7/13 AEW ROAD TO FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN: Cody talks about chip on his shoulder about in-ring reputation, Taz and Ross preview the Moxley vs. Brian Cage match for AEW Title

By Zach Graham, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

AEW ROAD TO FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN
POSTED ON YOUTUBE.COM
JULY 13, 2020
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Watch it HERE.

 

– Cody was shown walking down a hallway in slow motion. He said he’s always been someone who’s carried a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He was shown speaking next to Arn Anderson on a stage. He said he’s always liked competing and competing against himself in this case. He said something people were critical of him for is his bell to bell. Cody talked as if he were his critics saying “he’s got this great interview, he’s got this great business sense, and he helped bring AEW together as a part of the core management.” Cody said that’s all great, but bell to bell is what really matters.

Arn Anderson said there were a couple of matches where he was gritting his teeth, but Cody pulled it out. He told Cody that, when you can trip the old timer up, it let him know that Cody had something extra that put him over the top and that’s what separates the men from the boys. He told Cody to never forget that. Arn said what he always wants to do, when the curtain opens, is have someone who’s going to challenge Cody. Arn said if they don’t challenge Cody to the point he has to take a second to catch his breath after walking back through the curtain, then Arn didn’t do his job.

Cody said Tony Khan and AEW have carved out on of the most athletic profile rosters you could possibly think of. Cody said as the wrestler, he has to train harder than he ever has in his life. He quoted the Nightmare Family motto “Do the work.” He said it’s on the shirt and it isn’t a lie. Cody said he wants people to know that, bell to bell, there is nobody better than him.

Arn said his job is to point out what can happen and, if it does happen, this has been the different response by different wrestlers including Cody through the years and how to counter certain moves. Arn said when the bell rings, Cody is the champion, but he brings the fight to the challenger. Arn said during the week, they just have “a skull session.” Arn said Cody does all the fighting and all he’s going to do, in the course of a match when Cody is sucking wind, there may be one little bit of information from Arn that gives Cody an option that he wasn’t looking at in the moment to help turn the tide.

Cody said perhaps not everyone knows about the open challenge itself. Cody said the challengers come from collaboration between Tony Khan and Arn Anderson. Arn asked Cody for his opinion on Sonny Kiss. Cody said the people who’ve seen AEW, which is such a young company, know how talented, special, high-tech, or athletic Sonny Kiss is. Cody called Kiss the modern snapshot of what a wrestler is like in 2020. Cody said he loves Sonny Kiss.

Arn talked about Sonny’s cartwheel round off elbow in the corner of the ring. He said some think it’s flash, but he sees it as unbelievable athleticism. Arn said he’s also seen Sonny, when someone tries to punk him out, crack them right in the ear with a kick. Arn said he has a feeling that Cody will have to win by dominating and attacking Sonny like he would Jake Hager, Chris Jericho, or his bother Dustin and use the same level of intensity. Arn said he’s looking at Sonny as a sleeper and he’s hoping when it’s all said and done, Cody will tell him Sonny was a good choice and that he needs to go sit down for a minute.

A reporter at this press conference with Cody and Arn asked Cody if there’s anyone else he’d like to face, if he’s able to defeat Sonny Kiss. Arn tapped Cody on the arm and asked him about “that War Horse kid.”

– Highlights of the Lucha Bros, Butcher, & Blade vs. Young Bucks & FTR match aired with commentary. On commentary, Excalibur noted that this is the first faceoff between FTR and the Lucha Bros and he can confidently say FTR have never faced a team like the Lucha Bros before. Cash Wheeler said they’d describe the Lucha Bros as a team that doesn’t respect tag team wrestling. He said they don’t follow the rules, they just come in, do what they want, and bastardize tag team wrestling. He said they basically spit in the face of tag team wrestling. Dax Harwood said that the Lucha Bros are one of the main reasons why they came to AEW. He said they have a lot of cleaning up to do and they’re starting with the smelliest trash, which he believes is the Lucha Bros.

Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix were sitting on a staircase together. Fenix said he doesn’t care who FTR is.

Dax said they don’t have a lot to prove around the world of tag team wrestling because they own the world of tag team wrestling, but the Lucha Bros come in and stick their nose in FTR’s business.

Fenix said that, on Dynamite, FTR just got a little taste.

Cash said they know what the Lucha Bros can do, they’ve seen it firsthand and they won their match at Fyter Fest, but they didn’t beat FTR and they never will.

Fenix spoke in Spanish and asked FTR to please be quick, strong and… He turned to Pentagon and asked how to explan it. Pentagon said “bastards” in Spanish. Fenix like that and asked FTR to be bastards, just like them, in the match Wednesday. Pentagon said FTR thought it was going to be easy pickings, but they are mistaken because they will always have the Lucha Bros in front of them.

– Brian Cage and Taz were shown standing next to each other as the official song of Fight for the Fallen played behind them. Excalibur said Brian Cage is someone he’s known for 8 or 9 years. Footage of Cage in PWG was shown as Excalibur said he’s called a lot of Brian Cage matches during his time on the independent wrestling scene. Excalibur said he’s seen the growth both in his physique and his ferocity. Excalibur said when Cage showed up at Double or Nothing as the mystery entrant in the ladder match, with Taz at his side, it was a whole new side of Brian Cage and one that he hadn’t seen before. Highlights of Brian Cage from the Double or Nothing aired with commentary by Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone marveling at his athleticism and size.

Taz and Cage were shown again. Taz said he and Cage became associates because they were destined to get together and collaborate. Taz said there’s no need to get into the specifics of their relationship, it’s basically old school east coast meets new school west coast.

Jon Moxley said from the moment Cage arrived in AEW, when he ran up a ladder and “grabbed a gimmick to get himself a title shot,” he’s been impressive. Moxley said Cage could be the face of any wrestling company in the world one day because he has everything on paper you could ever possibly want, gifts which Moxley said he wasn’t blessed with himself.

Tony Schiavone said in many ways Cage’s body shape and size reminded him of Lex Luger. Schiavone said to come in on your first night in a ladder match and to win it, it says a lot about what you can do.

Moxley said he’s been around the block two or three times and he’s been in the ring with everybody from Hunter to Kenny Omega to Taker to Suzuki to Naito. Mox said in the last 12 months he’s gone on a rampage and beat a list of victims like nobody has seen in this industry in a long time. He said he doesn’t know why anybody would think he can possibly be scared of Cage.

Taz said if he’s going to do his business with a man like Cage, he’s going to do his research and when he did, he saw why Cage was deemed “the machine.”

Jim Ross said it’s hard to train for someone like Cage because you can’t go get training partners that have the same skillset, strength, and quickness as Cage.

Moxley said there’s a million ways he can be Brian Cage. He can snap one of his limbs or he could dump him on top of his head. Mox said, as we learned at Double or Nothing, 300 pounds coming straight down on top of their head is a pretty nasty situation. Highlights aired of Moxley hitting Brodie Lee with a DDT on the stage at Double or Nothing aired.

Taz said Moxley should fear Brian Cage because Brian Cage can tear his limbs off his body and beat him with his own limbs. Taz laughed and turned to Cage and said that would actually be pretty funny. Cage smirked and nodded in agreement. Taz said Moxley needs to realize how different Cage is, Taz said he thinks Moxley actually knows that already. Footage of Moxley confronting Cage on Dynamite aired.

Moxley said he didn’t know what to think of Cage. Mox said he didn’t think there was much going on between his ears, but then he put him through a car windshield and he decided that, under different circumstances, he’d actually like Cage. The video of Cage’s parking lot attack on Moxley aired including him being dropped through the car windshield. Moxley said he can actually appreciate, respect, and like the kind of guy who will fight him in the parking lot and put him through a windshield. Moxley said that’s his kind of guy.

Excalibur said Cage’s physicality is almost no match for Moxley and the car was the most obvious example of that. Schiavone said the notable thing from that parking lot attack that stuck out to him most was Taz telling Cage that was enough. Schiavone said Taz thought they had sent their message to Moxley already, which was their goal, but Cage put him through the car windshield anyway. Schiavone said this shows him that, as knowledgeable, aggressive, and forceful as Taz is, Cage will be his own man and maybe even uncontrollable.

Taz said the amount of bodily harm and damage that was done to Moxley, what kind of shape will he be in for the match. Taz called Mox damaged goods.

Mox said he doesn’t know the origin of the Taz/Cage relationship. He asked if Taz is a coach, mentor, publicist, friend, strategist, or trash talker? Does Taz go pick up Uber Eats for Cage? He doesn’t know and he doesn’t care. Mox said Taz does bring a lot of experience and knowledge to the table. Mox said he was a fan of Taz, who wasn’t? He said “FTW all day baby,” but now Taz is talking trash about him. Mox said he’s seen a million people like Brian Cage come and go and we’re going to find out how special Cage really is.

Jim Ross said whoever fights Brian Cage, in this case Moxley, has to be aware of the possibility of Taz getting involved. Ross clarified he isn’t sure that will happen, but it could. Taz said Mox can talk all the smack he wants about him, that’s fine with him. Taz said Mox shouldn’t be worried about Taz or what he has to say, he should be focused on Cage.

Mox called Taz one of the greatest trash talkers of all time and said he’s respected him for years, but where he comes from, it’s not going to fly. Moxley said he doesn’t take shit from anyone and when he’s choking Cage out, he’s going to look directly at Taz at ringside as the consciousness leaves Cage’s eyes, he will drop him limp on the mat and he will smile at Taz.

Ross said until someone comes to AEW and proves they’re tougher, a better fighter, and want it more, he’s going on the side of Moxley. JR said he’s the face of the brand and that’s a lot of pressure, but he likes the pressure of being the show closer and being “the guy.” JR said Moxley has worked his entire life to be the guy for a major promotion like AEW and now he’s the world champion. JR called Mox the favorite to win, but he doesn’t think it’ll be easy or pretty. Excalibur said Mox has proven he’s willing to prepare and do the homework and he really needs to do that here or Cage will become the new AEW World Champion. Schiavone said he can’t see anyone beating Moxley right now, but if he had an injury or Taz gets involved that could change things, but he just doesn’t see Moxley losing this match.

Taz said Mox said it best when he acknowledged himself that he is beatable.

Moxley said Cage better realize that he is miles and miles away from the finish line and he won’t be near put away after Cage has given him everything he has. In that moment when Moxley is still there, that’s when Cage is going to realize that Mox is a different breed of shark.

The footage of Taz unveiling the FTW Championship was shown followed by the graphic for Fight for the Fallen.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t like where they’ve taken the open challenge gimmick with Cody. I don’t think it makes much sense. Arn and Tony Khan are working together picking the opponents for Cody? I mean, I guess that makes sense? With knowledge of who it will be Arn has time to scout them and, given the role he says he has at ringside during a match, he can give Cody information to help him win, right? I understand the idea of giving people a chance and challenging yourself as a champion against anyone, that’s the point of an open challenge, but I think Cody having a “coach” muddies the waters here. In my opinion, the explanation of the open challenge in this show ruined the gimmick. In storyline, I’d prefer to imagine people knocking down Tony Khan’s door trying to get a shot at Cody. When Tony Khan books the matches, the only two people that know are Tony Khan and the wrestler who was told yes. The idea of Arn being involved in that process just doesn’t add anything to it and I think it’s over explaining the concept. Now, it’s not really about the title, it’s just about Cody sharpening his skills and dangling the title out as bait to do so. Does a title really need to be involved for that? Cody is an EVP of AEW and a highly ranked wrestler, beating him would benefit any of the people he’s wrestled so far. Not sure a title is needed to get people of all styles to wrestle him. So what’s the point of the title? Sure, Cody is proud to have it, but this explanation made it seem like it’s about him becoming a better wrestler, not defending the championship.


CATCH UP… 7/6 AEW ROAD TO FYTER FEST – NIGHT 2: Young Bucks talk about reaction to FTR arrival, Cassidy talks about his Jericho match, Ross analysis

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