AEW Dark Episode 38
June 16th, 2020
Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
By: Davie Portman
Commentary by: Excalibur and Taz
Capital Vices (Sin & Money) & Jon Cruz vs Jungle Express
Before the match starts Sin slaps Money to get him psyched for the match. Marco Stunt and Luchasaurus are joking about holding the tag ropes, perhaps taking a shot at FTR. Marco hits a Hurricanrana on Cruz for a two count. Marco takes both Cruz and Money down with Dropkicks and Ranas. Luchasaurus picks up Marco and drops him into a Senton for another near fall. Marco hits a Splash and Jungle Boy follows up with an Assisted Senton for a two count. Sin catapults Money into Jungle Boy’s groin. Marco gets the hot tag and takes everyone out. He attempts a Chokeslam but gets knocked down and makes the tag to Luchasaurus who hits a series of Kicks to everyone. Luchasaurus hits a huge headbutt to Sin. Jungle Boy follows up with a Tiger Suplex to Cruz for a two count. Marco takes out both Sin and Money with two Low Pe Suicidas as Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy hit an Assisted Facebuster to Cruz for the win.
Jungle Express defeat Capital Vices & Jon Cruz via Pinfall in 6 mins 18 secs
Davie’s thoughts: For a squash match I thought this was pretty fun. Jungle Express showcased a lot of great looking tag team moves and had great fire throughout. Capital Vices had an interesting look both wearing red singlets with “gimmicks all over them” as Taz said. They’re entrance music and video also looked pretty cool.
Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler vs SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
Avalon & Cutler both have a win-loss record of 0-15 and are chasing their first win in AEW. Avalon gets into the face of Daniels but gets immediately slammed down by Kazarian. Cutler gets the first bit of offence for his team when he hits a Springboard Forearm to Christopher Daniels, but Daniels kicks out on one. Avalon knocks Daniels down with a Clothesline but he isn’t the legal man and gets admonished by the referee. Avalon and Cutler begin to argue over whether they are going to hit a Double Vertical Suplex or not and this allows Kazarian to fire back and take both men out. Cutler gets a near fall on Kazarian after hitting his signature Springboard Elbow Drop. SCU hit the Celebrity Rehab to Peter Avalon and pick up the win.
SCU defeat Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler via Pinfall in 8 mins 5 secs
Davie’s thoughts: The story of Avalon & Cutler chasing their first win seems to be the main story on Dark every week. Each week they seem to be getting closer to the win and in this match, they actually seemed to get a step closer. As expected SCU picked up the win. Not a bad tag match though.
Dani Jordan vs Big Swole
Dani Jordan is playing a “Mean Girl” and carries a “Burn Book” to the ring. Before the bell rings Dani Jordan throws the book at the back of Big Stole’s head to try and get the advantage. Swole very quickly comes back with a Cutter, followed by a GTS, and hits the Ripchord Forearm (Dirty Dancing) for the win.
Big Swole defeats Dani Jordan via Pinfall in 2 mins 22 secs
Davie’s thoughts: This was a very quick squash match but Swole’s moves looked great. I thought her Dirty Dancing finisher looked really good and Jordan sold it well. With both Britt Baker and Kris Statlander being injured, I feel it is time for Big Swole to step up and be a bigger presence in the women’s division.
Avalon & Cutler Break Up
Leva Bates is interviewed backstage and says that she has a plan. Brandon Cutler interrupts and is furious because their plans never work. He is mad because they always want to cheat and that’s not how he likes to work. Both Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler call each other the worst tag team in AEW and they break up.
David Ali vs Lance Archer w/ Jake Roberts
As Lance Archer makes his way to the ring he attacks one of the video production assistants with a huge clothesline. Archer invites Ali to hit him in the face and then follows up with a Big Boot. Archer rains down with big Forearms across the chest of Ali. Archer continues to beat down on Ali. He attempts a Chokeslam but Ali slips out and manages to get in a couple of Kicks before Archer catches him and throws him down violently to the mat. Archer hits the Blackout but pulls the shoulders up before the referee makes the three count. Archer applies the EBD Claw and picks up the win.
Lance Archer defeats David Ali via Pinfall in 4 mins 22 secs
Davie’s thoughts: Following the loss to Cody it is important for Archer to run through a bunch of guys to re-establish himself as a monster. As far as squash matches go this was entertaining watching Archer absolutely destroy David Ali.
Musa & “The Captain” Shawn Dean vs Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela
Sonny Kiss impresses early on with the Kiss Missile, to Shawn Dean. Janela tags in and hits a Dropkick to the face of Dean as Kiss has him in a Boston Crab. Throughout the match, Janela and Kiss showcase some innovative double team moves. Lance Archer walks out on the stage and Jake Robert talks him into going backstage. Following the distraction of Archer, Dean and Musa take advantage for a short while. Janela makes the tag and hits a Senton to both men. Kiss hits the Axe Kick to Dean. Janela hits a top rope Hurricanrana followed up by a top rope Splitting Splash for the win.
Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela defeat Musa & Shawn Dean via Pinfall in 4 mins 53 secs
Davie’s thoughts: I really enjoy the tag team of Kiss & Janella. Their ring style is unique and really entertaining. I would love to start seeing these guys on Dynamite more and I think they could be a top tag team.
Red Velvet & Kenzie Paige vs Brandi Rhodes w/ Dustin Rhodes & Allie w/ QT Marshall
Brandi shakes the hands of both opponents but Allie jumps the bell with a stiff forearm to the face of Kenzie Paige. Allie locks Red Velvet in for a Swinging Neckbreaker and swivels her hips towards QT Marshall before hitting the move. Allie pretends to be injured on the outside as Kenzie and Velvet dominate Brandi in the ring. Brandi attempts to make the tag but Allie is not in the corner. As Brandi is running the ropes, Allie makes a blind tag. Brandi hits the Spear to Kenzie Paige and goes for the pin, not realizing that Allie is the legal woman. Allie comes in and gets the pin.
Brandi Rhodes & Allie defeat Red Velvet & Kenzie Paige via Pinfall in 5 mins 6 secs
After the match, they shove each other. Brandi looks angry whilst Allie is laughing.
Davie’s thoughts: This match was purely to further the tension between Allie and Brandi and I thought they did a good job. Personally, I don’t think Brandi is best suited as an in-ring competitor. That being said, it is clear that her ring work has improved a lot, and when used sparingly as a device to further a story, I don’t mind it so much. I’ve been impressed with Allie’s character work since linking up with QT Marshall and the Natural Nightmares. I’m personally looking forward to seeing where this story goes.
Lee Johnson vs Shawn Spears
Shawn Spears is wearing the black glove that Tully gave him a couple of weeks ago. Spears is also demonstrating a more focussed and aggressive side that we haven’t seen from him recently. Johnson attempts a Tope Suicida but gets hit by a Forearm from Spears followed by a Backbreaker on the ring apron. Johnson makes a brief comeback with a couple of Dropkicks followed by an Uppercut. Spears attempts the Death Valley Driver but Johnson slips out. Spears immediately locks in the Scorpion Deathlock and forces Johnson to tap out.
Shawn Spears defeats Lee Johnson via submission in 4 mins 21 secs
Davie’s thoughts: Spears showed a slight change since sporting the black glove. Taz kept pointing out his “vacant stare” and a more aggressive style. I feel Spears should make a bigger change though. I feel this would be a good opportunity for Spears to change his look up and maybe add a few more elements to his ring work. Unless they make big changes, I just see this as another gimmick in a long line of them for Shawn Spears
Brady Pierce & John Skyler vs Dark Order (Stu Grayson & Evil Uno)
Stu Grayson attacks John Skyler as soon as the bell rings and makes a quick tag to Evil Uno. Uno rips off his wrist tape and throws it onto the mat. As the referee is clearing the tape, Uno pokes Skyler in the eye. Skyler eventually manages to get the tag to Pierce who hits a big Pump Kick to Uno followed by an Assisted Neckbreaker. Uno hits a Swanton Bomb to Skyler but Pierce breaks up the pin. Uno and Grayson hit The Fatality for the win.
Dark Order defeat Brady Pierce & John Skyler via Pinfall in 4mins5secs
After the match, Brodie Lee comes out and applauds Grayson and Uno. The entire Dark Order poses on the stage.
Davie’s thoughts: It’s good to see Stu Grayson and Evil Uno back and I feel they need to be booked strong to keep the Dark Order as a stable to be taken seriously. They showed great speed and aggression throughout the match and I really enjoy watching them as a tag team. For the little he has had to do, I feel Brady Pierce has really risen to the occasion the last few weeks. For me, he is one of the most memorable of the enhancement talent they use every week.
Griff Garrison vs Jimmy Havoc
Jimmy Havoc immediately targets the joints of Garrison by attacking the elbow and the fingers. Garrison attempts to apply a Wrist Lock but gets punched in the mouth. Havoc sends Garrison to the outside and throws him against the barricade. Garrison ducks a Chop causing Havoc to slap the ring post but he doesn’t sell the damage caused to the hand. Havoc repeatedly Chokes Garrison but breaks it before the five-count. Garrison ducks an Acid Rainmaker and comes back with a few Clotheslines of his own for a two count. Havoc hits the Acid Rainmaker followed by the Sing the Sorrow DDT for the win.
Jimmy Havoc defeats Griff Garrison via Pinfall in 6 mins 1 sec
Davie’s thoughts: This match was definitely on the weaker side. I haven’t minded Jimmy Havoc as a tag team with Kip Sabian but as a singles wrestler, he doesn’t do anything for me. There were a couple of spots in the match that I thought was unnecessary. Especially when Havoc chopped the ring post and didn’t sell his hand for the rest of the match. It was nice to see Garrison get a little bit of offense in but it was still essentially another AEW Dark squash match.
Skyler Moore vs Penelope Ford w/ Kip Sabian
Kip Sabian carries Oscar Sabian (a dog) to the ring to be ringside for the match. Ford goes for a Big Boot but gets caught, so Ford drops to the ropes to force the referee to break the hold. As Ford Chokes Skyler Moore over the middle rope, she pets Oscar the dog and kisses Kip Sabian. Moore fights back with some Forearm Strikes followed by a Gutwrench Suplex for a two count. Ford hits the Handspring Cutter followed by the Fisherman’s Suplex for the win.
Penelope Ford defeats Skyler Moore via Pinfall in 4 mins 10 secs
Davie’s thoughts: It’s been great to see Ford improve over the last few weeks. She has a star quality and with the women’s division losing Britt Baker and Kris Statlander, it is really important for her to step up. The bridge on her Fisherman’s Suplex looks great. If she continues to improve her ring work I see her being a main player in the AEW Women’s Division.
Robert Anthony vs Scorpio Sky
The match starts with some mat-based technical wrestling. The Gunn Club is cheering in the crowd and there’s a fun interaction between them and Sky. Sky and Anthony continuously counter Wrist Locks, which ends with Sky rolling up Anthony for a two count. Anthony backs Sky into the corner and breaks the hold with a stiff back elbow. Anthony locks in a modified Cobra Clutch, which Sky fights out of and follows up with a Double Stomp to the back. Anthony hits a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Sky fires up and hits the TKO for the win.
Scorpio Sky defeats Robert Anthony via Pinfall in 9 mins 33 secs
Davie’s thoughts: This was a good competitive match to close the show but like every match on this show it was obvious who was going to win. I think Robert Anthony has been a great veteran to have on Dark and work with the more established talent however, it does raise the question whether enhancement talent should be getting so much in against your top guys.
This show went for 96 minutes. For a show like this to go this long, it really needs to be offering more than squash matches for it to be entertaining for me. There were eleven matches on this week’s episode of Dark and none of them went longer than ten minutes. If you added commercial breaks, this show would be longer than Dynamite itself!
I would much prefer this show if it was a tight one hour with at least one longer match between two of the Dynamite talents. This seemed to be what the show would do early in it’s run when we had Omega vs Janela. A lot of the workers we see on Dark are appearing more regularly, maybe it would be a good idea to do a couple of short features on some of them to make us more invested in them as a viewer. Even an insert promo would be good. I understand you want to save most of your higher profile matches for Dynamite but I don’t think it would hurt to have something a bit more interesting to happen on this show.
4 Squash Matches out of 11