Weeks later, the shockwaves from AEW’s inaugural event, Double or Nothing are still being felt. It was a staggering success beyond anyone’s expectations, and is cause for much excitement for the future. The painful five months of waiting that the seminal PPV had are clearly a thing of the past, with AEW’s second show, Fyter Fest, fast approaching. It’s a unique one, a co-promotion with Alex Jebailey ‘s fighting game event, CEO, and it’s set to be streamed for free on B/R Live.
When I first heard of this event and the three or four initial matches they’d announced for it, I assumed it would be somewhat of a minor show. A shorter one, with only a handful of matches, more a taste of what’s to come than anything else. But while it may not be quite the scale of Double or Nothing, it’s become increasingly clear with every intriguing new match announced that this too is a must-watch.
Double or Nothing set an interesting precedent of variety with it’s card, with every match having it’s own vibe and style, and Fyter Fest looks like it could easily continue that trend. So let’s stop with the stalling and dive into our preview. Starting today, I’ll be taking a look at every match on the card and giving my predictions. We’ll be going a match a day leading up to the event.
Hardcore Match: Michael Nakazawa vs. Alex Jebailey
Fun fact: This match even now appears to be the featured one on the main poster for AEW Fyter Fest. This is in spite of the fact that it’s also apparently lined up for the pre-show. That’s the only time I can recall something like that happening in wrestling, honestly. But that’s part of the event’s unique charm I suppose and truly something only the likes of Michael Nakazawa could achieve.
That this match was the first one announced was admittedly a major reason why I initially thought of Fyter as a minor show. But I suppose it’s only right we revisit this, all things considered. It is, hilariously, the longest running feud on the card. It’s a rematch from the New Japan/CEO show last year, which also took place on June 29th. Omega had a huge hand in making that show happen and even got his ‘ol DDT buddy Nakazawa involved… so he could lose to CEO’s organizer Alex Jebailey in a farcical match.
Jebailey is of course not exactly a wrestler, nor is he anybody most wrestling fans would be aware of. He is a pretty well known name in the fighting game community, though. Considering Nakazawa’s penchant for comedy, Matt Jackson’s inexplicable hatred for his very existence, and the hardcore stip at play… there’s really no chance this match will be anything short of ridiculous.
Check the video below for some background on this match:
It won’t be anything you can aptly describe as a wrestling match, but that’s perfectly fine. Comedy matches have their place and when done well, there’s honestly nothing in the world quite like it. I dig that AEW can happily delve into any style of wrestling around when applicable. It’s certainly nice that even guys like Nakazawa can find a place on the roster.
Odds are good Jebailey will have folks to do the wrestling for him for the most part. Which works out, as there’s no shortage of people around that are weird enough to get involved here. AEW has a vast array of colorful characters, so here’s really no telling what might go down. It may turn out to somehow degrade into a quasi-battle royal… or maybe it’ll be a ten second squash in one direction or the other. Rather hard to say! AEW’s actually helped here as they have little precedent to base expectations on.
Given the setting, though, and given the J.O.B Squad-esque appeal of Nakazawa, somehow, someway, through hell or high water, Jebailey will win again. If I had to bet money on it, I’d guess maybe after Matt Jackson runs in to assist. He’ll superkick Nakazawa off the stage through a table or something like that.
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: