The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark–10.22.19

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark – 10.22.19

As expected, I got stuck at work tonight and didn’t get a chance to watch Dynamite. So instead, here’s AEW Dark from Tuesday as an appetizer before I watch the show later tonight.

Taped from Philly, PA

Your hosts are Excalibur and special guest commentator TAZ!

Brandon Cutler v. Joey Janela

I’m assuming this will be a little more toned down than Joey’s match last week. Although Philly would have been the place for a crazy street fight. They trade wristlocks to start and Janela flips out of it and into a headlock. They do a little matwork off that and Janela backdrops Cutler into the corner, but Cutler hits him with a sucker kick to take over. Flying forearm gets one. Middle rope elbow gets two. Cutler goes to the chinlock, but Joey fights back with chops and Cutler responds with high kicks. And the kicks win the battle as Cutler gets two. He misses a legdrop, but hits Janela with a DDT for two and whips him into the corner a couple of times. Blind charge misses and Joey makes the comeback with a lariat and puts Cutler on the floor. Janela follows with a dive and then runs around the ring and hits a flying elbow off the stairs on top of that. Back in, that gets two. Cutler hits an enzuigiri out of nowhere and tries a springboard move, but Joey cuts it off and takes him to the top for the super brainbuster to finish at 8:33. Well that’s quite the finisher. Just a good little match with Janela doing his 1997 Chris Jericho tribute to great effect. ***

Meanwhile, we take a special look at QT Marshall, as Cody Rhodes sits down with him and we learn about his start in ROH, which led to him injuring his neck and moving backstage as a producer. But he’ll be back as a wrestler in Pittsburgh. Neat!

Nyla Rose v. Leva Bates

This librarian gimmick is hot flaming death. It’s not even particularly clever, it’s just Avalon going “Ssssssh” over and over. And we’ve seen Blue Pants showing some underdog personality in NXT so we know it’s there. Bates attacks in the corner, but gets slammed by Rose before recovering with a dropkick for two. Nyla comes back with a powerslam, but Bates gets a crucifix into a side kick. Nyla just shrugs her off and hits a death valley driver, but Avalon takes the ref and Leva gets a rollup for two. And then Nyla gets a clothesline and then tosses Bates onto Avalon on the floor. Leva meets the stairs and then Rose puts her away with a powerbomb at 4:40. Crowd was just completely dead for this whole match. ½*

AEW Control Center! With Tony Schiavone!

We get words from SCU, a special look at the Dark Order, and Pac is really annoyed with Moxley after he bailed Jon out by taking his match with Omega. Plus, hey, there’s a PPV coming up!

Private Party & CIMA & T-Hawk v. The Young Bucks & Dustin Rhodes & Cody Rhodes

The entrance of Private Party is again hilarious, as the Japanese team comes out first but can’t get past the security guy with the velvet rope until Private Party makes their entrance. MJF comes out with Cody as they continue to have the wackiest relationship with wrestling, with MJF openly being a complete douchebag who acts like a heel and trolls fans on Twitter but still won’t betray Cody. CIMA starts with Cody and gets a crucifix for one, so Cody hits the floor for some moral support from Brandi. Back in, Cody grabs a headlock and they trade cheapshots, at which point everyone comes in for a Mexican standoff until the ref regains control. So it’s over to Dustin, and T-Hawk gets a chop on him but walks into a lariat. The Bucks triple-team T-Hawk, but he fights them off and hits Nick with a spinebuster. Matt gets chopped in the corner and Cody comes in to save, so T-Hawk chops him even harder and Cody runs away and hides behind MJF outside in a funny spot. CIMA comes in with a slingshot senton on Matt and wraps him up in a wacky Mexican submission (“That’s called a banana split…uh, it pulls your groin apart a little bit”, notes Taz) and then Private Party double-teams him in the corner. Matt manages a northern lights on Quen and does the rolling suplexes, dumping Quen right onto Kassidy, and it’s hot tag Nick. Nick throws kicks, quick, and jumps on everyone with double stomps to the back and a springboard X Factor on Quen. And then he adds a moonsault onto CIMA on the floor. However, he tries to go up and gets caught with Gin & Juice, which gets two for Quen as Cody saves. We get a great spot with T-Hawk and CIMA playing Wabbit Season/Duck Season with Nick, and that miscommunication allows Dustin to get a hot tag. Powerslam on everyone, but he has to stop and take a few deep breaths before hitting one on Kassidy. AWESOME! Dustin then goes up and hits a crossbody on Private Party. Cody dives onto CIMA ouside and then Private Party hit stereo dives onto the Rhodes, and the Bucks dive onto Private Party. And then Brandi finishes it off with her own senton off the apron, before MJF decides to head into the ring and runs the ropes forever before declining to dive and flipping off the fans. He gets taken out and Private Party slugs it out with the Bucks, which leads to the SUPERKICK PARTY. Both of Private Party hit the floor, and the Rhodes go after the Stronghearts, but Private Party saves. So we get quadruple SUPERKICK PARTY and quadruple Shattered Nuts in the corners, before Dustin finishes T-Hawk with the Final Cut at 15:00. This was a hell of a lot of fun, with a good mix of strong wrestling and good comedy spots. ***3/4

Taz sounded like he was having the time of his life calling this, and although the Librarian match was a dog, the rest was tremendous fun and an easy watch. I heartily endorse this program.