The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark – 12.24.19
No Dynamite this week, so here’s Dark from Tuesday instead since it’s Christmas Day and I’ve got nothing going on in the afternoon.
Taped from Corpus Christi, TX on 12.18.19
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Dasha Gonzalez, with Excalibur and Colt Cabana on commentary.
Sammy Guevara v. Brandon Cutler
Sammy dances around Cutler while the announcers discuss TikTok from the perspective of 40 year old dads, which is exactly the same perspective I’m coming at it from. Sammy gets some chops in the corner, but Cutler dropkicks him into the corner and offers his own showboating. German suplex puts Sammy on the floor and Cutler follows with a tope, but he stops to showboat again and Sammy hits his own dive. But then SAMMY showboats and Cutler dives onto him. So we’re learning lessons all around here today. They head to the apron and Sammy hits him with a double footstomp onto the apron, which is apparently the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. It’s weird how they lampshade the joke on commentary, but yet the guys still keep doing the spot! Back in the ring, Sammy goes up and then hops down for a chinlock instead of doing anything that might please the crowd. Cutler escapes with a dropkick and makes a comeback with a high kick and a swinging full nelson slam. Phenomenal Forearm gets two. Sammy reverses a slam into a cradle for two and springboards into a stunner, but decides not to go for the cover and heads up again instead. Shooting star press gets two, but Cutler rolls him over for two. Sammy turns a backbreaker into a Go to Sleep and gets the pin at 7:50, which is actually his first win in AEW. Good little match here. ***
Meanwhile, Joey Janela is yelling timber tonight against Shawn Spears. I guess that’s a good thing for him?
Jack Evans & Angelico v. Private Party v. The Best Friends v. Santana & Ortiz
Apparently the loaded sock is called a “madball”, and Colt wonders if they’re being sold on AEW’s t-shirt site. “No, we don’t sell street weapons” deadpans Excalibur. Hey, they’re selling Jericho’s hooch now, maybe street weapons are the next step. Santana starts with Quen and they go to a stalemate. Over to Evans and Trent, and Jack works a headlock while the announcers sum up his ring style as “Gumby like”, which is pretty fair. Chuck and Trent double-team Evans and then hit stereo slams on them to get them out of the ring. Private Party double-teams Ortiz and everyone slugs it out in the four corners, which leads to the babyfaces teaming up to backdrop the heels out of the ring. This seems to tease a four-way hug, but the heels viciously cut that off while Ortiz yells “I’M A HEEL!” at the camera to clarify the situation. Back in the ring, Evans gets a low dropkick on Chuck, but Kassidy tags in and hits the forearm shots on Evans. Evans gets a spinwheel kick for two, however, and the Hybrids double-team Kassidy for two. LAX trades splashes on Kassidy and gets two, which allows Ortiz to use the dreaded back rakes on him as followup. Santana with the rolling suplexes into the delayed suplex as LAX does the trade-off and Ortiz finishes the move. Santana throws Kassidy to the apron, but he springboards back in with a DDT. Evans takes out Quen on the apron, allowing Angelico to get some double-teaming with Santana. Chuck gets the tag, however, and cleans house on the heels, which leads to LAX turning on the Hybrids. Ortiz misses a blind charge on Trent, and Trent gets the suplex and knee strike on Evans. But then they try to dive on LAX and get cut off with forearms. We’re just never getting that hug, are we? So LAX goes for a ladder under the ring, and they find Orange Cassidy napping on it, at which point they shove him back under the ring again. The announcers are left with many questions about this whole situation and no answers that will suffice. This distraction allows the BEST FRIENDS HUG spot and they follow with dives onto the heels. So the Hybrids go for the ladder, with no Orange this time, and then he magically appears on the top rope and hits them with a dive. Orange Cassidy is the true Christmas miracle. Back in, the Friends hit Santana with a double suplex for two. Private Party get the Silly String on Trent, but Santana superkicks Kassidy and faceplants him. Meanwhile, Ortiz uses the MADBALL behind the ref’s back, injuring Orange Cassidy’s “thumbs-up” arm to prove wrong all those who say there is no psychology in AEW, and the Street Sweeper finishes Kassidy at 16:14. Tremendous fun, and hopefully Orange Cassidy will get some medical attention and return to give us a thumbs up again someday soon. ***1/2
Never forget. Or do. Whatever, really.
Pac joins us for an interview, and produces Michael Nakazawa to finally pay off the angle from Dynamite. So he hauls him into the ring and wraps a chair around his neck because he’s tired of being ignored by Kenny Omega. However, it was just a final warning, and he decides not to actually Pillmanize the head of Nakazawa. I dunno, Nakazawa is usually covered in baby oil…Pac could have slipped off him and seriously injured himself!
Joey Janela v. Shawn Spears
Shawn goes for the ultra-cheap heat by trying to expose the Santa business to a kid in the front row, but luckily Joey Janela interrupts in a Santa suit before the fat guy’s carny scam can be busted. “You know, I thought it was funny when I saw Santa smoking a Marlboro Red in the parking lot” notes Excalibur. “This is problematic” agrees Colt. These guys are pretty great together. Spears attacks Joey to start while the crowd chants “Let’s go Santa”, but Janela dumps him and follows with a tope suicida. Spears comes back with a water spit into Joey’s eyes, but he accidentally chops the post and Joey sends him into the railing. Back in, Joey goes up and gets crotched, allowing Spears to get a backbreaker for one. Spears goes up and Joey rolls away from it, so Spears goes to the other corner and Joey rolls away from that as well. So back to the first corner again and Joey rolls away a third time. Spears gets annoyed with the crowd, allowing Janela to hit him with a dive outside and they head into the crowd as Joey dives off a chair and hits on any ladies within earshot. At this point, Joey finds Jesus. In the crowd. Well, he’s always in the last place you look. Hopefully he’ll stop by the dressing room and heal Orange Cassidy. Before his personal redemption can be completed, Spears hits a spinebuster and takes him to the floor for the piledriver attempt. Joey goes to pick a fight with Tully (with the blessings of Hipster Jesus) but Spears rolls him up for two. So Joey gets a discus lariat and goes up with the Macho Elbow for the pin at 7:42. Yeah, so this was some super-wacky house show wackiness to wrap up their feud, but wasn’t bad or anything. *1/2
I really enjoyed this episode! A nice mix of stuff to wrap up the year for them.