Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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AEW DARK TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 11, 2020
TAPED 2/5 IN HUNTSVILLE, ALA.
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz
Host: Tony Schiavone
– Tony Schiavone welcomed fans to AEW Dark while standing in front of a pond outside. Schiavone said Dasha Gonzalez will be back next week on AEW Dark. Schiavone talked about AEW taking place in Huntsville, Alabama last week and this show will air the dark matches taped on that night. Schiavone then previewed the matches on the show including Riho vs. Shoko Nakajima, Dark Sonny Kiss vs. Jimmy Havoc, Hikaru Shida vs. Cassandra Golden, and Dark Order vs. Jurassic Express.
– As Nakajima entered, highlights from Fight for the Fallen aired where Nakajima pinned Riho in a tag team match.
(1) SHOKO NAKAJIMA vs. RIHO
Nakajima and Riho both started the match circling the ring. Both women exchanged headlocks until Riho rolled to the outside of the ring, but Nakajima quickly hit her with a Tope Suicida before throwing her back into the ring for a two count. Nakajima continued to control the match stomping Riho in the corner, and locking in a reverse Full Nelson until Riho made the ropes. Riho countered as she ran the ropes stunning Nakajima momentarily as Riho climbed to the top rope and hitting her with a Cross Body. Riho then attempted a 619, but Nakajima avoided it. Nakajima then attempted a 619 of her own, but Riho ducked down to the bottom rope, but Nakajima continued spinning around and hit Riho with the 619 across the bottom rope instead. The two then exchanged shots in the middle of the ring until Nakajima bear hugged Riho in a sleeper hold. Riho counted that into a Northern Light Suplex, then climbed back to the top rope and hit Nakajima with a double stomp to the chest from the top rope. The two then countered small package attempts for near fall after near fall. Nakajima went for a Senton off the top rope, but Riho avoided it. Riho then hit Nakajima with a running knee strike to the back of her head, then another to the face before getting the pinfall victory.
WINNER: Riho in 8:00
– Schiavone back and teased some announcements about AEW’s upcoming Dynamite tapings noting that they are return visits, but for now he threw it back to ringside for the next match.
(2) JIMMY HAVOC vs. SONNY KISS
Jimmy Havoc quickly took control muscling Kiss into the corner, but backed off. Havoc quickly took Kiss down again and applied a front face-lock. As Havoc had a wrist lock on, Kiss acrobatically flipped to counter the pressure and break the hold. Havoc extended a hand to show respect, but Kiss was hesitant. Kiss finally did shake his hand and after the handshake, Havoc backed up and immediately hit him with a closed right hand. Havoc hit Kiss with a couple of elbows to the jaw before grabbing Kiss and pulling him to the outside of the ring and throwing him into the fence, then the ring post. Kiss fought back with some chops to the chest, but Havoc grabbed Kiss’ arm and put it between turnbuckle and pulled on the arm in an effort to hyperextend Kiss’ left elbow. Havoc eventually threw Kiss back into the ring and continued to focus the attack on the injured elbow. Kiss attempted a comeback again, but Havoc suplexed him into the corner before scoring a two count. Havoc then grabbed the arm of Kiss again, but this time he bit his hand. Kiss attempted another comeback and climbed to the top rope, but Havoc grabbed Kiss and hit a rolling Death Valley Driver, but Kiss kicked out. Havoc immediately transitioned into an arm bar on the injured arm, but Kiss managed to escape the submission. Kiss made a comeback, punching away with the right arm since the left was injured, Havoc stopped this momentarily by biting Kiss again. Kiss took Havoc down and went to the apron to attempt a split leg drop, but Havoc got his knees up and transitioned into another arm bar on the injured left arm of Kiss and further wrenched back on Kiss’ fingers until Sonny Kiss tapped out.
WINNER: Jimmy Havoc 10:00
– After the bell, Havoc kept the arm bar on Kiss and pulled at his ear momentarily until the official finally got him to let go.
– As Taz and Excalibur reacted to the match, the broadcast was interrupted by Luther who said he is the mutant sent to destroy the world and called out Jimmy Havoc. Luther talked about Havoc carrying around a barbed wire baseball bat at times, and that’s okay because he likes baseball and he likes barbed wire. He warned Jimmy Havoc to be ready because “soon it will be time to play ball.”
– Schiavone back again to preview the upcoming Dynamite tapings including a return to Boston and Philadelphia in April. Schiavone also announced AEW Double or Nothing is returning to Las Vegas on May 23. Schiavone then sent it back to the ring for the next match.
(3) CASSANDRA GOLDEN vs. HIKARU SHIDA
Golden and Shida locked up, but Golden quickly shoved Shida away before flexing to show her power advantage. Shida tried to run the ropes, but Golden grabbed her by the hair. Shida escaped and tried to shoulder tackle Golden who didn’t move. Shida tried running the ropes, but Golden grabbed the hair again, so Shida returned the favor grabbing a hand full of hair. Golden threw Shida into a corner and hit her with double knees in the corner. Shida made a comeback and attempted a couple of suplexes, but couldn’t overpower the bigger Cassanda Golden. Golden took Shida down and played to the crowd before hitting a Vader Bomb for a two count. Golden applied a Full Nelson, but Shida escaped before being picked up. Shida slipped out of a fireman’s carry by Golden and the two exchanged near fall counters until Shida hit Golden with an elbow strike. Shida went to the top rope and hit a missile drop kick for another two count. Shida eventually hit Golden with a Falcon Arrow, a knee strike to the back of the head, then a running knee strike in quick succession for the win.
WINNER: Hikaru Shida in 7:00
– Tony Schiavone back and quickly talked up the women’s division some serious contenders including Hikaru Shida, Britt Baker, and Nyla Rose. Schiavone then said it was time for the main event and sent it back to Excalibur and Taz.
– John Silver and Alex Reynolds came to the ring with Dark Order carrying their masks instead of wearing them. Excalibur noted that they “passed their initiation,” but nothing else was said about it.
(4) DARK ORDER vs. JURRASIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt)
Marko Stunt and Stu Grayson started the match, Stunt quickly hit Grayson with a drop kick. Grayson attempted to go after Stunt, but Stunt avoided Grayson’s moves. Stunt would counter out of a move by Grayson, but Grayson quickly adjusted and shoulder tackled Stunt who tagged out to Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy took control of Grayson dodging his offense before arm dragging Grayson to the mat and kicking him in the head. Grayson rolled out of the ring, distracting Jungle Boy while Evil Uno entered the ring. The announcers said Evil Uno must have blind tagged into the match. Uno took Jungle Boy down before climbing to the top rope and hitting a senton for a two count. The Dark Order quick tagged in and out isolating Jungle Boy. Evil Uno took a moment to play to the crowd, which allowed Jungle Boy to attempt a comeback, but Uno quickly stopped it after Jungle Boy attempted to lift him up, but couldn’t. Grayson reentered and controlled Jungle Boy, until he and Jungle Boy attempted a cross body on each other. Both tagged out and Evil Uno hit Marko Stunt with a boot to the face as he entered the match. Grayson tagged back in and Dark Order took their time, not taking Stunt seriously, allowing Stunt a moment to take down both competitors with some quick counters.
Jungle Boy tagged back in and took out both members of Dark Order. Jungle Boy picked up Evil Uno and hit a Samoan Drop for a two count. Grayson tagged back in and Jurassic Express hit some tandem offensive moves. Jungle Boy suplexed Grayson and bridged back for the cover, but Evil Uno entered the ring, grabbed Marko and slammed him onto the stomach of Jungle Boy to break up the pin fall. Evil Uno grabbed Grayson and dragged him back to his corner to tag in against Jungle Boy. Evil Uno hit Jungle Boy with a right hand, then a back breaker for a two count. Grayson tagged back in at the orders of Evil Uno. Marko Stunt tagged back in and Jurassic Express attempted a team move, but Grayson stopped it before it happened. Stunt jumped off the top rope, but Grayson caught him mid-air, lifted him up, and tossed him in the air to Evil Uno who caught Stunt and hit him with a sit out powerbomb. Dark Order hit Stunt with the Fatality for the win.
WINNERS: Dark Order
After the match, Silver and Riley put their masks back on. They and the Dark Order creepers attacked Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt. Jurassic Express’ music played again and Luchasaurus walked down to the ring. The creepers individually attempted to attack Luchasaurus, but all were quickly dispatched of. Reynold and Silver waited until Luchasaurus had his back turned before trying to attack him, but they were both dispatched off as well with a double choke slam. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson entered the ring and took down Luchasaurus. SCU’s music played and all three members of SCU ran to the ring and Dark Order retreated. Excalibur noted that SCU gets an AEW Tag Team Championship rematch tomorrow on Dynamite before sending it back to Tony Schiavone.
– Schiavone back and reminded the audience that AEW Dynamite will be on TNT tomorrow night before signing off.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A very uneventful AEW Dark. There was nothing remotely newsworthy about this show, apart from Luther going after Jimmy Havoc and cutting that quick promo by himself. Outside of that quick promo, the entire show was in-ring action. I don’t think anything for AEW Dynamite was hyped or mentioned apart from the quick note that SCU gets a tag team championship rematch tomorrow. To my knowledge, that wasn’t promoted ahead of time. Whether it was or wasn’t, you should do more than make that comment in passing. That’s a championship match on television, sell that! I’m continuously baffled by the little cross over between Dynamite and Dark. I don’t get it. I don’t know why you wouldn’t use both shows to hype the other, more importantly using Dark to promote Dynamite. This continues to be my biggest pet peeve about AEW Dark. This show can go as long or as short as you want, as evident by the last few episodes. Tonight’s episode was 55 minutes, last week was 80 minutes, and the two episodes before that were both around 30 minutes. Take the extra time to promote what you have going on tomorrow, taping Tony Schiavone hyping the announced matches or segments for three minutes won’t drive people away!
CATCH UP… 2/4 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Another Brandi Rhodes therapy session where she confronts harsh criticism from fans, plus Jurassic Express vs. Sonny Kiss & Cutler, Omega & Riho vs. Sabian & Ford, Shida vs. Mel