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AEW DARK TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Veda Scott, Taz
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur announced that it would be a super-size edition of AEW Dark and after some rather banal banter sent it to the ring for the first match.
(1) RED VELVETT vs. BRANDI RHODES (w/Dustin Rhodes)
Brandi Rhodes came out and immediately started her whole Bran Bran action figure thing and luckily the bell rung to stop her, and the match started. Brandi and Red Velvett exchanged moves with several kicks and strikes. Brandi took control with a pump kick and mounted Velvett and hit several punches. Brandi hit a sling blade for a near fall and then Anna Jay came out of the tunnel and distracted Brandi allowing Velvett to hit a series of moves including two sling blades and a double knees for a near fall. Brandi came back with a spear and put Velvett in a rear choke while staring right at Anna Jay. Anna left without seeming impressed and Brandi celebrated with Dustin and the Bran Bran action figure.
WINNER: Brandi in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Just a match to put Brandi over and let her push her action figure some more. They really have to stop this; it makes Brandi look like a complete idiot. The match itself was nothing special with most of the moves seeming very choreographed. Red Velvett is only a so-so wrestler, despite her solid athleticism, and Brandi is also only fair. A real nothing match.)
(2) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/Eddie Kingston) vs. DANIEL GARCIA & KEVIN BLACKWOOD
Announcers mentioned that both Daniel Garcia and Kevin Blackwood were teaming up for the first time and also brought up that they were both in a bad car accident a year ago and have made a remarkable recovery to be wrestling again. Butcher and Blade attacked just before the bell and despite some big shots, Garcia and Blackwood took over and got in some offense. The action moved to the floor as Blade beat down Garcia before throwing him back into the ring. Garcia was double teamed as Butcher and Blade made several tags. Garcia finally made the tag and Blackwood came in with some offense before Butcher and Blade took over again. Blackwood tagged out and Garcia tried to mount some offense with a couple of chops to both his opponents, but Butcher and Blade quickly overwhelmed Garcia and hit their Full Death (Suplex onto double knees) finisher. Butcher covered Garcia for the three-count.
WINNERS: The Butcher & The Blade in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Blackwood and Garcia were clearly overmatched from the beginning, just in the size discrepancy, if not also talent. The Butcher and the Blade won very convincingly, showing that they can dominate and cause real destruction. With Eddie Kingston at ringside, the match also furthered the storyline of this faction as Kingston was shown and the announcers made a point of stressing that Kingston was shouting advice and encouragement. Always fun to watch a good squash.)
(3) PENELOPE FORD (w/Kip Sabian) vs. DANI JORDYN
Dani Jordyn came out first with her “burn book”, selling her “Mean Girl” gimmick. Jordyn has a very good athletic look. Penelope Ford entered with Kip Sabian, after the obligatory kiss, Ford prepared for the match by taking off her engagement ring, etc. The announcers noted the upcoming wedding, the introduction of Miro, last week, and Ford’s number four ranking.
The actual match started with Jordyn in control till she attempted a dive which failed with Ford hit her with an elbow as she came through the ropes. Ford continued to abuse Jordyn against the ropes and got a two-count with a roll up. Ford placed Jordyn on her shoulders and dropped her right on top of her knees for a near fall. After some shtick with the burn book, Jordyn made a comeback, but when she went for a running forearm, Ford avoided it with her matrix like back bridge and transitioned into a stunner. Ford followed up by running Jordyn into the turnbuckle and then hit a missile dropkick from the top rope and a fisherman suplex with a bridge pin for the win.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A match to continue to push Ford up the ranks. She has talent and is obviously a solid performer for AEW. On the Missile Drop Kick she may have hurt her back a bit, as the announcers were mentioning it and after the match Ford did seem to be a bit ginger in her movements. It may just have been selling, but she did land a bit hard. As for Dani Jordyn, if she is set as enhancement talent right now, that is ok, she also has talent and did a good job in making Ford look good. Jordyn could get her shot down the road.)
(4) BRIAN CAGE vs. MEGABYTE RONNIE
Don’t quite understand the name, but Megabyte Ronnie made his entrance first followed by Brian Cage displaying the FTW title belt, while Taz went a bit nuts pushing his big star. While the entrances were going on, Ricky Starks joined the announce time. Ok, Veda Scott filled us in on Megabyte: he is an eating competitor, and Scott regaled us with a list of all the different foods that he eats in a very short time span (i.e. 134 wings in 10 minutes). Despite his eating, Megabyte, at 234 lbs., was an impressive specimen, with a pretty ripped physique.
The match finally started with Cage quickly gaining the advantage and hit an arm drag with Megabyte’s head landing on Cage’s knee. Cage continued to punish Megabyte in the corners and in the middle of the ring. After several switches of waist locks and moves, Megabyte was able to get Cage up and hit a power bomb, after which he went over to the corner and retrieved a hot dog out of his fanny pack (did I forget to mention he came out to the ring with a fanny pack?). H proceeded to hit a form of the people’s elbow with the hot dog in his hand. This really only served to piss Cage off, who hit a kick to the face, a form of a 619 (which the announcers did not say) and finished off Megabyte with a vertical side pile driver.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Cage should have beaten this guy in two minutes. I know that the point of AEW Dark is to build up wrestler’s records and for all the participants to get in some offense, but with a wrestler like Cage, he should be built up as a real monster and someone like Megabyte should not be getting in any offense, and should not be doing a spot with a hot dog. Come on, Man!)
(5) GRIFF GARRISON & BRIAN PILLMAN JR vs. SANTANA & ORTIZ
Santana started things off vs. Brian Pillman, after some mid-ring exchanges, Santana hit big uppercut and a dropkick to Pillman’s back. As Santana ran Pillman into the ropes, Griff Garrison made the tag and as Santana rolled up Pillman, Garrison hit Santana with a leg drop. Santana came back strong with a vicious chop in the corner and a super kick. Ortiz tagged in and after a double team with Santana took control. Ortiz and Garrison exchanged moves and blows until Garrison finally tagged in Pillman who came in hot with a forearm off the top rope and one off the ropes putting Ortiz down. Santana entered without a tag and started mixing it up with Pillman, after running the ropes Santana avoided a clothesline and hit a topee onto Garrison out on the floor.
By this time, Ortiz was back up. Pillman went for a delayed suplex but Ortiz was able to reverse it into a power bomb, after which he launched Pillman onto the second rope where Santana was waiting to deliver a knee strike. Ortiz dragged Pillman back to the center of the ring and holding onto his leg, placed his foot on a knocked out Pillman for the three-count.
WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: There was a bit of sloppiness in the match, especially on the power bomb move by Ortiz. Pillman missed putting his hands around Ortiz’s neck to help get him into position, but Ortiz was able to muscle him up and get the move in. Pillman and Garrison were good here and provided good foils for Santana and Ortiz who came out of the match looking impressive as they move towards their big match against the Best Friends on Dynamite. I really wish that the Santana and Ortiz that we see on Dark were the same as we see on Dynamite. For whatever reason, on Dynamite, Santana and Ortiz are played for more comedy than the killer wrestlers they can be. Get your stuff together AEW, these guys can be stars.)
(6) JESSY SORENSEN vs. WILL HOBBS
Jesse Sorensen came out first followed by Will Hobbs. Veda Scott started selling Will Hobbs strong and Taz and Ricky Starks (still at the commentary desk) were grudging in their praise. Hobbs has definitely been getting somewhat of a push lately and looked good here. He quickly took the action to Sorensen, beating him down in the corner. Sorensen mounted somewhat of a comeback including a kick to the head, but Hobbs hit a powerful spine buster followed by picking him up onto his shoulder and running him into the corner and finished him off with a running power slam for the win.
WINNER: Will Hobbs in 1:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Finally, a legit squash match. Hobbs looked dominant and is obviously in line for a spot on the main show somewhere down the line. Quick and simple.)
(7) SKYLER MOORE & RACHE CHANEL vs. DIAMANTE & IVELISSE
Skyler Moore and Rache Chanel were teaming for the first time and as they came out, Veda Scott was selling Chanel’s “high-fashion” angle, talking about all the suitcases and trunks she had in the locker room. Why? Diamante and Ivelisse made their entrance selling their tag team cup medallions.
Exchanging moves and tags, both teams got in several moves until Diamante hit a brutal uppercut and dragged Chanel over to her corner to tag in Ivelisse who hit a spinning DDT off the top rope for a near fall. Ivelisse continued to pound Chanel’s head into the mat and transitioned into a Dragon Sleeper in the middle of the ring. Chanel was able to fight out of it, but Ivelisse maintained control and tagged in Diamante. Diamante sprinted across the ring and knocked Moore off the apron then turned around and delivered a running drop kick to Chanel who was still crumpled in the corner.
While the ref was distracted by Moore entering the ring, Diamante and Ivelisse double teamed Chanel with several shots. After being thrown into the ropes by Diamante, Chanel hit a flying body check for a two count. Diamante kicked out and went for the tag to Ivelisse while Chanel also tagged in her partner. Ivelisse and Skyler Moore both ran at each other with Moore getting the initial advantage. After several forearms and a flying head scissors, Moore went for the pin, but Diamante broke it up at two. Chanel rushed the ring, but Diamante tossed her over the ropes.
Ivelisse and Diamante double teamed Moore, with Diamante hitting a back stabber and Ivelisse hit a rolling flip followed by a kick to the face for the three count.
WINNERS: Diamante & Ivelisse in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Diamante and Ivelisse are really good, but Moore and Chanel are not. If AEW really wants to build up these two women, they need to put them in the ring with better talent. Chanel is really a comedy act and Moore’s moves looked loose and were not sharp. I am looking forward to seeing what Ivelisse can do against Thunderosa on Dynamite this week. That should be a match.)
(8) COLT CABANA (w/Dark Order) vs. Q.T. MARSHALL (w/Allie)
When Colt Cabana came out, he was accompanied by all of Dark Order (except Brodie Lee) and the announcers made a point to stress that while Lee is probably still pissed at Colt, there is some support from the Dark Order for Colt.
The match started with mid-ring mat wrestling with Colt finally tossing Q.T. Marshall out of the ring. Marshall made his way back in and Colt sent him into the corner. Colt seemed to be making a clean break, but Stu Greyson started yelling at him to hit Marshall the way a bad guy should. Colt was still torn but went for a punch, but Marshall reversed it and decked Colt. Marshall followed up with an Irish Whip, several forearms and a drop kick for a near fall. As Marshall started up the ropes, the Dark Order distracted him allowing Colt to pull him off the ropes and hit a splash move for a two-count.
The two exchanged shots and near falls going back and forth, with Colt gaining somewhat of an advantage. Marshall was able to switch things up and hit several moves finally going for the top turnbuckle for some sort of dive with Colt prone in the middle of the ring. Marshall hit a flying back elbow, called for the diamond cutter but Colt avoided it, but Marshall was able to hit a reverse flat liner for a near fall.
Marshall again went for the turnbuckles but missed the move when Colt ducked and instead Colt was able to land several shots, knocking Marshall to the mat. Getting up Marshall tried for the Diamond Cutter again, but Colt avoided it moving into the corner. On the stage, Uno and Greyson were talking and hatched a plan. As Uno dropped his leg over the ropes and talked to Colt, Grayson ran around the ring on the floor. As the ref was trying to get Uno out of the ring, Greyson snuck into the ring and delivered a flying knee to Marshall’s jaw, putting him down. At Uno’s urging, Colt took advantage and with Marshall struggling to his feet, Colt hit a spinning clothesline and dropped Marshall and covered him for the pin.
WINNER: Colt Cabana in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: This was a good match and a nice continuation of the whole Colt Cabana and The Dark Order storyline. Of course, Colt had to win here, and Marshall was just the sacrificial lamb. I am surprised that they are doing this match on Dark as it is part of a main storyline on Dynamite, but I would assume that it will be mentioned, if not replayed, at least a bit of it, on Dynamite.)
(9) BRANDON CUTLER vs. PETER AVALON (w/Leva Bates)
Peter Avalon entered first doing his “shhhhh-ing” thing, followed by Brandon Cutler in full dragon mask regalia, playing on the whole gaming thing. They immediately started going at it as the announce team spoke about how neither man had a victory in AEW to date. Cutler seemed to be getting the best of things with the bigger moves including a topee out onto the floor. Cutler and Avalon continued to beat on each other out on the floor while Leva Bates cried for them to both stop.
Avalon took control with a cross body, a dive off the ropes and a half-crab. Cutler reached the ropes and the hold was broken. Avalon grabbed Leva’s book to brain Cutler but, Leva grabbed it back, leaving Avalon open for a reverse DDT for a near fall. Avalon came back with a tiger driver for a two count. He followed up with a knee to the back of Cutler’s head and a split leg moon Sault for a tow count.
The wrestler’s exchanged big moves and two-counts. Both men were on the top turnbuckle exchanging blows and they knocked each other off, both making hard contact with the apron. They were slow to get up and as the ref started counting, they each connected with several blows. As the ref reached seven, Avalon went for the ring, but Cutler pulled him back and then as Cutler went for the ring at the eight count, Avalon grabbed his leg and pulled him back. As the ref counted 10, neither man made it back into the ring and it was a double count out, meaning that still, neither man has a victory in AEW.
NO WINNER: Double countout
(Morgan’s Take: This has been a running gag on AEW Dark that Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon can not get a win in AEW, either as a tag team or as a single and it caused them to breakup and start feuding with each other. As you would expect with this comedy feud, in a match where one of them should have broken the string, neither one could win. It is stupid, but I kind of enjoyed it. Cutler has some talent and Avalon also did a good job, not a bad six-minute match, even if there was not winner. It is kind of historic, only the Cody-Darby Allen match did not have a winner, so this is only the second time in AEW history that a match had no decision. Amazing!)
(10) MAXX STARDOM & DONTAE SMILEY vs. TRENT & CHUCK TAYLOR
Once again, the announcers pointed out that Maxx Stardom and Dontae Smiley are making not only their debut on AEW but are first time tag team partners. Meanwhile, the announce team noted that going into their parking lot match with Santana & Ortiz, it was very important for Trent and Chuck Taylor to win this match.
Taylor and Stardom started things off with Taylor landing a big leg strike, forcing Stardom to tag Smiley in. Taylor landed a could of blow before tagging in Trent who kept up the punishment. Smiley was able to get in an athletic drop kick, but Trent quickly came back with a running knee strike.
The Best Friends tagged frequently and continued to abuse Smiley, showing strong aggression. Smiley finally tagged in Stardom who hit several shots to Trent before Trent responded with a suplex that led to both men tagging in their partners. Taylor sent Smiley to the floor and followed him out and drove him into the barricade. As Stardom tried to come to Smiley’s defense, Taylor threw him into the path of a spear from Trent. Back in the ring, Taylor hit a back elbow and tagged in Trent. After a couple more shots, the Best Friends hit a Half and Half/Soul Food combo to Smiley, and they followed up with back to back stuffed pile drivers with Trent getting the pin.
WINNERS: Chuck Taylor & Trent in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: This match was all about how much the Best Friends can turn up the aggression in advance of their Parking Lot match against Santana and Ortiz. In this match these were not the happy-go-lucky, hugging best friends. They were on a mission to show their upcoming opponents that they can throw down and bring it. For that purpose, this match worked.)
(11) THE DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Greyson & John Silver & Alex Reynolds w/the rest of Dark Order) vs. ISIAH KASSIDY & MARQ QUEN & BILLY GUNN & AUSTIN GUNN
The match started off with Billy Gunn and Alex Reynolds. Billy no sold attacks for Reynolds, hit a clothesline and tagged in Austin. The team kept Reynolds in their corner, tagging frequently. This continued with Austin hit a big back drop for a one-count, Reynolds was able to drive Austin back into his corner where the Dark Order beat him down,
Austin was able to work his way out and took Reynolds back into his corner where Private Party went to town culminating in an impressive shotgun drop kick. Now it was Marq Quen’s turn to get isolated and beat down. During the abuse, Uno hit a delayed vertical suplex for a two-count, broken up by Kassidy. After several minutes, Quen was finally able to mount some offense and made the tag to Billy who came in firing, land fists on all members of the Dark Order.
Following Billy’s entrance all hell broke loose which each wrestler coming in and hitting a big move and then having a big move hit on them. You could see ref Aubrey Edwards trying to keep track of everything and who was legal and who was not. Jim Ross would have been going nuts if he was on commentary for this match. As things calmed down, Uno made a point of getting tagged in and went after Austin who was legal. He put Austin up in the rack and Greyson came off the top rope face planting Austin on the mat. Uno applied the pin and got the three-count for the win.
WINNERS: The Dark Order in 11:00.
(Morgan’s Take: While longer than most matches on Dark, about five minutes was an isolation and beat down or Marq Quen in the corner. For all the flying around by everyone, there was actually almost too much action that made things tough to follow. Everyone involved showed their ability (with the possible exception of Billy Gunn, who while he looks impressive, is not much of a wrestler anymore – age will do that). Ultimately, kind of a pointless match. I would much have more liked a match with just Private Party vs. The Dark Order (Uno & Grayson?) to continue their build.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked what Veda Scott added to the announce team, she mostly brings an authentic enthusiasm, especially when compared to Excalibur and his “know it all attitude”, and Taz who while fun to listen to, can be a bit fake at times. Not everything she does is good, mostly when it’s apparent that she is doing scripted lines, but mostly she is a good listen.
As for the show as a whole, I did like the Best Friends match, there was a point to it, showing that they are “meaning” up for their parking lot match, the Hobbs squash, the Penelope Ford match and the Butcher and the Blade match. The only real stinker was the Brandi Rhodes match, this woman should not be wrestling.
Be safe and take care, see you next week.