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AEW DARK TV REPORT
APRIL 13, 2021
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Additional Commentators: Jake Roberts & John Silver
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show, giving us a rundown.
(1) SCU vs. JAY LYON & MIDAS BLACK
SCU’s pyro goes off and Excalibur tells Taz that his looks are smoldering, which popped Taz right out the gate. Kazarian gets the early advantage on Black early with a hard back elbow & chop in the corner before tagging in Daniels, who nailed a gut wrench, but tried again and Black floated over, tagged his partner and grabbed his hoola-hoop, which Lyon hit a running somersault senton through. Lyon & Black have a circus gimmick if you were wondering. Daniels quickly hit a STO on Lyon, then he & Kaz hit a High/Low on Lyon, then a hip toss powerbomb/neckbreaker on Black before hitting the Best Meltzer Ever on Lyon for the victory. Taz was trying to make circus puns throughout this.
WINNERS: SCU in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: Chalk another one in the win column for SCU as their winning streak against lower level talent continues on Dark. Excalibur pointed out they have to be interested in the Bucks/Death Triangle match tomorrow, but you have to assume SCU are going to face stiffer competition before ultimately getting their tag team title match, right?)
(2) MATT SYDAL vs. LUTHER
This is the battle of dudes who are all about the Third Eye, as Sydal chops Luther down with kicks and a standing corkscrew splash for a near fall, as does a sunset flip. Luther kicked out, but Sydal kept the arms trapped into a submission. Luther broke free and went on the attack as Excalibur points out that Sydal has 20 years experience in the sport, while Luther has 30. Luther missed a short arm lariat and Sydal caught him with a leaping spin kick for the double down. Sydal then went back on the attack with kicks, popping Luther in the jaw with one as he got a near fall off an inverted Fisherman’s Suplex. Sydal went for a springboard, but Luther shoved his legs out from under him as they briefly spilled to the floor, where Luther slammed Sydal into the railing. Commentary says Serpentico is staying out of this as he doesn’t want to be used as a weapon by Luther, which, it’s a singles match, if that happened Luther would’ve been DQ’d, but alright then. Back inside, Luther keeps working over the back until Sydal started fighting back with kicks, which Luther put a stop to with a release German and pump kick to the face. Luther calls for his Luther Bomb, Sydal avoids it, Luther tries (and can barely gets his leg up) for a spin kick, as Sydal caught him with the Lightning Spiral for the 3 count.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 6 minutes
(Howard Analysis: Last week Sydal’s match went 30 seconds, this week, quite a bit longer. I almost wish it would’ve gone closer to the 30 seconds. Luther is much better off in the tag team role with Serpentico. If anything, this should’ve been Serpentico in this match.)
(3) DARK ORDER’S 5 & 10 (w/-1) vs. KIT SACKETT & HAYDEN BACKLUND
10 starts with Sackett, showing off his power, leapfrogging his opponent (-1 mimicked the leapfrog) as Dark Order do a back drop/shotgun dropkick combo as 5 tags in and fires off a bunch of forearms and stiff kick to the chest. A rake to the eyes allows Sackett to tag his partner, but 5 fought them off, hitting a hurricanrana on Backlund, sending him into his own partner. Swinging back suplex connects by 5 as Backlund made a blind tag and attacks 5, but he got the tag to his partner. 10 plants Sackett with a spinebuster, but Backlund tripped him up to the floor. 5 wiped Backlund out on the outside, gets in the ring & hit This Is Gonna Suck on Sackett, which sends him falling back into the Full Nelson for the submission win.
WINNERS: Dark Order’s 5 & 10 in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: Strong showing by Angels & Vance as it was pretty much all Dark Order in this one. Not much more to say except This Is Gonna Suck is a great name for a finisher.)
(4) COLT CABANA (w/-1) vs. JAKE MANNING
-1 comes out with Sammy Guevara’s camera he has for his vlog as Taz is baffled there’s a boy scout in the ring. Excalibur wisely points out he’s a Man Scout! Quick bodyslam early by Cabana as Excalibur runs down the background of these two as Manning reads the Boy Scout manual, which Excalibur tries to make sense of. Colt rips the book away and the chase is on for it as Cabana throws the book in the air and nearly rolls the Man Scout up. Commentary points out how -1 is bootlegging this match, as Taz makes a brilliant Rochelle, Rochelle reference, which popped Excalibur (myself included). Back to the match, sunset flip sends Cabana into the corner for a near fall as Manning goes up top, but ate a right hand, then double chops by Colt. Bionic Elbow connected, Flying Apple in the corner then the delayed splash got Cabana a near fall. Manning fought back with a backbreaker/flatliner combo for two, but as Manning went to the second rope, Cabana pulled him off the ropes and got the Billy Goat’s Curse for the submission victory.
WINNER: Colt Cabana in 4 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: Fun win for Cabana as post match, -1 presented the Man Scout manual to Colt, filming some of it before chucking it into the crowd. I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, so words can’t describe how much I appreciated the Rochelle, Rochelle reference by Taz.)
(5) AMBER NOVA & QUEEN AMINATA vs. RED VELVET & BIG SWOLE (w/KiLynn King)
Nova got one lock up and was thrown down by Swole before Aminata tagged in. She promptly took a drop toehold & dropkick to the face. We then got a brief forearm exchange, which Swole won, tagging in Velvet, who got one shot off before Aminata bailed. Nova tags in and she ate a leg lariat, but caught Velvet with a hard uppercut as they isolate her in the corner. Aminata punted Velvet in the back, which Excalibur quotes the late great Tracy Smothers saying he called a kick like that “unnecessary.” Velvet fights free, tags Swole, who steamrolled Aminata like George Costanza did Bette Midler, hitting a follow up Spear for a two count. Nova broke it up as the match breaks down as we get stereo uppercuts & flatliners from Swole & Velvet. Velvet uses her speed to light up Nova with a series of kicks and just pins Nova for the win.
WINNERS: Red Velvet & Big Swole in 4 minutes
Post match, Jade Cargill interrupts the celebration of Swole & Velvet as Red Velvet hits a Big E-esque Spear through the ropes on the stage and have to be separated as this was the final stop before their showdown tomorrow night on Dynamite.
(Howard’s Analysis: I liked they got at least one more interaction & pull apart in with Velvet & Jade before tomorrow. Swole literally ran over Aminata towards the end of this match, which was the best move of this match.)
(6) AARON SOLOW (w/QT Marshall & Nick Comoroto) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Fuego is Mobile, Alabama’s THIRD favorite luchador, but he got an entrance this week. It’s all about those little victories. I should point out QT is wearing a Tony Soprano bowling shirt. Solow attacks before the bell, hitting a bodyslam & knee drop as he poses for the crowd. Exploder suplex connects as Solow is showing a lot more arrogance here as he slams Fuego in the corner with a running bodyslam. Fuego’s first offense is a step up enzugiri and running corner uppercuts & a spear before a rolling small package into a Fisherman’s Suplex, which was cool. Fuego nearly hit his Tornado DDT, but Solow countered into a corkscrew high kick, then absolutely annihilates Fuego with a double arm trapped Pedigree looking move that pretty much dropped Fuego right on his head, that was scary.
WINNER: Aaron Solow in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: Ok, I like the confidence of heel Solow, but that finish needs some serious polishing. Remember that Pedigree Triple H hit years ago when the guy landed right on his head? This wasn’t as bad as that by any means, but it was almost.)
-Backstage promo from Ryan Nemeth on Alex Reynolds saying he’s not scared of Dark Order, calling Reynolds a great wrestler and a winner, but not a hunk. That seemed more complimentary than insulting, but that was it.
(7) GUNN CLUB vs. ANDREW PALACE, STONE ROCKWELL & MIKE MAGNUM
Taz is cheering for Gunn Club as he’s annoyed by Andrew Palace’s gear of blue & orange saying Spaz-maniac, which he said is insulting to his old friend the Tazmaniac. Rockwell wants a handshake from Colten, but they instead work arm bars. Colten hit one shoulder tackle & neckbreaker before tagging Austin, who is in after Andrew Palace. He trips Palace up, then hit a somersault face breaker before Billy jumped in and booted Palace so hard he tagged in Magnum. Billy hits one lariat and gives a crotch chop before hitting a Jackhammer for 2. Palace & Rockwell break it up before Austin jumped off his dads back to wipe them out as Colton tagged in and hit a double arm DDT for the win.
WINNERS: Gunn Club in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: I fully support Dark & Elevation being a place where young guys like Austin & Colten get some ring work, but for a company like AEW who focuses heavily on Wins & Losses, with this win, if you don’t count battle royals, this puts Colten Gunn at 15-0; Austin Gunn is now 23-1 (also not including a dark match) and Billy Gunn at 23-3 in their AEW careers. They either need to have better competition or need to be in the title picture. No, I don’t actually think they should be in the title picture, but they need to start losing some matches soon, as this win streak is insane. Anyways, sorry to get side tracked, I looked up those numbers and was blown away.)
(8) KILYNN KING vs. MADI WRENKOWSKI
KiLynn King has been my favorite female wrestler on Dark since I’ve started doing reviews, so I’m looking forward to this one. King fires off early forearms and some deep arm drags before nailing a sliding boot to the face sending Madi outside. Wrenkowski drags King to the floor and we get a brief brawl before Madi slams King into the apron & railing over and over. Brutal chops before heading back inside as Madi hit a running neckbreaker, then X-Factor for a two count. She misses an axe kick as King fights back with some lariats, round house kick and release German (which again, like last week, Madi landed on her head taking). Shotgun dropkick by King, but Madi fights back, tries a monkey-flip, but King powers her back to the center of the ring and connected with Kingdom Falls for the 3.
WINNER: KiLynn King in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: This was a match I wish had more time and hopefully we get it again. King continues to impress me, which is something I say every week. Madi has been improving quite a bit as well, certainly tons since that last minute replacement in the women’s title tournament.)
-Backstage Dark Order talks about Reynolds match with Nemeth. -1 said he used to be his babysitter, which Reynolds said “he sat on you as a baby?” -1 ran at the camera and had to be held back. State Farm is apparently the sponsor of the main event, so all Dark Order did the State Farm jingle. -1 continues to rule in everything he does.
(9) MATT HARDY (w/H.F.O.) vs. KEN BROADWAY
During his ring intro, Broadway made it rain money, which Mike Posey the official wisely picked up and hopefully pocketed. Darby Allin is shown in the rafters watching on as Hardy took the fight to Broadway in the early going, chopping away, but Broadway mounted his comeback. Unfortunately he showboated in the corner and Matt hit the Hot Shot to regain control. Broadway again fought back with a big corner boot, tried a moonsault, while making it rain off the top rope, but took too much time and missed his mark. Matt popped up, hit the Side Effect, signaled to Darby this is him tomorrow night before hitting the Twist of Fate, which Broadway took fantastically. Big Money Matt locked on The Leach submission as Broadway tapped.
WINNER: Matt Hardy in 4 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: First off, my thoughts & condolences are with the Hardy family for the loss of their father. This was a dominant showing by Matt, who sent a strong message to the TNT Champion. I’m looking forward to their Falls Count Anywhere Match tomorrow night. I anticipate some shenanigans, which is why the random stipulation was added.)
(10) EVIL UNO & STU GRAYSON (w/-1) vs. VARY MORALES & SPENCER SLADE
Bell sounds and Stu absolutely wipes out Slade, who creates some distance and quickly tagged in Morales, who just got demolished by Dark Order, so Slade tagged back in. Uno caught a boot, swung Slade down as Stu tagged back inside and they hit an assisted pop up powerbomb on Morales, while putting Slade away with the Fatality for the super quick win.
WINNERS: Evil Uno & Stu Grayson in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Post match, -1 had to be pulled off Slade as Stu once again held him up by his feet, scolding him as -1 simply couldn’t help himself at beating guys up. That’s what -1 does! We’re going to have to talk about Uno & Grayson in the title picture soon as this is another team that has a bunch of wins on Dark and doesn’t seem to have a tag title shot in the near future, which needs to change.)
(11) DR. BRITT BAKER, D.M.D. (w/Reba) vs. SHAWNA REED
Props to the debuting Reed, who charges at Britt early, but the Doctor flattened her with a clothesline, then a butterfly suplex. Baker pops Reed in the face with a forearm in the corner, then nailed the Sling Blade, but posed too long and Reed nearly got a school girl for 2. Britt fought back with a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker, superkick to the chops, then another before Reba handed Britt the glove and the Lockjaw is applied for the win.
WINNER: Britt Baker in 2 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: 2 nights, 2 wins for Baker, who Excalibur said will climb in the rankings due to these wins. Ever since her loss to Thunder Rosa, which didn’t count against her record, Britt has looked dominant. You have to assume after Conti faces Shida, whenever that might be, Britt is getting a title shot soon.)
(12) BRIAN CAGE & RICKY STARKS (w/Powerhouse Hobbs & Hook) vs. CARLIE BRAVO & DEAN ALEXANDER
Bravo got sent outside by Starks in the early going as Hobbs & Hook took turns beating him down before throwing him back inside. Cage tagged in and did curls with Bravo before Alexander tried saving his partner, but got powerbombed by the big man for his troubles. Starks sets up Bravo in the corner, allowing Cage to hit the superplex from the apron back inside. Starks gets Alexander in a fireman’s carry and hands him over to Cage, who hit an F5, then Starks tossed Bravo to Cage, who hit the Drill Claw for the win.
WINNERS: Brian Cage & Ricky Starks in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: Unlike recent weeks where Starks & Cage did a game of one-up, this week, Starks pretty much called the shots and just threw guys to the waiting hands of Cage over & over. Taz was relieved this week was good as we know Team Taz will implode, it’s just a matter of when.)
(13) NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. LEILA GREY
Vickie took over the introduction, telling Justin Roberts he sucked at his job, which Taz agreed with. Vickie screeched Nyla’s introduction as Nyla steamrolled Grey out the gate, driving Leila down with a powerslam. Grey rolls to the apron & hangs Nyla up throat first, tries some lariats, but they have no effect, so she took of the leg, but Nyla no sells and wipes Grey out. Short arm lariat connects as Nyla hit a corner splash & running Spear before dispatching Leila with a Beast Bomb for the easy win.
WINNER: Nyla Rose in 2 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: Nyla needs to do more of this. Too many times she’s been given title matches and loses, so you need to build her up as a monster more. Take advantage of these shows, make her unstoppable, and have her regain her confidence as a steamroller.)
(14) VARSITY BLONDS vs. PRINCE KAI & WILL ALLDAY
Nice early groundwork from Pillman on Allday starts the match, as Griff tags in and does the same, working the arm, as the Blonds keep Allday isolated until Kai hit a knee to the back of a charging Pillman, which allowed Kai to tag himself up and take the fight to Pillman. Commentary talking about how this is the first time Kai & Allday have teamed, as Kai is telling Allday he doesn’t need him, trying to do this on his own, as this hesitation allows Griff to tag in and clean house. Super high back drop on Allday, as Garrison nails multiple corner splashes. Kai was able to catch Griff with a forearm, but didn’t see the blind tag by Pillman, who wiped out Kai with a springboard clothesline for the three.
WINNERS: The Varsity Blonds in 4 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: I’m not going to lie, the Varsity Blonds entrance theme is awesome. It’s that perfect 80s hair band feel. I have no idea why Kai didn’t want to team with Allday, as this is a tag match, what did you expect? Anyways, Blonds looked good as a team in this one. I want more.)
(15) LANCE ARCHER (w/Jake Roberts) vs. COLE KARTER
Archer destroys Karter before the bell as Cole tries a running cross body, but Archer no sold and bounced off The Murderhawk like a ball. Jake Roberts is on commentary putting over his client, saying he hides from Archer when he gets this scary as Karter is able to throw a few shots, but they have no effect as Archer keeps destroying him. The big man hits a series of back elbows in the corner as Roberts says he’s knocking the cream out of Karter like a Twinkie. Nice short arm clothesline as a Jake tribute as Taz points out how everyone steals Jake’s moves. Karter avoided a chokeslam, threw a couple shots, but Archer finally was able to hit it. Ripcord Black Hole Slam connects to give Archer the win.
WINNER: Lance Archer in 3 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: I have zero idea why Karter got this much offense in on Archer. Granted, the offense didn’t have much effect, but still, Archer is a monster, he should be running through this guy.)
(16) RYAN NEMETH (w/J.D. Drake) vs. ALEX REYNOLDS (w/-1 & 10)
Unfortunately -1 doesn’t join commentary at any point in this one, but The Meat Man does, which is great too. Nemeth on the attack early as he got a back suplex for 1 count on Reynolds, who fought back with a clothesline, but Nemeth chucked him outside. Silver said a super fan named Aaron helped the Dark Order come up with some new moves for this match, which is a plug for some contest or something for State Farm, which is the sponsor of this match. Alex Reynolds fights back with a Cloverleaf in the ring, which Silver called the School of Fort Knox. Nemeth got the ropes, chopped the throat & popped Reynolds with a dropkick before doing his handstand hammerlock. Reynolds makes another comeback with a leaping back elbow, then does the tribute to Brodie Lee with a pose & powerbomb, which they are going to call The Big Ol’ Bomb for 2. Reynolds took too long as Nemeth fired off a lariat, but couldn’t connect with the Rude Awakening, as Reynolds counters into a spinning side slam called The Honk Honk for the win. Apparently The Big Ol’ Bomb & The Honk Honk were the moves the State Farm fan helped come up with.
WINNER: Alex Reynolds in 4 minutes
(Howard’s Analysis: This main event didn’t accomplish much, except for AEW to get all of their State Farm Insurance plugs in 4 minutes. I really don’t have much to say, except I did like the quick Brodie tribute by Reynolds.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Literally 15 of the 16 matches tonight went 4 minutes or shorter with the longest being Luther & Sydal at 6 minutes. This was the first time since I’ve started reviewing Dark that it just felt like nothing happened. There are at least a few matches that usually get a little more time than what we got tonight and the one match that did go 6 minutes, probably shouldn’t have. Granted it only went like 3 minutes, but I’d say Madi vs KiLynn was match of the night, which I realize is tough to say at 3 minutes. Stu holding -1 by the feet and Starks feeding guys for Cage to destroy were highlights as well. Of course the best line of the night was Taz’s Rochelle Rochelle name drop. “Well, you made a long journey from Milan to Minsk.”
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 4/6 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Dark Order in action, The Butcher vs. Jon Cruz, Drake vs. Black, more