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Cook’s AEW Dark Review 9.4.20

September 5, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
AEW Dark Darby Allin
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Cook’s AEW Dark Review 9.4.20  

Hello friends! I’ll be honest with you guys, when I agreed to do the next two episodes of AEW Dark, I was figuring on them both being on a Tuesday. Apparently not, as AEW has its big All Out show on Saturday and opted to air Dark the day before. It kind of works out anyway, as I had a really long day at work today, and don’t mind sitting back with a cold beverage & reviewing Dark for you good people.

Cheers! Let’s hook em up!

Cook’s AEW Dark Review 9.4.20

Excalibur & Taz welcome us to Dark.

Faboo Andre & D3 (making tag team debut) vs. The Butcher & The Blade (w/Eddie Kingston) (13-6): Faboo is still rocking that Lionheart starter kit & is known as the Monarch of Manliness. OK then. I think the nickname may be more fitting for Butcher, but that’s just me. Taz is skeptical of Kingston’s intentions while Butcher tosses D3 around. Blade with some forearm shots, D3 with a nice dropkick and a tag to Faboo, who immediately walks into a sideslam/legdrop combo from Butcher & Blade. Nice variation on the vertical suplex by Butcher. Blade rakes at Faboo’s face, and Butcher does the same while the ref’s back is turned. Faboo fights back, hits a rana off the middle rope and gets the tag to D3. D3 immediately gets hit with a doubleteam move, Faboo breaks it up only to eat a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo, then D3 gets hit with Full Death (vertical suplex into the knees of Blade) for the three count!

Winners: The Butcher & The Blade
Rating: *1/2

– Some nice doubleteam moves from Butcher & Blade here made this entertaining. Very impressive squash for them, and I thought Faboo did a better job this time around.

Allie (w/QT Marshall) (7-1) vs. Red Velvet (0-4 singles record): Red Velvet is still STRAIGHT OUTTA YOUR MOMMA’S KITCHEN and stirring it up! Taz refers to Red as an athletic athlete. Brandi Rhodes & Little Bran Bran join Excalibur & Taz for commentary. Brandi is here to put over her action figure while Allie & Velvet tieup. Velvet on top early, but Allie gains the advantage with some knees before a flash rollup by Red, who then bridges out of a pin attempt by Allie. Red Velvet wants to shake hands. Allie isn’t too big on it. She takes Red into the corner, who fights back with a boot choke of her own! Allie shakes off the bulldog attempt and heads outside. QT holds the phone up so Allie can fix her hair, but Red launches herself feet first into both of them and tosses Allie back in the ring. Allie kicks Velvet off the top and gets a near-fall. Red fights out of the DVD attempt, but gets clotheslined a couple of times. Knees to the mid section, then a running kneelift. Allie with the bulldog, more Jericho style than Dustin Rhodes to be honest. Sliding elbow in the corner, followed by the Down the Rabbit Hole for the three count.

Winner: Allie
Star Rating: *1/4

– Brandi says that Allie took a little too much time and needs to focus more, but she’s still proud of her partner. Red Velvet remains winless in AEW, but my advice to her would be to keep doing what she’s doing. We love the stirring it up and the hometown, and she’s definitely got the athletic ability & appearance down. Eventually the wins will come her way, she just needs some more experience.

Colt Cabana (9-5) vs. Zack Clayton (0-1): Speaking of people with experience, Colt’s got as much of it as anybody. The Dark Order appears on the stage to offer their moral support to ol’ Boom Boom, because they’re gentlemen. Stu Grayson becomes angered after an early stalemate, not liking Cabana offering a clean break. I mean, that’s what Colt’s done for like twenty years now. Guy plays by the rules. And now Evil Uno comes down to offer his two cents after more fair play from Cabana. John Silver & Alex Reynolds then come down and hold Cabana on the ropes to keep him from springing into a Clayton dropkick. Of course that nearly backfires when Cabana gets rolled up from behind for two, because nothing Silver & Reynolds try ever works. Clayton gets tossed outside in front of the Dark Order, but Uno holds the dogs back while Cabana beats Clayton up on his own. Back into the ring, springing back elbow and now Cabana looks pissed. Big palm strikes by Cabana. 3 uppercuts by Clayton, who goes up top. 5 & 10 come on down as a bit of a distraction, and Cabana follows Clayton up top. He hits the Chicago Skyline, and Uno urges him on to hit Mr. Brodie Lee’s discus clothesline for the three count!

Winner: Colt Cabana
Match Rating: **1/2

– Colt is smiling and happy to have won a match as he celebrates with his Dark Order co-horts. This match was all story, and it told a pretty interesting one of Colt Cabana’s further transformation into Cult Cabana. I dug it.

– Dasha asks Peter Avalon if the Initiative is over, and Avalon declares it “donezo”. Sounds pretty convincing to me, but Leva Bates is not having it. Avalon mentions how he started EC3’s career by enhancing his talent. He puts out the one on one challenge, saying he’ll prove that he’s not the worst wrestler in AEW, but Brandon Cutler is.

Ryzin & Angel Perez (making AEW tag team debut) vs. Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Penta el 0 M) (7-5 together in 2020): Fenix & Ryzin start, Fenix gets the advantage during the chain wrestling with the old stomp to the foot! Fenix & Penta with some innovative tag work as usual, leading to Penta with the big ol’ chop. Moonsault from Ryzin leads to a tag to Perez, who gets some nice offense on Fenix. That lasts until Penta distracts Perez on a top rope move, he takes them both out. Fenix with a Code Red variation. Penta with a Mexican Destroyer on Ryzin, then the Lucha Brothers hit the assisted package piledriver for the three count.

Winners: Lucha Brothers
Match Rating: N/A

– That had the feeling of Fenix & Penta getting bored and finishing these two guys off. Not worth their time, and it probably wasn’t.

– GIVE EDDIE KINGSTON THE MICROPHONE! Kingston & Butcher & Blade come down and Eddie drops some knowledge on the Casino Battle Royale. We’re looking at one of the men that will win that match. Eddie’s already losing control of these guys since they all want to win. He tells them to come in for the hug, which they do, and Eddie gives us that wink again. Taz says he knew 50 guys like Eddie when he was a kid.

Ivelisse (w/Diamante) (3-1) vs. KiLynn King (0-7): King hails from Painsville, Ohio, which I’ve somehow avoided in my travels through the years. Both rocking the red hair don’t care, King with a height advantage which she uses early. Ivelisse fights out of the slam attempt, nice swinging DDT gets dos. Ivelisse with the ground & pound and kicks to the back. Using her legs for a submission I’ve seen many times but don’t have a name for. I do have a name for the running knee strike by Ivelisse that gets two. “Running knee strike”. Ivelisse with kicks to King, but King fights back. Nice kicks by King, then a release German suplex gets a 2.1. Taz is all about shooting the half nelsons, isn’t he? King gets distracted by Diamante, and Iveliesse takes advantage with the strike from behind, Flatliner, and the Code Red for the three count.

Winner: Ivelisse
Match Rating: *1/2

– King’s another one of these young ladies with great potential in AEW that just needs to keep going after it. She’ll get there eventually. Ivelisse & Diamante already put that time in, and it’s starting to pay off for them right now.

Shawn Dean & Brandon Bullock (making AEW tag team debut) vs. Dark Order (Alex “3” Reynolds & John “4” Silver): Captain Dean seems on the verge of something big, and maybe it’ll be tonight against our favorite Being The Elite characters. ANNA JAY is here! Then she leaves with the rest of the Dark Order as the match starts. Darn. Silver & Dean start, and Silver’s trying to go for a choke. Dean fighting it off, gets slung into the corner and Reynolds tags in. Dean with the enziguri, then tag to Bullock. Taz calling out Bullock’s lack of urgency is great, but the kid eventually gets on the offensive. Silver tags in, powerbombs Bullock onto Reynolds’ knees! Reynolds & Silver with frequent tags while I’m distracted by Excalibur & Taz’s back & forth on commentary. Series of springboard splashes by the Dark Order for two. Silver with some big kicks! Bullock gets the tag, and now Dean’s going to town. Double DDT! Cover on Silver gets two. Dean’s offensive outburst is short lived, Silver & Reynolds hit a nice kick combo which sets up a torture rack bomb! Bullock tags back in to eat a flapjack into a forearm, then a stereo flipping DDT gets the win for 3 & 4!

Winners: Reynolds & Silver
Match Rating: *1/2

– Nice showing from Reynolds & Silver here, but I gotta say things ran a lot smoother with Dean in the match.

– Dasha informs Brandon Cutler that Peter Avalon has issued a “loser vs. loser” challenge. Brandon’s down with it, though he disagrees with the assertion they’re the worst wrestlers in AEW.

Luther (4-3) vs. Darby Allin (8-5): JAPANESE DEATH MATCH WRESTLING LEGEND LUTHER, as Jeremy Lambert is fond of telling us. There is one very loud Darby fan in Daily’s Place. Kinda awkward. Luther attacks the knee during Darby’s corner pose, and rams that knee into the ring post on the outside! Back in the ring, where Luther continues working the knee. Until Allin locks in an armbar. That’s all he gets though, and Luther returns to that knee based offense. Backdrop driver gets two. Luther is surprised. Reverse suplex by Luther for two. Luther’s high pitched screams are something. Darby placed in the Tree of Woe, but Luther misses the cannonball in the corner. Coffin Drop on the outside! Can he do one in the ring? Yes he can! And that is all!

Winner: Darby Allin
Match Rating: **

– Darby checks his knee after the match, he could be heading into Saturday night with a weakness. Solid little match here, though there wasn’t nearly as much stupidity as I was hoping for considering the participants. I mean, we did get two nice Coffin Drops, but Luther didn’t do anything dumb. A shame.

Dark Order (5 & 10) (making AEW tag team debut) vs. Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall w/Allie) (6-2): Dark Order is 2-0 so far tonight. Can they run the table? ANNA JAY! She & the other Dark Order members leave right before Dustin & QT run down and attack during their own entrance. They are all over these two boys early on. Dustin carving 10 up with right hands. Back suplex gets…no count because Dustin is still punching away on 10. 10 might end up the same way 17 ended up in CHIKARA. QT in now, and he takes the bump over the top rope to get 5 & 10 back on track. 5 with the double stomp to the back! Remember when Kenny Omega gave that guy a little offense on Dynamite and people got mad? Maybe Cody remembers too. 10 working QT over in the ring. Vertical suplex might be the move of the night here. Spine on the pine gets a 2 count for 10. 5 back in and he’s stepping on QT’s hand! I always like that. QT with a Lethal Combination, 10 flies outside, but still manages to break up the tag by knocking Dustin off the apron! 10 backdrops 5 into a DDT on QT and gets 2.5 or so. QT catches 5 in mid-air and hits a slam, then gets the tag to Dustin! This guy is ready to whoop some butt and that’s what he does! Bulldog, snapping powerslams. Dustin nearly gets schoolboyed, then gets dropped by a forearm. QT breaks up whatever 5 & 10 were planning with a Diamond Cutter on 10, then Dustin hits the Final Reckoning on 5 for the three count!

Winners: Natural Nightmares
Star Rating: **1/4

– Big win for Dustin & QT heading into their battle with the more accomplished Dark Order members on Saturday night. Can they capitalize on the momentum? We shall see. Solid little match here, and good effort from 5 & 10. They might have a future together.

– Excalibur hypes everything going on Saturday.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I was wondering why AEW would bother having Dark air before the PPV, but it was useful building two of the matches. Dark Order had a lot going on, and even though they didn't get the win over Dustin & QT they still managed to get Colt Cabana deeper under their spell. We also saw more build for the battle royal with the Friends of Eddie Kingston winning their matches & Eddie trying to keep them on the same page. The only question I have: When is that Cutler/Avalon showdown? If it's on the next edition of Dark, I might need to pull a Wade Barrett and stick around an extra show.

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AEW Dark, Steve Cook