AEW Fyter Fest 6. 29.19 Review
By Sebastian Howard
Okay so right off the bat I’m not even going to pretend like I’m going to do these on a regular basis. The WWE product right now is so unappealing that its enough of a chore just to sit through Raw and SD and putting the time into writing a review for it when I’m not getting paid just isn’t worth the effort. You would think, y’know if you have a logical working brain, that WWE would amp up their efforts lately because of all the momentum that AEW’s picked up but instead its almost like they’re intentionally being awful because people are into a different company. The Raw after Double or Nothing was TERRIBLE, 3 hours of will Lesnar cash in and then he actually learns the rules of MITB ala that he can cash in whenever he wants throughout the entire year, got pissed at Heyman and left. Just absolutely awful but I guess Vince wanted to try to pop Raw’s ratings a little bit without actually doing ANYTHING interesting or memorable.
Then we had Stomping Grounds (Super ShowDown was whatever, you knew that was going to be bad going in) which in my mind deserves worst show of the year award. There was NOTHING anyone cared about in that show except for Ricochet/Joe (and it was quite a nice surprise that they put over Ricochet) but Ziggler/Kofi was boring as shit with a crowd that couldn’t care less and a finish that had nothing to do with the previous 25 minutes of wrestling. My friend Nathen actually summed it up quite well when he said, “This isn’t any better with a title.” Corbin/Rollins with Evans as the Ref was ATROCIOUS, the crowd turned on the entire thing though they still showed interest with Rollins doing his comebacks but the crowd in any imaginable way they could were showing that they rejected WWE’s terrible creative and Baron Corbin as a main eventer. The crowd was chanting this is stupid, AEW, CM Punk and Bryan and none of those chants started until the main event! And the craziest thing about this is that there were people online defending the match and the booking, saying it worked (I’m looking at you Jay H) when if you have any sensory anything you could tell that the crowd just didn’t give a shit. I honestly haven’t seen a crowd turn on a main event like that since Royal Rumble 2014 but what it really reminded me of was the old early 90s WCW shows when Flair left with their title and the fans just didn’t give a shit about anyone but Flair.
The only reason I kind of want to watch Extreme Rules is just to see the crowd turn on the entire event. I mean look at the card, its in Philly and there’s NO hardcore or extreme rules matches. They’re doing Rollins/Corbin and Becky/Lacey AGAIN but this time its a shitty WCW 2000 tag rules match. Then you have Shane/McIntyre vs Taker/Reigns which I’m pretty sure is going to lead to either McIntyre getting pinned or Shane pinning Taker and if the later happens the crowds going to be quite pissy. Oh and we’re getting Alexa/Bayley again! The only new feud they put up for the show is Kofi/Joe and while that looks interesting you know Joe can’t get it done in big matches for the title (he lost to Lesnar back at Great Balls of Fire and lost to AJ like five times last year). And do you know where all of this is going? Its all leading to Shane McMahon as WWE Champion and Baron Corbin as, if not champ, at least a main eventer and more of him on Raw. And its just insane to not listen to your fanbase as hard as Vince isn’t listening to his base right now. His viewership is constantly dwindling, the only people who watch Raw and SD anymore are hardcore ass fans who you have to work pretty hard to alienate but he’s doing a pretty good job of it. Vince is just stubborn as fuck and we’re going to have to sit through more shitty Raw’s and more shitty ppv’s because of it and I really do think with the product being as bad as it is people are just going to start watching AEW if they can keep up a consistently good quality. The best way to fix WWE is to let Triple H run it like he runs NXT and do similar booking but Vince isn’t getting off his chair until he dies and he might sink WWE with him.
Okay enough about WWE, lets talk about me. I moved from CA back to FL (with a little Oregon thrown in there where I had a truly trashy experience with my Cousin). I’ve been doing mostly restaurant work over here, was working at IHop and it was so incredibly ghetto… I was the busser/host/foodrunner and the girls did NOT like to tip me because the area was so bad that they would never make money (also they’re just kind of cheap). It was consistent work though and I was getting in 5 days a week, then when it slowed down I was at 3 working weekends. Then out of nowhere our GM said he was going to go on a vacation for a few weeks and we were going to have a replacement GM. Well the replacement GM came in and she was just a grade A c*nt who didn’t like me, cut my hours and was constantly on my ass about everything. Wouldn’t be too bad if she was just there for a few weeks but it turns out that the OG GM didn’t go on vacation at all but he actually left that IHop to manage a completely different one.
So I ended up getting a new job at a sports bar/restaurant that’s local to Florida Duffy’s. It was alright, like the jobs they put out were more organized and it was like a nice atmosphere but I ended up leaving because the scheduling was fucking terrible. I was bussing weds-sat, Saturdays their busiest day because its a sports bar wouldn’t get out till like 12:30-1 most of the time and then they wanted me to come in Sunday mornings at 9 am to dish wash and prep for LESS MONEY than I was making in the front. In the front I got in on the tip out because I was bussing so that came out to a little over 10 an hr but in the back I had to work harder and only made 9.75. The schedule was just burning me the fuck out, I got my sleeping schedule used to sleeping during the day and working the night and then I had to completely reverse that in one day and I just couldn’t sleep in between the sat-sun shifts and the fuckers that run the place REFUSED to change my schedule. Alex the kitchen GM was a total sleaze too, constantly putting me on hot schedules without telling me, making me work Sunday mornings constantly, not giving two shits that I was tired and making me do two jobs that should never be for one person (who the fuck has ever had to do prep then jump on dishwashing then go back to prep then back to dishwashing and then back to prep etc.?) and he’s just kind of a little bitch in general. So now I’m jobless trying to get something but its Summer in Florida and places don’t really start hiring until Winter so its kind of rough right now. Was a lot easier to get jobs in Tahoe, CA but I guess that’s because it was a small town.
Okay preamble done, lets get on to the show…..
AEW Fyter Fest
The reason that I wanted to cover this show is because I actually went there live on the weekend and wanted to get my thoughts down on it but before we go into the card I want to talk about a few things I have to bitch about that happened off-camera. Well first off parking was an absolute mess, Nathen and I got there 2 hours before the main show and an hour before the pre-show and we literally could not park anywhere in the Ocean Center. It was completely full and we ended up in a giant traffic circle for 15 minutes, then we drove off looking for places to park. All the lots were full, the garage was full, the probably usually empty dirt lot was full of cars, we were just fucked for a good 20-30 minutes just trying to find someplace to fucking park. Finally we found some shitty bar by the Ocean Center and parked there though it was 10 dollars to park which was fucking ridiculous because the parking at the actual center was only like 4 or 5 bucks. Incredibly low rent and nothing I’ve ever had to deal with at a WWE show, they need to work out something because the Ocean Center clearly wasn’t ready for that many people to come.
Okay so Nathen and I finish up a six pack and the rest of the weed we had and went in. Nathen’s not good with seating so I helped him find his seat and then went to find mine and hey get this, THEY DIDN’T SET UP MY SEAT! I was supposed to be at the end corner all the way to right section 121 row g seat 10, well there literally wasn’t 10 seats in row g at section 121, there was only FIVE! I talked to head of security about it and he said they never set them up (most likely because they needed a camera and room for the stage stuff they did with the drum set at the end) so I could sit anywhere that was empty. Luckily section 116 was pretty empty, I think there was some AEW staff there and they had the camera guy in front of us and another camera behind us but they were really good seats. We were basically sitting from the middle and we weren’t at the guardrail but we were as close as you can get without being straight upfront. Things ended up working out but if the show had been sold out I would’ve been FUCKED, again low rent bullshit and nothing I’ve ever had to deal with at a WWE show. One last thing, at the end of the show during the main event I was standing up because y’know its the fucking MAIN EVENT and I was into the match. Well some cocksucker security guards told me to sit down and I was like Excuse me, what the fuck did you just say to me? I have to sit down? And they just walked away, another guy who I think was AEW staff who was watching the show told me there was a camera behind me and I was like I couldn’t care less, they literally didn’t have the seats I paid for set up, there’s a fucking camera guy right in front of me and I’m not bitching about that and I paid 80 bucks to be here, I can stand during the MAIN EVENT if I fucking want! Again, I’ve never been told at a WWE event to sit down, incredible honestly. Ok I’m done bitching, lets get into the show.
Pre-Show: Best Friends vs. So Cal Uncensored vs. Private Party
All I’m going to say about the opening preshow match… I wasn’t paying close attention to this one as it was starting as soon as I walked in and I had to find Nathen’s seat and then go find my seat at the time but I do like the Best Friends even though they remind me a lot of the Bucks.
2nd preshow match: Leva Bates vs. Allie
I wasn’t able to focus on this match at all because there was this chick talking to me during it who I guess personally knows or knew Leva Bates. I kind of cheered for her because I liked her gimmick but this girl below me started going off about how awful a person Bates is. The rumors were kind of interesting though I have no idea how much truth there is in them. This girl said she worked with Bates in a different wrestling company and this girl helped set up the ring and that Bates cyber bullied her and is friends with a child molester. Honestly her little rant was more interesting than the match which you knew Allie was going to win.
3rd Preshow Match: Alex Jebailey vs. Michael Nakazawa
Another match I didn’t care about, I think I was smoking for most of it. There were two things about it that stuck out to me though, the Legos or whatever the fuck they pulled out and when Alex pulled out his g string and flipped it into the crowd it hit this chick who was walking back to the concession area, hit her right in her tit. It was pretty great.
1st Match on the actual show: Christopher Daniels vs CIMA
This was my first time seeing Daniels live, I had no idea who CIMA was so I was just marking the fuck out for Daniels the entire time. I thought it was a pretty good match with some cool near falls but I was incredibly disappointed that I didn’t get to see the BME. CIMA won with a top rope metora and I guess he’s set up to fight Omega at some point so I guess it makes sense. I hope that AEW actually does something with Daniels in the future though as he really is just as talented in the ring as Styles or Joe and here is jobbing out in the first match of the show. Not super into Daniels SCU thing but it was over the crowd.
2nd Match: Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho vs. Nyla Rose
It was kind of hard for me to get into this because Yuka and Riho aren’t really, they don’t have any characters yet so I kind of associate them in my brain with other Japanese women wrestlers I know (Auska, Io Shirai, Kairi Sane) but the match was decent even if it felt like a repeat of the match we got at Double or Nothing. Same basic story except Nyla replaced Kong as the monster and Yuka and Riho had to overcome her while also trying to win the match against each other. Riho won with a rollup and after the match, for some reason KB doesn’t cover this in his review but I’m sure it happened on tv, Riho (I think) turned on Yuka after the match which is pretty similar to Io turning heel on NXT Wednesday but its not a bad thing to try to give the girls some character and reasons for feuding other than aye we’re trying to have a good match. Oh also I thought the girl ref was hotter than any of the girls wrestling.
3rd Match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jungle Boy vs. Adam Page vs. Jimmy Havoc
I literally went from booing MJF when he came out to cheering him by the end of his promo. He’s such a good heel, he’s funny, you can tell he’s having a good time and he actually wrestles smart. His opening promo went something like, he was being booed out of the building as soon as he went in, I think he made a couple fat jokes to the crowd, the crowds all you suck and he says well your Mom swallows. Then he’s like look Florida I think we got off on the wrong foot, I have similar interests, you guys like videogames right? And he started a little videogame chant and then he’s like yeah I used to love videogames…. before I lost my virginity. Definitely promo of the night though its not like he had a lot of competition. But on him wrestling smart, the way that he was wrestling is how I would try to win a match in 2K19. He bailed to the outside for a while and let everyone else fight but broke up pins. He’d also pick his spot for coming back in and it actually felt like he was trying to win the match rather than trying to have a good match or steal the show or whatever. Jungle Boy…. he’s decent in the ring but I HATE his gimmick. Its just so lazy and seems like something Vince would’ve came up, HEY PAL YOU’RE TARZAN!!! Jimmy Havoc, I like him but he was pretty unimportant to the match, like if they didn’t have him here it wouldn’t have really changed anything. Havoc is a lot better shining in hardcore matches but he wasn’t able to do anything particularly memorable here. Page is over and good in the ring but I’m not as sold on him as everyone else seems to be. Page beat Havoc with the Deadeye (is that a Red Dead reference?), pretty fun match here but you knew Page was winning to build up to him vs Jericho for the title. You couldn’t do Jericho/MJF because its two heels, Havoc’s like not a big enough name and Jungle Boy…. lol.
4th Match: Cody vs Darby Allin
Marked out super hard for Cody here, the last time I saw him live was at Mania I think and I’m pretty sure he jobbed out to the Big Show so it was nice to see him as like a big deal outside of WWE. I like Allin too, his theme songs cool and he’s got a pretty unique moveset but I was definitely cheering for Cody here. Oh and Brandi’s hot as fuck in real life. Some of Allin’s offense is a bit hard to swallow, I mean he probably weighs maybe 10-15 lbs more than me and him doing dives and stuff to Cody and Cody selling it, it just seemed a bit much but it wasn’t like ridiculous or like Mysterio/Big Show with the weight difference. The match was a lot of fun and the time limit that they had throughout the entire show ended up being used here as Cody was desperately trying to finish him off but ran out of time. I dug the whole bodybag thing too, thought it was a cute spot. Anyway Cody wasn’t able to finish him off and the whole crowd, including me started a five more minutes chant and Cody was like arguing with the ref trying to get more time when Tye Dillinger of all people ran down to the ring and smashed Cody right in the head with an old school nasty 90s chair shot.
Tye looked like he was going to hit Brandi but the girl ref got in the way and he dipped. I really liked this because it shows how someone that you didn’t give a fuck about in WWE, how once they get out of the stale ass place and are allowed to be in an environment that isn’t as controlling, how exciting and fresh it all seems. I’m actually excited to see Tye Dillinger do something which is something I’ve literally never said about him before. Its the same thing with Moxley, in WWE he was stuck with such bad creative that the name Ambrose, like you just didn’t give a fuck about him because you knew WWE wasn’t going to do anything with him but when he got out of WWE suddenly he’s THE BIGGEST STAR IN WRESTLING! Its crazy to me and it just shows how toxic the environment is with modern WWE and how they have all this great talent and still manage to come out with generic shit that doesn’t matter EVERY WEEK! Oh, side note about Tye Dillinger, I went to an NXT show in like 2016 or 17 and Tye Dillinger was the main event against… someone, anyway this little girl screams out, loud as fuck, THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL A MAIN EVENT!??? And Tye couldn’t say shit because its a little girl, hilarious!
5th Match: Lucha Bros/Laredo Kid vs. Young Bucks/Kenny Omega
I’m fairly sure the Young Bucks were doing a street fighter thing with their entrance but it also could’ve been a Karate Kid reference with that new YouTube show they have (Cobra Kai I think?) or it could’ve just been them wanting to be goofy. Then some random fan ran up on the stage like a complete dumbass, the lights went out and when they came back Omega was there and the guy was gone. People are saying Omega knocked the dude out but I wasn’t able to see that live, I did like the Young Bucks reaction though because they didn’t kick the dudes ass or anything they just kind of had a look of disgust on their faces. I dug that they were so adamant with the ref to make SURE that he said round one, FIGHT! The Kamahamha (however you spell that) spot was pretty cute too and I marked out for it. This was a bunch of firsts for me, first time I’ve seen Young Bucks, Omega, Pentagon, Fenix or Laredo Kid (though I don’t really know a lot about Kid), I was cheering for the Elite (though I couldn’t get into that V Elite or be Elite chant whatever it was) but honestly the match was such a fun little spot fest that instead of cheering anyone the crowd was just kind of oohing and aweing at every move. Pentagon Jr is over AS FUCK with that Spanish/hand thing he does which was kind of surprising considering this was in Florida! The whole match was just a lot of fun and it really was a treat to get to see Omega and Young Bucks live. Omega won after a couple of V Triggers and a one winged angel.
Main Event: Jon Moxley vs Joey Janela Hardcore
Holy shit this was FUN! I’m only 23 so when I was able to go to WWE, the first show I went to was Mania in 2012 and by then everything was so pg that you never got to see anything this violent. The most hardcore match I’ve ever seen before is probably Taker/Trips in HITC and while that was a very fun match live it was still pg. You had chairs and sledgehammers but that’s it. This match let me get so many of the cool checklist shit out of the way. I got to chant holy shit with kids around, you sick fuck, see someone actually use tacks and barbed wire chairs and tables, crowd brawling (which sucks frankly) and a pretty sweet elbowdrop off a ladder through a table.
This whole thing was so fun and again its so nice to see Moxley in a fresh context and not being watered down and telling people that they’re stinky and he doesn’t want to breathe the same air as them or pulling out hot dog carts and hitting people with condiments. Moxley and Janela were both very game here and they did not dick around. Moxley got some you sick fuck chants and took a bow, and the crowd started cheering, pretty much the entire crowd was behind Moxley. Again, lets look at what Ambrose was doing when I went to Mania in 2017, oh yeah he wasn’t on the main show but on the PRE SHOW WITH BARON FUCKING CORBIN!!!! I mean it was for the US title I think but still… Jesus what a terrible spot to be in. I was late as fuck to that Mania and didn’t get there until Cena/Bella vs Miz/Maryse so I’d actually never seen Ambrose/Moxley before and seeing him as a legit main eventer doing crazy ECW-Foley shit was great. I loved the spots with the barbed wire tables and when Moxley pulled out the tacks I was just marking like a motherfucker. I liked the psychology a little bit of Moxley taking off Joey’s boots and seeing them tease the spots with the tacks and barbed wire, were they’re about to fall in but stop themselves at the last second, I’ve seen that on tv before but I’ve never seen a crowd in real life react to shit like this. I really do think we could a renaissance of hardcore wrestling right now because WWE’s watered wrestling down so hard that seeing something like this, it seems new and fresh because we haven’t seen it in FOREVER from a major company anyway (I know TNA and MLW have done some hardcore stuff but they don’t have the following that AEW does).
Moxley beat Joey with a Dirty Deeds on the nails. Afterwards he got attacked by Kenny and they did the drum set bit I mentioned at the beginning of the review, kind of a pain in the ass to see anything so we were just looking at the screen (which kept on turning on and off all night instead of just staying on) but it was pretty fun. I think that AEW’s going to have a problem with this feud a bit, the crowd was still into Moxley but they definitely were not going to boo Omega. I kind of felt like this was a last minute decision to make up for Jericho not being there as a lot of fans figured he was going to show up to get back at Moxley but I guess he was actually touring with Fozzy so we got this and it was awesome but I just don’t know if they really want to try to turn Omega heel or if they even can.
Final Thoughts: Other than the off screen problems I had with the show that I mentioned (seating and parking mainly) I really liked this show. I think its the most consistent show I’ve been to from a quality level, I’ve been to Mania’s before but Mania you’ll have a really good match right next to a shit match while everything here was pretty much at a consistently good-great level. I was honestly just as into this and enjoyed it just as much as Mania and I only had to pay 80 bucks for it! If you’re in the Florida area I would definitely try checking AEW out before they explode in October because goddamn this show was so much fun and such a nice optimistic show compared to the doom and despair that is WWE 24/7.
Tags: AEW, Fyter Fest