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AEW DARK TV REPORT
AUGUST 11, 2020
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Taz
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– After a quick run-down of what was coming up on the show, Tony Shiavone and Taz sent it right to the ring for the first match.
(1) LEE JOHNSON vs. REY FENIX
During the introductions, Taz mentioned that Lee Johnson was a member of MJF’s campaign which led Tony to actually call MFJ a “little prick”. Wow! You go, Tony.
After briefly feeling each other out, Rey Fenix become frustrated with his inability to land anything. He offered a handshake and then brutally attacked Lee Johnson. He ultimately took Johnson out to the floor and abused him with kicks and strikes. Back in the ring, Fenix continued to take advantage of his skills to beat on Johnson. Johnson attempted a comeback, knocking Fenix down with a standing lariat and a missile drop kick, but Johnson could only get a one-count. Johnson was able to get a two-count with a sit-down power bomb. After Johnson nailed Fenix with two super kicks, Fenix popped up and landed an inziguri to the head driving Johnson into the corner which allowed Fenix to hit his finisher for the win.
WINNER: Rey Fenix in 7:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Rey Fenix is Rey Fenix and a joy to watch and he did not disappoint here. Lee Johnson was good enough to give Fenix something to work with and while some of Johnson’s moves were a bit clunky, on the whole the match progressed well and was a good watch.)
– We had a quick promo with Scorpio Sky highlighting the angle we are seeing on Dynamite with him looking to challenge Cody for the TNT Championship. Quick, painless and fulfilled its purpose, helping to hype this week’s Dynamite.
(2) SHAWN SPEARS (w/Tully Blanchard and his black glove) vs. ALEX CHAMBERLAIN
Taz and Tony positioned Alex Chamberlain and a big, powerful fighter, but Shawn Spears actually looked bigger and stronger. The two traded moves with Spears going to the floor to regroup and get advice from Tully Blanchard. Spears lured Chamberlain to the ring post and proceeded to ram his shoulder and head into the post. Spears continued to work the shoulder both outside and inside the ring. After a punch, the ref checked Spears’ glove but didn’t find anything. Cue the “loaded” jokes by Tony and Taz. Spears continued to beat on Chamberlain and ultimately landed a Canadian Destroyer for the win. After throwing Chamberlain out of the ring, Tully passed Spears an object which Spears used to load up the palm of the glove. Spears then =approached Chamberlain on the floor and delivered a palm strike with the loaded glove, sending Chamberlain to la-la land and then went to celebrate with Tully.
WINNER: Shawn Spears in 5:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Really just a squash match to get Spears over or more accurately get his black glove over. Match could have been two to three minutes and it wouldn’t have been much different. Alex Chamberlain does have some impressive Trap muscles, but that is about it. On a show with a lot of quick matches, this is one you can really skip.)
(3) M’BADU & SHAWN DEAN vs. THE GUNN CLUB (Billy & Austin Gunn)
M’Badu made his entrance first. In his AEW debut and at 258 pounds, Taz and Tony did their best to get him over as a beast and someone to watch. During their entrance, Taz dumped on Billy Gunn and Austin Gunn as well. Taz really heeled it up but seemed to be having fun in his banter with Tony.
Austin stared the match with a handshake with Shawn Dean and the two traded moves and various rollups. Austin tagged in his dad, Billy and they double-teams Dean for a bit until he tagged in M’Badu. After a couple of tests of strengths, Billy Gunn took off his shirt and tried a couple of shoulder blocks that did absolutely nothing. M’Badu and Billy Gunn traded blows, followed by Dean abusing Gunn in the corner. Billy Gunn fought his way out of the corner and nailed M’Badu with a DDT. Both wrestlers tagged their partners and Austin Gunn got the best of Dean and scored a two-count with a pump-handled slam. M’Badu came in for the save, but Billy Gunn headed him off. Dean threw Billy Gunn out of the ring but forgot that Austin Gunn was the legal man. Austin delivered his hip toss, neck-breaker slam for the three-count.
WINNER: The Gunn Club in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: The Gunn Club can go and definitely have the moves down and are pretty clean. Shawn Dean is a good worker as well and the newcomer, M’Badu seemed to have potential as a “big man.” A pretty good match, but I do wish that Billy Gunn would tone down some of his selling. It just seems like he is trying to exaggerate on purpose to be funny and takes one out of the match when he does so. Nevertheless, an okay, enjoyable match.)
(4) MICHAEL STEVENS vs. KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford)
Michael Stevens came out acting like an idiot, dancing and prancing around is a multi-colored unitard. Kip Sabian came out accompanied by Penelope Ford. After the obligatory kiss, Ford went to the outside. Meanwhile in the ring Stevens appeared to dance around in the ring, but it looked more like a seizure of some sort. Sabian took a couple of blows from Stevens but then while Stevens was trying to flirt with Ford, Sabian blasted him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Sabian laid in several kinks and punches and a rather vicious pop-up knee to the face. Sabian grounded Stevens with a front face lock, followed up by a standing knee to the chin and a kick to the chest.
Stevens continued to gyrate and dance around the ring getting in the occasional move, even getting a two-count with a front face plant. Sabian catapulted Stevens into the corner, followed up with second rope DDT and a top rope neck breaker for the win.
WINNER: Kip Sabian in 5:00.
-In the ring after the match, Sabian cut a super brief promo, using just the ambient sound. He stated that he won the first AEW match and deserved a lot better than he has gotten. Stay tuned, could become an angle.
(Morgan’s Take: Sabian looked very good and obviously Stevens was just fodder for him and pretty weird fodder at that. Not much more to say. Just a record builder for Sabian.)
(5) BRIAN PILLMAN JR. & GRIFF GARRISON vs. PRIVATE PARTY (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy)
As they entered Taz and Tony noted that together Brian Pillman and Griff Garrison are 0 and 8. Foreshadowing that they are going to go 0 and 9???
Pillman and Isiah Kassidy started the match, with Isiah using his speed to land a couple of arm drags and a drop kick that pretty much missed. Marq Quen tagged in and continued to batter Pillman. Private Party tagged often keeping Pillman in the ring until he rolled out to the floor. When Isiah attempted a dive through the ropes, Pillman was able to nail him with an elbow and then ram Isiah into Garrisons foot in the corner. Both Garrison and Pillman beat down Isiah until he was able to tag his partner. Private Party double-teams Garrison and ultimately landed a double move (frog splash and leg drop) from the top turnbuckles in opposite corners for the win.
WINNERS: Private Party in 7:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Yup, I told you Pillman and Garrison are now 0 and 9. Plenty of good action, Private Party are exciting and are really honing their act and their wrestling. Pillman and Garrison are credible losers who can help build up the other wrestlers, but they are doing some kind of gimmick with making hand gestures like they are using a movie camera and it just does not work! Stop it!)
(6) PINEAPPLE PETE & AARON SOLOW & COREY HOLLIS vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS (MARKO STUNT & LUCHASAURU & JUNGLE BOY)
Match started out with Marko Stunt and Aaron Solow. After getting in several moves, Marko tapped out quickly to Luchasaurus who continued to beat on Solow. Pineapple Pete and Corey Hollis tried to come in without a tag, but Luchasaurus easily handled all three of them. Jungle Boy tagged in a put Solow in an inverted hold which allowed Marko to climb on Luchasaurus’ shoulder and deliver a flying body press for a two-count. Jungle Boy continued to control Solow, but when he tried for a top rope move, Hollis was able to knock him off the ropes and allowed for Hollis and Pineapple Pete to get in some offense.
Jungle Boy managed to make the tag to Marko who came in and was able to get offense against all three of his opponents. After this, general mayhem ensude with all six competitors in the ring. Jurassic Express cleared the ring of everyone but Pineapple Pete who they triple-teamed, leading to a 450 splash by Marko Stunt who got the three-count and the win.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: It is a good deal of fun watching Jurassic Express if you like 65-million-year-old dinosaurs and very small wrestlers and the son of a movie star. I do. So, this was a fun match, it had all you could want. While Luchasaurus and Marko are the “entertainers”, you can see some real talent in Jungle Boy, and in a couple of years he could be near the top. As for the other team, they were there just to take the beating and they did that very well.)
(7) THE HYBRID 2 (JACK EVANS & ANGELICO) vs. THE NATURAL NIGHTMARES (DUSTIN RHODES & Q.T. MARSHALL w/Brandi Rhodes and Allie)
Angelico and Q.T. Marshall stated us off exchanging moves culminating in a nice drop kick by Marshall, both Jack Evans and Dustin Rhodes tagged in with Dustin getting the best of Evans. Angelico distracted the ref allowing Evans to get the better of Marshall. Angelico tagged in and continued the beat down of Marshall. Marshall crawled to his corner to make the tag, but Evans stopped him, then inexplicably started cutting promo to the roof, allowing Dustin to tag in and take over.
Dustin was in control of both Evans and Angelico, including multiple snap power slams and a moonsault onto both opponents, which led to a double team on Evans with Marshall hitting a pop-up uppercut forearm and Dustin nailing a spinning suplex for the pin.
WINNERS: Dustin Rhodes & Q.T. Marshall in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Both teams are solid performers and while a short match there was good action on both sides. It is too bad that in this format, basically, a way to pad records, Evans and Angelico had to “do the job”. They are an interesting team and rather than doing the job for Dustin and Marshall, should be getting built up themselves. Maybe later?)
-After the match, Brandi made abig deal of congratulating Dustin while holding her action figures. Brandi is making an angle and a marking plan out of the fact that she has her own action figure. Really? Give me a break. But I guess merch is merch.
(8) PENELOPE FORD (w/Kip Sabian) vs. RACHEL ELLERING
The daughter of the great Paul Ellering, Rachel Ellering is making a comeback from an ACL injury and is working hard to knock off the ring rust. Initially the match concentrated on middle of the ring arm drags, head scissors, escapes, etc. Ellering started to do some power moves and appeared to be getting the upper hand until Kip Sabian grabbed the leaf blower used to get debris out of the ring and used it to distract Ellering, allowing Penelope Ford to get the upper hand.
Ellering reversed a hold into a suplex, followed up by a pump kick, a couple of knife chips and a sliding drop kick for a near fall. Ellering threw Ford into the ropes and hit a pop-up slam (they actually missed it the first time and repeated the move – at least that is what it appeared to be). Ellering applied the pin but was only able to get a two-count. Ellering missed a leg drop leading to a double hand-spring elbow in the corner, followed up by a cutter off the ropes and finally a fisherman suplex for the three-count and the win.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 5:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Ford is definitely getting a solid push in AEW and has been showing some real solid work, so her getting the win here makes sense, especially if she is going to stay in the championship hunt. Also, with Ellering just back from a long injury, she just needs time to get all the rust knocked off and I can really see her moving up the ranks, in the next few months. I liked this match.)
(9) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE vs. SCU (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN)
The Butcher and the Blade entered first followed by Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. The Blade and Kazarian started off the match with a prolonged lockup in the middle of the ring, exchanging control back and forth. On commentary, Taz and Shiavone sold the style, explaining the different positioning and how it could lead to an advantage. Kararian tagged in Christopher Daniels and the pair double teamed the blade with some big moves leading to a two-count. Using a knee to the ribs to get separation, the Blade tagged in the Butcher who immediately dominated Daniels with a series of strikes, kicks and stomps, all the while taunting Daniels as “old man”.
The Butcher applied a bear hg in his corner where the Blade tagged in and continued the beat down. Daniels was able to tag with Kazarian and the pair double teamed both the Blade and the Butcher, ultimately leading to a springboard moonsault off the second rope for a near fall. The Butcher was able to tag in, and after some back and forth, they were able to hit a series of back breakers. The Blade was able to keep Daniels from tagging with Kazarian and continued to take it to Daniels. The Butcher and the Blade managed several tags.
Daniels finally made the hot tag to Kazarian who came in on fire taking out both opponents with a variety of rapid-fire moves. As things settled down a bit, Kazarian hit a middle rope leg drop on the Blade and avoided a counter by the Butcher who ended up delivering an elbow drop to his own partner. Kazarian delivered a series of punches to both men, but the Butcher and the Blade were able to get a near fall with a double team slam. Daniels tagged in and SCU hit the Blade with a double team sit-out power bomb for a two-count. While Daniels was occupied in the ring with the Blade, Kazarian slid out of the ring to take on the Butcher but ended up getting flattened himself by a vicious lariat.
Back inside the ring, Daniels put the Blade on the mat. Daniels made to hit his finisher when the Blade grabbed his leg allowing the Butcher to come in with a devastating running cross body, taking Daniels down. The Butcher picked up Daniels and with the Blade positioned with his knees up, delivered their Double D finisher for the win.
WINNERS: The Butcher & the Blade in 12:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Solid action throughout and with both teams having some run on Dynamite the outcome was not too predictable, so the match kept your attention with the several near falls. Both teams are solid, and the match had plenty of hard-hitting action. While it would not be the featured match on the main show, here it served well as the match to end the evening. A thumbs up for SCU and the Butcher and the Blade.)
– Taz and Shiavone used the last minute of the program to tout the upcoming matches on the upcoming Dynamite show on Wednesday night, including a special notice of the night being “Tag Team Appreciation Night.” They said their good nights and the show ended.
FINAL THOUGHTS: As has been noted in many places, AEW Dark is primarily a program to help build the records of the up and coming acts in AEW and not only give them exposure, but give them time in the ring to hone their skills. This week was no different with the winners pretty predictable and the matches running five to six minutes with about seven minutes for the tag teams matches.
My favorite maches tonight were the final match between The Butcher and Blade and SCU, the Penelope Ford vs. Rachel Ellering match and the Private Party match vs. Griff Garrison and Brian Pullman, Jr. The other were kind of just there.
One thing I noted was that Taz and Tony Shiavone promoted the upcoming Wednesday night Dynamite at almost every opportunity. Early on with Dark this was not the case and I like to see AEW using the opportunity of AEW Dark to promote their main show with actual on-air content. Way to go AEW!
Be safe everyone, till next week, take care.