For an explanation of what All Elite Wrestling is, check out the intro in my card preview for Double or Nothing.
Fyter Fest, All Elite Wrestling’s second event, will air for free this Saturday on Bleacher Report Live, making it a perfect entry point for someone interested in checking out the newest big company on the pro wrestling scene without making a financial commitment (or doing a crime.) What is Fyter Fest? Well, it’s a wrestling event held in conjunction with the CEO Fighting Game Tournament that is also a way for the Elite to do a cute Fyre Fest parody on their YouTube show Being the Elite.
It’s hard to say how much of the Fyre Fest parodying will end up being relevant to understanding Fyter Fest itself, but if Double or Nothing was any indication, you’ll be able to have a great time watching even if you’ve never seen Being the Elite. Actually, parodying something as familiar to all of us as Fyre Fest on their free to stream event is a pretty smart call in making it as accessible as possible.
Preshow Hardcore Match: Michael Nakazawa vs Alex Jebailey
I mean, take that whole “accessible” thing with a grain of salt, because it doesn’t get much more niche than former DDT star Michael Nakazawa going up against fighting game tournament director Alex Jebailey in a hardcore match. Kenny Omega brought in some talent to do a wrestling show at last year’s CEO. Jebailey did a run in and pinned Michael Nakazawa, so this is match has been a year in the making. I have no idea what to expect.
Prediction: Michael Nakazawa wins.
Preshow Tag Team Threeway: Best Friends vs SCU vs Private Party
A lot of people (definitely not me) made fun of this graphic for being confusing. Here’s the match stipulation: the winning team gets a match at All Out in September, and the winner of that match gets to bypass the first round of a tournament to determine the inaugural AEW World Tag Team Champions. See? That’s not hard to understand.
If you watched Double or Nothing, you’ve seen all three of these teams. If you haven’t, here’s what you need to know: Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta) are a couple of fun guys. They’re best friends. They hug in the ring. It’s self-explanatory. SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) have an extended bit where they say everywhere they go is the worst place they’ve ever been and compare it to Southern California, where they live. (Their third member, Christopher Daniels, is in a singles match on the card.) Private Party (Marq Quen & Isaiah Kassidy) are the least experienced team in the match. They spoke very earnestly in the most recent episode of Road to Fyre Fest about what a big deal it is for them to be in AEW.
Though they aren’t announced, the Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) did attack the Best Friends at Double or Nothing, so it seems more than possible they could show up again.
Prediction: SCU wins.
Christopher Daniels vs CIMA
Christopher Daniels’ and CIMA’s working relationship started 20 years ago in Michinoku Pro Wrestling, where CIMA helped guide Daniels through wrestling in Japan. CIMA and Daniels have both been mainstays of independent wrestling pretty much ever since, as incredibly impressive performers, and then as mentors who are still impressive performers. Like we saw in their six-man tag team match at Double or Nothing, there’s not much in the way of enmity between these guys. This should be a fun match between old friends.
Prediction: CIMA wins.
“Hangman” Adam Page vs Jungle Boy vs Jimmy Havoc vs MJF
Page, after winning the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing, will face Chris Jericho at September’s All Out to decide the first AEW World Champion. At Fyter Fest, he goes up against rich douchebag heel MJF (who strongly objects to Page’s win at DoN), up-and-comer Jungle Boy (he’s like a very sweet Tarzan guy), and UK deathmatch goth Jimmy Havoc. This match should be a good opportunity for fans to get a better sense of these performers’ styles and personalities.
A loss for Page here would definitely be a big hinderance to his preparations for Chris Jericho at All Out. (Jericho’s storyline is that he has pulled out of Fyter Fest to protest it being aired for free, but he may show up at some point.)
Prediction: MJF wins.
Yuka Sakazaki vs Riho vs Nyla Rose
I am so glad to see Yuka Sakazaki and Riho back in AEW! With the announcement of an AEW Women’s World Championship coming in the near future, I would love to see these two in contention. We didn’t get to see a ton of Nyla Rose in her match at Double or Nothing, but putting her against two women as diminutive as Yuka Sakazaki and Riho will give her a nice opportunity to really show off what a hoss she can be. This should be a fun one.
Prediction: Nyla Rose wins.
Cody vs Darby Allin
Wrestling’s favorite skater punk, grown up “I like turtles” kid, and all-around reckless pain-freak weirdo Darby Allin will make his AEW debut this weekend against none other than the company’s Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes. Darby Allin regularly does things like land his skateboard onto opponents, dive from balconies, and film himself spray painting words onto his car (his actual car that he drives and at one point lived in) for promos.
Cody is set to team up with his brother Dustin (fka Goldust) against the Young Bucks at AEW’s next show, Fight for the Fallen, in two weeks. That isn’t a lot of time to recover from Darby Allin! While this match probably won’t get quite as wild as a skateboard covered in thumbtacks (yes, that’s a thing), I think we can expect a soupçon of crazy violent bullshit.
Prediction: I want Darby Allin to win this more than anything, but I think Cody will prevail.
Unsanctioned No-Rules Match: Jon Moxley vs Joey Janela
When Jon Moxley got backstage after attacking Kenny Omega at the end of Double or Nothing, he was greeted by “the Bad Boy” Joey Janela, smoking and leering at him. Mox took his cigarette, blew some smoke in Janela’s face, and walked away. Honestly, that’s more than enough build-up for me.
Part of it is just that this match-up is so right. On one side, we’ve got Jon Moxley, hardcore deathmatch brawler who makes up for not being the most skilled in-ring technician by being tremendously charming and smart, freshly freed from his corporate shackles. On the other side we’ve got Joey Janela, hardcore deathmatch former-backyarder who makes up for not being the most skilled in-ring technician by being tremendously charming and smart, 2019’s king of the indie scene.
Janela is a perfect opponent for Moxley, not just because they’re similar in so many ways, but because, in spite of only 4 years difference in age, they represent different generations of indie wrestling. Joey Janela is where he is today in large part due to his ability to adapt to and capitalize on WWE snatching up so much talent from the indies. Jon Moxley’s success in WWE helped pave the way for that to become the company’s MO in the first place. And with yesterday’s addition of a no-rules stipulation? I am into this narrative!
Prediction: Moxley wins, but maybe he decides Janela is worth keeping as a friend in some kind of dirtbag solidarity.
The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs The Lucha Bros & Laredo Kid
The Young Bucks’ rivalry with the Lucha Brothers goes back to 2017, when brothers Pentagon and Fénix supplanted Matt and Nick Jackson as tag team champions in Pro Wrestling Guerilla, the Young Bucks’ home promotion. The Bucks surprised Penta and Fénix at AAA’s Rey De Reyes in March, taking their AAA Tag Team Titles, which they defended successfully at Double or Nothing, but lost a week ago in Mexico. Champions once again, the Lucha Bros are bringing AAA Cruiserweight Champion Laredo Kid to Fyter Fest to be their partner against the Young Bucks’ BFF Kenny Omega.
Expect a lot of high flying, athleticism and theatrics. This has no right to be anything but fun.
Prediction: Kenny Omega pins Laredo Kid to win the match for his team.