(As much as I love Dynamite, it had to be Game 7 last night. So here’s Dark to tide you over until tomorrow!)
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark – 10.29.19
Taped from Pittsburgh, PA
Your hosts are Excalibur & Jim Ross
QT Marshall & Peter Avalon v. Dustin Rhodes & Sonny Kiss
Marshall is the one who did the sitdown interview with Cody last week, making his AEW debut now. His gimmick is that he eats apples and is from “The Big Apple”, so I’d expect he’ll be sticking to Dark for a while. Avalon continues to be death in this librarian gimmick. Going “Sssssh” and going for cheap sportsball heat is not going to take him anywhere. Kiss gets a rollup on Avalon for two, breaking up their pre-match book club, and QT wants Dustin but then runs away. Dustin chops him in the corner and goes to work on the arm, and Kiss springboards in with a lariat and adds a standing moonsault for two after some twerking. Leva Bates trips him up, however, and Avalon hits him with a pump kick on the apron to make him face in peril. QT brings him in with a superplex and the heels add a double suplex for two. Kiss tries to get away for the tag and falls into the splits in a cute spot, so Avalon superkicks him there. Avalon slugs away in the corner and adds a cheapshot on Dustin, but Kiss gets all fired up and goes after both heels. QT takes him out with an elbow, however, and Avalon gets two. Moonsault misses and then QT tries a handspring moonsault for some reason and misses, duh. Picture Arn Anderson trying the same thing. Hot tag Dustin and he runs wild and powerslams both guys, then hits them both with a bodypress for two. Kiss takes QT out with a rana and follows with a meteora off the apron. Meanwhile, Leva tries to go after Dustin with her book, but Dustin puts her on the top rope and Avalon charges and runs into her accidentally, allowing Dustin to finish with the Final Cut at 9:20. Avalon can absolutely work but the gimmick is just killing him. They worked a good formula tag match and this was an enjoyable opener. ***
Emi Sakura v. Allie v. Penelope Ford v. Sadie Gibbs
They do a rare four-way lockup to start and then a four-way test of strength, which doesn’t really agree with the laws of physics. Allie gets some shine with a double bodypress on Sakura & Ford and then backslides Gibbs for two. Rollup gets two, but Ford saves and tosses her. Ford throws some nice kicks on Gibbs and gets a crucifix for two, but Sakura saves and then stops for a dance with the ref. So Ford charges and runs into the ref’s arm. Cute. Sakura with the Romero Special, but Ford goes for the pin with Sakura’s shoulders down, and that gets two. Then we get a wacky three-way submission hold as everyone is on different pages here. Sakura is trying to do a silly comedy match, and Gibbs is playing the serious powerhouse, with Ford and Allie somewhere in the middle. We get a nice spot where Allie does a baseball slide on Sakura while hitting a clothesline on Ford on the ropes, and then Ford regroups with a dive onto Sakura & Allie. Back in, Gibbs with a Michinoku Driver on Ford for two. Allie fights back on Gibbs and we get another wacky spot as they fight for a four-way suplex. Sakura does the comeback and piles all three girls in the corner, but they all just gang up on her. So Sakuka stacks them up again and hits a pump splash on the three of them for two. Neckbreaker on Gibbs gets two. Everyone throws kicks and it’s a quadruple down, then they do a four-way slugfest and Sakura gives Ford a backbreaker for two. Tiger Driver finishes at 11:53. Kind of a mess, but Sakura was able to hold it together enough to make it OK by the end. *1/2
Undesirable to Undeniable this week features the one and only Maxwell Jacob Friedman sitting down with Cody. Of course, he never felt undesirable in his entire wrestling career, but MJF encountered some anti-Semitic bullying in high school while playing football, and he can now proudly say that his bully is now a drug addict and broke, while he is rich and famous. This man is a national treasure. And that’s the interview.
Falls Count Anywhere: Jimmy Havoc v. Darby Allin v. Jack Evans
Thankfully the Evans & Angelico team now has a name: The Hybrid Two. And Darby Allin’s music actually gets a pop now! How about that, making a new star sometimes works. Evans flies all over the ring with kicks on both guys to start, but Havoc kicks him out of the ring. Allin hits Havoc with a Code Red for two, but Evans saves and crucifixes Allin for two. Allin escapes two german suplexes and takes Havoc to the floor with a stunner, then dives onto Evans, but Havoc cracks him with a chair from the apron and suplexes him onto the floor for two. They fight into the front row and Havoc dives onto the other two with a senton from the railing. “If you want Jimmy Havoc to land in your lap, get your tickets now!” Well that’s one way to sell tickets. Darby smashes a garbage can into Evans’ head, but Havoc runs him into a railing for two. They fight to the ramp and Evans suplexes Havoc there for two. Evans with a moonsault off the stage into a bodypress, but Havoc reverses into an inverted suplex for two. JR notes that it’s a very unforgiving part of the ring. Because it’s not the ring. It’s the rampway. Very astute. Havoc drops an elbow off the ramp onto Allin for two, then Evans hits them both with a flip dive off the ramp for two. Back to the ring as Evans throws some chairs in there, but sadly denies the crowd their tables. He tries a springboard kick and misses, and Havoc brings Allin into the ring with a superplex on the ropes. Evans gets hung in the Tree of Woe with Chair, but Allin puts Havoc in a torture rack and Evans double-stomps Havoc down for two. Allin takes Evans down with an armbar and wraps up both arms, but Havoc smashes a chair into him to break that up and follows with a piledriver on a chair for two. Havoc chucks a chair at Evans to knock him out cold, but Jack comes back with a backbreaker onto two chairs. Then, with Havoc laying on the chairs (sitting on their SIDE!) Evans hits a 450 on him for two. HOLY SHIT. How do you even take that bump? Allin finally does bring a table into the ring and it gets put in the corner, but Havoc manages to piledrive Evans through the table, and then Allin hits the coffin drop onto Havoc and pins Evans at 13:22. Allin is becoming a STAR. Anyway, I bet they basically told them to go out and do crazy shit for 15 minutes and you don’t have to tell them twice to do that. ****
Women’s match wasn’t great but the rest was totally worth taking an hour of your time to check out.