SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
JULY 20, 2021
RECORDED IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The show begins with a Dustin Rhodes promo on Aaron Solow saying sometimes in this business you have to pick sides and Solo has picked the wrong one. Rhodes said Solo has step foot into his home and he will take Solo to school tonight.
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show, giving us a rundown.
(1) THE BLADE (w/The Bunny) vs. RYAN MANTELL
Blade started the match raking the face of Mantell across the top rope and some stiff chops to pop the crowd. Blade takes the ref to allow Bunny to rake Mantell’s back. Blade immediately hits a Doctor Bomb to get the quick W.
WINNER: The Blade in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I can’t begin to tell you how great it is to have fans reacting on Dark. That said, Blade demolished Mantell here on route to Orange Cassidy tomorrow.)
(2) THUNDER ROSA vs. KILYNN KING
I was happy with the strong reaction King got, but the crowd went crazy for Rosa. It was so strong that Taz wanted to hit the ring, but he was fully aware he’d be blown up by the time he’d get there. KiLynn got off a few quick arm drags, which the crowd booed, as Rosa tripped her into the ropes followed by a snap dropkick. KiLynn avoided Rosa’s necktie, but Rosa got a wheelbarrow face buster and running corner dropkick. Rosa almost dropped King on her head with a butterfly suplex, but KiLynn delivered a receipt as she planted Rosa on her head with a German suplex. Rosa fought back with a back stabber and got her Peruvian Necktie for the win.
WINNER: Thunder Rosa in 3:00
(Howard Analysis: The crowd was behind King until Rosa’s music hit. I’m pretty disappointed this match only went three minutes as I was hoping for much more. Maybe down the line they can have more time, but for the brief time it went, this was solid stuff.)
(3) VARSITY BLONDS (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.)(w/Julia Hart) AND PRESTON “10” VANCE AND ALAN “5” ANGELS vs. THE ACCLAIMED (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)
Max Caster delivered an amazing rap about Texas democratic law makers as well as bringing a loaf of French bread for Julia Hart, which got quite the reaction from the crowd & commentary. The Blonds & Dark Order boys took the fight to Private Party early on as Kassidy tried to bail for a tag to The Acclaimed, who stepped away, wanting no part. Quen tripped up Pillman to allow Private Party to hit the Silly String to gain the advantage. They isolated Pillman until Pillman countered Poetry in Motion attempt into a powerbomb to get the hot tag to Griff. Big ovation for Garrison who cleaned house before 10 tagged in, hit a spinebuster, 5 hit a moonsault and got a near fall. Kassidy took out 10 with a corkscrew kick, Griff hit a roaring elbow on Kassidy, Bowens hit a crazy looking Impaler DDT on Pillman before 10 & Bowens collided for the reset. Bowens went for his boombox, but Julia grabbed it from him, allowing 5 to get a close two count. 5 hit a standing Spanish Fly for another near fall. Caster tripped up Angels, allowing Private Party to hit Gin n’ Juice and Caster hit the Mic Drop for the win. Post match, Anthony Bowens faked like he was going to apologize to Julia Hart for his comments last week. The Acclaimed are tired of being second fiddle to a tag team whose strongest member of the team is a cheerleader who loves to be tag teamed. They are going to make The Blonds lives hell until they get a shot at the tag team titles.
WINNERS: The Acclaimed & Private Party in 7:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Wow, that line from Bowens at the end really got the crowd. This was a fun fast paced 8 man tag that highlighted the tag teams AEW has to offer. I’ve really enjoyed this feud so far between The Blonds & The Acclaimed without them actually having a tag match. They’re building it quite well, especially with the raps & insults fired off by Bowens & Caster.)
(4) ABADON vs. PROMISE BRAXTON
Abadon launched Braxton face first into the corner and leveled with a lariat in the neck. Braxton tried fighting back, but ran into a pop up sit out powerbomb from Abadon. The leg wrap driver did it and Abadon picks up another win.
WINNER: Abadon in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: I was happy the crowd reacted to Abadon well as I was genuinely interested in seeing how her act would translate with live crowds.)
(5) THE BUNNY (w/The Blade) vs. BIG SWOLE
Fast paced series of counters early from both ladies led to a Swole diving uppercut to the back. Just then, Diamante walks out from the back on the microphone running distraction on Swole. She pulled up a seat ringside as Bunny took control on Swole with a sliding corner forearm. Swole fought back with cross chops and a headbutt right to the chest of Bunny. Swole went for her cloverleaf, but The Blade ran distraction long enough for Diamante to catch Swole with a kick. Bunny rolled up Swole for the tainted victory to give Swole her first singles loss in 2021.
WINNER: The Bunny in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Quick match, but this was more about the new feud they started last week with Diamante & Swole. I’m happy they kept it going tonight and we’ll get the match down the line. Hopefully they continue to have the feud on Dark and let it play out a few more weeks.)
(6) WARDLOW vs. CHAD LENNEX (w/Dustin Rhodes)
Lennex got a good reaction being walked out with Dustin, who went to the back. Wardlow’s music hit and they knew Lennex was in trouble. Wardlow spinebustered Lennex at the bell and immediately hit with the Casualty of War for the KO win.
WINNER: Wardlow in 35 seconds
(Howard’s Analysis: Destruction, thy name is Wardlow.)
-Backstage Big Swole cut a promo on Diamante saying she doesn’t like her messing with her winning streak. Swole said they can have their match any time and any place Diamante wants.
(7) DUSTIN RHODES vs. AARON SOLOW (w/The Factory)
QT Marshall cut a pre-match promo burying Texas and putting over Solo, who also ran down the town & his opponent until Dustin came out to a huge ovation. Solo attacked at the bell, but Dustin quickly took the fight to the floor. Back inside, QT briefly distracted Dustin on the apron, which allowed Solo to shoot Dustin into the ring post. Solow dished out punishment on the floor before hitting a high knee inside for a two count. Solow ran distraction to allow QT to cheap shot Dustin. Solo got a pretty awkward Bronco Buster, but Dustin fought back with a Manhattan Drop. Solow avoided the bulldog as both men clunked heads for the double down. Dustin dished out some clotheslines, stalling uppercut & snap powerslam. Dustin hit a Code Red for a close near fall that popped the crowd. Solow avoided a neckbreaker and hit a superkick & high knee followed by a German suplex. Solow hit the corkscrew kick for a close two of his own. Solow went for his Pedigree finisher, Rhodes countered into a slingshot, but Solow sprung off the ropes with a double stomp. Solow avoided the first bulldog attempt, but Rhodes kept the momentum going and hit the bulldog the second try for the win.
WINNER: Dustin Rhodes in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Very fun main event that gave Dustin a huge hometown win. The Nightmare Family & The Factory feud continues as I’m assuming this is far from over. I should point out, that he’s Aaron Solo now, without the W in his last name. I have no idea where it went.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I can’t say enough good things about this episode of Dark, the first Dark with an arena full of fans since I’ve started my recaps. The crowd reacted to everyone and we got a nice equivalent of squashes & competitive matches. There was a fun 8 man tag, a solid main event, a build toward a future women’s program and a fun, albeit brief Rosa & King match. I hope this is the kind of Dark we can expect in the future now that they are out of Daily’s Place.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 7/13 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Ethan Page vs. Ryan Mantell, Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Travis Titan, Matt Hardy in action, more