By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 33)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed May 12, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Exaclibur and Taz welcomed us to ringside for Dark.
1. Shawn Dean vs. Colt Cabana. Before the match started, the referee was wearing a mask. Cabana also took his sweet time to take his attire off. Cabana took down Dean with a drop and put Dean in a quick submission hold, before quickly being broken. Cabana then took Dean down with a couple of side headlock takedowns. They both went to a collar elbow tie-up, before Cabana got Dean with a hand lock. Cabana got a quick two count after rolling Dean up, but afterwards, Dean dropkicked Cabana all the way to the outside.
Coming back into the ring, Cabana and Dean went back to another collar elbow tie-up. Cabana then isolated Deans’ left-arm and locked Dean into a submission. Dean then hit a strong right, which planted Cabana down on the mat. Cabana slowly crawled over to the rope to break Deans’ hold on him. Eventually, Cabana hit his flip, flop, and fly before hitting Superman on Dean to pick up the win.
Colt Cabana defeated Shawn Dean via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not too much to say about this one. Cabana, if given the right character, can be a good wrestler. However, he continues to scream comedy act, especially since how long he took to take his attire off. I really liked Cabana when he was in NWA, since I felt like he was better off there. But ever since he has entered AEW, I hate to say it, he’s become a mid-card comedy act. I hope that changes soon.
2. Mike Reed and Ryan Rembrandt vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus (w/Marko Stunt). Jungle Boy quickly knocked Mike Reed down with a dropkick and Ryan Rembrandt fell to Luchasaurus’ big boot. Boy and Luchasaurus then hit Rembrandt with a facebuster combination. Boy then went for an outside dive onto Reed, before hitting another one on Rembrandt and Reed.
Back in the ring, Luchasaurus hit Rembrandt with a release German suplex. Afterward, Reed did some stomp kicks to Boy in the corner. Reed also hit a Boy with a Russian Leg Sweep. Rembrandt with the assist of Reed hit Boy with a flying knee. Rembrandt went for the pin, but only got a two count.
Luchasaurus tagged in and took down Reed with a clothesline, and a big boot kick to Rembrandt who was standing in the corner. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Reed and did a moonsault to go for the win, but Rembrandt broke the pin up. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus and Boy sent Rembrandt to the outside with a face-kick combination. With the assist from Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy hit a cutter on Reed which allowed Luchasaurus to pick up the win…
Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy defeated Mike Reed and Ryan Rembrandt via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This was a quick-paced back and forth match between the two teams. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus really brought the action in this one. Still, it was pretty predictable that both would win, as we haven’t really seen Reed and Rembrandt much on the brand.
3. Lee Johnson and Musa vs. “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen. Johnson and Kassidy started the match off with a collar elbow tie-up. Johnson put Kassidy in a wrist-control, but Kassidy quickly took Johnson down with a leg sweep. Quen tagged in and hit Johnson with a senton. Kassidy and Quen then followed up with a couple of combination moves to Johnson. Quen hit Johnson with a flying dropkick. Quen went for the Irish whip, but Musa dragged the top rope down and sent Quen crashing to the floor.
With the assist from Musa, Johnson managed to hit Quen on the outside with a flying crossbody. Though, Johnson only got a one count. Musa tagged in and has some offense moves in on Quen. Musa took Quen down with a rolling dropkick. Kassidy hit Johnson with a sunset flip from the top rope. Kassidy followed up with a leg lariat to Johnson. Afterward, Kassidy and Quen hit Johnson with a series of moves while both members of Private Party kept making tags.
After being sent to the outside, Johnson was thrown in the ring by both members of the Private Party. Kassidy hit Johnson with the throat Flatliner, while Quen jumped from the top rope to hit a Shooting Star Press on Johnson to pick up the win for Private Party…
Private Party defeated Lee Johnson and Musa via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Johnson and Musa has quickly become more relevant in AEW. However, it was hard to believe they would beat the returning Private Party. Perhaps AEW can build on Johnson and Musa, and make them a credible threat moving forward without making it look predictable that they would lose to teams that are featured more often. Poor Johnson though. As the match neared its end, he never got much offense and was almost destroyed by Private Party.
4. Jon Cruz vs. 10. Cruz tried putting 10 in an armlock, but 10 quickly broke the hold. 10 followed up with a couple of clotheslines to Cruz. 10 sent Cruz to the rope, before Cruz ran into a big boot by 10. While both are on the outside, 10 tried running into Cruz who was resting by the stairs. However, Cruz moved at the last minute and 10 ran into the stairs himself.
Both went back inside the ring, as Cruz tried to hit a move from the top rope, but 10 managed to miss him. 10 then followed up with a spinebuster to Cruz to pick up the victory.
10 defeated Jon Cruz via pinfall.
After the victory, Brodie Lee was shown standing at the entrance way looking impressed…
Briar’s Take: While we still don’t know much about “10”, this was basically another showcase win for him. I know that AEW might still be working on a skeleton crew, but maybe a video package would be nice or some quick explanation on who “10” is and why he wants to make his leader Brodie Lee happy?
5. Alan Angels vs. Rey Fenix. Both started with a collar elbow tie-up. Angels put Fenix in an arm-lock submission, which was then followed up with a side headlock submission. Angels tried with a small package roll up pin on Fenix, but Fenix countered with a super-kick.
After the super-kick, Fenix put Angels in a leg-lock submission hold before breaking it himself. Angels threw a left-hand on Fenix, but Fenix hit a diving dropkick from the top rope, only to get a two-count. Angels, who was resting in the corner, hit Fenix with a kick after Fenix ran into it.
Angels put Fenix onto his shoulders and planted Fenix down with a slam, and went for an upset win but Fenix kicked out. Afterward, both were on the apron, and Fenix went to run toward Angels before Angels countered and took Fenix down with a neckbreaker. Angels quickly threw Fenix back in the ring and followed up with a diving foot-stomp from the top rope. Angels then hit a moonsault press on Fenix and almost got another three count.
Fenix got back up to hit a diving crossbody onto Angels. It wasn’t long after until Fenix hit his finishing move with the buster…
Rey Fenix defeated Alan Angels via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: It was great to see Fenix back. Excalibur noted that Fenix and Pentagon Jr were stuck at home due to the travel ban, hence the reason they couldn’t compete. I’m not the biggest Fenix fan, but he has a solid move set. Otherwise, this match didn’t amount to anything since this was pretty much a “welcome back Fenix” moment.
6. Dani Jordyn vs. Kris Statlander. Another collar elbow tie-up was seen between the two. Statlander took down Jordyn with an arm and leg sweep. Jordyn tried rolling up Statlander to get a quick victory, but Statlander broke the count. Statlander put Jordyn in a short-arm scissors submission. Shortly after, Statlander tried for a baseball slide, but Jordyn countered by slamming Statlander into the apron.
Statlander hit Jordyn with a running knee strike, which sent Jordyn to the outside. Statlander then followed up with a diving dropkick that also sent Jordyn to the barricade. It wasn’t long after until Statlander finished Jordyn off with The Big Bang Theory…
Kris Statlander defeated Dani Jordyn via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Like 10, I have no idea who Dani Jordyn is. Perhaps, I need to do my research. However, it didn’t take long for Statlander to put Jordyn away. I still don’t like the hokey pokey alien gimmick that Statlander does with the nose thing. If she can’t ditch that, she would be a hell of a character.
7. Jason Cade vs. Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor, Trent). Cassidy tried putting his hands in his pockets to start, but Cade wasn’t having any of it and put Cassidy in a side headlock. Cassidy then took Cade’s hand and held it for a very long time. A frustrated Cade took Cassidy’s glasses and threw them. Cassidy then flipped Cade onto the ground.
Cassidy with his hand in his pockets, took Cade down with an arm drag and leg sweep. Cassidy then hit Cade with a dropkick. Cade then countered with a jumping knee strike. However, Cassidy took down the arm of Cade and rolled him up for the victory…
Orange Cassidy defeated Jason Cade via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A comedy match for the most part. This was nothing to write home about.
8. Skylar Moore vs. Britt Baker. Excalibur noted that both of these wrestlers are from the Pennsylvania area. After the match started, Moore’s elbow accidentally hit the nose of Baker. Baker then went to the apron to get the rest. Both women hit some small moves, before Baker hit a kick which sent Moore down to the ground. Baker then managed to hit a snap suplex. Baker followed up by putting Moore into an illegal submission hold until the ref finally broke the hold.
Another submission hold was seen by Baker. Though, Moore broke the hold and went for a sunset flip but missed. Baker tried a move of her own, but Moore went for an inside cradle. But, Baker broke the count, hitting a fisherman neckbreaker suplex on Moore. Baker put Moore in the Lockjaw submission and made Moore tap out…
Britt Baker defeated Skylar Moore via submission.
Briar’s Take: Holy submission moves, Batman! There were a lot of them in this one, just like there were a lot of collar elbow tie-ups in the previous matches. Like most of the matches on this card, a showcase win for Baker. I still don’t like the lockjaw submission, but at least during a pandemic, she was nice enough to ask the ref for a glove before she locked the hold in.
9. Luther vs. Jimmy Havoc (w/Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford) in a No DQ match. Havoc got the first advantage as Luther was not ready. Luther then hit Havoc with a couple of chops in the corner, but Havoc then was biting Luther’s hand. Havoc went for a crossbody, but Luther catched him and threw him over.
Luther went to hit Havoc with a right-hand, but his hand ran into the chair that Havoc was holding. Havoc hit Luther with a couple of chair shots everywhere on the body. Havoc put the chair on Luther’s arm to try and snap it off, but Luther countered by throwing the chair into Havoc’s face.
As Havoc went onto the outside, Luther went to the top rope and hit a big flipping senton. Luther set up a chair and planted Havoc on the chair. Back inside the ring, Luther had a couple of chairs in the ring and slammed Havoc’s back onto one of them. Luther tried following up with a couple of quick pinfalls, but Havoc broke them up.
Luther laid Havoc out on the chair and was going to jump off of the top rope. However, Sabian interfered and prevented Luther from doing so. This allowed Havoc to hit Luther with a hurricranna. Both went back to the outside and Luther threw Havoc on the ground with a butterfly suplex. Luther then drove Havoc’s head right into the chair.
Luther put Havoc into a submission hold, but Penelope Ford threw water into Luther’s eyes and Sabian also threw a chair at Luther as well. Meanwhile, Havoc took down Luther with a DDT and picked up the victory…
Jimmy Havoc defeated Luther via pinfall.
Before the show went off the air, Excalibur and Taz hyped Dynamite for Wednesday night…
Briar’s Take: It wouldn’t be a match without a Penelope and Sabian interference now would it? I thought this was a great match as both put in a lot of effort to try and make it entertaining, and did so while it lasted. However, the never-ending Ford/Sabian interference made the finish feel flat and underwhelming. Excalibur noted that he feels like this won’t be the last time we see Luther and Havoc together. But… If we do, can we please ban Ford and Sabian from ringside? This was my favorite match, before Ford and Sabian got involved.
Overall, whew. That was a long card and much longer show wasn’t it? This almost felt like a Dynamite itself, just without the name Dynamite. I still have no idea why there were nine matches on this card, but I guess with so little time on the TV show, this was the only place to put the remaining wrestlers on here. My only guess for this many matches is maybe this was to knock the ring rust off for those who didn’t wrestle during the hiatus and that way they weren’t sloppy if they got put on the TV show? I’m not too sure.
Either way, most of the returning wrestlers looked good and it was great to see a lot of them back. It seems as though a lot of the uptight restrictions have been lifted to a degree, allowing them to wrestle again. With that said, this was one of the better Dark episodes that I can remember in quite some time. I know it was a longer show, but there was some good wrestling action throughout most of it. And certainly a much better show than what it was a couple of weeks ago, where there was only one match on the card. Kudos to the AEW wrestlers who brought their A-game. This episode clocked in at 73:04. Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.