The SmarK Rant for NWA Circle Squared / AEW Dark – 02.18.20
The new NWA show is pretty short, so we’ll just do this as a two-fer.
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Hosted by Sean Mooney
The idea here is that NWA is scouting new talent, so indie guys sign up to do promos for the live crowd and then people vote for them on the website. Kind of TNA’s Gut Check concept from a few years back. You know, the one where they could have signed both Brian Cage and Ivelisse, and passed on them both?
PJ Hawx & Luke Hawx are the first contestants, as they’re a father and son team (Luke is the father, PJ the son). They do their promo and we get some instant reaction videos from various internet personalities. Apparently PJ was in a viral video recently.
Nikita Koloff then heads out to introduce the next team, and FUCK ME he’s still using his real voice. His team is apparently the best kept secret in wrestling: Jeff Lewis Neal and Tyson Dean. I guess Nikita is acting as a coach to them. They’re a couple of generic bald fireplugs, but they’re got a good look and good gear.
Neither promo was anything special, but the father-son thing has a pretty good hook and Luke Hawx has been around for a while.
PJ Hawx & Luke Hawx v. Tyson Dean & Jeff Lewis Neal
The bald heels attack to start, but PJ rolls up Dean for two. Neal comes in with a spinebuster into a kneedrop from Dean for two. Hart Attack gets two. Neal puts the badmouth on PJ and pounds away, but PJ escapes with a suplex and makes the hot tag to Luke. The Hawxes double-team Neal and finish with a backdrop into a powerslam at 3:00. Not much to the match, but Neal and Dean looked far better and could be slotted right into the show. **
Interesting idea for a show, but too much filler, especially all the reactions from the randos. Really, there was maybe 5 minutes of content here stretched to 23:00 with commercials and replays and inset reactions. I probably wouldn’t watch again, or at least not for review purposes.
Next week: NWA Powerrr returns!
AEW Dark – 02.18.20
Taped from Austin, TX
Your hosts are Excalibur & Taz
Diamante v. Kris Statlander
The referee gets booped on the nose to start, but Diamante wants none of that. This results in a first contact gone bad, as Statlander beats on her in the corner and follows with a clothesline. She follows with a horrifying DOUBLE WET WILLIE on Diamante and a Pele kick that sends Diamante into the corner. Running elbow and a knee strike puts Diamante on the floor, and Kris follows her out and presses her onto the apron. Back in, Diamante reverses a powerbomb into a Code Red for two. Statlander powers her into a german suplex, however, and finishes with the Big Bang Theory at 4:22. Well once she had her own fingers stuck into her ears, it was academic anyway. There’s no coming back from that. Fun little match. **1/2
Jack Evans & Angelico v. Best Friends
Evans and Trent trade headlocks on the mat and Evans flips out of that, but Trent chops him down and hits a northern lights for two. Chucky comes in for the double elbow and chases Angelico out of the ring, where he hauls off and punches out Orange Cassidy! HE’S OFF LIMITS! THIS WILL NOT STAND! Back in the ring, TH2 double-team Trent and drops him onto Chucky with a Gory Bomb, followed by Evans moonsaulting them both. Trent gets whipped into the corner and Evans comes off the top with a double stomp for two. Angelico with a head kick for two. Trent comes back with a tornado DDT and makes the hot tag to Chucky, who boots Evans down. He powerbombs Evans onto Angelico and a spinning powerbomb on Evans gets two. Trent with a cutter for two. Evans with a standing 450 on Trent for two, but Chucky saves. Evans goes up, but Cassidy returns from his injuries and throws some devastating forearm strikes (complete with Popeye windup of the last one) to knock Evans down. Best Friends with the hug and the Strong Zero to finish at 8:30. Just a fun goofy tag team match. ***
Big Swole v. Christi Jaynes
Jaynes has the whole Rio De Janeiro thing going and she instantly looks like a star. They fight for the lockup and Swole takes her down with a headlock, but Jaynes reverses to her own. Swole escapes with a hiptoss and offers a test of strength, which she of course wins. Lariat puts Jaynes in the corner, but a blind charge misses and Jaynes puts her on the floor with an enzuiguri. Back in, Jaynes throws kicks and adds a knee lift, but Swole fights back with a headbutt and a high kick from the apron. Swole with a pump kick and ripcord forearm to finish at 4:48. I’m still not seeing whatever they’re seeing with Swole, but Jaynes has got something. *1/2
The Young Bucks & Peter Avalon & QT Marshall
The Bucks do some flips and Avalon stops the match and cuts a promo against “flippy dippy doo” because it’s not real wrestling. So he comes in, promising real punches and kicks, but the Bucks grab the mic and promise to hit a double hiptoss on him. And then they do. They double-team Avalon in their corner and follow with a double-team neckbreaker, but Avalon runs away from the superkick party. Back to QT, but Avalon hits Matt with a cheapshot from behind and tags himself back in. Leg lariat gets two. Leva reads Matt something from her book and then chokes him out on the ropes when he doesn’t pay enough attention. Matt backdrops Avalon to escape, but Nick is on the floor via another cheapshot from the heels. Matt makes his own comeback with the rolling northern lights on Avalon, which Taz is very jealous of because he never thought of doing it himself, and he hits SEVEN of them on Avalon and then adds one on both heels for good measure! Hot tag Nick off that and he throws knees on Avalon in the corner and then some for QT at the same time, setting up a bulldog on both guys. He tosses QT and follows with a moonsault out there, and then back for the Sharpshooter on Avalon until Peter makes the ropes. Matt comes in with a spear on Avalon to set up the double moonsault for two. QT saves but hits his own partner, and the Meltzer Driver looks to finish, but Avalon reverses to a rollup on Matt for two. Finally Avalon has had enough of QT and turns on him, then walks into the SUPERKICK PARTY like a moron and the Meltzer Driver finishes at 10:28. Usual Bucks match here. **3/4
Very entertaining show, and Excalibur & Taz are a great team on commentary. Well worth checking this one out this week.