AEW DARK: August 25, 2020

The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark, August 25, 2020.

From the AEW Arena.

Your hosts are The Good (Veda Scott), The Bad (Taz), and The Ugly (Tony Schiavone) – as Schiavone himself put it.

A loaded show tonight, with FOUR feature bouts! Jake Hager gets to toss around Marko Stunt! The Initiative look to get over the hump facing Luther and Serpentico! Frankie Kazarian battles Kip Sabian! And in our main event, Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela face fellow high flyers the Hybrid Two! Plus – Penelope Ford, Nyla Rose, Ricky Starks, Lance Archer, Santana and Ortiz, Shawn Spears, the Best Friends, MEL, and the Gunn Club in action (though not against each other)!

Opening match: Storm Thomas and Demetri Jackson (debut) vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent) (with Orange Cassidy) (13-4, #2). With the Friends ranked at 2, it means they’ll be in the Contenders’ Gauntlet for All Out on Thursday. Taz and Tony are not getting along early – Taz took exception to that “bad” thing.

Taylor and Thomas start. Taylor works the headlock, but after a shoulderblock does nothing, he gets an enzuigiri and Atlantic Stretch. Thomas flips him out, but Taylor recovers and tackles Thomas, who tags in Jackson. Trent also comes in, getting an early kick and chopping away in the corner.

HEY! TRENT! NO HAND SIGNALS!

Trent returns to working Jackson over in the corner, but walks into some kicks and a dropkick. Jackson gets cut off with a standing Meteora and bails, but comes back in only to be caught mid-air with a Northern Lights suplex for two. His dreadlocks may have saved him there. Taylor in, and a double-elbow and handshake elbowdrops follow. Taylor works Jackson over in the corner, and the referee has to stop it, which allows Jackson a chance to leverage Taylor into the turnbuckle. Jackson with a snapmare and soccer kick for two. Jackson boxes away, but Thomas tags himself in and gets thrown by Jackson into Taylor. Lariat by Thomas gets two.

Back in the corner, Thomas with a clothesline, and Jackson comes back only to run into a knee. Another knee to the face, and Trent gets the not-really-hot tag. He works over Jackson with forearms, then catches him coming off the ropes with a clothesline. Thomas is caught with a Saito suplex, and Trent with a corner clothesline and tornado DDT. Cassidy says it’s time to fly, so Trent dives onto Thomas and spears Jackson on the outside. Trent measures Jackson back in, and a Knee Plus levels him. The team HUGS IT OUT (although this time it’s for emphasis), and back-to-back piledrivers end it at 5:56. If it seemed like this wasn’t the usual Best Friends match, that was the point: commentary noted that this team is laser-focused, largely due to the antics of the Inner Circle. But if it makes you feel better, they group hug post-match. *1/4

Jessy Sorenson (0-1) vs. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard) (10-2). If the name “Jessy Sorenson” sounds familiar, he was part of the TNA X Division before he got severely hurt and Dixie Carter did something stupid. The big development here is that Blanchard manages more than Spears – he was seen in FTR’s corner on Saturday. Three down, one to go?

Spears smiles at Sorenson as they circle, and Spears gets a headlock takedown early. It gets a one-count. Sorenson reverses the headlock and works it, but Spears shoots him off and gets a deep armdrag. Another lockup, and Spears controls the arm, with Sorenson quickly reversing. Spears instinctively grabs for hair, but Sorenson’s bald, so Spears backs him in the corner and works him over with knees and chops. Sorenson goes up and over on a whip and gets an armdrag and dropkick, and Spears bails to the outside as Tully talks to him about how difficult it is to fail a drug test in 1989.

Back in, Spears kicks out of a test of strength and chops in the corner, but Sorenson reverses and fires back. An up-and-over doesn’t go up or over anyone, so Spears gets a dropkick (having faked out Sorenson) and works his surgically repaired neck. Big boot as Sorenson is tangled in the ropes and Jessy rolls outside to check his neck. Spears forces Sorenson’s head to the stairs – but no eye damage is tried – and even though the follow-up stomp misses, Spears recovers and suplexes Sorenson onto the apron. Sorenson with some punches to keep Spears off-balance, and he reverses a piledriver try to a cover for two.

Leaping neckbreaker by Sorenson, but his own neck is bad and he can’t cover. Sorenson fires away in the corner, preventing Spears from crawling away and getting a Tornado DDT try, but Spears whiplashes Soranson down the buckles. Death Valley Driver ends it at 5:18, and you knew it was the finish because Tully already started climbing the stage into the ring. That could be used for a future fake-out. Given the history of Sorenson’s neck that commentary played up, this was very good basic psychology. **1/4 Spears loads the glove as Tully distracts the ref, and when it’s clear Sorenson’s neck won’t let him get up, he sits Sorenson up and delivers a punch to the back of the neck! That is very good professional wrestling characterization for both guys.

MJF challenges Jon Moxley at All Out! You ready?

Red Velvet (0-3) vs. MEL (1-1). Commentary is all about confidence for this match. Both women exude confidence that belies their records. MEL’s performance in the Deadly Draw – which was a loss but wasn’t awful – is also brought up.

MEL corners Velvet, who rolls away to gain separation. MEL corners her again, cutting her off, but MEL misses a wild right, and Velvet fires off with forearms before being shoved down. Velvet back with kicks and a boot choke while waving at the camera, then kicks to the hamstrings. She runs into a Dino Bravo side suplex, though. MEL throws Velvet across the ring a few times before slamming her head into the mat mid-ring. Chokeslam gets turned into a casadora lungblower, then a roundhouse kick. Velvet goes up top, but dives off into the chokeslam for the pin at 2:35. I invoke Dino Bravo during a MEL match for a reason – Velvet’s the better wrestler here, and AEW would be good switching them up and cutting their losses. DUD

Join AEW Heels! Be part of a movement when you’re not being choked out by Anna Jay!

D3 vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts and a the corpse of someone working backstage). D3 is an Italian wrestler who got a chance last week in a six-man. Taz: “I’d rather be D1 – D3 isn’t that impressive in sports.” The part of the poor guy beaten up backstage is played by some fat dude.

Archer charges and boots D3 before announcements, working him in the corner and chopping him. Hammer throw follows, and D3 crawls to Archer. Archer offers some free shots, which do nothing but allow Archer a receipt with a right and short-clothesline. One foot cover gets two (Veda wishes he hadn’t). Archer chokes D3 over the top rope before throwing him into the corner. Chokeslam (D3 practically bounces) gets… no, Archer picks him up at two.

He rips at D3’s nose and tries to intimidate the referee before getting cross-ring forearms. A second one catches an uppercut, and then a boot, then another uppercut. D3 tries a moonsault, but Archer does the Samoa Joe “whatever” walkaway. Blackout and Iron Claw Slams end this at 2:46. Guys in the business over 6’5: you can do worse than watching Lanch Archer, who has figured out how to be a monster heel and use his size to his advantage. DUD

Luther and Serpentico (1-0 as a team) vs. The Initiative (Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler) (w/Leva Bates) (0-10). Serpentico’s only win came as Luther’s partner. Veda: “On a professional level, this team [Luther/Serpentico] makes sense. And not a lot about Luther makes sense.” Opening roll alert: the snake logo. Whatever that means. Also, the Initiative has steam as part of their entrance. Taz insists Veda would love D&D.

Luther and Serpentico jump before the bell and stomp away. Luther and Avalon stayed in, with Luther working Avalon over in the corner and Hammer Throwing him, but Avalon dodges a blind charge. Second try gets an up-and-over, with Avalon ducking the leg lariat but running into a big boot. Serpentico tags in and comes off the top with a double stomp to Avalon’s arm. Double back suplex, but Avalon flips out and gets a headscissors on Serpentico. Cutler in, and after some tumbling, Serpentico gets a headscissors. Cutler blocks the O’Connor Roll and comes back with the Phenomenal Forearm. Avalon back in, and they double-team Serpentico with Avalon getting two.

Slam by Avalon gets two. And two. Avalon runs into an elbow, but a charge runs into Cutler’s rope enzuigiri. Serpentico stops him and throws him into the post and, as Luther discards Avalon, Serpentico chokes Cutler in the corner. Luther in with a slam, then he slams Serpentico onto Cutler, three times, to get two. Luther stomps away on Cutler and puts a thumb in the eye. He works Cutler over in the corner as Serpentico tags in, and the Nasty Boy whip-in and avalanche gets Serpentico two. Serpentico gets his elbow in Cutler’s… eyes, I think – overhead cam makes it hard to tell – before Luther tags in and fish-hooks Cutler.

Serpentico back in, but Luther hits elbow and Serpentico hits knees. Crossbody to Serpentico and Avalon gets the hot tag, diving onto Luther. Serpentico’s elbow pad comes off, so he THROWS IT AT AVALON only to get hit with a lariat and Tiger Bomb for two. Serpentico stuns Avalon with a flying knee, and a suplex by Serpentico is followed by Luther suplexing Serpentico onto Avalon, Cutler saves. Cutler takes on both guys and dumps Serpentico, but Luther runs him over. Boot choke in the corner, but Leva checks out Cutler, allowing Avalon a low blow and rollup for a VERY close two.

Serpentico with a rope enzuigiri and tope atomico double stomp for two. Serpentico eats boot on a charge, but adjusts his head and chops Avalon on second charge. Avalon reverses and takes on both guys at once, and a running forearm into a Cutler Gut Check, then an Avalon flying elbow for two, Luther saves. Cutler sets Serpentico on the top rope, and in the chaos Avalon tries to help with a book swing… and hits Cutler. Luther powerbombs Avalon on the outside, and the Hart Attack Meteora ends it at 8:49. Oh, they’d better not do the breakup after this. When Luther of all people isn’t a liability in a match, I’m satisfied. *1/2

Jericoh vs Cassidy is coming up at All Out 2! Mimosa Mayhem!

KiLynn King (0-6) vs. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) (10-3, #1). King has been all right in these appearances, and certainly, she has the height to stand out, though I’m not sure whether she’s going for crazy, eccentric, free-spirited, or what. Commentary likes her, too. With Nyla from DC, the question is: do I know her? Well, no, but I know people who trained alongside her, so there’s that.

I’m a total name-dropper. Shameless. Just deal with it.

Rose backs King into the corner and slugs her, but King is unimpressed and doges some punches to get a high kick. Rose elbows out of a German suplex and throws King, but King goes over the top and comes back with a sunset flip try. Rose blocks it and throws King out of the ring. She follows only for King to dive at Rose… and be caught and thrown into the post. Commentary talks about how Rose is unhappy with a champion vs champion match when she’s #1 contender while Rose wraps King around the post.

King pulls Rose into the post and throws her in, but when she follows Rose catches her with a spinebuster for two. Chokeslam try by Rose, but King slips out and throws rights. Rose fires back, getting the better of it, and tries a Samoan Drop, but King with a slide-out and cradle for two. A second try gets just one. Now King wants a Samoan Drop, and much to everyone’s surprise she nails it for two. King goes up top (with Rose on the other side of the ring, who knows what she wanted to do), but Vickie throws her off and Rose does the Batista Bomb for the win at 4:00. KiLynn, just curious: did you think you’d pull anything off from that distance? King continues to show flashes of goodness. *1/4

Post-match, Rose tosses King out of the ring as Vickie has a microphone. She says the crowd should be honored to see Rose as a picture perfect vision of success. Vickie’s managerial legacy is unquestioned, and Rose symbolizes what she can make happen. There’s a new name for their alliance: the Vicious Vixens. Anyone who wants them, come play with them in THEIR ring. Now, I’m not against the name, but let’s give Vickie another client if we’re going that way.

Frank Stone and Baron Black (first time teaming) vs. Billy & Austin Gunn (4-0). All right, Stone’s back after his excellent team-up with Shawn Dean last week. I didn’t get enough to see if Baron Black has it, so let’s hope we see more this time. The Gunns antagonize Taz on the way to the ring. Oh, hey, QT Marshall’s at ringside and in better shape after the Dark Order beating. Speaking of, last time on Dark, Billy and Austin were targets of said Order.

Austin and Black start. Black with a headlock, and that’s right, we’re going International~!, ending with Black faking out Austin and the two exchanging headlock takedowns. Austin switches to arm control, then rolls Black out of the corner, kicking Black away when they’re up, and dropkicking Black’s knee for one. Billy in, and it’s a double Russian legsweep getting two for Billy. Billy goes to the arm on Black, wrenching it some before Austin drops an axhandle on it. More armwork, but Black kicks away and Stone comes in to block an armdrag and catch Austin into a tilt-a-whirl slam for one. Black back in, and he sledges down on Austin.

Black works over Austin in a neutral corner, and a snap suplex gets two. Stone in, and slugs Austin down and rakes the eyes with his boot. Suplex (and a beauty) gets two. Black back in with an elbow, holding off Austin’s flurry and getting an atomic drop into a back suplex for two. Black drags Austin back and brings in Stone, who holds Austin’s leg… until Austin kicks away. Hot tag Billy, and Black and Stone bump and feed. Stone is ejected and Black eats an avalanche, but the Famouser is dodged and Stone trips Billy. Stone with a Stinger Splash, and Austin and Black need to come in. Black wins a slugfest with a spin chop, but Austin with the hiptoss neckbreaker (now called the Quick Draw) to win at 6:10. Stone still looks pretty good, and Black was all right too. *3/4

Will Moxley agree to leave his signature move on the sideline against MJF? Find out soon!

Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian) (8-5, #3) vs. Heather Monroe (0-1). Wow, 3 women’s matches on one show – don’t tell anyone, they may lose one of their narratives! Monroe (with the fur coat and very large fan) debuted on Dynamite losing to Hikaru Shida. I wonder if Ford and Sabian altered their making out on Dr. Baker’s advice. Thanks for making me think of that, Taz.

Ford takes the arm early, switching to a headlock. She leverages Monroe to the mat, but doesn’t follow up for a reaset. Monroe returns the favor with a lockup throw and flying armdrag, then blocks Ford’s hiptoss attempt and gets one of her own. Monroe chops down Ford and does a somersault to a lucha armdrag. Charge eats boot, however. Monroe quickly recovers to work in the corner, but Sabian distracts with the DOUBLE HUSQVARNA OF SEVERE DISCOMFORT and Ford takes over with a trip into the middle corner.

Gut Check by Ford, and she chokes Monroe in the ropes while kissing Sabian. Take a drink every time Taz says “exchange of saliva”. Monroe tries a kick, but Ford catches it and throws Monroe down. Into the corner, and Ford with a clothesline and rakes Monroe’s eyes on the top rope. Ford with forearms and kicks in the corner, then brings Monroe in… but Monroe with a small package for two. Cradle gets two. Monroe with big forearms, but Ford goes to the gut to block. Monroe’s back with a straitjacket Backstabber, getting two.

She goes for a roundhouse kick, but Ford ducks and throws Monroe into the buckles. Ford comes in with the handspring elbow into a flurry of elbows. Fisherman’s suplex ends it at 4:38. The story here was that Monroe studied Ford and used it to stay in the match, but it wasn’t enough. Ford feels rather basic in there. 3/4* Veda: “Did they make out all the way through the replay?” Tony: “Yeah. They did.”

Metro Brothers (names not given) (debut) vs. Santana and Ortiz (8-6). Taz is happy to see a team from Coney Island, another part of Brooklyn. The individual brothers are unnamed, but both look like something out of Grease. It’s a battle of New York City, as all four guys are from some part of the Five Boroughs.

Ortiz starts against Metro Brother #1. He gets a headlock, switching to the arm, but #1 reverses. Ortiz gets it back, it’s reversed back, Ortiz almost kips up and turns it into a cravat, switched to a headlock. Ortiz reverses THAT, gets it reversed back at him, and #1 gets a headlock takedown. Ortiz gets out and uppercuts and chops away, and we get a slugfest. #1 kicks Ortiz, bvut that angers him and he chops hard, following an enzuigiri. Oklahoma Slam by Ortiz, and Santana in with a double forearm and soccer kick. Senton follows, and he refuses a cover, instead doing the Three Amigos.

Santana taunts #1, slugging away, and Ortiz is back in, delivering forearms and a DDT. Ortiz allows the tag, and #2 nervously enters before knocking off Santana. Some headbutts, but Ortiz catches #2 coming back with a butterfly suplex. Santana back in, and after teasing a comeback, Santana catches #2 with a powerbomb. #1 is knocked off the apron, and an Ortiz powerbomb into a a punt kick from Santana ends it at 5:33. They couldn’t even be bothered to say which one was which! 1/2*

BUT WAIT! Best Friends (Chuck and Trent) attack from behind after the match, and a huge brawl winds up going into the… well, the stands. Taylor throws Ortiz into a table while Trent slams a garbage can into Santana’s back. All four men head to the parking lot as Ortiz suplexes Taylor onto the garbage can. Ortiz then chucks it at Taylor, who recovers and kicks at Ortiz as we move on and they fight off into the distance.

Get your Mimosas! Can the innovator Chris Jericho win a match he designed?

Shawn Dean (0-13) vs. Ricky Starks (4-1). Taz wants “Representing Team Taz” added to their intro. Veda talks about Shawn Dean being impressive, but always losing.

Dean with a headlock, and he knocks over Starks. Dean with a hiptoss and a headlock takedown, with Starks reversing to a headscissors. Dean wiggles himself out and goes back to a headlock. They back into the corner, and Starks with chops only to get slammed by Dean on a cross-corner whip. Dean with a crossbody and he goes to the apron, telegraphing his next move so Starks can give him a kneelift. Starks pulls Dean up, hitting him with a back elbow and standing Coffin Drop for one.

Starks slaps Dean and clubs away on his back, but Dean slides out and tries to fight back. Starks throws Dean into the ropes, but that cues the comeback as Dean gets a floatover DDT and roundhouse kick. Broski Boot follows, getting one before Starks grabs the ropes. Dean tries a double-arm hook, but Starks breaks, ducks an enzuigiri, and gets a big boot and Rochambeaux to finish at 4:06. These two were not in the same book, let alone the same page. 3/4*

Marko Stunt (10-8) vs. Jake Hager (4-2). Veda seems to cringe while reading the copy at the beginning of this match. Your tale of the tape says that Stunt is conceding fifteen inches and 135 pounds to Hager. Hager, in fact, is nonplussed about even having the match.

Hager throws Stunt to the mat on the lockup and rolls his eyes. He drops to one knee and offer a free shot, so Stunt takes a headlock… and is lifted up no-hands by Hager and throws halfway across the ring. Hager then tells Stunt to get out of the ring for his own good, sitting on the middle rope, and Stunt kicks the rope into Hager’s groin. Stunt ducks under a lockup and… does that dance thing on TikTok… then runs away to avoid strikes and kicks from Hager before ducking out of the ring.

Hager is frustrated, but calms himself down and smiles at a suddenly very nervous Stunt. Hager corners Stunt and slugs away, throwing him across the ring and bealing him about 15 feet. Hager: “I TOLD YOU.” Hager with a knee to the throat of Stunt, but after some trash-talking, Stunt tries a chop. Hager no-sells and kicks Stunt’s head off. Hager with a military press, dropping him seven feet down, then a uranage into an arm triangle for the TKO at 3:33. Good, that’s exactly how it should have gone. 1/2* I believe Taz says the Japanese name is kakenatame or something… Joshi Boys, you’d know.

After the match, Hager picks Stunt up and goes for more punishment, but the rest of Jurassic Express come out and tell him to think twice. Hager does a kneelift instead before running off from Luchasaurus as Jungle Boy checks on Marko. Hager takes a bow and flips off Saurus. Again, very good professional wrestling.

AEW Heels! Join before Ivelisse and Diamante become the top women! Lil Bran Bran sold separately.

Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) (10-5) vs. Frankie Kazarian (w/o Christopher Daniels) (20-14). Yes, the couple is back and they’re still making out. Sabian and Ford, I mean, not Kazarian and Daniels. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Taz would like to point out Ford’s chest is still red from chops by Monroe in an earlier match. Yes, Taz, THAT’S why you’re looking at her chest. Right.

Kaz backs Sabian into the corner. Sabian demands a clean break… and gets it. Test of strength attempt follows, with Sabian getting it into armwork before posing on Kaz’s elbow like he’s Shayna Baszler. Kaz back with a hammerlock, but Sabian with a drop toe hold and seated cloverleaf move, which Kaz turns into a crucifix for one. Kaz now with a headlock takedown into an armwringer, and Sabian kips up only to be yanked back down. He tries again, same result, as Kaz switches to a keylock to get one on the mat. Sabian kips up a third time, this time with more acrobatics to reverse, but Kaz instantly reverses back and drops the leg on the arm. CHAIN WRESTLING, BABY!

Knees to Sabian’s arm as he maintains arm control. Sabian gets up and they fight over wrist control, with Sabian getting a poke of the eye to take over. Sabian with a headlock and he sits down to prevent a shoot-off. He flips out of a suplex try, but Kaz comes in with a tackle and Oklahoma Roll for two. Kaz with a dropkick, but Ford trips Kaz and Sabian dropkicks him to the floor. Sabian fakes a dive to the apron and kicks Kaz on the run. Sabian: “You like that?” Back in, Sabian gets one. He kicks away at Kaz’s head, adding a hammer throw and mudhole stomping. Sabian talks trash to the camera, but that allows Kaz to recover and chop away. Sabian with a kick and rolling snapmare, into an Octopus Hold(~!).

Kaz makes the ropes. Kaz fights back, but Sabian with a kneelift to stop him. PK misses, and Kaz with a nasty lariat to begin the comeback. Flying Jalapeno by Kaz and Sabian crawls to the corner. Kaz stops an up-and-over with an electric chair suplex and bridge for two. That was practically a Vertebreaker. Sabian jumps over a charge and gets a rope enzuigiri, but Kaz fights out of the Deathly Hallow and they both want a suplex. They drag each other to the apron and slug it out, and Sabian gets the better of it and rolls Kaz in. Sabian follows, but Kaz slugs him out of mid-air and gets a slingshot into a Cutter, but Ford puts Sabian’s foot on the ropes!

Kaz knows how it got there and tells Ford to back off, but the distraction is enough for Sabian to knee out of Kaz’s hold. Flair Pin by Sabian gets two. Pop-up kneelift and discus punch by Sabian and he goes up top, but the double-stomp misses. Sabian cuts off Kaz and tries a suplex, but Kaz slips out the back and gets the inverted DDT for the pin at 9:39. I am such a sucker for chain wrestling and basic psychology, and these two workhorses brought it. Kudos. ***

Something something Paradigm Shift something something Pay-Per-View…

Main Event: Hybrid Two (3-3) vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela (7-1). This is what I love about this company – so many tag teams, and so many interesting combinations. I know Angelico can’t fly like he used to, but you got two similar teams – one semi-flyer with great ground game in Angelico/Janela, and one exciting flyer in Evans/Kiss.

Evans and Kiss tart, and both men duck and dodge each other until Kiss gets a headscissors and casadora armdrag. Kiss takes the arm and brings in Janela, who axhandles the arm and takes over control. Evans reverses, and both men tumble to take over, with Evans regaining control and Jamela distracting Evans by going around the ropes before cradling him for one. Evans smashes Janela and brings in Angelico, who hyperextends the arm and gets a top wristlock. Snapmare and crucifix cover gets one, and Angelico messes with Janela’s hair.

An understandably angry Janela throws forearms, backing Angelico in the corner, and Kiss in with a double hiptoss, then a dropkick into a lariat for two. Kiss dances to taunt Angelico, but Angelico leverages him into the middle turnbuckle. Evans in, and he gets a Muta handspring into an eye rake. Evans follows with a snap suplex for two. Evans tosses Kiss into the corner and brings in Angelico, who stomps away in the corner as the Hybrid Two choke away on Kiss. Angelico with a Trailer Hitch like leglock, but Janela storms in to break it, but that just allows Evans to kick away on Kiss. Angelico taunts Kiss a little too much, allowing Kiss to knock down Angelico, but Evans double stomps to cut off the hot tag and smack Janela.

Evans with knees to the head and a throwdown, covering while doing a double bicep pose for two. Angelico is back, but a blind charge gets cut ff by leg-scissors and a splits kick. Again Evans catches up, but Kiss backflips out and it’s hot tag Janela. Crossbody to Evans and he turns him inside out over and over. Heels collide in the corner, and Janela with a snap German suplex. Angelico comes back in, so Janela throws Evans into Angelico and Janela nails a backward neckbreaker getting Angelico to DDT Evans in a SLIGHTLY contrived spot.

Janela covers Evans for two during the replay. Avalanche by Janela, but Evans escapes a second one… only Kiss was tagged in. Janela with a push chokeslam on the apron, and Kiss flips over the top to a double stomp. Janela adds a Death Valley Driver on the floor, but Angelico throws Janela into the post. Kiss kicks down Angelico and goes up top, moonsaulting Angelioc on the floor. Back in, it’s Evans down and Kiss up, and a 450 gets two before Angelico saves. Janela dumps Angelico and pump kicks him, but Angelico slams Janela onto the apron. Angelico crotches Kiss, so Evans with a backslide clutch out of the corner to win at 8:45. Kind of a weird finish, and the match didn’t feel like a main event. The thing fell apart at the end. **1/4

THURSDAY DYNAMITE!

  • Chris Jericho joins us on commentary!
  • Tag Team Gauntlet time for a title shot at All Out!
  • Matt Hardy vs Sammy Guevara in a tables match!
  • Will Moxley sign the altered contract?
  • Big Swole gets her match with Dr. Britt Baker… but Reba and Penelope Ford will join her!

 

Okay, I’m back from taking five minutes to recover. Look, I’m always willing to learn, and that requires watching as many different types of matches as possible. The good news is that each episode of Dark, in this regard, feels like a lesson plan. If you want to learn chain wrestling this week, watch Sabian and Kazarian. If you want to see how a monster carries himself, watch Archer; if you want to see a monster give hope while still being dominant, check Nyla Rose out. If you want to see how to be a complete bully, you got Hager toying with Stunt, but if you were hoping to see how the little guy would fight back, Red Velvet did some of that well. You want to show fire in the ring and be angry without being villainous? Chuck and Trent bring it. How about how to work a prior injury? Shawn Spears is your guy.

I understand if all you want is to watch wrestling you may pick and choose over your two hours and ignore some matches. Hey, I have a unique experience by wanting to be in the ring. Now, that said, one thing AEW does really well is chop up Dark and put individual matches on YouTube. You’ll find something to like, even if it’s just your teachers getting beaten up by Luchasaurus a month or two ago.

What can I say, my Tuesday feels a LOT better nowadays.

STATS:

BELL-TO-BELL – 71:48 over 13 matches (average time 5:31)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Kazarian vs Sabian

THREE STARS:

  1. Frankie Kazarian
  2. Best Friends
  3. Shawn Spears

Enjoy NXT tomorrow, and Gorilla and Bobby will preview AEW Dark on Thursday!