SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
JUNE 30, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
– Brandon Cutler walked up to Peter Avalon and Leva Bates. Cutler asked if Avalon was happy with last week with his big singles match against Orange Cassidy. The two argued as a woman approached them and let them know that they both have a match on Dark tonight. Cutler asked if it’s two singles matches, the woman said no. Avalon and Cutler groaned and Leva Bates jumped up and down with excitement. Avalon and Cutler said they’re trying to be singles now. The woman walked off while Cutler and Avalon argued about who’d be the one to lose. The Young Bucks walked up and said they’re wrestling them on Dark. Matt said they’re going to teach them a thing or two about tag team psychology and continuity because they’ve been doing this for a decade and a half without a single fight or argument. Matt said he’s never even considered turning on Nick. Cutler interjected and said that’s not true. Cutler said he did turn on him and it was a big impact on the wrestling world. Matt and Nick slowly walked off. Avalon turned to Cutler and said he remembers reading about that in Matt and Nick’s soon to be published book. Cutler said he’s the Young Bucks’ best friend and he hasn’t even read that book, Avalon said he and Bates are influencers in the library world. Cutler was confused and questioned how that’s possible since the book doesn’t come out until… Matt Jackson walked back into frame and said it comes out in November.
(Graham’s Thoughts: This was some Being the Elite level stuff. For people who watch both, this didn’t make any sense either. Matt and Nick revealed to Cutler that he was tagging with Avalon on Being the Elite yesterday. So, which happened first? Obviously Dark is taped the Wednesday before it airs, so did this encounter happen first and the BTE segment happened second? You can’t really have two segments that reveal something to the same person and have them act shocked in both, it doesn’t make sense. Also, having this segment to set up a plug for the Young Bucks book is something they’d do on BTE, not Dark. I’m confused why that was added to this show since it didn’t really fit the tone of the Dark.)
– Excalibur welcomed viewers to Dark alongside his partner, Taz. Excalibur promoted Fyter Fest starting tomorrow, July 1. Taz reacted and said he was excited for Fyter Fest and Dark tonight. Excalibur threw it to ringside for introductions for the first match of the night.
(1) SHAWN SPEARS (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. MAX CASTER
Spears slammed Caster to the mat quickly, but let Caster get back up as he smiled. Caster arm dragged Spears to the mat and Spears backed into his corner for some advice from Blanchard. Spears threw Caster into the ropes and used his body to trip him as he bounced off the ropes and suplexed him to the mat before stomping on his hands, ankles, and finally his head. Spears then raked at Caster’s eyes before the official, Aubrey Edwards, stopped to recheck that his glove didn’t have anything in it. Spears was upset that she was checking it for a second time in the mat when Caster went for a quick roll up, but only scored a one count. Caster tried to mount a comeback, but Spears cut him off with a spine buster followed by his C4 finisher. Spears then slowly crawled into a cover and scored the pin fall.
WINNER: Shawn Spears in 4:00
– After the match, Tully handed the metal plate to Spears to put in his glove and pointed back to the ring. Blanchard blocked the camera to try and hide what he was doing and apologized to the camera man as he backed off. Spears charged back into the ring, picked Caster up, hit him with a closed fist, and left immediately.
(Graham’s Thoughts: One weird thing I noticed is Tully Blanchard putting a mask on as he stood at ringside. He didn’t come out with it on, he was shown putting it on as he stood at ringside, then he immediately took it off when the bell rang to end the match. What’s the point?)
– As Pineapple Pete made his ring entrance, he was attacked by Archer on the stage. Archer picked Pete up and threw him into the ring before shaking hands with Roberts and smiling. Archer turned back to enter the ropes, but Pete drop kicked him and Archer stumbled back into Roberts, who slowly kneeled on the stage steps as if he’d been hit hard by Archer falling back into him. Pete charged at Archer again, who was visibly angry. Archer grabbed Pete by the throat and shoved him back as he entered the ring and took off his jacket.
(2) LANCE ARCHER (w/ Jake Roberts) vs. PINEAPPLE PETE
Archer demanded the official ring the bell and he did. Pete ran the ropes and hit Archer with an elbow strike. Pete hit Archer with an enzuigiri. Pete tried to Irish whip Archer into a corner, but Archer fought back and whipped Pete into a corner and caught him on his shoulders. Pete wiggled free and hit Archer with some strikes. Archer charged at Pete who drop kicked Archer off the apron. Archer fell to the floor and landed on his feet in the face of Joey Janela. Janela took off his shirt and threw it at Archer. Archer ignored it and started to climb back into the ring when Jake Roberts yelled to him. Archer dropped back to the floor and paced for a second yelling at Janela. Pete went to run the ropes and tried to dive on Archer, but Archer was watching the whole time and caught him in the air and choke slammed him onto the ring apron. Archer then took off his shirt and threw it at Janela. Archer threw Pete into the ringside fence in front of Janela before entering the ring.
Archer threw Pete into the ropes then clubbed Pete in the back of the head as he ran past time. Archer stomped Pete before kicking him out of the ring. Archer walked back to the other side of the ring and talked some trash to Janela. Pete entered the ring and Archer hit him with a release suplex that threw Pete across the ring. Archer hit Pete tried fighting back and chopped Archer a few times before Archer hit him with a forearm shot across the jaw. Archer hit Pete with some forearm shots in the corner before going for his finisher. Pete escaped the move and fought away from Archer’s choke slam attempt. Pete hit him with some shots to the stomach, but as he ran the ropes Archer grabbed him and lifted him into position to hit his Blackout finisher. Archer then slammed Pete’s head into the mat five times before covering him for the win.
WINNER: Lance Archer in 6:00
– Archer went to inflict more punishment on Pete, but Janela ran out of the audience and attacked Archer before he could. Archer threw Pete into Janela, who was inexplicably holding a leaf blower as a weapon. Archer exited the ring and laughed at Janela. Janela yelled at Archer as he left saying “the bad boy never dies.”
(3) RICKY STARKS vs. GRIFF GARRISON
Garrison went for an early scoop slam on Starks, but Starks escaped and separated. Garrison tried to use his power, but Starks escaped again. Garrison ran the ropes and Starks jumped over him and stopped to pose for a minute. Garrison tried to take advantage of that, but Starks responded quickly with a drop kick. Starks threw Garrison into the ropes, but Garrison hit him with a boot to the face. Garrison came off the ropes, but Starks dropped him with a back elbow strike then stomped him in the corner. Garrison threw Starks into the corner and hit him with a splash. Starks stopped a second splash attempt and hit Garrison with a drop kick off the middle rope. Starks bounced off the ropes and hit him with a spear for the win while he posed.
WINNER: Ricky Starks in 4:00
– After the match Starks danced to his music then walked over to the announcers and fist bumped Taz before walking off. Excalibur tried to fist bump him as well, but Starks told him no.
– Scorpio Sky came out to some new music, as pointed out by Taz. Sky’s video was still the SCU video entrance featuring all three members of SCU. Excalibur pointed out again that Sky is still a member of SCU, but is focusing on his singles career right now.
(4) SCORPIO SKY vs. BRADY PIERCE
Pierce shoved Sky back into the corner, which got a chuckle out of Sky. Exaclibur pointed out that Sky, with a win tonight, would be the third person in AEW to have 20 career wins since AEW launched. The other two that already have 20 wins are Kenny Omega and Cody. Sky tried to put Pierce in a front head lock, but Pierce picked Sky up and put him on the top rope. Pierce then slapped Sky, so Sky slapped him back and hit him with some elbow shots. Sky drop kicked Pierce and arm dragged him to the mat. Sky picked Pierce up on his shoulders, but Pierce escaped and punched away at Sky. Pierce hit Sky with a pump kick in the corner and scored a two count. Pierce was sent over the top rope by Sky and Sky quickly slid between his legs and swept them out from underneath him so he’d head butt the ring apron. Sky then quickly threw Pierce back into the ring and hit him with a springboard cutter for the win.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 4:00
– Justin Roberts announced that Allie and Brandie are known as “The Nightmare Sisters” as Allie made her entrance. Brandi took the mic from him and said no, they’re not related and they’re not called that. Excalibur again explained that QT Marshall stayed home due to being exposed to someone with COVID-19 before praising the AEW medical staff.
(5) BRANDI RHODES & ALLIE (w/ Dustin Rhodes) vs. KILYNN KING & SKYLER MOORE
Brandi and Allie argued about who would start the match before Allie exited the ring. Brandi and King started the match and Brandi tried to power King into a corner, but King over powered her. Brandi ran and jumped off the middle rope to arm drag King before hitting her with an upper cut in the corner. Brandi ran to her corner to bounce off the ropes and Allie tagged herself in, which didn’t please Brandi. Allie hit King with a running elbow of her own followed by a sliding lariat for a two count. Allie stepped over King on her way to her corner. Allie stood on the middle rope and started talking to someone on the outside when Brandi tagged herself back in. Brandi said something to Allie about working together, but when Brandi turned around King clotheslined her to the mat before slamming her into the corner. King and Moore quickly tagged in and stomped Brandi in their corner. They went to throw Brandi into the ropes, but Brandi held on to their wrists and the two smacked heads. Brandi chopped King and hit her with forearms until King hit her with a boot to the chest and Moore pulled her down by her hair.
Moore slammed Brandi into the mat and mocked her as she reached for Allie. Moore picked Brandi up and scored a two count off a body slam. Brandi managed to hit Moore with a stunner and tagged in Allie. Allie hit Moore with some forearms. Moore threw Allie into the ropes, but Allie stopped, dropped to her knees and slapped her. The announcers said she pulled a page out of Dustin’s book. Allie turned around, took a deep breath and blew it at Dustin, much like Goldust used to do. Dustin didn’t seem pleased. Allie hit Moore with a running bulldog and knocked King off the apron. Allie then locked Moore under her arm, she yelled that this was for QT Marshall, and elbow dropped Moore to the mat. Allie thought about going for the cover, but instead she tagged in Brandi. Brandi entered the ring and pinned Moore for the win as Allie smiled at the camera.
WINNERS: Allie & Brandi Rhodes
(Graham’s Thoughts: I’ll be blunt. This was messy, bad, and very hard to watch. I also don’t know why Brandi was all smiles after getting the pin considering she didn’t do much to earn it. It’s weird to be apprehensive about Allie, then be super excited about getting the victory that you didn’t really earn yourself.)
(6) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE vs. LOW RIDA & FUEGO DEL SOL
Blade and Fuego Del Sol started the match with Blade quickly picking up and dropping Del Sol. Blade walked over to his corner and seemed disappointed with their opponents as he talked to Butcher. Butcher tagged in and they both pulled Del Sol into their shoulders before they threw him clear across the ring. Del Sol nearly hit the turnbuckles as he flew through the air. Taz and Exaclibur marveled at the power of Butcher and Blade as Rida tagged in against Butcher. Butcher elbow dropped Rida to the mat and tagged in Blade as Rida struggled to get to his feet. Blade entered and chopped Rida before walking him back to his corner. Blade stomped Rida until the official backed him off. Blade distracted the official while Butcher locked on a headlock from the outside until the official turned back around. Blade picked Rida up and suplexed him, but Rida landed directly on his head and neck. Taz and Exalibur were stunned to silence as the official checked on Rida. Butcher tagged in and went to suplex Rida who escaped and tagged in Del Sol. Del Sol hit Butcher with chops and an enzuigiri, but as he ran the ropes, Butcher tackled him down. Butcher locked in a Cloverleaf and Rida tried to stop him. Blade entered and tackled Rida to the mat. Butcher picked up and power slammed Del Sol to the mat before locking on a Boston crab submission for the tap out win
WINNERS: The Butcher & The Blade in 5:00
(7) YOUNG BUCKS vs. BRANDON CUTLER & PETER AVALON (w/ Leva Bates)
Matt Jackson and Brandon Cutler started the match exchanging go behind waste locks followed by head locks on the mat. Matt drop kicked Cutler and arm dragged him to the mat before tagging in Nick. Nick took control of Cutler’s wrist, but Cutler rolled through and locked on a wrist lock of his own. Cutler backed up to have Avalon tag in, but Avalon declined. Nick rolled through the wrist lock, ran to the top rope and jumped to the outside and arm dragged Avalon into the stage steps. Nick entered back in and Matt blind tagged. Cutler jumped to avoid Nick running the ropes, but Matt caught him mid-air and Nick hit him with an assisted cutter. Avalon tagged in and scolded Cutler before being met with an arm drag by Matt. Matt and Nick threw Avalon into the ropes and hit him with a splash elbow drop combination.
Avalon immediately tagged back out to Cutler. Matt went to run the ropes against Cutler, but Avalon kicked him in the back. Cutler yelled at Avalon as Avalon tagged himself in. Avalon went for a tag move with Cutler, but Cutler refused and yelled at Avalon for cheating. Cutler and Avalon started shoving each other and Matt crawled between their legs and tagged in Nick. Matt then casually walked back over to Cutler and Avalon and stood there. They kicked Matt in the stomach and went for a double suplex, but Nick caught him as he went over their heads and the Young Bucks drop kicked Avalon and Cutler before diving on to them at ringside. Bates jumped up on the apron and tried to distract Nick, but as Avalon charged at him, Nick stepped aside and Avalon almost ran into Bates. Avalon hit Nick with an atomic drop, but he was too close to the corner and Matt tagged in. Avalon threw Nick into the opposite corner and as he went to run at him, Matt speared him from the other side.
Matt grounded Avalon with a front face lock for a moment. Avalon powered out and refused to tag in Cutler. Nick entered and double stomped Avalon before charging and shoving Cutler off the apron. Nick sprinted back and hit Avalon with a running knee strike and scored a two count. Matt went for a super kick on Avalon, but Avalon blocked it. The two ran the ropes and they clotheslined each other to the mat. Cutler and Nick tagged in and Cutler took them both down with kicks. Cutler went to dive onto Nick outside the ring, but Matt cut him off. Matt ran the ropes and crashed to the outside as Avalon pulled down the top rope. Cutler dove onto them both then scored a two count off a cross body dive onto Matt back into the ring. Avalon entered again and he and Cutler argued about what move to do on Matt.
Matt and Nick tried to attack Cutler and Avalon, but both saved each other from behind with boots to Matt and Nick’s face. Taz and Exalibur speculated that they may have finally figured things out as Avalon hit Matt with a swinging DDT. Cutler entered and went for a cover, but Nick broke it up at two. Avalon entered again and the two tried for a double suplex. Matt fought out and suplexed Cutler and Avalon simultaneously. Nick tagged in, spiked Avalon to the mat face first then moonsaulted onto Cutler on the floor. Matt tagged back in and they super kicked him. Cutler got up on the apron and Nick super kicked him. Matt and Nick then hit Avalon with the BTE Trigger knee strike for the win.
WINNER: Young Bucks in 10:00
– After the match. All five people were in the ring. Matt and Nick tried to get Avalon and Cutler to see that they’re a good team. Cutler and Avalon shook hands and pulled each other in close and smiled.
– Graphics were shown previewing the matches for Fyter Fest night 1 including MJF & Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus, Private Party vs. Santana & Ortiz, Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford for the AEW Women’s Championship, Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. Best Friends for the AEW Tag Team Championships, and Cody vs. Jake Hager for the TNT Championship.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t know what it is about Shawn Spears, but I keep getting my hopes up that he’s going to become something. I know I shouldn’t considering what he’s been involved in lately, including the underwear spot at Double or Nothing. I don’t know if it’s Tully Blanchard being with him, or the glove gimmick refocusing him, but I just really like Shawn Spears. I don’t think he’ll ever be top of the card heel world champion, but I do think he can be more than a low or mid-card comedy style wrestler. Hopefully this new glove gimmick will allow that to come out because he can be a good opponent and hurdle to jump over for guys like Jungle Boy or Darby Allin in a few months. That can only happen if he sticks to this more serious character and avoids the dumb comedy. Right now, there’s no reason to take him seriously, but I think that’s why he’s building up wins on Dark. When he comes to Dynamite with a really impressive W/L record and a new serious gimmick, maybe people will take him seriously? The problem becomes if he just shows up on Dynamite, will people take him seriously if they don’t watch Dark too? Most people don’t watch both, so I’m not sure.