clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AEW Fyter Fest Night 2 recap & reactions (July 8, 2020): Still Le Champion

AEW Dynamite (July 8, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show doubled as night 2 of the Fyter Fest event. It featured Hangman Page & Kenny Omega putting their tag titles on the line, the Young Bucks & FTR rocking the ring as partners, and Orange Cassidy taking Chris Jericho to the limit.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Still Le Champion

The main event of the evening saw Chris Jericho compete against Orange Cassidy. Compete is an understatement, because OC took Le Champion to the limit. This was a big match for both men. It would have been Cassidy’s greatest win of his career. On the other side, a loss by Jericho would mean his days as Le Champion are over.

OC stated that he would actually try in this fight. He put his hands in his pockets to sucker Jericho in for a headbutt then ran wild with a suicide dive, whipping Jericho into the guardrail, and a flying crossbody. The tide turned when Ortiz used his madball foreign object to whack OC’s back. Cassidy had earlier made the poor strategic decision to send the Best Friends away. Jericho was flanked by Santana, Ortiz, and Floyd the bat. Jericho slowed the pace and worked the back for an extended period after that incident.

OC eventually had his rally. He did his stupid kick routine but this time exploded with a superkick. OC scored plenty of near falls on Le Champion as he connected on a flying splash with effort and a flying DDT. OC was in danger from a Lion Tamer submission, but he countered into an inside cradle. OC sprang up for a haymaker punch. That’s when shenanigans ensued.

Ortiz splashed orange juice into OC’s face. The Best Friends hit the scene to attack Santana and Ortiz. As referee Aubrey Edwards was lost in all the commotion, Jericho used Floyd to crack OC in the head. A Codebreaker followed, but OC still kicked out. Heavy moves were exchanged with more close pinfalls. OC went for a Superman punch, but Jericho timed it perfectly to flatten OC with a Judas Effect elbow strike to win.

I’ve been a detractor of the Orange Cassidy character in the ring. I feel that the whole not trying gimmick is lame when in a singles match. This bout didn’t make me change my opinion about that, but I am warming up to the idea of Cassidy as a singles commodity. The key will be having him always try. He can leave that other nonsense behind. His style was mostly believable in this fight for a comedy act, and the difference was his level of effort. Cassidy’s flipping springboard cannonball was impressive.

This match didn’t convince me he can be a main event star for a PPV yet, but I would tune in for TV main events as long as OC says he will try.

Overall, the match was decent. Jericho didn’t seem like he has the mobility and speed anymore to make some of Cassidy’s moves look good. I liked the strategy of countering OC’s Superman punch. There were three attempts, but Jericho was one step ahead each time. That’s why he is Le Champion.

Jericho winning was the right call. He still has more juice to squeeze in his career and needed the victory. Cassidy benefit from showing he has the skills to go toe-to-toe with a Hall-of-Famer. Cassidy will get his chance to make his mark in the future.

Stronger than ever

Hangman Page & Kenny Omega were called into action to defend their tag team titles when the original main event of Jon Moxley versus Brian Cage was postponed until next week. Private Party were the challengers. This was my favorite match of the evening. Both teams delivered as the champs upped their aggressiveness to fight off Private Party’s unorthodox flippy stuff.

Private Party was close to glory when Isiah Kassidy hit Hangman with a springboard DDT on the entrance stage. Marq Quen followed with a shooting star press in the ring. Omega had to leap through the ropes to break up the pin.

The champs rebounded by escaping Gin & Juice. Omega clobbered Kassidy with a big knee, while Hangman countered Quen into a super powerbomb. Hangman and Omega then hit their Last Call finisher of a Buckshot Lariat and a V-Trigger to win and retain the belts.

This was one of those contests where everyone was strong and came out looking better for it. Private Party upped their game, but Hangman & Omega are just better. I enjoy how the champs have been taking care of business lately. No bickering. No miscommunication. Whatever issues there were last week from Omega’s party foul, there was no lingering frustration. Whichever team finally dethrones Hangman & Omega will get a huge notch on their career resume.

One thing I’ve noticed last week and this week is Hangman’s pre-match uppitiness. He enters the ring pumped for a fight and mouths off to his opponents before Omega arrives. That’s the kind of fire I appreciate from a sports aspect.

Upset special

Both nights of Fyter Fest went pretty much as expected with the exception of the 8-man tag between the Young Bucks & FTR and the Lucha Bros with Butcher & Blade. As far as I’m concerned, this result was the upset of the event and it was pretty much a clean win.

The story for the match was how well the Bucks and FTR would work together. FTR began by only tagging themselves. The Bucks had to make blind tags to get in the game. Both duos slowly began tagging whoever was standing when their partner was down. That transitioned into excellent combo moves with mixed members of the Bucks and FTR, such as a double superkick, Goodnight Express, and spike piledriver. There was even a badass sequence of a double superplex by Matt Jackson and Dax Harwood then a flying splash from Cash Wheeler followed by a swanton from Nick Jackson.

In the end, the match broke down. Matt unintentionally superkicked Harwood when Pentagon ducked. Matt lost focus on his mistake. The Lucha Bros pounced with a teamwork piledriver to surprisingly pin Matt clean. Afterward, the Bucks and FTR shook ends despite the errant superkick.

I’m actually shocked that the Bucks and FTR lost the way they did. The obvious route would have been combustion leading to treachery in defeat. I’m glad to see AEW didn’t take that path. They mixed things up and gave a jolt to the status of the Lucha Bros. As a fan of Fenix and Pentagon, that pleases me greatly. This should also comfortably extend the feud between the Bucks and FTR so it reaches a boiling point heading into All Out on September 5. In the meantime, give us more 8-man tags with the Bucks and FTR on the same side. Their teamwork was pretty darn exciting. Heck, a Survivor Series elimination rematch would be dope.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Lance Archer defeated Joey Janela. Archer entered by carrying Sonny Kiss over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Archer controlled the majority of the action until Janela fired off his comeback. Jake Roberts’ plan to distract the referee backfired when Janela hit a flying senton then Kiss followed with a 450 splash. That wasn’t enough to put Archer away. The Murderhawk Monster hit his Blackout finisher to Janela off the apron through a table. Archer smashed Janela’s skull into broken wood then rolled him into the ring for the 1, 2, 3.

That finishing move was brutal. This mini feud did what it needed to do. Archer has been re-established as a dominant force after losing to Cody Rhodes at Double or Nothing. Bring on the next piece of meat for Archer to tenderize.

Coffin Drop. Darby Allin visited Travis Pastrana’s compound of fun. He hasn’t forgotten that Brian Cage is the one who put him on the injured list. Allin practiced for his return with a high altitude Coffin Drop into a foam pit.

Neat scene and safer than Allin’s skateboard stunt with Tony Hawk considering he’s not medically cleared to compete.

FTW. Taz’s major announcement was handing over his FTW World Championship to a shirtless Brian Cage. That makes Cage the baddest son of a bitch in professional wrestling. Taz also put over that Cage will be crowned AEW World Champion when he beats Jon Moxley next week on Dynamite.

WTF. That announcement doesn’t come anywhere close to the hype. I guess it is kind of cool for Taz fans. Moving on.

Big suspension. Big Swole was informed of a big suspension when she arrived to the venue. AEW management put the kibosh on her appearance due to kidnapping and harassment of Dr. Britt Baker DMD. Swole had a good point about not being notified before she made the 3.5 hour drive.

Later in the show, Swole blatantly disregard the punishment to confront Baker. Swole crumbled up the paper and threw it at Reba, who accidentally backhanded Baker’s previously broken nose. Baker howled in pain.

It looks like it is time to double the length of Swole’s suspension for not respecting AEW’s authority. Best wishes to Dr. Baker on her traumatic recovery. I can’t wait until our role model is ready to whoop Swole’s behind.

Manager for the Native Beast. Nyla Rose made a physical statement by demolishing Kenzie Paige & KiLynn King on a handicap match. Rose won after powerbombing Paige onto King for a double pin. Nyla made a verbal statement after the match to announce she hired a manager. She did not reveal who. Rose looked around the locker room to notice the successful wrestlers have a coach. She promised that she will leave as Women’s Champ very soon.

This is an intriguing wrinkle to freshen up Nyla. It gives an extra dynamic to her eventual rematch against Hikaru Shida. This does kind of paint Nyla into a corner though. She has to come up successful by winning gold or else she runs the risk of looking the dud in defeat with a stacked deck.

Colt Cabana injury update. Cabana was on the trainer’s table receiving treatment for an ugly bruise on his side. He was apparently pushed into the guardrail last week, but I have no idea of the moment they referred to. Cabana was cleared to compete anyway. Mr. Brodie Lee provided a pep talk to assure those accidents won’t happen with the Dark Order watching his back.

Mr. Brodie Lee, Stu Grayson, & Colt Cabana defeated SCU. The full Dark Order squad observed from the entrance stage. Mr. Brodie and Grayson would yell at Cabana whenever he winced in pain. They were trying to breakdown his ‘nice guy’ attitude. For the finish, Colt broke up a pinfall of Christopher Daniels on Grayson. CD took exception to Colt siding with the Dark Order. That led to a huge discus lariat from Mr. Brodie to CD. Colt was tagged in for the easy pin to win. He beamed with elation about winning again, but there was no obvious moment of joining the Dark Order.

The finish was a little awkward. I don’t quite understand what CD was so upset about. By the end, he should have realized that Cabana was trying to win and not double turn to SCU’s advantage. Cabana has been kind of a chump in his matches with the Dark Order. If I was Mr. Brodie, I’d be having second thoughts. Colt does have charisma though, so maybe the plan is to make him an ace recruiter.

Notes: Tully Blanchard and Shawn Spears were scouting FTR from the fan section. Evil Uno had no clear sign of injury from his hurt wrist on Dark.

Stud of the Show: Animo!

Fenix pulled off the move of the night with a step-up Mexican Destroyer off his brother’s back to Nick Jackson on the ropes down to the bodies on the floor.

Yes, it was a bit contrived, but it was still so exhilarating. I blurted out an expletive in excitement.

Dud of the Show: Big Swole

I suppose the idea was to create a mini Steve Austin rebellion moment when Big Swole ignored her suspension, but I wasn’t feeling it. She should have at least done something worth earning a second suspension, since the AEW brass wouldn’t be pleased with her behavior anyway. I don’t view Swole as being treated unfairly. I see it more as Swole not being able to control her emotions. Is it time to call Dr. Shelby for a session?

Grade: B+

Another fun effort from AEW to close out Fyter Fest. The action was satisfying even if most of the results were predictable.

Share your thoughts about night 2 of Fyter Fest. How do you rate it? Who stole the show? Who would you pick to be Nyla Rose’s manager? What would you like to see next from Orange Cassidy?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats