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RADICAN’S AEW DARK REPORT (EPISODE 1)
OCT. 8, 2019
TAPED OCT. 2 2019
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur
-Tony Schiavone introduced the show and recapped the debut of Dynamite last week on TNT. He said it was TNT’s biggest premier in five years. He thanked everyone for being a part of their success. He then said the cameras were rolling in DC for some incredible matches that would air on AEW Dark.
-Schivone talked about Darby Allin, who took Cody Rhodes to the limit at Fight for the Fallen. He said he would take on OWE veteran CIMA.
(1) DARBY ALLIN vs. CIMA
Allin was sitting in the corner and CIMA nailed him with a running Meteora in the corner to start the match. Allin really shined here working over CIMA’s knee with some unorthodox offense. Allin went for the Coffin Drop, but CIMA got his knees up. He hit a springboard Meteora for a two count. Allin fired back a short time later after CIMA missed a Meteora attempt. Allin hit a Code Red and shortly after he put away CIMA with a Coffin Drop for the win. The announcers mentioned earlier in the match that Allin had never hit the Coffin Drop successfully in AEW.
WINNER: Darby Allin in 7:00. (***¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a really good showcase for Allin. I thought CIMA would be higher up in the pecking order than Allin, but now with losses against Allin and Omega in AEW, it appears that CIMA is going to be a gatekeeper on the midcard.)
Schiavone announced that Darby Allin vs. Jimmy Havoc will take place tomorrow in Boston on AEW Dynamite. The winner will get a shot at the AEW World Championship. He mentioned that Havoc won the Cracker Barrel Clash at All Out. Schiavone said Jericho would face the winner of Allin vs. Havoc on Oct. 16 in Philadelphia.
Schivone then mentioned the AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament begins next week. He said four of those teams were put together to face off in an eight man tag match.
(Radican’s Analysis: The Philly taping next week is really loaded.)
(2) THE HYBRID 2 (JACK EVANS & ANGELICO) & THE LUCHA BROS. (PENTAGON JR. & REY FENIX) vs. PRIVATE PARTY (MARQ QUEN & ISAIAH KASSIDY) & BEST FRIENDS (CHUCK TAYLOR & TRENT BERRETA W/ORANGE KASSIDY)
This was action packed from start to finish. The bell rang and everyone went at it. Late in the match Chuck teased a dive, but Trent stopped him. They then hit stereo topes to the floor. The fans fired up and Orange Cassidy went up top with his hands in his pocket and wiped out a pile of men. The action continued at a rapid pace. Taylor got isolated and took a double stomp off the top/package piledriver combination from The Lucha Bros and it was good for the win.
WINNERS: Jack Evans & Angelico & Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix in 8:40. (***)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was just a nice dose of action. No one particularly stood out in this match that was billed as a preview of the upcoming AEW Tag Team Championship tournament, but they did keep the crowd engaged.)
Schiavone was shown back in the studio. He mentioned that Private Party vs. The Young Bucks kicks off the AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament tomorrow night in Boston on Dynamite on TNT. Highlights of Riho beating Nyla Rose to become the first AEW Women’s Champion were shown.
Schiavone then talked about ongoing issues between Bea Priestley and Britt Baker. Footage was shown of Preistley helping Rose eliminate Baker from the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out.
(3) BEA PRIESTLEY & PENELOPE FORD vs. DR. BRITT BAKER & ALLIE
Priestley wanted no part of Baker and tagged in Ford to start the match. Allie eventually got isolated and worked over by Priestley and Ford. Priestley took several cheap shots at Baker during the course of the match until Baker finally got her hands on her later in the match. The finish saw Allie hit a spear on Bea. Baker then got the crossface while driving her fingers into Ford’s mouth and pulling down and it was good for the submission.
WINNERS: Dr. Britt Baker & Allie in 10:25. (*¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: The action wasn’t smooth, but I appreciate the effort to tell a good story between Baker and Priestley. They probably should have left this match on the cutting room floor and had Schiavone narrate the highlights to get the storyline over instead of showing the whole thing.)
They went back to the AEW Control Center with Tony Schiovane, who recapped AEW Dynamite’s premier last week. They showed Cody beating Sammy Guevara and then being attacked from behind by Chris Jericho.
Schivone then talked about the Hangman Page vs. PAC match from last week. He said it didn’t end without controversy, as the ref missed a low from PAC. PAC was shown tapping out Page with the Brutalizer.
-They recapped the main event from last week. Jon Moxley’s attack on Kenny Omega during the match was shown. The aftermath of the main event was shown leading into Jake Hagar’s debut, as he sided with Jericho’s faction. Jake Hagar joins Santana, Ortiz, and Guevara in the faction.
-Schivone then talked about the AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament beginning tomorrow with The Young Bucks facing Private Party in Boston. He wondered how The Young Bucks were feeling after Jericho’s stable beat them in the main event last week and then continued the beatdown of them in the post-match. On Oct. 16 in Philadelphia, The Lucha Bros and Jurassic Express will face off in tournament action. They will face off against the winner of The Young Bucks vs. Private Party match.
-Schivone then went to the other side of the bracket. SCU takes on Best Friends. The winner of that match will face The Dark Order in the semi-finals on Oct. 23 in Pittsburgh. Schiavone then went over some tweets from fans about who they thought would win the tag tournament.
-Schiavone then turned his attention back to the Dynamite taping in Boston tomorrow. He mentioned that Jon Moxley would take on Shawn Spears, who will have Tully Blanchard in his corner. Schivone said there’s no update on Kenny Omega’s condition after Moxley attacked him on Dynamite last week. The main event for Dynamite in Boston was announced. It will see Hangman Page & Dustin Rhodes vs. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara. Schiavone said Hagar, Santana, and Ortiz won’t be far behind.
A commercial for Full Gear aired.
(4) JURRASIC EXPRESS (LUCHASAURUS & JUNGLE BOY JACK PERRY & MARKO STUNT) vs. S.C.U. (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN & SCORPIO SKY)
Marko Stunt and Christopher Daniels started the match. Daniels patted Stunt on the head and he shoved Daniels. Daniels took stunt down with a shoulder tackle. Stunt got a flashy pinning combination for a near fall. He then stomped on Daniels’s back and hit The Floss dance. Daniels returned the favor and then hit The Floss. Jungle Boy and Kazarian tagged in and went at it. Kazarian eventually caught him with a springboard leg drop to get the upper hand. S.C.U. tagged in and out to work over Jungle Boy. Perry managed to tag in Luchasaurus, who went at it with Daniels. He caught Daniels with the Tail Whip and the fans fired up and chanted his name. It was now Daniels’s turn to get worked over. Perry lifted Stunt up and hit a ripcord slam with Stunt onto Daniels on the mat. Daniels took a combination of moves in the corner from Jurassic Express, but he managed to kick out at two. Daniels finally cut off Perry with a sit out slam. Sky and Stunt tagged in. Sky ran wild on Stunt and Perry. Luchasaurus ran into the ring and went for a chokeslam, but Sky escaped. Kazarian made a blind tag and hit an assisted DDT on Luchasaurus for a near fall.
Luchasurus fired up and wiped out Daniels and Kazarian. He brought sky into the ring by the neck. He popped Sky up and drove him down into the mat. Stunt and Jungle Boy hit stereo dives to wipe out Daniels and Sky. Luchasaurus hit a chokeslam and a standing moonsault on Kazarian for a near fall. Kazarian took a combination of moves capped by a running SSP from Stunt for a two count. The action broke down with both teams going at it. Perry got isolated and took a combination of moves. Stunt ran into the ring, but was quickly cut off. Daniels went for the BME, but Luchasaurus grabbed him from the outside. Stunt then rolled up Kazarian for a near fall. Kazarian blocked a rana attempt from Stunt and hit a powerbomb into a backstabber with Sky for the win.
WINNERS: Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels in 10:00. (***1/4)
(Radican’s Analysis: Good tag action here. Both teams looked good in this match that was billed as a preview for the upcoming tag team tournament. Luchasaurus impresses more and more with each outing.)
-Schiavone said the first edition of AEW Dark was in the books. He said AEW Dark would air each week on YouTube at 8 p.m. ET.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a very enjoyable YouTube show. I wasn’t expecting much out of these dark matches, but three of the four matches were good TV matches and served a purpose in terms of building on ongoing storylines.
Allin vs. CIMA saw Allin pick up a big win ahead of his match tomorrow against Havoc with the winner facing AEW Champions Chris Jericho in Philadelphia on Oct. 16. Allin looked really good against the verteran CIMA and didn’t have to kill himself to get a good reaction from the crowd.
Schaivone did a great job of catching viewers up on all the big storylines going on in AEW while recapping what happened last week on the debut of Dynamite on TNA and looking ahead to what is coming up in Boston, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
Along with the two tag matches involving the men on the show Schiavone also did a nice job of highlighting what is to come in the AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament, which begins tomorrow in Boston.
The show really did a good job of driving home Jericho’s new faction and revealed the main event of tomorrow which will see Jericho teaming with Sammy Guevara to take on Hangman Page & Dustin Rhodes.
The only letdown on the show was the women’s tag match, which just wasn’t very good at all and would have been better served left on the cutting room floor.
I think people should make AEW Dark appointment viewing on Tuesday nights. The matches matter and Schiavone does a great job of highlighting the big storylines in progress in AEW. The matches that took place would have been great on Dynamite last week for the most part.
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @sr_torch.
You can watch AEW Dark’s debut episode below: