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AEW Fight For The Fallen II - 7/15/2020


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I'm so glad I wasn't the only one thinking Kenny was doing the lazy NJPW show look by wrestling in a t-shirt.

Man, I want heel Kenny bad. GIVE US THE CLEANER. Tonight was the start.

They're really leaning into Cody turning heel too. As great of a babyface Cody is, he's an even better heel.

Really solid show. 

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15 minutes ago, Jiji said:

Andy in Kansas (who changes their damned name?!) nailed the majority of points I had on mind. Kiss looked really good, the best he's looked to date but still had some of those weird pauses before he pulls off something cool. Cody is working full heel without a turn and the camera loved watching both Arn and Tully. Arn was so great with his reactions but Tully going Cobra Commander was low key neat. Very good match with a few technical flaws. I feel like Cody made a point to get a more aggressive Sonny in there and it worked. Hella nice elbows. Very promising. 

Who changes their name? Only those among us who are thoughtful enough to keep our avatars and make it easy for everyone else follow along. Or so we thought...

I'm not sure I'd even credit Cody with being "full heel" or "more aggressive" here. Even going back to the whipping on Darby in their first match or bleeding out his bother, Cody's been a constant contradiction. Allegedly the most natural babyface promo in wrestling while at the same time being incredibly affected and pompous in his speech patterns. The hero to the many, while at the same time an always-overdressed son of privilege. I don't see anything new here aside from them just slightly leaning into what's always been obvious. 

Edited by Andy in Kansas
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I'd say his in ring work has gone from aggressive to everything but obvious heel trope stuff. He's wrestling like an asshole. JR made a great comment that he was staring daggers into Aubrey's eyes while he held on to the submission after the rope break, applying cocky pins, arguing with the referee, etc. It absolutely makes way more sense for the open challenge veteran babyface to work like this than Cena doing generic indie matches but this has to be leading somewhere and I'm excited to see where and with whom. 

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1 minute ago, Jiji said:

He's wrestling like an asshole. 

Right. I think the point I'd like to make here is that while this is being made more and more clear to people during his TNT title run and they're working hard to explicitly hammer the point home, I feel he's almost always wrestled like an asshole. It's just his part of his natural energy that he's normally well over that "WWE babyfaces are overbearing assholes" line that people like to draw. We're definitely headed somewhere right now (especially with the focus on Arn and Tully tonight), and it's pretty fun. But I think people have been sleeping on his heel tendencies for a while now. And the lack of crowd reaction definitely robs him of some of his babyface aura and pushes him further in that direction. It's subtle, but I there's some of that at play here. Which is fun to think about. 

Re: Kenny, part of me has been screaming this whole time that he's been to an extent coasting on his reputation in AEW. Which isn't to say his work isn't at times brilliant, because it is. But to see tonight that something fresh may be about to happen is genuinely exciting. 

I think it's a great sign for this company that they're comfortable enough with the depth of their babyface roster that they're playing footsie with the idea of turning at least two members of the Elite. I say "at least" because I think not enough people are considering where the Bucks will shake out in all of this, especially after the boos at Revolution and the clear appetite for them to change some things up. Exciting times.

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We have yet to see prime Omega in AEW, which is incredible if you look at his body of work in the company especially this year. He's got the easy MOTY for me (which was a total Kenny match, which some may not love but they're beyond me), the Pac match, and the tag title defense vs. the Lucha Bros. Three 4+ star matches and one of them is either the best tag or second best tag I've ever seen. 

I would very, very much like to see FTR and Page vs. The Elite before this blows over. I think this ends with all of the Elite members barring the Young Bucks branching off into separate directions and doing their own thing. Can't wait to see how it shakes out. 

And, yeah, Cody was even working aggro face to the point of crossing the line as far back as the first Darby match and the classic vs. Dustin. 

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1 minute ago, Jiji said:

He's got the easy MOTY for me (which was a total Kenny match, which some may not love but they're beyond me)

Huh. I saw that match as more of a Bucks match, where it struck me as being reminiscent of their higher-end ROH or New Japan matches at a level they really haven't reached in AEW.  Where they cast aside the fucking about and MOVEZ~! in favour of a surprising amount of storytelling and replace the fucking about with real cocky Big Dick Energy and remind everyone that they can be super-workers when they want to. 

And considering everyone seemingly agrees Hangman is the clear star among them, the splitting hairs between our perspectives is a rich problem to have indeed. What a wealth of talent. 

Consider this my throwing my hat in with everyone who counts that as the match of the year. And if we're not getting crowds back, I'm assuming that will hold. 

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Xavier Woods bot in the hizzouse.

The empty arena/COVID situation then the Speaking Out shit had me bummed about all things wrestling for a while but now watching NJPW’s interesting direction on Cup Final and Dominion and getting caught up again with AEW storylines has me hyped to watch this show. Too bad FTR / Lucha Bro’s match seems disappointing, I’ll still enjoy taking it all in.

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This Cody group with FTR. Is it better to have Hangman Page in the group or against them?

Hangman challenging Cody for the TNT title, only for FTR to turn on him, and the group gets established by them breaking Hangman's leg (can we get a cage involved) would be something. 

- sets up Hangman's chase of Cody for the title

- Hangman find a new partner to take on FTR (assuming they drop the belts) - or having to convince Omega to team with him again

- Omega stands up for Page and feuds with Cody while Hangman recovers, or Kenny joins the above group instead. Bucks then have to put their differences aside with Page to back him up instead

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We don't need to draw a strict line between heels over here and faces over there. Heel factions can feud with other heel factions. And splitting Omega from the Bucks is not necessary - even if Kenny goes full heel and the Bucks stay face, they can do the Sting/Luger deal.

So did feuding with Suzuki open Mox's eyes to a whole new world of wrestling? Because he seems to be completely changing up his style from being a Deathmatch brawler guy to being a shootstyle mat guy. Even though he's really not too smooth at shootstyle matwork yet.

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I think this is the style he wanted to work when he came back to WWE for his last run.  You saw some elements of it, but in the end, they wanted him doing his usual routine.

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Excuse Me! Always liked Vickie Guerrero as Smackdown General Manager and then as a Manager, liked her on commentary for AEW as well. The nuclear heat she generated at times. I SAID EXCUSE ME!!!

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I think that destroyer crossed the line into being too contrived for me.  Everybody was standing around like human statues for way too long.

The alley-oop rana from the outside was incredible, though.

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Enjoyed the hell out of this. Lots of stories developing, and while I can see paths I can also see numerous ways each of those paths can go and intersect with each other. 

Thought Cody pushed more towards asshole tonight, and with Tully noticeably watching on and Arn getting cranky it suggests heel turn a-coming. Maybe he gets too cocky in one of these challenges, loses and snaps? Sonny brought some good intensity and there were some nasty shots and bumps. Good stuff. 

I still can't get a handle on who FTR are and what there characters are. Are they old school, too cool for school, or expelled from school (to really stretch a metsphpr). I don't want to cheer them, but don't want to hate them either. They've got presence though and plenty here like them so I'll give it time. Penta and Fenix don't hold back on those chops, do they? Were they Non-alcoholic beers at the end and is that why FTR dumped them? Kenny is sober, right? 

Jericho was immense all night. As mentioned, perfectly on the spot for the juicing. His "Khaaaaaaan!" - esque shouting of whoever has wronged him is awesome. "I'm sticky!" his casual shout out to pineapple Pete. Loved it all. 

Thank you @kenyabaxterZXW for the Ortiz gif. Him holding onto Jerichos legs while still flopping in the juice was *chef kiss*

Marko takes incredible bumps, jungle boys intensity has increased dramatically and I love it. Like what they did with Kenny, give me more of that Kenny please. 

I dig the story they were telling in the title fight but the ending fell way flat for me. Good to see Darby back, hope it means he's in the clear on any allegations of wrongdoing because I like his stuff and would hate to feel icky watching him. 

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Yeah, Jungle Jack's evolution has been something to see. He has a really neat combination of high flying, hard hitting, and technical moves that makes him fascinating to watch. His selling and filling the time between those moves has improved a lot too. We know he's at least capable of great things in a single going back to the PPV gem of a match vs. MJF but if he can start putting on similar performances in singles matches on a regular basis watch the fuck out. He'll be the first of the next gen guys to deserve a main event spot. Maybe mic work would be the last missing piece. Jericho angling for more Jungle Boy is a good sign. They obviously know what they have in the kid. Their roster is so loaded with talent and they've been taking their time building up a lot of the non WWE guys. It's great to see. 

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19 minutes ago, Fighting a man with a perm said:

I still can't get a handle on who FTR are and what there characters are. Are they old school, too cool for school, or expelled from school (to really stretch a metsphpr). I don't want to cheer them, but don't want to hate them either. They've got presence though and plenty here like them so I'll give it time. Penta and Fenix don't hold back on those chops, do they? Were they Non-alcoholic beers at the end and is that why FTR dumped them? Kenny is sober, right? 

So FTR were men after my beer-drinking heart last night.  They were offered Miller Lite and disgusted by Kenny's choice they declined.  So when Cash said they were going to get real beer that just made me smile.  It also plays into their meeting with Page at the bar who luckily for them is an unlicensed bartender (I am so using that somewhere)  And yes, Kenny is sober hence him drinking milk while hanging with Page.

The main points of the show have been covered but man did I love that episode a ton.  Ortiz flopping around in OJ had us in stitches as did Jericho's flipping out throughout the night.  I will say that Sonny brought the goods but this match really emphasized the holes in his game.  Some of the moves he took were a bit too soon and led to a disconnect.  That and he could stand to tighten up on some of those kicks.  But hot damn did he bring the intensity with those forearms.  There's a bright future with Sonny and I can see him getting better from here.  And while Vicky's music playing before Nyla's was an accident it didn't give anything away as to who her manager is.  It wasn't until it went about 10 seconds into her entrance that the greatness really shone through.  I can't wait to hear that song.

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Good show. The angles are starting to progress, I'm really into seeing something new from Omega. I don't know if Cody is going to go full heel or if he's setting himself up to be able to work either side depending on the challenger. This was a heel performance because that's the best way to make Sonny a viable challenger and then he pulled it back after the match. It's interesting they're teasing turning both guys although it's a great way to make sure Adam Page isn't too crowded out as a face. Despite the pandemic pause, Page's storyline is still a great progression.

FTR/Lucha Bros fell short but it's clear that wasn't the end of the road for those teams. I think FTR are still finding their footing in AEW. A lot of why their matches were so good in WWE was that they worked them on the house shows and got them down to a science and that's not an option here. It was a style clash too, Lucha Bros tend to go all out from the get go (well, after Pentagon takes his glove off) and FTR are at their best slowing things down a little. A team like the Bucks can adapt to that pace but that's not the Lucha Bros thing. Between that and both teams almost botching one of their standard double teams this match just didn't come together well, they have a better match in them. Props to Cash for trying a Tope DDT, that took some balls.

I enjoyed the world title match quite a bit. Ugly Mat King Moxley returns! The right man won, I just hope Cage and Brodie Lee haven't been done a disservice by the booking. It looks like Cage can move into a feud with Darby and keep some steam or maybe they'll go for a triple threat.

Jericho was hilarious all night.

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