By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 27)
Taped March 25, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed March 31, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone and Cody welcomed us from the control center and ran down the card lineup. They also hyped the AEW TNT Championship tournament. Shawn Spears vs Cody, and Sammy Guevara vs Darby Allin will be in the left brackets. Schiavone said the other half of the bracket would be revealed on Dynamite…
1. Matt Sells vs. Sammy Guevara. Guevara took Sells down with a hook up and a drop kick to start. Guevara went to the top rope and looked like he was going to try, and jump but Guevara didn’t and slapped him instead. Sells started to get some offense in and hit Guevara with a baseball slide drop kick. Guevara hit Sells with a spinning wheel kick. Guevara went through the ropes to hit the cutter on Sells.
Guevera went to cover on Sells, but kicked himself out at two to continue the match. Guevara took Sells down with a long standing suplex. Guevara picked up Sells and put him on his shoulders, but took too long and Sells countered with forearms. Sells then followed up with his version of the cutter to Guevara, but Guevara kicked out at two. Guevara eventually hit Sells with a burning GTS to pick up the win…
Sammy Guevara defeated Matt Sells via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good showcase win for Sammy. Cody and Tony questioned how far Sammy could go in the tournament, which is good storyline advancement. That’s something we never really see on Dark and it was nice for a change. I’m really curious to see how this tournament is going to play out, as I’m predicting Sammy will more than likely go to the finals. You heard it here first, folks.
2. Shawn Spears vs. Shawn Dean. Dean made his AEW debut. Also, Spears was without his manager Tully Blanchard due to the CDC recommendations. Spears put Dean in arm hold for a few minutes before the hold was broken. Dean went to bounce off the ropes, but Spears hit him with a running lariat and backdrop suplex. Spears quickly hit Dean with a running Death Valley Driver to finish him off…
Shawn Spears defeated Shawn Dean via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Quick and painless. Like Guevara’s match, this was a showcase for Spears to help build for the tournament.
3. Preston Vance vs. Darby Allin. Darby was making his entrance, but as soon as he entered the ring, Vance attacked Darby from behind. Both then wrestled to the outside. Back in the ring, Vance hit Allin with a grade A punt kick to the face. Vance hit a running elbow to Allin. Vance went to hit another one to Allin, but missed and Allin followed up with a jumping suicida to the outside. Quickly, Allin hit his Code Red finisher, but only got a two count. Vance hit Allin with two cutters and still only got a two count. Allin then planted Vance and followed up with his Coffin Drop finisher for the win…
Darby Allin defeated Preston Vance via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Easily predictable. It would have been hard to believe for Vance to pick up the win over Allin. Though, crazier things have happened in the wrestling world.
4. AEW Champion Jon Moxley vs. Faboo Andre in a non-title match. Andre made his AEW debut. After Andre made his entrance, a camera pointed to Moxley running the hard camera. Moxley hit Andre with a running leariant and a scotch pile driver. Shortly after, Moxley made Andre tap out to the STF.
Jon Moxley defeated Faboo Andre via submission.
As soon as the match ended, Jake Hager jumped Moxley from behind and took Moxley down as a follow up from last week’s attack…
Briar’s Take: Quick work for Moxley and a nice follow up from last week’s incident when Moxley took Hager out on Dynamite. Good storyline advancement. You could look at this as an easily skippable episode of Dark and in some cases, it is. However, this is where the squash matches work when they have a story behind it. Cody and Tony did a nice job of hyping the new AEW TNT Title Tournament and talked about what was at stake for each wrestler in this match. Whether or not, a loss could hurt their momentum going into the tournament, or a win that could help their momentum going forward.
By doing this, it made for an enjoyable episode of Dark despite the randomness and short matches. For the most part, it was a showcase win for the AEW regulars. I feel as though if someone hasn’t watched AEW yet for whatever reason, this is a nice episode to introduce them to some of the wrestlers. In part too, a nice surprise having the champion Moxley on the show doing a very short match followed up by a beat down on Hager. Also, I’m really eager to see where the new tournament is going to take us, as this will give us something to look forward to for a short while. This whole episode was really refreshing. The episode clocked in at 32:49. Final Score: 7.8 out of 10.