All Elite Wrestling, like all live sports, has taken a hit since COVID-19 shut the world down. Both major North American wrestling promotions have had to adapt to the fact that they're missing out on one of the most critical parts of professional wrestling: a live crowd.
AEW has done its best to navigate that situation by utilizing the teams they already have on hand. Performers not wrestling that night make up the audience, chanting and jeering just as a normal crowd would. By and large this strategy - along with falling back on absolutely insane gimmicks - has worked out well Tony Khan and The Elite's young wrestling show.
Also working in their favor is the fact that they're not charging for PPVs right now. AEW's second annual Fyter Fest took place over two weeks of the promotions regular weekly show, AEW Dynamite. Tonight, we'll be seeing the same thing for Fight for the Fallen.
- AEW World Championship Jon Moxley vs Brian Cage
- AEW TNT Championship Cody Rhodes vs Sonny Kiss
- FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) vs the Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix)
- The Elite (Kenny Omega and Matt and Nick Jackson) vs Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungleboy Jack Perry and Marko Stunt
Because AEW uses time limits, I'd expect each of these matches to hit somewhere around the twenty-minute mark. Since this is a professional wrestling show, we'll undoubtedly see more folks show up than just those billed (there's no way Orange Cassidly doesn't interrupt Jericho's segment).
AEW World Championship: Here's the thing - the fact that Brian Cage shows up and immediately wins a chance at the strap in his first ever match is absurd, not to mention insulting to the rest of the roster. All the same, we're here now, and we all have to pretend like this guy with his fake belt (sorry, marks) is going to take the strap off Moxley. AEW's new enough that it hasn't built up my cynicism as much as other promotions, but the idea of this being their main event is exhausting.
AEW TNT Championship: This might be another match where we know the strap isn't going to move, but Cody vs Sonny is actually relatively exciting. The two have deeply different in-ring styles that should play off each other nicely, and it's nice to see Sonny get his moment in the sun (especially sans Joey Janela).
FTR vs Lucha Bros: The Revival facing off against any tag team with high flying acrobatics usually promises to be a fun match, and there's no reason tonight should be any different. While Cash and Dax favor the traditional wrestling approach, fighters like Pentagon Jr. and Rey force these old school boys out of their comfort zones. This match feels like it'll have one or two surprises in it - particularly when it comes to what FTR's willing to compromise on style-wise.
The Elite vs Jurassic Express: Sometimes you get a fight where you just love everyone involved. The Elite vs Jurassic Express is one such match. The biggest (no pun intended, ever) question is how The Elite is going to answer for Luchasaurus. Each of the men have faced off against larger opponents, sure. But were they dinosaurs?
The Big Question
So, are we just not gonna have a women's match, or... ?
While it's not for lack of trying, AEW's weakest area is its Women's Division. Considering the amount of talent they have on their roster, this should be the opposite of the case.
The real issue is that, like most wrestling promotions, they're not giving these ladies the development that they deserve. In fairness, they have taken steps here (the development of Heels, etc.), and have overall been more progressive than other major promotions. That doesn't change the fact that they can and should be doing more in this area.
Note: Brandi Rhodes did post about a tag match featuring her and Allie (aka The Bunny) on tonight's show, but it's not listed on any cards or on AEW's official preview of the event.
The Bottom Line
Fight for the Fallen is raising proceeds for COVID-19 relief, so I'd be encouraging you to tune in no matter what. That being said, it's also going to be a damn good night worth of fights. So, what have you got to lose?
AEW airs on TNT Drama at 8PM EST.
Amelia Emberwing is the Entertainment Editor and lead critic here at What to Watch. She survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling, and will probably sass you. You can find her on Rotten Tomatoes as an individually approved critic. She's also a member of the Television Critics Association and GALECA.
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