By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 29)
Taped April 1, 2020 in Norcross, Georgia at One Fall Power Factory
Streamed April 14, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone and Cody welcomed us from the Control Center… A clip of Cody pinning Shawn Spears on Dynamite was shown…
1. Billy Gunn (w/Austin Gunn) vs. Shawn Spears. The match started with Spears immediately walking out of the ring and standing on the apron, and then turned into an elbow collar tie up. The two once again got into another elbow collar tie up, which allowed Billy to get Shawn in an arm bar submission hold. Spears tried to counter the move and right when he stood up, Billy threw a punch to Spears. Spears, then went to the outside and took his own “timeout.”
Billy threw Spears in the corner and went for a chop, but Spears countered and tried to do a crossbody. However, Billy dodged his move and started kicking Spears, as Spears was on the top rope. Spears once again, went to the outside of the ring for a break. While on the outside, Billy and Austin tried to trap Spears into a corner. Spears rolled back into the ring and Billy threw a punch to Spears. Cody said about Spears to “throw his arms up.” The two then wrestled outside of the ring for a short while. Spears threw Billy into the guard rail, but Billy beat the count which was at six.
Spears somewhat hit Billy with what was termed a “mongo style DDT” and only got a two count. Afterward, Billy followed up with his own lariat and started to get some offense moves in. Billy went for the Fameasser, but Spears countered with a superkick when Billy was on the ground. Spears went for the count, though he only got a two count. Following the count, Billy gained some momentum and hit Spears with a front face and then finally hit a Fameasser. However, Spears rolled out of the ring to avoid a pinfall loss. After rolling out to the outside, Spears came back in the ring and hit Billy with his finisher, the C4 to pick up the win.
Shawn Spears defeated Billy via pinfall.
After the match, Schiavone hyped Dynamite with Lance Archer vs. Colt Cabana for the TNT Championship Tournament. Britt Baker in action, Kip Sabian vs. Chuck Taylor, Sammy Geuvara in action, with the main event of Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager for the AEW World Championship with Jim Ross on commentary.
Briar’s Take: A needlessly long match. Too much standing and stalling around, and not much action. Thank goodness, we had Austin at ringside to provide some sort of excitement to add to the match because otherwise, it was probably one of the most boring matches I have ever seen. Even Austin trying to cheer on Billy was really cheesy. This match was basically a bounce back win for Spears after losing to Cody last week in the tournament.
Overall, I have a lot of questions about this show that felt really pointless. First, why was a 56-year old Billy wrestling in the ring with the coronavirus going around, especially since he is in the vulnerable age group? That makes no sense, as they hardly did anything in the ring. Second, why have Shawn Spears back on Dark beating Billy, who we have not seen wrestle in several months, to have a pick me up win, after Spears had lost to Cody last week in the tournament? That’s 50/50 booking in my eyes. Nothing about this episode made sense. If you are that limited on talent who are not available, then I would strongly recommend holding off on Dark until there are at least some fans allowed back in to their shows. Sure, you can keep doing Dynamite because that’s their main show that they put the most effort in, but the momentum for Dark is not there.
It was nice to have some hype for Dynamite Wednesday night, but where was that before the virus hit and this was a regular weekly show with full shown matches? I know it’s a tough time for everyone right now with the company being limited on talent. However, if you’re only going to have one match every week going forward on Dark. What is the point? This needless show clocked in at 21:19. Final Score: 1.5 out of 10.
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