All Elite Wrestling: Battle of the Brothers Headlines Hot 'Fight for the Fallen' Card
The Florida heat was no match for the stars of All Elite Wrestling as they presented their third show, Fight for the Fallen, July 13 at Daily's Place Amphitheater at TD Field in Jacksonville.
The event was headlined by a battle of the brothers with the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) defeating Cody and Dustin Rhodes. Proceeds from the show, which was streamed across B/R Live and internationally via FITE TV, will benefit the Jacksonville Victim Assistance Advisory Council (VAAC).
So far, more than $150,000 was raised through a collaborative effort between wrestlers, partners, tickets sales and ongoing auctions. Following the conclusion of the featured bout, a check was presented to the organization.
The overall card had a family-like atmosphere with Rhodes relatives in attendance to watch the sons of the late "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes competing together. AEW founder Tony Khan also had his mom and dad there to take in the come circle moment, returning to the place the promotion's initial announcement was made during a fan rally less than seven months earlier.
Taking place in Jacksonville Jaguars country, the event saw that NFL team's cheerleaders and mascot Jaxson de Ville getting in on the fun during the Buy In preshow, putting on a choreographed dance number alongside Sonny Kiss. Four hours of action followed.
Thank You Chris Jericho
A masked Chris Jericho attacked his AEW heavyweight championship opponent Hangman Page after his hard-fought win over Kip Sabian. His new rival got some retribution on the Fozzy frontman later in the evening, interrupting Jericho's scheduled microphone time.
During the post-show media scrum, Jericho said it was the first time he was able to cut a promo without any script in 20 years. The veteran has the innate ability to put over an emerging star, promote a match and still maintain his heel persona. That is no easy task and why the WWE alum is a great asset besides just bringing name value. He will help take Page to the next level.
Chief Brandi Officer Has Backup
Brandi Rhodes was victorious in her first official match under the AEW banner against Allie. The legit chief brand officer brought an insurance policy to the ring in the form of Awesome Kong (GLOW actress Kia Stephens). This is a perfect boss/bodyguard pairing that could be a major part of the women's division. Fans were excited when Japanese legend Aja Kong emerged for a battle of the Kongs stare-down, thus hinting to a potential showdown between the two imposing forces. One of the most anticipated collisions appears to be on the horizon.
Going 'All Out'
Fight for the Fallen set the stage for AEW's All Out pay-per-view on the road to the premiere of its two-hour weekly series coming to TNT in October. During the post-show media scrum, Khan hinted we would be hearing an announcement regarding the day of the week and initial host cities sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, the All Out card is taking shape nicely, with Page and Jericho vying for the distinction of inaugural AEW champion. During Fight for the Fallen, Lucha Brothers issued a ladder match challenge to the Young Bucks. Elsewhere a battle is brewing between Cody Rhodes and Shawn Spears coming off his violent chair-shot to Rhodes’ head during Fyter Fest. Fans will finally get the chance to watch Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley meet for the first time. Speaking of the “Best Bout Machine,” he lived up to his nickname arguably having the best match on Fight for the Fallen versus CIMA.
A Glimpse Into the Future
The main broadcast opened with a fiery six-man tag team match involving MJF, Sammy Guevara, and Shawn Spears beating Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc, and Joey Janela. In many ways, it was a showcase of the future big players in AEW. Each had a chance to demonstrate their strengths and the hot crowd (literally and figuratively) were eating it up. For example, the upstart MJF is really developing into the top pure villain in not only AEW, but pro wrestling in general. Even in defeat, Luchasuarus gained momentum and shined in a three-way tag match with his athletic ability bringing the AEW faithful to their feet.
With more reps, all these young guys and girls can only get better. There is a ton of potential looking at the wide scope of the roster. A testament to the recruitment of performers who may have very little experience on the larger stages, yet after only three official events have resonated so much with fans. It's like they've been on TV for years. There is an electric energy felt inside each of the venues so far bringing its own unique vibe based on the concept or overall theme of the show. Khan revealed the Fight for the Fallen staging was modeled after the wrestling episode of South Park. A vision realized.
The one constant so far is the feeling fans want a product that is fresh and new. Even more, they want options. AEW aims to do more than fill a void left by WCW in 2001. By their recent trajectory, they are coming out swinging for the fences. None more evident than when Cody told the Jax attendees that “you can’t counter program what All Elite Wrestling is doing.” And that, “the love, genuine feeling, the damn revolution that is All Elite Wrestling.”