AEW Dark Review (8/11/20)

AEW Dark felt top notch this week as it delivered a fun, well-paced, ninety minute show with some stellar performances and surprising results. With nine matches taking place on the show, not one person had a terrible showing. Not every match was perfect, but no Dark match needs to be. Let’s look into how well the Elite’s lower to midcard roster fared in the Tuesday night Delight.

Rey Fenix def. Lee Johnson

Great choice for an opener. Lee Johnson returned to give a great showing and he had the right opponent for this. With good action all around, Fenix ended the match with what I have dubbed as the “Muscle Buster Supreme.” Good stuff all around here to kick off the show.

Post match, there was a promo recapping Scorpio Sky’s segment last week where he called out the AEW roster and said Dark would not be a ceiling for long. This was done to build to his match tomorrow night on Dynamite as he will challenge Cody for the TNT Championship.

Shawn Spears def. Alex Chamberlain

This was alright for what it intended to do. Shawn Spears won with the running C4, a death valley driver (or as Tony Schiavone called it on commentary, a “Canadian Destroyer”). After the bell, Tully Blanchard handed Spears the black glove he’s been building since June and Spear nailed Chamberlain with it with a palm strike. This glove seems to be getting built up to be as powerful as the Bionic Elbow.

Austin & Billy Gunn def. Shawn Dean & M’Badu

I quite enjoyed this match for the purpose it was made for. It looks like AEW are finally trying to build Austin Gunn as the big deal of this team, rather than just showcasing Billy the entire match when he does not need it. Austin was built for the hot tag, or whatever it is called nowadays. After Billy & M’Badu spilled to the outside, Austin hit his new finisher, one where he hip tosses his opponent into a neckbreaker, for the winning fall. Good match, good purpose, and good booking.

Kip Sabian def. Michael Stevens

A weird match this was. Stevens looked to be the flamboyant, quite camp character, not to say this was a bad thing, and the match was fun all the same thanks to the perfect opponent in Kip Sabian. Kip mocked some of Stevens mannerisms, which was a cute little touch that only added to the, for lack of a better word, awkwardness of the match’s tension. In the end, Sabian won with a tornado DDT followed by a rope hung neckbreaker for the pin. Good match.

Private Party def. Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.

Gosh…I feel like I am about to be unfair to Private Party, but that is just how it be right now. This match was quite slow in various places; thus, this just felt boring. It did not really pick up until the finish when Private Party simultaneously hit Griff Garrison with a flipping diving leg drop and splash for the win. Isiah Kassidy and Mark Quen still are not quite to the level AEW seems to want them to be, and it shows. It seems their matches very much need a crowd for the act to work.

Jurassic Express def. Pineapple Pete, Corey Hollis, & Aaron Solow

Good little six man tag. While not every multi-man tag team match is the best, AEW always knows what to get right in them. Here, it looked like they were building Marko Stunt for something big down the road. He did moves to Pineapple Pete that he does not look like he would be able to put off. For example, Stunt was able to pick up Pete in a Razor’s Edge position. Stunt got the winning pin as he nailed Pete with a 450 splash for the victory. Not much to say about the rest of the competitors; a serviceable tag match with a great built-in story.

The Natural Nightmares def. THQ

This match served its purpose, but I could not help but think that this match would have been better and made THQ’s return feel bigger had Evans & Angelico won the match instead. They are building a story up on Being the Elite, and QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes never really flexed the story they have with Allie & Brandi Rhodes. This just felt odd. Justice for THQ!

(I see you, and I hear you wondering why I keep typing THQ. If you must know why, there was a moment in the match when Tony Schiavone called them THQ, rather than TH2. Gotta have a little fun once in a while *wink wink*)

Penelope Ford def. Rachael Ellering

Kip Sabian had a leaf blower in this match. In the interest in keeping this article clean, if you would like to see the joke I made about this you can look it up on my twitter page @blueriott.

I’ll just get this point out of the way real quick as I am sure many who watched this were thinking this: this was a nine match card, and AEW was only able to put on one women’s match?

Other than that, there were some nail biting nearfalls from the daughter of Paul Ellering, nearly getting the win after a sit-out spinebuster. A great showing in Rachael’s AEW debut, but she was outclassed as Ford hit her with a beautiful looking Lethal Injection, a handspring off the ropes followed by a cutter, followed by a gorgeous fisherwoman’s suplex for the winning pin.

The Butcher & The Blade def. SCU (Or more importantly, the Addiction)

A great, fun main event to cap off the show. The match leaned heavily on Christopher Daniels being the oldest of the four men, and it worked well with that point.

Personally, I have predicted and thus cannot wait for the eventually split from SCU of Scorpio Sky that also leads to what could be the final run for the Addiction.

Frankie Kazarian was built for the hot tag, but after tagging in Daniels B&B took advantage of the slowing Daniels. While B&B had continued miscommunications with each other, they did not stop the menacing chefs from hitting their suplex/backstabber combination on Daniels for the win. This was another match where I felt the result of the match could have been flipped, but it seems AEW are building up B&B more and more as the weeks go on following their match with the Youngbucks. Good stuff, and a good story to use to take the show home.

Look out on tomorrow for the AEW Dynamite Preview and come tomorrow night at 7 PM CST for live coverage of Dynamite.

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