Fight for the Fallen
Original Air Date: July 28, 2021
Event Date: July 28, 2021
(aired live on TNT & the FITE app)
Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Don Callis (1), MJF (6)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
“Dynamite” by No One Hero
10-Man Elimination Tag Team Match
“Hangman” Adam Page & Evil Uno & Stu Grayson & Alex Reynolds & John Silver w/ Alan Angels, Preston Vance, Colt Cabana vs Karl Anderson (Impact Tag Champ) & Luke Gallows (Impact Tag Champ) & Nick Jackson (AEW Tag Champ) & Matt Jackson (AEW Tag Champ) & Kenny Omega (AAA Mega, Impact World, TNA World, AEW World Champ) w/ Don Callis, Michael Nakazawa, Brandon Cutler
(referee: Rick Knox; stipulation: If Page & Dark Order win, Adam Page gets an AEW World Title match and Dark Order gets an AEW Tag Title match.)
Result: The Elite Win (Kenny Omega & Nick Jackson survive)
1. Alex Reynolds pinned by Karl Anderson with a schoolboy (and a handful of tights) (3:48)
2. Karl Anderson pinned by Evil Uno after Fatality (with Stu Grayson) (4:49)
3 & 4. Stu Grayson & Doc Gallows counted out while fighting in the crowd (11:07)
5. Evil Uno pinned by Kenny Omega after the One Winged Angel (12:28)
6. John Silver pinned by Matt Jackson after the BTE Trigger (with Nick Jackson) (19:03)
7. Matt Jackson pinned by Adam Page after the Buckshot Lariat (23:57)
8. Adam Page pinned by Kenny Omega after the One Winged Angel (25:34)
Great match. Dark Order were energized tonight, and they were great throughout the entire match. This was John Silver’s first match back after his shoulder injury, and I loved seeing him in the ring, both on his own and pulling of seamless tandem sequences with Alex Reynolds. Grayson and Evil Uno were highlighted extremely well too, and it made it feel like Dark Order was really trying support their friend Adam Page in his hunt for a title shot. Page, of course, was fantastic as well, and he ended up in the toughest position out of anyone, having to face all three of his former friends at the same time late in the match.
The Elite took a little while to get going, but once they did, it felt like the finish might be inevitable for Page and the Dark Order. Omega in particular was on fire, and whenever he was in the ring it was trouble for whoever was in there with him. The crowd was really into the match was well, fully supporting Page and Dark Order while constantly booing The Elite. All these factors combined with great storytelling made this an incredibly fun match that I got fully invested it. What a way to start the show.
Oh yeah, and Excalibur helped point out a particularly significant aspect of the finish of the match that once again demonstrates how Page, Omega, and The Young Bucks are some of the absolute best storytellers in the business.
Alex Marvez is standing by with Pac, but he was supposed to be standing by with the entire Death Triangle. Pac explains that someone canceled the Lucha Brothers’ car from the airport to the venue. Just then, Andrade El Idolo walks up with Chavo Guerrero Jr. Chavo explains that Andrade paid for a limo to bring the Penta and Fenix to the building, and Andrade says Pac needs to treat his friends better.
Taz introduces the new FTW Champion Ricky Starks, and Ricky and Hook are played to the ring by a marching band. In the ring, Starks says he has been the glue and the anchor in Team Taz because he knows how to play his role. Brian Cage was selfish during his time in Team Taz, but even worse than that, Brian Cage never checked on Starks when Starks broke his neck. As Starks continues, Brian Cage comes out to the ring. Cage enters the ring, but Starks and Hook escape with no physicality (two band members get beat up by Cage though)
The ace of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Hiroshi Tanahashi, challenges the the winner of tonight’s IWGP US Heavyweight Title match.
FTR w/ Tully Blanchard, MJF, Wardlow, Shawn Spears vs Santana & Ortiz w/ Konnan
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Dax Harwood pins Ortiz after a sheer drop brainbuster
Very good match. Santana and Ortiz dominated the first part of the match with some great tandem offense and very nice continuity. FTR waited for their opportunities though, and Wheeler and Harwood started to put together a strong match as it went on. Unfortunately, Wheeler looked like he cut his forearm pretty badly on the ring post at around the ten minute mark, and that forced the match to end abruptly in a way that wasn’t planned. The finish was still well done, it just felt too sudden given the rest of the match. It’s totally understandable though, and hopefully Wheeler isn’t hurt too badly.
Earlier today, Tony Schiavone spoke with Britt Baker and Rebel. Baker said her wrist was broken in her title match against Nyla Rose last week, but she still tapped Nyla out. Baker thinks she and Rebel need someone to watch their back now that everyone is gunning for the champ.
From the stage, Tony Schiavone announces that on August 20, AEW Rampage will be at the United Center in Chicago, IL for “The First Dance.”
Alex Marvez is with Darby Allin and Sting. Allin says he’ll be in Chicago for Rampage. He also says AEW is the place to be to prove you’re the best, even if you think you’re the “best in the world.”
IWGP United States Heavyweight Title Match
Hikuleo w/ King Haku vs “Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer (IWGP US Champ)
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Lance Archer wins via pinfall after the Blackout and retains the title in his first defense
Good match. This was just a straightforward fight between two huge guys. Hikuleo got some good offense in early (with a little help from his father King Haku at one point), but Archer began to dominate as the match went on. Archer hit hard, walked the ropes, and slammed Hikuleo for a strong first defense in his second reign as IWGP US Champion.
Alex Marvez tries to interview Cody Rhodes, but Cody is kicked in the face by Malakai Black. Black beats up Cody near the booth Cody, Jerry Lynn, and Tony Khan were watching the show from, and Black and Rhodes make their way to the ring area.
By the time Cody Rhodes and Malakai Black fight their way to the stage, Rhodes has the advantage. Black kicks his way back into the dominant position though, so wrestlers and officials run out to check on Cody. Black kicks one of those wrestlers, Fuego Del Sol, in the face as the segment ends.
Earlier today, Miro said that despite his open challenge, no one wants to fight him. But next week, “God’s favorite champion” will fight Lee Johnson.
Private Party & Angelico w/ Matt Hardy vs Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus w/ Marko Stunt & Christian Cage
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Christian Cage pins Marq Quen after a frog splash
This was a quick, fun match. Matt Hardy got chased away early in the match after trying to attack Jungle Boy, and that left the rest of the Hardy Family Office without their leader. Jurassic Express and Christian Cage didn’t have too many problems after that, and they all worked well together to end the match quickly.
After the match, as Christian is slapping hands with fans at ringside, The Blade lays out Christian Cage with some brass knuckles. Matt Hardy has come back out to the stage, and he smiles as The Blade joins him.
A look at Nick Gage and the violence he’s bringing to AEW tonight.
Julia Hart w/ Varsity Blonds vs Thunder Rosa
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Thunder Rosa wins via pinfall after the Fire Thunder Driver
Good match. It was kind of a squash, but as Thunder Rosa’s first match on Dynamite after officially signing an AEW contract, it was a good way to start some new momentum for her.
Jon Moxley wonders why the athletes in the Olympics are able to get into Japan, but Moxley can’t. Moxley is annoyed that Tanahashi decided to challenge for the IWGP US Title only after Moxley lost it, and he accuses Tanahashi of dodging him for months. Moxley says that fine though. He has sent a stack of contracts to Japan, so we’ll see who steps through the forbidden door next.
The 5 Labours of Jericho: Chapter 2 – No Rules Match
“The Painmaker” Chris Jericho vs Nick Gage
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Chris Jericho wins via pinfall after the Judas Effect
Very good match. Nick Gage, as expected, brought a lot of weapons and violence to this fight. Gage’s offense was sporadic and ugly, but he dominated the biggest part of the match. He started with a pizza cutter, and from there moves on to light tubes and a pane of glass. Jericho was bleeding from pretty much every exposed part of his body (and probably a few that weren’t exposed), but The Painmaker had some tricks of his own late in the match. I wouldn’t want to see this type of match be a regular thing in AEW, but for a memorable spectacle, it was pretty great.
After the match, MJF angrily gets on the mic. From the stage, MJF says the stipulation in Jericho’s third labour is that he has to hit a maneuver off the top rope. As for his opponent, it will be Juventud Guerrera!
This was a pretty great show. The first hour was very strong, and even though matches five and six felt a bit short (but understandable considering the length of the first and last matches), the whole show was a lot of fun.
Match of the Night
10-Man Tag Team Elimination Match
This has the best consistent action and the most engaging story. Easily.