AEW DARK: June 23, 2020

Sure, why not, lemme know if you think it’s worth recapping.

The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark: June 23, 2020

From Jacksonville, FL.

Your hosts remain Excalibur and Taz.

Tonight’s feature bout is the Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) vs. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss.

Opening match: Robert Anthony v. Brian Cage. So you know how the last two weeks Anthony did well against Jon Moxley and Scorpio Sky? Not betting on a hat trick.

Cage tries to jump Anthony, who dodges and gets an enzuigiri before running headfirst into a lariat. Buckle bomb follows, then an apron to ring superplex Cesaro style. Drill Claw ends it at 54.1 seconds. Welp. NR  (Author’s note: Any match under two minutes is too short to give a fair rating to IMO.)

Musa & David Ali v. SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian). Last week, Ali faced Lance Archer and got slaughtered, while Musa is a semi-regular. What I’m saying is, Ali should do better this time around than last time. SCU beat the disintegrated team of Cutler and Avalon last week.

Daniels and Musa start, with Musa getting a headlock and we go International. They exchange armdrags missing flying moves, and a legsweep doesn’t even get Musa one before a reset. Ali cheapshots Daniels as Musa knocks Kazarian off the apron, and a Musa powerslam gets one. Ali with a pump kick, and Musa moonsault… gets one for Ali because Musa forgot he wasn’t legal.

Kazarian again knocked off the apron, and Ali follows with a butterfly suplex and trash-talking for two. Musa again tries to take out Kazarian, but Kaz moves and gets a scissor kick into a Daniels spinning bomb. Hot tag to Kazarian, and a flying jalapeno into a cravate turnbuckle facejam and lariat. Daniels back, and SCU go high/low before cutting Musa off with a double-team powerbomb/neckbreaker. Ali gets thrown around, and SCU hit the Best Meltzer Ever (Daniels’ BME into a spike tombstone) to win at 3:31. Good while it lasted, and the finisher bumps it up. *3/4

PINEAPPLE PETE~! v. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). Excalibur acknowledges that Pete is known as Sugar Dunkerton on the indies. Spears won an easy match over Lee Johnson I believe last week.

Pete dances around before a lockup, which leads to Spears fixating on a headlock. Spears throws Pete down with a shoulderblock. Spears with a waistlock off the reset, with Pete reversing to a headlock. Spears switches to one of his own, and this time Pete gets out of it with a crossbody. Trip into a back arch cradle gets one. Jack-knife cover by Pete gets one, and Spears bails. (Yes, Sin is still at the tapings. I see you, Coach!)

Spears corners Pete upon returning and throws a knee, then chops away in the corner. Spears keeps slugging Pete in the gut to the point where Aubrey Edwards makes sure the glove isn’t loaded, but Spears recovers to get a backbreaker. Taz: “A loaded glove? What is this, 1980?” Pete fights back to his feet and a shotei staggers Spears, but Pete runs into a spinebuster for two. Pete works a headlock to block an atomic drop, but Spears with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Excalibur keeps showing where Spears could have done more to cover Pete, an interesting sideplot. Blanchard drops something on the apron, and Spears loads the glove with it. A loaded punch to the jaw ends it at 4:58. Perfectly good five-minute match. **1/4

Griff Garrison v. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts). Garrison ran headlong into… someone… last week. Archer beat David Ali. Excalibur and Taz keep mocking the Ivy League MVP graphic for Garrison since he didn’t go to an Ivy League school. And Archer destroys Money with a running powerslam on the ramp on his way to the ring!!

Garrison gets a few forearms, but Archer goes for a goozle only for Garrison to escape. Discus forearm and uppercuts follow, but Archer Pounces Garrison and stands on his throat. Northern Lariat follows. Archer throws Garrison around before chopping him hard in the chest while sending warnings to the Gunn family. A second chop misses and Garrison tries his own, but Archer no-sells the chops and gets lit up by a right. Ripcord uranage gets a legitimate two – no pullup here.

Archer kicks Garrison in the face in the corner before yelling to the camera. Garrison’s head bounces off the mat and Archer pummels him in the corner before scaring off the ref. Running forearm smash, but a second one is cut off and Garrison gets a boot. He goes up, but Archer catches him up there and gets the Blackout and Iron Claw to end it at 3:42. Garrison has shown fire these last two weeks. *1/4 Money finally wakes up and rolls into the ring obliviously, so Archer chokeslams him out of his shoes. I’m tempted to add another half-star for the Money antics, but that would be bias.

FEATURED BOUT: The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss. Excalibur confirms that Reynolds and Silver are #3 and #4 in some order. So Alan Angels is #5 and Preston Vance is #10… what happened to all the numbers in between? Janela/Kiss were winners last week, as were the Dark Order (but as Uno and Grayson). And as a reminder, Janela/Kiss face Mr. Lee and Colt Cabana tomorrow.

Reynolds and Janela start. Reynolds (yes, they masked themselves after their entrance) works the arm, but Janela reverses until Reynolds fores away with forearms. Back and forth until Janela gets an arm drag and back suplex for one. Kiss in, and the Jersey Team gets a Hart Attack into a Crab/Legdrop into a Mutalock/dropkick. The whole thing gets two. Reynolds rushes Kiss to the corner, and Silver fires away. Kiss escapes an armdrag try with the splits, and then the Kiss That Don’t Miss brings Janela in. Janela throws Silver into a series of Butt butts by Kiss, and Janela with a legsweep into a handspring kick by Kiss. It gets two. Taz thinks Janela and Kiss should wear the same outfit. Kiss’s, of course.

Anyway, Reynolds cuts Janela off, and Silver hits Janela so hard the mask flies off. Silver tosses Janela into the corner and gets his mask back, then adds forearms to both opponents. Blind tag by Reynolds, and the duo get a military press cutter combo for two. Reynolds Hammer Throws Janela into the corner, bringin him out with a snapmare and kneedrop for one. Reynolds with a half-nelson facelock before cutting off the hot tag. Janela flips out, but Silver grabs the hair to prevent a charge. Reynolds gets two. Silver with a roundhouse kick to the gut on Janela, and another follows.

Janela fights out of the corner, leaping over Silver and getting the hot tag to Kiss. Dropsault on Silver, then a jawbreaker and rana. Paydirt gets two, but Reynolds saves only to run into a lariat from Janela. Janela dives onto Silver, who catches him and suplexes him with help from a Reynolds dive. Silver trips Kiss into the ropes, and an Austin straddle leads to Silver getting a UFO Bomb for two. Reynolds in and they try a double DDT, but Janela leaps in with a double Blockbuster out of nowhere. Same-corner missile dropkicks by Janela and Kiss, and Janela hoists up Silver so Kiss can jump off of Silver’s back into the split-legdrop on Reynolds for the pin at 7:42. MAN this team is gelling fast! I love this match and it wouldn’t have been out of place on Dynamite. ***

KiLynn King v. Mel. Wait, I thought we all agreed to pretend the Nightmare Collective never happened!

They fight over a lockup into the ropes and around the ring, with the eventual break. King catches a shot by Mel into an arm-wringer, but Mel reverses and tries an armdrag, only for Mel to stop it and throw her down. Mel tosses King’s head into the canvas repeatedly before tossing her into the corner. Commentary says Mel and Luther are still a team as Mel continues firing away in the corner and choking King. Mel beals King across the ring before slamming a knee into the ropes. King ducks a clothesline, but another armdrag is blocked and Mel stomps away. Mel clubs away on King, adding a running boot. I’m pretty sure I could put on a match with more athleticism than this, and I’m 40.

King fires off with an enzuigiri to daze Mel, and finally King with the ARMDRAG OF DOOM. She forearms away in the corner and adds an uppercut. She works over Mel in the ropes, adding a big chop at the end, and a crossbody follows. King goes up, but airballs a dropkick and Mel with the chokelsam for the pin at 5:27. I was totally not feeling this one. 1/2*

Yes, I’m totally looking forward to all of you picking apart my first match when you see it, why do you ask? I’m totally up for my own medicine.

Lee Johnson v. Scorpio Sky. Lee Johnson had some fun with Shawn Spears last week, and Sky and Robert Anthony had the match of the week, so this should be good.

Code of Honor to start, and Sky wrings the arm. Johnson switches to a hammerlock, with Sky switching it to a waistlock. Johnson reverses, Sky reverses, Johnson, Sky, Johnson, Sky, Johnson, Sky and a waistlock takedown by Sky. Sky with the front facelock into a headlock as Johnson stands, and we go International… well, not quite as Sky puts on the brakes and cradles Johnson for two. The men exchange chops before Johnson gets forearms, but he walks into a kick and Sky with the Kobe Dropkick. It gets two.

Sky drops an elbow and works the back with knee strikes and a modified bow-and-arrow. Sky picks him up into a backbreaker for two. Sky with a test of strength cover to get a couple of two counts, leading to a bridge by Johnson and a flurry of strikes into a clothesline. Charge is met by a German, but Johnson lands on his feet and gets a Blue Thunder Bomb for two.

Johnson wants to end it, but Sky blocks a fireman’s carry and elbows out. Johnson goes to forearms instead , but Sky with a sunset flip, only for Johnson to sit down for two. Sky sends Johnson in, but Johnson goes up and over only to walk into a TKO for the pin at 4:57. It felt like this was missing the middle 10 minutes, but I’m a big fan of chaining and Scoprio Sky is moving up my list of guys I like watching. *3/4 Sky shows respect to Johnson post-match.

Luther & Serpentico & Max Caster v. Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt, Jungle Boy Jack Perry, and Luchasaurus). The heels come out to Luther’s music, which makes sense for Serpentico, but… Max Caster is doing a rapper gimmick and really doesn’t fit in with the other two. Jurassic Express of course beat Capital Vices and Jon Cruz last week.

Caster and Stunt start. Caster shoves Stunt down and tries to cut a beat on a nonexistent mic, so Stunt slaps him and fires away. Stunt prevents a back body drop and kicks away at Caster, adding a running knee and more pummeling. He kicks away in the corner , but Caster shoves him away only for Stunt to get a pair of running dropkicks. Perry in now, and we get a Poetry in Motion variant and a facewash by Perry for two.

Stunt fires away on Caster, getting a slam and running knee for two. Caster escapes and has trouble tagging in Serpentico, who is caught with a Perry rana. Serpentico cuts off a charge and gets a headscissors of his own, and the two do a lucha sequence to reset. Serpentico turns around into a dropkick by Perry before escaping to tag in Luther. So it’s Luther and Saurus after some tags, and Luther with a forearm smash only to bring Serpentico back in. Saurus stops a Serpentico rana and sets him down into a knee to the head and front chokeslam.

Wheelbarrow suplex, and Caster tags in only to get thrown into the Express corner. Perry in, and they kick Caster into the Extinction Level Event. Stunt walks on Saurus’ shoulders for a splash, and Perry follows with a senton bomb off the shoulders. Saurus with a moonsault, and a splash-legdrop combo gets two, Luther saves. Luther tags himself in and works over Stunt, getting an overhead belly-to-belly slam for two. Luther: “COUNT FASTER!” Luther grabs the hair and goes to the eyes before arguing with the ref. Suplex gets two. He continues arguing, so Stunt gets a cradle for two only for Luther to recover with a lariat.

Hairpull throw by Luther and he chokes him against the corner. Caster in, but Stunt gets an enzuigiri and hot tag Saurus. Chops to Caster, big boots to the other two, and a Tail Whip by Serpentico. Enzuigiri to Caster, and a spinning Death Valley Driver, but Stunt tries to take out Luther and is caught with Luther slamming Stunt onto Saurus to break the fall. Luther and Saurus stare down, but Serpentico pulls Luther out and they walk. Tail whips by Stunt and Saurus, and Stunt with a chokeslam try. The Express help him out, and Perry with an STF for the submission at 8:34. I may be biased, but the Capital Vices are better wrestlers than Luther easily. Caster just bumped all day, and Serpentico looked decent but did very little. This match lacked the flow of last week. 3/4* Commentary teases that Luther and Serpentico may be a future team.

Main event: Peter Avalon (w/Leva Bates) v. Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor and Trent). Whose idea was it to do a librarian gimmick? Has anyone ever been pushed ironically? Avalon, of course, asks everyone to be quiet. Also, Orange Cassidy has beach towels. Just saying. Also, sidebar: Billy and Austin Gunn are LOVING being fans at ringside. More wrestlers should do this when given the chance.

Cassidy goes to the pockets, so Avalon gets a headlock and removes the sunglasses. Cassidy goes back to the pocket, so Avalon pulls the hand out into an arm-wringer. Cassidy puts his other hand in his pocket, and Avalon switches arms, repeat until Avalon goes to a waistlock takedown. But that leaves Cassidy’s hands free, and guess where they go to escape the waistlock. Avalon is not amused. Cassidy flips over Avalon’s back body drop attempt and lands a dropkick and kip-up without removing his hands. The sunglasses are back on, and Cassidy fakes out Avalon before rolling outside to exchange pleasantries with Leva Bates.

Avalon with a dropkick and pescado to gain control, and HE wears the sunglasses before tossing them into the crowd. Back in, Avalon pounds away on Cassidy, following with a fireman’s carry flapjack for one, one, and two. Avalon chops away at Cassidy and works him over in the corner, getting a corner whip and leg lariat for two. Avalon sends him into the corner and charges in before getting a butterfly suplex for two. Cassidy gets the Flair Flip and recovers, sending Avalon into a turnbuckle and following in. He leaps over Avalon and continues sending Avalon into all four corners, with Avalon doing the Curt Hennig oversell on the fourth. Deep Sea DDT by Cassidy gets two. Cassidy goes back up, and a diving bodypress is rolled through by Avalon for two. Small package gets two. Backslide try, but Cassidy escapes and gets a Superman Punch for the win at 5:46. Nothing wrong with Cassidy, but you’d think they would have him on offense more if he’s going against Jericho. *1/4

Tomorrow’s card:

  • Jon Moxley has a non-title match, while Taz joins commentary for it!
  • Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana face Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss!
  • Wardlow vs. Luchasaurus and it’s a Lumberjack Match!
  • The TNT Title is on the line!
  • Matt Hardy faces… well, they had to edit it, but I’ll tell you, he faces Santana!

At only 70 minutes or so this time, it’s probably an easier watch for some of you. No angle advancement unless you count the Feature Match setting up the Dynamite tag battle, but we still had a show of some future stars such as Pineapple Pete and Griff Garrison. Plus, that SCU finisher was WILD. As always, you don’t miss anything if you don’t watch, but eh, it’s breezy and easy to just go to a match you want to see.

RING TIME: 45:31 over nine matches (average: 5:04)

BEST MATCH: Dark Order vs. Janela/Kiss

THREE STARS:

  1. Sonny Kiss
  2. Lance Archer
  3. Shawn Spears

Enjoy the double feature tomorrow!