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Lovell’s AEW Dark Review 9.22.20

September 22, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
AEW Dark
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Lovell’s AEW Dark Review 9.22.20  

Hey everyone! Thanks for the kind feedback on my first AEW Dark review. Hopefully the company continues to produce some fun shows. I also wrote a column on what was an incredible episode of AEW Dynamite, so give it a read if you want.

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 aka The Will Hobbs and Ben Carter Power Hour.

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Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) vs. Fuego del Sol & Rembrandt Lewis: Fuego off to a quick start as he drops Grayson face-first before tagging Lewis. Grayson gets hit and then gets pissed with a big slam. Good teamwork from Uno and Grayson as Uno tags in and drops Lewis like a bad habit. Uno then starts smashing Lewis’s hair with his boot. Uno with some huge chops and we get more double teaming from Uno and Grayson. Lewis finally hits a shot to the midsection but then gets a backdrop for thinking that he can get any offense in on the Dark Order. Grayson off the top for a two count as Fuego makes the save. Fuego tags in and Grayson immediately hits him with a running knee strike to the face. Grayson then picks him up and hits the Night Fall. Tag to Uno and he hits an inside-out flatliner for the win at 4:11. Even Dark Order loves 411Mania!

Blake’s Take: Another dominant performance from Dark Order. Hopefully Sue was watching. *1/2

Christopher Daniels vs. Ricky Starks: Taz says he had an argument backstage with Daniels earlier in the day. Starks with a big clothesline early but Daniels responds with some right hands. Daniels then blows a kiss at Starks which Taz does not appreciate. Starks counters and goes to the head scissors as Veda calls Taz out on his shit. Go, Veda. Daniels locks in the armbar before Starks gets out and misses a crossbody. Daniels hits a moonsault press for a near fall. Daniels with a running elbow into Starks in the corner, but Starks rakes the eyes to gain control before sending Daniels to the outside. Starks follows and throws Daniels’ head off the apron. Back inside where Starks gets a two count. Punches exchanged and Starks hits a swinging neckbreaker for another near fall. Starks works on the back and hits a body slam, but then misses an elbow drop. Daniels hits a T-bone suplex and a clothesline to regain the momentum. Daniels gets a two count of his own, and Starks spears him into the corner with a short-arm clothesline for another two. Rolling pin attempts from both before we get a double clothesline. Starks with an arm drag counter and spear and that does it at 6:45.

Blake’s Take: This was a really fun back and forth sprint. What I love about AEW Dark is you have a talent like Daniels getting in the ring with a rising star like Starks, which can only help the latter’s development as a wrestler. **1/2

The Butcher & The Blade (w/Eddie Kingston) vs. Calvin Stewart & Puf: My prediction is that Calvin and Puf are about to get their asses kicked. Let’s see if I’m right. Butcher and Blade hit the ring and ass-kicking confirmed. Veda says Puf is her dad’s favorite wrestler, so that’s nice. Blade with some offense before tagging in Butcher, who completely chops Stewart in half. Blade back in and he destroys Stewart and then throws him out for Butcher and Kingston to do the same. Back in the ring as Blade chops Stewart. Butcher back in and he slams Stewart before tagging Blade once again. Stewart tries to get some offense but Blade kicks him right in the face. Stewart gets enough offense to ta to Puf who is here to sharpen the Blade. Puf with some offense and then gets some momentum going. Butcher comes in and he hits a boot to Puf’s face. Butcher off the top with a crossbody, and Puf tags to Stewart. That seemed to be a bad idea as Butcher and Blade hit the Full Death on Stewart for the win at 4:02.

Blake’s Take: Destruction. Pure destruction. *1/2

Serpentico (w/Luther) vs. Will Hobbs: Luther grabs the leg of Hobbs, which allows Serpentico to fly at Hobbs. However, Hobbs counters and throws Serpentico outside and then whips him into the barricade. Back inside and Hobbs with a delayed vertical suplex. Another suplex from Hobbs and he uses his strength to pick Serpentico up and throw him back on the mat. Serpentico gets a boot to Hobbs and then climbs up with some elbows to the back of the head of Hobbs. Boot to the face and Hobbs starts getting beat up by Luther while Serpentico distracts the referee. Serpentico with a stomp to the midsection of Hobbs and goes for the pin, but Hobbs kicks out. Hobbs knocks Serpentico out of the air and then Serpentico goes up top, but Hobbs catches him and goes for the slam. Luther gets on the apron and Hobbs knocks him off, which then leads to Hobbs hitting the spinebuster for the victory at 4:34.

Blake’s Take: Well, they gave Serpentico some offense, so good for him. Another match for Hobbs to hone his skills. *1/2

The Lucha Brothers (Eddie Kingston) vs. Maxx Stardom & Dontae Smiley: Fenix and Stardom start things off. Stardom with a step through on Fenix but Fenix rolls through with a camel clutch variation. They work back to their feet with Fenix just rolling around the ropes like a true pro before taking advantage. Double team action as Fenix and Penta uses the Paradise lock and then Penta hits a superkick to Stardom. Big chop from Penta, which leads to Penta diving off the top with a dropkick straight to the balls. We even get a replay of the dropkick to the balls. Fenix in the corner working on Stardom as Excalibur wonders if Smiley even wants to get into the match. He does as Smiley jumps up for a dropkick and hits a suplex on Fenix. Stardom gets the tag and it’s a Manhattan drop and wishbone before Smiley dives over the top onto Fenix. Stardom up top and he jumps into Penta’s boots, with Penta hitting a pump handle for a two count as Smiley breaks it up. It doesn’t really matter as the Lucha Bros finish it off at 5:15.

Blake’s Take: Kingston’s crew with another win, while Stardom heads to the back to ice his balls. *1/2

Dark Order (5 & 10) vs. Ryzin & Xander Gold: Anna Jay is on the ramp, so this match starts at five stars and can only go down from here. And now she and the rest of the Dark Order leave, so we’re back to one star. Several counters early from 5 and Gold, which sounds like a mildly successful tanning lotion company. 5 with some offense and then 10 hits a backdrop, allowing 5 to come off the top for a two count. Ryzin in and he tries to get going, but 10 hits a back elbow to the face for a near fall. Chops from 10 in the corner, with 5 coming in with chops. 10 hits a cutter but Ryzin kicks out at two. Ryzin goes for a moonsault but misses, with 10 tagging to 5 as he holds off Ryzin from making a tag. He eventually does as Gold comes in with strong strikes, then he shows some awesome agility off the top. Northern Lights suplex from Gold for a near fall. Misdirection from Dark Order with 10 going for a pin on Ryzin. Hook kick and pump kick from Dark Order with 5 hitting the diving DDT on Gold. That leads to 5 heading up top for a diving stomp into a powerslam combination for the win.

Blake’s Take: Why wouldn’t you join the Dark Order at this point? They are winners. In all seriousness, I thought Gold looked pretty good here too. **

Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss vs. Kevin Blackwood & Daniel Garcia: Janela and Garcia exchange counters as Garcia fights for wrist control. Veda points out Janela is more technical than he gets credit for. I think Veda has done a great job since joining the commentary team. She’s very good at pointing out little nuances like that. Janela with a running back elbow to Garcia and he tags in Kiss. Double team moves and then Kiss starts twerking on Garcia, which is a legal move in pro wrestling. Kiss with a slap to Blackwood’s face and then a tijeras. More offense from Kiss but Blackwood and Garcia take control. Veda points out they are being more aggressive than they were in their AEW Dark debut. Double underhook suplex from Garcia on Kiss for a two count. Bow and arrow stretch from Blackwood and they continue to isolate Kiss. Blackwood hits some nice kicks, including one to the back of Kiss’ head for a near fall. Blackwood tries to turn the leg over but Kiss counters with an enziguri. Garcia tags in but gets hit by Janela off the top. Janela with a slam on Garcia and that leads to a superkick to Garcia. Janela throws both men outside and hits the diving crossbody on both of them. Janela in the ring hits a corkscrew brainbuster on Garcia for two. DDT from Janela on Garcia, and Kiss goes up for the diving split legdrop for the win at 7:18.

Blake’s Take: This was a good showcase for all four men. I thought commentary was great in selling Garcia and Blackwood’s improvement while also pushing the chemistry of Janela and Kiss as a team. **1/2

Billy & Austin Gunn vs. Cruz & M’Badu: Give me Will Hobbs vs. M’Badu in a hoss battle. M’Badu shows some athleticism early, but Billy turns it into a backslide for two. Billy tags to Austin, who hits a shot to the midsection of M’Badu. Cruz is in and Austin floats over but then gets a clothesline from Cruz. He follows that up with an elbow drop on Austin. M’Badu lays in some shots on Austin, who chops back before M’Badu catches him with a big slam for two. M’Badu goes for the splash in the corner as Taz and Starks discuss trying to recruit him. Billy and Cruz in, with Billy hitting the Fameasser to get the win at 3:57.

Blake’s Take: The Gunns win, but AEW has something with M’Badu. This dude is agile for his size and has a nice skill set. More of him, please. *1/2

Serena Deeb vs. Kilynn King: Deeb with a few pin attempts before she locks King’s arms behind her, wrenching her neck in the process. King regains the advantage by going to work on Deeb’s arm. Deeb counters and destroys King’s fingers. King throws Deeb off the ropes and then sends her into the corner before hitting double knees for two. King quickly goes back to work but Deeb takes control with a spinning neckbeaker. Running knee lift and Deeb hits a few clotheslines. Deeb on the apron and she drops King through the ropes and a Gedo Clutch for two. King catches Deeb in the back of the head and goes for a German suplex but Deeb breaks out of it. Deeb uses the serenity lock and King taps at 4:40.

Blake’s Take: Solid back and forth from these two and their chemistry was impressive considering Deeb just joined AEW. Also, it’s already clear she’s gonna be a huge asset for the AEW women’s division because of the skills she can teach the other wrestlers in the company. This may be the underrated match of the evening. I really liked it. **1/2

Ben Carter vs. Lee Johnson: BEN CARTER IS BACK, BABY. This should be fun. Quick exchanges and then both retreat. Carter controls the arm and Johnson grabs the arm, but Carter flips through and we get another stalemate as the crowd cheers. They shake hands in the middle of the ring and start circling each other once again. Carter catches Johnson with an elbow and then Johnson catches Carter with a stiff dropkick to the stomach. Johnson with a running elbow strike to Carter in the corner. Carter then drives Johnson’s face into the middle turnbuckle. Carter with some chops and that led to a near fall. Carter with the headlock on Johnson, but Johnson fights out. However, Carter counters into the STF. Johnson reaches and works his way to the ropes to break the move. Carter sits Johnson on the top and Johnson fights him off, but Carter delivers a dropkick to the midsection. Both up top and Carter hits the suplex and holds on, with Johnson turning it into a pin attempt for two. They both pop up and we get kicks and both men are down. That was a hell of a sequence. Forearms exchanged and Carter moonsaults off the rope, but Johnson counters and hits the blue thunder bomb for 1….2….no! Carter catches Johnson with an enziguri to knock him off. Carter dives to the outside and lands on his feet, with Johnson flying over the top. Then Carter returns the favor by doing his own flying move over the top. Carter up top and goes for the Phoenix splash, but Johnson hits the Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Johnson with a heel kick but Carter kicks out again! This is great. Johnson up top and Carter catches him and hits a Spanish Fly and a shot to the face but Johnson kicks out! Carter flies up top and hits the frog splash for the win at around 10 minutes.

Blake’s Take: Listen, you guys know I’m a Ben Carter fan. But bias aside, this was one of my favorite AEW Dark matches to date. This was a crisp, back-and-forth match between two extremely talented young wrestlers. I’ll probably need to rewatch this to rate it properly, but I don’t mind starting on the higher side of my initial thoughts on it. Trust me when I say that you should go watch this if you haven’t already. ****

Eddie Kingston vs. Brian Pillman Jr.: Kingston kicks Pillman in the groin because that’s an effective offensive maneuver. Kingston slaps Pillman before Pillman pushes him into the corner. Pillman with some dropkicks and he goes over onto the apron, but Kingston sweeps the leg. Kingston with a hotshot on Pillman into the barricade and then drives Pillman into the ring apron. They head back in the ring and Kingston tosses Pillman onto the mat. Kingston with a kick to the spine. Kingston continues the onslaught with stiff slaps and chops. Pillman eventually hits a kick to the midsection and hits a sunset flip for two. Kingston with a Samoan drop and he just keeps beating down Pillman. Kingston stays on offense until Pillman gets pissed and hits some chops. Kingston returns with a chop of his own but Pillman hits a diving dropkick to send Kingston into the barricade. Springboard clothesline off the top from Pillman for two. Kingston with a jawbreaker and side suplex for a near fall. Pillman almost gets a near fall of his own and then goes for more offense, but Kingston drops him for the win at around nine minutes.

Blake’s Take: This was a different match than the previous one, but it was still a hard-hitting match with both guys getting in some good offense. **

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The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The thing about AEW Dark is that if you watch it for what it is - a show where wrestlers can develop their skills - it can be a really fun show. This particular episode was exactly that. You saw the potential with some of the returning talents like Pillman, M'Badu, Garcia and Blackwood, and others. And then, of course, you had two young stars like Carter and Johnson go out and put on a must-see match. If AEW didn't already have future plans for these two guys, they should after this match. It really was that good.

article topics :

AEW, AEW Dark, Blake Lovell