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KELLER’S AEW FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN REPORT
JULY 13, 2019
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE AMPHITHEATER
STREAMED LIVE ON B/R LIVE (U.S. & CANADA) & FITE TV PPV (Internationally)
I hosted a live post-show with Mike McMahon following this event. You can listen HERE or you can search “Wade Keller” on your iPhone or Android podcast app and subscribe to the red logo post-show podcast to download it.
BUY IN (PRE-SHOW)
Commentators: Alex Marvez, Excalibur
-They had a great outdoor amphitheater setting that reminded me of college spring break Nitro episodes with a huge canopy for shelter, floor seats, and three decks filled with fans plus a giant screen for ring entrances.
(1) SONNY KISS vs. PETER AVALON (w/Leva Bates)
Fans booed when Avalon made his way to the ring and then when he shhh’d the crowd because he had something to say, Sonny interrupted. Avalon shoved Sonny down and then shh’d him. Sonny the hit a handspring back elbow. When he went for a wheel kick, Avalon ducked and then dropped Sonny for a two count. He settled into a chinlock. Marvez said Avalon has one admirer, and that’s Bates. Excalibur said Bates might have some romantic interest in Avalon. They noted that Avalon is very fit “for a librarian.” Marvez said this morning Avalon got ready for the match this morning at the local Jacksonville library.
Leva gently rolled Sonny into the ring. Sonny came back with an exploder and then a kip up, some acrobatics before, and a standing moonsault for a near fall. Bates stood on the ring apron to distract Sonny, which led to Avalon rolling him up for a near fall. Avalon landed an enzuigiri. Fans chanted, “Reading sucks!” Sonny landed a top rope split-legged legdrop for the win.
WINNER: Sonny Kiss in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That worked. The crowd was into it and it didn’t overstay its welcome. It’s still a bit gimmicky to open with, but AEW is in this for the long haul and there’s clearly going to be some quirky characters as part of their DNA.)
-Marvez threw to Jen Decker. He said she’d be interviewing Kip Sabian. Instead, though, she interviewed Cody & Dustin. Cody said proceeds from this event were going to those affected by gun violence. Fans cheered. Cody said he is excited to give a giant check to a city that deserves it. She asked about facing The Young Bucks and trying to control the pacing. Cody said they’re all “run and gun and flipidy do with West Coast offense.” He said once they attach to a body part and attack a body part, they will be grounded. Cody said they’re old school and they like that. Dustin said without old school, there is no new school. He said the brotherhood is in town and he will personally powerslam them both so har, their souls will leave their bodies. “You are only as good as we allow you to be,” Dustin said. Deck asked if Cody is recovered from the vicious chair attack. Cody said if he wasn’t 100 percent, he wouldn’t standing there.
(2) RIHO & BRIT BAKER vs. SHOKO NAKAJIMA & BEA PRIESTLEY
The announcers did a good job talking about the backstory of each of the women and how there are a lot of firsts in this match in terms of these women teaming or wrestling each other. Brit grabbed Nakajima’s fur tail early in the match. Marvez suggested the winner here might be the no. 1 contender for the AEW Women’s Title. Excalibur pushed back on that saying “maybe top five.”
Riho got a near fall late against Nakajima. Then she hit a diving stomp for a 2.99 count. Najajima came back and scored the pin a minute later after some great back and forth. The announcers sold it as a big upset that shook up the AEW Women’s Division.
WINNERS: Nakajima & Priestley in 16:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. They had time to tell a story with extended stretches of offense leading to comebacks. Each wrestler had a chance to show her personality and moveset.)
-After the match Priestley and Baker got into a brawl. Their partners pulled them apart.
-Decker interviewed Kip Sabian. He playfully asked her to hit a high pitch introducing him as “Superbad,” but she declined with a smile. She asked about being the big underdog against Hangman Page. He said he thought the interview would go that way, and he feels he’s not an underdog, but he has a point to prove. He said a victory would put him in line for a future title match. He took the mic and looked at the camera and said he has no animosity toward Page at all, but he has to bring his best because he’s ready.
(Keller’s Analysis: This pre-show is so much better than the first two AEW pre-shows. They’re having wrestlers talk about their matches on the main show in a sports-like way.)
-Jim Ross walked out to his Oklahoma Sooner music. (I have mixed feelings about him not calling the Sonny Kiss match.) Ross sat down with Marvez and Excalibur and said this will be a show at the end of the night people will be buzzing about. Ross said the main event is one of the best tag team matches he’s been able to call in a long time. They talked about Kenny Omega being without a singles win in AEW (although it’s hardly a losing streak!) Ross said this is an organization where wins and losses count.
Commentators: Jim Ross, Alex Marvez, Excalibur
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
-An excellent video package aired hyping the event.
(1) MJF & SHAWN SPEARS & SAMMY GUEVARA vs. DARBY ALLIN & JIMMY HAVOC & JOEY JANELLA
Each wrestler got ring introductions, which helped establish each of their personas and give announcers time to talk about each of the wrestlers and establish what they’re all about. They talked about MJF and Spears not liking each other at all. Spears is using the nickname “The Chairman.” (That’s an awful gimmick in 2019 to build a persona around hitting someone in the head with a chair.) The announcers said Cody just had the staples removed from his head a few days ago.
MJF opened against Janella and mouthed off to fans. Janella took it to MJF early. Marvez said this match was put together by their executive championship committee because these wrestlers wouldn’t have teamed on their own. Fans chanted “F— him up, Jimmy, f— him up!” Marvez noted NJF is putting on bulk by doing heavy lifting one day, DDP Yoga on alternate days. Janella tagged in Havoc, and Darby shot him a dirty look since he reached out too.
Spears tagged in against Havoc, but Darby begged to enter. Havoc tagged him in and the crowd popped and chanted “Darby!” Marvez said Darby feels he was upstaged by Spears at Fyter Fest. Spears tagged out before locking up. Darby stared him down. Guevara snapped his finger to get his attention and then gave him a finger. Darby out-wrestled him, though, so Guevara grabbed the bottom rope. Darby threw Guevara into his corner and tagged in Janella. MJF tagged in against Janella next and got booed. He snapped Janella over the top rope neck-first and then knocked him to the floor with a hard running forearm. He kissed his biceps and played to the crowd. Spears tagged himself in and went after Janella, seizing a chance to attack an opponent who was already hurt. Marvez pointed that out.
Guevara and Havoc had a nice exchange a few minutes later leading to an “All Elite!” chant. Guevara went after Darby with a fly of offense for a two count. Then came the “A-E-Dub!” chant. Janella gave Guevara a Death Valley Driver onto the edge of the ring apron. “Holy shit!” chanted the fans. Spears helped Guevara tag in MJF. Spears then entered and Darby a Death Valley Driver for the win.
WINNER: Spears & Guevara & MJF in 13:00. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: There was a lot going on in this match, but it really worked. The ring introductions allowing announcers to put in perspective each of their personalities and then watching that all play out the match worked really. AEW is already improving in big ways in terms of storytelling with their crew of wrestlers. Spears is already coming across as a top tier contender in terms of personality and presentation compared to anything he did flicking his fingers at the camera for years in NXT and WWE. Really, though, everyone had a chance to show who they are individually and in relation to one another.)
-They showed Shad Khan in the crowd. Marvez noted that he designed the venue they were in. They showed Calais Campbell of the Jacksonville Jaguars was shown. Then they showed Eddie & Chuck Farah from the Farahand Farah Law Firm. They showed Private Party in the crowd, also. Excalibur said they don’t have a match, but they are scouting the competition. Then security kicked out Alex Jebailey who was sitting next to them.
-A video package aired with Brandi tearfully saying she feels like she was supposed to be in pro wrestling and it wasn’t an accident, but she’s not sure she’s excelled so far. She said she can’t doubt herself and has to push forward. They rotated to soundbites with Allie also talking about her perspective on the match. She said she feels ready and predicted victory. Brandi said she’s going to get past the demons in her head that say she can’t do this.
(2) ALLIE vs. BRANDI RHODES
Brandi offered a handshake. As they shook hands, Brandi gave Allie a knowing smile and then Awesome Kong walked out to her music. Marvez said it seems Brandi brought some back-up. Marvez said they thought this was going to be a clean match, but Brandi turned out to be Brandi after all. Allie threw an early roundkick that barely grazed Brandi, and Brandi raised her arm to block it, but also bumped like she was hit hard. Allie dropped to the floor and stared down Kong. Excalibur said she’s too experienced to make the mistake by turning her attention to Kong. Brandi wrecking ball kicked Allie and took over with some stomps. She poured water over her. Brandi scored a two count after a side kick. Ross said he thought it might be a bit errant, but she got enough to get a two count. Brandi mounted Allie and punched away at her. Marvez said Brandi hasn’t wrestled since last December and she is rusty, so she has to stay in control without letting up. Kong grabbed Allie’s leg. She tuned her back, so Brandi hit her from behind and scored another two count. Allie made a comeback with clotheslines and running elbows to drop Brandi. She then threw a running sliding elbow to the jaw (area) of Brandi. (Nothing looks particularly tight in this one.)
They kept showing Kong watching intently from ringside. Allie hit a running bulldog and scored a two count. Allie landed a running Death Valley Driver mid-ring, but Kong yanked Brandi under the bottom rope to stop the count. The ref Paul Turner didn’t notice. Allie again turned her back to Brandi for the third time in the match, the previous two resulting in her being jumped. Brandi then surprised Allie with a small package. Ross said if Allie lost there, “it’d be her bad.” Agreed. Hard to root for someone so dopey as to be so undisciplined. Allie put Brandi in a submission. Brandi tapped, but the ref was occupied with Kong who had stood up on the ring apron. Brandi then raked Allie’s eyes and hit her with a Bionic Spear for the win. Ross wondered what the relationship is with Kong and Brandi.
WINNER: Brandi in 11:00. (*)
(Keller’s Analysis: About what was expected in terms of quality of wrestling. It wasn’t crisp at all. Storyline-wise, it established Brandi as a heel and that she has a helper in Awesome Kong to help her win matches she otherwise wouldn’t.)
-After the match Brandi and Kong attacked Allie. New music played and Ross, in an irritated tone, asked, “Now what?!” It was Aja Kong. She entered the ring and had a staredown with Awesome Kong. Three referees entered the ring and tried to talk them into leaving the ring. Ross said, “Let em’ fight, let ’em rip, there ain’t nothing dainty about this.” Fans booed when Awesome Kong left without any contact with Aja. Ross said the Women’s Division is going to be run by Brandi until further notice as long as she has Awesome Kong by her side.
-The announcers talked about the Rhodes Brothers vs. Jackson Brothers main event. Ross said they’re real brothers, “not made-up wrestling brothers.” The three commentators debated who the fans would side with.
(3) THE DARK ORER (Evil Uno & Sty Grayson) vs. JACK EVANS & ANGELICO vs. LUCHASAURUS & “JUNGLE BOY” JACK PERRY (w/Marko Stunt)
Justin announced Marko, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus as “A boy, a boy, and his dinosaur.” Ross said Justin would work for free if all he had to announce was “Angelico.” Ross said Grayson looks like the guy in a bar who is sure to get in a fight. Fans cheered when Nungle Boy tagged in against Evil Uno.
When Evans tagged in against Luchasaurus, he psyched himself up given the big size disadvantage. Luchasaurus tagged in Jungle Boy, but then Grayson also tagged in. Uno mostly overshot a top rope moonsault on Jungle Boy and scored a near fall. The crowd popped when Jungle Boy tagged Luchasaurus. He threw a barrage of kicks at Grayson. Evans and Angelico double-teamed Luchasaurus, but he fought them off and landed a standing moonsault on Evans for a near fall. That sequence drew the biggest pop of the night. “This is great wrestling because the fans here are loving this!” said Ross. Luchasaurus threw Jungle Boy onto Evans and Angelico at ringside. Luchasaurus then scored a near fall on Grayson, broken up by Evil Uno. Luchasaurus then slammed Evil Uno, who rolled out of the ring.
Marvez said if this match ends in a draw, then Best Friends will automatically advance to the tag team tournament with a first round bye. Evans and Angelico worked over Jungle Boy. Evil Uno entered and broke up their momentum. Ross said the match feels like it’s coming unhinged and could implode at any moment. Angelico kicked Jungle Boy and then Evans landed an assisted 450 for a near fall. Angelico hit the BT Bomb and then tagged in Evans, but Marko Stunt took Evans off the top rope with a huracanrana. The ref ejected him from ringside. Marko begged off, but Ross said he should be ejected. Luchasaurus then threw Marko off of his shoulders onto Angelico at ringside. Next, he had Jungle Boy lifted Evans. They hit a combo move leading to a sitout powerbomb by Jungle Boy for a near fall. Uno chop blocked Luchasaurus and then he and Evil Uno turned Jungle Boy, giving him a flying knee. They tossed Jungle Boy into Luchasaurus and then Grayson landed a flying 450 for a near fall. Grayson and Evil Uno hit their double-team finisher on Jungle Boy for the win.
WINNERS: The Dark Order in 15:00 to earn a first round bye in the AEW Tag Team Tournament. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: I’d have preferred a two-on-two traditional tag match, especially this early in establishing the characters of everyone in this match. That said, this was a really cool array of varying styles and moves start to finish.)
-A video aired on Hangman Page with highlights of his offense.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good video package that showed off his in-ring moveset and charisma. AEW is really addressing a lot of the issues that were seen as shortcomings on the first two AEW live events.)
(4) “SUPERBAD” KIP SABIAN vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
Ross talked about Page being a big time player in AEW who is headed for the main event at Double or Nothing. The size-difference here makes this a smart match-up because Page looks relatively tall. Ross said both wrestlers are 27. He said it’s a great locker room that’s “awfully fun to be in.”
Deliberate pace early. The announcers discussed the possibility that Page’s knee is still injured. They said the early pace plays to his favor. Page’s left leg gave out under him at one point. Sabian took over with some flying moves. When a fan got in his face at ringside after hitting a flying move on Page, he leaned in and nearly kissed him on the lips. That was quite a moment.
The match was so slow, the announcers talked about all the “tells” that Page is not 100 percent. They also focused on the 85 degree heat in the open-air venue. The match was so slow, they also went to two wide-shots of the venue, which isn’t done in the midst of electric in-ring action with crowd engagement. Sabian got in extended offense and then spit on his head. Page came back with a clothesline. Both were down and slow to get up. Sabian rolled to the ring apron. Sabian went for a top rope stomp a minute later, but Page avoided it and then dropped Sabian on the edge of the ring apron. Page then landed a top rope moonsault to ringside. He grabbed his left knee in pain when he landed. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Page tossed Sabin over the top rope onto the ramp. Justin Roberts announced that just four minutes remained in the match. Sabin rolled into the ring right before the ten count.
Page yanked Sabian to the top rope and delivered a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Page reacted with shock and checked with the referee. He then got up and went after Sabian again. He set up a Dead Eye, but Sabian grabbed the top rope. He grabbed Page’s left leg and then dragon screwed the knee into the ropes. Page finally hit the Dead Eye for the win.
WINNER: Page at 19:03. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Unfortunately, again not a showcase for Page as a potential first-ever AEW World Champion. Looked better on paper than it turned out. It wasn’t awful, but it just didn’t have the energy it needed. If they stretched the match to near 20 minutes to tease a time limit draw, not sure it was worth it. Having Page win in 9-12 minutes instead would have worked better.)
-After the match, a masked wrestler entered the ring and attacked Page. Who could it be? Ross said Page was fatigued and beaten down. The masked man delivered a Back Stabber and then unmasked as Chris Jericho. He landed his Judas Effect spinning elbow. He then leaned down and yelled as Page who was bleeding above his left eye after the elbow. Jericho stood on the second rope and gave the crowd double middle fingers. Marvez said nobody is better at attacking someone when he is down than Jericho. He added that it’s not an admirable legacy.
(5) SO CAL UNCENSORED (Kaz & Scorpio Sky) vs. PENTAGON JR. & REY FENIX
Before the match, Christopher Daniels said they wanted to show Jacksonville a little respect by wearing the Jaguars colors, even though Jacksonville isn’t SoCal. Justin Roberts, by the way, is doing a great job ring announcing. He’s found that sweet spot in adding a personal flair to announcing without overdoing it or drawing undue attention to himself. He was especially spot on with Pentagon and Fenix. Marvez is also much more comfortable tonight and has found a good groove with Ross and Excalibur.
Marvez noted that SCU has faced Fenix & Pentagon before, but it was Daniels & Kaz before, but Kaz & Scorpio. They missed around with each other early with mind games. They did a spot where Pentagon tossed his glove to the referee and she missed the first try, but caught on the second one. The action finally kicked in with Sky on offense. Pentagon kicked Sky as he lifted himself upside-down in the corner. Then Fenix and Pentagon hit stereo kicks on Ka. They delivered a stereo sandwich superkicked to Daniels at ringside as he checked on Sky. Then Pentagon yanked off Daniels’s shirt and chopped him in the chest. They chopped Sky hard in the chest at ringside next. Fenix did a flying dive over the ropes, but he hit Pentagon instead. Daniels then hit both with an Arabian moonsault at ringside. The ref, Aubry Edwards, ordered Daniels to the back. Ross called it a good cal. Kaz leaped onto the Lucha Bros. on the ramp as they waved goodbye to Daniels. Sky then took it to Fenix in the ring.
Exclalibur talked about calling many of Sky’s matches and he never ceases to impress him. He talked about their backstory in So Cal, starting as rivals. Fenix landed a great step-up spin kick to Kaz’s chest that was rock solid. Then he hit a Pelé kick. Kaz tagged in Sky, while Pentagon also tagged in. Pentagon took it to Kaz and Daniels. A stretch of four-way action took place. Eventually SoCal landed a double-team DDT on Fenix for a believable near fall. Pentagon scored a near fall after a Canadian Destroyer on Sky. Ross pointed out the passive cover by Pentagon. Fenix and Pentagon then landed a foot stomp package driver for the win. Marvez must’ve known the planned finisher because he called the Canadian Destroyer a “Package…” first before stopping himself. Ooops.
After the match, the Lucha Brothers fended off a post-match attack by Daniels, then stood on a ladder mid-ring and declared they are the best tag team on the planet and challenged The Young Bucks to a ladder match at All Out in Chicago. Marvez said they came up short in their first two shots at the Bucks, but they want another shot at them.
WINNERS: Lucha Brothers in 15:00. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match, but the final third just felt like chaos with the focus being on setting up complex spots without any sense of any tag rules or order by the referee. A competitive match that made it seem like the Lucha Bros. beat a team with some value, but it also was important they want to move on to a big match at All Out against The Young Bucks.)
-They went to the announcers on camera to talk about the Lucha Brothers challenge. Ross asked who the ladder stip would favor.
(6) CIMA vs. KENNY OMEGA
Cima came out first. As Omega made his ring entrance, Ross said he needs a win here after a slow start in AEW. Fans chanted “Kenny!” before the bell. Kenny played to the crowd early as he circled Cima before the first lock-up. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” before the lock-up. The announcers talked about how Kenny is an international superstar, but he hasn’t wrestled very often in the United States. Methodical pace early. We got another wide shot of the amphitheater venue. (Daily’s Place really ought to be a place they frequent for the weekly live TV show. It’s a great looking setting for pro wrestling and the way it’s built, you can have a smaller crowd that looks massive compared to a big NBA arena. Plus, of course, it’s the U.S. home base for the Khan family.) Ross talked about the 80 degree weather taking a toll on the wrestlers.
Kenny set up a top rope electric chair, but Cima countered with some punches and then a spin-out powerbomb. Cima then went for a Meteora, but Kenny moved. Omega set up a One-Winged Angel, but Cima countered with a back stabber. Cima knocked Kenny off the ring apron with a running dropkick, sending him into the security barricade. Kenny took control at ringside and threw Cima knee-first into the ring apron. Cima came back with a snap suplex on the floor. Cima broke the ref’s count, then went back after Kenny. The fans reacted to the action going black on the big screen. Marvez let viewers understand the crowd reactions. Cima leaped off the platform and landed on Kenny’s chest and head with two flying knees. Yikes. Both were slow to get up, but Cima did first. He threw Kenny into the ring. Cima springboarded into the ring with a meteora to the back of Kenny’s head, then a front meteora for a near fall. Fans chanted “This is awesome!”
Cima climbed to the top rope. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Kenny stood and checked his face for broken bones or blood. He caught Cima mid-air and delivered a buckle bomb, then hit a Snap Dragon and a V-Trigger (that showed light) for a near fall. Kenny then hit a perfect driver across his knee. He played to the crowd and then hit another V-Trigger followed by a One Winged Angel attempt. Cima floated out of it. Kenny fought back, but Cima countered with a DDT. Nice series of counters there. They were both slow to get up, understandably so. They exchanged blows mid-ring upon standing. Omega landed a bicycle knee to the head. Cima countered, but Kenny went for a sunset flip. Cima dropped two knees onto Kenny’s chest on the mat. He followed up with a leaping meteora for a two count. Kenny rolled to the ring apron. Cima met him there and set up an Air Raid Crash. He delivered. Cima then climbed to the top rope as fans chanted “You killed Kenny!” Cima landed another double knee off the top rope. Kenny put his leg on the bottom rope to stop the count at 20:00.
Both stood and exchanged slaps to the face. Kenny charged and Cima landed a round kick. Then a dropkick. Kenny caught him with a knee from behind and then a Tiger Drive ’98 for a believable near fall. Cima scored a near fall with a Mexican style cradle. Kenny hit a V-Trigger and then then the One Winged Angel for the win.
WINNER: Omega in 23:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Took a while to rev up and get going, and not everything was pinpoint sharp or crisp, but overall a really good match. I think by the end, someone not familiar with Kenny would think he was something special. The match featured his signature spots either being set up or being countered or ultimately being executed for near falls or the eventual victory.)
-Chris Jericho’s ring entrance took place. (Jericho looks perpetually and permanently hung over these days like he had to get up four hours earlier than is healthy for a flight after a night of partying – 500 days in a row.) Jericho entered the ring and said he is looking at the blood of Hangman on his hand. He told the fans to go ahead and boo him. “Let the entire white trash riviera hear you boo Jericho in Jack-off-ville tonight.” He said from now on what he’s going to do is get his thank you one a time by beating the crap out of every ingle person in All Elite Wrestling starting with The Hangman. He said if he weren’t there, none of them would be there. They’d be looking for change on the street and looking for cans to recycle for money.
He said AEW started because of him and the TV deal starting in October is because of him. He said this goes beyond asking for a much-deserved thank you. He said this goes back to Double or Nothing when he heard the winner of the battle royal would face the winner of his match against Omega. He said as he watched the battle royal intently, he wondered if the winner would be the kid with no legs or The Young Bucks cabana boy or Joey Janella with a stapler stuck to his head. He said he’s been staying up at night every night since Double or Nothing thinking about his match against Hangman Page (that explains it). He said if he loses to Hangman, it’s the beginning of the end of AEW and his own illustrious career. He asked where he goes if he loses to Hangman. So he has to beat the Hangman. He repeated that about five times. He said you never know where he’s going to come from or what he’s going to do, and he will prove at All Out that he is the first AEW Champion. He said he will prove that without him, AEW wouldn’t exist. He said all of the people in Jack-off-ville wouldn’t be watching. He said he will prove Hangman “is nothing more than a little btich.” Page then heard enough and attacked Jericho. It didn’t get the explosive pop you’d hope for if you’re AEW. Several referees and agent Jerry Lynn ran out to break them up. Several wrestlers came out to pull them apart. Fans chanted “Thank you, Hangman.” Marvez said Jericho is delusional. Ross said he’s dangerous. Page had a busted and bruised face after his match and that brawl.
-They went to the announcers. Ross asked, “Where are we going to go now?” Then he said they’re going to their main event. He said they’re not enemies, they’re competitors. Excalibur said it got personal when The Young Bucks mocked the Cody promo about not needing a partner, but needing a brother. Ross said Dustin Rhodes was a star of War Games in 1992. Ross then asked again where they were doing. Marvez smiled uncomfortably and said yes, they’re going to the main event and they’re excited.
-A video package aired on the main event tag match.
(7) CODY & DUSTIN RHODES vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Fans chanted “AEW!” before the bell. Ross noted that Dustin is 50 and “shamed him” for not looking it and instead seeming younger. Marvez wondered if the Bucks would cross the line and attack Cody’s skull. Ross said Cody has been cleared. Marvez said he put his hand on his head and there was scarring. The Bucks played heels here, hugging and mocking Cody and Dustin’s crying in each other’s arms. Ross said they’re asking for it and poking the bear.
Dustin leaped off the ropes and took down both Bucks. Cody hot-tagged in and took it to Matt. Cody then took off his weight belt and whacked Matt on the back. He put Matt on the top rope and executed a reverse suplex for a two count. Dustin tagged back in and grounded Matt. Eventually Nick got the tag. Four-way acton broke out including a double figure-four by the Bucks on the Rhodes Brothers.
They just kept methodically wrestling until the 30 minute mark. Then the Bucks delivered stereo superkicked. Nick gave Cody a Crossroads and then Matt made the cover for a near fall. The Bucks then hit Cody with a Meltzer Driver for the win.
WINNERS: The Bucks in 31:00. (**3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Too long of a show and too long of a match. This self-indulgent super-long format for wrestling shows is getting really old, and that AEW is playing the game is disheartening. The crowd was out of it by the end. It’s nearly midnight there, and this match didn’t have the energy or urgency needed. It’s time to trim major wrestling shows to a half hour pre-show and 2:45 max, and ideally shorter for secondary shows like this B-show for AEW.)
-Afterward, Matt said the animosity was just a put-on. He said he doesn’t watch much of the “other product” so he wasn’t really aware of the Rhodes family legend. That drew some boos. “But dammit, you two are one of the best tag teams we’ve ever been in the ring with.” Some cheers. Then they were interrupted by music. Matt said, “Oh, we just be short on time.”
Kenny walked out followed by a parade of wrestlers from the locker room. Shad Khan walked out with the charity check. Cody said it’s that time of night and then introduced Shad Khan. He revealed a $150,000 check for the Fight for the Fallen Foundation. Cody talked about the wrestlers who contributed and then said $110,000 of it came from AEW the company. Fans chanted “AEW!” Cody said they wanted to help those who have been affected by gun violence. He said it’s a genuine contribution to the city of Jacksonville. He said he wasn’t sure if they were still on the air, but he added, “I’ll just say this. You can’t counter-program what All Elite Wrestling is all about.” He said you cannot counter the genuine feeling and the damn resolution that is All Elite Wrestling. A loud “A-E-Dub!” chant broke out. He asked the fans if they are coming with them to TNT this fall. The crowd chanted “Yes!” Kenny said they are doing something for the community, and their selfless contributions led to raising $150,000. Matt whispered something to Kenny. Kenny said as much as he’d like to sign them off and bid everyone adieu and say “good by and good night.” He said it doesn’t seem right tonight. He said “Let’s have a little fun with it since we’re off the air,” although they were still streaming on B/R Live. He said “Good bye, smooch, and good boing” or something like that to avoid saying “bang” given the charity they were wrestling for.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was an amateurish finish to the show. They had issues with time management going back to All In last year. This show was too long in general, but when it’s so long you have to cut off an Executive Vice President in the midst of his post-main event promo in order to fit in the charity segment led by the family matriarch, that’s possibly worse than cutting short the main event match at All In last year. They need to make some hard decisions about match length, which could upset some wrestlers who want more time, and the sheer number of matches and wrestlers on the show, but their goal should be serving their audience, not placating the egos or desires or artistic ambitions of their talented locker room. When every other sport is trying to trim the length of sporting events to well under three hours, it’s disheartening that AEW is following WWE’s lead and going well over four hours with this event counting the 45 minute “pre-show.” It’s leading to a tired crowd and less energy and reaction for main event stars, and fans who are asked to stay up later and stick with a show longer than they planned or want.)
What did you think of the nearly 4.5 total length of #AEWFightfortheFallen …
— Pro Wrestling Torch (@PWTorch) July 14, 2019
I hosted a live post-show with Mike McMahon following this event. You can listen HERE or you can search “Wade Keller” on your iPhone or Android podcast app and subscribe to the red logo post-show podcast to download it.