SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
MAY 12, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
– Excalibur welcomed viewers to the show as he and Taz sat at the announce table. Excalibur introduced Taz who said he was excited for this “super-sized” edition of AEW Dark. Excalibur noted that Private Party and Jurassic Express would both be in action. Taz said it’s going to be an explosive edition of Dark.
Colt Cabana made his entrance and slowly took off his entrance attire. He removed the towel from around his neck and handed it down to someone at ringside, but taunted them with it for a moment first. Cabana then took off his ring jacket slowly and neatly folded it on the mat then nonchalantly tossed it out of the ring.
(1) SEAN DEAN vs. COLT CABANA
Cabana grabbed Dean’s leg and took him to the mat. Dean scrambled to the bottom rope before Cabana could lock on any type of submission. Dean then tried to lock hands with Cabana, who slowly pulled his hand back causing Dean to lean in more. Cabana grabbed him by the head and grounded him again with a headlock. Cabana released the shoulder tackled Dean who took a moment to reset. Cabana put his hands up to offer Deana free shot, but Dean shook his head no indicating he wasn’t falling for that trick twice. Cabana grabbed the left arm of Dean and twisted it before lowering Dean to the mat again controlling the wrist. Dean nipped up twice, but Cabana powered him down after both attempts. Cabana scored a two count following the second attempt by Dean.
Dean threw Cabana into the ropes and hit him with a dropkick and Cabana rolled to the outside to catch his breath. Cabana walked over to the doctor at ringside to look at his mouth, he did for a quick second and patted him on the shoulder. Cabana then reentered the ring as the official counted four. Cabana and Dean locked hands and Cabana powered him down to the mat for a one count. Cabana dropped to the mat and wrapped his legs around Dean’s left arm and dropped him to the mat. Dean powered up and slapped Cabana across the face, but only scored a one count. Dean tried a couple of roll up attempts, but Cabana kicked out at one every time. Dean powered Cabana into the corner and hit him with a pair of shoulder strikes to the lower back until the official backed him off. Cabana turned around and hit him with a double chop to the chest followed by an elbow to the forehead and a splash in the corner. Dean fell on his back and Cabana picked up the win with his Superman Cover.
WINNER: Colt Cabana in 4:00
– Excalibur then plugged that Jurassic Express would be in action next.
– As Mike Reed made his ring entrance, Excalibur told the story of him slapping a plate of food out of the hand of a server in catering earlier in the day. Jungle Boy attempted to fist bump Reed & Rembrandt, but both responded by shoving him back.
(2) JURASSIC EXPRESS (w/Marko Stunt) vs. MIKE REED & RYAN REMBRANDT
As the bell rang, Jungle Boy drop kicked Reed out of the ring. Rembrandt charged at Luchasaurus, but was met with a big boot to the face. Luchasaurus picked Rembrandt up into the arms of Jungle Boy and the two hit a tail whip kick and face buster combination. Jungle Boy then dove out onto Reed at ring side then quickly slid back into the ring and dove onto Rembrandt who had slid out there as well. Again, Jungle Boy jumped up, slid into the ring, ran the ropes, and then dove onto both Reed and Rembrandt at ring side this time.
Jungle Boy threw Rembrandt into the ring then tagged in. Reed entered and blindsided Jungle Boy with a shot to the back of the head as the referee tried removing Luchasaurus. Reed and Rembrandt isolated Jungle Boy momentarily, but Jungle Boy found an opening to tag in Luchasaurus after taking down both Reed and Rembrandt with elbows to the jaw. Luchasaurus entered and took down both competitors. Luchasaurus eliminated Rembrandt with a helluva kick in the corner. He turned around and lifted Reed up on his shoulders. Reed escaped and hit Luchasaurus with a stiff right hand, but he didn’t flinch at all. Luchasaurus looked at Reed then headbutted him followed by a choke slam. Luchasaurus hit a standing moonsault into a pin attempt, but Rembrandt interfered to stop the cover, which only seemed to enrage Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus grabbed Rembrandt and threw him towards Jungle Boy who super kicked him, Luchasaurus super kicked him to the back of the head then Jungle Boy threw him out of the ring. Luchasaurus then picked up Reed and tossed him up to Jungle Boy for an assisted Cutter for the pin fall victory.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 5:00
-Excalibur and Taz talked about how hot Private Party was out of the gates in AEW including beating the Young Bucks in the AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament. They both also noted that since then they’ve had some struggles because they showed their abilities and people started scouting them and taking them more seriously after that upset victory.
(3) PRIVATE PARTY vs. LEE JOHNSON & MUSA
Isaiah Kassidy and Lee Johnson started the match with a quick handshake then locked up exchanging waste holds and battled for control of the wrist. Kassidy quickly tagged in Quen and the two hit an atomic drop enziguri combo on Johnson then a double stomp to the head. Musa attempted to interfere, but was quickly dispatched of by Kassidy. Johnson threw Quen into the ropes, but Musa pulled the top rope and Quen crashed to the floor. He landed on his feet, but Johnson dove out of the ring and took down Quen. Johnson rolled Quen back into the ring and attempted a pin, but Quen kicked out at one. Musa and Johnson isolated Quen with some quick tags. Johnson attempted a sunset flip on Quen, but Quen managed to squat down to prevent it and awkwardly walk over to Kassidy for a tag while Johnson was still grabbing his ankles.
Kassidy entered and hit a Swanton Bomb onto Johnson then took Musa off the ring apron for good measure. Kassidy took Johnson down again with a leg lariat before stopping to pose and flex at the camera. Quen tagged back in and Private Party hit Johnson with splashes in their corner tagging each other in as they hit their splashes on Johnson. Kassidy tagged in and hit Johnson with a foot stomp to the chest as Marq Quen held him up. Quen tagged back in and lazily ran and dove onto Musa before reentering the ring and jumping over the top rope and hitting Johnson with a splash on the entrance stage. Kassidy then back body dropped Johnson over the top rope, then hit him with a flatliner off the middle rope. Quen climbed to the top rope and hit a shooting star press for the win.
WINNERS: Private Party in 6:00
(4) 10 vs. JON CRUZ
Cruz tried to work 10’s arm, but 10 quickly threw him off. Cruz ran the ropes and avoided a clothesline by 10, but when he bounced off the rope a second time, 10 clotheslined him off his feet. Cruz tried to punch 10, but 10 no sold the punches to the stomach. 10 threw Cruz into the ropes and hit him with a pump kick to the jaw followed quickly by a DDT in the ropes. Cruz crashed to the outside. 10 exited the ring and slowly walked over to Cruz and tried to shoulder tackle Cruz who was leaning against the steps. Cruz moved in time and 10 crashed into the ring steps shoulder first. 10 reentered the ring and charged at Cruz, but Cruz hit him with a kick to the head as he tried to get back in the ring. Cruz charged at 10, but was caught and 10 hit him with a huge spine buster for the win.
WINNER: 10 in 3:00
After the match Brodie Lee walked out and applauded 10’s performance.
– As Rey Fenix made his ring entrance, Taz acknowledged that Death Triangle is a group that’s struggled due to the ongoing travel restrictions. He noted that Pac is in the United Kingdom, Pentagon Jr. is stuck in Mexico, and Rey Fenix is in the United States.
(5) REY FENIX vs. ALAN ANGELS
Fenix and Angels locked up and exchanged control of each other with waste locks and wrist locks. Angels controlled Fenix with a headlock until rolled through. Fenix ran the ropes, but Angels caught him with a small package roll up for an early two count. Angels got another near fall on a small package attempt and when Fenix kicked out, he quickly got to his feet, jumped off the bottom rope, and landed a backflip. As he landed the flip, Angels got up to his feet, but Fenix immediately super kicked him back to the mat for a two count. Fenix then got behind Angels and chopped him on the right side of his neck a couple of times before hitting an elbow drop to the back. Taz said the chop was Toru Tanaka style, which Excalibur enjoyed tremendously as they both laughed and Taz congratulated himself on a good reference.
Angels created some space with a slap to Fenix, but as he charged at Fenix he was met with a kick to the jaw. Fenix then jumped up to the top rope and hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Fenix grabbed Angels and talked trash for a moment until Angels slapped him. Fenix tried charging at Angels, but was met with a boot to the jaw. Angels hit Fenix with an enzeguri then a springboard drop kick. Angels picked up Fenix and hit him with a power bomb for a two count. Fenix rolled to the outside of the ring as Taz criticized Angels for not keeping up the attack on Fenix wasting an opportunity to get an upset victory. Angels exited the ring, but Fenix super kicked him in the ankle. Fenix and Angels were both on the apron and Fenix charged at Angels, but Angels clotheslined Fenix who landed hard on the ring apron. Angels threw Fenix back in the ring and hit Fenix with a diving foot stomp followed by a moonsault for another two count. Fenix rolled on to the entrance stage to catch his breath momentarily. He sprinted onto the top rope, lost his balance momentarily, the jumped back up to the top rope and hit Angels with a cross body for a two count. Fenix quickly jumped up and hit a Angels with a springboard spinning heel kick followed by a blue thunder bomb for the win.
WINNER: Rey Fenix in 7:00
(6) KRIS STATLANDER vs. DANI JORDYN
Statlander grounded Jordyn with a shoulder tackle, but Jordyn quickly popped up and the two exchanged leg sweeps and clotheslines until Jordyn scored a two count off a crucifix pin attempt. Statlander then scored a two count on a roll up attempt. The two then settled down to reset. Jordyn went to shake Statlander’s hand, but Statlander grabbed her finger and touched it to her nose instead. Statlander grounded Jordyn and locked in a short arm scissor hold, but Jordyn reversed it into a pin attempt. Statlander popped up and hit Jordyn with a big back elbow and Jordyn rolled out of the ring. Statlander ran the ropes and attempted a baseball slide kick to Jordyn, but she moved and tackled Statlander into the barricade then the apron. Jordyn hit Statlander with a couple of back elbows then a dropkick for another two count. Statlander fought back with a back elbow in the corner followed by an uppercut and a running knee strike that knocked Jordyn out of the ring again.
Statlander ran and slid through the bottom two ropes and hit Jordyn with a missile drop kick. Statlander threw Jordyn back into the ring and climbed to the top rope, but missed. Statlander kept her back to Jordyn who charged at her, but Statlander hit her with an overhead pelé kick. Statlander clotheslined Jordyn then hit her big bang theory pile driver for the win.
WINNER: Kris Statlander in 5:00
Taz talked about the danger of a pile driver and said, as someone who had his neck broken on a pile driver, he cringes every time he sees it. Excalibur noted that Statlander is undefeated in AEW when she’s able to hit the big bang theory pile driver.
– As Cade made his entrance, Excalibur noted that he’s a real “dirt bag.” Taz asked why and Excalibur said that Leva Bates is trying to help him turn his life around, but he’s extremely unpleasant towards people. Taz asked if he is a “douche.” Excalibur agreed and said Cade tries to put his best foot forward, but then he trips over it and falls right back into being a “douche bag.” Excalibur laughed and said Taz may actually like him, Taz laughed and agreed.
– As Orange Cassidy made his entrance, Chuck Taylor and Trent held up some new Orange Cassidy beach towels which led to Excalibur plugging shopAEW.com before the match began. Orange Cassidy took off his jacket and shirt and handed them to Chuck Taylor, he then took off his sunglasses and handed them to Trent before pulling out an identical pair of sunglasses and putting those on instead.
(7) ORANGE CASSIDY (w/Chuck Taylor & Trent) vs. JASON CADE
Cassidy went to put his hands in his pockets, but Cade stopped him and put him in a head lock. Cassidy slowly reversed out of it and took control of the arm before putting one hand in his pocket. Cade looked confused and talked to the official as Cassidy still had hold of his wrist with one hand. Cade took off Cassidy’s glasses and threw them and Cassidy flipped Cade before putting both hands in his pockets. Cassidy then hit Cade with an arm drag with both hands still in his pockets then covered Cade for a one count. Cassidy hit a drop kick then nipped up and walked over to Trent who put on his original sunglasses again. Cassidy rolled Cade into a seated position then posed with his lazy thumbs up. Cade didn’t appreciate this and turned the thumbs up to a thumbs down, which caused Cassidy to take off his sunglasses and hand them to the official without breaking eye contact with Cade. Cade hit Cassidy with a back elbow followed by a knee strike. Cade stood over Cassidy and talked some trash. Cade picked Cassidy up, but Cassidy tied him up into a crucifix pin for the win.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy in 3:00
After the match Cade argued with the official as Cassidy got redressed in the ring with the help of the Best Friends before having his hand raised while the Best Friends showed off the Orange Cassidy beach towels again.
(8) SKYLER MOORE vs. BRITT BAKER
Moore and Baker went to lock up, but Baker acted as if Moore hit her in the nose. Baker backed up into the ropes and complained to the referee and the camera about how she’s already hurt her nose and a finger nail with one attempted lock up. Baker kicked Moore in the stomach then hit her with some elbows to the jaw. She attempted an arm drag and the two exchanged pin attempts for one counts. Baker threw Moore into the ropes and hit her with a massive super kick followed quickly by a snap suplex. Baker grabbed Moore by the hair and kicked away at her before using the middle rope to choke her as she used the ropes for leverage multiple times. Baker slowly exited the ring then use the ring post to pull on Moore’s arms while her boot was on the side of her face. Taz and Excalibur talked about Baker’s extreme confidence as Taz noted that she’s very easy to hate. Excalibur then promoted the women’s four way match tomorrow on Dynamite between Baker, Hikaru Shida, Penelope Ford, and Kris Statlander.
Baker put Moore in a head scissors, but let it go when Moore didn’t tap. She put her in a choke hold and demanded the referee ask if she wanted to submit. Moore managed to stand up and tried to create separation with an elbow, but Baker kicked her in the stomach again. Moore went for a sunset flip, but Baker rolled through. As Baker attempted another submission move, Moore small packaged Baker for another close near fall. Baker hit Moore with a running knee strike followed quickly by a spinning fisherman’s neck breaker. Baker argued with the official and took one of his latex gloves and put it on. Baker then kicked Moore and put her in the lock jaw with the gloved hand in Moore’s mouth.
(Graham’s Thoughts: Putting a glove on before putting her hand in Moore’s mouth was a good, and more sanitary, touch. I liked that. I also appreciated that she got the glove form the official since they always have gloves with them in case of blood. Kudos to Baker for that added little touch, maybe she should just do that from now on instead of putting her hand in her opponent’s mouths ungloved since it’s extremely unsanitary.)
WINNER: Britt Baker in 5:00
(9) LUTHER vs. JIMMY HAVOC (w/ Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford) in a No Disqualification Match
As the bell rang, Sabian jumped up on the apron and Luther walked towards him, which Havoc took advantage of by jumping him from behind. Havoc backed Luther into a corner, but Luther shoved him away. Luther picked up Havoc and threw him into the corner and hit him with a pair of chops before Havoc bit his hand. Havoc bit Luther’s hand again then hit him with a closed right fist. Havoc climbed to the top rope and attempted a cross body, but Luther caught him and suplexed him over his head. Sabian slid a chair in to Havoc who held it up as Luther went to punch him. Havoc then hit Luther across the back with the chair multiple times. Havoc laid the chair down and laid it across Luthers left arm, but Luther stood up and threw the chair at Havoc who had climbed to the top rope.
Havoc rolled out of the ring and Sabian checked on him. As the two were talking, Luther climbed to the top rope and dove onto both of them. Luther then threw Havoc into the fence and Ford checked on Sabian. Luther grabbed another chair and sat dropped Jimmy onto his back across the chair before dropping a knee across his throat. Luther then slammed Havoc face first into the chair. Luther threw Havoc back into the ring and hit him with a pump kick before he exited the ring again to get the second chair. Havoc fought back with a couple of elbows, but when he went to run the ropes, Luther hip tossed him onto the back of an upright chair. Luther scoop slammed Havoc onto the collapsed chair and scored two count. Luther screamed at the official in a high pitched voice, which just mesmerized Taz on commentary who said it sounded like a sparrow, which Excalibur laughed and disagreed with. Luther then suplexed Havoc and tried another pin, but it was another two count. Luther set up both chairs side by side and laid Havoc across them both. Luther climbed to the middle rope and Sabian ran up onto the apron and grabbed Luther’s leg before he could jump.
Havoc got up and hit Luther with a hurricanrana, but Luther overshot the chairs. Havoc grabbed one, collapsed it, then hit a diving stomp onto the chair which was laid across chest of Luther. Luther and Havoc went out onto the entrance ramp and Luther hit a hammerlock suplex onto Havoc, who appeared to land awkwardly on his elbow. Luther climbed up onto the top rope and hit a bulldog slamming Havoc’s head onto a chair for a two count. Luther then locked on a camel clutch, but put his hands directly over the eyes of Havoc as he appeared to be clawing at them. Ford then opened her water bottle and threw it into Luther’s eyes, which caused him to release the hold. Luther stumbled over to where Kip Sabian was and Sabian threw a chair and hit Luther in the head with it. Havoc then hit a fish hook DDT for the win.
WINNER: Jimmy Havoc in 8:00
– Excalibur and Taz then plugged what’s coming up on Dynamite tomorrow. They said we will hear from Jake Roberts and Lance Archer, Brodie Lee vs. Christopher Daniels, MJF will be in action, Jurassic Express vs. Best Friends, the Women’s Four-Way match (Kris Statlander vs. Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker vs. Penelop Ford), Chris Jericho vs. Pineapple Pete, and Santana & Ortiz vs. Matt Hardy & Kenny Omega.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was an extra-long version of AEW Dark clocking in at 1 hour and 13 minutes, but it was eight squash matches and the no disqualification main event. The only result that was in question was the main event and, once I saw Sabian and Ford, I knew Havoc would win. An extra-long episode of Dark, but it’s not a must see show. It gave a good chunk of the roster some squash victories, which is great and it got some indie wrestlers some exposure and a pay day. Not much to complain about there!
I appreciated that all of the officials were wearing masks during each match. I’d like to see all officials start wearing a mask; there’s no reason they can’t or shouldn’t. I know it’s a small reminder about the current COVID-19 pandemic, but I’m fine with a small constant reminder like that if it means they’re taking appropriate precautions. Their safety is more important than a reminder about the current state of the world and it’s pretty selfish to think otherwise in my opinion.
Interesting, and momentarily distracting, to see the lighting change from daylight, to night time, then back. The first four matches were all shot before Dynamite and so was the Luther vs. Jimmy Havoc match. The middle matches were all done after Dynamite and you can definitely tell as Daily’s Place is a large outdoor venue with a lot of natural light coming in during the day. It’s not a big deal, but it’s momentarily distracting that the main event was clearly shot before some of the other matches. This isn’t something AEW tries to explain away or hide, they just ignore it. Largely I do too, but having matches 5 through 8 be in the dark to then have the final match be filmed during the day again did jar me during ring entrances. I’d love to know the reason why they film in that way rather than just filming in the order they’re going to air them on Dark.