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AEW DARK TV REPORT
JANUARY 19, 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: Ricky Starks and Anthony Ogogo.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark. They were joined by Ricky Starks at the beginning of the show.
(1) LUCHASAURUS (w/Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy) vs. BRANDON CUTLER
Luchasaurus took the mic before Cutler made his entrance, saying there are no dragons in AEW, then telling Cutler to get out there and start the match. Cutler rolled up Luchasaurus to begin the match but could only get a two. Cutler spring boarded off the ropes while holding the hand of Luchasaurus, but Luchasaurus won that battle and threw Cutler to the outside. With Cutler against the barrier, Luchasaurus landed a few stiff chops to the chest. Cutler tried crawling away but was rammed right into the steel barrier. Still outside, Luchasaurus kicked Cutler right over the barricade with a big boot. Cutler made his way back over via a helpful toss by Luchasaurus. Back inside, Cutler fought back with a neck breaker, then hit a tope-suicida through the ropes. Cutler hit his LDL (long-distance leg drop) for a two count. Luchasaurus dropped Cutler with a headbutt. Stiff clothesline by Luchasaurus, but he missed the follow up choke slam. Both men went back outside, with Cutler taking the advantage. Back inside, Cutler landed a springboard into an elbow, then a double knee strike. Finally, Cutler hit yet another springboard elbow, but could only get a two. Cutler rolled off the top rope but was met with a tail whip kick, then choke slam. Luchasaurus hit a stiff kick to Cutler’s face and covered for the win.
WINNER: Luchasaurus in 6:00
Moynahan’s Take: This was a really good opening match, with both men getting a lot of offense in. I was pleasantly surprised to see Cutler with the upper hand throughout portions of this one. That said, Luchasaurus getting the victory never appeared to be in doubt.
(2) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. EL AUSTRALIANO
Guevara took Australiano down the mat right from the start. Australiano landed a shot to Guevara’s throat, then danced a bit. He danced a few times throughout this match. Australiano hit a 619, then came off the top rope with a corkscrew plancha (impressive). With Guevara outside, Australiano came crashing down once again, slipping a bit off the rope in the process. Back inside, Australiano hit a dragon-rana on Guevara for a two count. Australiano went for one too many high-risk moves, as Guevara caught him coming off the apron on the outside. Guevara threw Australiano into the barricade, then suplexed him on the floor. Inside, Guevara hit a flip-over DDT for a two count. Guevara went to the top rope and missed a shooting star press attempt. Australiano headed to the top and landed (kind of) a sideways moonsault. Australiano came off the middle ropes but Guevara caught him and hit the GTH for the win.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara in 6:00
– After the match, Guevara took the mic and asked the camera man to zoom in on his shoulder. He said he feels the weight on his shoulder getting bigger every day. Guevara said there will also soon be gold on his shoulders and that he carries Dark and Dynamite on his shoulders. Someone in the crowd yelled that Guevara was only Jericho’s friend. Guevara responded by saying Jericho picked him to come to AEW.
Moynahan’s Take: El Australiano looked very impressive here. He hit more than his fair share of high-risk moves. A fun match overall, but I felt like most of the match ended up being setups for each guy’s offensive moves. To be fair, that isn’t always a bad thing. Guevara’s promo after the match was solid; it’d be nice if he had more time on Dynamite to cut more promos like this one.
– An ad for “Wrestling with the Week” aired
(3) SCORPIO SKY vs. NICK COMOROTO
Sky gave up a lot of size advantage to Comoroto in this one. Sky went for a side headlock takeover, but Comoroto threw him off. Sky hit an explosive dropkick and tried taking Comoroto down with a toe hold but was unsuccessful. Comoroto focused on Sky’s lower back by driving his shoulder into him before he launched him into the corner. Comoroto then wrapped Sky around the post as he stood on the floor outside. Sky tried fighting back, landing a few blows, but got caught in a back breaker. Sky tried reversing a move by Comoroto but was caught again. This time in a single leg crab. Sky took Comoroto over the top rope with a clothesline, then came crashing down again by diving over the top rope. Sky went up top and landed a missile dropkick. Sky kept Comoroto down with a double stomp to his back. Comoroto came right back with another neck breaker but Sky kicked out at two. Sky hit a series of boots to Comoroto’s face, then got him up in the TKO for the win.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 8:00
Moynahan’s Take: This was another very enjoyable match. I could be wrong here, but I think this was Comoroto’s first singles match on Dark. Either way, he had his best showing thus far. Sky looked good in the end, but did give up a lot of offense to Comoroto. Overall, a match of the night contender for sure.
(4) SHANNA vs. MARTI DANIELS
Shanna took down Daniels with a kick to the leg, then a back elbow. Shanna measured Daniels with an elbow drop. Daniels fought out of a double underhook and hit Shanna with a high boot. Daniels kept the advantage, stomping away at Shanna, and mocking her in the process. Shanna fought back, knocking Daniels to the corner, then charging in with a few elbow strikes. Shanna hit a stunner, which knocked Daniels against the bottom rope. Shanna followed up with a dropkick then hit two tiger suplexes, with the second leading to the win.
WINNER: Shanna in 4:00
Moynahan’s Take: A solid match that primarily showcased Shanna. I would expect, and hope, to see her back on Dynamite sooner or later.
(5) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/The Bunny) vs. MIKE VERNA & BARON BLACK
Blade and Verna started things off for their respective teams. Verna took Blade down wit a shoulder tackle, then landed a few stiff chops to the chest. Blade missed a few shots but landed a powerbomb on Verna. Black and Butcher each tagged in. Black used his speed until Butcher caught him with a back breaker. Blade tagged in and distracted the ref long enough for the Bunny to attack Black. Blade and Butcher traded tags and kept the ring cut off in the process. Black reversed a move on Blade and locked in a single leg crab. Bunny ran in and raked Black’s eyes, allowing Blade to take back the advantage. Butcher held Black, allowing Blade to tag in and hit him with a running neck breaker. Black fought out of a double suplex attempt, then rolled over to Verna for the hot tag. Verna fought off both Blade and Butcher. Verna went up top and landed a missile dropkick on Butcher. Bunny distracted the ref, allowing Blade and Butcher to double team Verna. Black came in but was met with a double team move. Blade and Butcher hit a powerbomb neck breaker combo for the win.
WINNERS: The Butcher & The Blade in 7:00
Moynahan’s Take: Solid tag teamwork by Butcher and Blade, who have come a long way since their debut more than a year ago. Verna shined a bit after the hot tag, but it didn’t last too long.
– An ad for the Young Bucks book aired
(6) THE GUNN CLUB (Billy & Austin & Colten) vs. RYZIN & ADAM PRIEST & VARY MORALES
The Gunn Club came into this match with a 6-0 record in trios matches. Billy and Morales kicked things off, but Morales quickly tagged out to Priest, who then quickly tagged in Ryzin. Billy threw Ryzin into the corner and hit a side slam. Colten tagged in, but not before each member of the Gunn Club landed a shot to Ryzin. Austin and Morales each tagged in. Austin went for his Quick Draw finisher, but Morales rolled out. Priest tagged in and ran over Austin. Austin was kept in his opponent’s corner, as each took their turns landing offense on him. Morales hit a clothesline as Austin sat up on the mat. Austin finally made the tag to Colten, who took down Morales and Priest with separate splashed in the corner. Colten hit a running powerslam on Morales, but Ryzin broke it up. Colten and Austin took out Morales with a double team move, the 3:10 to Yuma, for the win.
WINNER: The Gunn Club in 5:30
Moynahan’s Take: Notch this one up as another win for The Gunn Club. A nice match overall. It’s been nice to watch Colten and Austin develop over these last few weeks. You can tell they’re gaining experience and confidence in each match.
(7) SANTANA & ORTIZ vs. JON CRUZ & DANNY LIMELIGHT
Limelight attacked Santana at the start of the match which ticked Santana off. Santana came off the ropes with a single leg dropkick on Limelight. Ortiz tagged in and the two landed a double team move on Limelight. Cruz came off the top rope but was also met with a double team move by Santana and Ortiz. Ortiz hit a powerbomb on Limelight. From there, Santana landed a stiff kick and covered him for the win.
WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz in 1:30
Moynahan’s Take: Total squash. This was definitely the right move to help build up Santana & Ortiz ahead of their three-way Inner Circle tag team match on tomorrow’s Dynamite.
– An ad for the AEW awards aired
– “Pretty” Peter Avalon was next. He called himself the premier attraction on Dark. He then mentioned he’s been on a winning streak lately and that it was now time to take it to the next level. Avalon then introduced the “Walk Off.” Avalon spoke to Lee Johnson, saying he accepted Avalon’s challenge for the “Walk Off” last week by accepting his 8×10. Avalon then introduced the three rules for the “Walk Off”: 1. 3 Pretty Judges, 2. One Outfit, and 3. 10 Steps Forward, Pose, 10 Steps Back. Avalon announced the “Walk Off” would happen next week.
– An ad for the AEW awards aired
(8) PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen w/Matt Hardy) vs. LEE JOHNSON & AARON SOLOW
Quen started things off with Solow. Quen landed a standing moonsault but missed a follow up in the corner. Hardy tripped Solow from the outside. Johnson tagged in. Quen quickly tagged in Kassidy. Kassidy acted as if he was going to dive outside on Johnson but stopped. Quen asked Hardy to move out of the way, looking as if he was showing remorse for Johnson. Hardy kept pushing Private Party to show no mercy on their opponents. Private Party double teamed Johnson. Quen took out Solow from the apron for good measure. Kassidy tagged in and was about to springboard onto Johnson, but Hardy told him to go in for the kill. Johnson was able to mount a comeback through all the distraction from Hardy. Solow tagged in and hit an exploder on Kassidy for a two count. Solow avoided a trip but was caught with a single leg takedown by Kassidy. Johnson tagged in and hit a hanging neck breaker on Quen. Solow and Johnson tried taking Quen up but Quen hit a double rana. Kassidy came in and took out each opponent. Kassidy hit a guillotine cutter on Solow. Quen went for a cover but Solow broke it up. Hardy nailed Solow with a right hand, allowing Private Party to hit a double team kick and pick up the win.
WINNERS: Private Party in 7:30
Moynahan’s Take: Another solid match tonight with much of the storyline focusing on Hardy’s distraction to Private Party and overall interference throughout the encounter. Quen and Kassidy were definitely playing the babyfaces through the match by showing remorse to their opponents and acting confused by some of Hardy’s antics.
(9) BIG SWOLE vs. ALEX GRACIA
The two traded arm bars in the early going of the match. Swole took Gracia out with a shoulder tackle. While on the apron, Gracia fought back and ended up landing a 619 on Swole. Gracia focused on Swole’s arms. Gracia hit Swole with an elbow in the corner, then a stiff kick to Swole’s face as a follow up. Swole fought back with an elbow of her own and then landed a pump kick. Swole charged in with a series of cross chops to Gracia’s chest. Swole landed a spinning right forearm, leading to the win.
WINNER: Big Swole in 4:00
Moynahan’s Take: First ‘meh’ match of the night in my opinion. Nothing too sloppy or poorly executed, but it just didn’t end up doing much for me in the end. With that said, Swole was kept strong.
(10) SONNY KISS vs. ZACK CLAYTON
Kiss took Clayton down early, then landed a stiff kick in the corner. Kiss hit a hop-up hurricanrana but was shut down to the mat quickly thereafter. Kiss landed a series of stiff looking shots to the face of Clayton. With Clayton in the corner, Kiss landed another stiff kick to the face. Kiss came over the top rope and landed a splitting leg drop. Kiss hit a leaping flatliner, then climbed to the middle rope and landed a diving split legged leg drop for the win.
WINNER: Sonny Kiss in 3:30
Moynahan’s Take: Sonny Kiss looked really impressive here. Every shot he landed was stiff and right on the money. It also struck me that we haven’t seen him in a little while, so it was good to see him work so well here. There was no sign of Joey Janela throughout this match
(11) TOP FLIGHT (Dante & Darius Martin) vs. AJ KIRSCH & KC NAVARRO
Kirsch and Darius started things off. Kirsch took down Darius down early, but Darius was able to come back and tag in Dante. Navarro came in and was met with double chops by Top Flight. All four men were briefly in, but Navarro and Dante ended up as the legal men. Dante missed a drop kick but hit a second attempt. Dante got caught in the corner of Kirsch and Navarro, who took the advantage. Kirsch hit a northern lights suplex for a two. Dante finally tagged in his brother Darius, who came off the top rope and hit a cross body on Navarro. Darius hit a standing Spanish Fly on Navarro for a two count. With Kirsch outside, Dante hit a moonsault off the middle turnbuckle. Inside, Darius rolled through on Navarro and picked up the win.
WINNERS: Top Flight in 5:00
Moynahan’s Take: This match felt quicker than 5 minutes. Nevertheless, Top Flight looks good each time I see them and this was no different.
(12) IVELISSE & DIAMANTE vs. TESHA PRICE & KATALINA PEREZ
Price and Diamante kicked things off. Price and Perez hit a double suplex on Diamante. Diamante hit a slingshot on Perez, then tagged in Ivelisse. Ivelisse hit a reverse DDT for a two count. Ivelisse it a vertical suplex into a front guillotine submission. Perez fought out of it for a moment, but Ivelisse took back advantage and tagged in Diamante. Price tagged in, as did Ivelisse. Price hit a cartwheel into a roundhouse, then a bulldog, but only got a two. Price took Ivelisse down with a shotgun drop kick. Perez came in with a swinging neck breaker, but Diamante broke up the pin attempt. Ivelisse nailed Perez with a stiff kick to the head for the win.
WINNERS: Ivelisse & Diamante in 4:30
Moynahan’s Take: If you haven’t noticed, Excalibur just loves to mention how Ivelisse and Diamante are the inaugural winners of the Women’s Tag Team Tournament. I appreciate this, but wish it meant more, with either another tournament on the horizon or the actual creation of a women’s tag team division.
(13) THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. SHAWN DEAN & FUEGO DEL SOL
Del Sol, giving up a sizable advantage, started things off with Caster. Del Sol tried to hit his tornado DDT, which Excalibur mentioned he has yet to hit. He failed this time as well. Dean tagged in and went for a cross body but was caught by Caster. Dean did land one on his next attempt as he dove off the middle rope. Dean tried tagging in Del Sol but Caster kept him away. Bowens tagged in and hit a neck breaker. The Acclaimed got crossed up by Dean, allowing him to tag Del Sol in, who proceeded to take them both down. Del Sol attempted his tornado DDT but Caster countered. Bowens took Del Sol down, allowing Caster to hit the Critically Acclaimed off the top rope for the win.
WINNERS: The Acclaimed in 5:00
Moynahan’s Take: A good showing by The Acclaimed. They continue to build on their act each week.
(14) CHAOS PROJECT (Serpentico & Luther) vs. LUCHA BROTHERS (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo w/PAC)
Penta and Luther kicked things off in the AEW Dark main event. Luther traded whips into the corner. Fenix and Serpentico each tagged in. Serpentico rolled Fenix into a sunset flip for a two count. The two had stand-off in the middle of the ring, ending in a loud stiff chop by Fenix. Penta tagged in, and Serpentico hit a quick snap DDT on him. Luther tagged in and used Serpentico as a weapon on Penta. Serpentico tagged back in and was once again about to be slammed by Luther but rolled out of it. Luther went right back to Serpentico, however, and used him to attack Penta. Penta fought out of the double team from Serpentico and Luther and made the tag to Fenix. Fenix rolled in a landed a drop kick on Luther, then hit a double team on both opponents. Fenix hit a powerbomb on Serpentico and Penta flew off the top rope as a follow up. Fenix ran across the top rope and kicked Luther in the face. Fenix then came off the top rope and hit a double foot stomp on Serpentico as he was hit with a piledriver into the mat by Penta. Penta covered for the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Brothers in 7:00
Moynahan’s Take: A good main event, albeit a bit slower than I expected going in. Chaos Project continues to play the “Serpentico as a weapon for Luther” schtick well.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another strong episode of Dark this week. I’ve been enjoying how they continue to showcase young talent, but also remain focused on shinning up current stars – especially those with feature matches on the following night’s Dynamite. Match of the Week honors goes to Scorpio Sky and Nick Comoroto. Sky shined as he should, but Comoroto came out with his best match to date. I’m looking forward to seeing what he has in store moving forward.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 1/12 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Top Flight vs. Chaos Project, Deeb vs. Price, Conti vs. Daniels, Verna vs. Starks, and more