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AEW DARK TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 26, 2019
TAPED 11/20 IN INDIANAPOLIS, IND.
STREAMED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Shawn Spears
Host: Tony Schiavone
– Tony Schiavone opened the show standing on a platform in Indianapolis as the ring crew was getting ready for the show last week. Schiavone said Dasha Gonzalez wasn’t with him this week, but she will return next week. Tony Schiavone then previewed the matches for the night including Pentagon Jr. vs. Trent Beretta, Big Swole vs. Shanna, Awesome Kong vs. Leva Bates, and Kenny Omega vs. Jack Evans.
(1) PENTAGON JR. vs. TRENT (BERETTA)
The match opened with Pentagon mocking Trent with his Cero Miedo hand gesture multiple times. Trent showed off the strength with a shoulder tackle followed by a North Lights Suplex while Pentagon was draped across the top rope. Pentagon regained control after Trent went for a dive out of the ring to the floor and landed on his feet, only for Pentagon to hit him with a Super Kick. Pentagon kept the attack on the floor but got frustrated with the official counting them out. Pentagon rolled back into the ring and got in the face of the official before finally throwing Trent back into the ring. Trent regained control after a suplex . Pentagon immediately rolled to the outside of the ring and Trent hit him with a dive over the top rope. Trent threw him back in the ring and managed to get a two count. Pentagon hit a Sling Blade for a two count shortly thereafter. Trent climbed to the middle rope to attempt a suplex on Pentagon, but Pentagon slipped out and kicked out Trent’s knee. Trent was holding onto the top rope and, after taking a second to play to the crowd, Pentagon hit Trent with a double stomp to the chest. After a two count, Pentagon hit Trent with a Destoyer good for another two count. Pentagon then hit Trent with a Package Piledriver onto the apron of the ring. After a quick reversal by Trent and a piledriver, Trent got the three count for the win.
(Graham’s Analysis: There were a couple of moments where the in-ring sound and the commentary didn’t align with the action in the ring, which was very noticeable because both competitors were laying in the ring, but the noise and commentary sounded as if they were still actively fighting. This could have been the audio and commentary looking at a replay that didn’t get shown on screen, but it was a little strange.)
WINNER: Trent in 13:00
-After the win, Shawn Spears said he was going to have Tully Blanchard watch this match and look at Trent because he was so impressed with his performance.
– Tony Schiavone back on screen and he threw to a video package on Shanna’s personal story. Shanna talked about watching WWF as a kid with her father, but growing up in Portugal, there is no wrestling. She said there’s more opportunity in France, where she now lives. Shanna talked about her time on the independent wrestling scene and becoming the first Portuguese wrestler to wrestle in Japan. Shanna talked about a time in 2018 where she contemplated quitting wrestling because she felt undesirable. Shanna mentioned that she tried out many times for “the other company” and was always told she would be signed, but they never called. She talked about being body shamed in the United Kingdom because “the TV added ten pounds” and she looked heavier than the other women, which really hurt her confidence. Shanna said she decided to quit, but then AEW and Kenny Omega called her. Shanna said that felt like a dream and now she’s as confident as ever and she wants to prove everyone who doubted her that they were wrong. Shanna closed it out by thanking Kenny Omega, Cody, and The Young Bucks for the opportunity.
– Schiavone was shown again and he introduced Alex Marvez who was standing by with Shanna’s opponent, Big Swole. Marvez asked for Big Swole’s thoughts on Shanna and why they call her Big Swole. Swole said everyone in the back has a story, she herself has conquered Chron’s Disease and death itself to be in AEW. She said the stories of how you got here doesn’t matter, it’s what you do now. Swole said she has a big personality and a “swole mentality” and everything she does is grand. She flexed and said “this right here is greatness” and Shanna isn’t ready for it.
(2) BIG SWOLE vs. SHANNA
The match starts with a test of strength as the two muscle each other into a corner before backing up. The two then lock hands again in another test of strength that Swole wins, bending Shanna over her knee and stopping to flex to the crowd. Shanna ran the ropes and Swole attempted an arm drag, but Shanna counters with an arm drag of her own. The two then swept the legs of the other and both managed a one count. The two then went face to face again in a sign of respect. Swole finally gained the advantage by kicking Shanna square on the jaw. Swole then hit Shanna with a pair of high elbow strikes, then used her foot to press Shanna’s face square into a turnbuckle. Swole continued the attack with a guillotine through the middle rope and just managed to break the hold before being counted out. Shanna countered with a super kick as Swole reentered the ring. Both competitors exchange strikes while on their knees and stood while continuing to exchange strikes. Shanna went for a leg sweep that didn’t work and Swole took that opportunity to stop and dance to play to the crowd. After exchancing some shots back and forth Shanna got Swole unbalanced on the top rope to where Swole was leaning forward and using her hands to keep herself from falling onto her face. Shanna climbed to the top rope and hit Swole with a double stomp to the back of the head, but only managed to get a two count. Shanna would pick up the win after bridging into a cover after hitting Swole with a Dragon Suplex.
WINNER: Shanna in 11:00
– Schiavone was then shown back in the studio to preview AEW Dynamite tomorrow night including Chris Jericho’s celebration. Schiavone then threw to the video of Scorpio Sky and Chris Jericho’s exchange last week on AEW Dynamite.
– Schiavone then talked about the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal for the 7.85 karat diamond ring valued at over $42,000. The finish of the match was then shown starting with Chuck Taylor and Kip Sabian being eliminated followed by Jungle Boy being eliminated by MJF who was hiding on the outside of the ring.
– Schiavone then announced Pac vs. Kenny Omega and Cody returns to AEW Dynamite. Schiavone then introduced a segment called “By the Numbers” with Alex Marvez.
– Marvez then went through his statistics. 88 days since AEW was last in Chicago and the days since Kenny Omega lost to Pac. 0, as in the number of times Chris Jericho has been beaten in AEW, until Scorpio Sky pinned him. 8, the number of stitches Cody needed after his AEW Championship match against Chris Jericho. Marvez then said there are still tickets available for the show.
– Schiavone then announced AEW Dynamite is coming to Cleveland, Ohio on January 29. Schiavone then promoted AEW Dynamite’s upcoming events.
– A commercial for ShopAEW.com aired including their Black Friday sale.
– Schiavone then introduced the next match.
– Peter Avalon then came out alongside Leva Bates by insulting Indianapolis for their heritage of motorsports. Avalon said sitting in a car is not a sport and he was cut off by Awesome Kong’s entrance.
(3) AWESOME KONG (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. LEVA BATES (w/Peter Avalon)
This was an absolute squash match. Leva started the match by trying to distract Kong with her book, but it was ineffective. Kong hit Bates with the Soul Collector. Avalon jumped up on the ring apron as if he was going to interfere, but Kong looked at him and he scurried back to the floor. Kong then covered Bates for the win.
WINNER: Kong in just under 1:00
After the match, Kong cut out a piece of Bates’ hair and tucked it into her waistband before leaving.
– Schiavone shown again and transitioned to the final match of the evening. Schiavone talked about Kenny Omega trying to redefine his career as shown on Being the Elite.
(4) KENNY OMEGA vs. JACK EVANS – AAA Mega Championship Match
The match started with Jack Evans and Kenny Omega both acknowledging the crowd, Evans taunting and Omega showing gratitude for the chants. Evans get an early headlock, but Omega countered it with control of Evans’ arm. Evans countered with a couple of cartwheels to relieve the pressure and kicked Omega away while doing a handstand. Omega took control with a couple of chops to the chest of Evans. Evans countered a faceplant attempt by Omega, but he rolled through to the shock of Omega. The crowd booed as Evans showboated following a display of athleticism. Evans went for a Corkscrew Lariat, but Omega hit him with a drop kick to regain control again. Omega then called for the end of the match and attempted to pick up Evans for a Buckle Bomb, but Evans countered it into a Face Buster. Evans stood on Omega’s chest for a one count before doing a backflip onto Omega and got a two count. Omega and Evans exchanged kicks back and forth before Evans hit a Springboard Moonsault off the top rope onto Omega on the outside of the ring. Evans hit Omega with a suplex on the outside, then used the top rope for a 450 splash onto Omega for another two count. Omega hit Evans with multiple chops and Evans responded by spitting on Omega. Omega responded with a pair of Snap Dragon Suplexes. Omega then tried to suplex Evans from the apron to the floor, but when that didn’t work, Omega hit Evans with a running knee strike to the floor followed quickly by another Snap Dragon Suplex. Omega drags Evans back into the ring and hit him with a Buckle Bomb, then a Spine Buster for a two count. Omega would get the win after a V-Trigger followed by the One Wing Angel.
WINNER: Kenny Omega in just under 16:00
FINAL THOUGHTS: I was in Indianapolis last week when this was taped and it’s very interesting to compare the in-person perspective to what was shown here. This show ran longer than the allotted hour and I could’ve guessed that being there in person considering there were four matches instead of the usual three and three of the four were rather lengthy. So, just some interesting tidbits about being there in person.
First, the matches did not air in the order they were taped. Trent Beretta and Pentagon was the match before AEW Dynamite went on the air, but the women’s matches were switched from how they were taped. As soon as Dynamite went off the air, Cody came out to speak to the live crowd for a moment. He asked everyone to stay for AEW Dark and he and Justin Roberts both kept selling Kenny Omega to try and keep fans in attendance and it worked. After Cody left, Awesome Kong and Leva Bates took place, followed by Shanna vs. Big Swole, then finally Kenny Omega vs. Jack Evans. I don’t think it would be a stretch to estimate that 90 percent of the crowd stayed for Kenny’s match, so that’s a good sign. After the match, Nick Jackson came out and he and Omega threw out some merchandise and they called Nick Jackson as well to end the night.
In regards to the show itself, I really liked Shawn Spears on commentary. I think he’s been the best wrestler to do this so far and I wouldn’t mind if he did it every week. He didn’t make anything about himself on his own; only when Excalibur prompted it. Instead, Spears did an excellent job getting the talent over and even teased thinking about having Trent join him with Tully Blanchard. I loved the spotlight on Shanna and Big Swole. Up to this point we hadn’t heard from either at all, so it’s nice to finally hear from them to get a glimpse into what they’re about. I would say this may be my favorite episode of AEW Dark so far having basically watched the whole thing twice now, but maybe I’m biased since I was there in person.