SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
JULY 14, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur welcomed fans to the show and introduced Taz. Excalibur noted that Fight for the Fallen was happening tomorrow and mentioned Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage. Taz noted that Cage can become a double champion, as he’s currently the FTW Champion. Excalibur then said Cage will be in action on Dark later and threw it to the ring for the first match.
(1) BRANDI RHODES & ALLIE (w/ Dustin Rhodes) vs. RACHE CHANEL & DIAMANTE
Allie and Brandi were discussing who would start the match and chatting when Diamante walked over and shoved Brandi. Allie stepped up to Diamante, which the announcers took as a positive sign that they’re getting along better now. The official rang the bell and Allie and Diamante started the match exchanging head locks. Allie knocked Diamante down with a running knee strike, but as she went for a cover, Diamante crawled over and tagged in Chanel. Allie quickly took control of Chanel and threw her into her corner and tagged in Brandi. Brandi scored a two count and hit Chanel with a couple of forearms and tagged Allie back in.
Allie went to run the ropes, but Diamante reached to grab her. Allie turned to yell at Diamante, which allowed Chanel to get the advantage off the distraction. Diamante tagged back in and stomped Allie down in the corner. Allie was isolated in the corner until Diamante dragged her back into the middle of the ring and put a headlock on. Allie was down in the corner of the ring and Diamante went for a drop kick, but Brandi pulled Allie out of the way at the last second, which gave Allie the opening to tag Brandi back in to the match. Chanel also tagged in and Brandi took her down with a sling blade. Diamante tried to interfere, but Allie cut her off tackling her to the mat over Chanel’s body. Allie and Diamante rolled out of the ring exchanging blows. Chanel tried to run the ropes, but Brandi hit her with a super kick followed by a pump kick. Chanel finally made it up to her feet and Brandi speared her for the three count.
WINNERS: Brandi Rhodes & Allie in 7:00
After the match Brandi and Allie hugged. Dustin offered a fist bump to Allie, which she seemed shocked by. They bumped fists and left the ring together.
(Graham’s Thoughts: Unfortunately, this was another rough women’s match. Allie and Brandi didn’t look too good individually or as a team in this outing, even though they’re selling the idea that they’re working together better now. They have a match on Dynamite tomorrow and I wouldn’t expect too much given their recent outings on Dark.)
(2) RICKY STARKS vs. ROBERT ANTHONY
Anthony quickly went behind Starks and dropped him to the mat. Starks took a second to reevaluate his strategy before locking up with Anthony. The two rolled around the mat trying to gain control until Anthony caught Starks and took control of the left arm. Starks hit Anthony with a forearm shot to break the hold. Anthony ran the ropes and took Starks down with a clothesline. The official checked on Starks for a second while Anthony gloated. Starks took advantage and grounded Anthony with a clothesline of his own. Starks suplexed Anthony over his head and speared Anthony. Anthony fought back and scored a near count after driving Starks face first to the mat out of a Romero submission hold. Starks went for a quick cover on Anthony, who kicked out at one. Starks immediately kicked Anthony across the cheek, then lifted him up with a double under hook arm hold and slammed him to the mat face first for the win.
WINNER: Ricky Starks in 5:00
– Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard were shown in a limo when Blanchard presented Spears with the glove. Spears said he has history in the palm of his hand. He said a true student of the game of professional wrestling understands that history always repeats itself. Spears listed off some former wrestlers who wore a glove as he is now. He said the thing that followed them even after they were finished wrestling is legacy. A clip of Blanchard yelling at Spears was shown as Spears said that Tully believes in him and he believes in himself.
(3) DARK ORDER (Alex Reynolds & John Silver & Alan Angels) vs. SHAWN DEAN & WILL HOBBS & JOE ALONZO
Angels and Hobbs started the match with Angels slapping Hobbs across the face. Hobbs threw Angels into a corner, but Angels escaped and grounded Hobbs with a kick to the leg. Hobbs suplexed Angels over his head back into his corner where John Silver tagged in. Hobbs slammed Silver down and Alonzo tagged in. Alonzo and Silver exchanged blows as Excalibur told a story of Hobbs’ older brother pushing him out of the way of a stray bullet as a child, which would cost him his life. Excalibur said that’s what motivated Hobbs to become a professional wrestler.
Silver threw Alonzo into his corner and tagged in Reynolds. Silver and Reynolds hit Alonzo with stereo drop kicks. Reynolds attempted two pin attempts, but Alonzo kicked out at two both times. Reynolds tried to suplex Alonzo, but Alonzo landed on his feet and fell back into his corner, which allowed Dean to tag in. Dean entered and drop kicked Reynolds to the mat. Reynolds threw Dean into Dark Orders’ corner, but Dean took Angels and Silver down before clotheslining Reynolds over the top rope. Dean then dove over the top rope onto all three men at ringside. Angels threw Dean into the ringside barricade and back into the ring. Reynolds scored another two count and Angels tagged in against Dean. Excalibur and Taz talked about the initiation into Dark Order and said part of that initiation is putting on the mask and giving up their individuality, which is why they’re just known as numbers, not by their names. Dark Order isolated Dean for a few moments until Dean was finally able to kick Angels away and tag in Hobbs after Angels got distracted talking trash to Hobbs. Hobbs cleared the ring of all three Dark Order members. Hobbs was taken down by Reynold and Alonzo. Silver suplexed Hobbs to the mat and the official appeared to count three as Alonzo attempted to break up the pin, but was short. The official called it a two count anyway and Reynolds threw Alonzo out of the ring. After a moment of six man chaos where the rules went out the window, Silver finally pinned Alonzo after a flipping destroyer DDT for the win.
WINNERS: Dark Order in 9:00
(4) MARKO STUNT vs. MICHAEL NAKAZAWA
Nakazawa immediately pulled out a bottle of oil from his trunks, showed it to Stunt, then laughed and tossed it away saying he doesn’t need oil to beat him. Stunt immediately pounced on Nakazawa and punched him. Stunt tried to shoulder tackle Nakazawa, but he didn’t even budge. Stunt tried again and failed, then told Nakazawa to try, but when he ran the ropes, Stunt followed him and hit him with a drop kick. Stunt then hit Nakazawa with three consecutive drop kicks to the face in the corner. Nakazawa rolled out of the ring, but Stunt dove through the ropes and knocked him into the ringside barricade. Nakazawa quickly overpowered Marko back in the ring. After dominating for a moment, Nakazawa whipped out the second bottle of oil from his trunks, yelled that he changed his mind, and poured it all over Stunt. Nakazawa then hit a slipping senton, sliding across the chest of Stunt for a two count. Stunt fought back and scored a two count after hitting a forearm to the back of Nakazawa’s head.
Nakazawa put Marko across the top rope with a leg on either side and slid him into the middle of the ring where he bounced him up and down on the top rope followed by a spear for another near fall. Nakazawa then took off his underwear just like last week and put it on his hand. Stunt avoided the attack and dropkicked Nakazawa’s hand, which still had the underwear on it. Nakazawa then acted as if it was stuck to his face and Stunt rolled him up for the victory.
WINNER: Marko Stunt in 7:00
(Graham’s Thoughts: Same opinion as last week’s Nakazawa match. This isn’t for me. I can be mean and say something far more negative to truly reflect my opinion, but what’s the point? Maybe people enjoy this. I’m absolutely not one of them.)
(5) LUTHER & SERPENTICO vs. PINEAPPLE PETE & BRADY PIERCE
Luther and Pineapple Pete started the match and Luther kicked Pete into his corner as the bell rang. Luther shoulder tackled Pete and stomped away at him. Pete fought back with chops and left and right hands, but Luther took him down again with a pump kick before tagging in Serpentico. Pete monkey flipped Serpentico as he ran the ropes, which prompted Serpentico to tag Luther back in. Pete tagged Pierce in as well. Luther and Pierce circled each other until Pierce attempted to ground Luther unsuccessfully. Luther took Pierce down, but Pierce whipping Luther into his corner and Pete tagged back in. While the official was distracted with Luther, Serpentico took a moment to grab Pete by the feet and crotch him on the ring post. Luther and Serpentico isolated Pete momentarily with a series of quick tags. Numerous times Luther used Serpentico as a weapon and slammed him onto Pete, which seemed to cause as much damage to Serpentico as it did to Pete. Pete fought back against Serpentico and managed to reach Pierce. Pierce took out Luther and Serpentico and hit Serpentico with a spine buster for a two count, but Luther broke up the cover. Luther and Serpentico teamed up against Pierce and scored the pin after a power slam double knee stomp combo.
WINNERS: Luther & Serpentico in 7:00
(Graham’s Thoughts: Serpentico is really athletic and fun to watch, though there’s no depth to the character. The other three in this match were pretty rough. Brady Pierce doesn’t get much ring time in any of his matches and usually comes in for a few power spots before being eliminated, so there isn’t much to really assess here. I thought Luther looked really, really bad in this match. Everything he did was at half speed, if not slower. It’s crazy that, of these four, he’s the one under contract with AEW right now.)
(6) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. BRANDON CUTLER & PETER AVALON (w/ Leva Bates)
Jungle Boy and Peter Avalon started the match. They quickly exchanged holds and pin attempts. Avalon slammed Jungle Boy into his corner and Cutler tagged in. Avalon and Cutler isolated Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy fought back against them both as they tagged in and out. Jungle Boy finally tagged in Luchasaurus against Cutler. Luchasaurus hit Cutler with a series of kicks and a couple of near falls right out of the gate before tagging Jungle Boy back in. Jurassic Express isolated Cutler, but Cutler fought back with a springboard flying elbow to Jungle Boy then tagged in Avalon.
Avalon and Cutler again isolated Jungle Boy. Cutler hit Jungle Boy with a leaping leg drop for a two count, but Jungle Boy fought back with a huge clothesline as he bounced off the ropes. Jungle Boy finally reached Luchasaurus as Cutler tagged in Avalon. Luchasaurus took Cutler and Avalon out with big chops to the chest and a series of kicks. Luchasaurus went for a chokeslam on Avalon, but Avalon flipped out of it and tagged Cutler back in. They attempted a combo move on Luchasaurus, but he avoided it and choke slammed Cutler. Luchasaurus went for a standing moonsault, but Cutler got his knees up in time and cradled Luchasaurus for a two count. Leva Bates got up on the apron and took Jungle Boy out with a rana off the apron. Back in the ring, Cutler hit Luchasaurus with a swinging DDT and tagged in Cutler, who hit Luchasaurus with a DDT of his own. Cutler his Luchasaurus with a huge flying elbow drop, but Jungle Boy made it just in time to break up the cover. Luchasaurus tagged Jungle Boy back in and he suplexed Avalon for a two count. Luchasaurus tagged back in and, as he and Jungle Boy went for a combo move on Avalon, Cutler interfered and took out Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy reentered the ring and disposed of Cutler before he and Luchasaurus hit Avalon with an assisted elevated cutter for the win.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 9:00
– Excalibur noted, during the graphic for the upcoming FTW Title Defense, that the FTW Title is an unofficial title, but it’s a title nonetheless. Taz said the way he sees it, Cage is the FTW Champion so this is an FTW Title match.
(Graham’s Thoughts: Does that mean Moxley will be a double champion if he beats Cage on Wednesday? Will Moxley become the fourth ever FTW Champion? I need answers!)
– Justin Roberts did not announce Cage as the FTW championship, which greatly upset Taz on commentary. Cage also demanded that Roberts introduce him as the FTW Champion, which he did. Excalibur called it an outlaw title and Taz said that doesn’t matter, he’s the FTW Championship. Taz said he understands that it’s not recognized by any promotion, but wrestling fans worldwide recognize it.
(7) BRIAN CAGE (c) (w/Taz) vs. BRIAN PILLMAN JR. – FTW Championship Match
As the bell rang, Cage tried to take Pillman down before he was ready. Pillman avoided the attack and hit a dropkick, but Cage barely moved. Cage grabbed Pillman and threw him into the corner and clotheslined Pillman in the corner. PIllman fought back with a superkick and a roundhouse kick. Pillman ran the ropes, but was met with a pump kick by Cage followed by a release German suplex that sent Pillman across the ring and out to the floor. Cage exited the ring and went to power bomb Pillman, but Pillman grabbed the ropes and held on to the apron. Pillman kicked Cage then hit a diving drop kick through the ropes onto Cage. Pillman tried a cannonball senton, but Cage caught him and suplexed him onto the floor. Cage threw Pillman into the ringpost before finally dragging Pillman back into the ring. Cage suplexed Pillman from the ring apron back into the ring while standing on the second rope before hitting the Drill Claw for the win.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 2:30 to retain the FTW Championship
– After the match, Cage attacked Pillman again for a minute before talking trash to Moxley to the camera at ringside.
FINAL THOUGHTS: As Dark Order made their entrance, Excalibur noted that Omega & Page are defending the Tag Team Championships against Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy at Fight for the Fallen, but the advertised match has been Omega & the Young Bucks against all three members of Jurassic Express. On BTE this week, a graphic was shown promoting The Elite vs Jurassic Express, so maybe Exalibur was just mistaken, but that’s something that needs to be edited out if it’s wrong. You’ve had this footage for a week or two so, if Excalibur is wrong, it needs to be edited out or have something to correct it. There was nothing to promote the announced matches for Dynamite, so I’m still not sure which match Jurassic Express is having.
As a fun fact, Matt and Nick Jackson were shown at ringside for the Brandon Cutler & Peter Avalon vs. Jurassic Express match. On Being the Elite this week, footage of this match is used in which Nick Jackson said the match was being filmed at 1:00 AM. It’s crazy how late they’re going to get all these matches in for AEW Dark. Once crowds come back, these long versions of AEW Dark won’t be able to take place anymore and they’ll have to go back to the three or four match shows that they taped before and after Dynamite. Honestly, I prefer the shorter shows. Having 7 to 10 matches on a card that are all squashes isn’t interesting in the slightest to me. It’s far too long to pad some stats. I think the shorter shows were better and I’m looking forward to that returning eventually.
CATCH UP… 7/7 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Nakazawa takes off underwear and shoves in face of opponent, Big Swole has rough outing, Spears vs. Brian Pillman Jr., Kazarian vs. Luther in plodding slo-mo, Lucha Bros., Cassidy, more