SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
DECEMBER 29, 2020
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Taz.
Additional announcers throughout the show: Ricky Starks and Peter Avalon.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– An “In Memory of Brodie Lee” graphic aired at the beginning of the show.
– Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark.
(1) REY FENIX (w/Penta El Zero Miedo) vs. VARY MORALES
Morales and Fenix started fast, with Fenix getting a quick two count. Fenix missed a hook kick, and Morales nailed him with a right hand. Morales smashed Fenix in the face with the heel of his boot. Morales dropped Fenix into the corner, then hit a flipping senton. Morales stopped Fenix’s comeback with a stiff dropkick. Fenix fought back with a boot to the face, then followed up with a hook kick. Fenix planted Morales to the mat, then hit a single foot dropkick. Fenix went for a sloppy cover but could only get a two. Morales hit an impressive DDT for a two count. Fenix nailed Morales with a dropkick, then planted him on the top rope, and hit a spinning muscle buster for the three count.
WINNER: Rey Fenix in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Great physical match to start the show. Morales came out with a lot of offense here as well. The commentators kept referring to Fenix’s match against Omega as if it were still happening on tomorrow’s Dynamite. I imagine we hear a bit more of this now “out-of-date” commentary throughout the show, but that is to be expected.)
(2) PENELOPE FORD (w/Kip Sabian) vs. LINDSAY SNOW
Snow locked in an ankle lock early on, but Ford was able to reach the ropes. Ford hit a pump kick to Snow’s jaw. Ford followed it up with a springboard double knee smash to Snow’s stomach as she laid on the apron. Ford hot a springboard cutter and got the three count.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 2:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Quick match, but a good showing for Ford, who kept her focus on Snow’s throat throughout the match.)
(3) JOHN SILVER & ALEX REYNOLDS vs. SHAWN DEAN & TYSON MADDUX
Reynolds and Dean kicked things off for their respective teams. Reynolds hit a shoulder block, but Dean followed it up with one of his own. Maddux tagged in, and hit a powerslam on Reynolds. Maddux followed it up with a clothesline in the corner, then a delayed vertical suplex (about 10 seconds if you’re curious.) Reynolds tagged in Silver, and the two tried a double team move, but Maddux powered out. The Dark Order duo finally got Maddux down to the mat. Silver laid in a series of stiff kicks to the chest of Maddux. Silver and Reynolds worked Maddux in their own corner and made a series of quick tags. Maddux tried fighting back to no avail. Maddux finally rolled over to Dean and made the hot tag. Dean hit a belly-to-belly suplex on Reynolds, then a step-up enziguri. Dean hit Reynolds with a DDT but could only get a two count. Maddux tagged back in. Reynolds and Silver fought Maddux off with a series of double team moves, ending with Silver getting the pin.
WINNERS: The Dark Order in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: I really enjoyed this match. It’s always fun to see Silver in the ring, as his character has developed very nicely in the last couple of months. Maddux is also an impressive and athletic wrestler to keep an eye on.)
(4) ANNA JAY (w/Tay Conti) vs. JAZMIN ALLURE
Jay landed a stiff back elbow, then took Allure down with an arm drag. Allure was whipped into the corner, and Jay rolled in with a kick right to her face. Allure turned Jay around and landed some stiff chops. Jay fought back, hitting a Kawada-style roundhouse kick to Allure’s face. Jay locked in the Queen’s Slayer submission for the win.
WINNER: Anna Jay in 3:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Short match, but Jay looked very good here. She really laid in her forearms and kicks to make this look physical. I enjoyed this for what it was.)
– A “Wrestling with the Week” ad aired
– “The Waiting Room” with Dr. Britt Baker was next. Baker came out after Rebel’s introduction. Baker talked up tomorrow’s Dynamite card (which has since been changed as previously mentioned). Baker introduced this week’s guest, Matt Sydal. Baker made a joke about Sydal’s AEW debut, slipping off the top ropes at Double or Nothing. Sydal shook it off. Sydal spoke about his recent string of wins, mostly on Dark. Baker says Sydal just can’t win the big one, so what will he do at New Year’s Smash against Cody? Sydal says the AEW ring will be his realm, and he will open hearts, minds, and third eyes. Baker then opened her viewer mail, a request asking her to hang a poster of “The Go-Big Show” with Cody on it. Sydal tried to make light of it, but did sound a bit annoyed, then proceeded to draw on Cody’s face on the poster. Baker said goodbye to close the segment.
(5) TEAM TAZ (Ricky Starks & Brian Cage & Powerhouse Hobbs w/Hook) vs. RYZIN & JAMES TAPIA & NICK COMOROTO
Hobbs and Comoroto started things off, an impressive size matchup. Comoroto landed a right hand, but Hobbs took him down to the mat with a shoulder block. Cage tagged in and the two hit a double back drop on Comoroto. Ryzin tagged in and pounded away on Cage with right hands. Cage came back and hit a single-foot dropkick. Starks tagged in and threw Ryzin to the floor. Hook nailed him with a running clothesline. Back in, Ryzin floated over Starks and tagged in Tapia, who proceeded to hit a swinging neck breaker on Starks. Cage tagged in and hit Tapia with a discuss lariat. Each member from both teams came in, each hitting a move, then being hit with a move from the next opponent. Team Taz finally took control, and Cage planted Tapia with the Drill Claw for the win.
WINNERS: Team Taz in 5:30
(Moynahan’s Take: This got a little hectic toward the end, with all members of each team coming in, but it was a fun match nonetheless. Comoroto is impressive, OK maybe not as impressive looking as Cage or Hobbs, but someone to watch down the road perhaps.)
– A Young Bucks book ad aired
(6) GRIFF GARRISON (w/Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Del Sol, giving up a size advantage, hit Garrison early with a kick to his left leg. Garrison missed a splash into the corner but was able to kick Del Sol as Del Sol went for a springboard off the ropes. Garrison landed a series of three back breakers. Del Sol went back to the legs, hitting a dropkick to Garrison. Garrison landed a big right hand, then followed up with a diving splash in the corner. Del Sol hit a springboard hurricanrana, then applied a triangle sleeper. Garrison came out of the corner with a spinning forearm for the win.
WINNER: Griff Garrison in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Very enjoyable match. Avalon was on commentary for this one, and was fixated on Garrison as a new member of his upcoming pageant, whenever that will be. In fact, after the match, Avalon tried to give Garrison a signed photo, but Garrison threw it to the ground.)
(7) SANTANA & ORTIZ vs. TNT (Terrence & Terrell Hughes)
Santana and Terrell started off trading arm bars. Santana cracked Terrell across the jaw with a kick, then followed up with a series of snap suplexes, a la Eddie Guerrero. Ortiz tagged in, and Terrell took him down with a big shoulder tackle. Terrence came in, and TNT hit a combo shoulder tackler. Terrence had Ortiz in the corner and pounded away with rights and lefts to his stomach. Ortiz stopped the momentum with a DDT. Santana came in and hit a cross-body springboard for a two count. Terrence tried fighting back from a 2-1, but Santana and Ortiz cut him off with a double team DDT/DVD combo. Terrence finally made the hot tag to Terrell, who laid out Ortiz with a clothesline, then a powerslam for a two count. TNT hit a 3-D on Ortiz, but the count was broken up by Santana. Ortiz hit a powerbomb on Terrence, then Santana followed up with a kick to the face for the win.
WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz in 8:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was the first “eh” match of the night in my opinion. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, it simply didn’t hit me right. With that said, both teams worked very well together, and it was good to see Santana and Ortiz again after a seemingly long break.)
– An Inner Circle “A Little Bit of the Bubbly” ad aired
(8) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. AARON SOLOW
Guevara and Solow traded reversals early on, including a few submission attempts. Guevara backflipped over Solow (impressive) then followed up with a dropkick. Guevara went for a springboard off the top rope, but Solow met him with a dropkick. Solow hit a float-over suplex but could only get a two count. Solow went to the top rope, but Guevara met him with a vicious knee to the face as Solow came down to the mat. Solow went to the outside, and Guevara hit a top rope springboard moonsault. Back inside, Guevara went for a 450, but Solow rolled out of the way. Solow followed up by climbing to the ropes and landed a double kick to Guevara’s stomach. Guevara came back with a GTH and got the win.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara in 6:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A potential match of the night right here. Guevara impresses me each time I see him. As fun as he is as a heel, I will really enjoy it when he finally turns face. After the match, Guevara took the mic and mentioned it was his 10-year anniversary as a wrestler.)
(9) CHAOS PROJECT (Luther & Serpentico) vs. EL CUERVO DE PUERTO RICO & ARIEL LEVY
El Cuervo kicked things off with Serpentico. Serpentico hit a spinning hurricanrana, but El Cuervo took back control, tagging in Levy. Luther tagged in as well, but was taken down by Levy, who followed up with a knee strike. Luther kicked Levy to the face and hit a clothesline before tagging in Serpentico. Luther used Serpentico as a battering ram on Levy. Serpentico refused to be used as a weapon the second time out, but lost that battle, as Luther threw Serpentico into Levy again. Serpentico was noticeably limping, but Luther used him yet again as a weapon against Levy. Chaos Project went for a double suplex, but Levy reversed into a double neck breaker. El Cuervo tagged in and took out Chaos Project. El Cuervo came off the top rope and landed on Serpentico but could only get a two count. Luther took out Levy on the outside. Inside, Serpentico, hit a superkick on El Cuervo. Luther tagged in and hit a pump kick. Chaos Project hit the Creeping Death for the win.
WINNERS: Chaos Project in 6:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Chaos Project has been fun to watch these last few weeks on Dark, specifically due to the way Luther uses Serpentico as a weapon against their opponents.)
(10) LEVA BATES vs. MADI WRENKOWSKI
The match began with Bates trying to present Wrenkowski with the Young Bucks book, which Wrenkowski proceeded to destroy. Wrenkowski took the early advantage, cutting off Bates a few times until Wrenkowski missed a splash. Bates hit a dropkick, then a splash in the corner. Bates hit a few kicks, then a northern lights suplex but could only get a two count. Bates missed a splash. Bates rolled up Wrenkowski for a small package for the win.
WINNER: Leva Bates in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was the second ‘eh’ match of the night. In fact, it was probably worse than just ‘eh,’ but I’ll be nice and leave it there.)
(11) MATT SYDAL vs. DANNY LIMELIGHT
The two locked up and traded reversals. Limelight spring boarded off the ropes with maybe the most impressive arm drag I’ve ever seen. Sydal hit a nasty kick across Limelight’s shoulder blades. Sydal hit Limelight with a series of back elbows strikes in the corner. Limelight kicked Sydal in the chest, but Sydal hit a leg lariat as a comeback. Sydal hit a brainbuster for a two. Sydal hit a standing twisting press. Limelight fought back and rolled Sydal into a single leg crab. Sydal kicked out but was favoring his left leg. Sydal hit a cobra clutch suplex, then rolled Limelight through with a crucifix pin for the win.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 6:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was a good back-and-forth between Sydal and Limelight, albeit a little sloppy at times. The ending kind of came out of nowhere, but Excalibur used it to showcase how many different ways Sydal can beat you; something to tease his upcoming match with Cody.)
(12) TAY CONTI (w/Anna Jay) vs. VERTVIXEN
Conti hit Vertvixen with a leg sweep for a two count. With Vertvixen in the corner, Conti hit a nice running knee strike. Conti landed an overhead throw on Vertvixen, then followed with a kick to the back. The two connected with kicks to one another at the same time and fell to the mat. Vertvixen was up first, but Conti peppered her with elbows and clotheslines. Conti followed up with a couple of takedowns, then a pump kick to Vertvixen’s jaw. Conti ended it with a TCO (knee to the face) for the victory.
WINNER: Tay Conti in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Tay Conti looked impressive here. Much like Anna Jay in her earlier match, Conti was very physical throughout, adding in-ring legitimacy to her legit martial arts background.)
– A Young Bucks book ad aired
(13) THE GUNN CLUB (Austin & Colten & Billy) vs. BARON BLACK & MIKE VERNA & ROYAL MONEY
Billy kicked things off with Verna. Verna landed a right but was cut off with an uppercut by Billy. Austin tagged in and landed a flipping neck breaker. Black tagged in and hit an uppercut on Austin, then worked him into Black’s own corner. Royal Money came in, making his AEW debut. Colten tagged in and took down Money with a full nelson slam. All six men hit the ring, with a few making their way outside. In the ring, Colten hit the Colt 45 for the win.
WINNERS: The Gunn Club in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: I was not expecting this one to go by so fast. After the match, Austin took the mic and cut a very brief but fiery promo, saying they’re ready to take on anyone.)
(14) THE HYBRID2 (Jack Evans & Angelico) vs. SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
As a reminder from last week’s Dark, SCU will no longer team the next time they lose a tag match in AEW. Angelico and Kazarian started off, with Kazarian locking in a headlock. Daniels tagged in and SCU hit a double team move on Angelico. With Evans in, SCU hit another double team move, this time on Evans. Kazarian hit a springboard leg drop for a two. Angelico distracted Kazarian from behind, allowing Evans to hit a corkscrew kick. Angelico tagged in and cracked Kazarian’s jaw with a kick to the face. TH2 made quick tags, keeping Kazarian in their corner. Kazarian went for a comeback on Angelico, but was met with a knee lift, which stopped him in his tracks. Evans locked in a standing crucifix submission, or a flying octopus hold as Excalibur described it. Kazarian finally tagged Daniels in, who took down Angelico with an STO, then Evans with a backbreaker. Daniels hit a blue thunder bomb for a two count. SCU hit a powerbomb/neck breaker combo on Angelico for a two count. Kazarian accidentally clotheslined Daniels when Angelico ducked. Kazarian had to fight off TH2 alone. Evans hit a 450 splash on Kazarian, who kicked out right before the three. With Daniels back in, Kazarian hit a double clothesline on TH2. SCU hit a double team float over into a stomach breaker for the win.
WINNERS: SCU in 12:00
– After the match, The Acclaimed hit the ring and took out SCU. TH2 joined in, but the Young Bucks hit the ring and helped out SCU in the process.
(Moynahan’s Take: This one started off slow but picked up toward the end. They told a good story, with SCU looking as though they may lose this one, thus ending their team. Interested to see where this SCU storyline goes, and for how long.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: For the final episode of Dark in 2020, this was a solid effort, and it seemed to fly by in retrospect. My match of the night honors goes to Guevara and Solow, with a nod to both Anna Jay and Tay Conti for each looking strong in their own encounters. Until next week, stay safe, everyone!