Preview: All Elite Wrestling – AEW x CEO Fyter Fest (6/29/19)

fyter fest
Credit: AEW

Following a widely successful debut show at Double or Nothing, All Elite Wrestling returns to PPV for their second offering, AEW x CEO Fyter Fest, which will be available for free to many viewers through Bleacher Report Live and at low cost in Europe and other countries. Simply put, especially for U.S. viewers, if you haven’t gotten aboard the AEW train yet, there is no excuse not to at least give it a try when AEW x CEO Fyter Fest pulls into the station on Saturday.

Drawing its name and parody from the much-maligned Fyre Festival from a few years ago, Fyter Fest’s announcement began in a gimmicky way. This included a full website that announced sold-out packages featuring all of AEW’s top stars. But the parody stopped there. While AEW x CEO Fyter Fest makes fun of the Fyre Festival, the card is anything but a joke. Held in collaboration with CEO Gaming, an organization that last year put on a wrestling show thanks to Kenny Omega and New Japan Pro Wrestling, AEW x CEO Fyter Fest promises to showcase a card full of AEW’s best and brightest. And while the company won’t be on TV until October, fans have been able to see some of Fyter Fest’s top narratives play out through Being the Elite and Road to Fyter Fest.

The Buy-In: SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) vs Best Friends (Beretta and Chuckie T)

Buy In
Credit: AEW

Kicking off the Buy-In preshow is a tag team match with some pretty big implications. Recently, Tony Khan announced on the Steve Austin Show that tag team titles were coming and would be determined when the TV show went live on TNT in October. In order to determine who those champs would be, a tournament is going to be held, the first match of which takes place Saturday. The winner of the triple threat tag team match will receive a first round bye when the tournament commences, making the stakes pretty high for this match at AEW x CEO Fyter Fest.

SCU – While the third member of their trio will be wrestling CIMA in a must-see match, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky will represent SCU, following up on their trios victory at Double or Nothing. It’s been a few months since just Sky and Kazarian have teamed up but the two have found success when they have been a duo. In fact, they haven’t lost as a team since December. Kazarian, a 21-year veteran of the industry, holds the claim to fame of being the inaugural Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion as well as one of several men to take part in the first-ever Ultimate X match. In his career, he’s won 32 titles. The 35-year-old Sky spent time with Ring of Honor, TNA, WWE, Revolution Pro Wrestling in England, Osaka Pro Wrestling in Japan and wXw in Germany to name a few. Sky is perhaps best known for his time in PWG, where he wrestled from 2003-2012. Sky, who is the former assistant coach to Katsuryori Shibata at the new NJPW dojo in Los Angeles, has won 20 titles in his career.

Best Friends – The team of Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta first joined up in 2013, wrestling for PWG. Comprised of two rising indie wrestlers, the two only tagged sporadically over the next six years as their careers took them in different directions. The 32-year-old Beretta joined WWE as a developmental wrestler in 2007 and remained with the company through 2012, mostly wrestling for Florida Championship Wrestling. In 2013, Beretta made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling, becoming a major player in their junior tag team division, where he is a four-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. The 33-year-old Taylor, who had built his early career in IWA-Mid South, Combat Zone Wrestling, EVOLVE and CHIKARA to name a few, maintained somewhat of a lower profile, not joining his first major or televised company until 2017. At Double or Nothing, the comedic duo showed they can be so much more than that, picking up the victory over Jack Evans and Angelico in an incredibly technical and impressive match.

Private Party – AEW’s newest tag team features the young and exciting duo of Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy, best known for their time in Combat Zone Wrestling and House of Glory. A team since 2015, Quen and Kassidy have won five titles, but are largely unknown to the national audience. As will be the case for many wrestlers on this card, Private Party could find AEW x CEO Fyter Fest to be their coming-out party.

Michael Nakazawa vs Alex Jebailey

Michael Nakazawa vs Alex Jebailey
Photo: AEW

This card is full of great contests. Cody vs Darby Allin, Jon Moxley vs Joey Janela, the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega vs the Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid…But nothing holds a candle to the much see rematch of Michael Nakazawa vs Alex Jebailey. The match isn’t getting much attention, or frankly any attention at all, but it’s certainly not going to be one to sleep on as for the second year in a row, Jebailey meets Nakazawa in singles action at CEO. But this time, it’s personal. Well, probably, who knows. But anyway, it’s a hardcore match and after an embarrassing defeat last year, Nakazawa will be looking to avenge his loss against CEO’s founder, who is probably booking himself to look strong at his own event.

Nyla Rose vs Yuka Sakazaki vs Riho

Nyla Rose vs Yuka Sakazaki vs Riho - Fyter Fest
Credit: AEW

Continuing to showcase its impressive and diverse women’s division, Fyter Fest’s triple threat should be a real treat. Nyla Rose made her AEW debut at Double or Nothing and despite the loss, had a strong showing. The six-year pro, who has experience wrestling both stateside and in Japan, Rose is someone who is ready to make her impact in All Elite Wrestling. She’s the first transgender woman to compete for a major promotion and has six titles under her belt, but she’s no doubt eyeing the soon-to-be debuted AEW Women’s Championship. Also looking at the future title, are both Riho and Yuka Sakazaki. At just 22, it’s hard to believe that Riho has already been wrestling for 13 years. She’s won nine titles, is the only woman in this match to have an AEW victory, and is a known name in the joshi scene. So too is Sakazaki, though she is much newer to the wrestling industry. A pro since just 2013, Sakazaki has garnered great praise in her early career. Known primarily for her time in Tokyo Joshi Pro and Dramatic Dream Team Wrestling, Sakazaki has won three titles.

With all three women having extensive experience in joshi, look for this to be another great showcase of the Japanese art of wrestling that AEW is looking to promote to a wider audience throughout the world.

Jon Moxley vs Joey Janela

Joey Janela vs Jon Moxley - Fyter Fest
Credit: AEW

In hindsight, this one feels like it should have the hardcore stipulation that Nakazawa vs Jebailey does as for the first time ever Joey Janela takes on Jon Moxley. In some ways, it’s hard to believe that these two Combat Zone Wrestling veterans have never crossed paths before. That includes tag team matches, six man matches, etc. These two have never shared a ring…until now.

At the end of the show, as Double or Nothing went off the air, Moxley was standing tall on a pile of poker chips, having made the biggest statement of the night in his shocking debut. But he wasn’t done. After the event, All Elite Wrestling released a backstage video of Joey Janela and Jon Moxley meeting, with Moxley taking the cigarette out of Janela’s mouth, much to the displeasure of the Bad Boy. It would seem, that Janela could be poised to get his revenge as he will face Moxley at AEW x CEO Fyter Fest. It will serve as Moxley’s in-ring debut for AEW and the singles debut for Janela. And as it would turn out, the two couldn’t be more perfect opponents for each other.

Both Joey Janela and Jon Moxley came up much the same way, honing their craft as hardcore wrestlers, within the confines of Combat Zone Wrestling. While Janela continues to push the boundaries, notably with his Spring Break series and continued work with CZW and Game Changer Wrestling, the undefeated-since-leaving-WWE Moxley is only just now returning to his roots, promising a paradigm shift to all in the wrestling industry. Among them, 45 championships, including the one Moxley still holds, the IWGP United States title. These two come from similar paths but AEW x CEO Fyter Fest will be the first time they’ve ever met in a wrestling ring. And as far as first times go, this one should be memorable and explosive and all the things we’ve already come to expect from All Elite Wrestling.

Christopher Daniels vs CIMA

Christopher Daniels vs CIMA
Credit: AEW

When looking at iconic wrestlers who have made transcendent impacts on the independent wrestling industry, there are many names that come to mind. On Saturday, two of those names will face off in a singles match for the first time in their legendary careers.

At the Double or Nothing rally in February, Christopher Daniels challenged CIMA to find two partners to take on SCU at the PPV and his challenge was accepted. Daniels and CIMA had previously met once before, in a tag team match in 2006 in ROH. As Daniels observed however, that was prior to both men coming into their own and achieving their greatest career successes. It was later announced that CIMA would be joined by T-Hawk and El Lindaman. Daniels and SCU would get the win, giving him a 2-1 career advantage over CIMA.

The 41-year-old CIMA has been wrestling for 22 years and is an incredibly accomplished singles and tag team wrestler. He’s won 40 titles and has wrestled for no shortage of companies throughout Japan, the U.S. and Europe. His resume speaks for itself and might only be bested by the 49-year-old Daniels, who has been wrestling for 26 years and who has won an astounding 45 titles including 20 in ROH,NJPW and TNA/Impact Wrestling. He is the first and so far only man to win the Ring of Honor grand slam (world, tag, TV and six-man titles), has worked for WWE, World Championship WrestlingLucha Libre AAACHIKARA, and many more. Daniels was also named PWI’s Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year in 2017.

Many are already looking past this match as two men past their primes, but when you’ve had careers with as much longevity and success as Daniels and CIMA, no one should count out what these two can and will do in the ring on Saturday.

Cody vs Darby Allin

Cody vs Darby Allin - Fyter Fest
Credit: AEW

Leading up to AEW x CEO Fyter Fest, it’s likely many didn’t know much about Darby Allin, the punk-rock pro skateboarder turned wrestler out of Seattle, WA. But then, the Road to Fyter Fest happened and one episode in particular, featuring Allin, introduced the world to just who this wrestler was and what his goals were. In a fantastic promo, Allin invoked incredible passion and emotion. On Saturday, the former star of EVOLVE will have his coming out party and he’ll be doing so against a man who needs no introduction.

Cody Rhodes is many things. A multi-time champion in WWE, the son of a legend, the visionary behind AEW, and much more. But he’s also still just a 33-year-old wrestler who in addition to new duties as booker and producer, and in addition to being someone who has created back-to-back in-ring masterpieces, first at All In and then at Double or Nothing, can still very much go in the ring. Known as one of the guys who took the risk of leaving WWE and betting on himself, Cody has faced many top wrestlers in his career. But perhaps none quite like Allin, who prides himself on not being afraid of risk-taking. In fact, there has been little a risk that Allin hasn’t taken as he’s carved out his niche in the industry. Fresh off winning his first belt of any kind at Northeast Wrestling, Allin’s profile will only continue to rise as he takes on Cody at AEW x CEO Fyter Fest.

Hangman Page vs Jungle Boy vs Jimmy Havoc vs MJF

Hangman Page vs Jungle Boy vs Jimmy Havoc vs MJF - Fyter Fest
Credit: AEW

When a new wrestling promotion hits the scene, at some point new stars have to be established, guys (and ladies) who will take the promotion to new heights. And while AEW has Omega and Cody and Chris Jericho, etc, it’s going to be the new, young faces that really carry the company to the top of the mountain. Four of these potential stars will have a chance to shine for the first time outside of the Double or Nothing battle royal, at AEW x CEO Fyter Fest.

Hangman Page – Winning that battle royal was Hangman Page, who went from cancelled match with PAC to #1 contendership for the AEW World Championship. He’ll face Jericho for the belt, in the main event of All Out. But before then, Page will be tested in this fourway. An 11-year pro, the 27-year-old Page is most notably known for his time in Ring of Honor, where he debuted with the Decade and later wrestled as a member of Bullet Club. Page found his start with Carolina Wrestling Federation- Mid Atlantic, and has also wrestled for NJPW, Premiere Wrestling Experience, PWG, EVOLVE and more. He’s won six titles, and will have a chance at a seventh and biggest of his career at All Out.

Jimmy Havoc – The 35-year-old Havoc has been wrestling for 15 years and has been praised by many as one of the best deathmatch workers ever, due to style, substance and storytelling. Havoc’s career began with NWA Hammerlock and he’s since worked up and down the UK scene, wrestling for all the top companies. In 2012, he received his first big opportunity, becoming the focal point of the brand new PROGRESS Wrestling, where his world title reign is still one of the best in company history. Always someone who took part in the Tournament of Death for CZW, it wasn’t until recently that Havoc really began to break into the American indie scene, where he wrestled regularly for Major League Wrestling before joining AEW. He’s won 14 titles in his career, most recently in Defiant as their hardcore champion of over 400 days.

MJF – Whether you consider him the salt of the Earth as Cody does, or whether you really hate him like everyone else on BTE and throughout the AEW locker room seems to feel, there is no denying the MJF has every bit the starpower needed to become the face of this company one day soon. MJF has had an incredible career thus far. And as just a four-year pro and at just 23 years old, he’s only just getting started. A student of Pat Buck and Brian Myers (WWE‘s Curt Hawkins) at the Create-A-Pro Wrestling Academy, MJF quickly showed his potential from day one. From there, MJF has gone on to become one of the best heels in wrestling, doing so both in kayfabe and outside of it. His commitment to his character is well-stated. He’s won 12 titles in a short span, but there is no doubt going to be even more hardware in his future.

Jungle Boy – The newest wrestler in AEW, the 22-year-old Jungle Boy could be said to be one of AEW’s homegrown prospects. Cagematch notes him as having wrestled under 100 matches in his four-plus year career. In 2019, Jungle Boy continued his breakout, wrestling for GCW, Bar Wrestling, PWG and of course AEW. He’s still very much an unknown, but that won’t last for long. In fact, this match very well could be, much like it could be for Allin, his first big showcase on a national stage.

Young Bucks and Kenny Omega vs Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid

Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid
Credit: AEW

When this match was announced as the first of the AEW x CEO Fyter Fest card, the Lucha Brothers had a different partner, PAC. But due to unforeseen circumstances, PAC has been unable to wrestle for AEW. So, instead, the Lucha Brothers turned to an old AAA friend as their partner in the lucha libre star, Laredo Kid.

A team for over 15 years, the Young Bucks have pretty much worked everywhere and for everyone. They are known primarily for their time in PWG, ROH, NJPW, TNA/IMPACT and various indies where they have won 35 tag team or six-man championships. Add in the 33 titles from the Best Bout Machine and former leader of Bullet Club and it’s easy to see why this team, the Elite, found so much success in Japan and could be poised to do the same in California on Saturday night.

A newer team, the Lucha Brothers have been tagging together for just two years, but in that short time, have accomplished a great deal and have surged to the forefront as one of the best teams in the indies. In 2017, the brothers wrestled extensively in the Crash, PWG, where they won their first tag titles, Fight Club: PRO and more. Thanks in large part to their roles on Lucha Underground, where both Fenix and Pentagon are both former Lucha Underground champions, the two became household names. As a tag team, they began to separate themselves from the pack, winning titles in the Crash, MLW, AAA, AAW and IMPACT over the past two years, and becoming top draws in those and many other promotions as well.

It’s been almost one full year (August 2018) since the Elite shared a ring just the three of them, and while there may be rust there, they will be facing a team that has never fully wrestled as a team before. Fenix and Laredo Kid have teamed up but Pentagon was always on the opposite side of the ring in their meetings. That said, stylistically, these three should have no issue geling. The 32-year-old Laredo Kid is a 16-year veteran of the ring, who currently holds three titles including the AAA World Cruiserweight Championship and World Trios Championship. The Lucha Brothers regained their tag team titles from the Young Bucks earlier this month and Fenix still holds the AAA World Heavyweight Championship, meaning more than half of the promotion’s active titles belong within this one-time trios team. That level of success is not one the Bucks and Omega are unfamiliar with as, during their time as a trio, the three held many of the ROH and NJPW titles. But now, that honor belongs to the Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid, who will no doubt put on a fantastic match as AEW continues to showcase their phenomenal tag team division.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.

 

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