By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 47)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed August 18, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone welcomed viewers to Dark. He was joined on commentary by Taz and Veda Scott…
1. Michael Nakazawa vs. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford). Sabian put Nakazawa in an arm bar as the match started. Afterward, Nakazawa brought out the baby turkish oil and sprayed it on himself. Sabian tried chopping him, but couldn’t due to Nakazawa’s body being too slippery. Sabian however, hit a leaping dropkick from the top rope to Nakazawa and followed with an outside dive over the top rope. The two got back in the ring and Sabian threw a kick to Nakzawa, but Nakzawa countered with a jumping spear. Nakazawa also picked up Sabian and planted him down.
Nakazawa brought out his underwear and tried putting the underwear on Sabian’s face. Though, Sabian countered and put the underwear in Nakazawa’s face instead. Afterward, Sabian hit a springboard DDT to Nakazawa. This was the opening moment for Sabian, as he won with a swinging neckbreaker…
Kip Sabian defeated Michael Nakzawa via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Sabian and Ford spent most of the match making out instead of wrestling. As for Nakzawa, the character just continues to be eye rolling with the damn baby oil. It was even more annoying when Veda Scott said, ‘she likes the Nakazawa character as she thought it is fun,’ which created more eye rolls. Exactly, what is so fun about the Nakazawa character? Nothing.
2. Shawn Dean and Frank Stone vs. “The New Jersey Connection” Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela. Stone threw Janela down as the match began, but Janela hit a couple of small dropkicks. Stone would tag Dean into the match with Kiss tagging himself in as well. Kiss and Janela hit a Russian Leg Sweep combination on Dean. Janela back in the match hit a dropkick to Stone. Stone got the upper edge with Dean capitalizing on the referee distraction from Kiss. Dean planted Janela down with a suplex.
Stone and Dean would continue to work together by tagging in and out, and hitting combination moves By working together, Dean hit a elbow side slam combination with assistance from Stone. Janela finally got momentum by DDT’ng both Dean and Stone. Janela hit a double axe handle on Stone and tagged Kiss back in. Kiss hit a baseball slide and dropkick to Dean. Kiss hit a split on Dean and attempted a pinfall, but only got a two count. He tried going for split city, but Dean countered and Stone, Dean hit a combo move on Kiss. Stone would successfully hit a samoa drop on Kiss and almost got an upset victory. Stone ran into a superkick by Janela and New Jersey Connection capitalized with Janela hitting a elbow drop to Dean followed by Kiss with the split leg slam to score the victory.
The New Jersey Connection defeated Shawn Dean and Frank Stone via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match was what it was. The bout was your typical Janela and Kiss tag team match and continued their winning ways. Also, Dean and Stone made their tag team debut, but their music was very generic rock music. Someone get them better music please.
An All Out ad was shown…
3. Will Hobbs vs. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard).
Collar elbow tie up with Spears getting a side headlock to Hobbs began the match. More waist locks were seen, with Spears slapping Hobbs in the corner. Hobbs walked toward him, but Spears would walk out of the ring to get coaching from Blanchard. Spears would hit two chops, but Hobbs started throwing right hands to Spears. Spears then targeted the left leg of Hobbs which took him down. Spears used the glove to his advantage and hit Hobbs in the face to get advantage. He also continued to target the left leg of Hobbs.
Hobbs however finally got a spinebuster to Spears. With his knee “hurt”, he didn’t go for the cover right away. Though, he would try a pinfall attempt, but only got a two count. Hobbs picked up Spears for a powerslam, but his knee gave out. This allowed Spears to hit the death valley driver to win the match.
Shawn Spears defeated Will Hobbs via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The victory was Spears 10th win in AEW. But it’s hard to take that seriously, when he’s wrestling on Dark every week against talents that are not that well known. Nothing against Spears as he is very talented, but had he been featured on Dynamite regularly, I feel as though the 10th victory would be more credible.
A Ricky Starks promo was shown with Starks targeting Darby Allin throughout the promo.
4. “The Initiative” Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon (w/Leva Bates) vs. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico. Angelico and Avalon started the match for the respective teams, but it didn’t take long for Avalon to tag Cutler in. Angelico went for a roundhouse kick, but Cutler dodged it. Angelico would then tag Jack Evans into the match. Cutler threw a kick which took down Evans. Cutler went for a pinfall attempt with Evans doing the same with both of them kicking out at two. Cutler would eventually faceplant Evans in the middle of the ring.
Cutler tagged Avalon in and the two hit combo moves with Avalon hitting a suplex to Evans and a dropkick, which sent Evans to the outside of the apron. Angelico used Bates’ book and hit Avalon in the back, while Evans planted Avalon down with a kick. Evans went for a cover, only to get a two count. Evans tagged Angelico in and Angelico put Avalon in a scorpion deathlock.
Bates would get on the apron to distract Evans and Avalon used it to his advantage to roll up Evans, only for a two count. Avalon would tag Cutler in and Cutler took down Evans with a couple of clotheslines. Cutler hit a springboard to Evans and a big swinging slam. Cutler hit another springboard and went for the victory, but Angelico broke up the pin. Evans hit a moonsault on both Avalon and Cutler on the outside. Bates hit a huracanrana to Evans on the outside. Angelico went for a crossbody, but Cutler caught him. Again, the Initiative was close to a victory, but TH2 broke the pin up again. Evans hit the 630 splash and won the match.
The Hybrid 2 defeated The Initiative via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match was a bit more competitive than the other previous matches. It was still hard to believe Cutler and Avalon would get the victory. They were close at times, but again fell short. I have to question what AEW is doing with the Initiative story?
An All Elite Heels ad was shown…
5. Red Velvet vs. Abadon. Velvet started the match with numerous kicks and stomps to Abadon in the corner. Abadon however, would hit Velvet with a front kick to slow her momentum. Abadon then hit a headbutt and began to crawl toward Velvet. Velvet tried to Abadon down, especially with a knee strike. Abadon countered a front facelock. Abadon quickly put Velvet with a driver-like finisher to score the victory.
Abadon defeated Red Velvet via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Is it bad that I knew Abadon would win the match before it already took place? Also, as I wrote several weeks ago, seriously kids, don’t watch Abadon before bed!
6. D3, Ryzin and Faboo Andre vs. “The Dark Order” John Silver, Colt Cabana, and Alex Reynolds. Cabana put Andre in a side headlock when the match got underway. Ryzin saw his first moments of the match and tried for a move in the turnbuckle on John Silver. Silver would counter the double team move from Andre with a round kick. Silver hit an explosive dropkick to D3 and Reynolds would hit a cutter as well. Reynolds laid out a release slam to D3.
Cabana was back in the match and began the elbow strike to D3, Andre, and Ryzin. Silver and Reynolds hit german suplexes to D3. Silver and Reynolds then finished off D3 very early with another combination move.
The Dark Order defeated D3, Ryzin, and Faboo Andre via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A quick match and basically an enhancement match for The Dark Order, only to continue Cabana’s storyline with them. The match was nothing more and the entrances was longer than the match itself. Easily skippable.
Another All Out ad was shown..
7. Lee Johnson vs. Ricky Starks. Starks caught Johnson in the air from the leap frog, but Johnson took Starks down with a dropkick. Starks then hit a dropkick of his own and Johnson lifted Starks over his shoulders to plant Starks down on the mat. Starks hit a body press to Johnson and hit a standing coffin drop (which according to the announce team was a shot to Darby Allin) to Johnson as well.
Johnson got momentum by hitting Starks with a cutter and a missile dropkick. Johnson took too much time from the top rope, which allowed Starks to hit the double underhook facebuster to score the pinfall.
Ricky Starks defeated Lee Johnson via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Starks taking a “shot” to Allin using “Coffin Drop” was apparent to continue the Darby Allin storyline. The match itself was very good and competitive, with Johnson getting time to show his skill sets as well.
Wardlow came to the ring and told Johnson to get up. Wardlow then gave Johnson an MJF campaign pin to Johnson.
8. Baron Black and Tony Donati vs. Santana and Ortiz. Dontai and Black were making their tag team debut. Black put Santana in an arm lock to start the match and a backstabber, but Santana hit a kick to the face of Black to counter. Donati tried to take Ortiz down with a lariat, however Ortiz hit a double underhook suplex. Ortiz also hit a sit-out powerbomb and Santana with a kick to Donati’s face, thus picking up the victory.
Santana and Ortiz defeated Baron Black and Tony Donati via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Put another win in Santana’s and Ortiz’s pocket in their win column.
9. Jon Cruz and Jesse Sorensen vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts). When Justin Roberts introduced the team, only Sorensen came out without Cruz. Though, Archer brought Cruz on his shoulders when he made his entrance.
Archer threw Cruz with a suplex in the corner. Archer then hit several running elbows to both Cruz and Sorensen. Archer put Sorensen in a full nelson slam and picked Cruz up, planted him down right on the mat. Archer would then chokeslam Cruz onto Soresen’s body. During the pinfall attempt, Cruz broke it up, but Archer flipped Cruz over. The match finally was over with the claw to both opponents.
Lance Archer defeated Jon Cruz and Jesse Sorensen via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A picker upper win for Archer, nothing more. Although, Sorensen made his AEW debut after previously competing in NXT and Impact Wrestling. Despite that, he never had a chance.
Another All Out ad was shown…
9. Billy w/Austin Gunn vs. Alan Angels. Billy threw Angels down a couple of times and threw a hard right as well. Billy would then hit a couple of kicks to Angels, which sent him to the outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Billy hit a delayed vertical suplex to Angels. Angels went for a running move, but Billy planted him down with a body press.
Finally, Angels hit a roundhouse kick to the face of Billy and a dropkick in addition. However, Billy countered by slamming Angels on the mat. Billy went for a Fameasser, but Angels dodged the move with an enziguri. Though, not too long after, Billy put Angels away with the one and only.
Billy defeated Alan Angels via pinfall
Briar’s Take: The match lasted longer than I expected it too and Billy got a few more moves in, then what he normally does. All in all, a skippable match, unless you want to see The Dark Order beat Billy down afterward. Austin would bring in a chair to scare The Dark Order away.
11. Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix, The Butcher and The Blade vs. “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy and “SCU” Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. The Butcher broke the collar elbow tie up hold attempted by Daniels. Daniels quickly tagged Kazarian in and both schoolboyed The Butcher to take him down. The Blade tagged himself in and took Kazarian down with a shoulder block. Both Kazarian and The Blade tried for a hip toss, but Kazarian quickly ended that with a fireman’s carry. Kazarian also hit a rising knee and a clothesline to The Blade as well. Isaiah Kassidy tagged in the match and hit a springboard over the top to The Blade.
The Blade had enough of the match and tagged Rey Fenix in. Fenix hit a leg trip to Kassidy, but Kassidy followed with a kick to the face. Kassidy then tagged Marq Quen in the match and both members hit a couple of combo moves to Pentagon Jr. Quen went for a cover, only for Pentagon Jr to kick out.
A few tags would be made from SCU and Private Party to keep Pentagon Jr off his game. Though, Pentagon Jr got momentum with sweeping Kassidy to the ground, and tagging in The Blade again. The Blade threw several right shots to Kassidy. The Butcher tagged in again and power slammed Kassidy on his knee.
More tags would be made with Pentagon Jr throwing a right hand chop to Kassidy. Fenix threw a kick to the head of Kassidy as well. The Blade put Kassidy in an illegal move by using the ropes, with referee Aubrey Edwards having to break the submission as Kassidy is really taking a beating.
Kassidy would eventually make a tag to his partner Quen and Quen hit a crossbody to Fenix, and a shotgun dropkick to Fenix and Pentagon Jr. Quen then hit a neckbreaker into a DDT. Near the end of the match, all members of each team hit each other’s moves, and were out on the match.
Private Party hit a leaping crossbody to the outside of the ring on The Butcher and Fenix. Pentagon Jr went for the no fear piledriver (in which he successfully hit) and attempted a pinfall. But, Kazarian made the save for his team, broke the pin up. Despite an effort from the other team, The Butcher and The Blade laid out Daniels with the full death for the win.
Pentagon Jr., Fenix, The Butcher, and The Blade defeated SCU and Private Party via pinfall.
After Dark was over, Schiavone hyped the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Finals for Dynamite, which will air Saturday at 6 ET live on TNT…
Briar’s Take: A good exhibition style match from both teams, in which both were very competitive in this match. When you stop and think about the wrestlers in this match, it’s crazy how many years of experience in the wrestling business gets added up when you count all eight guys in the mix. Very interesting after the match that Kazarian and The Butcher had a small staredown with each other, while the Lucha Brothers left The Butcher and The Blade high, and dry after both teams tried to celebrate.
It feels like AEW doesn’t know what to do with Dark on how many matches to have in their show. I’m not trying to be mean, but when most of your matches are only five to six minutes, with the regular roster winning against unknown opponents, the matches don’t really count in a way as they are pretty predictable. I do wish AEW would find a consistent range of matches to have on Dark every week. I’ve said before, five to seven matches seem respectable and a good pace that doesn’t make the show too long.
Nonetheless, I don’t think you would really miss too much if you decide to skip Dark this week. None of the matches really stood out as they were pretty much filler. I would definitely watch the Ricky Starks segment, which I’m sure will be uploaded in a video itself to AEW’s YouTube page and his match, as they somewhat continued or started his feud with Darby Allin. The Initiative came close to scoring an upset victory, but failed to do so once again, so Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon continue to remain winless. I would also maybe go out of your way to watch the eight-man tag team match that main evented Dark. Not only was the wrestling action great, all the guys who wrestled in there showed how many years of experiences they have. Otherwise, the show is definitely passable. Final Score: 6.9 out of 10. Episode 47 clocked in at 1 hour and 39 minutes, 14 seconds.