By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 17)
Taped January 15 and 21, 2020 in Miami, Florida at Watsco Center and on the Jericho Cruise
Streamed January 28, 2020 on the AEW Youtube page
The AEW Dark Intro played. Tony Schiavone hyped the lineup of matches. Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Schiavone were on commentary…
1. Nyla Rose vs. Shanna in a Tables match. This match was taped at the Miami event. Quickly, Nyla went to the outside and grabbed a table, but Shanna did a crossbody off the ring onto Nyla. Nyla jabbed Shanna with the table and sent her into the barricade, moving it a little bit. Once back in the ring, Nyla had the table set up in a corner and tried to end the match early by plowing Shanna through the table, but Shanna reversed the move.
Shanna performed a running drop kick to the face while Rose was on the ropes. She got Rose on the top rope and does a huracanrana, and planted Rose on the ground. Shanna had trouble trying to get the table to sit up correctly and once she did, the whole crowd popped for it. JR noted that the match is bowling shoe ugly. The table was set on the outside of the ring and there were a couple of attempts where both wrestlers almost went through the table, but Rose eventually ended up chokeslamming Shanna through the table for the win…
Nyla Rose defeated Shanna via knockout.
After the match, Rose wanted to put Shanna through the table again, but Sadie Gibbs came to the ring and saved the day. Gibbs went for a space line tiger drop to Rose on the outside ring, but really botched the move if that was planned. In the end, however, Rose powerbombed her and broke the table…
Briar’s Take: I actually enjoyed this match and glad we went longer instead of ending in a no-contest like the previous one. It is interesting to see Sadie Gibbs come out after the match to try and save Shanna. I’m intrigued as to whether or not there will be a storyline on AEW Dynamite for Rose and Gibbs or if this sets up a match between the two for a future Dark episode.
Back to the Cruise, Schiavone hyped where AEW will be in the following Wednesday’s to come…
2. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) vs. QT Marshall. This match was held on the Jericho Cruise. Both wrestlers come out to a nice reaction from the crowd. As usual, the match started with a collar and elbow tieup. Sabian finally got the better of Marshall with a kick to the face. Marshall followed up with the same move Sabian did previously. Sabian distracted the referee, while Marshall was on the rope and Ford got involved taking Marshall down. Ford was again involved in the match by illegally holding Marshall’s arm on the rope.
Sabian went for a count, but it was broken up at two. Sabian went to the outside and disrespected a fan. Once Sabian got back inside, Marshall countered with a move. One of the announcers hyped that Sabian is scheduled to face Cody on Dynamite. Marshall was on the outside and tried to do flipping moonsault, to eventually cover Sabian up for a pin. However, Sabian got caught on the ropes and Ford interfered again and held onto Sabian to make sure he got the victory…
Kip Sabian defeated QT Marshall via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not a bad match, but easily skippable. Sabian and Marshall are great wrestlers, but when the ref was distracted, some of the spots were just silly and eye rolling. There was a lot of hype for Sabian’s match against Cody this Wednesday night on Dynamite. So, I am glad to see they put a little more effort into promoting the next show.
3. “The Dark Order” Stu Grayson and Evil Uno vs. Sonny Kiss and Brandon Cutler. This match was taped in Miami. A screen showing The Dark Order’s name popped up and it noted that this their first match back since their attack on The Elite and Christopher Daniels. Cutler came out to wearing ring attire.
The Dark Order fired out of the gate quickly. Grayson did a slam on the ground to Kiss and went for a count early, but Kiss broke the pin up. Kiss started to fire back with some offense. He tried to tag Cutler, but Grayson caught him before he could make a tag. He is on the apron of the ring and Uno speared Kiss while the ref is not looking. Grayson tagged in Uno and went to the top rope to perform their Fatality signature, and picked up the win.
The Dark Order defeats Sonny Kiss and Brandon Cutler via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not much to say about this one, quick and painless. The Dark Order completely dominated the match and Cutler never got to tag in. It is interesting to hear the commentators hype up the name The Dark Order again and it tells me that they will likely be on Dynamite again in the near future. However, the crowd was relatively quiet throughout the final match on this episode of Dark.
Overall, a so-so episode of Dark. The effort was there by the wrestlers who participated on this show, but I am quickly growing tired of the referee being distracted while the heel picks up an advantage. I know it’s the nature of the game, but if AEW wants to separate themselves from WWE and others, then they need to be different and not have so many of these. It becomes an annoyance and something that is over done at this point. Aside from the referee distraction annoyance, I was glad to see a little more effort put in by hyping Wednesday’s show. It was nice to hear JR, Schiavone, and Excalibur talk about what Sabian can and cannot gain by winning or losing Wednesday night against Cody. Let’s have more of that, please. If you want to watch one match on Dark from this week, chose Nyla Rose vs Shanna. It was the best one on this card. That being said, I don’t feel like you would miss anything if you didn’t watch Dark this week. This show is another short one and clocks in about 32 minutes.