KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (11/28)
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AEW DARK TV REPORT
OCTOBER 29, 2019
TAPED 10/23 IN PITTSBURGH, PA.
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur
Host: Tony Schiavone
– Tony Schiavone opened the show by mentioning the finals of the tag team tournament tomorrow featuring SCU and The Lucha Bros. Schiavone then switched to previewing the matches on AEW Dark and going straight to the first match.
– QT Marshall came out first followed by Peter Avalon shushing the crowd. He talked about the Pittsburgh sports teams and called Pittsburgh a town of losers before Leva took the microphone and shushed Avalon.
(1) DUSTIN RHODES & SONNY KISS vs. PETER AVALON & QT MARSHALL (w/ Leva Bates)
The match started with Leva Bates on the apron reading a book with Avalon. Sonny Kiss walked over and grabbed the book, giving Avalon two arm drags while holding the book, before using Avalon as a chair to stop and pretend to read the book while he was on his hands and knees. QT Marshall tagged in and immediately pointed to Dustin Rhodes. Jim Ross and Excalibur talked about AEW’s limited weekly schedule and what a major benefit to Dustin Rhodes due to his age, which allows Rhodes to have high quality matches every time he’s in the ring. As Sonny Kiss began to gain the upper hand, QT interfered, knocking Dustin off the apron before hitting Kiss with a punch. Kiss finally made it to Dustin, who hit Marshall and Avalon with scoop slams, he attempted the pin on Avalon only to have Marshall break up the pin fall. Kiss dove off the top rope to take out Marshall when Leva Bates climbed to the top rope to interfere. Dustin catches her on a cross body attempt and set her back on the top rope. Peter Avalon charged at Dustin, but knocked Bates off the top rope and onto the floor instead. Dustin hit the Cross Rhodes on Avalon for the win.
WINNERS: Dustin Rhodes & Sonny Kiss in 10:00
– Tony Schiavone back in studio mentioned how excellent the AEW Women’s Division is and noted Nyla Rose and AEW Women’s Champion Riho before throwing it back to Jim Ross and Excalibur for the women’s match.
(2) ALLIE vs. EMI SAKURA vs. PENELOPE FORD vs. SADIE GIBBS
The match started with a lockup between all four women. Allie hit a cross body on Emi Sakura and Penelope Ford early and both rolled to the outside of the ring. Sadie Gibbs and Allie exchanged pin fall attempts before Penelope Ford threw Allie out of the ring. Ford went for the cover on Gibbs and Emi Sakura broke up the cover before Gibbs rolled to the outside of the ring leaving Sakura and Ford in a face off. As Emi Sakura attempted a submission hold, Allie scurried into the ring and tried to pin Sakura, which forced her to break the submission to avoid being pinned. Sakura then grabbed Allie and Gibbs by one leg each and locked in a unique submission on them both before Penelope Ford put Sakura in an abdominal stretch creating a submission within a submission. Later in the match Sakura attempted to get the crowd involved by clapping before all three competitors attacked her, their attack was short lived as Sakura piled them up in the corner and hit a splash, then a Vader Bomb on all three. Sakura then attempted to pin all three competitors at once by laying across them, but all three kicked out. All four women were slow to get up, they all circle each other and start punching away at one another while they’re all on their knees. Sakura would pick up the win after hitting Sadie Gibbs with a Tiger Driver.
WINNER: Emi Sakura in 12:00
– Tony Schiavone shown back in studio and introduced the next episode of Undesirable to Undeniable with Cody Rhodes featuring MJF.
– Cody Rhodes introduced MJF, calling him his best friend in the whole world. MJF talked about never feeling undesirable in his wrestling career but said he has felt undesirable in his life. MJF told the story of being the only Jewish kid on his football team growing up. He said kids didn’t like being beat for a starting spot by him because he was Jewish and one time a group of kids threw rolls of quarters at him and yelled at him to pick them up. MJF said that’s the day he realized you have to “kill the person you were born to be to become the person you want to be.” MJF then said that the kid who bullied him is now a drug addict who dropped out of college, while he is rich, famous, best friends with the coolest guy in the world, and ridiculously handsome. Cody asked MJF what his definition of undeniable is and MJF responded by saying “being better than everyone and knowing it.” Cody said it’s the best interview anyone will ever give on that show and MJF agreed with him before walking off the set.
– Tony Schiavone back to promote AEW Dynamite tomorrow night. Schiavone announced “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Sammy Guevara, The Elite (The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega) vs. Kip Sabian & The Hybrid 2, Jon Moxley will make an appearance, the official contract signing between Chris Jericho and Cody, and SCU vs. The Lucha Bros for the AEW Tag Team Championships. A Video package then aired on the Lucha Bros and SCU and their journey to the finals of the AEW Tag Team Tournament. Schiavone then promoted AEW’s upcoming Dynamite tapings.
– Alex Marvez then interviewed Kip Sabian and asked him how the match coming up tomorrow was formed. Sabian said the match is happening because AEW has been completely about The Elite and he and The Hybrid 2 agree that it’s time for things to change.
(3) DARBY ALLIN vs. JACK EVANS vs. JIMMY HAVOC – Falls Count Anywhere
Darby Allin and Jimmy Havoc immediately turn to each other and shove one another back and forth before Jack Evans hit them both with a drop kick. Allin hit Havoc with a Code Red for a two count and Jack Evans immediately ran in and got a two count on Allin with a crucifix pin attempt. Allin hit Evans with a tope suicida and went to do the same to Havoc, but Havoc hit him with a chair as Allin dove through the ropes. The three wrestlers then fought into the crowd. As Jack Evans played to the crowd, Darby Allin hit him with a cardboard trash can to the delight of the fans. The three wrestlers eventually made it back to the stage where Evans hit Havoc with a suplex for a two count. Evans screamed at referee Aubrey Edwards for not counting the three, but Edwards stood her ground holding two fingers up in his face and not backing down. Jimmy Havoc then jumped off the stage onto Allin followed quickly by Jack Evans jumping onto Havoc and Allin. Jack Evans dragged Havoc back down to the ring and Evans grabbed multiple chairs from ringside and threw them into the ring. While Allin had Evans in a Fujiwara Arm Bar, Havoc threw a chair at Allin’s face to break up the submission attempt. Evans hit Havoc with a backbreaker onto two chairs set up sideways, then hit Havoc with a frog splash as he laid across the chairs. The crowd cheered as Allin threw a table into the ring. Evans then laid Havoc across the table that he put on the middle rope in a corner of the ring, but Havoc countered by hitting Evans with a piledriver from the top rope through the table. As Havoc went for the cover, Darby Allin climbed to the top rope with a chair and landed a Coffin Drop onto Havoc with the chair underneath him. Allin then pinned Jack Evans for the win.
WINNER: Darby Allin in 13:00
FINAL THOUGHTS: AEW Dark was a mixed bag for me this week. The opening tag match was pretty good in my opinion, I thought all four did a good job. The crowd was mild throughout the match and even during the entrances. The Librarians were booed but it was rather silent overall, QT Marshall and Sonny Kiss both received mild reactions and Dustin was cheered, but it was pretty subdued. The women’s match was an absolute struggle to get through. They went the typical route of a four-way match where two competitors take a nap on the outside of the ring and then one swaps out for another and it becomes a bunch of individual one on one mini-matches for most of it. I felt some of the spots were extremely cheesy and unbelievable, like the spot of Sakura putting Allie and Sadie Gibbs in a single leg submission simultaneously, only to have Penelope Ford join in by grabbing the leg of Allie and then applying an abdominal stretch to Sakura at the same time for a weird three way submission thing. It was just so absurd it took me out of the match and the crowd being completely silent didn’t help. The main event was the best wrestling on this show in my opinion and matches like this are what I hope AEW Dark becomes. It featured three wrestlers in the mid-card, all had their moments in the match to shine, and they won the crowd over throughout. I hope that’s what AEW Dark is consistently doing. I am of the belief that AEW Dark should consist primarily of mid-card wrestlers showcasing their abilities, building up wins, and having some lengthier matches that can be talked about on AEW Dynamite. It’s supplemental programming, don’t treat it like it’s in it’s own separate universe.