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AEW DARK TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 8, 2020
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur and Taz introduced the show and went quickly to the ring.
(1) SEAN LEGACY vs. WILL HOBBS
Sean Legacy was making his debut and both Taz and Exclaibur made mention of Will Hobbs’ strong run in the Casino Battle Royale. As the match started Legacy and Hobbs were going for a test of strength, but Legacy went for a heel move with a kick to the midsection, establishing his heel status. Hobbs went for and hit several major strength moves including a delayed vertical suplex followed by another suplex and a front face slam. Hobbs picked up Legacy onto his shoulder and rammed him into the corner and then finished legacy off with a running power slam for the win.
WINNER: Will Hobbs in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: With his strong showing at All Out and the complete squash of Legacy in this match, Hobbs definitely appears to be on the rise and I would not be surprised to see him on the main show in a couple of months.)
(2) BRIAN CAGE vs. TONY DONATI
Taz was vociferous in his pushing of Brain Cage and Team Taz as was expected. Tony Donati looked tiny next to Cage and Cage quickly abused Donati with several moves including a German Suplex that propelled Donati across the ring. After doing some bicep curls using Donati as a barbell, Donati got in a few forearms before Cage hit a series of power moves (power bomb, buckle bomb and reverse face first slam) for the three-count.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 2:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Just a complete squash. Cage looked impressive and Donati was good as the sack of potatoes Cage was abusing.)
(3) GRIFF GARRISON vs. ANGELICO
Griff Garrison came out first to a pretty big build up by both Taz and Excalibur. Garrison has the look of a young Jericho (not the talent at this point, but definitely the look). Garrison and Angelico tied up in the middle of the ring and after working into the ropes, broke clean. The wrestlers exchanged arm twists and other basic mat wrestling moves. Finally, Garrison hit a spinning forearm to Angelico’s jaw, and Angelico countered with a few whips into the opposing corners. Angelico applied a figure four lock to Garrison’s head, but the hold was broken by the ref when Angelico used the ropes for extra leverage.
Garrison fought back with several elbow strikes but ran into a back elbow from Angelico, which Angelico followed up with another submission choke. Garrison reached the ropes and the ref broke the hold. Garrison came back strong with several running elbows in the corner and finished up Angelico with a spinning sit out power bomb for a near fall. Garrison tried to follow up with another power move, but Angelico tied him up in knots, hit a spinning ankle lock and transitioned into a reverse figure four leg lock for the submission win.
Winner: Angelico in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A solid match and I was convinced that Garrison was going to win with the power bomb, but I liked the switch-up and Angelico winning with an inventive submission move. While neither wrestler is going to set the world on fire right now, both showed well here and was an enjoyable, if a bit slow match.)
(4) SKYLER MOORE vs. ANNA JAY (w/Dark Order)
Anna Jay was escorted by six of the Dark Order and showed some star power. Skyler Moore was quickly on the defensive as Anna Jay sent her from corner to corner and just pummeled her. Moore hit a could of arm drags and a power slam, but Anna Jay quickly rolled out of the ring to break Moore’s momentum. After reentering the ring, Anna Jay went back on the attack, but Moore countered and hit a suplex for a two-count. Anna Jay put Moore on the second rope in the corner and raked her back and hit a hard stomp and after dragging Moore to the middle of the ring, put on the rear naked choke for the submission win.
WINNER: Anna Jay in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: While not quite a squash as Skyler Moore did get in a couple of moves and a near fall, the match was a showcase for Anna Jay and her choke submission move. Nothing really special here, Anna Jay is improving, but the match had the appearance of both wrestlers going through the moves in their heads making an action a bit stilted. I think Anna Jay can be a solid player, but she still needs some more time before being ready for Primetime. A Thunderosa vs. Shida match this was not.)
(5) LEE JOHNSON vs. EDDIE KINGSTON
As the match was getting started, Excalibur asked rhetorically whether this would be Lee Johnson’s first win with AEW, I guessed that it would not. Eddie Kingston came out and disrespected Johnson by throwing his shirt at him. Johnson tried for a shoulder slam which did nothing and Kingston told him to try again with the same result. Kingston then hit a back throw and several kicks and chops.
Kingston continued to hit several chops but after throwing Johnson into the corner ran right into Johnson’s elbow. Johnson hit a drop kick from the top rope and a thunder bomb to Kingston for a two-count. Kingston came off the ropes with a running knee and a spinning back fist and got the pin.
WINNER: Eddie Kingston in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Of course, Kingston was going to win this one, and I think it would have been better if Johnson did not get as much offense as he did. The spinning back fist finish was devastating and could probably have been hit earlier for a move powerful squash than was booked here. Kingston is too good to be fighting in this type of match. He needs to face better competition.)
(6) SONNY KISS vs. SERPENTICO
As should be expected with these two, the matched started with several gymnastic moves with lots of flips and dives. Serpentico got a two-count with a dive from the apron over the top rope onto Sonny Kiss. Serpentico kept up the attack with Kiss mounting little resistance until he was able to hit a couple of kicks and split slam for a two-count. Kiss and Serpentico exchanged strong moves and two-counts until Serpentico missed a charge into the corner slamming himself into the turnbuckle which Kiss took advantage of by hitting a flip taking Serpentico to the mat and into a pinning position for the three-count.
WINNER: Sonny Kiss in 5:00.
(Morgan’s Take: I did not like the match at all. Yes, the high-flying moves, splits, back bridges, etc. are fun, but Sonny Kiss is still more gymnast than wrestler and Serpentico is not good enough to cover for Kiss. Just a bunch of moves with no flow to tie them together and no emotion. Not good.)
(7) RICKY STARKS vs. BEN CARTER
Taz once again got all excited with one of his guys in the match and touted Ricky Starks big time as he came out. As for Ben Carter, Excalibur gushed about him as a special highflyer out of the UK making his first appearance with AEW. Gee, guess who walked away with the win here?
Anyway, the match started with Starks offering a handshake which Carter accepted and of course Starks immediately hit him with an elbow to the jaw. Both wrestlers worked arm moves and basic mat wrestling moves, with Starks ultimately hitting a potentially low blow kick. Carter hit a drop kick, but Starks caught Carter out of the corner and landed a power bomb. Starks kept up the attacks with Carter hitting some chops until Starks pounded him with a vicious elbow and took control.
Starks threw Carter to the ropes and hit a back elbow, but Carter came back with a flurry of chops but ran into a foot to the face as he tried to press his advantage. Starks slammed Carter to the mat using a rear waist lock but could only manage a two-count. Starks grounded Carter but he was able to escape and after an exchange of positions, Carter landed a powerful super kick to Starks. With Starks prone in the middle of the canvas, Carter leapt to the top rope and hit an impressive frog splash for a two-count near fall.
Carter went to the top rope again and attempted a twisting 360 splash, but Starks moved out of the way and Carter splatted face first. As Carter tried to regain his senses, Starks hit a powerful spear followed up by the Roshambo for the win.
WINNER: Ricky Starks in 8:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A very good match. Ben Carter definitely has some talent and he was a very good opponent for Ricky Starks. He had several good moves and was impressive with his more high-flying moves. To get the win, Starks not only had to show his mean side, but his solid wrestling background and talent as well. I really enjoyed this match and it was a fun watch.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I think what I liked about this AEW Dark the most was that there were only seven matches. The nature of Dark is to use the matches to build records and reputations in relatively quick four to five-minute matches. When there are nine plus of these, it gets tedious and repetitive. This week we had a couple of real squash matches (i.e. short), a couple of duds and a good “main event”. Definitely check out the Ricky Starks vs. Ben Carter match and if you want to see an up and comer, check out the opener with Will Hobbs.
One pet peeve: Ring announcer, Justin Roberts always announces a 20-minute time limit for the matches. Come on! The longest I have seen a match go here is maybe 10 minutes with perhaps 90% of the matches going five minutes or less. Just don’t announce the time limit, it really is that simple.