Three down, one to go. As All Elite Wrestling tracks towards its television debut in early October, the company has now completed three of its four announced events with Fight for the Fallen going down Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida. The extended card did well to wrap up some storylines and push the company forward towards its biggest show yet, All Out, which is set for Aug. 31 in Chicago.
Perhaps most notable on Saturday was not only the continuation of the Adam "Hangman" Page vs. Chris Jericho feud for the vacant AEW world championship, but Kenny Omega returning to his old self with a show-stealing dream match against CIMA. The main event of The Young Bucks vs. Cody & Dustin Rhodes also delivered - albeit to a lesser degree -- and what we will likely come out of the show talking about is a line that Cody added during a charity presentation as a shot at WWE.
That said, there were production issues throughout the show. The commentary took a step backward with the return to the original team. And the ending of the show was rushed and quite awkward. So what went down on Saturday night in Jacksonville? Keep on reading for detailed results and grades from AEW Fight for the Fallen..
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AEW Fight for the Fallen results, grades
Sony Kiss def. Peter Avalon via pinfall (The Buy In): Kiss displayed his impressive athleticism throughout while the continued Librarian gimmick drew boos from the crowd. Leva Bates attempted to help Avalon when Kiss fell outside the ring but instead distracted him. Kiss ultimately hit a couple back handsprings and a falling split leg drop from the second rope to get the victory. This was fine for an opening match at an event like this, but there was nothing really to take home. Still, Kiss had a solid showing; I would like to see him in a more interesting and meaningful bout. Grade: D
Shoko Nakajima & Bea Priestley def. Britt Baker & Riho via pinfall (The Buy In): The crowd was excited to see Priestley make her debut, and the work between Riho and Nakajima was fun except when they were exchanging blows that were so clearly pulled that it took the viewer out of the match a bit. Baker seemed slow and rusty in the bout, which is to be expected as she has not been competing regularly. A tope suicida from Nakajima took out Riho, while a senton (that missed a prone Baker) resulted in a two count that Riho attempted to break up. Riho later hit Nakajima with some impressive moves, including a northern lights suplex, for a pair of 2.9 counts. The women then traded maneuvers in a fast-paced finish that saw Nakajima fold over Riho for the 1-2-3. The final few minutes between Riho and Nakajima were by far the most impressive and drastically improved the overall match. AEW spent the rest of the bout mostly building a Baker-Priestley feud with continuous interactions and stand-offs, including a pull-apart brawl after the bell. Grade: C
Shawn Spears, MJF & Sammy Guevara def. Joey Janela, Jimmy Havoc & Darby Allin via pinfall: Spears' heat with MJF (his teammate and Cody's friend) and Allin (his opponent, whom he stole the spotlight from at Fyter Fest) was the only notable part of the front half of the bout. Havoc hit a cool superplex on Guevara standing on Spears' back for the spot of the match. Guevara then got his moment by going back and forth with tope suicidas and corkscrews before hitting a standing Spanish fly on Allin for a 2.5 count. Janela hit Guevara with a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron to basically eliminate him from the match. Spears rolled Guevara back in the ring for a tag and then hit Allin with a DVD for the win. As with the preceding women's match, this bout was more about advancing a story than the competition itself outside of the aforementioned flurry. Spears going over was important here for All Out, though the crowd was seemingly more interested in the other five men in the match. Grade: C
Brandi Rhodes def. Allie via pinfall: Before the match began, Brandi made nice with Allie ... until she motioned to the entrance and Awesome Kong hit the ring. Kong mostly served as an enforcer and distraction. Brandi dominated the offense early, but a superkick and running DVD by Allie was a near three count (until Kong broke it up from outside). Allie locked in a dragon sleeper on Brandi, who tapped only for it not to be seen by the referee (distracted by Kong). Brandi then poked Allie in the eyes and hit her Bionic Spear for the win. Brandi attacked Allie after the bell sounded and nearly fed her to Kong until Aja Kong's music hit. The Kongs stared each other down before three referees and Brandi split them up. The match was subpar, and the only excitement was really the staredown. Grade: D+
Dark Order def. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (via pinfall) and Jack Evans & Angelico: A Boy and His Dinosaur had all of the fan support, and the team of Evans & Angelico avoided tags early despite the stipulation that the winner would get a chance for a bye in an upcoming tournament. The match started slow until Evil Uno hit an impressive top-rope senton on Jungle Boy, but it was Luchasaurus doing a standing moonsault onto Evans that got the crowd in a brief frenzy. An assisted 450 by Evans onto Jungle Boy, followed by a Black Tiger Bomb from Angelico looked to have Jungle Boy in trouble; instead, Marko Stunt pushed Angelico off the ring apron and was allowed by the referee to hit a huricanrana on Evans. The referee ejected Stunt but then let Luchasaurus throw him into Angelico outside. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy combined for a stunning thrown aerial powerbomb, but Uno broke up the pinning attempt on Evans. The Dark Order then combined for a senton and splash on A Boy and His Dinosaur to slow them down followed by a Fatality on Jungle Boy for the victory. What we got over the final third of the match showed what these teams are capable of putting together. The crowd was hot for the finish and deservingly so. Only minor demerits for Stunt's clear interference and the legitimately rough start. Grade: B-
Hangman Page def. Kip Sabian via pinfall: A standing shooting star press by Page injected a bit of life into a dead crowd more than five minutes into the match. Sabian spit in Page's face, so he drilled him with a discus lariat. Page later hit a moonsault from the top rope outside the ring and solid his previously injured left knee. The moment of the match came when Page lifted Sabian up as if he was executing a powerbomb and instead threw him outside of the ring onto the elevated entrance ramp. Page then hit a swinging neckbreaker from the top rope for a 2.8 count, leading a desperate Sabian to execute a dragon screw between the ropes to tweak Page's leg. After rolling through some pinfall attempts, Page lifted Sabian and hit Dead Eye for the 1-2-3 with less than a minute remaining in the bout.
After the match, Page was attacked by Chris Jericho, who was wearing the mask of one of the Dark Order's creepers. He hit Page with the Codebreaker and Judas Effect, leaving Page bleeding with a massive bruise under his eye. The crowd chanted "Thank you, Jericho" as Jericho became the third wrestler to give double middle fingers on the night. The crowd popped for individual moves but did not connect with the match. As such, it was a tough grade, but the post-match angle helped. Grade: B-
Lucha Brothers def. Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky via pinfall: Pentagon Jr. and Sky traded hand gestures and catch phrases for what felt like five minutes in the middle of the ring, but the crowd ate it up. The Lucha Brothers involved Christopher Daniels in the match, and he was allowed to hit a springboard splash before being ejected. Once business picked up, Pentagon and Rey Fenix displayed their greatness with varieties of superkicks, spinning heel kicks and a fantastic monkey flip rolling senton. Sky hit Pentagon with a cutter on the ring apron, and Sky helped Kazarian drill Fenix with an assisted top-rope DDT. A Canadian destroyer on Sky by Pentagon resulted in a 2.5 count, but the following package piledriver double foot stomp finisher got the job done.
SCU played their roles well in the match and did just enough to help the Lucha Brothers look impressive in victory. After the match, the Lucha Brothers grabbed a ladder from under the ring and drilled SCU with it. They then climbed the ladder and took a microphone with Pentagon saying they are the best tag team in the planet before challenging The Young Bucks to a ladder match at All Out, presumably for the AAA tag team championships. Grade: B
Kenny Omega def. CIMA via pinfall: The crowd was on fire at the start of this match, which was well-paced and saw constant action. CIMA hit a Perfect driver on Omega for a 2.5 count, but he bounced back with a spinning heel kick to the back of CIMA's head followed by a V-trigger to the same spot. CIMA then countered Omega into a powerbomb from the top rope that looked extremely dangerous as Omega appeared to land on his head. Outside the ring, CIMA grew incensed at an aggressive Omega and climbed atop a platform to hit a meteora on Omega, who was laying across a hard box-like table. CIMA then hit Omega with a knee to the back of the head and another meteora inside the ring but only got a 2.5 count. Omega caught CIMA's next attempted meteora and bombed him into the turnbuckles; he followed with a snap dragon suplex, V-trigger, neckbreaker and another V-trigger before CIMA stopped a One-Winged Angel.
CIMA responded by dropping Omega on the ring apron and hitting a third meteora, but Omega got his foot under the bottom rope to break the count. Omega eventually responded with a Tiger Driver 98 for a 2.7 count, and a leg-hook cradle pinning combination by CIMA got the OWE star a near fall at 2.9. Omega immediately bounced back with a One-Winged Angel for the victory in a truly tremendous bout that is the best match AEW has put on to date. It's one thing to call something a "dream match;" it is quite another to go out and prove it deserved the moniker. Grade: A
Chris Jericho with a live mic: Jericho joked about having Page's blood on his hand, crapped on Jacksonville (deservingly so) and promised to get his well-deserved "thank you" one person at a time by beating up the entire AEW roster. He ran down most of the AEW wrestlers and said he will prove Hangman is "nothing more than a little bitch." As he said that, Page ran down the ramp and attacked Jericho, beating him down in the ring. Referees, backstage officials and a handful of wrestlers eventually split them up. Good segment even though Jericho rambled and repeated some jokes.
The Young Bucks def. Cody & Dustin Rhodes via pinfall: The teams shook hands before the match began, but once a little action started, the Bucks again mocked the Rhodes' hug at Double or Nothing. Nick Jackson later spit in Cody's face while he was on the ropes hoping for a tag. Dustin hit a crossbody from the second rope to take out the Bucks, and Cody got some offense in after a hot tag, including a dive through the ropes onto the elevated ramp. The match slowed down as the Rhodes concentrated on Matt's left shoulder. The teams exchanged sharpshooters (Bucks) and figure-four leg locks (Rhodes) before Dustin hit a flipping senton and Cody nailed a escalera outside the ring. An assisted Cross Rhodes on Matt only got a two count as Nick jumped off the top rope for a swanton bomb to break it up. The Rhodes continued to hit moves in stereo until the Bucks singled them out and isolated Dustin, who responded with a yoshi tonic to even things up. The Bucks took a heel turn when they hit Cody with a double superkick to the back of the head; they then feigned superkicks on the brothers only to hit the Rhodes signature uppercuts. The Rhodes responded with superkicks, so Nick hit Cross Rhodes on Cody for a 2.5 count. The Bucks then nailed Cody with a Meltzer Driver for the victory.
The Brotherhood hugged after the loss as the Bucks grabbed a microphone and said their ribbing the last few weeks was all in the spirit of competition. Matt said he never saw "much of the other product" to judge, but the Rhodes were indeed one of the greatest tag teams. Their post-match segment got cut due to time, which confused those in the ring. A bit later as they were presenting a charity check, Cody went on a rant that no other company can counter-program against them. While the match was certainly entertaining and told a solid story, the over-reliance on double maneuvers during multiple segments of the match started as fun but quickly became gimmicky. The Rhodes no doubt held their own against the Bucks, but there's a clear difference in match quality when the Bucks go up against a team that can match their athleticism and creativity. Nothing wrong with this match whatsoever, but it did not hold a candle to the bout that preceded it. Grade: B