By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 16)
Taped January 15, 2020 in Miami, Florida at Watsco Center
Streamed January 21, 2020 on the AEW Youtube page
The AEW Dark intro video played… Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez welcomed us to the show. Schiavone said part one of Bash at the Beach was last week in Miami, while part two will occur on the Jericho Cruise…
1. Diamante vs. Bg Swole. Diamante is making her AEW Dark debut. She came out to a nice reaction, but quiet during her entrance. Excalibur was joined by Taz on commentary. Excalibur noted that Diamante and Big Swole have met numerous times, but this will be the first in an AEW ring. Both wrestlers started with a roll-up and tried for a couple of pinfall attempts early, but they were easily broken up. Big Swole did a Ric Flair taunt in the ring.
Swole eventually hit Diamante with a pump kick. Diamante tried to put a submission hold on Swole by using the ropes, while referee Aubrey Edwards attempts a five count before it was broken. Diamante went for a drop kick in the corner onto Swole. A crowd chant erupted between Diamante and Swole with their being a 50/50 split. After a couple of moves, Swole hit “The Dirty Dancing” to Diamante and pinned her for the win.
Big Swole defeats Diamante via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This is what you would have expected. I’m not very familiar with Diamante (she worked in Impact as part of LAX) and there were no video packages or anything about her going into the match. It might be one downside that AEW continues to miss out on. While Excalibur noted that Swole and Diamante have met outside the AEW ring, there was nothing else mentioned as to when or where they met. Nonetheless, Diamante got a little offense in before Swole predictably got the win.
Schiavone and Gonzalez hyped upcoming AEW Dynamite dates…
2. “The Strong Hearts” Cima, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman vs. “The Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. The Main Event started at 17:20. Taz said it would be high octane stuff. T-Hawk made huge slap to Jungle Boy. Stunt made the tag received a few cheers from the crowd. Luchasaurus was tagged in and did an elbow and pump kick to Cima. Most of the wrestlers ended up outside the ring, as Luchasaurus threw Jungle Boy onto the rest of the wrestlers by doing a gorilla press.
Once everyone was back inside the ring, The Strong Hearts performed a a triple dropkick on Stunt. T-Hawk hit Stunts with a rising knee strike. Hawk performed a sit-out powerbomb and went for a pin, but it was broken up by the other wrestlers. Cima tagged in and the team hit a powerbomb and tried for another pin. When the pin was broken up, the crowd started chanting for Luchasaurus, who tagged in to a nice reaction. Luchasaurus performed his finishing maneuver to Lindaman, but Lindaman was able to kick out.
Cima jumped off the top rope onto Jungle Boy with the knees hitting his back, while he went flying to the outside onto the rest of the Jurassic Express. Lindaman performed a German suplex and went for another cover that led to a two count. Jungle Boy went for a rollup, but The Strong Hearts came into the ring to break the pin. In the end, Luchasaurus threw Lindaman from his shoulders to Jungle Boy, who powerbombed him and scored the pinfall.
The Jurassic Express defeated The Strong Hearts via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A fun six-man tag team match, though another week and another loss for The Strong Hearts. This was a typical six-man tag team match with choreographed moves. I really thought for a second that The Strong Hearts were going to get their first victory with the company, but I was wrong. Like Diamante, I know nothing about The Strong Hearts other than their recent appearances in MLW. While only a small audience probably watches Dark, AEW needs to start doing video packages to highlight these wrestlers and detail why they are with the company, and what their ambitions are.
Overall, an easily skippable episode of Dark unless you’re a real diehard like I am and have watched Dark from its beginning. The episode clocks in at 29 minutes, but can be shortened if you skip through the advertisements and such. If AEW hopes to bring this show to television soon, then they really need to reconstruct it to make it mean more. I feel the hype around this show has worn off. I give this show a 6.0 out of 10.