AEW Dark Review (8/18/20)

Finally, we are here to look into this week’s AEW Dark. This week was another long show with eleven matches spanning a one hour and forty minute time period. How did all the matches hold up this week with no Dynamite until the weekend? Let’s find out!

Kip Sabian def. Michael Nakazawa

Fun little match getting started; alright for an opener for the rest of the match. This relied on the awkwardness that a match always has when Nakazawa is involved. Kip Sabian is always the right person for the job when a match will obviously be awkward. I’m not a fan of the baby oil schtick, but Sabian saved this for me. He won by doing his signature Tornado DDT off the ropes followed by a rope hung Swinging Neckbreaker for the win.

Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela def. Shawn Dean & Frank Stone

This was your standard tag team match that ended as was easily predicted, and I felt this would have been a great place for an upset. The story of this match was Kiss & Janela being outpowered by two men clearly bigger than they were. The finish made sense; Janela hit an elbow drop on Dean followed by Kiss’s Split Leg Slam for the win, but this felt more artificial than it should have been. But, that’s wrestling for you.

Shawn Spears def. Will Hobbs

Leg work. Running C4. Post match attack with the glove. Need I say more?

We get a promo by Ricky Starks talking about his last encounter with Darby Allin. Looks like this is a match they are building at All Out, and they really need to considering the show is two weeks away and there is only one match booked.

The Hybrid 2 def. The Intiative

Unlike last week, I will not be trolling you and calling them THQ, despite Tony calling them such several times. This was a match that started out a bit boring but was made very good by the end due to the story of the contest. The Initiative are still looking for that first win, and there were plenty of times I bit on the nearfalls. Eventually, destiny arrived. Angelico threw Peter Avalon from a Razor’s Edge position into the top turnbuckle and Jack Evans followed with a 630 senton for the win.

Abadon def. Red Velvet

Abadon wins with the widow’s peak. I cannot get into this character. I don’t get what I’m suppose to get from it. If I were to give one good piece of critique here, at least this match lasted longer than the Women’s Champion’s match on last week’s Dynamite.

Alex Reynolds, John Silver, & Colt Cabana def. D3, Ryzin, & Faboo Andre

To quote Austin Powers, “WHO ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE?”

Not being literal here, I know at least four people in this match should be known/recognizable, but this was a hard match to get into. It’s hard to keep interested in the Dark Order when AEW tells me to take them seriously, and BTE tells me not to. The finish was cool; Silver & Reynolds hit D3 with an overhead double DDT, but the finish was the only piece worth talking about.

Ricky Starks def. Lee Johnson

A great match with some actual story. Ricky Starks threw some shots at his future opponent, Darby Allin, by mocking his coffin drop. Lee Johnson fought the good fight, but Starks ended the match with a running Dominator. Very excited to see where Starks goes in the near future.

Post match, Wardlow confronts Johnson, and forces him to put on MJF’s campaign pin.

Santana & Ortiz def. Tony Donati & Baron Black

Oh. Alright. My reaction to this was the same as Santana’s face after the bell. This match ended quite abrutly with a powerbomb followed by a roundhouse kick. Ortiz always shouts that he & Santana are THE BEST! THE BEST! THE BEST!” but they have never felt like the best. Maybe they will someday, but today is not that day.

Lance Archer def. Jon Cruz & Jesse Sorensen

Before this match could start, Jesse comes out alone and we find out during Archer’s entrance that he had gotten to Cruz before he could get to the entrance way.

Match did not last long, and it did not need to. There was a cool spot where Archer held one man in a reverse DDT position & chokeslamed the other man onto him. The match ended after Archer hit Cruz with a Blackout and he locked both his opponents into the EBD claw and held both men down for the pin. Good, quick match. Did not tell me anything I didn’t already know, but if the plan is to rebuild Lance Archer, then I guess that is alright.

Billy w/ Austin Gunn def. Alan “5” Angels

In this edition of “Daddy owns the spotlight” match of the week, Billy was able to handily put away Alan “5” Angels with the Million Dollar Dream slam.

Post match, Reynolds & Silver came out to outnumber & assault Billy, but Austin made the save by running in with a steel chair.

The Butcher, Blade, & Lucha Bros def. SCU & Private Party

This was…interesting. This match got fun in the last five to six minutes, but I was expecting more fun out of an AEW 8-man main event. Christopher Daniels is still being built as the one who eats the pins while Scorpio Sky is going on a singles run. The Addiction’s final run is imminent; I’m just waiting for it to happen. Butcher & Blade hit their finisher on Daniels for the win.

To add one last thing, I had an epiphany in this match. As much as I have wanted the Best Friends to become the tag team champions, I now think the best option for the next champions is the Lucha Brothers. They need to be the champions yesterday because they are the team to look toward for fun tag team action. The Young Bucks are the same, but they are there for the storytelling aspect; whereas, the Lucha Bros are a great team to guarantee a banger, even if one was not quite brought here on Dark.

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