AEW DARK: June 16, 2020

A bunch of matches? Check. Some fun content for the site? Check. Kicking it off with my guys being involved? Oh you KNOW I’m reviewing this.

Anyway, if you all enjoy the recap, I’ll keep it up, but given the occasion, I couldn’t say no.

The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark on YouTube, June 16, 2020.

Pre-taped from Jacksonville, FL.

Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz.

Tonight’s feature bout is Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler vs. SoCal Uncensored (Kazarian/Daniels).

Opening match: Capital Vices (Sin and Money) and Jon Cruz vs. Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt, Jack Perry, and Luchasaurus). The Vices are in Freddy Kreuger gear. Cruz is a Dark veteran from Puerto Rico. And yes, the Vices are my trainers so I’m hyped.

Perry and Money start. Money backs Perry into the corner and cheap shots him on the break. Perry flips him over into a crucifix for two. O’Connor Roll into a European Clutch gets two, and Money cowers in the corner to bring in Cruz and Stunt. Some tumbling leads to a rana by Stunt for two. Stunt kicks away into a senton for one. Dropkick on Cruz and he begs off, bringing Money back in. Tierres by Stunt, and in comes Saurus as he and Perry double-team Money. Several double-team splashes follow for two, and Sin comes in only to get a roundhouse from Saurus.

Saurus boxes down Money and gets a face slam and German suplex. Stunt splashes off of Saurus, and Perry adds a flip senton off of Saurus’ shoulders for two, Cruz saves. Money tries a sunset flip, and while the ref is distracted, Sin catapults Money into Perry’s crotch. Sin with a Flatliner into a legdrop from Money, and Sin gets one. Blind charge eats elbow, and Perry clears out the corner before tagging in Stunt. Stunt reverses a Sin powerbomb try into a facejam, then nails an enzuigiri to Money and a spin kick to Cruz. Chokeslam try, but Sin breaks it up, so Saurus comes in and boots everyone.

Big lariat to Cruz and a nasty chop to Sin. Cruz is kicked down and Money thrown halfway across the ring into a legsweep. Chokeslam to Cruz and a standing moonsault, Sin breaks. Saurus no-sells Sin’s chop and headbutts him down, and Perry in for a Tail Whip/facebuster combo. Tiger suplex by Perry to Cruz gets two. Saurus throws Stunt onto Money, and Stunt dives onto both Vices in succession. Elevated cutter wins it for Perry on Cruz at 6:19. *3/4 For how long the match was, it could’ve been less lopsided, but at least my coaches got to get a little in.

FEATURED BOUT: Brandon Cutler & Peter Avalon (w/Leva Bates) vs. SoCal Uncensored (Kazarian and Daniels). Cutler and Avalon argue over Cutler’s D20 during the entrance.

Avalon and Kazarian start, but Avalon cheap-shots Daniels and an argument breaks out. It allows Kazarian to shove down Avalon and give him armdrags. Avalon with an armdrag, Kazarian replies, Avalon whiffs, and Kazarian with a cradle for two. SCU ping-pong Avalon into some armwork by Kazarian. Daniels coming in brings in Cutler. Daniels works the arm on Cutler, with Cutler flip-flopping into a reversal. Daniels somersaultes to break, and eventually it leads to Cutler with a springboard lariat for one.

Daniels with a leg lariat, and Kazarian in to beat Cutler into gooey paste, then double-team Avalon out of the ring. Kazarian with a gutwrench suplex on Cutler for two. Drop hold/elbow combo gets two for Daniels. Cutler tosses Daniels into Avalon, but after a false start, Avalon gets the apron clothesline (much to Cutler’s chagrin). Avalon gets two, then pummels away on Daniels. Cutler back in, but as he talks strategy with Avalon, Daniels escapes a facelock and chops away. Cutler gets an enzuigiri and springboard bottom-rope axhandle for two, and Daniels bails.

Cutler and Bates distract the ref, so Avalon dives onto Daniels off the apron. Back in, Cutler gets two. Avalon in, but the duo can’t agree on a double-team and start arguing. A charging Daniels solves that issue, but a clothesline/German combo fails and it’s hot tag Kazarian. Flying jalapeno to Cutler and lariat to Avalon, then an axe kick to Cutler has him hung up in the ropes. Flip slam of some sort by Kazarian gets two. Tomikaze try, but Avalon escapes into a fireman’s carry flapjack and Cutler adds a springboard elbow for two.

Avalon tags in and is caught in the wrong corner, with Daniels doing a curbstomp off the ropes. Kazarian with a cutter, Cutler saves. Cutler fights off both SCU guys until he’s caught with a powerbomb/neckbreaker. Avalon cradles Daniels with the tights for two. Big boot by Kazarian and Celebrity Rehab on Avalon wins it at 8:03. **1/2 Lots of good stories told here, as the better and more familiar team won, but you could see the talents of Cutler and Avalon and get the feeling if they can gel, they can win. WARNING: this comment does not age well.

Dani Jordyn v. Big Swole. And yes, if you know Dani, you know she has her Burn Book with her. Taz is mad that Dani is only introduced as being from “Long Island” and wants more information. “Long Island’s a big place!”

Jordyn tosses her Book at Swole, who nearly smashes it into Jordyn’s head. Swole then sees she’s IN the book as the bell rings and after some rope-running gets a leg lariat on Jordyn. Jordyn drops Swole into her knee and adds a back elbow before going ground and pound. She slaps Swole and gets a snapmare before more pounding away. Forearm to the back gets one, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Swole elbows out and gets a headbutt on Jordyn. Swole dives in with a cutter from the apron, and a TKO/GTS hybrid follows. Dirty Dancing ends it at 2:26. Short and not sweet. 1/4*

Leva Bates is interviewed backstage about her loss, but Cutler and Avalon argue over whether cheating is a good thing or not, eventually agreeing to split up, much to Bates’ dismay.

David Ali v. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts). But first, Archer takes some fat crew guy and lariats him for no reason.

Archer demands Ali hit him, which he does… only to get booted and stomped on. Northern lariat off the ropes and he goes for Ten Beats from a camel clutch position. Archer screams at the camera before pounding Ali in the corner. Locomotion coast to coast elbows (great camera view) and Archer threatens Billy Gunn at ringside. He steps on Ali’s head before threatening the referee. Chokeslam is escaped by Ali and Ali gets an uppercut, surprising himself. He dives into a Samoa Joe corner uranage, though, and a right hand nearly KO’s Ali. Kicks to the ribs in the corner follow. Overhead choke throw and he puts Ali up top, and the Blackout follows, but Archer pulls Ali up at two. Iron Claw and he slams Ali’s head into the mat, and that ends the match at 4:23. DUD, but a worthwhile one as Archer looks like a maniac. Archer adds a chokeslam post-match.

Shawn Dean & Musa v. Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss. Musa is a regular on Dark. I’ve seen Shawn Dean in ACTION Wrestling and I like him a lot. Excalibur: “About the only thing [Janela and Kiss] have in common is being from New Jersey.”

Kiss and Dean start, and Kiss with a discus forearm and handspring slap. Kiss Matrix dodges a clothesline and kicks out of it. Janela in, and the duo get a Hart Attack, into a Crab/legdrop combo, then a Mutalock/Dropkick combo. Kiss back in, and he gets a leg lariat before both men get missile dropkicks off the same buckle. Janela throws Kiss’s leg to kick Musa, but Musa goes to the gut… and we’re distracted by Archer trying to break this match up with Roberts stopping it.

A double-team by Musa and Dean goes wrong, but Dean with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Musa adds a dropkick. Dean gets two. Dean works over Kiss in the corner, and Musa adds a kick to the exposed ribs. Musa with a swinging neckbreaker for one. Musa with a fireman’s carry, but Kiss sunset flips out of it and gets the hot tag to Janela. Janela takes both men out and stacks them up, hitting the pile with a senton. Kiss tags in, and a Stinger Splash by Janela into a cartwheel kick to Musa as Janela dives onto Dean. Musa put up top, and a top-rope Frankensteiner by Janela into a split-splash by Kiss for the pin at 4:50. *1/2 They may be on to something with this Janela/Kiss combo. I could’ve done without the Archer stuff though.

Red Velvet & Kenzie Page v. Allie & Brandi Rhodes (w/QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes). Velvet hails from “straight outta yo momma’s kitchen”, which now joins the list of Great Parts Unknown Locales. Interestingly, Dustin accompanies Brandi and QT accompanies Allie as they enter separately. (Reminder: Omega/Page v. Dustin/Marshall tomorrow!)

Brandi shakes everyone’s hands… and Allie smashes Paige with a forearm before the bell. She throws Page into the corner and stomps away as Rhodes is disgusted. Allie goes with a low kick on Page, and a knee to the gut follows. Kneelift by Allie, but Page fights Allie back to her corner and brings in Velvet. Velvet forearms away on Allie, but Allie hooks a front chancery into an arm-trap neckbreaker for one. Allie brings Brandi in, and they do a Nasty Boys-style whip. Brandi with a snapmare and big kick for one.

Velvet forearms out, only to get dropped with a kneeling uppercut (and point to Dustin). Velvet shoves Brandi into Allie, who hurts her ankle on the landing, and Velvet with a leg lariat for two. Page in, and Brandi eats a double elbow for two. Marshall is busy tending to Allie. Page with a suplex for two, then a ground sleeper as Marshall and Dustin argue. Allie: “I’M HURT!” Brandi with a jawbreaker and she crawls over, but no one’s there.

Page then throws Brandi who knocks over Velvet and Brandi will be her own hot tag, thank you very much. Sling Blade, but Velvet in with a gut kick. Allie jumps in and tags herself in, which Brandi doesn’t know until she spears Page and tries to cover. Allie, with a miraculous recovery, enters and pins Page with one foot at 5:08. 3/4*, but the plot advancement still makes it worthwhile. Brandi and Allie argue afterwards, as do Brandi and Marshall.

Lee Johnson v. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). Johnson is a regular enhancement talent on Dark, standing at 0-10. Taz, though, mentions he’s had a tough slate of opponents, including MJF two or three times.

Spears adjusts the glove before locking up, grabbing the arm as he and Johnson exchange armbars. Spears with a snapmare, but Johnson reverses to a chickenwing. Spears backs Johnson into the corner and elbows out, adding a chop. Johnson goes up and over Spears, but Spears blocks an armdrag only for some chaining to end in a Spears kneesmash in the corner. Spears tosses Johnson over the top as Blanchard gives orders. Spears throws Johnson in and adjusts the glove again, allowing Johnson to get a dropkick and dive attempt… into Spears’ elbow. Spears hangs Johnson upside down in the ropes and boots him before suplexing him onto the apron. Back in, Spears rubs the glove into Johnson’s face, leading the ref to make sure the glove isn’t loaded.

Back suplex is blocked, and Johnson struggles before turning it into a crossbody. The two slug it out with Johnson getting the better of it thanks to a basement dropkick and hesitation dropkick. Uppercut in the corner, but a second charge puts Johnson on the apron. He recovers and dives, but Johnson nearly gets a sunset flip out of it… only for Spears to put on the Sharpshooter for the submission at 4:21. *1/2 I get the feeling Johnson is getting the Barry Horowitz gimmick of being close over and over until he finally wins one. I think it’ll work – Johnson has some good charisma.

Brady Pierce & John Skyler v. The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) (w/Alex Reynolds, John Silver, #5, and #10). Okay, Skyler is well known in the Carolinas and I’m hoping they give him a little shine here. Pierce is doing a “smiling babyface” gimmick and has the most mismatched outfit I’ve seen – red trunks and gold boots.

Grayson fires away on Skyler and puts him in the corner where the Order double-team him. Grayson slams his shoulder into Skyler, and Uno adds a big chop. Elbow strike on Skyler and he undoes his wrist tape. A straight right rocks Skyler, who tries to fight back only to get chopped HARD. Skyler demands more, so Uno goes to the eyes. Uno sends Skyler into Grayson’s boot, and they stomp a mudhole into Skyler.

Grayson slams Skyler and taunts him, then tosses him into Uno’s boot. Skyler tries to chop out, but Uno stops it and sends Skyler to the corner. Grayson’s splash airballs and it’s hot tag Pierce. An uppercut/big boot combo by the Carolia boys leads to a stomp/neckbreaker combo for two. Uno stops Skyler by the hair and brings in Grayson, and an Oklahoma Slam / senton bomb combo follows, Pierce saves. Grayson throws Pierce down with an uranage, and the Dark Order with the Fatality to Skyler to win at 4:03. 1/2* Mr. Brodie Lee comes out to applaud afterwards.

Griff Garrison v. Jimmy Havoc. Garrison calls himself the Ivy League MVP, but Taz points out he went to Guilford – which, while impressive, is not an Ivy. This leads to commentary trying to imagine Havoc going to Oxford.

Havoc pushes Garrison to the ropes and socks him in the gut, working a headlock. Garrison tries to break, so Havoc grabs the fingers and does the Baszler arm stomp. Havoc continues working the arm, punching at the elbow. Garrison reverses a headlock, so Havoc goes to an armbar. Garrison reverses that and keeps Havoc from the ropes, so Havoc goes to Plan B: a punch in the face. It works, and Havoc stomps a charging Garrison out of the corner. Havoc follows Garrison outside and throws him into the barricade. Havoc backs Garrison to the post, but Garrison dodges a chop (so Havoc hits the post) and uppercuts away until Havoc throws him into another barricade.

Havoc slams Garrison into the barricade, and back in (what a concept), Havoc with a fish hook camel clutch. He shoves Garrison down and feigns innocence, but Garrison punches out only to be caught with a Japanese armdrag into the turnbuckle, then a suplex into same turnbuckle. Boot grind into Garrison and a soccer kick, and Havoc pushes at the eyes. He then chokes Garrison with Garrison’s own long locks before smashing him into the corner and giving the British flip-off to the crowd while choking Garrison.

Death Valley Driver into an uppercut missile follows, but the Acid Rainmaker misses and Garrison gets a pair of Stinger Splashes and a discus clothesline for two. Garrison charges into a big boot, and Acid Rainmaker into a fisherman’s DDT ends it at 6:01. ** I hope they bring Garrison back, he looked pretty good in the ring and sold well.

Skyler Moore v. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian). Sabian brings out his pet dog Oscar. Hey, Sin is already in street clothes and in the crowd mugging for the camera! Oh, like I’m not going to notice my coach. (Tomorrow: Young Bucks vs. Supabad Squad!)

Anyway, a lockup goes nowhere. Moore with an armdrag on Ford, who shakes out her arm. Moore catches a boot, so Ford clings to the ropes and kicks Moore away. Hairpull slam by Ford and she sends Moore to the corner facefirst. Ford slugs Moore down and chokes her against the middle rope while petting Oscar and kissing Kip. (Better than the other way around.) Ford picks Moore up into the ropes and guillotines her into them before working her over in the corner.

Penelope Pit Stops (shoulder thrusts), but Moore with the Brisco cradle out of the corner for two. Ford slaps the taste out of Moore and looks for the finish, but Moore headbutts the jaw and rocks her with forearms. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Ford slides out of a slam and gets a handspring cutter (barely), and the fisherman’s suplex ends it at 4:11. Sadly, the camera angle wasn’t the same as last week’s, so I can only give the match 1/2*.

Main Event: Robert Anthony v. Scorpio Sky. Anthony impressed last week on Dark, so he gets a return. Taz goes off on Anthony for being too interested in being Mox’s friend and not enough in being his opponent.

Anthony with a go-behind to start, but Sky and Anthony trade arm wringers. Sky tries a full nelson, then switches to a hammerlock, with Anthony reversing to a waistlock takedown and facelock. Sky gets arm control, and the two go to the ropes. (Meanwhile, Austin Gunn is wearing Sky’s jacket, so they exchange props.)

Anthony wrenches the arm off a lockup, then rides him down with a hammerlock. Anthony blocks a headlock takedown attempt, but Sky works out with some backflips and cradles Anthony for one and they reset. Sky to a lockup, with Anthony reversing to the headlock, Sky to a wristlock (man, it’s like chain lessons in training all over again), then Sky blocks a reversal to switch to a headlock. Sky tackles Anthony down for one. Sky goes to the armbar on Anthony. Anthony backs Sky into the corner and back elbows on a break.

Sky comes out with a clothesline and adds a back elbow for one. Snapmare by Sky, but Anthony catches him into a tilt-a-whirl facejam for two. Anthony chokes away in the corner and picks Sky up, dropping elbows to the back of his head. Sky boxes out of it but runs into an elbowsmash for two. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, with Anthony adding a chop in the corner. A left cross has Sky staggered, and Anthony tees off on Sky. Snapmare and facewash by Anthony as he taunts the crowd and goes to a ground cobra clutch.

Sky punches out of this and forearms Anthony down. Clotheslines cue the comeback, and Sky blocks a back body drop by stomping on Anthony’s back! Dropkick by Sky gets two. Both men escape fireman’s carries, and Anthony wins the conversation with a Death Valley Driver for two. Anthony looks for a suplex, but Sky gets a small package for two. Sky elbows off Anthony and strikes him across the ring, but Anthony catches Sky with a back elbow only to run into a big boot. TKO ends it at 9:32. Guys, if you want to know how to put on a good match without using fancy moves, watch this match. **3/4

Tomorrow’s card!

  • Billy Gunn vs. MJF
  • AEW Tag Titles: Kenny Omega/Hangman Page vs. QT Marshall/Dustin Rhodes
  • TNT Title: Cody will defend
  • Winners challenge at Fyter Fest: Best Friends vs. Le Sex Gods
  • Superbad Squad vs. Young Bucks
  • And more!

Well, that was a really fun way to spend 90 minutes. I got to see a good cross-section of AEW’s roster, plus they advanced Cutler/Avalon and Allie/Brandi. I also got to see a few guys I hope to see again, like Robert Anthony, Griff Garrison, and Lee Johnson. I highly recommend people checking it out.

STATS:

TOTAL TIME: 59:17 over 11 matches

MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Anthony vs Sky

THREE STARS:

  1. Scorpio Sky
  2. Allie
  3. Sonny Kiss

See you for the Double Feature tomorrow!