AEW Dark Results & Review (13/10/2020)
Full disclosure, I haven't watched AEW Dark in a while. When it started, it was an excellent supplementary show to Dynamite (which I haven't missed an episode of since its inception). But we've gone from having Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela in a hardcore match on Dark, to essentially a collection of squashes.
In my role as the AEW guy on Snap Mayors, I figured I should get back on track. This is a massive card to start back on. I'm used to AEW Dark going an hour long, although when the format switched to more squash matches and undercard talent, I saw the duration head up towards the 1 hour 20 min mark, but this episode clocks in at a few mins shy of 2 hours, with 14 matches on the card!
Let's do this.
Match 1: Fatal 4 Way- Evil Uno vs. The Blade vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Jungle Boy
Jungle Boy and Kaz clear the heels out of the ring almost immediately, and exchange holds and strikes. Jungle Boy tries the up and over but Kaz catches him in an electric chair drop for a near fall. Evil Uno breaks things up and forms a brief alliance with Blade to do some clubbering.
Jungle Boy and Kaz break their momentum when JB monkey flips Kaz, who lands on his feet and takes both Uno and Blade out with a double clothesline! Jungle Boy follows up with dives to the outside on the bad guys. Back in the ring, we get another JB/Kaz exchange which ends in both colliding with cross bodies.
We get a brief Kaz and Blade alliance as they try to hit Jungle Boy with a double superplex, but Uno shoves them all in a way that leads to a triple crotching. Ouch. Uno gathers Jungle for a spinning flatliner, but JB counters into a jackknife pin for the 3!
Winner: Jungle Boy (at 8:30)
Star Rating: **1/2. Fine action, nothing spectacular, nothing bad either.
Post-match, Dark Order come out to lay the boots in, which brings out Butcher and Marko Stunt for an all-in brawl. Marko has a kendo stick, and takes out everyone with it, until he is stopped by Five. This brings out Luchasaurus to clean house.
Match 2: Lee Johnson & Cezar Bononi vs. Lucha Bros
Penta starts with low kicks and quick strikes on the massive Bononi, and tags in Fenix to do the same. Johnson tags in and gets worked over as well, particularly with a torture rack slam into the turnbuckle. Penta goes for another torture rack slam in the middle of the ring, but Johnson escapes.
Tag back to Bononi who levels Fenix with a clothesline after he blind tags in. Bononi catches a springboarding Penta, then Fenix off a top rope senton, and drops both Lucha Bros with a World's Strongest Slam/powerbomb combo! Wow!
Later, Penta stops Bononi's momentum with an enziguri from the apron. Double team from the Luchas, which is a bit like the Dudleys "WASSUP?", but with a missile dropkick instead of a headbutt to the balls. Well then, I guess that's legal. Double superkick on Bononi. Johnson prevents a double team by the Bros and wipes out Fenix on the outside with a massive flip dive! In the ring, Bononi hits Penta with a powerslam into the turnbuckle for a near fall. Johnson tags in but is wiped out with a Penta slingblade. Fenix tags back in and they hit the spike package piledriver for the win!
Winner: Lucha Bros (at 5:05)
Star Rating: **3/4. Short and sweet, they maximised their minutes out there. Bononi looked like a monster, Johnson got his moment with the crazy flip, and the Luchas did their thing as always.
Match 3: Brandon Cutler vs. Peter Avalon (w/ Leva Bates)
Avalon jumps Cutler during his entrance, hitting him with a powerbomb on the ramp, following by a reverse Meteora on the stage. He demands that the referee raise his hand and declare him the winner by forfeit. Cutler makes it to the ring. Avalon dropkicks him out of the ring and demands a count-out. Cutler makes it back in.
Cutler begins to mount a comeback by getting his boot into the face of a charging Avalon, followed by some slick roundhouse kicks. Tope suicida wipes out the Librarian. Back in the ring, a huge springboard elbow drop gives Cutler a near fall. Avalon catches another springboard attempt and hits a uranage for a near fall of his own. Big reverse DDT gives Cutler a close two count. Rake to the eyes by Avalon allows him to hit a fireman's carry driver for the closest call yet. Avalon goes to hit Cutler with a book but gets caught in a slam position. His boot inadvertently knocks the ref out. Cutler hits the gutbuster but the ref can't count it. Cutler gets a book to hit Avalon with, Avalon hits him with a 20 sided die for the double DQ.
Winner: None- Double DQ (at 6:25)
Star Rating: **1/2. Weak finish hurts this one a bit, good action otherwise. Leva Bates was good in her role at ringside, too.
Backstage, Sonny Kiss cuts a promo about his match with Matt Sydal, next!
Match 4: Matt Sydal vs. Sonny Kiss (w/ Joey Janela)
Nice hold exchange to start this one, and Sydal gets the advantage with a step up headscissors, followed by a leg lariat. A rough looking sidewalk slam plants Sonny into the mat, and the back gets worked from there. Standing twisting splash gets a near fall for Sydal. Muscle Buster gets another close 2 count. Running flatliner, followed by a split leg drop gets a close call for Kiss. Sydal goes up top and takes a spin kick, followed by an axe kick for another two.
Sonny goes for a top rope split leg drop, but Sydal avoids it. He locks in a Cobra Clutch, hits a Russian leg sweep with the hold still applied, and locks up the legs like a STF. Great combination of moves that gets the submission victory!
Winner: Matt Sydal (at 5:40)
Star Rating: **1/2. These matches are a little too short to amount to anything outstanding. I appreciated the innovation in the finishing sequence, though.
Match 5: Aaron Solow, Angel Fashion & M'Badu vs. Dark Order
Dark Order kinda threw around the jobber team with ease in the early going, until the pivotal tag to powerhouse M'Badu. Hard clotheslines, Stinger Splashes that engulfed the opposition...until Reynolds and Silver take him out with a Claymore/German suplex combo. Solow tags back in and wipes out Reynolds with Trouble in Paradise... but Preston halts his momentum with a slingshot spear from the apron.
The Dark Order tag each other in to hit a triple team move on the compromised Solow... I can best describe it as an assisted team version of Lance Archer's finisher, the Blackout. It's all over!
Winners: The Dark Order (at 5:45)
Star Rating: **. This one veered towards "meh" territory.
Brandi Rhodes joins commentary for the next match.
Match 6: Elayna Black vs. Red Velvet
My first time seeing either of these two wrestle, and it's Elayna Black's AEW debut. She's carrying a mini coffin. Okay then. Red Velvet gets off to a fast start with some snappy arm drags and a single leg dropkick. She keeps up the attack but appears to tweak her knee, giving Elayna the chance to kick at it and take the advantage.
Later, Elayna missed a dropkick, and Velvet fights back with a flying clothesline, followed by a wheelbarrow bulldog. A dropkick to Elayna's head while she's hunched over, referred to as Just Desserts, puts this one away in short order!
Winner: Red Velvet (at 3:28)
Star Rating: *1/2. We've got a lot of matches to get through, so I understand the brevity. I liked the swagger of Velvet though, and Elayna's character is intriguing.
Match 7: Fuego Del Sol vs. Ricky Starks
Starks begins with a pump kick, blasting Del Sol back into the corner. He stomps a mud hole in him as Taz cheers it on on commentary. Del Sol tries to rally and charges at Starks, who back drops him out of the ring and onto the ramp. Oof. Starks then briefly joins commentary and calls the show "AEW Starks".
Back in the ring, Del Sol goes for a spin kick and misses. Starks cuts him in half with a Spear and follows with Roshambo for the victory!
Winner: Ricky Starks (at 3:10)
Star Rating: *1/2. I think Del Sol may have got in a single offensive move? Decent showcase for Ricky Starks.
Backstage, Alex Marvez interviews SCU. He asks about Shawn Spears, who conveniently interrupts. Spears and Tully argue with Daniels and Scorpio Sky, and a match seems to be set betweens Daniels and Spears for next week on Dark.
Match 8: Ryzin & Maxx Stardom vs. Billy & Austin Gunn
Austin Gunn takes control early with a snapmare and rolling neck snap. He tags in Billy and they hit a tandem big boot and clothesline. Ryzin drives Billy into the apron, which Stardom tries to take advantage of, but instead falls victim to a spinning slam from Mr. Ass. Austin gets tagged back in, and Ryzin and Stardom both have greater success against the younger Gunn, hitting a spinning backbreaker, followed by an axe kick, followed by a neckbreaker across the knee. Near fall.
Hot tag to Billy, and he cleans house, before falling victim to a Ryzin super kick. Austin tags back in and hits the hip toss into the neckbreaker. That's enough to get the win.
Winners: Billy & Austin Gunn (at 4:50)
Star Rating: **. Decent little tag match, although the highlight was Taz and Ricky Starks on commentary, ripping on Ryzin for wearing orange. Gimmick infringement, brother!
Match 9: Darby Allin vs. Nick Comoroto
Darby plays the cat and mouse game to start, running in and out of the ring, but the 275 pound newcomer catches him and clubs him down. Big slam is hit with authority. Comoroto goes for covers but Darby shows his resilience, kicking out at 1. Darby goes for a springboard, but is caught in a backbreaker for 2.
Darby uses the ropes to inflct some damage, first with a guillotine then with an armbar in the ropes. He takes out the legs then locks in the Fujiwara armbar mid-ring. Comoroto doesn't submit, and Darby follows up with a jumping armbreaker from the second rope. Coffin Drop finishes the job.
Winner: Darby Allin (at 5:40)
Star Rating: **1/2. Pretty good for the time it was given, and Taz and Starks again were a positive addition on commentary, furthering the story between Allin and Team Taz. Comoroto is an interesting prospect with a unique look.
Darby Allin dives at Ricky Starks on commentary after the match. Referees quickly separate the pair.
KiLynn King cuts a promo on Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero.
Match 10: Griff Garrison vs. Colt Cabana (w/ Evil Uno)
Garrison scores in the early going with a cracking big boot. Cabana hits a version of a monkey flip to send the big man to the outside, and Evil Uno throws him back into the ring behind the referee's back. Cabana maintains the advantage until Garrison digs deep with a discus elbow strike.
Cabana comes back with the Flying Apple in the corner, followed by a middle rope splash for a near fall. He catches the leg and applies the Billy Goat's Curse (reverse Boston Crab), and Garrison taps like his life depends on it.
Winner: Colt Cabana (at 4:40)
Star Rating: **. It was a'ight.
Match 11: KiLynn King vs. Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero)
King hits a thrust kick which has basically no effect, and is immediately launched after with a fallaway slam. Nyla misses a splash in the corner and takes a "big ginger headbutt", according to Taz. Nyla shakes it off and hits a German Suplex, followed by a Beast Bomb. That's all, folks.
Winner: Nyla Rose (at 1:50)
Star Rating. *. Total squash.
Post-match, Vickie Guerrero cuts a promo. She talks about her plans to get her client (Nyla) a championship shot, but the powers that be won't grant it. She says that Nyla is no longer stepping in the ring until Hikaru Shida gives her a title shot.
Match 12: Joey Janela (w/ Sonny Kiss) vs. D3
Janela and D3 trade rapid fire pinning attempts. D3 is from Rome, which Taz makes fun of. He's honestly been the most entertaining thing about this bloated show. D3 goes for a tilt a whirl headscissors, but Janela just throws him off. Neckbreaker gets a near fall for the Bad Boy. D3 hits a twisting elbow drop from the top. They go to the outside and Janela hits an airplane spin into a Death Valley Driver on the floor.
Back in the ring, Janela hits a running clothesline, followed by a brainbuster. And another one. And another one. Damn. It's over.
Winner: Joey Janela (at 5:05)
Star Rating: **1/4. The ferocity of the finish made this more interesting. Even heel commentator Taz seemed to think that Janela was taking it a bit too far. Interesting...
Match 13: Elijah Dean vs. Wardlow
Dean is from Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Fun fact.
Dean throws a bunch of strikes at Wardlow, including low kicks which seem to have a little effect- nope, Wardlow plants him with a one armed spinebuster. A nearly limp Dean struggles to stand and throw more shots, but Wardlow wrecks him with a clothesline. He drapes the helpless hack across the top rope and knees him in the head. Wardlow wins by KO.
Winner: Wardlow (at 2:00)
Star Rating: *. Another squash. I like that Wardlow has this little gimmick of winning via KO though. He thought he was out after the clothesline, but had to come by to deliver the final blow.
Match 14: Baron Black vs. Eddie Kingston
They start with some crisp chain wrestling, headlock takeover by Kingston, headscissors by Black, Kingston finds the ropes. Kingston starts unloading with chops, but Black comes back with a discus clothesline and T-Bone suplex. Knee to the gut, followed by a back fist, quickly puts Kingston back in control. Wasting no time, Kingston locks in a guillotine choke, and wasting no time, Black taps.
Winner: Eddie Kingston (at 3:00)
Star Rating: *1/2. Started well, but ended too quickly to really be anything.