6/23 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Cassidy vs. Avalon, SCU, Brian Cage, Shawn Spears, Pineapple Pete, Lance Archer, Dark Order, Janela & Kiss, Scorpio, Jurassic Express

By Zach Graham, PWTorch contributor


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

AEW DARK TV REPORT
JUNE 23, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Excalibur, Taz

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts

– Excalibur welcomed everyone to AEW Dark and introduced his partner Taz. Exalibur asked Taz about the upcoming matches and Taz said the thing people will remember from this night of action is Brian Cage, who will destroy his opponent. Excalibur then threw it to Justin Roberts to introduce the first match.

(1) BRIAN CAGE vs. ROBERT ANTHONY

Cage charged at Anthony as soon as he entered the ring, but Anthony was ready and jumped over Cage in the corner. Anthony hit Cage with chops as the bell rang. Anthony went to run the ropes, but Cage clotheslined him and hit him with a buckle bomb in the corner. Cage then stood on the middle rope and suplexed Anthony from the ring apron back into the ring. Cage then hit Anthony with a sit out pile driver for the quick win.

WINNER: Brian Cage in 1:00

(2) SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels) vs. MUSA & DAVID ALI

Musa and Daniels start the match and Musa quickly grounded Daniels with a shoulder tackle. The two exchanged arm drags before missing moves on each other and stopping to reset. Musa and Daniels then started circling each other again to lock up, but Ali entered the ring and hit Daniels from behind and Musa took Kazarian off the apron with a forearm shot to the jaw. Ali tagged in and Musa jumped off the top rope onto Daniels. Musa went for the cover, but he was no longer the legal man, so Ali threw him off, but only scored a one count. Ali knocked Kazarian down again and suplexed Daniels for a two count. Musa went to take down Kazarian for a third time, but missed wildly and Kazarian hit him with a leg chop through the ropes. Daniels hit a blue thunder bomb and tagged in Kazarian. Kazarian entered against Ali, who had also tagged in. Kazarian quickly took control with a series of clotheslines then tagged Daniels back in. SCU hit a leg sweep clothesline combination on Ali followed by a power bomb neck breaker combination on Musa who attempted to interfere. SCU hit Ali with the Best Meltzer Ever, a Meltzer driver-moonsault combination, for the win.

WINNERS: SCU in 4:00

– Excalibur noted that SCU decided, as a trio, that Kazarian and Daniels were going to focus on being a tag team, while Scorpio Sky focused on his singles career.

(3) SHAWN SPEARS (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. PINEAPPLE PETE

Spears quickly got Pete in a headlock as Excalibur and Taz made fun of Pete for not pulling his knee pads up over his knees. Spears shoulder tackled Pete to the mat before they separated and reset. Spears had a headlock on, but Pete broke free and took him down with a cross body, followed by a crucifix pin attempt, but only scored a one count. Pete scored another one count after a jackknife pin attempt before Spears rolled out of the ring to refocus with Blanchard. Blanchard got very close to the face of Spears and talked to him for a second before Spears reentered the ring.

Spears slammed Pete’s face into the turnbuckle and hit him with chops and knees in the corner until he was backed off. Aubrey Edwards then checked Spears’ glove to make sure there was nothing in it, as she did last week. Pete fought back with strikes to Spears’ stomach, but Spears caught him out of the air and hit him with a spinebuster. Spears hit Pete with a blue thunder bomb for another two count before look at Blanchard who had left where he was at ringside and walked towards the stage. Spears smirked as he crawled to where Blanchard was just at. He found a small metal plate on the edge of the ring and slipped it into his glove. Spears then hit Pete with the glove hand across the jaw for the win.

WINNER: Shawn Spears in 5:00

– Archer stomped out to the ring with someone over his shoulder and Roberts trailing him. He power slammed this random person onto the stage and entered the ring as his victim just laid there motionless.

(4) LANCE ARCHER (w/ Jake Roberts) vs. GRIFF GARRISON

Archer went for a pump kick, but Garrison avoided it and hit him with an elbow strike followed by a couple more elbow strikes. Archer seemed to get more angry as this continued until he shoulder tackled Garrison almost out of the ring. Archer stomped on Garrison’s neck using the ropes for leverage. Archer punched Garrison in the back of the head as he ran the ropes then hit him with a thunderous chop to the chest. Archer went for another, but Garrison avoided it and hit Archer with chops. Archer challenged him to do it again and he did. Archer hit Garrison with an elbow strike as Garrison went for a third chop. Archer picked up Garrison with a big choke slam for a two count. Garrison tried fighting back with half-hearted punches. Archer slammed Garrison face first on the mat, followed by numerous punches in the corner. Archer stopped to intimidate the official who was counting for the disqualification. Archer lifted Garrison up and hit the Black Out, but didn’t go for the cover. He laughed before locking on a claw and slamming Garrison’s head to the mat a couple of times before scoring the pin fall.

WINNER: Lance Archer in 4:00

– After the match, Archer’s pre-match victim rolled into the ring disoriented. Archer noticed this and grabbed him. He hit him with a huge choke slam and posed over him.

(5) DARK ORDER (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. JOEY JANELA & SONNY KISS

Janela and Reynolds started the match exchanging wrist locks. As they fought, Excalibur explained that Silver and Reynolds still wear masks because they haven’t earned the right to compete without them in the eyes of Brodie Lee. (Graham’s Thoughts: Since Evil Uno wears a mask, has he not earned the right, or is that different because it’s not the same generic mask?) Taz made a joke about Excalibur being in Dark Order since he also wears a mask, but Excalibur laughed it off and said that’s absolutely not the case. Taz laughed at his joke. Janela splashed Reynolds in the corner and scored a one count before tagging in Kiss. Kiss locked on a Boston Crab and Janela his Reynolds with a leg drop. Kiss then rolled over and bridged into a submission while Janela ran the ropes and hit Reynolds with a single leg drop kick before rolling out of the ring. Kiss went for a cover, but Reynolds kicked out at two. Reynolds bull rushed Kiss into his corner for Silver to tag in.

Janela entered and ran the ropes, as he did Reynolds kicked him in the back. Silver then hit Janela with a dropkick, but landed awkwardly which caused his mask to come flying off. Taz and Excalibur laughed that he drop kicked Janela so hard his mask flew off. Reynolds grabbed Silver’s mask and he put it back on as he had Janela in their corner still after a series of chops and elbow strikes. Reynolds tagged in and they Dark Order combined for a military press cutter combination for a two count on Janela. Dark Order isolated Janela momentarily, but Janela finally found an opening to tag Kiss in after evading Silver trying to hit him with a splash in the corner. Kiss entered against Silver and took him down with a DDT, but Reynolds interfered during a pin attempt. Janela entered to stop Reynolds while Silver rolled out of the ring. Kiss opened the ropes for Janela who ran and dove out onto Silver at ring side. Silver caught Janela as he landed and tackled him into the ring apron. Silver then held Janela up and Reynolds dove through the ropes to push Janela back as Silver suplexed him on the floor. Dark Order tried to double suplex Kiss in the ring, but Janela scurried up to the top rope and hit both with flipping neck breakers. Janela and Kiss then hit Silver and Reynolds with stereo drop kicks. Janela then picked Silver up on his shoulders, Kiss stepped onto Silver and hit Reynolds with a split leg drop into a cover for the win as Janela his Silver with a death valley driver.

WINNERS: Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss in 8:00

(6) MEL vs. KILYNN KING

Mel and King locked up and powered each other around the ring refusing to let go. King eventually let go as Mel was backed in a corner. King went for an arm drag and Mel blocked it and slammed King face first into the mat. Mel threw King face first into the middle turnbuckle as she stared blankly into the camera. Mel hit King with some forearms in the corner before effortlessly hip tossing King across the ring. King went for another arm drag, but Mel overpowered her and just stomped her in the stomach as she laid on the mat. King fought back with a pump kick to the jaw followed by a successful arm drag. King hit Mel with an uppercut in the corner followed by a series of chops and elbow strikes. King went to the top rope for a drop kick, but Mel shoved her aside as she took to the air. Mel quickly grabbed King by the neck with both hands and hit a spine buster for the win.

WINNER: Mel in 6:00

(7) SCORPIO SKY vs. LEE JOHNSON

Sky and Johnson fist bumped to start the match. Johnson and Sky exchanged holds to start the match and the two spin around quickly changing waste holds until Sky lifted Johnson and dropped him on the mat. Johnson and Sky exchanged chops and Johnson ran the ropes, avoiding clotheslines, until Sky hit him with a running knee followed by a drop kick. Sky grounded Johnson and drove his knee into the lower back before picking him up and hitting him with a back breaker for a two count. Johnson clotheslined Sky and hit him with a blue thunder bomb for a close two count. Sky went for a sunset flip cover, but Johnson sat on his chest for another near two count. Johnson went for an elbow strike on Sky in the corner, but Sky ducked underneath. Sky picked up Johnson into a fireman’s carry and hit him with a cutter for the win.

WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 5:00

(8) JURASSIC EXPRESS vs. LUTHER & SERPENTICO, & MAX CASTER

Marko Stunt and Custer started the match. Caster immediately shoved Stunt down and mocked him. Stunt responded by slapping him then attacking him against the ropes. Stunt hit him with a series of kicks to the stomach then attacked him in the corner until the official backed him off. Stunt hit Caster with drop kicks and tagged Jungle Boy in who hit him with a running kick in the corner and scored a two count. Caster broke free from Jungle Boy and tried to tag in Serpentico, but Serpentico didn’t seem to be paying attention as Caster just flailed his hand around until he made some contact with Serpentico. Taz and Excalibur laughed and tried to explain it away. Serpentico and Jungle Boy quickly exchanged offense and quick covers before separating. Jungle Boy hit him with a drop kick and Serpentico scurried over to tag in Luther. Luchasaurus also tagged in and the two big men in the match faced off.

Luther screamed at the audience members at ringside who were cheering for Jurassic Express. Luther tried shoving Luchasaurus, then avoided a heel kick by him before he casually walked over and tagged Serpentico back in. Luchasaurus went for a power bomb, but Serpentico escaped. As Serpentico turned around he was met immediately with a knee strike by Luchasaurus who then picked him up by the back of his neck and power slammed him face first into the mat. Luchasarus then suplexed him into the corner and Caster tagged back in. All three members of Jurassic Express hit Caster with moves and Stunt went for a cover, but Luther entered and broke up the pin fall attempt. Luther tossed Marko into his corner and dragged Caster over to tag himself in. Luther suplexed Marko over his head, but didn’t let go turning it into a power slam of some kind for a two count. Luther continued to scream at the official, the audience, and Stunt. Luther argued with the official about a two count and Stunt went for a roll up, but only got a two count out of it. Luther picked Marko up by his hair and just tossed him across the ring before choking him with the middle rope.

Caster tagged in and grabbed Stunt’s ankle, but Stunt hit him with an enzuiguri and crawled over to Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus clotheslined Caster, Serpentico tried to enter, but was met with a pump kick. Luchasaurus then pump kicked Luther off the apron as well. Serpentico charged at Luchasaurus, who tossed him up in the air. As Serpentico landed on the mat, he was met with a spinning heel kick to the jaw by Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus went for a cover following a spinning power slam out of a fireman’s carry. Marko entered to cut off Luther, who was going to break up the cover. Marko jumped off Luchasaurus’ back into the waiting arms of Luther, who slammed Marko onto the back of Luchasaurus to stop the cover. Luther and Luchasaurus faced off, but Serpentico grabbed Luther’s ankle and convinced him to leave the ring. Caster was still in the ring. Marko went for a choke slam and, with the help of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, was able to hit it. Jungle Boy locked on a reverse cross face submission for the win as Luther and Serpentico watched at ringside.

WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 9:00

(9) ORANGE CASSIDY vs. PETER AVALON (w/ Leva Bates)

Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and stared at Avalon. Avalon hit him with a kick to the stomach and put on a headlock. Avalon removed Cassidy’s sunglasses as he did this. Cassidy tried to put his hand back in his pocket, but Avalon released the headlock to remove Cassidy’s hand from his pocket and transitioned it to a wrist hold. This routine kept up for a moment as Avalon controlled one wrist and Cassidy tried putting his other hand in his pocket, which forced Avalon to switch sides. Avalon put a waste lock on and Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and slid underneath Avalon to break the hold. Cassidy laid on the mat with his leg crossed as Avalon took a second to reassess the situation. Cassidy ran the ropes and hit Avalon with a drop kick. The official put Cassidy’s sunglasses back on him before he ran the ropes again. Avalon avoided Cassidy and Cassidy slipped out to the floor landing on his feet. Cassidy took a second to lean against the ring right next to Leva Bates before Avalon hit him from behind with a drop kick.

Avalon dove out onto Cassidy and punched him before putting on his sunglasses. Avalon seemed mad at Bates as he sarcastically asked if he was cool now that he had the glasses on. Avalon threw Cassidy back into the ring and tried a number of pin attempts, but Cassidy kept kicking out at one. Cassidy finally fought back after Avalon whipped him into the corner, but Cassidy rolled through to the outside. He ran Avalon face first into the turnbuckle before going to the top rope. Cassidy jumped down and ran Avalon into the third and fourth turnbuckles. As Avalon was hit against the fourth turnbuckle, he did a backflip as if Cassidy had hit him with a tremendous amount of force. Cassidy ran the ropes and hit Avalon with a spinning DDT for a two count. Cassidy went back to the top rope and hit Avalon with a cross body, but Avalon rolled through for a two count. Avalon went for a small package, but it was another two count. Cassidy avoided a leg lariat attempt by Avalon and hit him with a superman punch for the win.

WINNER: Orange Cassidy in 6:00

– Excalibur and Taz then promoted the upcoming matches for AEW Dynamite including Jon Moxley in action with Taz on commentary, Brodie Lee & Colt Cabana vs. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela, and Wardlow vs. Luchasaurus in a Lumberjack Match.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I know they’re testing and I know I complain every week, but I’m not going to stop. Having 66 year old Tully Blanchard get within six inches of Spears’ face while they talked is not okay. It’s just not. It didn’t even add anything to the match, it wasn’t necessary. It may seem miniscule, but it was a long enough interaction for Spears to breathe all over him. I hope neither has COVID-19, but that’s the type of stuff that can spread it, especially when Tully isn’t wearing a mask. Obviously Spears wasn’t either since he was wrestling. These tests are being taken as if they’re 100% accurate, which means masks are no longer needed and I just think it’s getting rather reckless.

One thing I thought about as watching this show is the impact of beating the same jobbers over and over. Some of the people who are being used as enhancement talent are racking up losses week after week without a break, so they have losing records of 0-12, like Lee Johnson. Now, I know they’re jobbers and they’re there to lose, but because their records are getting to be so lopsided, does it become effective anymore? It does to pad the records of the stars? Absolutely, but this is the downside of keeping track of win/loss records. Having established wresters win against someone on a big losing streak means next to nothing when looking at it on a case by case basis. In a weird way, this is a benefit to having so little of the national television audience watch AEW Dark week to week. So, when someone who’s been on Dark shows up on Dynamite with weeks and weeks of squash wins, their record looks impressive and the TV audience doesn’t know or care that they’ve beaten five people with a combined record of 0-60 or whatever the case may be. The unfortunate thing is, I don’t know how you fix it. They’re jobbers right now, so you can’t have them go on win streaks or wrestle each other. Ideally, you just find a more diverse group of people to choose from so nobody has a loss added to their record for six straight weeks.

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