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Fight for the Fallen 2023 Review: A Wild Night for a Good Cause

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

The path to Wembley Stadium continues this week, many matches are finalized on Dynamite, thanks to a ton of big reveals and returns. This week’s episode is a Fight for the Fallen special, where all proceeds are donated to rescue efforts in Maui

Kicking off with Orange Cassidy retaining the AEW International Championship against Wheeler Yuta, the feud between Best Friends, The Lucha Brothers, and the Blackpool Combat Club hits its peak. Their match was stellar and in a rarity, very little comedy shenanigans from the champion. Wheeler, again, has grown into a ring veteran who commands respect in the ring. 

Even with interference from Mox and Claudio, Cassidy was able to out-maneuver Yuta to retain. As the brawling began post-match, Best Friends and Lucha Brothers rushed out for the save, but the BCC somehow overwhelmed them. Just then…

A Wild EDDIE KINGSTON APPEARS!

Live crowd loses their collective minds, and I imagine the fans at home did the same. I did. Returning from his massive run in Japan at the G1 Climax Tournament, Kingston drives off the BCC and challenges them to a Stadium Stampede match at Wembley. Six on six. 

Eddie was one of the workhorses during empty arena shows, regardless if he was main eventing or not. Anytime we get a Kingston appearance, we know its going to be good. He’s said in interviews he doesn’t need to be a world champion, but his millions of fans still want it. 

One day, Eddie needs to be AEW World Champ.

A pre-taped interview with Jim Ross and Kenny Omega goes south when Don Callis interrupts and Kenny is attacked by Konoske Takeshita and Bullet Club Gold. 

Hangman Adam Page is outside at someplace they said was a hospital, but was just an ambulance with lights on next to a garage. He informs everyone Kenny is just fine, despite being beaten up with lead pipes and two-by-fours. Their challenge for All In, is for Takeshita, Jay White, and Juice Robinson to face himself, Kenny, and Kota Ibushi.

In the ring, Callis addresses a big decision. Chris Jericho comes to the ring, and tells Callis he will join the Callis family stable. This shocks Callis. As they try to leave, Jericho notices something covered in the corner, which Callis tries to dismiss, but fails. Jericho pulls off the cloth, and we get another painting, but with Callis holding Jericho’s head. Oh boy. Things take a nosedive for Callis, but soon it’s Jericho on the receiving end as Takeshita and a hooded man blindside him. It’s Will Ospreay!

Backstage in an awkward bit, Jericho challenges Ospreay for a match at All In. 

We get an angrier side of Taz, as Jack Perry cuts a pre-tape promo saying since he defeated “the best ECW had to offer” in Rob Van Dam, next week, he plans on retiring the FTW Championship. Well Taz, your move. 

Darby Allin and Nick Wayne defeated The Gates of Agony

Once again, the physical underdogs outlast the big beasts. Both Darby and Wayne took some serious bumps throughout, but their craftiness allowed them to overcome odd and get the win. With AR Fox and Swerve Strickland at ringside, the odds are again the faces, until JOKER STING appears on the big screen with an abducted Prince Nana. 

Oh, boy. If Joker Sting is in AEW, things are about to take a strange turn. Seems to channel a lot of Jim Carrey. He makes the challenge for Swerve and Fox to face Darby and Wayne in a Coffin Match at All In. 

MJF and Adam Cole segments:

First they are at the Outback Steakhouse because in order to get into the heads of Aussie Open, they need to eat like them. Adam Cole’s facial expressions were perfection. Priceless. Couldn’t script it any better. MJF was initially disgusted, but soon he was converted. MJF now fears they have no hope of winning the Ring of Honor tag team championships. However through lots of stereotyping and use of inflatable alligators, they may have a plan…

until TONY KHAN SCOLDS THEM LIKE SCHOOLCHILDREN!! This might have been the best use of the big boss on television. Khan, calls them into his office and yells at them for goofing around. MJF tries to get snippy but Tony wasn’t having it. 

MJF then devises a plan to use the Kangaroo Kick. Cole is beside himself. 

DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE!!

Segment two: In the ring, they get the crowd chanting the most ridiculous things, until MJF and Cole cut promos on each other to hype the main event AEW World Championship bout. Cole cuts a great promo, best one since his NXT days. However, MJF AGAIN IS PROMO GOD with another epic speech. Watch the video. They are interrupted and temporarily derailed by Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, but the challengers drive them off. It appears for a moment Cole is going to turn, but instead they hug it out! Got to give the people what they want!

Wrong team. 

MJF and Cole’s segment are near-perfect. This has turned out to be the best stuff. I can’t help but wonder when they concocted this whole story arc, if they had any doubts if it would flop, or that it would take off the way it did. Either way, we’re working with creative geniuses. 

Jeff Jarrett defeated Jeff Hardy in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre Sponsored Match

The only upside is Tony Khan donating all of the money from the video game sponsorship to rescue efforts in Maui.

This was a fricken’ train wreck. Couldn’t tell what was going on half the time, wrestlers from two groups got involves, fake blood in the first five minutes, Karen Jarrett screaming like a damn goon. Somebody got paid to dress up as Leatherface and scare away Karen. That was it. Thanks to lots and lots of interference, Jarrett got the win and was awarded some belt with Leatherface on it. 

Don’t ever put this on my television again. 

Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. defeated The Bunny to advance to the Women’s Championship match at All In.

Was there really any doubt? 

The Young Bucks defeated The Gunns

Despite interference and underhanded tactics, the Bucks used the Gunns own playbook against them to win. Post-match, Juice and Jay rushed to the ring and attacked the Bucks. It came to FTR to make the save and the show closes with the two teams face to face. 

There you have it folks, one after another, matches for All In are announced. It might have felt like a rush, but when you look back at the past month, they all make sense given the gradual builds and feuds taking place. Granted, they could have spread the challenges or announcements over more weeks, but either way, we’ve got a loaded PPV. These matches on paper look stacked and solid. We still have Rampage and Collision this week, followed by a full lineup of shows next week to cap it all off. 

AEW Fight For the Fallen 2023 is now on demand and streaming on the TBS app.

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