AEW News

Ricky Starks Becomes FTW Champion As Team Taz Betrays Brian Cage

Brian Cage Ricky Starks

A new FTW Champion was crowned at Fyter Fest with Ricky Starks defeating Brian Cage after Team Taz finally turned on The Machine.

Tensions had been rising in the previously tranquil Team Taz after Starks and Cage lost in an epic Street Fight to Darby Allin and Sting at Revolution. Following the defeat Brian Cage offered words of respect to The Icon, saying that Ricky Starks had been wrong in the build-up to their match to suggest Sting wasn’t the man he used to be.

This rubbed Ricky Starks up the wrong way and between sideways glances, Starks looked to antagonise Brian Cage whenever the opportunity arose. Starks further angered Cage when he interjected himself in The Machine’s bout with Hangman Adam Page at Double Or Nothing. Starks and the rest of Team Taz tried to help Cage to victory but the former IMPACT World Champion refused to clock Page with his FTW Title belt much to the team’s, and especially Starks’ chagrin.

With things threatening to spiral out of control, the two men were set on their collision course once Ricky Starks was cleared after suffering a neck injury. Their one on one match for the FTW Title that had been bestowed upon Cage by the belt’s originator, Taz, was ostensibly to settle their grievances and allow Team Taz to move on.

As some may have predicted, the outcome was not going to be a happy one for Brian Cage as Hook and Powerhouse Hobbs both involved themselves in the action to help Ricky Starks. Hook distracted the referee long enough for Hobbs to clock Cage with the title belt. A spear by Starks was the icing on the cake and got the pinfall victory. Taz, who had been on commentary for the match, soon joined his charges in the ring to celebrate and gloat at Brian Cage’s fall from grace.

Ricky Starks becomes only the fourth man in history to hold the title that is not officially recognised by AEW. Taz originated the title in 1998 before losing it to Sabu in ECW. The Human Suplex Machine then won the title back from Sabu at Living Dangerously in 1999 where he immediately unified it with the ECW World Title.