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by Samoa Rowe
July 1, 2020
From a mostly empty Daily's Place in Jacksonville Florida. The set has additional palm tree decorations and lounging bikini clad women. Chris Jericho joins Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur on commentary.
MJF and The Wardlow vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, with Marko Stunt)
MJF complains about having to face Jungle Boy again after beating him so many times, and wonders why he can't be content counting his daddy's money in Hollywood. Jungle Boy emotionally storms to the ring and clotheslines MJF off his feet. Jungle Boy attempts a Poison Rana on the apron, but Wardlow dropkicks his head and tosses him to the floor. Jungle Boy survives a beatdown but the referee misses the would-be hot tag. The fake crowd is really hot tonight and pops properly for the eventual Luchasaurus hot tag. The dinosaur lights Wardlow up with his educated feet. MJF avoids a chokeslam, leaving Luchasaurus and Wardlow to duke it out. Wardlow absorbs a hard kick and nails a throw, but Luchasaurus answers with a slam that leaves them both down. Jungle Boy returns and dumps MJF over the ropes for a sick rapid diving sequence. Wardlow tries to chokeslam Jungle Boy over the rail, while Luchasaurus sets up a scary step up dive. Jurassic Express hit MJF with a tandem cutter but Wardlow saves the match. Wardlow hits his step up rana on Luchasaurus, but Jungle Boy catches him with the Poison Rana. Wardlow spins Jungle Boy with a clothesline, while MJF pokes Luchasaurus in the eyes. Luchasaurus hits a sitout powerbomb anyway. Everyone is down, the fake crowd misses the memo to applaud. Jungle Boy then runs over the backs of Luchasaurus and Wardlow to hit MJF with a DESTROYER! Marko Stunt dives into Wardlow's arms and gets pressed slammed off the stage onto Jungle Boy. MJF's low blow roll-up on Luchasaurus gets 2, as does Wardlow's splash. MJF misses a loaded punch, and Luchasaurus kicks his fist into Wardlow's skull. That allows Jungle Boy to hit Wardlow with a tornado DDT, and Luchasaurus finishes with the chokeslam and moonsault at 11:00! This was the definition of "hot opener" ***½.
Winners: The Jurassic Express
Next week: puppy battle royale. Okay...
Lance Archer just can't wait to beat up Joey Janela and attacks him in the crowd. They'll meet in singles action next week.
AEW Women's Championship:
Hikaru Shida © vs. Penelope Ford (with Kip Sabian)
Referee instantly ejects Kip Sabian before the bell after a scuffle. He leaves with Shida's kendo stick. Aggressive start for Shida, who looks eager for a quick win. Ford takes a breather and turns her back to allow a Shida dropkick. Ford bonks Shida into the ring frame and barricade. Shida answers with a running knee lift. Back to the ring, Ford comes back with a back handspring elbow and German suplex for 2. They cut to commercial. They return just in time for Shida to break a chinlock in the ropes. Ford cuts Shida off with an inverted DDT for 2. Shida fires away with knee lifts and enziguri, but Ford boots the face. Ford's Stunner is blocked and Shida spins her into a sleeper into a backbreaker submission. Shida hits a proper backbreaker for 2. Falcon Arrow by Shida, but Ford reverses the pin attempt for a scary nearfall. Ford leans backwards to avoid a high crossbody and hits a stunner for an EXCELLENT nearfall. For goes for the title, while Sabian runs in with the kendo stick, but Shida takes it away to clobber him. Ford rolls in for the back handspring cutter but SHIDA KICKS OUT! The "fans" chant "This is awesome." Ford misses a top rope moonsault and Shida hits running knees and Falcon Arrow, but FORD KICKS OUT! Shida's running knee to the head finally ends it at 11:17! This was awesome, due to the aggressive action, sense of urgency, and well timed and hard earned false finishes, ****.
Winner and still AEW Women's Champion: Hikaru Shida
Taz breaks down Jon Moxley's Paradigm Shift and makes the case for why it won't stop Brian Cage.
Cody © (with Arn Anderson) vs. Jake Hager (with Catalina Hager)
They feel each other out, and Hager scores first by pushing Cody backwards by grabbing the foot. Cody applies a headlock, but Hager forces a shoulder block and drives the champ into the buckles. They trade wild shots and Hager looks for an early ankle lock. Hager turns his attention to Arn, which allows Cody to hit a springboard clothesline to ringside. Back to the ring, Cody works a leglock and Figure Four! Hager escapes and counters with a power slam. Hager goes for Arn's throat and fends Cody off with a German suplex on the floor! They cut to commercial. Back from break, Hager seems to have Cody right where he wants him. Cody desperately punches the face. Arn distracts Hager, allowing Cody to shove him into the ring post. Back to the ring, Hager relentlessly applies a sleeper and refuses to let go as Cody drives him into a pinning predicament. Cody hits the springboard cutter and they take a breather. Cody continues building momentum, hitting a powerslam for 2. Hager Bomb out of nowhere gets 2! Cody blocks a second Hager Bomb and hits a reverse DDT. Hager armdrags Cody off the top rope for a good 2 count. Cody survives the ankle lock with a rope break, but Catalina slaps him across the face, allowing Hager to reapply the hold. Dustin Rhode runs in for a cheap shot, and Cody counters a chokehold into a pinning predicament to slip out with the win at 14:16! This was a physical and smartly worked match, which seems to continue a slowburn heel turn for Cody, ***¾.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Cody
An enraged Hager knocks down the referee as the cavalry arrives to restore order.
Darby Allin video package. He complains about sitting on his ass at home in a phone booth in his backyard and proceeds to process his angst through skateboarding.
Orange Cassidy sits himself at commentary with his feet on the table, apparently for the sole purpose of sending Chris Jericho into a whining rage.
Santana and Ortiz vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy, with Matt Hardy)
Santana puts his arms behind his back to give Kassidy a free shot, which proves ineffective, but Kassidy then dumps Santana and dives off Quen's back! Quen tags in with rapid moonsaults. Private Party hit an atomic drop/enziguri combo. Ortiz blocks Kassidy's dive, allowing Santana to hit a powerbomb, shifting the momentum to their favor. Santana and Ortiz control the match through a picture-in-picture break. Back from break, Santana and Ortiz are beating up Quen while Hardy gives Kassidy a pep talk. Kassidy then gets the hot tag and flies around the ring, setting up a twisting senton on Santana and Ortiz. Swanton Bomb by Kassidy is good for 2. Santana comes back with a cutter on Kassidy while Ortiz powerbombs Quen off the top rope! Santana and Ortiz hit a tandem cannonball into the corner and double powerbomb on Quen, but Kassidy makes the last second save. Hardy takes a madball away from Ortiz, which allows Private Party to stay alive. Quen blocks the Street Sweeper, and Kassidy catches Ortiz with Sling Blade. The Gin n' Juice finishes at 10:50! Strong showing from all four guys, including some great counters and surprises down the final stretch. This also feels like Private Party's first meaningful win since they defeated the Young Bucks on the second Dynamite, ***½.
Winners: Private Party
Jericho throws a tantrum at commentary and throws his water at OC. He attempts an ambush but the locker room empties to protect OC. Jericho's wailing is a marvel to behold.
Dasha interviews AEW Tag Team Champions Hangman Page and Kenny Omega backstage. Page is feeling great and even though Best Friends deserve the title shot, it won't matter when they're in the ring. Omega says he and Page have proven themselves every week and will send Best Friends off with a ka-bang.
Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage has been bumped from next week to July 15th, when Dynamite presents a Fight for the Fallen special. That's COVID-19 for ya. This announcement brings out Taz and Brian Cage to address the situation. Taz doesn't care that Moxley politicked his way out of Fyter Fest and accuses Moxley of ducking them despite testing negative for the virus. AEW doesn't run a sloppy shop, afterall, so the only virus Moxley has is a case of the chickensh!ts. Great promo work by Taz, who managed to reset the title match, and take a devastating shot at WWE all at once.
AEW Tag Team Championship:
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page © vs. Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor)
Omega and Taylor hit the ground running with a quick exchange. Trent and Page tag in for a more measured feeling out process, which quickly devolves into a slugfest. Trent scores a hard belly to back suplex, giving Best Friends the upper hand. Page piles Best Friends with a suplex and tags in Omega for a backbreaker on Trent. Kotaro Crusher by Omega sets Trent up for Page's running SSP. FTR arrive on the stage with beach chairs and a cooler. They cut to commercial. Page and Omega dominate through the break. Taylor shields Trent from a hard Irish whip, allowing Trent to hit a hard clothesline. Taylor hits a somersault senton onto the champs. Trent catches Omega with a tope and sends him crashing through Taylor and the barricade. Taylor recovers with a Michinoku Driver on Page in the ring. Page blocks Sole Food and hits Trent with a fallaway slam. Page dives onto Taylor and catches Trent with a lariat. Omega returns with a missile dropkick and Fisherman buster on Trent. Finlay Roll by Omega but Trent blocks the following moonsault. Taylor hits a spike piledriver but Page saves the match. Omega answers with rapid Snap Dragons. Omega serves Best Friends up for power moves by Page. Best Friends respond with the Double Stomp/Gory Bomb combo, but Kenny makes the save. Chuck drops Kenny with a wild piledriver. In the chaos, Trent nearly rolls up Omega. Page fires Dead Eye for 2, but the Buckshot Lariat finishes at 15:20. Impressive spotfest down the stretch, with Best Friends doing a great job while teasing the upset, ***¾.
Winners and still AEW Tag Team Champions: Kenny Omega and Hangman Page
FTR bring some beers to the ring and propose a toast with the champs. Page happily obliges while Omega dumps his on purpose. FTR don't take kindly to the disrespect, and the Young Bucks arrive to back up Kenny, while Page is seemingly aligned with FTR.
Final Thoughts: Fyter Fest Part 1 provided plenty of PPV-worthy action and managed to advance a whole bunch of story threads in the process. Hopefully, AEW is rewarded with a strong rating. Easy recommendation.
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