6/9 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Similarities between Dark Order treatment of recruits and WWE Performance Center treatment of recruits, plus SCU, Moxley, Santana & Ortiz, Butcher & Blade, Jurassic Express

By Michael Taylor, PWTorch contributor

Analysis, detail, and results of this week's episode of AEW Dark

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

AEW DARK
JUNE 9, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Excalibur, Taz

Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez

– Excalibur welcomed everyone to AEW Dark and introduced his partner Taz. Taz said tonight is a special edition of AEW Dark, but he’ll get to that later. Taz then previewed the card including 5 (F.K.A. Alan Angels) vs. Lee Johnson, Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler vs. Marko Stunt & Luchasaurus, and Robert Anthony vs. Jon Moxley. Excalibur pointed out that Taz seemed especially interested in that match featuring Moxley and he said he and his friend Brian Cage are very interested in that match. Excalibur then threw it to Dasha Gonzalez for the first match of the evening.

(1) SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. LOW RIDA & FUEGO DEL SOL

Kazarian and Sol started the match. Kazarian quickly grounded Sol and tagged in Sky. Rida jumped in after SCU hit Sol with a combination move, but was quickly taken down with stereo back elbows by Kazarian and Sky. Sky scored a near fall off an elbow drop on Sol. Sol fought back and managed a one count off a standing moonsault. Rida tagged in and managed another one count on Sky with a crucifix pin attempt.

Sol tagged back in and he and Rida tried a combination move on Sky, but Sky stopped it when he ducked under an elbow by Sol which hit Rida who had been trying to hold on to Sky. Kazarian tagged in and took both opponents down with a series of clotheslines. Kazarian tossed Rida out of the ring and he fell off the apron after a guillotine leg drop in the ropes. Kazarian tagged Sky back in and they hit Sol with the SCU Later for the win.

WINNERS: SCU in 3:00

– Dark Order were standing in what looked like a box truck. The man from the early recruiting videos was speaking, Brodie Lee was standing in the background. The recruiter said people say there is strength in numbers and tonight they honor that code as they welcome their newest brother, 5. 5 was standing with his back away from the camera. The recruiter handed him a mask and he held it up. Brodie Lee stepped up and told 5 that he is one of them now and he has officially joined them. Brodie Lee looked up at the camera and said “welcome to the Dark Order.”

(Graham’s Thoughts: 5 is Alan Angels, who has been on AEW Dark before. He was featured in a number of the squash matches especially during the Georgia tapings. AEW said they signed some of those independent guys to contracts because of their performances and it appears Angels is one of them. Good for him!)

– Before the match began, Excalibur and Taz were running down the different numbers of Dark Order and pointed out that Evil Uno is 1 and Stu Grayson is 2. Excalibur also said that Alex Reynolds and John Silver are 3 and 4, but didn’t note who was which number. 10 came to the ring wearing an arm sling, selling the broken arm at the hands of Jon Moxley from a couple weeks ago.

(2) 5 (w/10, Alex Reynolds, & John Silver) vs. LEE JOHNSON

5 charged at Johnson and punched away at him in the corner aggressively right as the bell rang. Excalibur pointed out that 5 has had matches against Kenny Omega and Rey Fenix on Dark in the past, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together for a win and that may be the driving force behind him joining Dark Order now. Johnson took 5 down with a pair of arm drags and a drop kick. 5 rolled out of the ring onto the stage where his fellow Dark Order members looked on in silence. Johnson went out onto the stage to get him, but 5 kicked him in the stomach and threw him off the stage into the ring post. 5 threw Johnson back into the ring and hit Johnson with a springboard drop kick for a two count.

5 hit a standing splash onto the injured arm of Johnson. Johnson fought back with a series of forearms. Johnson went to whip 5 into the ropes, but he didn’t have the strength to do it. Johnson took down 5 with a couple of clotheslines using the other arm. Johnson followed up with a single leg heel kick and threw 5 into the post which sent him crashing onto the floor. Johnson jumped over the top rope and took 5 down. Back in the ring Johnson hit a blue thunder bomb for a two count. The other members of Dark Order still remained motionless on the stage. Taz and Excalibur predicted that a loss may get 5 removed from Dark Order on the same night he joined them. 5 hit Johnson with an elevated DDT onto the ring apron as Brodie Lee walked out onto the stage. Lee pointed at 5 and told him to finish it. 5 pulled Johnson’s arms behind him and hit him with a back drop onto his feet for the win as Lee looked on and smiled.

WINNER: 5 in 5:00

– After the match Lee entered the ring and signaled to the other members of Dark Order to join him. Lee shooed he referee out of the ring. 5 picked Johnson up and threw him into 10, who hit him with a pump kick. 5 picked up Johnson again and threw him to Silver and Reynolds who hit Johnson with a tandem flipping DDT. Lee looked on and smiled as they all posed together.

(3) SANTANA & ORTIZ vs. MUSA & BRADY PIERCE

Ortiz and Musa started the match with Ortiz quickly taking the upper hand with a head butt to the stomach after exchanging holds. Ortiz scratched Musa across the back and took him down with a clothesline. Musa tried to make a comeback, but Ortiz picked him up and hit him with a sit out power bomb. After slamming him to the mat, Ortiz lifted Musa back up to his feet directly into an enzuiguri. Ortiz used his foot to shove Musa to the floor. Pierce tried to interfere, but was quickly pressed over the top rope and onto the floor with his partner. Santana then jumped off the middle rope and hit them both with a moonsault before throwing Musa back into the ring to Ortiz.

Santana entered and hit Musa with an elevated double stomp to the back. Santana then talked some trash to Pierce who climbed back up onto the apron. At this point, Excalibur noted that they are selling the alleged 25,000 misprinted shirts that Inner Circle had made in anticipation of winning the Stadium Stampede match on their website for 50% off. Santana lifted Musa up and just slapped him across the face. Pierce then told them to throw Musa over to him so he can tag in, to which Santana obliged immediately. Pierce entered and was met with a series of kicks to the face by Santana. Ortiz tagged in and they tried to whip him into their corner, but Pierce was strong enough to fight it off momentarily. Pierce fought them off for a second before going for a moonsault, but missed by a mile. Ortiz tagged Santana back in and they propped Pierce up on the top rope and Musa tried to interfere to help, but Ortiz hit him with an enzuiguri. Pierce was sitting on the top turnbuckle backwards and Musa was sitting on the mat leaning against the bottom turnbuckle directly below his partner at this point. Ortiz pulled Pierce down upside down across Musa and got on all fours. Santana ran over the other corner for a running start and jumped off Ortiz’s back for a cannonball senton to them both. Santana climbed to the top rope and they hit the street sweeper on Musa, slamming him onto Pierce. Santana and Ortiz simultaneously covered Pierce and Musa for the win.

(Graham’s Thoughts: The ending of this became a ridiculously blatant disregard for any semblance of tag team rules. The official did next to nothing to even pretend to care about all four people being in the ring simultaneously. Santana & Ortiz pinning both competitors together is also an eye roller for me. They did this last week where they both pinned one person together. THAT IS ILLEGAL. The official shouldn’t count that pin fall. On the whole, these are little things, but they’re so easily cleaned up that I just can’t overlook it.)

WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz in 7:00

– QT Marshall was walking down a hallway holding a jacket and talking to himself. He said he can’t wait to show them because he knows they’ll love it like they do. He called out for Dustin and Brandi and when he turned the corner they were both there. Marshall asked if they’d heard and Dustin asked if he was referring to their match. Marshall paused, seemingly forgetting there was a match tonight. Marshall told Dustin that tonight’s match isn’t a tag match, it’s a singles match for him. Marshall said Allie told him that Dustin is a legend and shouldn’t be wrestling every week. Brandi leaned against a wall and shook her head in frustration and disappointment. Marshall apologized and Dustin tried explaining that they’re a tag team. Marshall changed the subject and said Allie had been up all night creating new shirts for them and he handed them their shirts. Brandi asked him who the hell that shirt is for, Dustin did the same, as they both appeared far too big for them. Marshall said she worked really hard on them and he just wants them to wear them for him. The shirts featured the Natural Nightmares logo with a giant picture of QT Marshall flanked on either side by Brandi and Dustin Rhodes, but they were a third the size of Marshall.

– As Butcher and Blade made their entrance, Excalibur promoted their match against FTR on Dynamite this week.

(4) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE vs. PINEAPPLE PETE & ANTHONY CATENA

Butcher and Pineapple Pete started the match together. Pete charged at Butcher, but he was immediately thrown back into the corner and Butcher used his shoulder to ram him into the turnbuckles. Butcher then slid Pete’s eye across the rope as he walked over to tag in Blade. Blade stomped Pete in their corner and used his foot to choke him against the bottom turnbuckle. Blade distracted the official while Butcher choked Pete across the top rope. Taz went on a Jericho-esque rant against Pete while this was going on saying he was undeserving of being in the ring against Jericho and he’s undeserving of being in the ring tonight too. Catena entered to try and stop Butcher’s cheating, but that only prolonged it. Butcher and Blade used quick tags and isolated Pete in their corner.

After two fisherman’s hook suplexes, Pete rolled over to Catana to tag him in, which Blade was happy to allow. Catana entered was taken down with a chop to the back by Blade. Butcher blind tagged in while Blade ran the ropes. Blade hit Catana with a stunner followed by a clothesline by Butcher. Butcher hit Catana with a running power slam and only managed a two count as Pineapple Pete interfered. After dispatching of Pete, Butcher & Blade hit Catana with a suplex and back stabber combo for the win.

WINNERS: The Butcher and the Blade in 4:00

(5) QT MARSHALL (w/ Allie, Brandi, & Dustin Rhodes) vs. ZACK CLAYTON

Allie joined Excalibur and Taz on commentary and Excalibur immediately asked her about Butcher & Blade again. Allie changed her focus again to Marshall, talking about his hair. Taz asked her about his diet and they discussed that momentarily, not allowing Excalibur to ask again about her former team.

In the ring, Marshall and Clayton exchanged head locks and Marshall hit Clayton with a couple of stiff right hands. Marshall was thrown onto the stage by Clayton and as he tried to reenter, Clayton hit him with a drop kick. Marshall fell back onto the stage and Allie left commentary and ran over to check on him. Clayton grabbed Marshall and punched away at him directly in the face of Allie before yelling and telling her to go back to commentary. Clayton punched Marshall in the corner and hit him with a vertical suplex. Marshall fought back with a couple of uppercuts followed by a springboard enzuiguri. Clayton hit Marshall with a scoop slam for a two count. Clayton immediately jumped up and started trying to remove the turnbuckle pad while the referee argued with Brandi, who jumped up on the apron. Marshall ran and tackled Clayton, knocking Brandi down into the arms of Dustin. Marshall leaned through the ropes to check on Brandi when Allie began screaming about a broken nail. Marshall scurried out of the ring to check on Allie with his back to Dustin and Brandi, who both looked highly irritated by this.

Marshall climbed back in the ring and was met with a knee by Clayton. Clayton climbed and sat on the top rope waiting for Marshall to get up, but Allie grabbed his ankle, which allowed Marshall time to recover and hit an elevated cutter for the win.

WINNER: QT Marshall in 6:00

(6) CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. SONNY KISS

Daniels quickly took the advantage after a strong wrist hold and a scoop slam, scoring an early one count. Kiss took control with an arm drag, keeping control of the left arm of Daniels. Daniels attempted a couple of comebacks, but three more times Kiss arm dragged Daniels to the mat and took control of the left arm. Daniels was visibly frustrated and even yelled in frustration following the fourth successful arm drag by Kiss. Daniels finally managed to regain the advantage after a suplex. Daniels threw Kiss into the corner with some strong Irish whips followed by a back body drop for a two count.

Kiss fought back with some right hands, but Daniels quickly stopped the comeback attempt with a Russian leg sweep and rolled Kiss over into a Cross face submission hold. Kiss powered over and got a foot on the bottom rope for a break. Daniels powered Kiss down in the corner and stomped away at him. The official forced Daniels back and the two argued. This distraction allowed Kiss to recover and score a two count off a split leg drop. Kiss then hit a standing moonsault for another two count. Kiss and Daniels exchanged two counts on each other. Kiss went for a pump kick, but Daniels countered it into the Angel’s wings for the win.

WINNER: Christopher Daniels in 8:00

(7) JURRASIC EXPRESS (w/ Jungle Boy) vs. BRANDON CUTLER & PETER AVALON (w/ Leva Bates)

Marko Stunt and Avalon started the match, but Avalon laughed him off and was mocking Stunt to Cutler. Marko tagged in Luchasaurus while this was going on and Cutler tried to get Avalon to pay attention. Avalon eventually turned around and was startled at the size difference. Luchasaurus caught Avalon as he jumped off the middle rope and hit him with a chop across the chest. Avalon scurried over and tagged in Cutler. Cutler tried to hang with Luchasaurus, but he too was met with a chop to the chest after jumping off the ropes. Luchasaurus suplexed Cutler and tagged in Stunt, who immediately scored a two count on Cutler after Luchasaurus lifted him up and dropped him on Cutler. Cutler tagged in Avalon and Stunt had control, until he went to the top rope and Leva Bates yelled for him. Stunt looked down at Bates and smiled, which allowed Avalon time to recover and throw Stunt off the top rope back into the ring. Cutler and Avalon isolated Stunt momentarily until Stunt hit Avalon with a spinning DDT and reached Luchasaurus.

Luchasarus entered and dropped Avalon immediately before throwing Cutler into the ring as well. Luchasaurus took care of them both with a number of kicks before Cutler finally crawled back out of the ring. Luchasaurus went for a choke slam, but Cutler entered and saved him and shoved him over to their corner. Avalon didn’t appreciate that and the two shoved each other and argued until Luchasaurus grabbed them both and attempted to choke slam them both simultaneously. They escaped and hit Luchasaurus with stereo drop kicks. Marko entered and his a splash onto Avalon off of Luchasarus’ shoulders for a two count. Avalon and Cutler scored a couple of near falls on Luchasaurus with quick tags, including one where they both covered him together. Luchasaurus took them both down with roundhouse kicks. Cutler fought back and jumped on to the top rope while holding on to Luchasaurus. As he stood on the top rope, Marko ran over and jumped off the top rope and arm dragged Cutler to the mat. Luchasaurus and Marko hit Avalon with spinning heel kicks. Stunt, who was wearing Luchasaurus’ leg covers, attempted a choke slam, but he wasn’t tall enough. Luchasaurus walked over and secretly helped Stunt complete the choke slam on Avalon. Luchasaurus hit Avalon with a standing moonsault. Marko scurried over and sat on Luchasaurus’ shoulders for additional weight and they scored the three count.

(Graham’s Thoughts: Two times in one show we had both people in a tag team cover a competitor and the official counted it. If it’s legal, why wouldn’t everyone do that? It’s so ridiculous to have officials count that pin fall. You can’t want a “sports-like presentation” then do stuff like that to undermine the most basic of tag team wrestling rules.)

WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 12:00

– Brian Cage made his entrance and stood behind Taz on commentary. Taz warned Excalibur not to shake Cage’s hand as he walked over.

(8) JON MOXLEY vs. ROBERT ANTHONY

Moxley and Anthony fought for control with a collar and elbow tie up to start. Taz went from color commentator to promoter as he plugged the Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage match about a dozen times to start the match, while also talking up Cage incessantly. Moxley and Anthony continued to exchange holds, and Anthony gained a momentary advantage after a drop kick and fireman’s carry. Moxley escaped and took a second to gather himself. Moxley slid out of the ring and as Anthony went for a dive, Moxley slid back in before running the topes and taking Anthony down with a dive of his own. Excalibur pointed out that Moxley could be going to a more traditional grappling style wrestling match here to send a message to Taz and Brian Cage and Taz agreed.

Anthony went for kicks, but Moxley took him with a leg sweep. Mox put Anthony’s leg in the ropes and he stomped on it before suplexing Anthony for a one count. Moxley focused his attack on the knee of Anthony with a single leg crab, but Anthony reached the ropes. Taz continued to talk up Brian Cage as he was occasionally shown nodding along. Moxley continued to focus on the knee of Anthony, seemingly looking to punish him to send a message. Mox had Anthony wrapped around a ring post and locked on a figure four through the post until the official almost counted him out. Taz on commentary disagreed with this approach by Moxley and said he needs to just beat the guy already because he can’t intimidate Brian Cage.

Anthony tried fighting back with a submission hold, but couldn’t lock it in because of his leg weakness. Anthony chopped Moxley in a corner, but Moxley responded with a clothesline. Anthony escaped a pile driver attempt and hit a Death Valley driver for a two count on Moxley. Anthony went for a move off the top rope, but Moxley countered it into a pile driver. Moxley locked on a Texas clover leaf submission and held it until Anthony finally tapped out.

WINNER: Jon Moxley in 13:00

– Excalibur then plugged the matches on Dynamite this week including Colt Cabana vs. Sammy Guevara, The Butcher & The Blade vs. FTR, Best Friends & Orange Cassidy vs. Santana, Ortiz, & Jake Hager, and Cody vs. Marq Quen for the TNT Championship.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ve already complained about it above, but AEW needs to start enforcing tag team rules. They let the illegal competitors just come in and out whenever with no consequences and now they’re allowing pinfalls with both people covering the opponent. It’s idiotic. That would never be allowed. If that’s legal, every team that isn’t doing that are fools. Have rules and follow them. It’s not difficult to do. If you want to have rankings and other aspects that make things more “sports-like” in the ring, then at least respect the basic constructs of tag team wrestling.

I could be reading too much into it, but Dark Order stripping people of their names and just referring to them as numbers kind of feels like what WWE does. There have been a number of interviews where former WWE talents have come out and said that they were sent to the Performance Center to be “stripped down to be built back up.” Now, I’m not sure if this is any type of play on that or not, but removing a guy’s name and just calling him a number feels like you’re stripping him of any independence or uniqueness. That’s definitely something a cult would do with the mindset of the whole being greater than the individual parts, so it may have nothing to do with WWE at all, but the similarities are there in my opinion.


CATCH UP… 6/2 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Natural Nightmares (Q.T. Marshall & Dustin Rhodes w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. Brandon Cutler & Peter Avalon, Santana & Ortiz vs. Big Game Leroy & E.J. Lewis, Christi Jaynes vs. Kilynn King, Butcher & Blade, Billy Gunn, more

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