Following the success of Double or Nothing, which took place this past month in Las Vegas, Nevada, All Elite Wrestling is riding a wave of momentum with Fyter Fest. This wave continues this Saturday when the promotion will hold its second event under the AEW banner. From the Daytona Beach Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, AEW will present Fyter Fest. The name of the event in question is a parody of Fyre Festival, a music event that, due to various circumstances, never took place.
Fyter Fest is the real, however, and it will feature a mix of independent and contracted AEW talent alike. No championships will be contested for, but this show’s lineup is sure to grab some eyes. Prior to Saturday, let’s preview the matches to take place at Fyter Fest and discuss predictions.
Pre-Show: Kylie Rae vs. “The Librarian” Leva Bates (w/”The Librarian” Peter Avalon)
Early in AEW’s development, the promotion sent out a Twitter casting call for a character called “The Librarian.” AEW received numerous submissions, but ultimately, two talents made the cut: Leva Bates and Peter Avalon. Despite conflicts between AEW’s executives, regarding this event, it would appear that both are signed with the company. Kylie Rae, on the other hand, has become a quick favorite among AEW fans, not only for her bubbly personality but spirited performances, such as the one she had at Double or Nothing. Despite this being a pre-show match, given the talent level of those involved, it could end up being a show-stealer.
Prediction: On one hand, it can be argued that Kylie Rae needs a victory coming out of Double or Nothing, as her four-way match was won by Britt Baker. On the other hand, “The Librarian” Leva Bates is new to AEW, so a victory in the pre-show could mean more for her. While this match can go either way, I will say that Rae goes over here. Bates is more of an established independent talent to the point where, even if she loses, she can still be a strong player in AEW. Expect the smiley one to pull out the victory here.
Pre-Show: Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) vs. SoCal Uncensored (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) (Winners Advance to All Out for an Opportunity at a First Round Bye in the AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament)
Admittedly, the stipulation for this match appears overly wordy. Nonetheless, all you must know is that whoever wins this match will have an opportunity to compete in the future AEW World Tag Team Championship tournament. The teams involved here are just a fraction of what AEW’s tag team division and any one of them could be viable contenders. Between the comedic antics of Best Friends, the experience of SoCal Uncensored, and the wild card factor of Private Party, this match provides different variables that should keep viewers guessing.
Prediction: The AEW World Tag Team Championship tournament can be something special with the right teams involved. AEW already has multiple teams on its roster, not just the ones involved in this match, but The Lucha Brothers and The Young Bucks, just to name a few. In terms of who will advance, coming out of this match, it’s difficult to predict. As stated earlier, any team could feasibly advance to the tournament. As much as I respect the other teams, I will give the nod to SCU. If experience and legitimacy are needed, to make the upcoming tournament that much more special, this is as safe a bet as any.
Pre-Show: Michael Nakazawa vs. Alex Jebailey (Hardcore Match)
Though many AEW fans may know Michael Nakazawa for its use of baby oil and predilection to routinely say his full name, he can hold his own in the most grueling of contests. On the other hand, Alex Jebailey is an avid gamer and CEO of Community Effort Orlando, a yearly fighting game event that AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega appeared for. On the surface, Nakazawa and Jebailey couldn’t be any more different from each other. However, if they’re placed in an environment where anything goes – chairs, tables, thumbtacks, the list of foreign objects goes on – don’t expect to see the ring mat remain clean for long.
Prediction: It’s important to note that the CEO is a partner of AEW for Fyter Fest, which should clear up any confusion fans might have about this match. Furthermore, this isn’t the first time that Nakazawa and Jebailey squared off. At CEOxNJPW: When Worlds Collide, which took place last year in June, Jebailey defeated Nakazawa in the pre-show. In this second encounter, Nakazawa has more to prove. This is one of the reasons why I predict Nakazawa will go over. Whether the level of blood spilled will rival the amount of baby oil used remains to be seen.
Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho vs. Nyla Rose
Given the recent news that the AEW Women’s World Championship will be unveiled at All Out, in August, attention on the women’s division will be that much more laser focused. Along with the aforementioned Kylie Rae/Leva Bates contest, AEW will feature this three-way match between Yuka Sakazaki, Riho, and Nyla Rose, all of whom were part of Double or Nothing. Sakazaki and Riho had good showings in their six-woman tag team match during the event in question. Meanwhile, Rose’s power was on display in her four-way match. Between Sakazaki, Riho, and Rose, who will emerge victorious?
Prediction: One of the most interesting aspects of this match is that all three participants have experience in Joshi Puroresu. Keep in mind that Rose has experience wrestling in Japan, specifically Marvelous, based out of Funabashi, Chiba. The question must be asked: who will come away with their arm raised by the end? While Sakazaki and Riho are strong competitors in their own respects, they aren’t full-time talents contracted by AEW. Rose is not only contracted by AEW, but I believe she needs a big win to reinforce her status as “The American Kaiju.” I predict Rose will win in relatively dominant fashion.
Christopher Daniels vs. Cima
At Double or Nothing, the trio of SoCal Uncensored defeated Strong Hearts, comprised of El Lindaman, T-Hawk and President of Oriental Wrestling Entertainment, Cima. As we would come to learn, however, involvement between these two factions is far from over. While Kazarian and Sky will compete for an opportunity to win the AEW World Tag Team Championship, Daniels will set his sights on the man who, to many, is the biggest public figure of OWE. Without any partners or allies to back them up, Daniels and Cima will square off, one on one.
Prediction: This could end up being one of the better matches of the night. From what I’ve seen of Cima at Double or Nothing, he is not only a strong businessman but a solid wrestler as well. Daniels, at 49 years of age, continues to be one of the most underrated singles wrestlers in the game today. When these elements are brought together, it’s fair to expect a good match. Given the fact that Strong Hearts lost last month, I can see Cima going over Daniels in this contest.
Hangman Page vs. Jungle Boy vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
At Double or Nothing, these four men were involved in the Casino Battle Royale. Though it was Hangman Page that ultimately emerged the victor, Jungle Boy, Jimmy Havoc, and Maxwell Jacob Friedman had their moments to shine as well. In this four-way match, everyone will have something to prove. Whether it’s Page’s goal of sustaining his momentum coming out of the aforementioned battle royal, MJF looking to bounce back from being the final man eliminated, or Jungle Boy or Havoc simply looking to make an impact, this will be a match to keep an eye on.
Prediction: In this battle of rising stars, who will emerge triumphantly? When I covered this match a few weeks ago, I claimed that it would be a showcase of AEW’s future. This hasn’t changed much; if anything, I believe they will only be more invaluable to the promotion’s long-term success. Out of the four men in this match, I believe that Page will be declared the winner. With Chris Jericho, as well as the AEW World Championship, in his sights, I wouldn’t expect anything less than a victory for the “Hangman.”
Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela
To call Jon Moxley and Joey Janela “bad boys” would be an understatement. Following his surprise debut at the end of Double or Nothing, Moxley was approached backstage by Janela, who proceeded to light a cigarette. Moxley then took the lit cigarette from himself and walked away, leaving a foul-tempered Janela behind. From there, they cut promos on each other, including Janela criticizing Moxley’s sanitized work in WWE. AEW’s “Bad Boy” has made an enemy out of “The Death Rider,” and it will come to a head at Fyter Fest.
Prediction: On paper, this will be the most chaotic match of the evening. In recent promos, Janela has shown a more reckless demeanor, especially as someone who believes he has everything to lose at Fyter fest. Moxley’s gravitation toward violence and brutality has been well-documented, so it’s safe to assume that this mindset will be brought to this match. While Janela will undoubtedly fight hard, potentially giving Moxley a brawl to remember, I see the current IWGP United States Champion emerging victorious. From there, Moxley will receive an additional boost of momentum heading into All Out, where he will face Kenny Omega.
Cody vs. Darby Allin
Two weeks ago, episode two of “The Road to Fyter Fest” dropped. During this episode, viewers were given a deeper look into Darby Allin, who lost his uncle in a drunk driving accident. This resulted in a loss of trust and respect for others, which is symbolized in his half-painted face. It would also lead to a more reckless demeanor, which he harnessed in pro wrestling. Allin is a unique specimen, to say the least, and when Cody faces him at Fyter Fest, he will have to bring his own sense of recklessness to the surface. This battle of wrestling royalty versus violent rebellion will not be one to miss.
Prediction: This is another match where the clashing of styles is undeniable. Cody is known for being old-school, which makes sense considering his family’s lineage, but has no problem working with various styles. Allin, on the other hand, is known for meshing lucha libre with hardcore wrestling. He can fly with the best of them, but his willingness to put his body on the line is not unlike a younger Jeff Hardy. In terms of who will win, as crazy as it might sound, I will give the nod to Allin. If AEW’s goal is to continually create stars, victories of this magnitude are clutch.
The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) vs. The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) and Laredo Kid
At Double or Nothing, The Young Bucks and The Lucha Brothers faced off in what many viewers believed to be the match of the night. This wasn’t to say that the feud ended, however. If anything, it only became more contentious. Earlier this month, at Verano de Escandalo, the team of Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix defeated their rivals to reclaim the AAA World Tag Team Championship. At Fyter Fest, The Lucha Brothers will join forces with Laredo Kid to take on the trio of The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, the latter of whom is likely looking to regain momentum following his loss to Chris Jericho at Double or Nothing. Will The Elite emerge supreme, or will this night belong to the AAA titleholders?
Prediction: This might be one of the more difficult matches to predict, largely due to Omega. As stated earlier, he lost to Jericho at Double or Nothing, and he is set to face Moxley at All Out, which is another bout where the winner will be tough to decide. Does Omega, along with The Young Bucks, win at Fyter Fest? This match can also be huge for The Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid, particularly the latter since he wasn’t originally involved in this match; the third man was originally PAC before creative differences arose. Ultimately, I will go with The Elite standing tall, though a strong case can be made for either trio.
AEW Fyter Fest will air on June 29 from the Daytona Beach Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. The show will air on B/R Live, Bleacher Report’s streaming service, for free. It will also air on FITE TV for $9.99.