AEW Fyter Fest is coming up, and the JAS will be suspended above the ring in a shark cage during Eddie Kingston vs Chris Jericho. Here’s why.
AEW‘s announcement that a shark cage would be involved in Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston’s bared wire death match drew ire online, but the reasoning behind the gimmick’s inclusion at least makes business sense. Fyter Fest will take place over the next two weeks on Wednesday Night Dynamite. The death match between Kingston and Jericho will take place during the second week of the event on July 20, with members of the Jericho Appreciation Society suspended above the ring in a shark cage.
All Elite has been pretty heavy into gimmick matches as of late. Less than a month will separate Blood & Guts with this death match, and Anarchy In The Arena took place during Double Or Nothing. The Wizard was involved in a hair versus hair match in the build towards Blood & Guts as well. Every time Kingston and Jericho meet in the ring, it seems like there’s some kind of stipulation involved, and the barbed wire death match with a shark cage hanging overhead is pretty on-brand for the feud at this point.
While Blood & Guts and Anarchy In The Arena both delivered entertainment in spades, the shark cage idea seemed to turn some fans off of this bout between Kingston and Jericho. For whatever it’s worth, this wasn’t strictly the brainchild of Tony Kahn and Co. Instead, Dave Meltzer said on the most recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that AEW was asked to create a match that could tie into Shark Week. “The shark thing I guess is the gimmick having to do with Shark Week. Discovery asked them to do a tie-in so they came up with a match to do a tie-in in.“
The reality is that the more gimmick matches are leaned on, the less of an impact they have. See Hell In A Cell for proof of that phenomenon. That’s not to say that Blood & Guts and Anarchy In The Arena weren’t amusing. But they’re dangerous matches that have cost AEW some of its top wrestlers. Bryan Danielson hasn’t performed since taking part in Anarchy In The Arena during Double Or Nothing, while Santana badly injured his leg during Blood & Guts and is set to miss quite some time because of it. This danger, combined with the slow numbing effect that repeated viewing has, made the barbed wire death match with a shark cage overhead seem like a bit much, even to some of AEW’s most loyal fans.
This tie-in with a broadcast partner makes sense through the lens of business, at least. Audiences are quick to forget about high spots in AEW because they happen so frequently, so even if this death match is a dud, it’s not something anyone will be thinking about in two or three weeks. Because, by then, there’ll be some other branded episode of Wednesday Night Dynamite that has a similarly bonkers gimmick match taking place between two AEW wrestlers. At least this one is brought to you by Discover Plus.
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Source: Wrestling Observer Radio
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