho the man, not the rock star. Jericho is here to talk about Eddie Kingston, who is such a rotten friend. We hear about how Kingston’s friends are always getting hurt or injured, from Santana and Bryan Danielson to Ruby Soho. Jericho: “You need to take better care of your chicks Eddie.”
Now it’s time for a barbed wire match because Kingston is a mark for Sabu and Terry Funk but how many barbed wire matches has he been in? Jericho had a barbed wire match at 22 and knows how it tastes. Now it’s time for Kingston to face the Painmaker because it’s time for both of them to bleed in the final fight. This was the hard push to the match and while I still roll my eyes at the barbed wire stuff, Jericho sold it well.
Post break, Eddie Kingston gets very close to the camera and promises to make Jericho bleed every drop of his blood. Ruby Soho and Ortiz are behind him and don’t seem overly pleased.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Jon Moxley
Non-title, but a title eliminator match and William regal is on commentary. Moxley works on the arm to start before they trade shoulders. A headlock takeover puts Takeshita down but they’re back up for a double chop off. Moxley runs him over and we hit a rather loose STF. With that broken up they head to the apron, where a German suplex drops Moxley. He’s right back up and knocks Takeshita silly as we take a break.
Back with Moxley stomping away at a bleeding Takeshita. They get back up for a slugout, with Moxley being sent into the corner for a running big boot. A brainbuster gives Takeshita two but his frog splash hits raised knees. They slug it out again until Takeshita snaps off a hurricanrana to send him outside. There’s the big no hands flip dive as Takeshita is holding his arm. Back in and Takeshita’s frog splash connects for two, followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb for the same. The Death Rider is countered into a German suplex to give Takeshita two more but Moxley pulls him into the bulldog choke for the tap at 13:07.
Rating: B+. They beat the heck out of each other here and it was a pretty awesome match, with Moxley having to survive instead of just running over Takeshita. AEW has something with Takeshita if they want to go somewhere with him, as he can hang with anyone and the fans are into him. Find a story with him and go from there.
The House of Black doesn’t think much of Darby Allin and blame him for his problems.
Griff Garrison vs. Luchasaurus
Before the match, Christian Cage talks about how he just doesn’t like the Varsity Blonds, especially when Brian Pillman Jr.’s father was average at best. Christian would be so disappointed to see that his final legacy in wrestling is a failure like his son. As for Garrison, Christian doesn’t like a publicity picture that he put up this week because it makes him look like Jungle Boy. That’s too much for Luchasaurus, who stomps to the ring to start the beating. Luchasaurus drops him hard and a pair of chokeslams set up the Snare Trap variation (now dubbed the Tar Pit) for the tap at 1:34.
Post match Luchasaurus knocks Pillman out and puts him on the table, with Garrison being chokeslammed onto Pillman and through the table (on the second try).
The Jericho Appreciation Society aren’t happy with being in a shark cage next week and want Eddie Kingston’s friends in one of their own. Tony Schiavone is threatened with a comb until Daniel Garcia says Wheeler Yuta is doing a Garcia impression.
All Out is coming to Chicago on September 4.
The Dark Order interrupts Hangman Page, who wants to fight the House of Black. Page goes along with it, despite it not seeming to be his original idea.
Jake Hager vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Castagnoli uppercuts him fast and tries a Neutralizer and swing within the first ten seconds but Hager gets outside. Back in and Castagnoli counters the ankle lock into a 619 for two. A dropkick to the knee sets up a bulldog for two on Hager but he’s back with some body shots to the ribs to put Castagnoli down. There’s a beal to send Castagnoli flying, setting up the Vader bomb for two more.
We take a break and come back with Castagnoli hitting the springboard uppercut for a double knockdown. They fight to the floor with Castagnoli hitting a running uppercut against the barricade. Back in and it’s the giant swing into a Sharpshooter, with Hager calling out the rest of the Society. The distraction lets Hager plant Castagnoli down for two but he tries another Sharpshooter. That’s broken up by another Society distraction so Castagnoli goes with a pop up uppercut. The Riccola Bomb finishes Hager at 11:44.
Rating: B-. This was looking like a squash to start but they took their time and let Hager get in some offense of his own. That being said, Castagnoli never felt like he was in any trouble and won with his signature stuff in the end. Castagnoli continues to look like a monster around here and that should work well once he finally gets into a serious feud.
Hook won’t comment when asked about a possible title shot.
We look at Thunder Rosa getting pinned in Japan.
Thunder Rosa is ready to have a rematch here in America for the title. She and Toni Storm are ready to face anyone so here are Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter to say they’re back. This place is a natural disaster without them (Baker: “Get it?”) but luckily they know how to deal with these things. Rebel pops in with a sandbag, which Baker hands to Tony and says enjoy carrying it for a month.
Serena Deeb vs. Anna Jay
Jay is the home state girl. Deeb takes her to the mat to start and we hit the headlock, followed by a shoulder to put her down. Jay gets in a shot of her own and hits a running Blockbuster. Something like a reverse Rings of Saturn has Jay in trouble until she stacks Deeb up for two. The Queenslayer is broken up with a throat snap across the top and a fisherman’s neckbreaker gives Deeb two.
We take a break and come back with Jay firing off some running elbows and a northern lights suplex for two. The Queenslayer is broken up again and Deeb rolls her up for two more. They don’t quite get a backdrop into a rollup right so Deeb grabs a weird hold as she looks like she’s setting up a Code Red but sits down on Jay’s neck and cranks on the arms. That’s broken up and Jay misses a charge, only to come back with the Queenslayer again. With that escaped as well, the Serenity Lock makes Jay tap at 8:22.
Rating: C+. Deeb was doing a lot of the work here but they did a good job of keeping Jay looking strong. She isn’t great at what she does yet but she here a few things that she can do well and it worked here. Nice match and that’s all it needed to be, even with Jay having to tap in front of her hometown(ish) crowd.
Post match Deeb keeps the hold on until Mercedes Martinez runs in for the save.
Jade Cargill and the Baddies aren’t happy with Athena and Kris Statlander, but they also want Leila Grey to know her place.
We run down the Death Before Dishonor card.
Jay Lethal comes to the commentary desk and promises to win the Ring Of Honor TV Title.
Anna Jay is getting her knee looked at when Tay Conti comes in to mock her for not being on TV very much.
Tag Team Titles: Keith Lee/Swerve Strickland vs. Team Taz vs. Young Bucks
The Bucks are defending and Matt tries a superkick on Lee, who just stares at him. Nick comes in instead and trades flippy counters with Strickland until they both go outside. Stereo dropkick attempts don’t go anywhere so they’re back inside with Nick armdragging him into an armbar. Starks comes in and walks the top rope, as does Nick.
Both of those are broken up with a double crotching, leaving Matt to try to northern lights suplex Hobbs and Lee at the same time. Everything breaks down and Lee kind of suplexes Matt and Starks at the same time (this works a bit better). Starks tags himself back in to dropkick Swerve and we take a break.
Back with Lee coming in off the hot tag and cleaning house, but Nick slips out of the powerbomb. Hobbs and Lee hit stereo crossbodies before Hobbs goes up. Lee shoves him off and hits a heck of a frog splash for two with a save being needed. Team Taz is back in with Nick being put in an electric chair, allowing Starks to walk the rope for a cutter. Swerve tags himself back in and clotheslines Matt but it’s time for the Bucks to clean house with superkicks.
The referee gets bumped and the Bucks grab the titles, only to have Swerve take one away. Swerve can’t bring himself to use it though and it’s the Bucks cleaning house with the titles. A belt shot doesn’t pin Swerve so it’s the BTE Trigger, with Starks making the save. Lee breaks up the Meltzer Driver and it’s a powerbomb/Swerve Stomp combination for two, with Team Taz making the save.
Hobbs starts spinebustering people including a bunch of people being stacked onto Lee. Starks spears Swerve for two with Nick making his own save. Matt loses a shoe so Lee knocks the Bucks outside with it. Hobbs gets dumped to the floor and Swerve uses Lee’s chest as a launchpad for a moonsault. Back in and the Swerve Stomp crushes Starks for the pin and the titles at 13:04.
Rating: A-. And I had a long post thought out about how the Bucks never lose and the near falls were all a waste of time before the titles were retained. This was all action once it got going and that is a very fun way to spend a good chunk of the night. The surprise alone gave this an upgrade as I was actually shocked by the ending. Well done here and an awesome match.
Overall Rating: A-. Nothing bad, an actual surprise on the ending, and more than a few awesome matches. This was a great show that just kept going with the good stuff. It set up some things for the next few shows and if those are anything close to this, we should be in for a great few weeks. Pretty great show here and worth a look up and down the card.
Wardlow b. Orange Cassidy – Powerbomb
Jon Moxley b. Konosuke Takeshita – Bulldog choke
Luchasaurus b. Griff Garrison – Tar Pit
Claudio Castagnoli b. Jake Hager – Riccola Bomb
Serena Deeb b. Anna Jay – Serenity Lock
Keith Lee/Swerve Strickland b. Young Bucks and Team Taz – Swerve Stomp to Starks
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