SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
JANUARY 12, 2021
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Additional guest commentators throughout the show: Anthony Ogogo, Scorpio Sky, and Peter Avalon
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark. They were joined by Anthony Ogogo on commentary.
(1) MIKE VERNA vs. RICKY STARKS (w/Hook)
Starks took an early advantage, but Verna caught him with a stiff right hand. Starks fought back with a jaw breaker, then hit a running dropkick to the side of Verna’s head. Verna tried fighting back, which ticked Starks off. Verna finally mounted a bit of a comeback, hitting a snap powerslam for a two count. Starks came right back with a nasty looking spear, ending with a three count.
WINNER: Ricky Starks in 3:00
Moynahan’s Take: Starks had the upper hand throughout most of the match and looked good doing so. The spear at the end was pretty stiff and came out of nowhere. A fun little match all in all.
(2) RYZIN & FUEGO DEL SOL vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus w/Marko Stunt)
Jungle Boy squared off with Del Sol to kick things off. The two traded fast back and forth action, sweeping out one another’s legs, and ending in a standoff. Ryzin ragged himself in, and Jungle Boy took him right down with an arm drag. Luchasaurus tagged in and hit Ryzin with a big boot to the face. The two squared off, with Luchasaurus quickly winning that battle. Jungle Boy tagged in and came off the top, rolling off Luchasaurus’s shoulders and onto Ryzin. Ryzin was able to maintain control over Jungle Boy, but it ended when he missed a moonsault. Luchasaurus tagged back in and took out both opponents before tagging Jungle Boy back in. Ryzin and Del Sol fought back, taking Luchasaurus to the outside and isolating Jungle Boy in the ring with Del Sol. Del Sol hit a poison-rana but could only get a two count. Del Sol went for a tope on Jungle Boy outside but Luchasaurus hit him with a choke slam. Back inside, Jurassic Express hit an assisted powerbomb, then Jungle Boy locked in the Snare Trap submission for the tap out.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 5:30
Moynahan’s Take: Another fun match. I really think Jungle Boy has done a great job rounding out his character throughout the last few weeks. His new theme music and new submission move, the Snare Trap are both impactful. These subtle things will help him long term.
– An ad for “Wrestling with the Week” aired.
(3) TAY CONTI (w/Anna Jay) vs. MARTI DANIELS
Conti started fast, taking Daniels down with a series of arm takedowns, then ending with a stiff kick across her chest. Daniels fought back but took too long to follow up. Conti caught Daniels in the ropes and locked in a knee bar. Conti hit Daniels with a suplex, then landed a knee strike to her face. Conti hit the Tay-KO for the win.
WINNER: Tay Conti in 2:30
Moynahan’s Take: Good warm-up match for Tay Conti as she heads into her NWA Women’s Title match tomorrow on Dynamite.
(4) DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson & “5” & “10” & Colt Cabana) vs. SHAWN DEAN & ZACK CLAYTON & ADAM PRIEST & DANNY LIMELIGHT & VARY MORALES
Grayson and Priest started things off. “5” tagged in, as did Clayton, a big size miss-match there. Clayton took down “5” hard with a clothesline, but “5” came back with a shotgun dropkick. Morales tagged in, but “5” nailed him with a dropkick as well. “10” tagged in and hit a fallaway slam on Morales. “10” missed a corner splash, and Morales hit a dropkick to his face as a follow up. Evil Uno tagged in, hit a double underhook, then tagged in Cabana. Cabana hit a sweeping neck breaker, then played to the crowd. Cabana missed a charge in the corner, and Morales took the opportunity to tag in Limelight. Limelight hit a neck breaker on Grayson but was caught by Evil Uno after he tagged in blindly. The Dark Order cut off the ring for a time, keeping the advantage toward their corner and making quick tags. Limelight finally fought out of it, hitting a suplex on “5” and tagging in Dean. Dean came in hot, landing blows to the majority of Dark Order members, then hitting a cannonball senton in the corner. The match broke down at this point, with Dark Order members taking out their opponents. Grayson hit the End of Night on Priest, allowing Uno to pick up the win.
WINNERS: The Dark Order in 8:00
Moynahan’s Take: A fun match to follow. This one didn’t break down as early as I initially thought it would, and actually was slow at times. Nonetheless, it was a very strong showing by The Dark Order.
(5) LOUIE VALLE vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS (w/Hook)
Hobbs came out strong, as he nailed Valle in the corner, then followed up with a big clothesline. Hobbs threw Valle across the ring. Valle was busted open around his left eye. Hobbs threw Valle to the outside, allowing Hook to take him down. Back inside, Hobbs spiked Valle hard to the mat for the win.
WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs in 2:00
– After the match, Hobbs slammed Valle down once again.
Moynahan’s Take: A total squash. Hobbs looked like a huge monster here, which was obviously the point. Thus far, tonight’s show has a nice mix of match styles.
(6) RED VELVET vs. LEVA BATES
Velvet took down Bates with a fireman’s (women’s?) carry. The two traded pin attempts. Bates hit a neck breaker, then a northern lights suplex. Velvet landed splash in the corner but missed a follow up. Velvet hit a one-legged takedown across Bates’s back, but could only get a two count. Velvet swept out Bates’s leg, then hit a boot to her face for the win.
WINNER: Red Velvet in 3:30
Moynahan’s Take: The first sub-par match of the night. Really not much to note here, as they were both sloppy at times, with not a ton of action in between.
(7) THE DARK ORDER (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. KC NAVARRO & EL AUSTRALIANO
Australiano and Reynolds started things off. Australiano took down Reynolds with a shoulder tackle, then hit a corkscrew senton. Reynolds landed a dropkick, then tagged in Silver. Navarro tagged in, but Silver took him down after a quick face off. Navarro tried sliding under Silver’s legs but got caught up. Silver followed up with a roundhouse kick to the face. Reynolds tagged in, and the Dark Order duo hit a cutter combo. Navarro rolled out of a double hip toss attempt and tagged in Australiano. Australiano came off the top with a twisting moonsault on both members of the Dark Order. Australiano then walked the ropes with the help of his partner and landed a moonsault on Reynolds and Silver on the outside. Australiano went to the top again but missed another high risk move. The match broke down from here, with all men in and out of the ring. Reynolds caught Australiano with a leg-capture fisherman’s buster (impressive).
WINNERS: The Dark Order in 4:30
Moynahan’s Take: Impressive match from the Dark Order duo of Reynolds and Silver. Australiano and Navarro looked good at times, but this was primarily a Dark Order showcase.
– An ad for “Wrestling with the Week” aired
(8) VARSITY BLONDES (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) vs. LEE JOHNSON & AARON SOLOW
“Pretty” Peter Avalon joined commentary at the start of this match. Johnson and Pillman locked up to start. The two traded lock ups on the mat, traded reversals, and ended with a standoff (nice work here). Solow and Garrison tagged in. Solow took Garrison down and followed up with a dropkick. Pillman tagged in, and Garrison and Pillman hit a neck breaker/leg drop combo on Solow. Johnson tagged in and landed a missile to the outside of both Varsity Blonde members. With Solow as the legal man, the two hit a double team neck breaker on Garrison. Pillman tagged in and hit a springboard clothesline. As Garrison held Solow, Pillman came off the top rope with a dropkick, as Garrison hit Solow with a powerbomb for the win.
WINNERS: Varsity Blondes in 5:30
– After the match, Avalon approached Lee Johnson with his 8X10, which Johnson took with him to the back.
Moynahan’s Take: This was a fundamentally solid babyface tag team match. Both teams looked strong overall, but this was another solid win for the Varsity Blondes. Clearly, the plan is to define this team for a bigger run on Dynamite.
(9) ANNA JAY (w/Tay Conti) vs. ALEX GRACIA
Gracia started things off with an arm drag. Gracia missed a dropkick, allowing Jay to land a series of elbow strikes. Gracia then missed a charge into the corner. Jay followed up with a series of kicks. Jay finally locked in the Queen’s Slayer rear naked choke for the tap out win.
WINNER: Anna Jay in 2:00
Moynahan’s Take: Not a ton of action in such a short period of time, but Jay remained strong with a pseudo-squash of Gracia.
(10) SERENA DEEB vs. TESHA PRICE
The two started off on the mat early. Deeb took Price down with a drop toe hold and locked in a submission/pin attempt. Deeb went for a grapevine but Price made it to the ropes. Price had Deeb down on the mat and landed a few stiff right hands. Deeb ducked a back elbow and hit a clothesline. Deeb followed up with a series of neck breakers, a-la Eddie Guerrero’s suplex series. Deeb hit her finisher for the win.
WINNER: Serena Deeb in 4:00
Moynahan’s Take: A good warm-up match for Deeb in advance of her NWA title defense on Wednesday against Tay Conti. I’m looking forward to that match-up and love how each competitor has been featured strongly on Dark as a setup for it. It’s not that difficult, right?!
– An ad for the Young Bucks book aired
(11) BARON BLACK & NICK COMOROTO vs. BEAR COUNTRY (Boulder & Bronson)
Bronson and Black kicked things off. Bronson whipped Black into the corner, but Black reversed into an arm drag. Bronson hit a stiff back elbow. Comoroto and Boulder tagged in (these guys are huge). The two locked up and traded shots. Comoroto caught Boulder in a cross-body attempt. Black tagged in and attempted to use his speed against Boulder. It didn’t work, as Boulder hit him with a boot. Boulder landed a few clotheslines and a knee lift on Black. Comoroto tagged back in and proceeded to take it to both members of Bear Country. Comoroto hit a stampede on Bronson, then picked him up and slammed him down against his knee. Black tagged in, and sent Comoroto into the corner on Bronson, but Bronson moved. With Comoroto and Black in the corner, Bear Country hit a double cannonball on their opponents. Bear Country followed up with a double team assisted splash on Black for the win.
WINNERS: Bear Country in 6:00
Moynahan’s Take: It was only a matter of time, but this was Bear Country’s first AEW win. These guys will move up the ranks, as they have both impressive size and a unique look.
(12) CHAOS PROJECT (Serpentico & Luther) vs. TOP FLIGHT (Dante & Darius Martin)
Chaos Project attacked Top Flight before the bell. Luther threw Serpentico into each member of Top Flight, then slammed Serpentico down until Darius got his knees up to block. Top Flight hit stereo dropkicks to both opponents. The bell finally rang to start the match. Luther hit a nasty looking knee on Darius on the outside. Serpentico tagged in, and Luther threw him down once again on Darius. Chaos Project kept the ring cut off, making quick tags in the process. Darius tried fighting back, but Chaos Project kept the double advantage with a fallaway slam. Luther and Darius went to the outside, and Serpentico went for a tope, but he hit Luther. Back inside, Darius tagged in Dante for the hot tag. Dante took out Serpentico with a springboard uppercut, but Luther broke up the pin attempt. Chaos Project tried double teaming Dante, but Dante kept the advantage against both men. All four men hit the ring. Luther took out Dante on the outside with a flipping senton off the apron. Dante sent Luther over the barricade. Inside, both members of Top Flight took it to Serpentico, who was tied up in the corner, by hitting a rocket dropkick, then pinning him for the win.
WINNERS: Top Flight in 7:00
Moynahan’s Take: A solid main event and another great showing for each team. Chaos Project has been fun to watch for their crazy in-ring antics. Top Flight is fun in their own way as a fast, young team.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another enjoyable episode of Dark. The show featured a strong mix of match types and styles. I’m awarding the Match of the Week honors to Varsity Blondes vs. Johnson/Solow, mainly for the solid fundamental tag work in the ring. Knowing each is still young in their careers, it was fun to watch simple in-ring babyface storytelling between all four men. I also really enjoyed the ‘warm-up’ matches from both Deeb and Conti in advance of their NWA Women’s Championship match on tomorrow’s Dynamite. It’s simple storytelling that gets each competitor ready for the match.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 1/5 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Nyla Rose vs. Alex Gracia, Rey Fenix vs. Aaron Solow, Thunder Rosa vs. Ashley Vox, and more