AEW Dark: December 15, 2020

The PG Era Recap for AEW Dark: Episode Route 66, December 15, 2020.

From the AEW Arena.

Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz, and Ogogo. Your adjective: “extra special”.

TONIGHT! Two feature bouts, as Chaos Project take on Best Friends, while Hikaru Shida is in non-title action against KiLynn King! Also in action – The Acclaimed, Anna Jay, Brandon Cutler, Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, Grayson and Uno, Jurassic Express, Kiss and Janela, Ivelisse, Matt Sydal, Leva Bates, and Tay Conti!

Two big bouts. What won’t they think of next. Okay, let’s go!

Opening match: Sotheara Chhun (first singles match) vs. Ricky Starks (15-2, #5 men) (with Powerhouse Hobbs). Chhun is a Cambodian-American from Seattle – and that’s not just my guess, because his video has the Angkor Wat flag in it. Ogogo congratulates Taz on the team he’s put together. Starks vibing out to his music is great – second only to Angelico.

Starks fakes out a handshake, and Chhun angrily punches away to teach him manners. Starks covers up in the corner and the ref pulls Chhun away, but Chhun puts his head down and pays for it. Starks throws Chhun into the middle turnbuckle before stomping a mudhole in Chhun. Then Hobbs adds an extra when Starks talks to the ref. Starks adds a chop and back elbow before posing for the hard cam. Chhun tries to elbow out when Starks picks him up, but he eats an elbow to the back of the neck. Starks tries the Stinger Splash – with whoo – but the pool’s empty, and Starks with a second-rope springboard Stunner for two. O’Connor Roll is blocked by Hobbs, allowing Starks to spear Chhun for the pin at 2:36. Not enough to see here, as is usual for Dark, but Starks’ mannerisms are the best. *1/4 Buy the shirt.

Baron Black (0-3) vs. Brandon Cutler (6-3-2). Black has some good technique and trains alongside Ogogo in the Nightmare Factory. Excalibur puts Ogogo on the spot by asking whether Black’s crown-helmet or Cutler’s dragon head is better. Taz continues to claim that Cutler is getting a big head during his winning streak, then goes one step too far by mocking Cutler’s gear (which Cutler’s wife made for him, causing Excalibur to get Taz in hot water).

Black goes to the arm to start, with Cutler reversing to a headlock. Lots of shoulderblocks follow, then Cutler with a flying tackle as Black is reeling. He springboards at Black, who catches him in an inverted atomic drop in mid-air (yeeow), but Cutler recovers with a straight right. Ogogo: “He must be a Ken doll!” Black tries an abdominal stretch, but Cutler fights out so Black maneuvers Cutler into the Gory Special.

Cutler escapes and gets a spinning kick (barely) on Black. Avalanche misses, and Black with a discus lariat and T-Bone suplex for one. One strap down and Black wants another discus lariat, but Cutler escapes to the apron and gets a springboard roundhouse kick. Inverted lifting DDT sets up the springboard elbow for the pin at 2:31. Ogogo calls it a statement win, and I can’t really disagree. 1/2* Cutler gets so much airtime he can clap his hands under his leg before dropping the elbow.

Non-Title: Hikaru Shida (21-1, AEW Women’s Champion) vs. KiLynn King (3-13). As is tradition, the champion comes out second. Commentary notes that King has turned a corner but this will be her toughest challenge in her AEW career. Let’s see if King can step it up with her newfound power style. Excalibur notes that Shida’s poker face melts around Abadon.

Lockup, and King is pushed into the ropes, with Shida giving a clean break. King demands a test of strength, and Shida (after giving the crowd a side glance) goes for it. Shida has King down at first, but King bridges up only to be thrown down. Waistlock by Shida, but King with a leg trip only for King to turn a hiptoss into a stack-up for two, reversed to a crucifix for two. King with an armdrag, and Shida gets one, but King keeps it going and flips it before getting La Majistral for two. Side head boot by King and she tries a slam, but Shida adjusts her weight and gets one of her own.

Shida with right hands to King in the corner, and she tumbles into a running knee in the corner before adding a backbreaker. King rolls to the apron, so Shida pounds her and gets the Drive By Kneelift. King wakes up enough to toss Shida into the apron face-first, then shakes the guardrail to get herself back into it. Back in, King goes ground and pound for two. Shida throws King to the apron, but King cuts Shida off and gets a sunset flip for two. Jumping hang neckbreaker gets two. She argues the count and tries again, but still two.

Shida cuts off an atomic drop and goes behind, but King blocks the straitjackt suplex only to be nailed with an enzuigiri. King ducks the running knee and tries Kingdom Falls, but Shida flips out the back and gets a flying knee. Falcon Arrow follows for the pin at 4:49. Full credit to Shida, of course, but this was the best I’ve seen of King too. **1/4 BUT WAIT! Abadon pulls Shida off the ropes as she celebrates. She hooks Shida up for the Widow’s Peak and leaves her laying. Abadon then poses over Shida with the gold. ANGLE ADVANCEMENT!

Young Bucks book ad.

And now we go to THE WAITING ROOM! Rebel has a rhinestoned logo for herself on her scrubs – and she holds out an “applause” sign before Baker enters! Rebel is absolutely awesome in this role. Baker mentions that tomorrow, we’ll see Matt Hardy and Private Party vs Page, Silver, Reynolds?? Huh? Don’t you hate when you get drunk and enroll in a cult? And then there’s Hardy’s attitude improvement of the year.

Angelico (friend of the show) will face Cody Rhodes. Cody, pick a lane! Who are you fighting? Make a decision – and make it good, unlike the one on your neck. And the Acclaimed will be making their first appearance on Dynamite! They’re facing SCU, who’d better be prepared… they could learn a thing or two about the art of entertianment! (Rebel holds up “LAUGH” sign. Have I mentioned how awesome Rebel is in this role and how over she’ll get when she stands up to Britt?)

But now, our first guest – “Heartless” Shawn Spears with Tully Blanchard! Blanchard is happy to be here, but Baker wants to ask a few questions. So what happened, how did Scorpio Sky eliminate you? Is there something that only the great Tully Blanchard can see? Spears: “That’s like 15 questions!” So what’s going on is that Spears has a near-perfect record. And then there’s a knock on the door as Marko Stunt wants in. Spears slams the door in his face. Baker horribly apologizes… and then there’s another knock on the door. This time Spears answers…

… and Scorpio Sky slams the door in Spears’ face and THE BRAWL IS ON! And Sky throws Spears THROUGH THE SET! Rebel and Baker absolutely freak out and ask what Sky’s doing before crying over the ruined set. Sky leaves as Baker says Tony will pay for it. Congratulations, Britt – your first big angle on the talk show!

Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol (first time teaming) vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy Perry and Luchasaurus w/Marko Stunt) (14-5, #3 team). Fuego and Dean are on the list of “guys who one of these days are going to get a win”. Stunt appears to be in a bad mood thanks to the door being slammed in his face, so much so that he tries to step over the top rope (hint: no). Excalibur notes that Luchasaurus dumped a bottle of water on his head… near the electrical cables. Taz: “Dinosaurs are dead because they’re dumbasses.”

Perry and Fuego start. Perry with a headlock, and after some criss-cross, the two gets sweeps and one-counts before dropkicking each other… but Perry follows up to get the second round. Dean in, and he gets nailed with an armdrag by Perry. Saurus in, and he gets a side kick to the chest and front suplex slam. Perry returns and does his off-the-shoulder senton for two. Perry with a chop to Dean and whips him, but Dean puts on the brakes and sends Perry to the apron. He then sends Perry to the floor and follows with a pescado and a quebrada. Back in, slingshot elbowdrop gets two. Fuego in with a gut shot, but Perry reverses a whip only to get hit with a Kitchen Sink.

Cartwheel armdrag and standing SSP gets two. Fuego tries a tilt-a-whirl headsissors, but Perry stops him and gets a backbreaker. Dean cuts off the tag and boxes him down in the corner, and Fuego returns. Perry escapes a double back suplex, hot tag Saurus and everyone falls down. He puts them in opposite corner and tosses Fuego across to Dean before following in with the missed-avalanche-into-double-clothesline.

Chokeslam to Fuego, but Fuego escapes and tries a DDT, only for Saurus to catch that into a press slam AA, Dean saves. Double chokeslam try by Saurus, but he’s nailed with a double dropkick. Perry tags in and the heels collide, with Perry getting a lariat on Dean and avoiding the Tornado DDT from Fuego. Saurus hook kicks Fuego, and the combo back flip powerbomb ends him at 5:02. *3/4 Stunt dances around like a kid at Christmas as Jurassic Express get their hands raised.

Skyler Moore (0-7) vs. Leva Bates (2-1). Ogogo is done for the night, and in comes Thunder Rosa (4-2) to call this match with Taz and Excalibur to provide insight. And yes, Leva has the Young Bucks’ book with her, as well as a copy of the BTS fan magazine from the looks of it. Rosa complains about Britt Baker’s behavior.

Lockup, and Moore gets the arm, reversed by Bates into a hammerlock, then a headlock. She then goes back to a wristlock, but Moore spins out into an amrdrag and armlock. Bates gets up and rolls through, turning the whole thing into a two-handed armdrag. Code of Honor (much to Leva’s delight) as they reset. Another lockup, and Moore sends Leva in to get a hiptoss. Bates blocks into a roll-through into a Crossface. Moore stacks her up for two. Excalibur notes the similarity to setting up the Lockjaw. Blind charge by Bates misses, and Moore gets a gutwrench suplex for two.

Moore with a suplex for two. She tries a slam, but Bates falls out the back and gets some roundhouse kicks. Side boot makes up for one of them visibly missing, and a Backstabber gets two. Bates’ charge gets reversed to the corner and Moore fires away, but Bates reverses to a Northern Lights suplex for two. Bates tries a crossbody, but she gets caught and slammed by Moore. She tries a leglock, but Bates catches her in a prawn cradle for the pin at 4:02. Bates dances to celebrate before continuing the Code of Honor post-match and giving the book away. Leva’s got some good in-ring charisma, but she still seems slow. 1/2*

VSK (0-3) vs. Brian Cage (12-1, #4 men). Do I even have to tell you it’s non-title? Good. Do I also even have to tell you that Roberts forgets to say Cage is the FTW Champion? Right, we’re used to that. Cage nearly beats Roberts up to get it to happen.

VSK floats over on Cage, but Cage throws him into the ropes and catches a rana try. VSK lands on his feet and gets a flying knee and dropkick to daze Cage. Running uppercut and running boot in the corner, but Cage just wakes up and throws him into a Saito suplex. Drill Claw try, but VSK knees out and kicks away. Cage catches a running VSK in a Steinerline, and he follows with an overhead throw. He pulls VSK to the corner and looks for the Cesaroplex, but VSK breaks it up. DDT try is caught by Cage into a butterfly neckbreaker. It gets two. Pumphandle bomb try, but VSK flips out and lands a SUPERKICK and Backstabber.

Single-leg dropkick and Cage bails, so VSK nails a tope suicida, then a second one. See, JR, sometimes you need to dive to get a win. VSK tries a third dive, a senton off the apron, but this time Cage catches him with a ringpost bomb. Okay, JR, you might have a point. Back in, Cesaroplex and Drill Claw ends it at 3:35. VSK looked like he had a prayer for a split second, but Cage still looked dominant, a weird combination that works. *3/4

Louie Valle and Mike Magnum (first time teaming) vs. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (6-1). As a reminder, The Acclaimed have a match tomorrow against SCU. Taz remains angry that Valle, or anyone really, would dare to wear orange. And now, some Caster lines as Bowens has a boombox: “We are the future, y’all [SCU] are the past.” “We got a warm-up, a man in paint and an addict of PornHub.” Caster wasn’t at his best tonight, which commentary notes.

Caster and Magnum start. Lockup, and Magnum with a side headlock and big kick. Magnum catches an uppercut into a backslide, but Caster rolls through and dropkicks the back before stomping away. Valle in, and Caster throws him to Bowens. Bowens works the arm on Valle, who fights out and gets a dropkick. Valle goes up top, but Bowens distracts the ref and Caster throws him off. Bowens stomps away on Valle and chops him hard, then goes Kobashi for five more before saying that’ll be Daniels tomorrow. Caster in, and it’s a boot choke / mudhole stomp in the corner. Caster preens for the crowd, allowing Valle to fight to his feet only to be dropped with one club.

Bowens tags in again, getting an elbowdrop and working the neck over with his elbow. Valle with an enzuigiri out of nowhere, but Caster knocks Magnum off the apron before giving Valle a back suplex. Caster puts Valle up top, but Valle shoves him off only for Caster to jump back up. Valle knocks him down again, and a missile dropkick follows. Hot tag Magnum, and clotheslines follow. Claymore to Bowens, but Caster side-steps a charge and the Acclaimed do a four-part corner strike sequence. Valle charges and is caught in an Olympic slam/dropkick combo, and Acclaim To Fame ends it at 5:15. The Acclaimed are going to look good tomorrow. *1/4

Dani Jordyn (0-7) vs. Anna Jay (4-4). And yes, Jordyn has the Burn Book and does the Mean Girls Christmas Dance routine. Hey, they don’t call her the Mean Girl for nothing. Although you have to wonder who to root for in this match – the wannabe Mean Girl or the flat-out bully of the Dark Order. And yup, here comes the entire Dark Order out with Anna, though Colt Cabana is dancing to the music. For some reason. Also, Colt is dressed like… well, Taz says “retired gym teacher”, so let’s go with that.

Jordyn shows her page with Anna in it to Jay and the camera, which is her mistake as Jay shoves her down and tells her to just fight. Jay with a headlock, but Jordyn reverses. They go International~!, with Jordyn hitting the brakes and trying an O’Connor Roll before catching Jay charging in with a SUPERKICK. Blind charge misses for both women, and Jordyn kicks Jay before dancing with her book. So Jay spinkicks the book into Jordyn’s face. That’ll learn her.

On the outside, Jay sends Jordyn hard into the guardrail and mocks her. Dark Order salute, and back in, Jordyn recovers with a right hand and facejam for one as Jay seems more annoyed than hurt. Jay with a Booker T hook kick, and the Queenslayer sleeper gets the TKO at 3:00. This seemed weird – Jay was acting more like a typical bitchy heel rather than a member of the Dark Order. 3/4*

Peter Avalon joins commentary for the next match, and hoo boy is it not up his alley:

Bear Country (Bronson and Boulder) (debut) vs. Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) (14-2, #5 team). If you’ve never seen Bear Country before, you’re in for a treat. Bronson and Boulder are a pair of 300-pound mountain men who will throw you around like the Steiners. Just for perspective, Preston Vance is the largest Dark Order guy and both Bear Country guys are bigger. So let’s see if they get offense on the Order.

Bronson and Uno start. Bronson goes for a waistlock, but Uno fights to a headlock, with Bronson reverses. Uno wins a tackle battle but runs into a back elbow, with Bronson adding a senton. Boulder in now, and Uno wants to get the heck out of dodge. Grayson goes to a staredown of Boulder, who no-sells Grayson’s chop. Grayson with more strikes and a headlock, but a shoulderblock does nothing. Dropkick rattles Boulder, but Grayson runs into a military press slam. Boulder tosses Grayson into the Bear Country corner, and Bronson whips Boulder into an avalanche before Boulder sends Grayson back into a Bronson lariat.

Bronson slugs down Grayson in the corner as Avalon says they’re not pretty enough for his pageant. Bronson goes for an F-5, but Grayson escapes and tags Uno. Grayson shoves Bronson to the outside (with help of a low bridge), and Uno rams Bronson into the apron. Grayson adds a tope atomico to the apron, and Uno slugs away before stepping on Bronson’s throat. Uno tosses Bronson into Grayson’s boot, and the Dark Order get a Russian legsweep / big boot combo for two. Grayson is backed into the corner, so Uno tags in and rakes the back.

Grayson with a knee strike, and Uno removes the wrist tape before acting innocent. Grayson chokes Bronson behind the ref’s back, and Uno adds an eye poke as the ref removes Uno’s discarded tape. Big chop, and Dark Order get a side suplex/elbow combo for two. Uno in, and he stomps a mudhole in Bronson. Grayson in, but Bronson tries to fight out only for the Order to keep him in the corner. Bronson makes the heels collide and gives them a one-man double back suplex!

Hot tag Boulder, and everyone gets slammed. He whips Uno into Grayson and squashes both in the corner, then lifts Uno. Grayson dives, but Boulder catches him and it’s a fallaway slam/Samoan drop combo! Grayson grabs the lower rope for dear life, so Bronson comes in and Bear Country try a double backdrop. Grayson escapes and Peles both men at once, and Uno dropkicks Boulder out of the ring. Big forearm to Bronson and he wants the Fatality, but Bronson’s too big. Boulder and Grayson both tag, and Grayson charges only for Boulder to powerbomb Grayson into Uno in the corner!

Piggyback ride double cannonball, and Boulder covers Grayson for a VERY close two. Commentary even thought it was the finish! Bronson tagged in, and he gets on Boulder’s shoulders, but an assisted splash airballs as Grayson rolls aside. Uno with a roundhouse kick and Grayson a flying knee to Boulder, and Grayson GETS BOULDER UP for the Nightfall! He can barely walk after that (obviously), so Uno tags in and lifts Bronson, and the Fatality ends it at 9:25. If this is a tryout for Bear Country, I don’t know how they didn’t pass. ***

A Little Bit Of The Bubbly ad.

Ryzin and Sean Maluta (0-1) vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela (8-8). You know, given how deep the divisions are, has AEW considered expanding the rankings to Top 10 like UFC does? As mentioned last week, commentary as decided that Ryzin’s first name is also Shaun. Avalon is still on commentary. Janela’s backpedal nearly sends him into the commentary table, then he leaps and pretends to blow his knee out before breaking his sunglasses. Taz thinks he’s beyond drunk.

Kiss and Ryzin start. Lockup, and Ryzin with a headlock. They switch it around to exchange hammerlocks, but Ryzin elbows into a waistlock as Avalon believes Kiss could be in the pageant. Kiss with a front facelock and Gator Roll, but Ryzin runs the Jersey boys together. Kiss sends Ryzin to the apron, where Janela trips him and a Mutalock into a Drive By follows. Kiss tags back in, and Janela with a discus lariat into a handspring back kick by Kiss. Kiss goes up to celebrate, so Ryzin throws him off and tries to nail Janela.

They brawl in the ring, so Maluta kicks away on Kiss (the legal man) and tosses him into the guardrail. Janela checks on Kiss and tosses him in so he can get the tag, but Ryzin stands on Kiss’s head. He mocks Kiss, getting cradled for two before getting a straight right and slugging Kiss silly. He tries a crossbody, but Kiss does the splits and Ryzin crashes into the ropes. Hot tag Janela, and he takes out Maluta (as Ryzin may have injured his groin on the landing). Janela throws Maluta into the buckle and takes out Ryzin from the apron, then back in, diving crossbody to Maluta floors him. Clothesline from Hell on Maluta and he tags in Kiss, and it’s a brainbuster into the splits legdrop for the pin at 4:06. I wonder if Ryzin’s injury cut this match short. 3/4*

Young Bucks book ad #2.

Freya “The Slayer” States (0-1) vs. Tay Conti (2-1). Excalibur notes tomorrow’s show will be live as he does an ad copy. Conti, who normally dances to her own music, instead just walks out wearing heavy red and black with matching makeup. Hm.

Conti looks for a knuckle-lock and gets her arm twisted. She gets a knee strike and tries a flying armbar, but States catches it and grabs the ropes. Conti stops States mid-taunt and smashes some forearms, then gets a boot and does a judo hiptoss. She rolls through with wrist control, then does a step-over back head kick for two. States carries Conti to the corner and smashes away, getting in Conti’s face. Conti escapes a charge and gets a sharp elbow, but her crossbody is caught into a fireman’s carry.

Conti escapes to a guillotine try, but States just pounds her way out of it and gets a hairpull slam and legdrop. A second one misses (brother) and Conti with knees to the face of a kneeling States. Spinning backfirst and roundhouse kick stagger States in the corner, and Conti with double knees and she strikes away with forearms. States reverses a whip but walks into a back elbow and Conti goes up. She catches States in a hangman’s armbar, but States pulls Conti from the ropes. Conti kicks the legs out and gets… uh… it’s a sleeper with her leg tangled into the neck thing? What do you CALL that? Okay, you call it the win at 3:14 for Scott Keith’s Least Favorite AEW Roster Member. Because Scott is wrong, and that’s okay. *1/4

Danny Limelight (0-2) vs. Matt Sydal (7-3). It seems they see something in Limelight, who has had a great match with Brandon Cutler and got a chance on Brian Cage. Sydal is now from the SyDojo – his home wrestling school in Florida. Excalibur asks if Taz – who has his own dojo – will badmouth the SyDojo, but Taz passes on that.

Trash talk to start, and Sydal starts the chain wrestling. Limelight kips up out of a wristlock to get a hammerlock. Sydal with a fireman’s carry into a modified key lock, and he follows with a snapmare into a Gorgeous flying mare for one. They reset and lock up again, with Limelight going for a chop off the break. Sydal ducks and gets armdrags into a crucifix-like rollup for one. He goes back to the arm, working it three ways, but Limelight escapes and runs up the ropes for an armdrag. Dropkick follows as Limelight dances.

Sydal slips out the back of a lift into a leg slice and standing mariposa. He sweeps Limelight to a seated position in the corner and gets a running Knee Plus for two. Blind charge eats boot, but Limelight runs into a rana only to bounce back up with a lariat. Hangman’s neckbreaker by Limelight gets two. Limelight cheks the shoulder and chokes away on the ropes. Snapmare by Limelight, then a soccer kick for one. Limelight toys with Sydal, who comes back with a sunset flip into the Koji Clutch. Limelight stacks him for two. Big elbow to the back of the head by Sydal, then a leg lariat.

Chop and spinning leg lariat by Sydal, then another leg lariat. Fisherman’s Buster gets two. Sydal runs into a back elbow, and Limelight walks the middle rope into a double-jump clothesline. Now Limelight wants to end it, but Sydal slips out of the fireman’s carry and gets the legsweep into the cobra clutch. Limelight elbows out of it and tricks Sydal into a rear naked choke. Sydal stacks him for two and gets a flying knee, and the Saturn Driver gets the win at 6:34. Limelight looks pretty good out there. **1/4

Kaci Lennox (debut) vs. Ivelisse (w/Diamante) (12-3). Lennox is Maryland-based, but before you ask, I don’t think I’ve met her. I have heard of her, and she has a good ring reputation, so there’s that. Ivelisse still has her medal, of course.

Lockup, and Ivelisse works a side grip to throw Lennox down. A strike rush puts Lennox in the corner, and Ivelisse ends with a back elbow. Lennox uses momentum to flip Ivelisse over, then gets a dropkick. Lennox’s baseball slide is dodged and Lennox finds herself between two foes, which allows Ivelisse to flapjack Lennox onto the apron. Back in, Ivelisse with a tornado DDT for two. Soccer kick to Lennox and she gets an armbar/headscissors combo. Lennox escapes and covers for one, so Ivelisse keeps the arm and gets a straitjacket chinlock.

Lennox to her feet and she snapmares Ivelisse down, catching her coming in with a forearm. RKO OUTTA NOWHERE gets the double-down. Lennox dodges Ivelisse and gets clotheslines and a snapmare spike for two. Lennox goes to German suplex Ivelisse, but she uses the ropes to escape and get a reverse DDT for two. Ivelisse tries a snapmare driver now, but Lennox blocks and goes for a fireman’s carry – and Ivelisse gets the Black Widow out of it for the submission at 4:05. I like the concept of Ivelisse having a deadly submission she can apply while on the wrong foot. Lennox was fine. *1/4 Tomorrow night, it’s Ivelisse/Diamante vs Deeb/Swole.

A Little Bit Of The Bubbly Ad #2.

MAIN EVENT: Chaos Project (Luther/Serpentico) (6-3) vs. Best Friends (Trent/Chuck Taylor) (w/Orange Cassidy) (19-7, #2 team). Excalibur wonders if Chaos Project is the weirdest folks in the AEW locker room (and that says something). Taz says that the STREAMERS OF DOOM as something Serpentico stole from Tony Schiavone at Braves games. Justin Roberts hammers home the “BEST” of Best Friends. Commentary imagines Roberts ordering a coffee with that kind of emphasis.

Taylor and Serpentico start. Taylor with an armlock, Serpentico reverses, and Taylor reverses with a roll-through. Serpentico gets the arm back, and Taylor switches to a headlock takedown, with Serpentico getting a legscissors to force a reset. WRESTLING. Taylor gets a single-leg, but and after some criss-crossing, Taylor rolls through and gets a legbar. Serpentico makes the ropes. Luther and Trent enter, so Luther knocks Taylor off the apron before brawling with Trent. He gets the uppoer hand, but Trent with a standing Meteora (!!) and he sends Serpentico to the floor to join him. Taylor holds everyone for the dive, and Trent does a somersault senton onto Chaos Project.

Taylor and Luther fight on one side of the ring, while Serpentico and Trent are on the other. Luther eats post, while Serpentico headbutts Trent. Trent alley-oops Serpentico into the guardrail, while Luther floors Taylor and dodges Trent, who flies into the guardrail. Luther throws Taylor into the crowd (Taz: “Is there a countout here?”), and back in (what a concept), Luther stomps away on Trent. Side suplex by Luther, and he brings in Serpentico to suplex him onto Trent. It gets one. Serpentico goes ground and pound, but Taylor re-emerges and fires off on Serpentico.

Luther clotheslines Taylor and dumps him as Serpentico clotheslines Trent. Luther in, and he throws Serpentico into a corner spear on Trent three times in a row. Luther with a belly to belly suplex and he covers with one hand for one. Luther stays on top with a kneedrop, then slugs away with Trent. Luther with a big boot to floor Trent (as Taylor is still down), but a blind charge eats boot and Trent looks for the tag. Luther sends Taylor off the apron, but Trent recovers with a Saito suplex. Now Serpentico cuts off the hot tag, but Trent tosses him outside… where he yanks Taylor off the apron to stop the hot tag.

Luther with an avalanche, then a second one in his own corner. Serpentico in, and Luther slams Trent before telling Serpentico to go up top. Rocket Launcher senton gets two. Serpentico tags Luther back in and whips Trent into a pump kick. Creeping Death is set up, but Taylor throws Serpentico off the top rope and Trent gets a small package to steal the win at 7:22! Great twist on the formula. **1/2 Luther tries to attack Trent, but he gets a SUPERKICK and Knee Plus from Best Friends for his trouble. And now Miro heads to the ring and dares Trent and Taylor to come at him. Taylor holds the ropes open, but all the refs keep Miro from doing anything.

TOMORROW!

  • Ivelisse and Diamante face Serena Deeb and Big Swole!
  • Sting is Back!
  • The Acclaimed face SCU!
  • Jericho, Guevada, Santana, Ortiz, MJF, Hager, Wardlow! Taylor, Trent, Pillman, Garrison, Darius, Daunte, Cutler!
  • Kenny Omega has a non-title street fight with Joey Janela!

They got the whole thing done in two hours. That’s important.

But on top of that, they used Dark to advance stories – it’s not just a tryout show, it’s part of the AEW universe. Miro wanting to face all three friends on his own (Sabian was nowhere to be found) follows on from the Dynamite Diamond match. Abadon ran in on Hikaru Shida. Scorpio Sky lawn darted Shawn Spears through the Waiting Room wall. Stories were expanded on.

What’ll be interesting is what Kenny Omega does. Apparently, he’s on Impact again tonight, while either Rich Swann or Chris Bey would want a piece of him. Moose could also be the next target – it would be a way to eradicate the vanity title he has and move him to a legitimate title match with Swann. Of those three, I think Moose would make the most interesting opponent, but in terms of standalone greatness, Swann would be the best foe.

Rumors are flying that the Good Brothers will be making an appearance on Dynamite one of these days as a payback for Omega showing up on Impact. Since FTR are tied with Jurassic Express and the Young Bucks are between storylines, the inevitable title match seems obvious. But honestly, I would think Gallows and Anderson would do better against other opponents. I could see them facing Jurassic Express, Uno and Grayson (especially if Grayson can lift Gallows), or Best Friends. It’ll all depend on how long-term the loan winds up being.

I already did the crossover event for this, and I still hope it happens as a blowoff. Heaven knows Impact could use the special event.

STATS

BELL TO BELL: 65:36 over 14 matches (average match time 4:41)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Dark Order vs Bear Country

FIVE STARS:

  1. Bear Bronson
  2. Trent
  3. Hikaru Shida
  4. Matt Sydal
  5. Stu Grayson

Thanks for reading!