AEW Fyter Fest
June 29, 2019
Daytona Beach, Florida
Watch: B/R Live
Meet our previewers
Steve Case: I will not be watching AEW Fyter Fest live, unfortunately. I will be the good troll I am invading the Upper Peninsula at the annual Barn Dance (thanks for the invite @dpavloski and crew) tearing it up. We have decided this show will be part of our Sunday recovery thankfully. It promises to be sneaky good I think and will have a lot to build to All Out I’m sure. I refuse to make a “Best wrestling on the planet” joke because, well, it’s just not worth it. However, I do hope that better food than cheese sandwiches are served at this event. Follow me @Coachcase44
Ricardo: The excitement to see my boy Laredo Kid taking his career to the next level is real and I’m here to talk all about that as well as a great looking card that should keep the buzz going for AEW and it’s meteoric ascension. Also, I review, preview and analyze everything around All Elite Wrestling in Spanish at Pólvora and the Lucha Jobbers podcast. Follow me @theunderwally and be witness of the utter joy I feel while watching Italy kick butt at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Aaron Bentley: Aaron is one of the hosts of Everything Elite: The World’s Best Podcast Devoted Exclusively to All Elite Wrestling and the Elite Extended Universe (@EverythingAEW). The podcast regularly drops every Thursday night so subscribe for weekly AEW discussion, including an audio preview and review of Fyter Fest! You can also follow Aaron on Twitter (@aaronlikethecar) where he mostly tweets about Stardom.
Michael Nakazawa vs. Alex Jebailey
Steve: So here we have a video game organizer and the slippery oily guy in a hardcore match. I’m guessing this will have a ton of gamer in jokes and innuendo to please both interested crowds? This will be fun for many I am sure. I am not a gamer, nor body oil, but I do like a good dumb plunder brawl. This will be funny and entertaining at best, and so bad it’s kind of cute at worst. Either way, the crowd will eat it up. Prediction: Michael Nakazawa
Ricardo: Michael Jebailey is not a professional wrestler, he is the organizer of the CEO fighting video game event. Last year, Jebailey had a scheduled match against Nakazawa in the CEOxNJPW show and despite injuring his Achilles tendon, he managed to do the match and get the win by using his crutches as a weapon. So, just like last year, this feels like a match tailored for the CEO fans that know who Jebailey is and to get some laughs out of the audience. Nakazawa is funny and experienced, so let’s hope the hardcore stipulation can make up for the fact that his opponent is a not a wrestler. I don’t think it’s wise to have this match in Fyter Fest at all, but let’s hope it doesn’t repel potential new fans. Prediction: Michael Nakazawa
Aaron: Most people’s inability to understand why AEW would start their pre-show with this match directly correlates with their inability to understand why Being the Elite became a phenomenon. AEW’s BTE fanbase is excited to see this match. It’s been well-built on social media and the Elite have proven that feuds like this will get a rich pay-off. Personally, I could do without it. But it is exactly the kind of content that AEW’s Executive Vice Presidents have always promised and delivered. Prediction: Michael Nakazawa
Kylie Rae vs. Leva Bates
Steve: I wasn’t very familiar with Kylie Rae outside of a few highlights and word of mouth until Double or Nothing. I came out of that show thinking she should be on top of the division and could hang with any other woman in the business. Early as it may be, Leva Bates’ Librarian gimmick doesn’t do anything for me, so I hope that is toned down a bit for this one. This should be the Kylie Rae show though. Give her a chance to do her thing and continue to get over to the wider audience. I have no doubt she will succeed. Prediction: Kylie Rae
Ricardo: I think Kylie Rae stole the show in DON’s Fatal 4 Way and it was a bad call to not give her the win. She’s very charismatic, fun, can deliver great matches and unless AEW signs a huge name, in my opinion, she should be their first women’s champion. As Steve mentioned, this should be Kylie’s show… but Peter Avalon is scheduled to be in Leva Bate’s corner and I’m very afraid the match will play more into the weird Librarian gimmick and the Leva/Avalon dynamic than in Kylie Rae. I hope I’m very wrong because she already has a huge task ahead of her having to carry Leva to a good match. Prediction: Kylie Rae
Aaron: Kylie Rae is a star. But it takes quite a bit more than that to carry Leva Bates to a watchable match. This will probably be bad, and cringe-worthy at times, but it will be a great test for Kylie to see what she can do when she’s handed a bad opponent and bad creative. Prediction: Kylie Rae
Adam Page vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. Jungle Boy vs. MJF
Steve: This is an interesting 4 way. I like all 4 guys for very different reasons. Page can be the face of a promotion if positioned correctly. He’s athletic, talented, tough, and ruggedly gorgeous. Havoc is a plunder master that can tell some damn good stories in the ring. MJF is fire on the mic and as a character while still improving in the ring. He’s also extremely young, just like our fourth competitor. Jungle Boy has great babyface high flyer potential. He still needs work but the drive is there I feel. Page is obviously on the most upward trajectory and should be the easy pick to win this. I’m very curious what kind of match this will be because the styles don’t seem to mesh very well to me. Don’t sleep on MJF getting a cheap win somehow here. It’s unlikely, but they seem to be putting him as a top heel in the company in the future. Prediction: Adam Page
Ricardo: Jungle Boy is a young prospect with a good look that could develop into something special for AEW. MJF is a fantastic promo destined to become the top heel in the company. Jimmy Havoc is a fun plunder guy with a badass entrance that also happens to be a tremendous in-ring storyteller and I’m very curious to see what role he takes in the midcard. But as we know, Hangman Page is a treasure and it’s obvious the company is ready to strap a rocket on his back; he’s facing Jericho for the AEW World Championship soon so it’s a safe bet to say he is winning this Fatal 4 Way.
This will be a weird clash of styles that has a chance of being a mess, but I’m confident that MJF’s shenanigans, Jimmy’s creativity, Hangman’s quality and Jungle Boy’s agility will deliver a frantic, entertaining match… but not only that, Hangman has the obligation of delivering in order to keep the interest in him becoming AEW’s first World Champion. Prediction: Hangman Page
Aaron: All multi-person matches are bad. This is unlikely to escape that truism. However, AEW needs to keep building Hangman Page ahead of his title match with Chris Jericho at All Out so that the fans will buy him as a believable potential first champion. That creates a tough situation because they are clearly building a Page/MJF program and need to keep that hot as well. Jungle Boy will be the standout but Page leaves stronger than he came in. Prediction: Adam Page
Christopher Daniels vs. CIMA
Steve: The battle of two legends. Two very important men in the launch of AEW get the chance go out and roll, and I am here for it. After their exchange at DON, I am very confident these two can still go out there and have a great one on one match. Both are still VERY capable in their teams, but having them go one on one is special. My only fear is that the teams get involved on each side too much to take away from the two men in the ring. It doesn’t really matter who wins this, because we all will win. CIMA still isn’t as familiar to the mainstream audience in the US as Daniels, so I’ll go with him to get the pin. Prediction: CIMA
Ricardo: Two wrestling geniuses that used a 6-Man tag to give us a taste of what they can do together … and the main dish is set to be exquisite. Daniels has said many times that CIMA was a big influence for him while growing up in the industry. And you know CIMA will go out to show the world why he is so beloved and important in Japan. This match is absolutely must-see and should be a masterclass in everything that is beautiful about wrestling. CIMA must win this in preparation with his upcoming Fight for the Fallen match with Omega. Prediction: CIMA
Aaron: I can’t believe Dragon Gate superfan (and Everything Elite co-host) Mike Spears didn’t want to write this preview. If he did, he’d tell you all about these two opponents first meeting up two decades ago and the beautiful symmetry that is them meeting up again as established veterans in a nascent pro wrestling company. To that, I’ll just add that the story here is about CIMA trying to prove himself to western fans who aren’t as familiar with him and Daniels trying to prove he can still go as a singles wrestler. I expect the reality of that story to give these two an incentive to work very hard and put on a great match. CIMA has a match at next month’s Fight for the Fallen with Kenny Omega so it makes sense to give CIMA momentum. Prediction: CIMA
Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho vs. Nyla Rose
Steve: I’m very excited about this because apparently, I don’t know good Joshi. Though I didn’t dislike the tag match from DON, I was not as high on it as seemingly almost everyone else. So getting to see more of them is fine by me. I also like the dynamic with the powerful Nyla being in here. As much as the Joshis will show off their technical skill and acrobatics, Nyla will get plenty of opportunities to destroy both of them with her overwhelming power in comparison. This feels like a “we’re sorry Awesome Kong stole your thunder” Nyla showcase, which is probably the correct way to go here. Prediction: Nyla Rose
Ricardo: The Joshi match at Double or Nothing was well received and it stirred some interest in knowing more about the style, at least in my circle. So I’m glad to see that Fyter Fest will feature more Joshi action even though it seems this will be all about one person.
Nyla Rose was overshadowed by Awesome Kong at DON: she was supposed to be the dominant force of that bout but ended up being the least talked about competitor of it. In the little video preview of this match, Brandi Rhodes said that Riho is great at taking a beating, so I guess that’s what will happen: the Japanese girls will shine with their speed and beautiful moves, but will ultimately be defeated by Nyla. Prediction: Nyla Rose
Aaron: The Magical Girl Yuka Sakazaki stole the show—and our hearts—at Double or Nothing. I wondered on Everything Elite whether that would mean she’d be back. It may have already been planned but her DON performance meant she *had* to come back. I think they have a star in her and I would push her to the moon if I could get her to agree to wrestle in the United States full-time. However, since I haven’t heard that she’s leaving Tokyo Joshi Pro, it makes the most sense to use this match to build Nyla Rose. Prediction: Nyla Rose
Best Friends vs. SoCal Uncensored vs. Private Party
Steve: I really think AEW’s tag division will be a huge draw in their future. They have tremendous talent, will put them in prominent, main event level positions on the card, and the matches won’t be just card filler. The Best Friends had a very good performance at DON and are so over with the AEW/Indy faithful a loss can’t hurt them. The Private Party have some potential, but I don’t think it’s their time yet. SCU is the horse to ride in this one. I see them making a deep run in this tag tourney, if they don’t win the whole thing.
This tourney is something I am really looking forward to once TV starts this Fall. I think this can really draw new people in who are used to thrown together teams in two-minute matches. If these teams are able to go out and have bangers every week, this will be a home run for AEW. Prediction: SCU
Ricardo: So, AEW is doing a tournament to crown their first tag team champions and the winner of this triple threat tag team match will get a ‘bye’ in the first round of said tournament, meaning they automatically advance to the second round. I hope I got that right because this is unnecessarily complicated.
Since they won their match at DON, It makes sense to have SCU and Best Friends here and reward them with a potential ‘aid’ through the tag tournament but I also support the fact that a third team got inserted out of nowhere with the intention of showcasing their skills. I loved Private Party’s feature in the Road to Fyter video because it showed their great chemistry and camaraderie, as well as their struggles growing up wanting to become professional wrestlers. In-ring wise I have seen very little of them but enough to make me hungry for more. This should be all about getting Private Party over but I don’t think they’re getting the win… I’m going with SCU just for the fact Best Friends already have a little feud with The Dark Order and that might play into this. Prediction: SCU
Aaron: This match’s stipulation is almost unbelievably dumb. Regardless, the collection of wrestlers promises to make the match good anyway. This will be Private Party’s introduction to a large portion of the AEW audience so they should get a ton of spotlight. We’ve been told over and over that AEW is about fresh talent. Here’s a real test. Prediction: Private Party
Cody vs. Darby Allin
Steve: Cody is a star. He’s one of the most important people in pro wrestling right now. He is also coming off without a doubt the best match of his career. Darby Allin is extremely talented and will no doubt get the crowd behind him as the valiant, never say die babyface. He is also going to have a huge role in this company moving forward. I don’t want to say he can be prime Rey Mysterio in the ring, because he can’t. Very few can, if anyone. But can he get a sympathetic crowd behind him like Rey? Absolutely. I just don’t see how Cody can lose right now coming off the best match, hottest angle, and most emotional story at DON. A flash win to give Darby credibility? Maybe. I just don’t see it. Prediction: Cody
Ricardo: If you don’t know who Darby Allin you should immediately watch the Road to Fyter Fest feature on him. I think Darby is one of the best babyfaces in the game, a man whose fire can ignite any crowd no matter how cold it is; we are looking at a wrestler that never backs down no matter how big or powerful his opponent is, and that attitude, combined with his unique look makes him the perfect underdog and a man that, in my eyes, could be a main event player in AEW. Darby just screams star to me.
Now, Cody is hot after that highly praised match with Dusty at DON, and with the upcoming tag match against the Young Bucks at Double or Nothing it might be unwise to cool him with a loss. Fortunately, Darby Allin can take a beating and look great while doing so and if the match is done right, he could look like a star even in defeat. I don’t think Cody needs the win and AEW should start establishing Darby as a credible threat, but my gut tells me the former walks out with the win. Prediction: Cody
Aaron: A truly strange choice for Cody’s follow-up on the Dustin Rhodes match and for Darby’s debut in the promotion. I would hate to see either guy lose. But Cody is already a made guy and Darby needs to be introduced with flair. That introduction will start with his new theme, written and performed by Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. After that, watch out for Darby Allin finding the highest point in the building and falling from it. But, in the end, the best introduction would be Darby pinning Cody clean. That can be done without hurting Cody, especially if they tell a story about Cody needing his brother in the ring to be at his best. Prediction: Darby Allin
Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Lucha Brothers & Laredo Kid
Steve: I mean, is there a way this match isn’t great? The Bucks and Lucha Bros tore the house down at DON. Kenny will be able to work a much more athletic, fast-paced style teaming with the Bucks. Laredo Kid being added to this match is great. If you haven’t seen his match with Vikingo recently, do it. I’ve seen Laredo a handful of other times and he’s always impressed. This one really doesn’t need much thought put into it. Just sit back and enjoy. Laredo will impress the hell out of everyone watching, but will also be eating the pin here. Prediction: Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
Ricardo: This should be Laredo Kid’s coming out party and probably the most important match in this career… the one that could help him break through big time in the industry. After many great performances in AAA, I firmly think that Laredo Kid has been the best Mexican performer so far in 2019 and I’m very happy that AEW knocked on his door to have him in maybe the highest profile match of this show.
And this seems like a recipe for success: the Lucha Brothers and the Young Bucks knocked it out of the park on Double or Nothing and even managed to get a money rain out of a tough Mexican crowd in Mérida after their Verano de Escándalo rematch, and of course if we add Kenny Omega to the mix, it’s sure to say that this match could easily steal the show.
For me, the winner of the match doesn’t matter… it’s Laredo Kid the man that could win the lottery. Prediction: Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks
Aaron: The Elite have shown remarkable flexibility in being willing to take guys who have buzz *right now* and find a place for them on the show. There’s no need to send them to developmental for a year; just throw them on the card and see what happens! That’s what they’re doing here with Laredo Kid who is a hotter commodity than he’s ever been. As a reward, he’s in the ring with five veteran, top-notch performers so he’ll have a lot of help but will absolutely stand out if he’s not up to snuff. The Bucks defeated the Lucha Brothers on the last AEW show so normal pro wrestling booking would dictate Pentagon and Fenix getting their heat back here. This will be a good indication of whether AEW intends to adhere to that booking tradition. Prediction: Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela
Steve: This match has me the most intrigued. Just how deathmatchy will they go? No doubt this will be a plunder brawl with a number of spots (mostly taken by Janela) that will question the performers well being and sanity. Moxley looks like a million bucks since debuting. He looks free, loose, and ready to conquer the world. Janela is the perfect man for his AEW in-ring debut to introduce just how dangerous he is moving forward. Janela is also so beloved by the Indy fans that populate the core of AEW right now that he can take a loss to a guy like Moxley and lose absolutely nothing. This should be a ton of fun, but there’s no question who comes out on top. Prediction: Jon Moxley
Ricardo: When the dust settled after Double or Nothing, the first name that popped in my head as my personal Moxley dream match was Joey Janela and despite the fact that I would prefer these two having a long, grueling rivalry, I am perfectly happy with the match happening so soon, mainly because it will be the perfect way to introduce Janela to those that haven’t heard of him and the ideal way to debut this free, intense Jon Moxley persona to those that only know him from the goofy, stifled WWE gimmick.
Janela and Moxley look destined to have enormous chemistry in the ring: even though they are not known for the technical skills, they are beloved for their promos, creativity and presentation… and both have their own style that has given them enormous success in different ways. In the promo battle before this match, Janela said he is ‘willing to die inside the squared circle’ and Moxley assured that he doesn’t care about the safety of the referee or his opponents, so everything points to a hot, intense encounter at Fyter Fest. Prediction: Jon Moxley
Aaron: Jon Moxley has emerged as the biggest star in wrestling. This will be his first AEW match and it’s right in his wheelhouse. He and Janela can do something similar to Janela’s match with Hangman Page at All in with lots of plunder and violence. Moxley is obviously winning so the only question is whether Janela can keep up. Mox isn’t some super worker that is going to try to wrestle circles around Janela but his aura casts a huge shadow. Janela has a similar aura at times so this match will put his 2019 star power to the test. Prediction: Jon Moxley