AEW Fight for the Fallen Results: Top Talking Points and Most Memorable Moments

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2019

AEW Fight for the Fallen Results: Top Talking Points and Most Memorable Moments

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    All Elite Wrestling's latest event, Fight for the Fallen, has come and gone. And in its wake, Saturday's show has left several talking points as it prepares for All Out on August 31 in Chicago.

    From an emphasis on tag team wrestling to questions about Hangman Page and his readiness to headline the most important show in the company's short history, fans are buzzing following AEW's stop in its home city.

    Dive into Saturday's show, find out why those talking points are significant and how they may affect the company as it continues to revolutionize professional wrestling with this recap of the B/R Live extravaganza.

Tag Team Wrestling Dominates

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Fight for the Fallen was headlined by the Rhodes brothers vs. The Young Bucks, so we knew going into it that tag team wrestling would be prominently featured. What we did not know was that there would be an undercard of tag bouts that would threaten to steal the show out from underneath the executive vice presidents of AEW.

    Arguably the best match on the show was the Triple Threat match that saw Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy, The Dark Order and Jack Evans and Angelico tear the house down for the right to advance to All Out and face The Best Friends.

    Throw in a strong match pitting Dr. Britt Baker and Riho against Shoko Nakajima and Bea Priestley, an energetic exhibition between SCU's Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio and The Lucha Bros, and a Six-Man Tag Team bout featuring the likes of Shawn Spears and Joey Janela, and you have a card that lived and breathed the art form.

    AEW was smart in attempting to build feuds and tell stories ahead of All Out. The tag matches allowed for multiple stories to interact without relying too heavily on forced angles that beat fans over the head with the idea that so-and-so would be wrestling this guy or that girl in Chicago.

    It worked, and the show was better for it.

Too Much, Too Soon for Hangman Page?

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    Credit: Thomas Tischio/AEW

    One of the more concerning elements of the show came after Chris Jericho, disguised as one of the Dark Order's creepers, attacked Hangman Page and left him bleeding from the eye. What should have been an angle designed to build heat for Jericho, instead saw the audience chanting in gratitude to the all-time great.

    Which raises the following question: Is this too much, too soon for Hangman Page?

    The crowd in Jacksonville, Florida, was not exactly behind the winner of Double or Nothing's Casino Battle Royale during his match with "Superbad" Kip Sabian. They were way quieter and less engaged in a match featuring one half of All Out's heavyweight title match than you would hope the company's fanbase would be at this point.

    Perhaps that's because they recognize Page as the so-called "chosen one" of AEW, a wrestler shoved down the fans' throats rather than one who was organically built through hot storylines, interesting promos and show-stealing matches.

    None of this is to say that Page isn't the right choice to hitch the proverbial wagon to. We have seen him steadily develop into one of the best young stars in the industry during his time in Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. We watched his charismatic turns on Being the Elite. He has every tool necessary to be a world champion and the face of a promotion, which is why WWE was so eager to sign him to a lucrative developmental contract.

    Pushing him so hard out of the gate, without letting the audience embrace him, is a recipe for disaster. Look at what happened in WWE when management anointed John Cena the savior of wrestling and shoved him into the spotlight before fans had a chance to embrace him beyond his funny one-liners and battle raps.

    Page is going to do great things for AEW and probably will be the guy to carry the All Elite name for the next generation. It is up to the creative team, or whoever is making decisions about the shows, to ensure fans do not have a reason chant for the aggressive, arrogant heel over him because they brought about the title shots, main events and stardom too soon.

Show Length Is Key

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    Credit: Joao Ferreira/AEW

    One of the loudest criticisms of today's WWE product is the length of its pay-per-views. At four, sometimes five and even seven hours, they are incredibly difficult to sit through and lead to disinterest and burnout by the time the main event takes place.

    AEW found itself facing the same issue at Fight for the Fallen.

    A four-and-a-half-hour event, it struggled to keep the audience invested in some of the most important matches of the night. When Kenny Omega, Cody and Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks are delivering as strong of performances as they did at the top of the card and fans are not reacting as strongly as they would otherwise, you know your card may have featured a bit too much action and ran a wee bit long.

    Show length is one of the issues that faced September's All In, as the main event was rushed along because of timing constraints.

    The company is in its infancy. For all of the success it has had already and the fan support it has developed, it is easy to forget that this is a company being run by wrestlers and a billionaire sports franchise owner unfamiliar with structuring a show, something The Young Bucks and Cody have been open and honest about. They face the same growing pains anyone in their position would.

    Timing and pacing will come with experience. 

    What they must be careful of is burning out the audience in the manner in which they did Sunday. If the company gets to Chicago and delivers an All Out event rife with red-hot matches in the first half and a less enthusiastic second half, it would be a bad look.

'You Can't Counter-Program What AEW Is Doing!'

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    Credit: Thomas Tischio/AEW

    Just before Fight for the Fallen went off the B/R Live airwaves, Cody took to the mic to send a parting shot at WWE. "You can't counter-program what AEW is doing," he said, making reference to WWE presenting EVOLVE 10 on its streaming network opposite the AEW offering.

    It was yet another not-so-subtle shot by The American Nightmare at the company he once called home and further evidence that, despite saying all the right things in media, there is a desire for competition between the companies within AEW management.

    And why wouldn't there be?

    Cody, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega took an enormous risk in severing ties with Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling to start a promotion that was not only an alternative to WWE but direct competition to the stale, cliched and complacent product Vince McMahon had been shoving down the throats of his audience for too long.

    Add in the creative frustrations Cody experienced during his time in McMahonland, as well as his understanding of his own worth, and you have all the reason you need for AEW's determination to compete with WWE.

    We saw Cody smash the throne at Double or Nothing. We heard his dig at WWE's decision to provide EVOLVE free to the masses on its network. The company's figureheads continue to promote an alternative. But much like Eric Bischoff did with WCW in the 1990s, when he would take digs, reveal spoilers and make his intentions to punch back at McMahon's oppressive rule in the wrestling world, expect Cody and the Bucks to continue demonstrating that attitude that lets you know they aren't just guiding a revolution but that they are here to steal the crown.