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AEW DARK TV REPORT
JULY 28, 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 said tonight is a “Super Duper sized” edition of Dark. He introduced Taz who said Lance Archer, Sammy Guevara, and more in action on a massive edition of Dark. Excalibur then threw it down to the ring.
– As Cutler and Avalon made their entrance, Excalibur noted they’re now going by the name The Initiative because, in Dungeons and Dragons, when you roll the dice you’re rolling for initiative. Matt and Nick Jackson were also shown at ringside before the match began and Tully Blanchard was shown sitting out in the crowd by himself.
(1) FTR vs. THE INITIATIVE (w/ Leva Bates)
Wheeler and Avalon started the match. Wheeler tried to bull rush Avalon into his corner and tagged in Harwood, but Avalon escaped the two on one situation. Harwood entered and grounded Avalon quickly with a side headlock. Avalon tagged Cutler in and FTR quickly took control against him with a cheap shot by Wheeler on the outside. Cutler fought back against Harwood and fought to keep him away from Wheeler. Harwood reached his foot out to Wheeler who tagged it and tried to enter as if it was a legal tag, but the official forced him back out of the ring. This distraction allowed Harwood to poke Cutler in the eye to break free and tag Wheeler in legally. FTR isolated Cutler momentarily. Cutler tried to fight back, but Harwood tagged in and cut him off before he could reach Avalon. Harwood then distracted the official, which allowed Wheeler to take another cheap shot at Cutler on the outside. Harwood then started arguing with Leva Bates on the outside and took a book from her before throwing it into the crowd. This distraction allowed Cutler a chance to recover and fight back, but FTR quickly regained control. Bates threw her other book into the ring and Wheeler tore it apart before returning his focus to Cutler. Cutler avoided a splash attempt by Wheeler in the corner and finally made it to Avalon. Avalon hit Harwood with a springboard moonsault, but Wheeler entered to break up the cover. All four entered the ring until Harwood took Avalon down with a huge clothesline. FTR then hit Avalon with an assisted spike pile driver for the win.
WINNERS: FTR in 7:00
– After the match, Harwood and Tully Blanchard pointed to each other and nodded. FTR then rolled out to ringside and shook hands with the Young Bucks before walking back to their truck to leave.
(2) JOEY JANELA & SONNY KISS vs. MICHAEL NAKAZAWA & PINEAPPLE PETE
Kiss and Nakazawa started the match with Kiss quickly grounding Nakazawa with a hurricanrana. Kiss went to drive Nakazawa into his butt with the “kiss my sass,” but Nakazawa pulled out a bottle of oil. Janela entered and took the bottle from Nakazawa before he could use it to slip free and instead sprayed it all over Kiss’ butt. Kiss then hit the kiss my sass to Nakazawa. Kiss slipped on the oil in the ring which allowed Nakazawa to gain the upper hand. Pete tagged in and poured some oil on his stomach and Nakazawa’s back then slipped across Nakazawa’s back and into Kiss in the corner. Pete went for a celebratory hug with Nakazawa, but he slipped. This distraction allowed Janela to tag in and drop kicked them both. Janela gained the upper hand after a snap German suplex to Nakazawa into the bottom turnbuckle followed by a Death Valley Driver to Pete. Nakazawa tried to interfere, but Nakazawa entered to break it up. Janela turned around momentarily as Nakazawa took off his underwear. Nakazawa then tried to stuff it into the face of Janela, but he fought it off. Janela then threw Nakazawa’s underwear covered hand into Pete’s face and super kicked him. Kiss then tagged in and hit Pete with a split leg drop for the win.
WINNERS: Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela in 5:00
(Graham’s Thoughts: Total comedy. Nakazawa matches are my least favorite thing in wrestling right now and I’m not even sure what would be in second place.)
– A quick commercial aired for AEW’s action figures featuring Brandi Rhodes.
(3) ABADON vs. SKYLER MOORE
Moore was hesitant to even lock up with Abadon, but when she finally built up the courage, Abadon took her down with a double leg takedown and just clubbed away at her. The official pulled Abadon off and she screamed at him, which gave Moore the opening to rake Abadon’s eyes. Abadon no sold it as she tried it a couple more times. Abadon clotheslined Moore, but Moore fought back and hit her with a DDT. Moore went for a cover, but Abadon sat up like she was the Undertaker and snapped her neck both directions, which spooked Moore back into the corner and out of the ring. Moore tried to climb over the ringside fence, but Abadon followed her out there. Moore threw Abadon into the ringside fence then back into the ring. Moore hit a front slam for a two count. Abadon then got behind Moore and picked her up across her back and dropped her down like a reverse stunner to the back of the head and neck.
WINNER: Abadon in 4:00
– A promo aired on Shawn Spears. He asked “why the glove?” Spears said he can understand the questions, but he can’t understand the negative, uninformed connotations that are consistently thrown at him. He said that they make no sense and are a direct insight into the type of people that those people are. Spears sarcastically asked if people know his industry. He said your world is safe and you’re the master of your own domain, but his world is vastly different. He said there are countless hyenas masquerading as lions always looking for their next meal and looking to sneak up on you from behind. Spears then repeated the definition of self-defense and said asked if people understand now. He said it was never his intention to hurt anyone. He said the glove is the one thing that will never turn his back on him and the one thing that he can rely on. He said the glove isn’t a weapon, it’s his protector.
(4) DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) vs. SHAWN DEAN & WILL HOBBS
As the bell rang, Grayson charged immediately and dropped Dean with a running forearm. Grayson picked him up and tagged Uno in. Dark Order isolated Dean for a moment. Dean hit Uno with an enzuigiri, but Uno reached Grayson before Dean could reach Hobbs. Dark Order continued the attack on Dean with a series of quick tags, but not attempting a cover. Dean hit Uno with a swinging neck breaker, but Uno had knocked Hobbs off the apron a moment earlier with a drop kick to the legs, so Dean couldn’t tag him in. Dean drop kicked Stu Grayson off the top rope as Grayson tagged back in then dove out onto Grayson at ringside. Dean rolled back in and finally tagged in Hobbs who took Uno down with a clothesline and a spine buster. Grayson entered and tried to jump off the ropes to take Hobbs down, but Hobbs caught him and held him upside down as he slammed him into multiple turnbuckles followed by a running power slam for a two count. Dean entered and they tried to coordinate a move together on Grayson, but Grayson flipped and kicked them both on the top of their heads and tagged in Uno. Grayson hit Dean with a running knee strike. Grayson then picked Hobbs up over his head and hit a back breaker across his knee. Grayson and Uno then hit Dean with their Fatality finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Dark Order in 5:00
– Another action figure commercial aired featuring Kenny Omega.
(5) SCORPIO SKY vs. COREY HOLLIS
Sky and Hollis started the match with a lock up, but Sky quickly powered Hollis into the corner. The two then exchanged waste holds until Sky rolled up Hollis for a one count to break it up. Sky ran the ropes and hit Hollis with an atomic drop as Hollis jumped to avoid Sky then a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Sky hit Hollis with a drop kick and Hollis rolled out of the ring for a break. Sky went to dive onto Hollis, but Hollis stepped out of the way then swept Sky’s legs out from underneath him as he landed on the ring apron. Hollis went to the top rope and hit a diving knee strike for a two count. Sky and Hollis exchanged a couple small package roll up attempts for two counts. Sky then went to pick up Hollis over his head but Hollis transitioned into a stunner then hit Sky with a clothesline. Hollis went to the top rope and went for a frog splash, but Sky got the knees up. Sky then picked Hollis up and hit the TKO for the win.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 5:00
(6) PENELOPE FORD (w/ Kip Sabian) vs. KENZIE PAGE
Ford grounded Page with a kick to the stomach out of the gates followed by a clothesline and elbow in the corner. Page fought back with a kick to the face and a clothesline of her own. Page got on top of Ford and reigned shots down on Ford until the official pulled her off. Ford regained the advantage with a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle. Ford then choked Page with the rope and leaned forward to get a kiss from Sabian while doing so. Excalibur and Taz spent a couple of minute trying to decipher what Penelope Ford had on her right thigh just above her knee as the match moved slowly. Ford put Page in a camel clutch submission until Page finally fought out. Ford picked Page up over her shoulders and hit a gut buster. Ford then hit a stunner, but Page fought back with a series of forearm shots. Ford quickly cut it off with an elbow strike and a pump kick. Ford then hit a cartwheel cutter off the ropes followed by a fisherman’s suplex for the win.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 5:00
– Another commercial aired for the AEW Action figures featuring Brandi again.
(7) WARDLOW vs. AARON SOLOW
Wardlow powered Solow into the corner, but Solow avoided a splash. Wardlow quickly took him down with a boot to the face then powered him into the corner and whipped him across the ring. Wardlow hit him with a shoulder to the stomach and an uppercut before being thrown into the other corner. Solow fought back with some kicks, but Wardlow grabbed him out of the air and slammed him back to the mat with ease. Wardlow then took Solow back down with a clothesline before putting him on the top rope. Wardlow then gave the thumbs down and let Solow fall off the top rope into a knee strike. The official called for the bell and awarded Wardlow the win by knockout.
WINNER: Wardlow in 3:00
– After the match Wardlow picked up Solow and hit him with two F10s before finally leaving the ring.
(8) BEST FRIENDS vs. DARK ORDER (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)
As Best Friends entered the ring, Silver and Reynolds attacked them from behind and the official rang the bell to start the match as the beat down continued. All four rolled to the outside. Taylor fought back and threw Silver into the fence. Reynolds threw Trent into the ringside fence as well, but Trent no sold it and speared Reynolds. Taylor jumped off the apron and double stomped Silver across the back. Trent threw Reynolds into the ring and they teamed up to take him down. Best Friends took a moment to hug before refocusing on Reynolds. Best Friends looked as if they were about to hit Strong Zero on Reynolds to end the match, but Silver entered and kicked Trent, which caused him to flip over and Reynolds to hit a Canadian Destroyer. Silver kicked Taylor off the top rope. Dark Order hit Trent with a combination of quick offense before rolling him up for a two count. Dark Order isolated Trent as Taylor laid outside the ring. Taylor finally made it back up to the apron, but Trent couldn’t make it over to him. Dark Order had a number of two count pin falls while isolating Trent. Silver hit Trent with some kicks to the chest, which seemed to reinvigorate Trent. Trent clotheslined Silver and avoided an attack by Reynolds, but as he went for the tag, Reynolds knocked Taylor off the apron. Trent finally tagged Taylor in after suplexing Reynolds off of him. Taylor took them both down and avoided a charging Reynolds in the corner before suplexing Silver onto Reynolds. Taylor hit Silver with a falcon arrow for a two count. Taylor went to the top rope, but Reynolds interfered. Trent then hit Reynolds with a release German suplex from the top rope. Silver fought back against Taylor, but Taylor hit the awful waffle for the win.
WINNERS: Best Friends in 10:00
– After the match, Dark Order tried to attack Best Friends from behind, but they slipped out of the ring before they could. Best Friends hugged at ringside
(Graham’s Thoughts: I’ll keep complaining until I’m blue in the face about this. Why would an official start a match immediately after a cheap shot? It’s the dumbest thing they do in wrestling. Only an idiot wouldn’t take advantage and do this, especially since it’s never punished in any way. It defies all logic. If AEW is going to have an official rulebook, I’m confused how this is allowed. Seems like a blatant rule violation to me.)
– Another commercial aired for the AEW Action figures featuring Kenny Omega again.
– Lance Archer came to the ring carrying a man by his waist band and tossed him onto the stage as Jake Roberts just laughed.
(9) LANCE ARCHER (w/ Jake Roberts) vs. FRANKIE THOMAS
Archer posed on the top rope and took his shirt off. As he dropped back to the mat, Thomas hit him from behind, but Archer didn’t even budge. Archer threw him into the corner, but Thomas fought back. Archer shoulder tackled Thomas then choked him in the ropes. Archer suplexed Thomas across the ring and pointed at Lee Johnson in the crowd as if he wanted him next. Thomas fought back, but Archer caught him as he jumped out of the ring. Archer threw him over his head before casually walking up to someone and ringside and dropping them with a forearm shot. Thomas tried for a sleeper hold, but couldn’t keep it locked on. Archer finally ended the match with a choke slam and slamming the back of Thomas’ head into the mat.
WINNER: Lance Archer in 4:00
(10) ORANGE CASSIDY vs. SERPENTICO
Serpentico charged at Cassidy as the match started, but he tripped over his own feet. Cassidy stepped over him and casually stood in the middle of the ring. Serpentico ran the ropes followed by Cassidy who hit Serpentico with an arm drag while his hands were in his pockets, followed by a drop kick. Cassidy went for a superman elbow, but Serpentico rolled out of the ring. Serpentico tried to get Cassidy to exit the ring, but he wouldn’t. Serpentico rolled back in and Cassidy rolled out of the ring. Cassidy mocked Serpentico and waved for him to come outside again. Serpentico slid out of the ring and grabbed Cassidy by the leg as he went to reenter the ring. Serpentico hit Cassidy with a leg drop on the apron and rolled him up for a two count. Cassidy kicked Serpentico twice as he charged at Cassidy. Cassidy then dove onto Serpentico on the outside of the ring. Serpentico hit Cassidy with a rising kick on the top rope and hit a superplex. Cassidy reversed Serpentico into a small package and scored got the pinfall win.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy in 4:00
– Serpentico was upset and charged at Cassidy after the match, but Cassidy avoided him and hit the superman elbow strike to drop Serpentico. Cassidy then stood over Serpentico and had the official reaise his hand before slowly putting his shirt and jacket back on and leaving.
(11) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. FUEGO DEL SOL (w/ Low Rida)
Guevara picked up Del Sol and slammed him to the mat effortlessly before posing on his back to show off. Guevara muscled Del Sol into the corner and slapped him around. He talked to the official, not taking Del Sol seriously, but Del Sol fought back. Del Sol jumped off the top rope and Guevara hit him with a knee strike. The two fell and Guevara lazily laid on Del Sol for a pin attempt, but Del Sol kicked out. Guevara hit Del Sol with a delayed vertical suplex for another two count then put Del Sol on his shoulders and did a couple of squats with him. Guevara then grabbed Del Sol by the foot and flipped him over the top rope. Guevara teased running the ropes to dive onto him, but instead laid on the mat and posed. Guevara slowly tossed Del Sol back into the ring. Del Sol fought back and went for a corkscrew dive, but Guevara avoided it. Guevara hit a running knee strike followed by the GTS for the win.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara in 5:00
– After the match, Guevara attack Low Rida as he entered the ring. He hit Low Rida with a GTS then posed in the middle of the ring.
– Private Party were going to cut a promo ahead of their match. Marq Quen stopped Kassidy and asked if he’d seen Matt Hardy. Big Money Matt walked up holding some cash and said hi to them. He said he likes Private Party because they have aspirations and want to live a life just like him. Hardy said the more successful they are, the more successful he is and that’s a win-win! He told Private Party to pick up a win tonight and emphasized to do it by any means necessary. Kassidy said Big Money Matt is kind of a dick, Quen agreed.
(12) SCU vs. PRIVATE PARTY (w/ Matt Hardy) vs. SANTANA & ORTIZ
Kazarian and Kassidy started the match exchanging holds. Kassidy ran the ropes, but Ortiz blind tagged in and threw Kassidy out of the ring. Ortiz and Santana tagged in and took down Kazarian. Santana hit Kazarian with a moonsault off of Ortiz’s back. Kazarian scored a two count on Santana before tagging Daniels in. SCU took out Santana and Ortiz, who tried to interfere. Daniels went for a cover on Santana, but he kicked out at one. Santana escaped Daniels as he tried to pick him up and fell back into Private Party’s corner. Private Party acted as if they didn’t tag Santana, but the official said they did and Quen entered the match in place of Santana. Quen took Daniels down with a hurricanrana and tagged Kassidy in. Kassidy put Daniels in a camel clutch as Quen jumped over him and double stomped Daniels on the top of his head. Daniels rolled out of the ring as Private Party showed off in the ring. Daniels small packaged Kassidy for a two count and Ortiz tagged Kassidy as he stood up after the kick out.
Santana and Ortiz suplexed Daniels for a two count. Santana and Ortiz isolated Daniels in their corner. Ortiz power bombed Daniels into a super kick by Santana. As Ortiz went for the cover, Isaiah Kassidy broke it up and quickly exited the ring again. Daniels fought back against Ortiz, but was unable to tag Kazarian in as Santana pulled him off the apron. Daniels avoided Ortiz and tagged in Marq Quen instead. Quen entered and hit Ortiz with a cross body. Quen dove onto Santana and Ortiz outside the ring and tagged in Kassidy who hit a springboard moonsault off the top rope. Private Party then hit Ortiz with their Silly String for a two count before Kazarian entered and broke up the pin fall. Private Party then went to the top rope in either corner and hit Ortiz with a leg drop/frog splash combination. Santana pulled the official out before the three count. At this point chaos broke out as Santana hit Quen with a cutter, Daniels took Santana down with a blue thunder bomb, Ortiz took Daniels out with a stunner; Kazarian hit Ortiz with a spinning DDT, and finally Kassidy hit Kazarian with a facebuster. Santana then distracted the official as Ortiz threw his baseball filled sock to Marq Quen. The official turned around and took it from Quen, who looked confused as to how he ended up with it. As the official had his back turned, Ortiz hit Quen with a low blow for the win.
WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz in 11:00
– Excalibur then promoted the announced matches for AEW Dynamite tomorrow including Kenny Omega & Hangman Page (c) vs. Dark Order for the AEW Tag Team Championships, Hikaru Shida vs. Diamanté, Cody (c) vs. Warhorse for the TNT Championship, Best Friends, Orange Cassidy, & Jurassic Exspress vs. Inner Circle, and Jon Moxley & Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks in a Tornado Tag match.
– In case you weren’t aware, AEW has action figures being released soon. We got the same commercial announcing it five or six times on AEW Dark tonight. I like promoting your products and shows on Dark, but man oh man variety would be nice.
– I like the small behind the scenes things that are shown on Being the Elite that carry over to Dark. They’re very quick, but it’s always a nice little nugget for people who watch both shows. On Dark, we saw Matt and Nick at ringside for FTR’s match and they were shown filming. That footage was shown on BTE yesterday. We also had Private Party interacting with Matt Hardy, which was also shown on BTE yesterday in the Private Party skit with Matt and Nick Jackson. They’re harmless little things, but I really enjoy them.
– This episode of Dark is insanely long. That being said, they’re getting a ton of views. During the live premier, I saw around 40,000 people watching live, which doesn’t seem too impressive, but that’s not when most tune in. Looking back through the last two months of episodes, the lowest viewership they have is 356,000 for an episode a couple of weeks ago. Most episodes are over 400,000 and I’m surprised by that. Now, I don’t know how long someone has to watch to be counted as a viewer, but that’s a pretty good number of people. With that being said, I don’t think a two hour long edition of Dark is justifiable. There’s only one match on this entire show worth your time and that’s the main event. I like AEW, but if I saw a two hour show of nothing but squash matches I’d just say forget it. What’s the appeal of Dark? It’s stat padding and completely skippable. If AEW caters to hardcore fans, AEW Dark caters to the most hardcore of hardcore fans. This is just not worth the time investment. There’s hardly ever any character development or points of intrigue. It’s just straight forward squash matches and at the very end they hype stuff for Dynamite the next night. If you’re going to have a show this insanely long you should at least make it worth the time investment and, in my opinion, this absolutely was not. I promise you, you aren’t missing anything worth your time, unless your favorite wrestler is on the show or you want to see the main event, which ends with cheating and felt rather unsatisfying. Read the results, move on, and thank me later.