SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
MAY 19, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
– Excalibur welcomed viewers to a super-sized edition of AEW Dark this week and introduced his cohost Taz. Excalibur then provided a list of wrestlers who will be competing tonight including Darby Allin, Private Party, Rey Fenix, Sammy Guevara, and many more. Excalibur then introduced the first match of the night.
(1) HIKARU SHIDA vs. DANI JORDAN
Shida and Jordan exchanged holds to start the match before unsuccessfully attempting to shoulder tackle each other, but neither dropped. Shida hit Jordan with a back breaker then hit Jordan with a running knee on the outside of the ring as Jordan’s head was draped out over the edge of the ring. Jordan attacked as Shida attempted to reenter the ring and hit her with a draping pendulum DDT for a two count. Shida threw Jordan into the corner then hit her with a running knee and a missile drop kick for a two count. Shida got back up and the two exchanged waste locks as they both tried to go for a suplex. Jordan finally managed to hit one, but Shida jumped up and immediately hit Jordan with a running knee to the back of the head. Jordan again kicked out at two. Shida then hit Jordan with rising knee strike as Jordan ran the ropes and followed that with an overhead blue thunder bomb for the win.
WINNER: Hikaru Shida in 5:00
– After the match Excalibur and Taz talked about Shida’s striking ability being her best chance to defeat the champion Nyla Rose at Double or Nothing.
– Shida extended a hand to Dani Jordan after the match and the two shook hands.
(2) Q.T. MARSHALL vs. CLUTCH ADAMS
Excalibur and Taz talked about Marshall’s loss to Lance Archer on Dynamite last week as Marshall took off his shirt and winced selling the rib injury. Marshall pushed Adams into the corner and as the official backed him off, Adams kicked him in the stomach right where he was taped up. Adams took a moment to celebrate to the camera and when he turned around Adams hit him with a right hand. Marshall controlled much of the match with Adams only finding openings when he managed to hit Marshall in his taped up ribs/stomach.
Late in the match Adams charged at Marshall, but Marshall back body dropped him over the top rope and onto the stage platform. Marshall then clotheslined Adams over the top rope back into the ring then hit him with some right hands. Marshall then hit Adams with a back breaker/flatliner combination, but Adams bull rushed Marshall into the corner to stop his momentum. Adams picked Marshall up onto his shoulders, but Marshall wiggled free and hit Adams with a cutter for the win.
WINNERS: QT Marshall in 5:00
(3) MARKO STUNT vs. JASON CADE
Cade quickly overpowered Marko into the corner and backed up and told Marko to come for him. Marko charged out of the corner and started wildly throwing fists and took Cade to the mat before Cade rolled out of the ring to get away. Stunt went for a baseball slide, but Cade slid back into the ring before Stunt could hit the move. Stunt hit Cade with a dropkick through the ropes before going for a sunset flip, but Cade rolled through before a pinfall. Stunt jumped up and hit Cade with an uppercut knee strike to the jaw before scoring a two count. Cade rolled to the apron and asked for a timeout. The official pushed Stunt away for a second, but when Stunt went back towards Cade the official let him go.
Back in the ring, Cade dropped Stunt with a huge right elbow that busted Stunt’s nose. Taz praised Stunt’s toughness for continuing to fight after being split open on the huge elbow shot by Cade. Meanwhile, Cade hit Stunt with an elevated DDT in the corner for a two count and was shocked that he kicked out. Cade picked Stunt up, but Stunt reversed it into a poison rana followed by another rana and a dive onto Cade who rolled out of the ring. Cade crashed into the fence and Stunt threw him back in immediately, but was slow entering the ring himself. Cade jumped onto the middle ropes, but Marko hit Cade with a crucifix power bomb to the delight of Taz and Excalibur. Stunt climbed to the top rope and hit a 450 splash for the win.
WINNER: Marko Stunt in 6:00
After the match, the doctor came to check on Stunt who laid on the ring apron and looked a little dazed. Excalibur promised to update everyone on his condition later in the broadcast.
– A commercial aired for Double or Nothing highlighting the Cody vs. Lance Archer TNT Championship match.
(4) JIMMY HAVOC & KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. MUSA & LEE JOHNSON
Sabian and Johnson started the match with a solid minute of wrist holds and mat wrestling followed by exchanging head locks before Havoc tagged in. Havoc stomped Johnson in the corner momentarily before overhead throwing him into his corner for Musa to tag in. Havoc and Musa shook hands, but Havoc took him down quickly thereafter with a huge right hand punch then tagged Sabian back in. Musa and Sabian exchanged blows while running the ropes before Musa took Sabian down with a rana then tagged Johnson back in. Johnson and Musa isolated Sabian, but Havoc stomped into the ring distracting the official which allowed Sabian to rake the eyes of Musa to regain the advantage.
Sabian and Havoc then isolated Musa and hit him with an atomic drop running boot combination before Sabian lazily covered Musa with one boot on his chest. Havoc and Sabian exchanged quick tags for a number of minutes while isolating Musa including spots where Sabian kicked Musa across the chest while pretending he was kicking a field goal and Havoc bit him on the ear. Musa finally found an opening as Sabian and Havoc attempted stereo splashes on him in the corner. Musa stopped them both and hit Havoc with a lariate into the turnbuckle head first. Johnson tagged in and hit Havoc with a series of elbows in the corner then a running heel kick to the ear for a two count. Havoc hit an acid rainmaker clothesline out of nowhere followed by an elevated DDT for the pin fall victory.
WINNERS: Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havoc in 10:00
Sabian was laying in his corner being held by Ford and Havoc went over to check on him immediately. Sabian had been laying in that same spot for a couple of minutes after Musa took him and Havoc out before tagging Johnson in. The announcers didn’t draw attention to it, so it’s not clear if it was any type of injury or not.
– The same Double or Nothing commercial from earlier aired again highlighting Cody and Lance Archer.
– As the next match began Exalibur explained the rules of the Casino Ladder match that Rey Fenix will be a part of. He said that two competitors will start the match with a new competitor joining every 90 seconds. The goal is to pull down the poker chip hanging above the ring, but the match could actually end before everyone enters if someone pulls the chip down before every participant has entered.
(5) REY FENIX vs. SHAWN DEAN
Fenix and Dean exchanged wrist locks to start the match until Dean dropped a wrist hold and hit a drop kick. Dean mockingly saluted Fenix who hit him with a heel strike off the ropes before applying a cross arm breaker. Dean was able to reach the bottom rope quickly to break the hold. Dean countered a brain buster attempt by Fenix then hit him with a high knee in the corner before hitting a step up enzeguri on Fenix that sent him falling off the top rope to the floor. Dean then leaped over the top rope, but seemed to overshoot Fenix as his ankles smacked the ringside fence and the announcer audibly gasped at the near disaster.
Dean immediately got up and continued to attack Fenix, but as Dean went to throw Fenix into the ring he swung around to stay on the outside. Fenix reentered and took down Dean momentarily. Fenix went for a move from the stage back into the ring, but Dean caught Fenix mid-flight as he was upside down and turned it into a sit out power bomb for a one count. Dean was shocked and started punching Fenix, who egged him on to hit him again. After a couple of elbows by Dean, Fenix sprung up and hit a pump heel kick followed by a spinning sit out power bomb for the win.
WINNER: Rey Fenix in 6:00
(6) LUTHER vs. JON CRUZ
Luther immediately took control with elbows and chops to Cruz. Luther then stopped and yelled at his fist telling it to shut up, but when he turned around to hit Cruz, Cruz rolled underneath Luther’s arm. Cruz hit Luther with some shots, but it barely phased Luther who took Cruz down again with a pump kick. Luther backed Cruz into the corner and repetitively hit him with shoulders to the back. The official attempted to step in, but Luther screamed at him before ultimately complying. Luther clotheslined Cruz then yelled into the camera telling the audience to look at his third eye painted on his forehead and called himself the original death dealer. Luther took Cruz to the outside and slammed him into the ring side fence before continuing to scream. Taz and Excalibur laughed at his high pitched screams as Luther counted with the official who was counting them out for a disqualification. Cruz tried to mount a comeback after a couple of boots to the face as Luther charged at him in the corner, but Luther regained the advantage after Cruz attempted to pick up the much larger Luther. Luther finally finished the match with a modified camel clutch hold where he clawed at Cruz’s eyes.
WINNER: Luther in 5:00
(7) PRIVATE PARTY vs. RYAN REMBRANDT & MIKE REED
Quen and Rembrandt started the match with Quen quickly grounding Rembrandt before leaning against the ropes to show off. Rembrandt tried to lock up, but Quen took him down with a head scissors and drop kick before tagging in Isaiah Kassidy. Private Party combined to take down Rembrandt and when they stopped to celebrate, Reed interfered but was quickly dispatched as well. Reed tried to interfere to help Rembrandt, but Kassidy kicked him on the outside of the ring. However, Kassidy going out of his way to take down Reed did help Rembrandt, who dropped Kassidy after pulling him down across the top rope. Marq Quen entered the ring to interfere to even the odds and exchanged punches with Rembrandt until Kassidy got back on his feet.
Rembrandt scored a two count after a northern lights suplex and he and Reed isolated Kassidy momentarily scoring a few two counts in the process. Kassidy finally reached Quen after dodging a team move by Rembrandt and Reed. Quen entered and took down both competitors before diving onto them both at ringside. Quen threw Rembrandt back into the ring. Private Party then hit Rembrandt with a Stunner and an assisted sliced bread. Quen posed in the corner as Kassidy made the cover, which allowed Reed to dive in and stop the count at two. Private Party then hit their silly string maneuver on Reed and went for the cover, but he wasn’t the legal man. Kassidy turned his attention back to Rembrandt and Kassidy won off a swanton bomb.
WINNER: Private Party in 7:00
– The Cody/Archer Double or Nothing commercial aired for a third time.
(8) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. ALAN ANGELS
Angels called Guevara a punk as the two faced off. Guevara shoved him the put on a headlock to start the match. Guevara grounded Angels then stopped to pose as Angels was stomach down on the mat. Guevara took Angels down again with a dropkick before stopping to pose again as Angels recovered. Guevara and Angels exchanged loud chops to the chest, but Guevara no sold Angels’ attempt. Angels attempted a cross face, but Guevara leveraged Angels down to a pin attempt. Angels then stopped and posed like Guevara did earlier. Angels jumped off the middle rope, but a flying knee strike by Guevara dropped him flat on his back. Taz and Excalibur were discussing Guevara’s potential, which is why Jericho wanted him for the Inner Circle. Taz noted that he needs to keep improving now though, because he has to live up to the expectations and standards that Jericho saw in him.
Guevara picked Angels up and did a couple of squats with Angels on his shoulders before Angels reversed it into a crucifix pin attempt. Guevara jumped up and clotheslined Angels off his feet as he tried to stand then stomped on Angels’ arm as he laid on the mat. Guevara picked Angels up and held him upside down for a solid 20 seconds before dropping him on his back. The two exchanged blows in the middle of the ring until they both collapsed. Guevara was up on his feet first, but Angels dropped him with an elbow strike as he ran the ropes. Angles hit a step up enzuigiri followed by a springboard drop kick through the ropes. Angels went to pick Guevara up, but Guevara pushed him into the ropes and hit him with a running knee strike followed by an inverted GTS knee for the win.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara in 8:00
– As Darby Allin made his entrance, Taz addressed their recent conversations. Taz said he’s just trying to help Allin and give him some advice because he believes in him and thinks he’s a tremendous talent. Taz said he just thinks Allin makes a few mistakes and he thinks he can help him with that, but Allin must not think the same.
(9) DARBY ALLIN vs. SERPENTICO
Allin quickly grounded Serpentico with a side headlock, but Serpentico squirmed to the bottom rope to break the hold. Taz asked Excalibur if his attempts to talk to Allin came across as rude and Excalibur paused before saying that Allin is his own man and he’s lived his life very solitary so trust doesn’t come easy for him. Excalibur said, while Taz had good intentions, Allin must not have seen it that way.
Allin took down Serpentico with a deep arm drag and Serpentico fell back into a corner. The official, Aubrey Edwards, checked on Serpentico before Allin lightly shoved her out of the way to continue his attack. Serpentico took down Darby as Edwards tried to back him off. Allin crashed to the outside and Serpentico threw him into the ring steps before throwing him back in the ring and scoring a two count. Serpentico took down Allin with a springboard cutter for a one count. Taz chimed in sarcastically apologizing to AEW fans about the way he pronounces “Darby” and blamed his New York accent. Serpentico charged at Allin as he stood up, but Allin grabbed Aubrey Edwards and used her as a shield to stop Serpentico, which worked. Allin grabbed Serpentico and threw him into the corner and punched away at him. Allin then hit Serpentico with a top rope superplex for a two count. Serpentico charged at Allin who back body dropped him over the top rope then quickly hit him with a coffin drop to the outside as well. Taz criticized the decision making of such a high risk maneuver as Excalibur said that’s who Darby is. Darby then locked on a Last Supper submission and scored a leveraged pin fall.
WINNER: Darby Allin in 5:00
– Excalibur and Taz plugged the events for Dynamite tomorrow including Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara, Rey Fenix vs. Orange Cassidy, MJF vs. Marko Stunt, a face to face meeting between Arn Anderson and Jake Roberts, and Jon Moxley vs. 10. Finally, Exalibur plugged Cody vs. Archer on Saturday at Double or Nothing with Mike Tyson on hand to present the championship belt to the winner.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m not okay with these super shows if they continue like this. It’s just a bunch of squash matches where the outcomes are pretty obvious to anyone who’s even slightly smartened up to the business. There’s no need for AEW Dark to be 90 minutes long. I enjoy the show, but man oh man 90 minutes is really pushing my limit. Not a single match on this show was ever in doubt and, while that’s not everything, it does take away from the show. None of the matches have any importance at all. Dark has become the show for wrestlers to rack up wins and that’s totally okay, but you don’t need nine matches a week to do that. I really hope they back off these “super shows” because the last two weeks have not been very enjoyable given the length of the show.
Clearly they are selling Acher and Cody as the biggest match on the Double or Nothing card. There were three commercials on AEW Dark tonight for Double or Nothing and all three were the exact same commercial that exclusively talked about Cody and Archer. I’m not faulting them for promoting that match heavily, but to run the exact commercial three times was an interesting choice to say the least, you could at least swap one out for another Double or Nothing commercial to hype another match or two on the card. Then they had Excalibur plug this same match one final time before closing out the show and it was the only Double or Nothing match he specifically hyped apart from the Dynamite matches that have some DoN implications.
I’m really confused by the Darby Allin/Taz situation. Allin wrestled this match very heelishly. He threw the official aside at one point and used her as a shield. Meanwhile, Taz is apologetically explaining that he’s just trying to help Allin improve on commentary. Are they turning Allin heel? I guess we will see.