AEW Dynamite Fyter Fest 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
Week 1 of Fyter Fest kicked off Wednesday night on TBS as All Elite Wrestling presented an episode of Dynamite jam-packed with high-stakes action, including the TNT and world tag team titles up for grabs.
Wardlow has been on the roll of a lifetime in 2022, but could his run as TNT champion be short-lived, courtesy of "Freshly Squeezed" Orange Cassidy?
Joining that battle of babyfaces is a Three-Way Dance featuring The Young Bucks, Team Taz and Swerve In Our Glory, as well as a world title eliminator match pitting the red-hot Jon Moxley against prospective challenger Konosuke Takeshita.
Find out which, if any, champions were able to tighten their grasp on their respective titles and if the 27-year-old Japanese sensation inched closer to a world championship opportunity by knocking off his seemingly untouchable opponent with this recap of the July 13 broadcast.
- AEW Interim World Championship Eliminator Match: Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita
- TNT Championship Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Wardlow (c)
- Three-Way Dance for the AEW World Tag Team Championship: Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee vs. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs vs. The Young Bucks (c)
- Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jake Hager
- Anna Jay vs. Serena Deeb
- Chris Jericho promo
- Christian Cage and Luchasaurus promo
TNT Championship Match: Wardlow vs. Orange Cassidy
- The commentary team put over Cassidy's status as the most winning wrestler on the AEW roster not to have held a championship yet, lending credibility to him as a wrestler.
- Best Friends' Chuck Taylor and Trent promised to cheat like hell before the match. When they tried, they were ejected from ringside by referee Bryce Remsburg.
- Wardlow, chasing Cassidy around ringside, pulled Danhausen from under the ring and intimidated him into not cursing him.
- The champion showed his opponent respect following the match.
Two of the most popular stars on the AEW roster clashed Wednesday night in the opening contest as TNT champion Wardlow defended against "Freshly Squeezed" Orange Cassidy.
Wardlow shook off early mind games and chicanery from the challenger and his best friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent, to overpower him and dominate throughout the commercial. Cassidy fought back, targeting the left knee of the champion.
Cassidy avoided the powerbomb and posted The Wardog twice at ringside as chants of "Freshly Squeezed" poured from the stands. Orange Punch and Beach Break earned the challenger a two-count. A second attempt at the punch led to Wardlow catching him and driving him to the mat with the powerbomb for the hard-fought victory.
A fun, surprisingly competitive match showed off Cassidy's resilience and gave fans a look at something they have not seen much of lately: Wardlow on the defensive.
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Orange Cassidy just kicked out of TNT Champion Wardlow's F10!!! <br><br>It’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FyterFest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FyterFest</a> Week 1 LIVE on TBS right now! <a href="https://t.co/GYEEGGR2C0">pic.twitter.com/GYEEGGR2C0</a>
The champion was faced with the first challenge of his reign and proved he could work with an unconventional wrestler like Cassidy. He went move-for-move with him and never looked uncomfortable or out of his element, despite working nearly no longform matches in recent months.
Cassidy continued to assert himself as the most underappreciated professional wrestler on TV with another strong match that stayed true to his character while featuring the exquisite timing and red-hot crowd that makes up two key elements of a great performance.
Wardlow defeated Cassidy to retain
Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston Promos; Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita
- "The reason she has that mangled hand is because she's 'your Ruby,' you stupid son of a bitch!" Jericho said of Ruby Soho's injury, suffered at the hands of Tay Conti and the Jericho Appreciation Society last week.
- "I'm just as sadistic and maniacal as you are, Eddie Kingston," Jericho claimed.
- "You're not facing Chris Jericho. You're facing The Painmaker," he revealed.
- "Chris, I'm gonna hurt you and enjoy it," Kingston warned in rebuttal.
- The look on Takeshita's face, it painted in blood, as he mounted a comeback was great stuff.
Chris Jericho made his way to the ring and proceeded to cut an intense, no-nonsense promo on Eddie Kingston and their upcoming Barbed Wire Everywhere match. He talked about the friends who have suffered because they were associated with Kingston and vowed to prove next week that The Mad King is not a liar, but a loser.
Kingston responded in a brief backstage promo by promising to spill Jericho's blood next week and like it.
Back in the arena, AEW interim world champion Jon Moxley battled young Konosuke Takeshita in an eliminator match.
The latter used Moxley's tenacity against him, fighting out of a piledriver on the ring apron and delivering a German suplex to the unhinged titleholder. Moxley recovered and controlled during the break, punishing Takeshita and striking him with a kick that split his forehead open.
Takeshita used his leaping lariat to fight back and went on a roll that saw him deliver a plancha, then frog splash to put the champ down for a dramatic two-count. Moxley survived a Blue Thunder Bomb and delivered the Paradigm Shift, but Takeshita stayed in the fight.
A Death Rider from Mox and the bulldog choke forced Takeshita to tap.
This was an intensely physical match that continued to portray the young Japanese competitor as a future star in the industry. He matched Moxley's tenacity, punished him with his own hard-hitting strikes and nearly put him away late with a rolling German suplex.
He was Moxley's equal on this night and only tapped when he had nothing left to give. Performances like this will lead him to win over fans in a way not imaginable when he first appeared two months ago.
Mox has been on a roll in his own right, but this was all about the continued rise of Takeshita and the bright, potentially blinding, future he has in AEW.
Moxley submitted Takeshita
Luchasaurus vs. Griff Garrison
- Cage said of Pillman's father, the late Brian Sr., "he'd be appalled that his final contribution to this business was you."
- The chokeslam to Garrison that didn't actually drive him through the table looked wicked and probably hurt like hell, as Taz pointed out on commentary.
Christian Cage cut another scathing, despicable promo, this time on The Varsity Blondes' Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. before sending the monstrous Luchasaurus to the squared circle for his match with the Jungle Boy doppelganger Garrison.
The contest was predictably short, with Luchasaurus obliterating his opponent before defeating him with the Tar Pit.
After the match, the masked heavyweight continued his assault, moving a stricken Pillman onto an announce table two chokeslams to Garrison, eventually driving him through the table with his partner.
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<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VarsityBlonds?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VarsityBlonds</a> driven through the table by Luchasaurus! <br><br>Tune in NOW <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FyterFest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FyterFest</a> Week 1 LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/Hr9AG7qxh2">pic.twitter.com/Hr9AG7qxh2</a>
This continued to position Cage as the most despicable villain on television while putting over the indestructible force that is evil Luchasaurus.
The inevitable return of Jungle Boy and showdown with his former partner and mentor will make for great television, and segments like this only support that.
Luchasaurus defeated Garrison
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jake Hager
- "We the people!" chants spilled from the stands, a nod to the combatants' time together as the Real Americans in WWE.
- William Regal and Jim Ross talked on commentary about discovering Hager coming out of the University of Oklahoma in a nod to their history with the undefeated MMA competitor and bruiser for the JAS.
- Castagnoli's 619 is always impressive given his size.
- "Claudio was taught the uppercut by Dave Taylor, who threw the best uppercut in the world," Regal added before reminding the audience that Castagnoli ended his 30-year wrestling career by jumping on his head.
- Said uppercut is impressive every time.
- Angelo Parker and Matt Menard hit the ring, distracting Castagnoli and setting up a dramatic near-fall.
Blackpool Combat Club's Claudio Castagnoli and Jericho Appreciation Society's Jake Hager squared off in singles competition, a battle of former tag team partners during their time in WWE.
Hager weathered the early storm, absorbing everything Castagnoli threw at him to assume control of the bout entering the commercial break.
Castagnoli fought back and appeared to have victory in hand when members of the Jericho Appreciation Society hit the ring to break up his Sharpshooter on Hager. The distraction did not matter, though, as the Swiss Superman overcame one last onslaught by Hager to deliver the Ricola Bomb and score a quality victory.
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A perfect Double Leg Nelson pinning Jake Hager getting the W for Claudio! <br><br>Tune in to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FyterFest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FyterFest</a> Week 1 LIVE on TBS <a href="https://t.co/IReCzb5Thd">pic.twitter.com/IReCzb5Thd</a>
Castagnoli might be the best-conditioned athlete in professional wrestling. Hager was in there clearly showing the effects of a hard-fought match while his opponent is running around the ring and delivering jarring uppercuts like he was just getting warmed up.
Long one of the best wrestlers in the world, it is nice to see Castagnoli getting the star treatment in AEW to this point. Hopefully, it continues, because he is championship material. We saw as much during his last real shot at the main event in WWE, where he probably should have been the guy to dethrone Roman Reigns.
Instead, he will have the chance to find success (and titles) in AEW.
Cesaro pinned Hager
Anna Jay vs. Serena Deeb
- Ross put over Deeb as an expert wrestler, admitting it would be hard for Jay to pick up the win. One comment puts over the heel and set up the story of the match. A great call by the Hall of Famer.
- Backstage, dissension reigned supreme as TBS champion Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan clearly still took exception with the idea of Leila Grey as an interim Baddie.
Hometown hero Anna Jay of The Dark Order battled Serena Deeb in singles competition.
Jay repeatedly found herself having to mount an offensive, outwrestled by her veteran opponent. Deeb, like an expert technician, cut her off and resumed control every time. That is until late, when it appeared as though Jay would score the underdog victory with her Queenslayer sleeper.
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Anna Jay showing she's not intimidated by Serena Deeb & ready for a fight! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FyterFest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FyterFest</a> Week 1 is LIVE on TBS <a href="https://t.co/45FPrcjYE6">pic.twitter.com/45FPrcjYE6</a>
Deeb fought out, applied the Serenity Lock and killed the hopes and dreams for a hometown victory by forcing the submission. Ring of Honor women's champion Mercedes Martinez made the save, chasing Deeb out of the ring to hype their upcoming title bout at ROH Death Before Dishonor.
This was a really strong match, which has become a common occurrence for Deeb. She's not the flashiest performer on the roster, but she may actually be the best wrestler in the entire division. She is consistently excellent and has shown an ability to have great matches with women of different styles and backgrounds.
The story of the contest, though, was the continued growth of Jay as an in-ring performer. Debuting in AEW two years ago with a ton of growing and evolving to do, she has developed into a very talented young wrestler with a ton of upside and the very real potential to become the face of all things women's wrestling in AEW in the near future.
Finally, Deeb vs. Martinez at Death Before Dishonor is going to kick considerable ass and should be one of the most anticipated bouts on the card.
Deeb submitted Jay
Three-Way Dance for the AEW World Tag Team Championship
- "Fight forever" chants rained from the stands as Lee and Hobbs squared off in a battle of the big men.
- "It was a BULLfrog splash!" Ross exclaimed following Hobb's splash to Lee.
- The chemistry between the Bucks and Strickland was next-level.
- Strickland teased using the AEW tag team title belt to Lee, only to eat a low blow from Matt Jackson.
- Lee taking off over the top rope was a great moment and served as an exclamation point on this match.
Backstage in the trainer's room, Tay Conti interrupted an interview by Tony Schiavone with Anna Jay and talked trash, teasing a feud between former partners.
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Tay Conti and Anna Jay USED to be the best of friends.... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FyterFest?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FyterFest</a> Week 1 is LIVE NOW on TBS and the Main Event is heading to the ring! <a href="https://t.co/5oGLpREKeh">pic.twitter.com/5oGLpREKeh</a>
A week ago, The Young Bucks issued a challenge to Team Taz's Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs, and Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland, for a three-way dance with the AEW Tag Team Championship at stake.
Wednesday night, that match was the main event of Fyter Fest Week 1.
The action was, as expected, nearly nonstop with all six competitors showing out at different parts of the contest. There was an emphasis on recent dissension between Strickland and Lee, with a quality tease by the former near the conclusion of the match, but the tandem came within a second of capturing gold following a great false finish.
The Bucks prevented Hobbs and Starks from winning the titles in another near-fall. Strickland then leaped off the chest of his partner and wiped out the opposition, and moments later, Lee soared over the ropes and obliterated the field.
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Back inside, Strickland delivered the double stomp to Starks to win the match and the titles in a bit of a surprise outcome.
Swerve and Lee have been extraordinary as a team, and Strickland was the star of this match. Their victory makes sense within the context of the story, and the fans ate it up. It was a genuine feel-good moment on a day in which Lee sent an ominous tweet hinting at "less than stellar news."
The win raises questions because it almost certainly felt like AEW was headed toward FTR vs. The Young Bucks at All Out on September 4, with all the tag team gold at stake. There is still plenty of time to get there, but not without hot-shotting the tag titles.
That is why Strickland and Lee's win feels like it is about to catapult them into a lengthy run that sees them battle top heel tandems leading into and through the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
Where that leaves the Bucks and a potential showdown with FTR remains to be seen, but if there is one thing this match proved, it is that tag team wrestling is as hot as it ever has been and is absolutely ready to main-event a pay-per-view.
Strickland and Lee defeated The Young Bucks and Starks and Hobbs to win the titles