Wrestling Review: AEW Fyter Fest (2020) (Night 1)

The first night of All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) two-part special event, Fyter Fest, comes to you live on free TV. AEW’s tag team division is the deepest in any current wrestling promotion, and atop that heap is the unlikely duo of Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page. Omega and are friends, no doubt, but will they have the chemistry to defeat the self professed, self proclaimed, world travelled challengers of THE Best Friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent when the tag team title are on the line? AEW Women’s Champion, Hikaru Shida, will also defend her gold against the Superbad Girl, Penelope Ford, in the biggest match of the challenger’s career. Cody continues his record breaking championship schedule as he faces Jake Hager for the TNT Championship, and two more tag team matches will set the scene for the future of the division, as the Jurassic Express face MJF and Wardlow, and Private Party go two on two with Proud N Powerful.

+ Kenny Omega & “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs Best Friends (Trent & Chuckie T) (AEW World Tag Team Championships): really good, but not really blow away main event level stuff. I wanted to like this more than I did, but with so much else going on in AEW’s tag team division this match almost felt like secondary importance to whatever FTR and the Young Bucks end up doing. Nonetheless, Omega is still one of the best in the world, Page is going to be a huge star when he goes into his singles run, and the idea of Best Friends as tag team champions was more than enough to add some heat to this match. Chuckie T is severely underrated, in my mind, and it was good to see him get some of the spotlight here
+ Taz and Brian Cage came out for a promo, and it was really good. Taz and Cage might be as good a duo as Jake Roberts and Lance Archer, and I’m sure that collision is coming, somewhere down the line
+ Hikaru Shida (c) vs Penelope Ford (AEW Women’s Championship): holy smokes, this was great. I didn’t have particularly high hopes for this, but however it was done (well rehearsed, called in the ring or blind luck things working together) this was one of the best women’s matches I’ve seen in a very long time, and easily one of my favourite matches this year
+ MJF & Wardlow vs Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) (w/ Marko Stunt): this was a pretty standard tag team match, but the built-in story between Jungle Boy and MJF, and the recent clashes between the big men, meant the crowd was already invested without the need for a long build up in the match itself

Cody (c) (w/ Arn Anderson) vs Jake Hager (w/ Catalina) (TNT Championship): this was a well wrestled match, but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth, as I don’t think it came across well on TV, certainly as the announcers didn’t quite play it up like it should have been. Overall, Cody’s old-school territory champion shtick and Hager’s more modern, MMA-inspired assaults were a captivating dichotomy, and both guys are good wrestlers in general, so while it was (as is par for the Cody course) a perfectly fine match, it didn’t feel like anything special
Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy) (w/ Matt Hardy) vs Proud N Powerful (Santana & Ortiz): from memory, these two teams have only had one other straight tag team match on AEW television, and this was the better of the two. This was a very standard tag team match, with no heated feud going in, and the winning team earning a title match next week felt like a secondary issue at best. This was a regular TV match

> I don’t know what a Puppy Battle Royal is (outside of what it says right there) but it’s happening next week, and I am ALL IN

Should you watch this event: I don’t know what the cool kid consensus is for Hikaru Shida versus Penelope Ford, but thought it was easily the best match on this show, one of the best women’s matches in recent memory and a strong contender for match of the year so far. AEW’s tag team division is strong (almost, arguably, too deep) but the tag matches on offer were good or great, and Cody/Hager didn’t do it for me, but it was hardly an unwatchable match. This was an above average show, and I expect next week will be just as good.

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