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Lovell’s AEW Dark Review 11.17.20

November 17, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
AEW Dark
6.5
The 411 Rating
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Lovell’s AEW Dark Review 11.17.20  

Hey everyone! Maybe AEW has been reading the AEW Dark review because we’ve got five women’s matches on the card, including the return of LEYLA HIRSCH. You’ve got to love it!

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry Csonka’s daughters is still active. Please contribute and share if you can.

Let’s jump into this week’s episode of AEW Dark.

AEW Dark logo

– Excalibur and Taz are on commentary, and they’re awesome.

Gunn Club (AEW trios debut) vs. BSHP KING, Joey O’Riley & Sean Maluta (AEW trios debut)

Colton Gunn makes his AEW debut! So does Joey O’Riley. Taz being flabbergasted by Billy having so many kids is just hilarious. Austin losing his mind after every single offensive move by Colton is also great. This was a showcase for the Gunn Club, with Austin hitting the Quick Draw on O’Riley for the win at 4:38. Reminder that Billy is 57 years old and hasn’t aged a bit.

Blake’s Rating: **

– After the match, O’Riley regroups in the ring and here comes Lance Archer and Jake Roberts. Archer picks that dude up and chokeslams him over the top onto Maluta and King. Everyone’s ass belongs to Archer, according to Jake. Lance recalls a conversation between life and death, and then he quotes Freud. Awesome. Archer says he’s gonna destroy everyone. This was another good promo from these two.

Travis Titan (AEW debut) vs. Ricky Starks (12-2)

Cool new touch from AEW – they’re adding the ranking on the intro overlay for those in the top five. Naturally, Starks is in the top five because he’s pure excellence. Anthony Ogogo is on commentary for this one, which was clearly taped on a different day than the first match. Titan got more offense than most who face Starks on Dark, but Starks hit a spear for the win at 3:15. Next up, the TNT title!

Blake’s Rating: **

Joey Janela (4-6) vs. Marko Stunt (11-9)

Admittedly, I’m a Marko fan. But it appears Janela is not as he hit a spinning suplex on Marko on the outside. Janela then hit back-to-back brainbusters, and those really pissed off Marko. Janela went for a third, but Marko reversed it into a hurricanrana. Marko then hit a dragonrana on Janela on the outside and Janela landed on Marko’s ankle. It didn’t look pretty given Marko’s previous ankle injury. Janela hit a huge avalanche move off the top for the win at 4:25. This was a nice, entertaining sprint that I found enjoyable.

Blake’s Rating: **1/2

– It’s the debut episode of The Waiting Room with Britt Baker! Reba introduces Baker, and they’ve really gone over the top with AEW wrestlers sitting in the crowd. Baker runs down Eddie Kingston for dressing like a Power Ranger, and she’s going full-on late night talk show host here with a monologue. They’re even piping in the laugh track! She tells the audience to check under their seats for a special gift, and there’s nothing there. She welcomes The Hybrid 2. They make their own jokes and then run down Kazarian and Daniels. Well, this segment was different than what most AEW Dark fans are used to. It was bad comedy, but that’s Baker’s character, so that was the point.

Kazarian (26-18) vs. Griff Garrison (1-6)

This match is why AEW Dark is great. You have veteran wrestlers like Kazarian who can get in the ring with a young talent like Garrison, and it’s only going to help the latter. These two worked very well together, with Kazarian hitting the reverse DDT for the victory at 4:13.

Blake’s Rating: **1/2

Penelope Ford (9-5) vs. Rahne Victoria (AEW debut)

Good to see Penelope back in action. And it was a hell of a start as she kicked Victoria IN THE FACE as soon as the bell rang. Penelope really is a solid heel with her taunts and mannerisms. The timing was a bit off on some of the offense in this match, especially on Penelope’s cutter attempt. But this is stuff that will get better with more experience and more ring time. Penelope hit the Fisherman’s suplex for the victory at 3:52.

Blake’s Rating: *1/2

Brandon Cutler (2-3-2) vs. Ryzin (0-2)

Cutler’s listed record seems inaccurate, but this is a new Cutler since he’s on a winning streak. Peter Avalon is watching ringside while sitting on his red velvet bed. Avalon is just terrific. Cutler hit the TPK for the win at around four minutes to continue his winning streak. The Undertaker better be glad he’s retired (is he really though) because his streak is no match for Cutler’s!

Blake’s Rating: **

Leyla Hirsch (0-2) vs. Tesha Price (0-1)

Both of these women have a lot of confidence that shines through with their personality in the ring. Hirsch is simply awesome as a badass that doesn’t give a shit about anything but destroying her opponent. Hirsch hit a moonsault press and then locked in the cross armbreaker for the win at 3:48. If AEW doesn’t make Hirsch a focal point of the women’s division, I don’t know what they’re doing. She’s on a different level. I guess you could also say that she’s legit. And in case you forgot, she once wrestled John Silver, so that’s another future AEW money match.

Blake’s Rating: **

TNT (0-1) vs. Jurassic Express (11-5)

Excalibur promotes the new AEW games by once again mentioning No Mercy, and I am HYPED. Also, it’s great that they’re putting TNT in the ring with Jurassic Express. As I’ve said many times, it seems like Jurassic Express can work with anyone, and this was another example of that. TNT had a fun spot early in the match where they made the twin switch, which allowed Terrell to take control against Jungle Boy. TNT is very good, their offense is crisp, and they’ve got a lot of potential. However, it wasn’t enough to defeat Jurassic Express, as Jungle Boy used the crossface for the win at 4:43. Would love for these two teams to mix it up more.

Blake’s Rating: **3/4

D3 & Angel Fashion (AEW tag team debut) vs. The Acclaimed (2-1)

“We whipping y’all ass and we’re cashing a check.” Just a great line from Max Caster. He also made a D3 and Mighty Ducks reference, and I will always give a Mighty Ducks reference five stars. Bold prediction: The Acclaimed are gonna be AEW Tag Team Champions at some point. Maybe it’s two years, five years, or 10 years. Either way, these guys are really impressive as a team and they have the charisma to accomplish a lot in pro wrestling. They hit the Critically Acclaimed for the win at 3:16.

Blake’s Rating: **

Ivelisse Velez vs. Alex Gracia (0-1)

If you were looking for some chops, they started this match with some CHOPS. They really went at each other with hard-hitting offense, and they also added several nice counters throughout the match. Excalibur calling Gracia’s 619 an “area code move” was funny. Ivelisse got the victory at 4:29, and the chemistry between these two was very good. Gracia is another women’s wrestler that could be a future player in the AEW women’s division.

Blake’s Rating: **

Thunder Rosa (3-1) vs. Lindsay Snow (AEW debut)

Another physical match, but that’s to be expected given the history between them. If you’re wanting to watch more Thunder Rosa vs. Lindsay Snow: Title Match Wrestling uploaded their Mission Pro Wrestling match on YouTube, and it’s worth a watch. I’ll include the video below. Again, this was an intense match, and Thunder Rosa hit her finish for the win at 4:32. Thunder Rosa vs. Leyla Hirsch is a match I’d love to see because of their offense.

Blake’s Rating: **1/2

– Peter Avalon continues to annoy people and gets the boot from a rideshare.

Big Swole (11-4) vs. KiLynn King (1-12)

Cool sequence to start the match, and the theme continues with the physicality in these women’s matches. Another theme that continues is good chemistry. I thought Swole and King worked well together in this match, and Swole forced King to tap out at 4:19.

Blake’s Rating: **

– Here comes Darby Allin and he taunts Starks at the commentary desk. That leads to Brian Cage coming out, which then leads to Cody coming out wearing his producer headset and he hits Cage with a chair. Darby goes at Starks but he retreats. Nice way to hype their Dynamite match.

Christopher Daniels (12-14) vs. Jack Evans (1-1)

They’ve built this feud for weeks, which is a good development for AEW Dark. They also played up Kazarian and Angelico being ringside and what their potential involvement would be. As expected, Daniels and Evans worked a solid technical match with good counters and a great finish. Angelico offered some shenanigans by pulling at Daniels foot, and that allowed Evans to get the pin at 8:56. Good match that furthers the storyline between these four.

Blake’s Rating: ***

For more of my thoughts on pro wrestling, subscribe to the 411 On Wrestling podcast and follow me on Twitter @wrestleblake. Thanks for reading!

6.5
The final score: review Average
The 411
AEW Dark got new music and graphics for the season premiere, and it was also a nice touch to see them add the current ranking for those like Starks who are in the top five. Those are little things, but they are good additions to the presentation. My guess is some AEW Dark regulars will love the Britt Baker talk show and some will hate it. For a first edition, I thought it was fine since it plays to her character, even if the segment went a little long. At least AEW is trying to be creative in adding more promos and storyline development on this show, so I'll give them that. Perhaps most importantly, the five women's matches were a big step in the right direction. None of them were perfect, but the only way to improve talent is to give them opportunities in the ring. Considering that AEW Dark is consistently hitting the double-digit match mark at this point, there's no reason to not focus on improving your women's division. Thunder Rosa and Leyla Hirsch once again stood out, but there are others that have potential. Speaking of potential, The Acclaimed are starting to hit their stride. TNT once again had an impressive outing as well. There's a lot of young and hungry talent on this show, which makes it enjoyable to watch them develop their skills.
legend

article topics :

AEW, AEW Dark, Blake Lovell