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AEW DARK TV REPORT
OCTOBER 20, 2020
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz, with Ricky Starks joining the team after his match.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur introduced the show and spoke briefly with Taz about the upcoming Ricky Starks match and the fact that Starks will be joining them later before he threw it to the ring.
(1) SHAWN SPEARS (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
The match started off with some mid-ring chain wrestling and with Spears taunting Daniels. Spears ran the ropes ending with Daniels hitting a clothesline and suplex to take control. When Spears left the ring, Daniels vaulted over the top rope and continued to dish out punishment on the floor. Spears was able to reverse things and hit a nick breaker on the floor. Spears took the match back into the ring and nailed Daniels with several double axe handle blows and a knee to the head.
Daniels avoided a second knee and both wrestlers exchanged big moves with Daniels getting the advantage with a STO and ultimately dumped Spears out of the ring. As they reentered the ring Daniels hung spears up on the top rope and hit a cross body off the top turn buckle for a two-count. After several reversals back and forth Daniels went for an over the top rope move, but Spears caught him with a C4 for the win.
After the match Spears hit a second C4 and made a big production of loading up the glove, but Scorpio Sky rushed the ring to prevent spears from hitting Daniels. So, Spears attacked some poor production guy with the loaded glove and laid him out and they moved on to the next match as Spears and Sky stared each other down.
WINNER: Shawn Spears in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A good opening match with some good action and seemed to set up an upcoming match or feud with Scorpio Sky. Using the loaded glove on the poor tech guy seemed a bit over the top, but if Spears is going to move up and go anywhere, he has got to become a really nasty, dastardly heel.)
(2) BRANDI RHODES (w/Dustin Rhodes) vs. KILYNN KING
After the standard mid-ring tie-up, the wrestlers exchanged head scissors, head locks and various leverage pinning moves without anyone getting a clear advantage. After a mid-ring handshake (???), Brandi nailed King with an elbow in the corner, followed by a leg flip for a two-count. Jon Silver came out with a “Johnny Hungee” sign, which I will confess I have no concept about (probably something from Being the Elite, which I don’t watch that often), but nonetheless, this distracted Brandi, which allowed King to attempt a come back but Brandi nailed her with a Sling Blade for a two-count. King made a brief comeback, but Brandi connected with a Pump Kick for the three-count.
After the match, Brandi helped King to her feet and they raised each other’s hands, so Brandi’s march to the babyface side continued and all signs point to some kind of matchup versus Anna Jay.
WINNER: Brandi Rhodes in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A pure enhancement match for Brandi. King was good enough as an obstacle for Brandi to conquer, but while Brandi does the big moves well, like a Sling Blade or Spear, she is still not smooth with her transitions and as such her matches appear a bit slow and a bit clunky.)
(3) DAVID ALI vs. RICKY STARKS
Starks came out and initially taunted Ali, and then proceeded to pound on Ali, nailing him with a forearm, tossing him into the corner and connecting with a vicious chop. Ali was able to fight back and hit a missile drop kick and a huge uppercut, before going to the top turnbuckle. Starks knocked Ali off the turnbuckle before he could make his move, followed up with a vicious knee and delivered his Roshambo finisher for the pin.
WINNER: Ricky Starks in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Pretty much a squash, though Ali was booked to get some offense in. I enjoy watching Starks’ matches, but they have to tone down some of Taz’s over the top, gushing, commentary about how great he is. I know Taz is supposed to be the heel manager of Starks, but if he is going to be at the announce table, it should be more subtle.)
– After the match Starks joined the commentary team.
(4) SCORPIO SKY vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Sky and Del Sol exchanged arm and wrist control. After some back and forth Del Sol nailed Sky with a knee coming off the ropes for a two-count, but Sky countered quickly with a Russian Leg Sweep to regain control. After some ineffectual punches by Del Sol, Sky connected with a Back Breaker on his knee and put Del Sol into a deep Abdominal Stretch. Breaking the hold, Del Sol nailed Sky with a drop kick and a drive over the ropes. This was followed up by Del Sol hitting several athletic moves leading to several two-counts. After dropping Sky, Del Sol went to the top rope and went for a Missile Drop Kick, but Sky caught his feet and countered into the Scorpion Death Lock with Del Sol tapping out almost instantly.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 5:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A lot of big high-flying moves but very little selling which made the match very much a dance rather than a wrestling match. But so be it, tally up another win for Scorpio Sky.)
(5) AARON SOLOW vs. LUCHASAURUS (w/Jungle Boy)
Jungle Boy did not stay ring side for the match. After intro, he went back through the tunnel. Luchasaurus stood in the middle of the ring and no sold any of Solow’s shots. After he threw Solow into the corner, he nailed him with several punches and tossed him across the ring. Solow made a comeback and knocked Luchasaurus out of the ring with a drop kick. Solow dove through the ropes and it appeared he missed and went splat on the floor. Luchasaurus picked him up and put him on the apron after-which Solow hit a spinning DDT on the floor.
Solow rolled Luchasaurus into the ring, and after exchanging several moves Solow continued to avoid several of Luchasaurus big moves until Luchasaurus connected with a leg whip kick, a knee to the face and a standing moonsault for the win.
WINNER: Luchasaurus in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: This is one of the AEW Dark matches that I don’t understand. Luchasaurus is twice the size of Solow and as one of the bigger (no pun intended) acts on AEW to have him take a ton of shots from Solow and have to sell for him is just stupid. End the match in two minutes, no need to have Solow make a comeback and be competitive.)
(6) BRIAN PILLMAN JR & GRIFF GARRISON vs. THE BUTCH & THE BLADE
Garrison started things off versus Blade. Blade came out strong with several shots in the corner. Garrison tagged out and Pillman made some headway, until Butcher tagged in and pounded on him. Butcher and Blade tagged frequently and continued to do damage to Pillman keeping him in their corner. The abuse continued as Pillman almost made it to his corner to make the tag, but Butcher prevented him from making it. Pillman finally hit a top rope bull dog and tagged in Garrison who went to town nailing Blade with a boot for a two-count before Butcher broke things up and with Pillman entering the ring all four wrestlers went at it.
With both Butcher and Blade in opposite corners, Pillman and Garrison performed double running splashes and appeared to be in control until both Butcher and Blade reversed the situation knocking Pillman out of the ring and hitting their double-team finisher (assisted body slam neck breaker) on Garrison for the win.
WINNERS: The Butcher 6 The Blade in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A solid tag team match. Pillman sold his beat down well and the right team won, especially since Butcher and Blade are going to be in a number one contenders match on Dynamite on Wednesday.)
(7) PENTA EL ZERO vs Q.T. MARSHALL (w/Dustin Rhodes)
Penta nailed Marshall with several kicks and after Marshall sent Penta to the floor and went for a dive, Penta hammered him with a knee. Penta kept up the abuse concentrating on kicks to the hamstring. Marshall made a come back with several uppercuts, but after avoiding a setup by Marshall on the top turnbuckle, Penta nailed Marshall with a stomp for a two count.
Both wrestlers exchanged moves and kicks, leading to a Sling Blade by Penta for a two-count. As they continued to exchange blows, Eddie Kingston made his way onto the stage with a microphone. Penta went for a package pile driver, but Marshall countered and they each hit clotheslines and kicks simultaneously leaving them both stunned. At this point, Kingston finally started talking and told Marshall he had a surprise for him, and Allie walked out in her old “Bunny” outfit. Distracted, Marshall ate a cross body from Penta, but was able to come back until Penta wrapped him up in a Pump Handle Slam for a near fall. Penta went for an arm bar, but Marshall countered with a Michinuko Driver for a two-count. After the kick-out, Penta was able to connect with a Destroyer and a Package Pile Driver for the three-count.
WINNER: Penta El Zero in 7:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Marshall tried, but he could not match the athleticism of Penta, but he match was good with some good near falls and the angle with Allie (the Bunny) is interesting and I can imagine become an angle on Dynamite sometime soon.)
(8) JUNGLE BOY (w/Luchasaurus) vs. KTB
Excalibur made a point to say that KTB had been tearing it up on the independents lately, OK, whatever. Jungle Boy used his speed to land several kicks, but KTB turned things around as KTB nailed several big shots including a modified Coffin Drop off the ropes. After several kicks by Jungle Boy, KTB got several two-counts with an assortment of slams and body drops. Jungle Boy fought back with uppercuts and a clothesline, followed up by a dive through the ropes and a DDT for a near fall. Jungle Boy went for a top rope move, but KTB countered with a flip knee for a two-count. With Jungle Boy prone on the mat, KTB went for a top rope moonsault, but Jungle Boy moved and KTB went splat. Jungle Boy quickly went to the top turnbuckle, after a knee to the head, and nailed KTB with a Diving Knee Drop for the win.
WINNER: Jungle Boy in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Here was another example of the obvious enhancement talent (KTB) getting too much offense. KTB was significantly bigger than Jungle Boy and so it is plausible, but it does Jungle Boy no favors. They may be grooming KTB, but if so, this was not the match to debut him. Jungle Boy should have been against someone much closer to his size who he could have beaten easily. AEW Dark can be frustrating sometimes.)
(9) IVELISSE & DIAMANTE vs. KENZIE PAIGE & SKYLER MOORE
At the bell, Ivelisse and Diamante attacked and pretty much tossed by Paige and Moore from pillar to post. Things settled down to Diamante and Moore. Ivelisse and Diamante kept Moore in their corner and continued to abuse her with frequent tags. Moore managed some offense and hit a cross body off the top rope after which both women nailed each other with clotheslines. Both stunned they each managed to tag their partners and Paige and Ivelisse both rushed in with Paige getting the advantage with a Sling Blade and a face plant for a two-count as Diamante came in to break it up. Diamante took out Moore as she came in to help and Ivelisse and Diamante double teamed Paige. Culminating in the pin with a double suplex and an Ivelisse round kick on the matt for the win.
WINNERS: Ivelisse & Diamante in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: I really like both Ivelisse and Diamante and while it may have taken four minutes this was really a showcase for how damaging they can be. Yes, Moore and Paige did get in some offense, but in this case that is OK as it really wasn’t consequential and, in the end, both women looked tough and hopefully can upgrade the women’s division.)
(10) BSHP KING vs. COLT CABANA (w/Dark Order)
As Cabana came out, he kept looking up the tunnel for the Dark Order, but they were not there with him tonight. Colt ran a round for a bit and went for a quick roll up two-count. Cabana and King settled into a rather bland back and forth and finally Ron Silver and Alex Reynolds of Dark Order came out onto the stage. After King nailed Cabana out to the stage, Cabana sent the Dark Order packing and the match continued.
After Silver and Reynolds left, Cabana and King locked up in a test of strength after which Cabana took control landing several blows, but the Dark Order came out again distracting Cabana which allowed King to try for a senton off the top rope but Cabana got his knees up, hit a splash in the corner and nailed the three-count with his Superman pinning move for the win.
WINNER: Colt Cabana in 4:00
(Morgan’s Take: A very strange and quite frankly disjointed match, but I guess that is what they were going for with the weird show/no show of the Dark Order. I can only assume that this angle will be fleshed out on the main show concerning how Colt Cabana and the Dark Order are going to or not going to get along. We will see. As for the match: not good.):
(11) ADAM PRIEST vs. ALAN “5” ANGELS (w/The Dark Order)
At the bell, Angels came out strong with a running drop kick and several hard shots in the corner. Priest countered and the two exchange hard shots. Angels nailed Priest with a back stomp and hit a flying moonsault for a two-count, after which Priest was able to come back with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker for a near fall. After kicking out, Angels went on a run landing several blows culminating in the Wing Snapper for the win.
WINNER: Alan “5” Angels in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Fast and furious, this was fun. Lots of action and nice and quick. Thumbs up.)
(12) FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. JACK EVANS (w/Angelico)
Before this match, Kazarian had an old school promo on Evans laying out how he is a well-travelled veteran and that he saw this match as very important to him. More of this please.
The match started off with quite a bit of old school chain wrestling in the middle of the ring with Kazarian taking the advantage with a pair of deep arm drags. After a shot by Evans, Kazarian was on the ropes and while Evans distracted the ref, Angelico nailed Kazarian with a punch. Evans was able to capitalize for a two count. Evans tossed Kazarian onto the floor and again distracted the ref allowing Angelico to hit Kazarian with a pair of stomps.
Evans Irish Whipped Kazarian into the corner but when Evans went for the splash, Kazarian rolled him up for a two count. After both wrestlers ran the ropes, Kazarian again rolled up Evans in a crucifix pin but Evans kicked out at two. In the meantime, Angelico jumped on the apron and tried to put a shoulder into Kazarian’s gut, but Kazarian nailed him with a Guillotine Leg Drop, knocking of the apron and out of his shoes!
Kazarian hammered Evans for a two-count, then hit a leg drop off the second rope for another two-count. Angelico again jumped on the apron, distracting Kazarian allowing Evans to nail him with a round house kick for a near fall. Evans got another near fall with a Sky Twister Press. After some back and forth, Evans had Kazarian in position for a reverse neck breaker, but Kazarian used the ropes to reverse the hold and hit a reverse DDT and applied the pin for the three-count.
WINNER: Frankie Kazarian in 8:00.
(Morgan’s Take: This was a really good match between two really talented ring technicians. Most of the action was clean and crisp and they told a nice little story within the match. Note that after the match, Christopher Daniels came out to celebrate with Kazarian)
(13) LOUIE VALLE & BARON BLACK & D3 vs. THE DARK ORDER (Ron Silver & Alex Reynolds & “10” w/Anna Jay & Alan Angels)
Reynolds and Valle started things off with Reynolds trying to recruit Valle to the Dark Order which Valle turned down and received a vicious forearm for his trouble. After exchanging several big shots, Valle tagged in Black and Reynolds tagged in Silver. After some back and forth, D3 tagged in as did “10”. “10” abused D3, after several tags, “10” nailed D3 with a delayed vertical suplex.
The action went back and forth with “10” doing most of the damage. Ultimately, with both Black and D3 out of commission on the floor, Valle put up a good fight, but when he went for a dive off the top rope, “10” and Reynolds caught him and set him up in a crucifix position so Silver could run through and they hit the Drinking Bird flip. “10” applied the cover for the win.
WINNER: The Dark Order in 7:00.
(Morgan’s Take: As I have noted here before, on AEW Dark they are keeping the Dark Order quite strong and these three, Ron Silver, Alex Reynolds, and “10” – Preston Vance – are the top rank for the Dark Order. They definitely showed their stuff in this match. Of their opponents, really, only Valle seemed to have some room to grow, the other two were pretty invisible.)
(14) WARDLOW vs. VINNY PACIFICO
Pacifico tried. At the bell he flew at Wardlow with a drop kick that didn’t even back Wardlow up an inch, maybe a millimeter. Then he went after Wardlow’s leg where Wardlow just picked him up and planted him into the mat. After this, Wardlow picked up Pacifico under his arms, placed his feet on the top turnbuckle, held him up by his neck with one arm and proceeded to let him drop as he brought up his knee for a brutal knee strike. Pacifico dropped to the mat and the ref ran over, checked on him and called for the bell immediately. He was out!
WINNER: Wardlow in 0.45.
(Morgan’s Take: YAY! I true squash match, just as it should have been. I mean Pacifico weighed in at 177 pounds, Wardlow should take him out in under a minute. Well done AEW!)
– After the match, just for the fun of it, Wardlow picked up Pacifico and did a couple of airplane spins and propelled Pacifico across the ring in a truly heelish, and possibly, very painful move. It looked like Pacifico landed right on his knee. Ouch!
– This was followed up by a promo by Eddie Kingston proclaiming the “family” back together again as he was standing not only in front of Penta, Fenix, Butcher & Blade, but Allie joined them as well. Let’s hear it for El Familia!
(15) SHAWN DEAN vs. MATT SYDAL
Sydal took early control using mostly technical wrestling moves. Dean countered with several moves himself and nailed Sydal with a drop kick. Sydal was able to counter with a couple of leg lariats and then went to work on Dean’s knee and ankle. Sydal hit a standing twisting senton for a two-count and followed up with a Fisherman Suplex for another near fall. Dean managed a couple of forearms but Sydal reversed into a submission hold, but Dean broke the hold, nailed Sydal with a drop kick and tiger bomb for a one-count. They exchanged moves until Sydal caught Dean with a Round House Kick, transitioned into the Cobra Clutch and Dean tapped out.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 7:00.
(Morgan’s Take: It is actually a ton of fun to watch Matt Sydal work. He is an artist and he and Dean put on a nice display of wrestling. Worth a watch.)
(16) REY FENIX (w/Eddie Kingston) vs. SONNY KISS (w/Joey Janella)
After walking around for a bit, Fenix offered a test of strength which Kiss accepted. Fenix got the advantage but eventually they broke the hold and went for a bunch of athletic moves until Fenix hit a hurricanranna and a vicious kick to Kiss’ face. Fenix went for a bunch of rope work, isolating the arm and applied several different submission moves.
Kiss finally fought back with elbows and forearms and motioned for Fenix to come at him. As Fenix charged, Kiss went for the Matrix back bend but collapsed due to the damage Fenix had done to Kiss’ arm and wrist. Fenix immediately clamped on another submission focusing on the arm and followed this up with a series of three brutal kicks for a two-count. Kiss was able to fight back and landed a twisting, flying elbow and an enziguri which left Fenix crumpled in the corner.
Kiss kept up the attack with a twisting elbow in the corner followed up by the X’s & O’s and then an over the top rope Split Leg Splash for a near fall. Kiss ran at Fenix on the apron allowing Fenix to put his shoulder into Kiss and flip over and grab his leg attempting to roll Kiss into a Boston Crab. Kiss rolled out of it and caught Fenix with a kick and a modified DDT and then went to the top turnbuckle. Fenix recovered and hit an impressively high running knee to Kiss’ face and followed up with a spinning spike for the three-count.
WINNER: Rey Fenix in 8:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Non-stop action as you would expect from these two. This is the best that I have seen Kiss look. A couple of his moves still looked a bit more “gymnastics” rather than “wrestling”, but by working with Rey Fenix much of the rough edges that Sonny Kiss can show, were smoothed over and the match was solid.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: The main point of the show tonight was to showcase all of the wrestlers in the singles tournament match for the shot at the championship. The announce team made a point of mentioning the tournament constantly. OK, I get it, there is a tournament starting tomorrow.
I will say again, I think they give the opponents of the wrestlers they are trying to build up a little too much offense. Just do squashes. I am old school, I used to watch back in the 70’s (1970’s) and the weekly shows were squashes, where the “squashee” got in maybe one punch before he was destroyed (see the Wardlow-Pacifico match tonight). If it was a heel doing the destruction, to stretch the match out a bit, they would have them stop the pin at two by lifting up the head or something. Just giving the poor schlub who was going to lose some offense was just counterproductive. Okay, I will get off my soap box.
Last thing, at two hours plus tonight, this show was a bit of a slog to get through, feel free to use your fast forward button when you watch.
Be safe and take care, see you next week.