At long last, fans of All Elite Wrestling get to see Jon Moxley defend his AEW World Championship against the Casino Ladder Match winner (and current FTW champion), Brian Cage. The Machine’s debut has given Taz a chance to spread his creative wings outside of the commentary booth, and his promos have evoked many comparisons to his former mentor Paul Heyman, in terms of hyping his charge. While this match was supposed to take place last week during Fyter Fest, Part Deux, COVID-19 cannot stop the inevitable! Here’s your Dark lineup, available on YouTube:
- Nightmare Sisters (Brandi Rhodes & Allie) vs Rache Chanel and Diamante
- Robert Anthony vs Ricky Starks
- Shawn Dean, Joe Alonzo, and Will Hobbs vs Dark Order (V, with Silver & Reynolds)
- Marko Stunt vs Michael Nakazawa
- Brady Pierce & Pineapple Pete vs Serpentico & (no longer Dr.) Luther
- Jurassic Express vs. Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler
- Brian Cage vs Brian Pillman Jr.
Fight For The Fallen (hereafter referred to as FFTF) kicks off with Taz replacing Tony Schiavone on commentary, as he is awaiting a COVID-19 test result. Cody is defending his TNT Championship against Sonny Kiss, in what is the Concrete Rose’s biggest match to date. The American Nightmare pays homage to Scott Steiner with mid-ring pushups early on, but Sonny responds with a brutal discus elbow! He breaks out of a Full Nelson from Cody, but his 450 Splash cannot put away the champ. Cody breaks out a variation of Shane Helms’ “Vertebreaker”, but a follow-up superplex only garners a two-count. More heel tendencies from Cody, as he removes the turnbuckle, but a CrossRhodes ensures that this wasn’t necessary. The two embrace following the match, in a show of solidarity against the hateful shit that Kiss has been enduring throughout social media this last week.
In what would have to be viewed as a “dream match”, FTR are taking on Lucha Bros in a bout that deserves far more than a week build-up. Pentagon Jr. and Fenix are driven to the ring in Cash & Dax’s truck by Butcher & The Blade, who absconded the vehicle weeks ago and join the action at ringside. You can’t have more contrasting styles than these two teams, and both are on full display. Harwood’s chest is split open from repeated chops as he goes on a silly streak of snap suplexes! Frogsplashes from both teams are countered by raised knees, but Harwood scores a roll-up win after unmasking Fenix. Butcher & The Blade try to gloat over ownership of their vehicle, but Young Bucks give them a Superkick Party to get the keys back. Kenny Omega tries to offer a peace treaty of Miller Lite to FTR, but they pour the beers over The Cleaner’s head as they drive away in their truck.
Le Champion, Chris Jericho leads out his Inner Circle carrying jugs of orange juice. Jake Hager is back from his suspension, but Sammy Guevara is still out. For some reason, he’s bragging about the ratings demographic (18-49) that he’s supposedly never lost, and proceeds to call himself The Demo-God. Orange Cassidy wants a re-match after losing last week to The Ayatollah, but Jericho will not grant it. The IC toasts him with the orange juice before pouring it out over the ring. This brings out Cassidy, who takes more verbal abuse from Lionheart before giving him a thumbs down. With this, a deluge of orange juice descends over the Inner Circle. Jericho demands a towel, and it’s adorned with a gigantic Orange Cassidy. For some reason, TNT chooses this moment to go to commercial with this as the conclusion. OK…
Jurassic Express is laughing at the demise of Inner Circle, and they’re out next to face The Elite trio of Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. Jericho is joining the commentary team, still drenched in pulp and enraged. There will be retribution for Cassidy, and likely a re-match. Backstage, the “unlicensed bartender” Hangman Page is checking out his partner Omega teaming with the Bucks, who is actually taking offense from Stunt. He fares better once he removes his shirt, and lands his sick Terminator dive onto all of the Express. Backstage, Page is now joined by FTR, so clearly he won’t be helping his colleagues. The Elite are really selling for Stunt, as he lands a leaping Canadian Destroyer off of Luchasaurus’ shoulders for a 2 7/8 count. Stunt has no answer for Omega’s One-Winged Angel finisher, and takes a heel-ish beating from Omega afterwards until his Elite teammates break it up.
Hikaru Shida is backstage with Alex Marvez, and she’s not afraid to defend her AEW Women’s title against Nyla Rose, whenever the Native Beast is ready. Hopefully, she’ll select her new manager fairly soon, as the current women’s roster is sorely lacking in name recognition due to injuries and COVID-19 travel restrictions from Japan. Thankfully, AEW has brought in Ivelisse, and she’ll be debuting next week.
Moxley is live from a chain link fence. Taz says he cannot land a Paradigm Shift, but he reminds the world that Cage is still recovering from a torn pectoral muscle. Perhaps he won’t even need his patented finisher?
The Nightmare Sisters are pulling double duty this week, now with similar colored gear. They’re facing the makeshift team of Kenzie Paige and the debuting MJ Jenkins. Dustin Rhodes is accompanying the Sisters, and Allie pays homage to him by landing a variation of his old Final Curtain finisher on Jenkins to polish off the squash.
Nyla is out next, being interviewed by Dasha. At least we won’t have a pointless handicap match this week (I hope). I feared she would be hiring Vickie Guerrero as her manager, and The Cougar enters the arena as only she can (I hope). At least I don’t think she’ll be entering into a romantic angle with this client (I hope).
Although the match for the AEW World Championship between Moxley and Cage is scheduled for a 60-minute time limit, the bell sounds with 19 minutes to go on the telecast. It should be noted that although Mox is paying tribute to Danny Havoc by sporting his tee shirt, he has lost significant weight during quarantine. The champ is really focusing on Cage’s arm, locking on numerous submissions early. The Machine shrugs off the pain, and lifts Moxley into an extended torture rack. At ringside, Cage suplexes Mox through a set-up chair, but a follow-up springboard moonsault in the ring misses the mark. Mox lands a Paradigm Shift, but true to Taz’s words, it doesn’t put away the challenger. Mox tries to lock in the Kimura lock, but gets an impressive one-armed Bucklebomb from Cage for his efforts. Mox then switches from a cross-armbreaker into a crossface, and Taz throws in the towel to save his protege. Following the bell, Cage swings the FTW belt and knocks out the champion, until the lights go out. The lights come back on, and Darby Allin leaps off the ropes to knock out Cage with his skateboard. Taz is trying to defend his decision to end the match, as Allin and Mox bump fists and we fade to black.
JoeStopper’s Elite Of The Week
I wasn’t sure what to expect upon Jon Moxley’s return to All Elite Wrestling following quarantine. With how Brian Cage has been booked since his arrival at Double Or Nothing, I wouldn’t have blamed AEW for putting the strap on someone they knew was healthy and available. What Mox brought to the ring tonight was a planned destruction of The Machine’s vulnerable arm, which he recently had surgery on following his exit from IMPACT Wrestling. Most people will loathe the ending of the match, with a World Title match being ended by a towel throw just last year in controversial fashion. I feel that this conclusion, though, was out of respect from the damage being levied by the champ, instead of a Dusty Finish. Jon Moxley, you are JoeStopper’s Elite Of The Week!