SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
OCTOBER 27, 2020
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur & Taz.
Guest Announcers throughout the night: Anthony Ogogo (2012 Olympic Bronze Medal boxer); Miro; Brandi; and Ricky Starks
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur introduced the show and briefly introduced Ogogo (without any real explanation as to why he was there) before he threw it to the ring.
(1) TOP FLIGHT (Darius & Dante Martin) vs. STU GRAYSON & EVIL UNO (w/Dark Order)
Grayson started off versus Darius and after some brief action tagged in Uno and the two teams exchanged the advantage. Uno came in and delivered a strong German Suplex and took control over Darius. Grayson and Uno double teamed Darius but despite the beat down could only score a one-count until Grayson delivered a side slam for a two-count. Uno threw Darius hard into the corner but did not go for the pin and Darius was able to stagger Uno and tagged his brother who came in with a double drop kick to both Uno and Grayson and followed up with a round house kick to Uno’s head.
With Uno out on the floor, Top Flight double teamed Grayson nailing him with a Dragon Ranna and a splash off the top turnbuckle for a two-count near fall. Uno made his way back up to the apron and hit a charging Dante with a kick allowing Uno and Grayson to hit an Electric Chair into a Power Bomb to Dante and a flying knee strike to Darius followed up by an assisted Topee by Grayson onto both Dante and Darius out on the floor. Grayson rolled Dante back into he ring, tagged with Uno and they applied their double team Fatality finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Stu Grayson & Evil Uno in 7:00.
During the match it became clear that Ogogo appears to be moving into wrestling and was on commentary to introduce him to the audience.
(Morgan’s Take: This match was another example of AEW’s strategy to keep Dark Order strong on AEW Dark so when they make an appearance on Dynamite, they are credible. Grayson and Uno were in control for most of the match and while Top Flight looked pretty good, they are not ready for primetime yet, so of course they took the loss. A pretty good match, with some solid action.)
(2) RICKY STARKS vs. VSK
As soon as the match was announced, Taz went into his shtick about Ricky Starks which while a bit grating should be expected.
Ricky took early control with but VSK avoided several moves by Starks, but ultimately Starks nailed him with a knee and beat VSK down in the corner with kicks and stomps. After a running elbow, Starks taunted VSK a bit and then just beat VSK down. Starks missed a couple of moves while showing off and VSK delivered several shots and a back breaker, but Starks came back with a spear off the ropes and finished him off with his Roshambo for the three-count win.
WINNER: Ricky Starks in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: VSK got enough offense in here, to show that Starks can take the shots and come back strong and finish off an opponent. An effective quick match to continue to build up Starks and was fast paced enough to be enjoyable.)
– After this match, the scene cut to backstage with Eddie Kingston and Allie with Kingston asking Allie why she dumped Q.T. Marshall. Allie talked about how easy it was to “infiltrate” the Nightmare Family, and how easy it was for her to take advantage of Marshall (he gave her a Corvette!) and she moved back to the Kingston family because she was bored. Kingston then took over and basically said that it is war between the Nightmare Family and his family (himself, The Butcher, The Blade and Allie). Kingston is great and this was a nice little promo setting up some upcoming matches and a nice feud.
(3) LEE JOHNSON vs. MATT SYDAL
Sydal came out and got in Johnson’s face before the bell, playing mind games. After the bell the two jaw jacked a bit and then tied up in the middle of the ring, exchanging moves. After a couple of minutes of mid-ring chain wrestling, Johnson took control with a set of arm drags and nailed Sydal with a drop kick. Sydal countered with a side slam for a two-count. Sydal got another two-count with a flying leg lariat and a standing Mariposa. After exchanging roll ups and near falls, Sydal starting using several submissions moves. Johnson reached the ropes to break up the hold.
After some back and forth, Sydal hit a reverse Northern Lights for a near fall and started showing some frustration that he could not put Johnson down. The wrestlers continued to exchange shots and moves, and it appeared that Sydal slipped off the apron selling a knee. Johnson landed two Topee’s through the ropes. After the second while Johnson was posturing, Sydal slid under the ring and while Johnson was looking for him, Sydal ran up from behind and clocked him in the back.
Sydal rolled Johnson onto the apron, but Johnson had recovered enough to hit a missile drop kick but was unable to capitalize allowing Sydal to catch him with a Package Pile Driver for a near fall. Johnson went for a power bomb, but Sydal countered with a high round house to the head and back flip brain buster but Johnson kicked out. Sydal immediately transitioned into the Cobra Clutch and Johnson tapped out right away.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 9:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A long match for AEW Dark, but a good one with lots of action and some very good wrestling. Johnson was a good foil for Sydal and in winning this one, Sydal looks even more credible and moves up the list. Well worth a watch.)
After the match, Excalibur noted that Ogogo was leaving the announce table and that more new voices would be joining them throughout the night. An interesting way to introduce new talent.
(4) HIKARA SHIDA vs. LEYLA HIRSCH
In this non-title match, Hirsch was making her AEW debut, and as she entered, she gave the finger to the wrestlers on the “babyface” side of the ring. Taz pointed out that Hirsch had a solid amateur background, and her appearance was relatively short but powerfully built, especially her upper legs and thighs.
After some initial grappling the wrestlers broke and Shida offered her hand, but Hirsch kicked it away, solidifying her heel status. Both wrestlers attempted running shoulder blocks which had little impact and finally Shida appeared to get a bit pissed off and nailed Hirsch with a Back Breaker and rolled her to the apron. Shida positioned Hirsch hanging over the apron and hit her with a running knee strike and yelled at the camera while Hirsch rolled back into the ring evidently stunned.
Shida quickly entered the ring nailed Hirsch with another Back Breaker and several forearms to the back and followed up with a suplex into the corner bouncing off the turn buckle. For a second it appeared that Hirsch might be really out, but the ref checked her, and the match continued. They stood in the middle of the ring exchanging forearm shots with Shida getting the clear advantage. Shida knocked Hirsch to the ropes and ran at her for some sort of move, but Hirsch pulled down the top rope sending Shida up over the top. Shida botched the move a bit with her foot getting caught on the rope but continued on through to the floor where she sold being hurt.
Of course, Hirsch went for the Topee through the ropes knocking Shida down and after rolling her back into the ring, landed several blows in the corner and flat liner for a near fall. Shida fought back with a right cross for a two-count, but when she went for her Falcon Arrow, Hirsch reversed it into an Arm Breaker. Shida made it to the ropes to break the hold. Hirsch landed several shots, but Shida caught a pump knee attempt and hit a running knee followed by another knee to the face and the Falcon Arrow for the pin.
WINNER: Hikaru Shida in 7:00.
(Morgan’s Take: This was a very solid women’s match with good action some very impressive blow and good wrestling. Shida probably should have finished off Hirsch a bit quicker, but Hirsch looks like she could be a good addition to the division. She is definitely a different body type, shorter, stocker but powerfully built and she seems to have very good skills and did not look lost out there at all. A big thumbs up and I hope we can see more of Hirsch on the main show.
– Of course, we had to get a response from Q.T. Marshall after the early promo and that is what we go here. Marshall started things off and was joined by Dustin Rhodes. Thank God. Marshall is a bad promo, he really looks like he is reading cue cards, but Dustin Rhodes can bring the heat and he made it clear that the Nightmare Family was going to defend their turf and that they were number three and that Kingston and company were number four and that if he had anything to do with it, they were going to stay there.
(5) JERSEY MUSCLE & DANNY LIMELIGHT vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus & Marko Stunt)
Jungle Boy and Danny Limelight started things off and exchanged several quick moves. Stunt tagged in hitting a Hurricanranna and he and Jungle Boy followed up with a combination Rip Cord Splash and leg drop for a near fall. Stunt hit all three of his opponents with high flying moves and was actually in control until he fell through the ropes and was abused by Jersey Muscle on the floor. After being thrown back into the ring, Stunt continued to hold his own until he was able to tag in Luchasaurus who ran wild taking out all three of his opponents.
The action got fast and furious with all six wrestlers in and out of the ring nailing each other with top rope DDTs and Topees out to the floor. At one point one of the Jersey Muscle guys (they never made clear who was who) nailed poor Marko Stunt with a spear, but Stunt kicked out at two. Really?
Stunt was finally able to tag in Jungle Boy who nailed Limelight with four or five elbows. At this point it got strange, with all three members of Jurassic Express in the ring and using Stunt to ultimately deliver a spinning DDT to Jersey Muscle. They then did a triple kick to Limelight in the corner and followed that up with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus throwing Stunt at Limelight which Stunt turned into a Canadian Destroyer for the pin.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 8:00.
(Morgan’s Take: I am not sure what I just watched, but I did enjoy it. A good match to keep Jurassic Express top of mind as for the other three guys, totally forgettable and I guess they were supposed to be.)
(6) ANGELICO & JACK EVANS vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN & CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
Angelico got quick control over Kazarian with his submission wrestling style. Kazarian reversed things with several arm drags. Evans distracted Kazarian and Angelico nailed him in the back. Evan tagged in and he and Kazarian exchanged strikes and pin attempts. Daniels tagged in and SCU double teamed Evans before Daniels took control. Kazarian entered with an over the rope leg drop for a two-count. With frequent tags, Kazarian and Daniels got several more two-counts, but Angelico and Evans came back and isolated Daniels and dished out the punishment.
The action continued back and forth until Kazarian was finally able to tag in and brought the heat, nailing Angelico with a Cutter. As Daniels came in, they double teamed Evans with a power bomb for a near fall. As SCU went for a double team finisher, Angelico kicked Daniels off the top rope, which led to a flurry of moves and strikes which left Angelico and Daniels out on the floor and Kazarian in the ring with a dazed Evans. Kazarian was able to roll up Evans for the three-count and the win.
WINNERS: Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels in 9:00.
(Morgan’s Take: This match started out with a slow pace and then just went frenetic, almost to the point where it was very hard to follow the action. A good showing by both teams and while not an unforgettable match, somewhat enjoyable.)
– While SCU was celebrating, Angelico and Evans attacked both men, going after Kazarian’s knee and then creaming Daniels with a double team move off the top rope. Brutal. After that they put Daniels in a very painful submission move and just did a ton of damage and walked out, if not victorious, at least they were walking.
– Miro left the announce team at this point and they were joined by Brandi Rhodes.
(7) ANNA JAY (w/Dark Order) vs. KATALINA PEREZ
Brandi on the announce team took the opportunity to rag on Anna Jay as you would expect. Back in the ring, Anna Jay landed several kicks and a clothesline taking Perez down to the mat and remained in complete control. Anna continued to abuse Perez in the corner. Perez got in a couple of shots and a couple of clotheslines to gain a slight advantage but missed an elbow off the second rope allowing Anna Jay to come back. Anna Jay slapped on her Queen Slayer rear naked choke and put Perez out, even after Perez tapped out.
WINNER: Anna Jay in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Pretty much a squash match as it should be as Anna Jay is in the middle of a nice push. The match was also an opportunity for Brandi to rant and rave on commentary about an angle that is available on Brandi’s YouTube “A Shot of Brandi” – as best as I can surmise – about Anna Jay breaking into Brandi’s house. I don’t know about that, but I will say that Brandi did a pretty good acting job at being really upset.
Quick note here: AEW does too much of their angles on their “shoulder content”. If the Anna Jay vs. Brandi feud is going to be a real thing, they can’t do a major part of the angle on a YouTube show that is at least to me and probably many others like me, somewhat obscure. Come on AEW you can do better than this!)
(8) PETER AVALON (w/Leva Bates) vs. BRANDON CUTLER
Okay here we are, two wrestlers who don’t have a single victory in in AEW. At the beginning Justin Roberts said, “for the love of God, this match will have no count outs and no disqualification, there must be a winner”. Oy vey, this angle is so, so, so stupid.
Cutler dove into the ring and took it to Avalon early, but Avalon reversed with a gouge of the eyes. The two continued to abuse each other with Avalon throwing Cutler off the stage and diving onto him on the floor. Avalon set up a table from under the ring. Avalon placed Cutler on the table and went to the top rope, but Cutler climbed onto the apron and nailed Avalon with an over the top rope kick. After throwing Avalon out of the ring he put him in a plastic trash can and dropped an elbow.
Cutler set up a table for a power bomb, but Avalon reversed with a backdrop of Cutler breaking the table. Avalon rolled Cutler into the ring and got a near fall. Avalon left the ring and got a crate of books that he dumped in the ring and then hit Cutler with the milk crate before throwing it out of the ring. As Avalon went for a double knees to the back, Cutler moved, and Avalon landed on the books allowed Cutler to hit a reverse DDT for a believable near fall. Cutler went under the ring and got a black bag filled with multifaceted dies and spilled them onto the mat.
Avalon slammed Cutler onto the books for a two-count. As Avalon ripped a book from Leva Bates’ hands she called him a son of a bitch, slapped him and stormed off. Cutler rolled him up but Avalon clocked Cutler on the head with the book. Avalon took some brass knuckles out of a hollowed-out book, but before he could use them, Cutler slammed him onto the dice for a two count. They continued fighting on the apron and when Cutler picked up Avalon for a slam, Avalon hit him with the brass knuckles and both men fell off the apron and through the table that had been set up earlier. Both men were very slow to get up. At this point the Young Bucks came out (Matt was selling the angle injury from the FTR attack) and were encouraging Cutler.
Both men went to the top rope, where Avalon was able to get into position and delivered a Hurricanranna off the top turnbuckle, but Cutler rolled through and pinned Avalon for his first win in AEW.
Cutler celebrated with the Young Bucks (no they did not Superkick him!)
WINNER: Brandon Cutler in 11:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Okay, this is over finally. Brandon Cutler got his first win. I am actually okay with this, the match was actually not bad, and they guys really gave up their bodies, so congrats to Cutler and sympathy for Avalon)
(9) BEST FRIENDS (Chucky T & Trent w/Orange Cassidy) vs. ANTHONY BOWENS & MAX CASTER
Caster came out with a mike and did some rhythm talking that was pretty stupid.
Caster started off versus Trent. After some pushing and shoving Trent took control with a couple of elbows and knee to the gut. After tagging in Chucky, they dropped a double elbow on Caster, but allowed Caster to make the tag to Bowens. Chucky and Bowens exchanged some big moves with Bowens getting a one count with Chucky missed a moon sault. Caster and Bowens double teamed Chucky for a while, but after Trent broke up a pin attempt Chucky was able to fight his way out of the opposite corner and tagged in Trent who came in a cleaned house.
Trent went for a swinging DDT, but Caster reversed it into a suplex for a two count. Caster continued to do some damage to Trent and after a flying elbow went for the pin, but it was broken up by Chucky. All four wrestlers went at it a bit until Bowens and Chucky took each other out onto the floor. Trent nailed Caster with a running knee and with Chucky going up to the top rope, Trent maneuvered Caster into position, and they nailed their Strong Zero finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Trent & Chucky T in 6:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A standard AEW Dark match with lots of back and forth and a quick reversal for the win by the more established wrestler(s). The one difference here is that Taz was very complimentary of Caster and Bowens and it is possible that they may be destined for a bit of a push. Also, this match was all about the new Best Friends’ t-shirt that Orange Cassidy was wearing.)
– Alex Marvez went to interview Scorpio Sky and we found him knocking on Sky’s locker room door, but Sky came up to him and said sure “come on in he would be happy to talk to him”, but when Sky entered, his locker room had been ransacked and some one had written “thief” in red on his mirror. I don’t know what this angle is, but it was advanced here.
(10) BRIAN CAGE (w/Ricky Starks) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Cage went to work from the outset and just abused Fuego, even using his body to do some arm curls. Cage took things a little bit too easy and Fuego got in some offense with several kicks and a couple of knees. Cage caught Fuego mid-air and nailed him with a double underhook neck breaker but when he went for a power bomb Fuego reversed into a pinning roll up for a two-count and nailed him with a kick to the head. Fuego went for a top rope move but Cage caught him and hit a no release power bomb, a buckle bomb, and the Weapon X for the win.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: All I will say here is there is no reason for Fuego to get this much offense against Cage and the match was a bit sloppy as there were several slips and missed catches in the match.)
(11) SEAN MALUTA vs. PRESTON “10” VANCE (w/The Dark Order)
After the standard mid-ring lockup, Vance nailed Maluta with a shoulder. After some back and forth, Vance hit a pop-up power bomb and threw Maluta out of the ring. While Vance distracted the ref in the ring, Alan Angels of the Dark Order nailed Maluta with a missile drop kick and threw him back into the ring. Vance nailed Maluta with several power moves, but Maluta mounted a comeback with several kicks, knocking Vance to the mat and getting a two-count. After a vicious power bomb, Vance picked up Maluta by the hair instead of pinning him, nailed him with a clothesline to the back of Maluta’s head and pinned him for the win.
WINNER: Preston Vance in 4:00.
– After the bell, Vance and Angels continued to beat on Maluta for no apparent reason.
(Morgan’s Take: No purpose to this match. And if it was all about how brutal Vance is, then it should have been a complete squash. AEW Dark just can’t help themselves.)
(12) DIAMANTE & IVELISSE vs. KILYNN KING & SAVANNA EVANS
Evans and King were teaming up for the first time and the announce team made the point that they were two of the tallest women on the roster. Okay, whatever.
As the match started Ivelisse and Diamante went to attack before the bell but were stopped in their tracks by how imposing their opponents were. Oh, there is the reason the announce team talked about their height. After this the match settled down a bit, with Ivelisse hitting a DDT on Evans for a two-count. Ivelisse mounted Evans and pounded away before moving Evans to her corner and continuing the abuse before tagging in Diamante who slapped on a leg lock.
Evans landed some heavy shots, but Diamante slammed her knee into the mat and took back control. Evans fought back and both Diamante and King tagged in and took control nailing a clothesline for a two-count, but Ivelisse hit a Super Kick and Diamante followed up with a Code Red Destroyer for the win.
WINNERS: Ivelisse & Diamante in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Not a bad match, but this was mostly because of Ivelisse and Diamante. Evens and King are ok, but they are a bit slow and sloppy in the moves. But Ivelisse and Diamante are strong together and personally think they can really do a good job.)
(13) AARON SOLOW vs. SONNY KISS
Sonny got the early advantage with some athletic moves, but Solow was able to counter and landed several stomps and chops and a solid suplex. Solow rolled Kiss over and nailed him with a double stomp to the chest and then draped Kiss over the rope and chocked him. Solow started playing to the crowd and Ricky Starks on commentary and allowed Kiss to make a comeback. After a near fall, Solow again lost focus and allowed Kiss to make a comeback with several kicks to the head. After throwing Solow into the corner, Kiss followed up with an elbow, and laid Solow over the second turnbuckle and nailed him with an ax kick. With Solow laid out, Kiss hit the split press for the three-count
WINNER: Sonny Kiss in 4:00.
(Morgan’s Take: Solow was acting like a jerk and an Idiot and got what he deserved. As for the match, it was just okay for what it was.)
-After the match, Lance Archer and Jake Roberts came out. While Roberts recited Humpty Dumpty, Archer destroyed both Solow and Kiss and then Roberts gave the mike to Archer who cut a pretty standard but quite good promo on Moxley and all of AEW. He laid it out, he is coming for everyone and for the title. Great job!
(14) WILL HOBBS vs. NICK COMOROTO
Battle of the behemoths here. Just a side note here, Comoroto looks like a Neanderthal, but in a good way, the man is a beast.
Taz ranted about how he put out an offer to Hobbs and he hasn’t answered them yet.
Comoroto came out on fire, but Hobbs countered with a shoulder that sent Comoroto out to the floor and followed up with a clothesline on the floor and then several shots back inside the ring. Comoroto came back and both men exchanged big power moves. Hobbs had Comoroto down with a spine buster and went up to the top rope nailing Comoroto with a Frog Splash for the win.
WINNER: Will Hobbs in 3:00.
(Morgan’s Take: A quick and brutal match that showed off Hobbs, and actually wasn’t all bad for Comoroto either. One major element was the ongoing story about Taz wanted to recruit Hobbs and him not giving Taz an answer. This all bodes well for Hobbs, he is getting wins and he is interacting with Taz, Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. Way to go!)
(15) ALEX CHAMBERLAIN vs. DARBY ALLEN
Okay, Chamberlain at 246 pounds was almost twice the size of Allen. Ouch. Much of this match is not about Chamberlain, but the fact that Ricky Starks is over on commentary and is really pissed that Allen is getting the TNT title shot at Full Gear.
As the match started, Allen was in control with his fast moves and Chamberlain, as he reentered the ring made like his knee was injured to drive Allen back but he was just playing possum and charged Allen and beat on him. Allen continued to take abuse as he usually does, but as they battled out onto the floor Allen threw Chamberlain into the ring post. Back in the ring, after some offense from Allen, Chamberlain nailed Allen with a power bomb for a near fall, but Allen recovered and propelled Chamberlain into the ropes and using the ropes applied a choke hold till the ref broke it up. With Chamberlain disoriented Allen hit his coffin drop across Chamberlain’s back from the top rope, followed up with an over the top stunner and a second coffin drop for the three-count.
WINNER: Darby Allen in 5:00.
– After the match, Ricky Starks left the announce desk and approached Darby, but while Darby mixed it up with him, Brian Cage came out and the two of them started to beat down Darby. The whole angle was that if Darby couldn’t make his championship match, then Ricky Starks would get the match. Okay. But before the beat down could get totally serious, Will Hobbs came running out with a chair to chase Starks and Cage away and keep the whole angle going.
(Morgan’s Take: Okay, say it with me, Darby Allen is one crazy dude. The match was pretty good, but it was really just an excuse to see a Darby coffin drop and to do the after the match angle and to allow Taz to rant throughout the match.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: The show was actually somewhat of a slog this week. They could have cut out at least four or five of the matches without losing anything and make the whole experience more enjoyable. Also, if they did this, they could make some of the matches a bit longer and really try to tell a story with them, rather than just being short (4-5 minutes) matches to build records.
As we end things for now, let me just say a great big shout out and congratulations to Brandon Cutler for his first win on AEW! Way to go, Brandon.
Be safe and take care.
RECOMMENDED: 10/20 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Rey Fenix vs. Sonny Kiss, Shawn Spears vs. Christopher Daniels, Kaz vs. Jack Evans, Starks, Sky, Luchasaurus, Brandi Rhodes, Jungle Boy, Pillman Jr. & Garrison, Sydal, Dark Order