By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 46)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed August 11, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone and Taz welcomed us to Dark.
Briar’s Take: Hi, folks! I’m back after a week off. Hope you didn’t miss me too much.
1. Lee Johnson vs. Rey Fenix.The two started with a collar elbow tie up with Fenix getting the better of Johnson and putting him in a submission hold, before Johnson countered and the two broke apart. The two countered each other’s moves (which happens far too often in wrestling). Fenix used an illegal hold by putting Johnson on the ropes and used the five count. Johnson and Fenix went outside the ring and Fenix threw Johnson into the guard rail. Fenix would also lay some kicks to Johnson’s head.
Fenix rolled Johnson back in the ring and took Johnson down with a dropkick. Fenix picked Johnson up, but Johnson used the ropes shortly to his advantage to break Fenix’s momentum. Johnson with Fenix back in the ring took him down with some lariats. Johnson successfully hit a missile dropkick to Fenix. Johnson hit a sit-out powerbomb on Fenix and went for the cover, only got a two count which allowed Fenix to kick out. Fenix kicked up and put Johnson away with a muscle buster.
Rey Fenix defeated Lee Johnson via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good short match between Fenix and Johnson. Johnson had some upside to him and got some offense in. I don’t think there was any moment, where they would make you believe he would get the victory. Nonetheless, a good back and forth match.
A Scorpio Sky package was shown…
2. Alex Chamberlain vs. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). Chamberlain was making his AEW debut. Spears also had his glove with him and got a brief prep talk from Tully before the match got underway. Spears put Chamberlain in a side headlock submission once the bell rang. After missing each other’s moves (again), Spears used the glove for a strong forearm. Chamberlain however, took down Spears with a running shoulder block, which forced Spears to take a breather on the outside. Spears slightly picked up Chamberlain and planted his arm on the apron. Spears then picked up Chamberlain for the Canadian destroyer for the victory.
Shawn Spears defeated Alex Chamberlain via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A showcase for Spears to keep promoting him and that damn glove. Chamberlain never really stood a chance. Also, can we PLEASE get Spears some new entrance music? Nothing against JWill, but the song is terrible.
3. M’ Badu and Shawn Dean vs. “The Gunn Club” Billy and Austin Gunn. M’ Badu made his AEW debut as well. Dean and Austin Gunn began the match for their respective teams and a respectful handshake from Austin. Dean then laid out a dropkick to put Austin down. Austin tried rolling up Dean, but Dean countered and Austin eventually put Dean into a submission hold, arm lock. Austin made the tag to Billy and Austin (still in the ring) made a clothesline lariat to Dean.
M’ Badu would enter himself in the match after tagging in. Billy tried with a shoulder block to Badu, but Badu didn’t fall down. Billy threw some punches and a kick, but Badu hit a back elbow to Billy and a leaping elbow to the corner. Dean tagged back in and hit some shots to Billy. He attempted a pinfall attempt, but Billy kicked out. Badu would get in the ring again and put Billy in a headlock, however Billy countered with a DDT. Austin tagged in and came with a head of momentum. Austin won the match with a hip toss and pinned Dean for the win.
Billy and Austin Gunn defeated M’ Badu and Shawn Dean via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match went about six minutes and wasn’t much to write home about. M’ Badu has an uptick by having a size advantage, but didn’t do much to impress me yet. I could see Badu on Dark more and picking up wins for himself though, depending on his contractual status.
An All Out promo was shown…
4. Michael Stevens vs. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford). Sabian threw Stevens on the outside with a running dropkick. Once back in the ring, Sabian stomped on Stevens who laid in the corner. Sabian then drove his knee to the jaw of Stevens. Sabian also hit a front kick to Stevens. Stevens however, hit a face plant to Sabian. He tried picking up Sabian, but Sabian hit a springboard DDT, and won with a twisting neckbreaker.
Kip Sabian defeated Michael Stevens via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not much to see here either. Taz and Tony spent too much time talking about themselves instead of focusing on the match, telling the story. It was hard to take Stevens seriously too, because he was worried about shaking his damn hips, which was sooooo cartoony.
An All Elite Heels video package was shown with Brandi Rhodes the narrator…
5. Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr vs. “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen. Pillman and Kassidy started the match, with Pillman hitting Kassidy with a shoulder block. Kassidy then hit numerous arm drags to Pillman and a front headlock, tagged Quen. Kassidy tagged back in and chopped Pillman. Kassidy and Quen tagged each other back and before, (which gets annoying after a while).
Pillman on the outside was sitting on the guardrail and Kassidy was going for a sucidia, but Pillman moved and Kassidy stopped at the last second. Garrison made his first moments in the match and hit a big kick to Kassidy, which planted him down on the mat. Garrison made the tag to Pillman and began to chop, kick Kassidy.
Garrison tried for a move, but Kassidy moved and tagged Quen in, and Quen had tons of momentum, hitting a springboard to Pillman on the outside. Both members of Private Party hit a leg drop and splash for the win.
Private Party defeated Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Man, Pillman Jr.’s AEW run has been disappointing so far. He’s lost all of his matches and hasn’t had one, where the match would showcase what Pillman is capable of. His MLW run is far much better, but I hope he gets a chance soon.
6. Corey Hollis, Pineapple Pete, and Aaron Solow vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. Luchasaurus power slammed Solow on the mat and would then go after other members of the tag team. Solow hit a spin kick to Luchasaurus, but he hit a roundhouse kick. He tagged in Jungle Boy and they hit a crossbody to Solow. Boy tried jumping from the ropes, but Hollis tripped Boy and allowed Solow to get the advantage.
Pete returned to the match, but Boy took him down with a clothesline. Marko Stunt is also in the ring and Pete, Hollis, Solow tried teaming up on him only for Stunt to get the better of them. Stunt picked up Pete and hit a razor edge. Luchasaurus came in the ring to help Stunt and hit some kicks to Pete. Stunt hit a 450 with the help from Luchasaurus and Boy to win the match for their team.
Jurassic Express defeated Corey Hollis, Pineapple Pete, and Aaron Solow via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match didn’t overstay its welcome and was brief, which is fine. A basic showcase win for Jurassic Express.
7. “The Hybrid 2” Angelico and Jack Evans vs. “The Natural Nightmares” QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes (w/Allie, Brandi Rhodes). I believe this is Angelico’s and Evans first match back from the pandemic. Marshall had Angelico in a headlock takedown and a dropkick. Marshall hit Evans in the mid-section with a kick after Dustin was in the ring for a short while, and his signature move. Dustin put Evans in an armbar and tagged Marshall back in, and leaped from the rope to hit Evans. Evans raked the eye of Marshall after the ref was distracted by Dustin. Evans went for the pinfall, but Marshall kicked out at two.
Angelico is in the ring again and had Marshall in a long submission hold. He went for a big leaping splash, but Marshall moved. Evans is tagged in and Dustin hit a powerslam to both members of TH2. Dustin then went up to the rope to successfully layout Th2 with a backward moonsault. Eventually, Dustin wins the match with a spinning suplex.
The Natural Nightmares defeated TH2 via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A straightforward match, nothing more. Thankfully, AEW held off on forwarding the Brandi and Allie storyline.
8. Rachel Ellering vs. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian). Ellering put Ford in a head scissors after Ford put her in a headlock. Ellering had Ford in a submission for a short while, but Ford once again put Ellering in another headlock. Ellering planted Ford down with a shoulder block, flying elbow. She tried picking Ford up, but Ford countered and Sabian had a leafblower, which distracted Ellering and allowed Ford to get the advantage.
Ellering then hit a reversal fisherman suplex to Ford and a punt kick. Ellering also started laying some chops. Ellering planted Ford down on the mat, and almost got the upset victory. She tried a leg drop, but Ford escaped and hit the hamstring, ultimately the fisherman suplex of her own to win the bout.
Penelope Ford defeated Rachel Ellering via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A solid match between the two ladies, with Ford rightfully getting the win. However, Ellering had great upside, and AEW allowed her to get some good moves in, almost winning the match. Good match.
9. The Butcher and The Blade vs. “SCU” Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Kazarian and the Blade had a long lockup to begin the match, before the Blade shoulder blocked Kazarian on the mat. However, Kazarian took down the Blade with a clothesline and a school boy, jumping leg lariat.
Kazarian tagged Daniels in and before Kazarian left the match, he hit a neckbreaker to the Blade. The Butcher is in the match and started to beat down Daniels. The Butcher and The Blade then hit a double team move to Daniels to lay him out. Daniels got a breather and tagged Kazarian, while both hit a double team move to Butcher and Blade as well. SCU planted Butcher and Kazarian tried for the pin, but Blade kicked out. Kazarian followed up with a snap suplex and tagged Daniels in again.
SCU doubled team again and Daniels hit a moonsault to Blade, got a two count. Butcher and Blade hit a backbreaker to Daniels. Blade then put Daniels in a headlock again. Butcher is back in the ring, but Daniels face planted Butcher to catch a breather.
Kazarian and Blade would be tagged in, but Kazarian got the upper edge with a clothesline to Blade. Kazarian body slammed and hit a leg dropped to Blade. Butcher and Blade managed a double team move, though Kazarian kicked out. SCU then hit a sit out bomb to Blade and only got a two count again. The Butcher and The Blade would eventually put SCU away with the full death.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian via pinfall.
Afterward, Schiavone hyped Dynamite to end the show.
Briar’s Take: A great match between the two teams. Most likely match of the night, simply because it was very competitive and both teams were given a lot of time. Overall, a solid episode of Dark for the most part. The lineup was strong, which provided for some interesting, competitive matches. Though, the episode was pretty typical for Dark with the usual person, team(s) going over.
With that said, episode 46 was stronger from the other episodes of Dark. There were a few matches that you could easily skip and not miss much. But, there was also some matches that I think you would enjoy seeing such as Rey Fenix vs. Lee Johnson, SCU vs. The Butcher and The Blade, as they were given more time than the others. On the other hand, Rachel Ellering continues to be impressive, and some chances to score an upset victory over Penelope Ford. I would think Ellering might become a Dark regular. Meanwhile, Brian Pillman Jr.’s AEW run continues to be disappointing, as he’s not had that much match time to show what he’s capable of.
Overall, I would have to say, SCU vs. The Butcher and The Blade was the match of the night in my book, as both teams looked good and they were given the right amount of time to get their stuff in. Final Score: 8.0 out of 10. Episode 46 clocked in at one hour and 32 minutes, 21 seconds.