6/29 AEW ROAD TO FYTER FEST – NIGHT 1: Omega tells Page they’re like brothers and Page laughs him off, Cody says he’ll defend his title every week, Tazz said Penelope Ford is a superstar

By Zach Graham, PWTorch contributor


JUNE 29, 2020

Watch it HERE

– Highlights from the Cody vs. Lance Archer match at Double or Nothing aired crowning Cody as the first TNT Champion.

Jim Ross said that the TNT Championship means a lot to all of them in AEW and he’s very proud to be on TNT. He said when you’re first at something it means more and you can say it with pride and conviction.

Highlights of Cody’s interview with Tony Schiavone aired. Cody said if you think his story is one of nepotism or favoritism, think again. Cody said his mother taught him everything he needed to know about grit and work. Cody said it isn’t about talent. You can have all the talent in the world and you can shove it up your ass because he will out run you, out dog you, outlast you, and out work you.

Jim Ross said just because Cody is the son of a hall of famer doesn’t guarantee he’s going to be great. Cody made himself great because he does the work.

Cody said he’s about to cut a schedule like no wrestler before. Cody then announced that he will defend the championship every week and declared it an open challenge.

Tony Schiavone reacted to Cody’s open challenge and said he loved it. Taz reacted to the open challenge as well and said it shows how vitally important the TNT Championship is to Cody. Excalibur said this won’t only test Cody’s physical conditioning, but also his mental conditioning and his ability to prepare for a new challenger week in and week out. Taz said we’ve watched Cody defend the championship with no back down in him. Jake Hager is a completely different beast.

Cody said Hager was involved with breaking Dustin’s arm, he’s part of the Inner Circle, and he “literally took my soul out of me” on the first episode of Dynamite when he hit Cody with a Vader bomb.

Jake Hager said what makes him different than the other challengers Cody has faced so far is simply everything. For starters he’s bigger, he has six inches and sixty pounds on any of them. He’s faster and has years of experience with a career including some of the biggest matches in wrestling. Jim Ross said Hager was a division one All-American in amateur wrestling at Oklahoma where he holds the record for most pins in one season. Tony Schiavone said that Cody has a great amateur wrestling background as well and that’s what makes this match up so intriguing.

Footage from Dynamite aired where Cody accepted Jake Hager’s challenge for a match at Fyter Fest.

Jake Hager said he’s faced Cody outside of AEW before, but this is a different man. Cody is now an executive. Hager said Cody has wisdom, he has experience, and this is the best Cody you will ever see in your lifetime. Hager said that’s the thing about AEW, though. When he joined AEW it changed his life too. Cody said this isn’t the same Jake Hager. Cody said he’s wrestled Jake in cages, tag matches, and with paint on his face, but this is Jake in his prime. Hager said destroying his enemy is his only focus and as a prize fighter, he only sees the prize. Cody said he doesn’t think Hager has it in the tank and, while Jim Ross will tell you about Hager’s amateur wrestling background on commentary, they’re being paid now. “This ain’tf—ing amateur wrestling” Cody said. Hager said Cody is going to be locked in a ring with him, a professional fighter in two sports, one on one. Hager said Cody knows he can’t lose. Cody said he wants a career that can last forever on his own and this is his thing. Cody said Dusty never won the TNT Championship.

Clips aired from the press conference last week on Dynamite where Arn Anderson said Cody is a legitimate champion who goes out there every single week and proves it. Cody said it is not hyperbole, it is not a tall tale, or a legend of wrestling that nothing it more important than holding the TNT Championship, and now defending it. “So f— Jake Hager” Cody said as he tossed his hands up. Cody said he doesn’t care which Jake Hager shows up. Clips aired of the two facing off at the press conference followed by the Fyter Fest graphic.

– Clips aired of Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship at Double or Nothing aired with clips from commentary. Excalibur said for Shida to win at Double or Nothing, it was a dream fulfilled. Jim Ross said she’s a warrior and, right now, she’s the warrior queen of AEW. Shida said she’s held four singles titles in Japan, so she knows that holding on to the belt is the most difficult part.

Penelope Ford sarcastically repeated a question asked to her to describe the AEW Women’s Champion Shida. Ford said she’s good, but she’s not her, she’s not Penelope Ford. Taz said Ford, when she walks through the curtain, screams mega star. Jim Ross said she’s hard to take your eyes off of not only because she’s beautiful, but because she does so many things other women won’t even attempt to try.

Shida said she hates how Ford fights. Highlights aired of Ford cheating to pin Shida was shown. Ford said she’s pinned Shida, she’s also pinned Riho. Ford said she’s beaten the best so that makes her the number one contender. Shida said she doesn’t think Ford deserves to be the champion because she can’t fight alone. Excalibur said Ford has proven she isn’t afraid to take short cuts and Shida is going to have to have eyes in the back of her head in order to win. Taz said he’s not too sure that Penelope Ford will be able to handle one of Shida’s knee strikes. Tony Schiavone said he’s going with Penelope Ford because she’s so athletic. Jim Ross sarcastically said “why don’t we have a one on one matchup? If we do, Shida wins.” Ross said if it isn’t one on one and there’s people at ringside, don’t take your eye off of Penelope Ford. Ford said she’s going to beat the hell out of Shida and, to be honest, the belt would look better on her. Shida said she will still be the champion after Fyter Fest.

– Jim Ross talked about Kenny Omega & Hangman Page and Best Friends. Clips aired of Best Friends and Omega & Page aired, showing that they’re all a little different. Trent asked the camera man if they looked intimidating. Omega told Page he relates to him the most, Page disagreed. Omega said they’re like brothers and Page laughed it off. Taz said Page and Omega are two different animals, one is drinking Jack Daniels and the other is drinking milk. Trent and Taylor said it’s disgusting because one guy is half drunk and the other is full of milk. Trent said these guys can’t even drink the same drink and they call themselves champions?

Excalibur said he was there for the genesis of Best Friends when Trent and Taylor met. Chuck Taylor said that they’re best friends. Schiavone said that they like to hug each other and there’s nothing wrong with that. Highlights aired of Best Friends hugging each other were shown. Trent said when you’re best friends, what else are you really going to do besides hug? Omega said he’s all about a show of affection. Trent and Taylor explained that they’re not trying to have fun by hugging; they’re doing it because it makes them strong. Excalibur said they’ve found a synergy between them. Taylor said they’ve been through a lot together. Trent paused for a second and asked him for examples, Taylor couldn’t think of any. JR said sports is all about momentum. Schiavone said right now Best Friends are red hot.

Chuck Taylor said he and Trent have never held tag titles anywhere in the world. Taz said they have paid their dues and they’ve earned their stripes and they’ve done it with sweat equity. Omega said these guys do know how to wrestle and he is taking them seriously because he isn’t ready to lose the belts. Omega said he and Page decided to become a tag team as quick as a snap of the finger and shortly thereafter they became champions just as quickly. Excalibur said Omega & Page’s biggest asset has been their Last Call move, which is the buckshot lariat V-Trigger combination which has been 100% effective so far. JR asked if Omega & Page have lulled them into a false sense of security and that everything is okay, he isn’t buying that. JR said he thinks there are some combustible elements that haven’t been shown lately.

Chuck Taylor said they finally have a shot at the tag team titles and he’ll be damned if they’re going to let that go to waste.

Omega said Hangman and he may not be good friends. Page jumped in and said they sure as hell aren’t best friends. Omega said that they’re the best wrestlers and the best champions. Page said they’ll see those two weirdos at Fyter Fest.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I really enjoy these shows, but this one felt pretty paint by numbers. It utilized a lot of footage and segments from television, so most of it is a repeat. The Tag Team Championship segment was the same one they aired on Dynamite last week. I think it was exactly the same with no major changes, actually. The interviews with Ford and Shida added to their story a little, especially since that match hasn’t had as much hype heading into Fyter Fest. The Cody/Hager segment had a lot of new sound bites mixed in with stuff already seen on television, which helped make it feel fresh. These shows are always short and to the point to build up the show, so it’s still a good watch if you have time, but there wasn’t much breaking ground in this at all besides both parties in these matches threatening each other with some highlights behind it.

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