Cody vs. Darby Allin
Between the ropes, this is already a bit of a styles clash. Cody (Rhodes optional) is known for the high calibre blend of technique and physicality that defined the top stars of NWA back in it’s peak. Darby Allin is a flashy daredevil, the type that seems born and bred for ECW in more ways than one.
But these comparisons and pigeonholings are the easy route. This isn’t taking place in the Omni in the 80s or Hammerstein in the 90s. This is an AEW match and AEW is nothing if not wholly modern and fresh. And this isn’t just a clash of ring styles, it’s also a monumental clash of characters.
In Episode 2 of Road To Fyter Fest, Allin told the world his story. The reason he paints half his face is to reflect that half of him has been dead since the car accident that took his drunken uncle, yet spared his own life when he was only 5. He’s a disenchanted, broken, but perhaps misunderstood young man, just looking to be accepted for who he is. He looks at wrestling as an outlet to express himself and to share his pain with the world.
You can see this promo for yourself here:
Cody couldn’t be much more different from this lost soul. Born into wrestling royalty as he calls it, his history has always been that of the clean-cut, straight-laced, blue collar boy. There’s no denying that life handed him a better hand than most from the outset, and he’s ran with it so very far that now he’s an EVP of the #2 wrestling promotion in the world.
While this doesn’t have near the personal animosity of his feud with his older brother – not yet anyway – the dynamic has mirrored a bit in some key ways. And as Cody’s role in this variety show appears to be the one telling all the most fascinating stories in the ring, it seems a given that there’s quite the story to tell between these two.
Allin is looking to find a place where he belongs in AEW.
That’s something that Cody obviously doesn’t have to spare a thought about, being one of the key people behind the promotion’s creation in the first place. We’ve got a guy that can’t really help but be a cult, rebel outcast against the most visible and active authority figure that AEW has. Of course that’s one of the more tired stories in wrestling at this point, but this certainly feels a touch different from Austin and McMahon.
After all, Cody will be quick to tell you, he’s a wrestler first and executive second, positioning himself as a direct antithesis to Triple H’s current role in WWE. In that ring, he’d prefer you not see him as anything other than a competitor, albeit an elite one, pardon the pun. Mixing it up with someone like Allin, a newcomer coming in from the underground, is a quiet message to the locker room that he’s still just like all of them.
This will personally be the first time I’ve seen Darby compete, as I’m sure will be the case for most who watch this, and suffice to say it is quite the spotlight to place on him from the get-go. Judging by the single-show sized sample we’ve seen, it doesn’t appear as though AEW is planning to have any stunning upsets at the moment, and having someone like Cody lose to a complete unknown right now would frankly be absurd.
This match is meant to be a star-maker for Darby, but he really doesn’t have to win to make that happen.
So Cody is definitely taking this, but only after we see exactly what Darby’s made of. With any luck, he’ll find acceptance in AEW to be fairly easy to come by.
AEW Fyter Fest takes place on June 29th, and will be streamed for free for US viewers on B/R Live for all those who sign up. The rest of the world will be able to purchase the event on Fite.tv.
For previews on the rest of the show, check out the links below: