Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #27: Catching Up on AEW Pt. 3 + ROH (Fyter Fest Night 2-Battle for the Belts III)
Gotta love shitty art sometimes, right!?
With this I am nearly complete in my latest catch up game with AEW. This was meant to be the final portion of the stretch of reviews, but alas I went a bit overboard. It's been fun as hell watching these either way and I don't even personally care about the drama behind the scenes. Not much, at least. Like last time, I'll be using the official All Elite YouTube channel for the review process of everything outside of the Death Before Dishonor content.
Note that TK held a big meeting today to cool shit. I'm told it went well.
Up first, starting up with the second night of Fyter Fest, this year a four night event, and we had Lucha Bros versus Private Party. This came off as a competent tag team contest but one that cruised ahead more than it sprinted. It was also overshadowed completely by the drama with LFI.
Next, House of Black bested Dark Order in a good one. After, Darby and King brawled and Sting had a micro Go/Fujita moment with Black. Pretty entertaining shit!
The Ring of Honor World Championship was on the line next in a worthwhile throwaway defense for then champ, Jon Gresham. The dramatic way that he dropped the belt, which I'll be covering rather soon, was interesting. It's one of the few bits of reality tv shit that I cared about at all, making me a slight liar considering my remarks above. Anyway, this was a technical showcase and a borderline great title contest!
His remarks post-match are rather funny in hindsight.
Barbed wire everywhere death time, people. A match that we've been building to for a long while now. It featured a shark cage, a soap opera style chick fight/heel turn, a huge faction brawl, and a return setting up a shit finish. It was overbooked Attitude Era style television. It was also wildly entertaining trash. Shit like this can be polarizing as hell, but I honestly dug it for what it was, as ugly as it was. You might hate it. Give it a look if you missed it, just to see where you fall.
The post-match antics were fucked, though.
For the record, Eddie was suspended after this because of issues with Sammy (among other things).
Darby and King had a fun David vs Goliath style match in our next stop. King looked like a true monster and the finish was sick. Fun. After, another sleeper was applied leading to Sting making a walk-down from the back. Lights out. Stare down between Sting and Black before the heels aggressively attacked the vet.
Miro made the save, surprisingly.
He's one of the sources of drama right now, by the way. A prime example of a guy that has been floating around aimlessly for longer than should be legal.
Mox and Yuta took on Chucky and Trent in our six-spot. It's my favorite thing of the set thus far. Mox and Yuta are a great team and anytime Taylor and TB get a chance to step up you know it's going to be fun. They worked hard and put in for a great tag match!
FTR, with Tony, promoted their ROH Death Before Dishonor match. The "fight like an eight-year old girl" bit is an amazing story.
HERE is a video of Jericho getting cut out of the barbed wire.
Captain Charisma and his dino buddy squashed those good ole Varsity boys. DRAMA. Jungle Boy's music hit and the face returned with a chair in hand. Luchasaurus moved aside and JB chased off CC.
Speaking of ROH (recently, at least), Rampage that week saw Lethal and Daniels in singles action. It very much felt old school (in the same way that Alice in Chains is now classic rock). Good shit. Lethal continued to attack after, alongside his buddies.
Ring of Honor time!
Death Before Dishonor looked to continue the controversial new era of ROH under Tony Khan. Many of the old diehards remain jaded and see slights in every nook and cranny. I'm enjoying it and am thankful the brand even still exists at all, but I do agree with some of the criticisms for whatever that's worth.
Gresham and Claudio's match was good enough, but subpar for sure. The result was noteworthy, at least. While I am a bit saddened to see Jon tied up in drama, I am eager to see the former Cesaro's reign.
Garcia and Yuta had a fantastic pure rules match for the division strap. It really felt in line with what the division is meant to be all about and I sincerely appreciated the work from both men.
Rush and Dragon Lee, a battle of brothers, was great though I'd note that the finish was a bit fucked in execution. Still, they went hard for 15 and it felt deserving of the lineage of quality sibling matches throughout history.
The World Television Championship defense was a great one, too. It actually felt a lot like something that would have aired on TNA back in the day. In a good way. I must say that ROH is a very well rounded place right now, even if its existence is still largely ill-defined.
Our main was FTR vs Briscoes II with best 2 out of 3 fall rules. The visual victory for the southern boys was a nice touch and the top shelf action combined with the old school layout added together for a true classic. It felt very much like what you'd want Ring of Honor to be simply because this was timeless. I loved every second and am eager for round three. MOTYC and nearly perfect in general!!!
After, FTR respectfully invited Mark and Jay into the ring and then cut a quick set of promos. Claudio and Yuta came out with Regal for a stare down to fade things out.
I jumped back for a moment next to catch Miyu taking on Thunder Rosa. Note that I brag a lot here about Takeshita. Miyu is another I love to talk about and I was hopeful that she'd be getting similar treatment. While the former started in a weird role, he grew organically with the fans and was allowed to showcase how fucking great he is. Miyu is more than capable of doing the same, but they didn't work well enough together to really show it. Don't get me wrong, because this was good. It's just that she's a four+ star machine and this was underwhelming.
A reminder but I think AEW should have a show where they show matches that occur around the world that feature their own roster members. Dark can be a fun studio show and Elevation can be a fun bonus show to showcase newcomers and such. A women's show would be nice, too.
Garcia and Bryan was fucking epic. I absolutely loved every second of it and appreciated the tone and intensity. The technical brutality and dramatic endstretch pushed it far into must-see territory. Another MOTYC on this set and I must say that the fighting spirit storyline here was sincerely fantastic. Even the shit finish was fine given how awesome it was to see Garcia take the W.
Top shelf work from both!
Mox and Rush put in for a fantastic attitude era style throwaway title match. It was a bit hectic, but this added to the pacing and general vibe as a net positive. Thumbs up! Jericho and crew came out after and Chris demanded his rematch a few years late. Mox said he wasn't interim, dogged on sports entertainment, and talked some shit. It was pretty fun and a nice follow up.
Mox wants Lionheart.
Next, I watched the ending of Starks dropping the FTW strap to Hook. Ricky said it was finally his time after the L but Hobbs destroyed the dude to make it clear that the time was, in fact, his instead.
I was hopeful that the second Miyu/Rosa match would be better than the TJPW one. It was not. Rosa has a lot of heat on her right now and she's starting to hit unprofessional levels. I really hope she doesn't continue with this ego shit because it smells a lot like what started happening with Sexy Star.
Oh, and Jungle Boy called out Christian. It got personal quick, matching Captain Charisma's attitude. The vet chimed in via the tron. It was fine enough.
A celebration for the new ROH Champion ran next for me and featured the Pure Champ making an appearance after. Jericho interrupted and shared a moment with Wheeler, setting up a singles bout. A bit cheesy but I'm excited about the contest ahead.
Chris got played.
This is a thing that happened. I'm not sure why it happened, though. We've got a dumpster match.
The next pull returned momentarily to the Dynamite before the last segment to see Sammy and Martin facing off. Good enough. Antics after eventually saw Kingston and a handful of faces run off JAS crew.
Yuta's match with Jericho was a good one and ended when Chris locked the liontamer in and wouldn't let go. Mox made the save.
Orange and Lethal had a good, clean match. It would've fit right at home on ROH television, actually. Orange continues to be a treat.
Baker teamed with Hayter next to best ThunderStorm. Borderline great women's tag team action, folks. One of the best women's matches AEW has had this year, in fact.
A dumpster match of all things is up next. Gotta love the Gunn and Dogg appreciation. While this is nothing to write home about, it's still an entertaining circus act piece and sometimes...that's enough.
Matt and Christian was a servicable tv vet outing. Too short to rate, but enjoyable. After, Captain Charisma tried to smash Matt's face in but was ran off by Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy.
Undisputed Elite drama time, with Cole in the ring and he, along with reDRagon, in a program with the three turning on the Bucks. Cutler got taken down, too. Page made the save for a dramatic moment and a tease of a return of The Elite.
Taz announced the dissolving of Team Taz following Hobbs turning on Starks. The big man and newly minted heel won a squash to continue his midcard build. Ricky ran out after for a brawl. A shove to the ref and a spinebreaker later and Hobbs walked out on top.
All Ego is mad. He cut a decent heel promo and was joined by Stok. A business card was handed off to end things.
Number 24 and Mox defended the belt once more, this time against Mance. It was exactly the match I was expecting, and wanting, from the two. A brawl and a violent, bloody one at that.
We move on to a Friday Night Street Fight. This episode of Rampage had some good shit, clearly. A "PAY MJF" sign made an appearance. Don't worry about that. You should still worry, though, about how TK snuffed out the idea of a wrestler's union and killed any chance of one existing in the US. Starr's bullshit didn't help, of course.
Anyway, the tag match featured some bullshit and was modern attitude era for sure. It was fun for what it was either way and largely good.
Keep an eye on Colt news.
The end of Wardlow versus Lethal saw the big man champ best Jay clean. He was attacked by Lethal's buds in post. I don't care much for this as I don't care much for the group. I wish ROH had a show so they could be there with this stuff but I also don't want it there at the same time. Fuck. At least the powerbomb tease was decent.
For Lethal's failure, Wardlow was put through a table to end the segment.
Thunder and Hayter had a good, but largely forgettable title match next with a few bits that could've done better. I appreciated the drop kick spot but that's about the peak for this one. More TR stories were revealed to me while watching this one. It's not a good look, folks.
Takeshita basically had one of the best excursions of all time and simultaneously lost every relevant match along the way. We end this set with him facing Claudio in a random singles match for the ROH belt. It was phenomenal and a match I previously only imagined being possible in Fire Pro or 2k. A fantastic battle of artists and a fine way to go out for now.
Thanks, as always, for reading. More, also as always, to come.
- Lucha Bros vs Private Party **3/4
- House of Black vs Dark Order ***1/4
- ROH World Title: Gresham(c) vs Moriarty ***1/2
- Barbed Wire Everywhere Death: Jericho vs Kingston ***1/4
- King vs Darby NR
- BCC vs Best Friends ***3/4
- Daniels vs Lethal ***
- ROH World Title: Gresham(c) vs Claudio ***
- ROH Pure Title: Yuta(c) vs Garcia ****
- Rush vs Dragon Lee ***3/4
- ROH World TV Title: Joe(c) vs Lethal ***3/4
- ROH World Tag Titles, Best 2/3 Falls: FTR(c) vs Briscoes ****3/4
- Eliminator: Thunder Rosa vs Miyu ***1/4
- Garcia vs Danielson ****1/2
- Interim AEW World Title: Mox(c) vs Rush ****
- AEW Women's Title: Thunder Rosa(c) vs Miyu **1/2
- Guevara vs Dante ***
- #1 Contender, AEW Interim World Title: Jericho vs Yuta ***
- Lethal vs Orange ***1/4
- Baker, Hayter vs ThunderStorm ***1/2
- Dumpster: Acclaimed vs Gunn Club ***
- Matt vs Christian NR
- Jones vs Hobbs NR
- Interim AEW World Title: Mox(c) vs Warner ***1/2
- Friday Night Street Fight: Swerve in our Glory vs Nese, Woods ***
- TNT Title: Wardlow(c) vs Lethal NR
- AEW Women's Title: Thunder Rosa(c) vs Hayter ***
- ROH World Title: Claudio(c) vs Takeshita ****1/4