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Cook’s AEW Fight for the Fallen Review

July 14, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Chris Jericho AEW Fight for the Fallen
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Cook’s AEW Fight for the Fallen Review  

Hey kids! The boss man’s having weather issues, so you’re stuck with the substitute teacher. Try to behave yourselves as you normally wou-no, actually, try to behave better than you normally would.

Excalibur & Alex Marvez call The Buy-In.

Match Booked To Piss Jim Cornette Off: Peter “The Librarian” Avalon (w/Leva “The Librarian” Bates) vs. Sonny Kiss: Peter had something very important to tell us, but Sonny interrupts alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders & Jackson DaVille. Kiss is wearing a Jalen Ramsey jersey for those of you scoring at home (or even if you’re alone). Avalon is all about the shushing early, which I feel is a styles clash with Kiss’s flamboyant style. Marvez doing his Jacksonville library research. Leva gently rolls Kiss into the ring, making her one of the less effective heel managers I’ve seen. She’s a librarian though, so it’s expected. After some further offense by Avalon, Kiss comes back right quick, hits Kiss is It (electric split legdrop off the middle rope) and gets the win.

Winner: Sonny Kiss: Not bad by any means, but not particularly great either. I was kinda hoping they would lean into more nonsense because that’s what we were expecting. (**)

– Jen Decker is backstage with Cody & Dustin Rhodes. Cody talks about how the show’s proceeds are going to the victims of gun violence. Cody discusses how the Young Bucks are new school while they are old school. Dustin says the Brotherhood is in town, and he will powerslam the both of them so hard that their souls will leave their bodies. They are only as good as Cody & Dustin will allow them to be. Cody says if he wasn’t 100%, he wouldn’t be there. He’ll deal with Shawn Spears at another time, tonight he’s going to prove that the Brothehood is better than the Bucks.

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Riho vs. Shoko Nakajima & Bea Priestley: Shoko & Bea are making their AEW debuts here. Britt & Shoko start. Shoko’s a shade under 5 feet so Britt & everybody else has the size advantage on her. Some nice chain wrestling to start with Shoko getting the better of it for the most part. Well, until Brit grabs her by the tail. Tailed wrestlers always have a built-in disadvantage. Bea tags in & she’s popular with the Jacksonville crowd. Britt runs to the wrong corner to make the tag, but finds Riho eventually, who hits a dropkick off the top for two. Bea targets the left arm of Riho, as does Shoko. They’re working it like they’re Andersons or something, and now they’re doubleteaming in the corner while the referee’s back is turned. That’s heat! SHOKO WITH THE SKULLF*CK! Sorry, I always pop for that move. Riho finally gets the tag to Britt, who seems to know which direction she’s going now. Riho comes back in pretty quickly, which may end up being her downfall. 619 with the tail by Shoko. Riho with the headscissors, and now Bea & Britt are in to hit big strikes. Riho & Shoko trading the Yay/Boo lumber. Bea & Britt tag in & face off, and they exchange forearm strikes. Series of reversals leads to them going to the corner. Yow, I’m not sure what move Bea was trying to springboard off the top rope with, but it was effective and got two. SUPERKICK BY BRITT, butterfly suplex gets a two. Riho’s back in to get tossed onto the apron then kicked onto the floor. Shoko knocks Britt to the floor and hits a tope suicida onto Britt & Riho! Shoulder capture suplex by Bea on Britt gets 2.5. Britt tags out to Riho, kneestrike to the back of Bea’s head gets a 2. I’m getting random closed captioning for some reason while Bea gets DDTed off the middle rope by Britt and covered by Riho for two. Riho misses in the corner, Shoko back in to get northern lights suplexed for 2.8. Double Stomp off the top by Riho gets a 2.99. Shoko with a DDT, she goes up top but misses a senton. Riho hits a knee strike, but Shoko hits the rana rollup and gets three!

Winners: Bea Priestly & Shoko Nakajima: Solid tag team match here that looked like it was going the time limit. Some spotty moments, but a step up from most Buy-In fare so far. (***1/4)

– That was a lot more than I was expecting to write there. Post match attack leads to Britt & Bea being separated. Seems those two are going to have some future interactions.

-Jen Decker speaks with Kip Sabian. A lot of people think he’s the underdog heading into this, but Kip didn’t come here to be happy cashing checks. He’s one of the best in the world & has a point to prove. He has no animosity towards Page at all, but has a problem with how everything is handed to him since he’s in the Elite. Page is overlooking Sabian and focusing on Chris Jericho. Sabian hopes Page wins that match, because he’ll be first in line to a title shot after winning tonight.

– “The Voice of Wrestling” Jim Ross joins Excalibur & Marvez at the announce booth to run down the card.

Joey Janela, Jimmy Havoc & Darby Allin vs. Shawn Spears, MJF & Sammy Guevara: No MJF pre-match promo makes me a sad panda. Spears informs Justin Roberts that he’d like to be introduced as “The Chairman of AEW”. MJF seems conflicted, having to team with the man that took his mentor’s head off with a chair. Darby & Sammy having some words during Darby’s entrance. MJF tells us we’re about to experience greatness and tells Spears to take notes before getting hip tossed & dropkicked by Janela. Spears claps. Havoc bites the man’s hand & JR suggests he may need some shots before going back to England. Havoc with some sign language while they chain wrestle. MJF’s scoop slam doesn’t get much respect. Tags to Guevara & Janela. Guevara misses the bodypress & Janela Germans the man into the corner! Yikes. Darby looks like he wanted a tag, but it went to Jimmy instead. Spears gets smacked in the corner & MJF is amused. Spears tags in, and now Darby Allin gets the tag. The fans like it. Spears tags out, as he doesn’t like it. Darby with the DDP rib tape special, but showing none the worse for wear early on. Janela misses a charge in the corner. MJF tags in to deal with Janela now, forearming the man off the apron & into the guardrail. Spears makes the tag on his own accord & goes ape on Janela in the corner. Guevara locks in the chinlock while the crowd rallies behind Janela. The three bad guys take turns tagging each other in the corner, MJF ends up the legal man, does a cartwheel and a 10 pose! Spears charges in & gets knocked down by Janela. Havoc arm drags Sammy into the corner upon getting tagged as he gets the better of a 1 on 3 situation with the three not on the same page at all. Allin makes the blind tag and gets the near-fall on Sammy. Spears breaks it up with a sledge to the ribs. Janela thrown hard into the corner again. Darby & Sammy end up alone in the ring, until Sammy decides to take both of his other opponents out with dives. Sammy goes up top, only for Joey to hit the DVD on the ring apron! Spears takes Sammy back into the ring to make the tag. MJF’s in there anyway, causes a rib issue, and Spears takes advantage, getting the win over Darby with the death valley driver.

Winners: Shawn Spears, Sammy Guevara & MJF: Darby wanted a little too much action for his own good here, it seems. Spears gets the win here to continue his push towards an eventual showdown with Cody & furthering issues with MJF. Pretty solid stuff here. (***1/2)

– Shad Kahn, Calias Campbell, Farah & Farah (one of whom seems to be enjoying his alcohol), Private Party & Jebailey are there. Apparently Jebailey’s not supposed to be there and is escorted out by Atlas Security.

– Part of the Allie & Brandi Rhodes portions of The Road to Fight for the Fallen YouTube video air.

Brandi Rhodes vs. Allie: Brandi shakes Allie’s hand, but then the music of Awesome Kong plays! Kong makes her way to ringside at the behest of Brandi, but Allie still gets that early advantage. JR puts over Brandi’s good shape heading into this one, and I’m not going to disagree with such comments on either competitor here. Allie stares Kong down, which probably isn’t the smartest move she could make here. Especially when Brandi hits a dropkick through the ropes. If only Brandi had Kong by her side during her figure skating career. They would have made Tonya Harding & her crew look like a bunch of pre-schoolers. Brandi kicks Allie down in the corner, Allie fights back briefly but Brandi kicks her close enough to the face for two. Kong grabs the leg of Allie, Brandi hits a suplex for two. Allie hits what JR calls the hanging hairbreaker. Allie gains the momentum & hits the ol’ sliding elbow in the corner opposite of Kong for two. Running bulldog by Allie after a series of reversals for two. Brandi gets a near-fall. BSE followed by a running death valley driver, which is move of the night early here. Kong pulls Brandi out of the pinfall out of the vision of the referee. Inside cradle by Brandi gets two. Allie with a dragon sleeper, Brandi’s tapping and Kong is conferring with the referee. Eye rake by Brandi and the bionic spear (metal plate in Brandi’s clavicle btw) gets the three count!

Winner: Brandi Rhodes: Brandi will never be considered the best technical wrestler in the world, but putting Kong with her is a solid package. This was decent enough advancing storylines & Allie did some good stuff. (**)

– Brandi & Kong attack after the bell, but Aja Kong’s theme plays and here comes Aja Kong! Aja & Awesome have crossed paths before. The referees come down to prevent the confrontation, and somehow it works. Brandi advises Awesome Kong to wait for another date. Aja & Allie exit together.

– JR goes on for a minute about the Rhodes, Jacksons, Funks & Briscoes.

Dark Order vs. Angelico & Jack Evans vs. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus: The Dark Order’s followers are called “creepers”. which certainly seems to fit the type of folk that would rally behind Evil Uno & Stu Grayson. Evans serving all these fools during his entrance, and you know this maaaan. Marko Stunt accompanies Boy & his Saurus to the ring, sending Bryan Alverez into a conniption fit somewhere. Evans & Grayson start, with Evans getting thrown around like he weighs 150. Angelico tags in. I think Uno grew out of his old outfit, neccessitating the gimmick change. Jungle Boy tags in and hits some of those sudden dropkicks. Uno’s got Boy’s nose! Nice bow. Luchasaurus tags in, much to the approval of the crowd. Uno tags Jack Evans. Jack seems reluctant at first, but Angelico helps hype him up. Doesn’t work. Fortunately for Evans, Luchasaurus tags Jungle Boy back in after only a few big moves. Boy fights Uno & Stu off in the corner but gets his back broken on the apron. Senton bomb on the apron by Stu gets a 1 count for Uno. Boy gets stomped down in the corner by the evil Dark Order. JR suggests that the Dark Order should be mad at their parents instead of everybody else. Neither Evans or Angelico seems in a rush to tag in, Grayson helps them make their decision by taking them off the apron. A swanton by Uno off the top only gets two on Jungle Boy, I can only assume because Uno’s head was the main part that hit him. If it was the back, forget about it. Boy finally tags the Saurus, and Saurus goes off on Grayson before taking Evans & Angelico into the ring! He doing backflips & kicks & standing moonsaults like a luchador or something. Oh, so that’s the gimmick! Evans gets chokeslammed to the floor on top of Angelico. Assisted shooting star by the Boy! Tombstone Age gets two thanks to Uno. Evans & Angelico doubleteam Jungle Boy for a minute, but Uno breaks up the inverted figure 4 because he wants to win the match. Kicks to Jungle Boy & an assisted 450 get two. Black Tiger Buckle Bomb by Angelico, but Marko Stunt is allowed to climb the top rope and rana Evans to the mat! Well, the referee gets around to kicking him out eventually. Somehow the referee is still ok with Luchasaurus tossing Stunt onto opponents on the floor. At any rate, a powerbomb combination gets another nearfall. Some completely ridiculous double team moves I can’t even describe are getting kicked out of here. Finally, the Dark Order wins with the Fatality, which is kind of a Widow’s Peak flipping Diamondcutter off the top combination.

Winners: The Dark Order: Spots spots spots and more spots. What the heck else would you have expected though? Digging me some Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus, I expect them to be the stars here sooner rather than later. I’ll probably be a low rating on this one. (***)

– We see a Hangman Page hype video.

Hangman Page vs. Kip Sabian: Solid old fashioned technical wrestling to start here. It breaks down to chops & strikes & things like that pretty soon. Page was a Virginia Tech Hokie, which means that Greg DeMarco is no longer the most famous Hokie in the business. Page takes the long way down to the floor, some pretty good evidence his knee isn’t 100%. He can still lift Kip up and do fallaway slams. Sabian gets an upperhand with that tope suicida, then swaps some spit with a ringsider! I’m not sure that was appreciated, be that as it may, Sabian goes on the offensive. Double stomp off the top gets two. Sabian gets dumped on his head with an overhead belly to belly. Page fights back and a standing shooting star gets a two count. Nice tornado DDT by Sabian for two. Page spits at Sabian but that doesn’t stop Kip’s offensive onslaught. Page with some chops, but Sabian with a knee, some spit, and he goes off the ropes into a discus lariat from Page. They ascend the ropes & tease a superplex, but Page gets headbutted onto the apron. Sabian misses the stomp, but Page doesn’t miss the back suplex on THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Moonsault by Page to the floor, but that was a very bad thing for that left knee. Back into the ring..Page lifts Sabian for a powerbomb, and throws him over the damn ropes onto the rampway! Yikes! Sabian makes it back into the ring on the nine count, which might not have been his smartest move. Back up top for both, a swinging neckbreaker by Hangman gets a 2.75. A dragonscrew in the ropes by Sabian causes more issues for Page. Springboard rana by Sabian, series of reversal rollups, Page gets Sabian up for the Deadeye and the three count just over nineteen minutes into it!

Winner: Hangman Page: This kind of drug for me, to be honest. Nothing technically bad about it at all, but you could tell they were stretching it close to the 20 minute time limit. Page did well working the injury & Sabian’s got a world of potential. It did pick up enough towards the end to get me invested. (***)

– We got a Creeper in the ring, and I’ve got a feeling on who this masked man that’s attacking Adam Page just might be…yep, there’s a Codebreaker. IT’S CHRIS JERICHO! He knocks down a referee and hits the Judas Effect elbow right to Hangman’s eyebrow! The boy’s busted open by gawd. The fans thank him for showing up, but Jericho flips them off.

SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. The Lucha Brothers: Sky points out that this is the worst town he’s ever been in. Ringside second for the evening Christopher Daniels says Jacksonville still still has a special place in SCU’s heart and does that DUVALLLLL chant. Kazarian wants the fans to say SCU, and they comply. Kazarian & Rey Fenix start. Kaz wins the shoulder tackle battle. Fenix has more style on his reversals. The partners come into the ring & referee Aubrey Edwards lays down the law. Pentagon Jr. & Sky are now legal and exchanging catchphrases & pushes to the face. Sky with some dancing the second time around. Pentagon removes his Adidas glove, which the referee picks up. The crowd doesn’t like it, but Pentagon takes the heat off of her. He takes some heads off with some kicks. Fenix comes in for a double superkick on Kazarian. Double superkick to Daniels, then Sky on the floor! Off comes the shirt, and Daniels’ chest gets smacked into next week by Pentagon. Sky gets some of that from Fenix. Fenix’s dive doesn’t go as far as usual. Daniels with an Arabian moonsault because why not. He’s sent to the back, and the distraction leads to Kazarian bodypressing both men. Sky & Kazarian with the Rock & Roll Express wheelbarrow powerbomb! Springboard legdrop gets two on Fenix. After some heat, Fenix finally lands a big kick on Kazarian, and gets that tag to Pentagon. Slingblades & superkicks all around! Sky eats kicks from both of them. Kaz getting a faceful of Sky backside in the corner while the Lucha Bros do some teamwork. Doublestomp off the top gets two. Fenix seems confused what to do, finally settles for a dive onto Kazarian on the floor while Penta gets a nearfall. Kaz fights back & here’s SCU with some double teaming of their own. Fenix with a double cutter. Sky with one on Penta on the apron. Jeez, a scary looking assisted DDT only gets two on Fenix. Fenix recovers enough to walk the ropes & do a stomp. Mexican Destroyer by Pentagon on Sky gets a two count. The assisted Package Piledriver gets the win for the Lucha Brothers!

Winners: The Lucha Brothers: These men have been around the world & back, seeing & doing it all. I enjoyed the early match stuff, which led up to everybody going crazy at the end. (***1/4)

– Daniels comes down to assist his buddies, and the Lucha Bros get a ladder out to deal with him. Penta gets the microphone, claps it along to the Cero Miedo chant. He proclaims the Lucha Brothers the best tag team in the world. Fenix challenges the Young Bucks to a ladder match at All Out. Fenix proclaims the Lucha Brothers the best tag team in the universe. Cero Miedo!

Kenny Omega vs. CIMA: The Jacksonville fans call it awesome before it even starts. CIMA with the early advantage in mat wrestling & high-impact moves. Omega with some chops & a rana, but the roll-through leads to a lucha-style submission by CIMA. CIMA slows down the pace, Kenny finally gets something going with a back suplex for two. Big shot to the chest by CIMA, but Kenny’s able to respond with a rana. Omega telegraphs the dive to the floor, CIMA runs back in and hits a big kick to the face. Kenny favoring his previously-broken nose now. CIMA gets two with a Perfect Driver. Kenny with a spin kick to the back of CIMA’s head, then a big knee in the corner! Electric Chair on the top rope, CIMA slips out and powerbombs Omega to the mat. Meteora? Nope, nothing but knees to the mat. Omega gonna work those knees now. CIMA escapes the move that Kenny says people can’t escape! He also escapes the One-Winged Angel & hits a backstabber. Might not help his knees, but CIMA looks fine as he hits dropkick knocking Kenny into the guardrail. Kenny avoids the pescado & knocks CIMA knee first into the apron. Hey, there’s timekeeper Dasha! Her table avoids tragedy, but CIMA’s snap suplex on the floor doesn’t help Kenny. Oh shit, a Meteora off the platform onto Dasha’s table! That thing has no give. The fans want to see the action on the big screen, I can tell you that much. Meteora in the ring only gets two! He goes for it again, but Omega has the classic comeback! V-Trigger sets up…nope, CIMA gets out, ends up DDTing Kenny. They exchange slaps & knees, Kenny wins the exchange but CIMA ends up on top with a seated Meteora. Another one off the turnbuckle! Now they’re on the apron & CIMA hits the Schwein. Meteora off the top and Kenny kind of manages to break the count with his foot on the rope. Time to exchange more stikes. CIMA’s bad knee comes back to bite him, Kenny hits the Tiger Driver 98 for two. Cradle by CIMA gets two. V-Trigger, One Winged Angel, thanks for coming, CIMA!

Winner: Kenny Omega: Pretty much what you would expect from two of the best in the game. Maybe there were fifteen too many Meteoras for my liking, but it’s the kind of match that AEW will sell itself on going forward. (***3/4)

Chris Jericho Speaks: Jericho looks at the blood of Hangman Page, which happens to be on his hand. He wants a thank you from AEW, not from the fans. Jerksonville? Jackoffville? White trash riveria? He’s going to get his thank yous one at a time by beating everybody in AEW. If he wasn’t here, everybody would be looking for change & recycling bottles to make money. He’s mad about this battle royal business deciding who would face him for the championship. The Hangman is one of the best prospects he’s seen in years. He’s been worrying about this match. If he beats Hangman, it’s just another victory in the glorious career of Chris Jericho. If he loses to the Hangman, it’s the beginning of the end of AEW & Chris Jericho’s illustrious career. Where would he go from there? He has to beat the Hangman. Never trust Chris Jericho, you never know what he’ll do. He’ll be the AEW Champion, AEW wouldn’t exist without him, these people wouldn’t be here, and he’ll prove that the Hangman is nothing more than a little bitch! Here comes the Hangman! Here come the referees & coaches & assorted people from the locker room! Daniels helps escort Jericho to the rampway. Nice shiner on the Hangman.

– It’s being reported that Jericho was supposed to deliver this promo after the beatdown, but forgot, so they had to add it on later. There’s something for the next Botched!

– Video package building the main event. Jake Roberts & Tony Schiavone help break things down!

The Young Bucks vs. Cody & Dustin Rhodes: I didn’t realize Dustin was using a Brainstew knockoff theme until now. If you’re going to rip something off of WCW, it should definitely be using knockoffs of 90s rock songs as entrance music. Cody with the handshake for Nick. Nick kicks away the second handshake after some rasslin. Cody’s posing gets him a slap, and now we’re going back & forth with things getting personal. Dustin & Matt step in. Dustin tags in, and the Rhodes take turns uppercutting the Jacksons. Bodypress takes the Rhodes out, and the Jacksons start with their traditional double teams. Big hug in the middle of the ring to mock the Brotherhood. Nick with the springboard facebuster on Dustin, then a dive to Cody on the outside. Dustin gets worked over the next couple of minutes. Nick spits at Cody! Dustin with the double backdrop, but Cody got knocked off the apron and can’t get that tag. Spinebuster by Dustin leads to another chance, but Cody gets yanked off the apron again. Nick asks Dustin for a tag, and Dustin tags him upside the head! Dustin with a twisting crossbody off the top tope onto both Bucks, and here’s the tag to Cody! Vertical throw to Jackson, and a twisting crossbody of his own onto Nick. Dive onto Matt on the ramp! Cody removes his weight belt & whips Nick like he’s Hollywood Hogan. Reverse superplex gets a two count. Matt spikes the ringpost with a missed corner charge, and Dustin takes the opportunity to work that arm. This is the longest I’ve seen a Young Buck sell one body part. Cody & Dustin putting on a clinic here. Matt gets some offense on Cody for a second, but Cody reverses and locks in an armbar. Then Matt knocks Dustin off the apron & Cody gets backdropped onto the ramp! Spear with the bad arm by Matt, and maybe now he can make the tag? Yup! Nick with a series of kicks on Cody. Dustin runs right into a clothesline while Cody gets bulldogged. Dude is a house affire! He asks if people want a Superkick party…Cody doesn’t. Matt & Cody are back in time for some stereo sharpshooters. The Rhodes apply double figure fours! Double uppercuts, and a quadruple clothesline takes everybody down. The fans inform us that this, in fact, is wrestling. Dustin with powerslams that steal souls! Dives by Dusty’s boys! Dustin sets up for some Shattered Dreams on Nick, but Matt tags in and superkicks the man. Meltzer Driver gets blocked by Disaster kicks. Assisted Crossrhodes, but the pinfall is broken up by a senton! Dustin & Matt exchange blows, as do Cody & Nick, and down goes the referee! Stereo powerslams while Rick Knox looks for his teeth. The referee misses the stereo Shattered Dreams. Family finishers only get two. Cody tries a dive but dives right into the ol’ double superkick! It’s Matt & Nick against Dustin for the moment. Dustin showing shades of Dusty with those strikes, but the Bucks get some kicks and a two count after a top rope elbow drop. Dustin with the Code Red for a two count. Cody tags in and everybody’s exchanging superkicks. After some contemplation, Nick & Matt hit the double superkick to the back of Cody’s head. Dustin makes the save at two. Nick & Matt steal the uppercut gimmick, then the Rhodes do the superkicks! Superkicks by the Jackson’s, Crossrhodes on Cody gets two! Nick takes Dustin out on the floor, and it’s Meltzer Driver time! That gets the three count after just north of thirty minutes.

Winners: The Young Bucks: I’ll be honest, it went a little longer than it probably should have. But it didn’t lose me too much, especially considering that I’m an old man that has to work in the morning. (****)

– The post-match speech lets us know that it wasn’t anything personal on the Jacksons’ end. Shad Khan and some folks from the locker room come out to present the check and pump up the crowd some more. Cody delivers a revolution/anti-counter programming speech, then Kenny thanks us for everything. He opts to close his catchphrase with “boing” instead of “bang”.

The final score: review Good
The 411
I have spent years complaining about WWE's overly-long shows. So it's only fair for me to point out that AEW's Fight for the Fallen could have used some time shaved off of it. Maybe a match or two could have been left off, I dunno, but to me it was like one of those IWA Mid-South shows from back in the day that brought good action but never ended. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't WrestleManiaesque in its overkill, but the pacing left something to be desired. Part of me understands though...you can't half-ass it on a charity show. Imagine how that would have gone over. I did enjoy the main event, Omega vs. CIMA was fun, the Lucha Bros/SCU was good & the 6-man exceeded my expectations, so I was fine with the overall action.