Well, tonight is a big night, isn't it? First, we have AEW Dynamite, which is night one of Fyter Fest. Then when that's done, it's right to the DVR for NXT, which is night one of The Great American Bash. Can I cover two PPV-quality pro wrestling events in one night and retain my sanity? Well, I'm gonna try.
Chris Jericho comes out to start the show, celebrating Canada Day in a maple leaf plaid sports coat with no shirt underneath. Jericho joins Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Jim Ross on commentary tonight. Jericho yells at everyone at the booth to set the tone. Then MJF and Wardlow come out for the opening match, in which they'll be facing Jurassic Express.
MJF cuts a promo. He says he's sick of having to beat Jurassic Express over and over. He calls Luchasaurus Dyno-douche and Barney, and he calls Jungle Boy "Jungle Jabroni." MJF calls out Jungle Boy for having a rich dad, which is cold considering his dad is dead. MJF says he's in the opening match because AEW needs him to win the ratings war. Shots fired! AEW admits it's a war! Ah, who cares.
MJF has gone too far with this ratings talk, so Jurassic Express heads out to the ring to shut him up. Jungle Boy and MJF start the match, and Jungle Boy is fired up. But Wardlow cheats so MJF can get the advantage. Now it's time for Jungle Boy to take an extended beating, as he does, while Wardlow and MJF take turns punishing him and taunting Luchasaurus. They do a spot where Jungle Boy gets the tag while the ref is distracted, so it doesn't count. They'd really be working up this crowd if they weren't all AEW employees.
Eventually, Jungle Boy makes the hot tag and Luchasaurus kicks some ass for a bit. It comes down to a hoss fight between Luchasaurus and Wardlow. They take turns hitting big moves on each other and then tag out. Jungle Boy dumps MJF out of the ring and hits a trio of suicide dives. Wardlow goes after Jungle Boy, but gets a flying Luchasaurus for his trouble.
Now it's the part of the match where it's chaos as everyone is in the ring at once hitting moves on each other and the referee has given up all pretense of control. All four men at one point end up on their backs, then all four do kip ups. In another spot, Marko Stunt tries to jump on Wardlow, but Wardlow catches him, then big boots Jungle Boy off the stage while still holding Marko, then tosses Marko onto Jungle Boy. That leaves Luchasaurus alone in the ring. MJF tries to use the brass knuckles, but Luchasaurus ducks, and MJF stops just short of hitting Wardlow. Then Luchasaurus kicks him, causing MJF to punch Wardlow. Jungle Boy takes MJF out and Luchasaurus finishes off Wardlow with a standing moonsault for the win. Jurassic Express stand tall, Wardlow looks displeased with MJF, Chris Jericho is losing his mind on commentary, and Fyter Fest is off to a great start as Dynamite takes its first commercial break.
Dynamite comes back from the break to Lance Archer and Joey Janella brawling in the crowd. You'll have to wait until next week to see Janella job out. The commentary team runs down the remaining matches tonight. Next up is Hikaru Shida and Penelope Ford (with Kip Sabian). We get a video package for that match, and then the women come to the ring. This match is for the AEW Women's Championship, and while you might be thinking that Ford hasn't really earned a title shot, she is de facto the number one contender because every other woman in the company is injured.
Sabian tries to get in Shida's face before the match starts, and he gets ejected by Aubrey Edwards. Sabian takes Shida's cane backstage with him. After the bell rings, Shida goes right on the offensive. One on one in a fair fight, Shida has the advantage and keeps it until right before Dynamite takes another commercial break.
Back from break, and Ford is still in control with a camel clutch on Shida. Shida makes it to the ropes and tries a comeback, but gets hit with a scorpion death drop. The women trade slaps and kicks and Ford tries her backflip stunner, but Shida reverses into a couple of backbreakers for two. Shida hits the falcon arrow and goes for the pin, but Ford reverses into a pin of her own and for a brief second, we all believe Ford might win. Nah, definitely not. Ford dodges a missile dropkick Matrix-style and hits a stunner for two.
Ford decides it's time to cheat, so she leaves the ring and grabs the belt. That draws Aubrey Edwards out of the ring, allowing Sabian to run out with the cane. Shida dodges a shot, takes it, and hits Sabian right in the face. Ford comes in and hits her backflip stunner for two. Shida hits the falcon arrow again, but Ford kicks out at two, but a knee to the face later, Ford is done and Hikari Shida retains the AEW Women's Championship.
That match got off to a shaky start, but once they found their rhythm, it turned out pretty good. Shida is the champion that the AEW's women's division needs. She can have a good match with anyone. And props to Ford for jumping into this spot when most people felt she wasn't "ready" yet. After the match, we get a video package from Taz explaining why Jon Moxley's DDT can't be executed as well on Brian Cage because Cage's shoulders are too meaty. You tell 'em, Taz. Dynamite takes a commercial break.
Jake Hager comes out with his wife to challenge Cody for the TNT Championship, and I notice that the girls who AEW is paying to hang out on beach chairs drinking a little bit of the bubbly as part of the Fyter Fest are the most socially-distanced people in the arena, which makes that the safest job in pro wrestling tonight. Chris Jericho tries a new tactic to get people to stay tuned during the next commercial break, which will be around the top of the hour. There will be a secret hashtag on the screen, and if you tweet it at AEW, you could win a zoom call from Le Champion.
The match starts, but I'm distracted by an advertisement for Nightmare Family temporary tattoos. Couldn't Cody have used one of those on his neck instead? Cody and Hager feel each other out. Hager gets the first pin attempt with a rollup and transitions it into an ankle lock attempt, but Cody reverses to an ankle lock of his own. Hager escapes and then tries to go after Arn Anderson outside the ring. Cody hits a flying… uh… well, it wasn't really a flying anything, but he did jump off the top rope and he did sort of land on Hager.
Back in the ring, Cody gets Hager in the figure four. Cody rolls out of the ring for a break, and Hager is selling a knee injury, but this won't come up again in the match. Hager goes after Arn Anderson like a roid-raging Psycho Sid in a UK hotel. Cody goes for the save but gets a German suplex on the floor. Commercials, and it's the top of the hour, so I'll see you in part two of this AEW Dynamite: Fyter Fest Night 1 report.