By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 48)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed August 25, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone welcomed us to Dark and was joined by Taz and Veda Scott on commentary…
1. Storm Thomas and Demetri Jackson vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent. Thomas and Jackson made their AEW debuts. Taylor got the better of Thomas once the bell rang with a side headlock and an enzurigi to Thomas. Taylor then followed with a shoulder block takedown to Thomas. Jackson tagged in with Trent tagging himself in as well. Trent kicked Jackson’s mid-section and chops when Jackson was lying in the corner. However, Jackson got some momentum and laid a dropkick to Trent leaving him staggered, but Trent took down Jackson with the double knees. Trent planted Jackson in the ring and went for a count early, but only got a two count.
Trent made the tag to Taylor and both performed a combination move to Jackson. Though, Jackson laid a kick to the back of Taylor, and went for a cover but only got a two count. Thomas would make a tag and Irish whipped Jackson in the corner to Taylor, with Thomas following up with a clothesline. Taylor made the tag to Trent after catching his breath.
Trent hit a forearm to Jackson and both traded right-hands back and forth, until Trent planted Jackson with a lariat. Taylor then hit Thomas who was running in the ring with a backward like german suplex. Trent fired right back to Jackson with a Tornado DDT from the top rope and a jumping suicida to Thomas. Trent then hit a spear to Jackson on the outside as well. Back in the ring, Trent hit Jackson with a running knee strike, made the tag to Taylor, and both members hit piledrivers on Jackson to gain the victory.
Best Friends defeated Storm Thomas and Demetri Jackson via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: As mentioned by Veda Scott, Best Friends were more serious when they were wrestling, which is fine. If they wanted to be taken seriously, then they can drop the hug in the middle of the ring gimmick. Nonetheless, a fine match for what it was. Jackson and Thomas definitely got more time than I was expecting.
2. Jessy Sorensen vs. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). As always in all Dark matches, both Sorensen and Spears started with a headlock. Spears then tossed Sorensen with an arm drag. Sorensen then hit Spears with his own arm drag and a dropkick to Spears. Spears rolled out of the ring after Sorensen’s move and talked to Blanchard about the match.
Spears started chopping Sorensen in the corner and Sorensen did the same. Spears dropkicked Sorensen in the back, thus taking him down. Spears took Sorensen to the outside and tried stomping his head on the stairs. Sorensen ducked, but Spears caught him with a backdrop on the apron. Afterward, the two got back in the ring, and Sorensen hit a backward cutter to Spears. Spears finished off Sorensen with the C4 to win the match.
Shawn Spears defeated Jessy Sorensen via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: An enhancement match for Spears, nothing more. Sorensen had his moments in the ring by getting a few moves in, but Spears quickly put him away. Veda Scott stating the obvious that ‘wins matter in AEW’ was just eye rolling. If wins matter, why are Spears, and Archer only wrestling on Dark, and not the main roster? Also, I’m becoming numb to chops, since almost every wrestler does them.
An All Out ad was shown…
3. Red Velvet vs. Mel. Velvet started swinging with rights and stomps to Mel in the corner. Mel caught Velvet while running off the ropes with a powerslam. Mel went for a chokeslam, but Velvet countered with a kick to the back of the head. Velvet then was on the top rope and tried doing a crossbody, but Mel caught her with a modified chokeslam for the victory.
Mel defeated Red Velvet via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not sure what happened with the editing, but there was a 30-second delay during the match, where the commentators were ahead of what was airing live on YouTube and continued for quite some time. As for the match, it’s easily skippable, because it was so quick to base anything off of it.
An All Elite Heels ad was shown…
4. D3 vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts). Archer just manhandled D3 in the ring, once the bell rang. Archer then threw a strong right and a powerful clothesline. Archer picked D3 up and hit the chokeslam in the middle of the ring. D3 had some moves, but failed to do a moonsault, which allowed Archer to capitalize with the blackout victory.
Lance Archer defeated D3 via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Archer continuing to beat enhancements talents every week is starting to get old, especially when he brings someone to the ring that’s already beaten up. No disrespect to Archer, but he should be back on the main show already. Also, the audio is still delayed big time during this match.
5. “The Initiative” Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon (w/Leva Bates) vs. Luther and Serpentico. Luther and Serpentico went right after Avalon and Cutler once the bell rang, with Luther taking down Avalon by a big kick. Serpentico was tagged in and hit the arm of Avalon. Both Serpentico and Luter tried doing a double team move, but Avalon escaped it and tagged Cutler in the match.
Serpentinco hit Cutler with a leaping hurricanrana, but Cutler followed with a diving moonsault from the outside of the ring to the inside. Avalon back in the match, planted Serpentinco down on the mat. Serpentinco made the tag to Luther and Luther hit Cutler with a body drop, then would pick Serpentinco up and plant him down right on top of Cutler. Luther and Serpentinco then doubled up on Cutler with strong elbows in the corner. Cutler followed with a crossbody drop to Serpentinco and after he tagged Avalon in, Avalon did the same move (crossbody) to Luther. Avalon successfully hit a sit out powerbomb to Serpentinco and almost got the victory, but Serpentinco kicked out.
Serpentinco hit a high knee to Avalon and tagged Luther in again. Avalon then rolled up Luther and nearly got another victory. However, Luther caught Avalon with a body slam and Serpentinco hit a double stomp to Avalon with assistance from the ropes. Meanwhile, Cutler and Avalon got momentum again, and hit a combo move but Luther broke the pinfall attempt up. Luther powerbombed Avalon on the outside. Back inside with help from Luther, Serpentinco hit knees to the face of Cutler to gain the victory.
Luther and Serpentinco defeated The Initiative via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Is it sad that Cutler and Avalon just keep losing every week on Dark? Also, the audio finally picked up to where the video was in the match.
A Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy match promo was shown…
6. KiLynn King vs. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero). Rose dominated the match early with a couple of moves and sent King to the outside. Rose then picked up King and hit her spine first into the ring post. King though hit Rose face first in the ring post. However, once the two got in the ring, Rose caught King with a spinebuster, and almost got the victory.
Rose tried a chokeslam, but King countered with forearm shots and a samoan drop to Rose as well. King tried going to the top, but the ref (Aubrey Edwards) was distracted and threw King off the top rope, thus missing Rose in the process. Rose quickly put King away with the powerbomb.
Nyla Rose defeated KiLynn King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match was fairly short in order for it to amount to anything. Basically, a victory to help start the Rose and Guerrero storyline.
7. Frank Stone and Baron Black vs. “The Gunn Club” Billy and Austin Gunn. Stone and Black made their AEW debuts. Black hit Austin with a shoulder block takedown, but Austin put Black in a side headlock submission. Austin then took down Black with a couple of knee strikes. Austin tagged Billy in and both hit a double Russian leg sweep, Billy following with a leg drop.
Stone would be tagged in the match and hit a powerslam like maneuver on Austin. Black is tagged again and continued to beatdown Austin with knees to the face, while Austin laid in the corner. Black also hit a suplex in the middle of the ring. Stone, back in the ring, would hit a suplex of his own and went for a cover, but Austin kicked out.
Billy returned to the ring again and started to lay out punches to Stone, which sent him to the outside. Billy tried for the Fameasser on Black, but Stone caught Billy’s leg. Billy would tag in Austin and Black is back in the match after Stone tagged him in. Austin would win the match with a modified suplex.
The Gunn Club defeated Frank Stone and Baron Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not a bad match for what it was. The match was just hard to follow with the audio getting delayed again, meaning the announcers were already off everything by a minute or two of what was happening in the video. Maybe having 13 matches is a bit too much?
8 Heather Monroe vs. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian). Ford and Monroe began the match with a collar elbow tie up, with Ford taking down Monroe with an arm drag. Monroe used the ropes for a leaping move onto Ford. She then would try kicking Ford who was planted on the ring post, but Sabian distracted her with two leaf blowers.
Ford picked Monroe up and hit the double knees as she came down. Ford followed up with stomps to Monroe. Ford tried going for the suplex pinfall, but Monroe escaped it by countering the move. Monroe hit a double knee backbreaker and attempted a pinfall, but Ford kicked out. Ford got back up, hit the back elbow and hit the fisherman suplex for the victory.
Penelope Ford defeated Heather Monroe via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Ford and Monroe did fine in this match, with Monroe getting in a little offense. Ultimately, Ford was just grabbing another victory. Also, not only did the audio delay was happening, but now the video itself was ahead of what the commentators were saying. Very distracting.
9. “The Metro Brothers” Chris Metro and JC Metro vs. Santana and Ortiz. The Metro Brothers made their AEW debut. Ortiz and Chris Metro started the match with headlocks and trading punches to each other. Ortiz however would hit an enzurigi to Chris and a body slam. Santana would tag and hit a senton on Chris and followed with vertical suplexes.
Ortiz is in the ring again and hit a DDT on Chris. JC finally made the tag and came with momentum, but Ortiz quickly diminished that by hitting a double underhook suplex. Santana hit a powerbomb on JC and Ortiz would hit one of his own, with Santana hitting a combo move of a kick to the head of JC to win the match.
Santana and Ortiz defeated The Metro Brothers via pinfall.
After the match, Best Friends came out to attack Santana and Ortiz, and fought to the parking lot until cameras went off air.
Briar’s Take: The Metro Brothers who come from NXT never really stood a chance against Santana and Ortiz. Both Santana and Ortiz would dominate the match.
10. Shawn Dean vs. Ricky Starks. Dean took down Starks with a side headlock take downs. After the submission hold by Dean, Dean Irish whipped Starks into the corner and a crossbody. Though, Starks gained momentum avoiding a move by Dean with being a step ahead. Starks then did another modified “Coffin Drop” to Dean in the middle of the ring.
Starks and Dean hit some rights with Dean getting the advantage of elbow uppercuts, and a running knee strike in the corner. He went for a pinfall attempt,, but Starks used the ropes to kick out. Starks would hit a double underhook facebuster shortly to win the match…
Ricky Starks defeated Shawn Dean via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This match was only to simply forward the storyline between Starks and Allin, with Starks using a modified version of the Coffin Drop.
11. Marko Stunt vs. Jake Hager. Once the bell rang, Hager got down to one knee in order to “let” Stunt get a side headlock. Afterward, Hager opened the ropes giving Stunt to end the match early. Stunt kicked the ropes when Hager was on there. Hager threw Stunt across the ring and Stunt landed on his left leg.Hager then drove his knee down on the mat of Stunt and a kick to the head. Hager picked up Stunt and hit the uranage to score the pinfall.
Jake Hager defeated Marko Stunt via pinfall.
Afterward, Hager hit a cheap shot to Stunt when Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus tried to plead him not to continue to beat Stunt…
Briar’s Take: Did anyone question that Stunt would even have the slightest chance to win against Hager? An upset would have been nice, but I don’t think that would have done any favors to either wrestler. In addition, it’s getting tiring when commentators talk about the size advantage when a taller wrestler faces a smaller wrestler.
An All Elite Heels video was shown…
12. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) vs. Frankie Kazarian. Sabian took Kazarian down with a drop toe hold and Kazarian would do a headlock takedown of his own, as both were countering each other’s moves. Kazarian then hit a leg drop on the left arm of Sabian and a knee drop to Sabian’s arm. Sabian and Kazarian continued to put each other in more headlocks, before Kazarian laid out Sabian with a front running tackle. Kazarian went for a roll up, but only got a two count. Ford got involved by tripping the leg of Kazarian and Sabian hit a kick to Kazarian.
Back in the ring, Sabian hit some stomps to Kazarian, and locked in a submission to Kazarian. Kazarian got to the rope and broke the hold. Kazarian then would hit a forearm off the ropes. Sabian tried going for the swinging neckbreaker, but Kazarian countered with body shots. Sabian went for another move from the outside. However, Kazarian caught him in mid-air for the cutter. Ford interfered again when the ref counted two.
Sabian hit a knee lift and a strike to the side of the head of Kazarian. Sabian attempted a double stomp from the top rope, but missed Kazarian and Kazarian picked up the win by using the backward drop.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Kip Sabian via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This matchup felt very random, but the match was solid throughout as it was technical from the beginning. Nice job by both men.
An All Out ad was shown again…
13. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico vs. “The New Jersey Connection” Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela. Kiss and Evans avoided each other’s moves when the bell rang. Kiss made the tag to Janela, but Evans put Janela in an arm lock. Janela hit Angelico with a few rights and tagged Kiss in the process. Both Janela and Kiss performed double team maneuvers. Kiss went for the cover but Angelico kicked out.
Angelico countered Kiss by dodging her running move into the corner at the last minute. Evans hit the hamstring and a snap suplex to Kiss. Another tag was made from Evans to Angelico. Angelico put Kiss in a submission. Janela would try to break the submission hold, but was unsuccessful in doing so. The hold eventually was broken. Kiss attempted to tag Janela, however Evans prevented him from doing so by knocking Janela off the rope.
Kiss finally tagged Janela in the match. After tagging in, Janela hit a crossbody and several clotheslines to Evans. Janela hit a sit out powerbomb on Evans, only to get a two count. Janela then hit a death valley driver on the floor, however Angelico threw Janela into the post. Kiss hit a 450 splash to Evans, but Angelico broke the count again. Evans would win the match by using a backslide move roll up on Kiss.
The Hybrid 2 defeated The New Jersey Connection via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A very competitive tag team match near the end of Dark, which started to drag a little. I’m not sure how many will stick around for the “main event” with Dark being two hours long this week. I was surprised by the outcome, with The Hybrid 2 picking up the victory, which is good because surprises are nice in wrestling sometimes.
Overall, boy, where do I start with this episode? I’ve already made several attempts to get the great people of AEW to lower their match count for an episode of Dark, but seems as though they’ve gone unnoticed, so I will rest my case for now. Speaking of, two hours for Dark is just a long time, asking fans to watch an episode that doesn’t really have meaning to it. Not only having meaning to it or hard to get invested in, but there were tons of audio problems during the live feed, which made the show hard to watch. When the show first started off, the audio was right on cue, but then as the episode progressed, the audio was all over the place. For example, if you were watching one match, the commentators would be ahead of what was taking place in the ring, and a couple of times the audio was behind what was happening, which made the show very frustrating to watch. I’m sure it will be fixed, but having that issue brought the show down just a tad bit.
Meanwhile, the matches that took place were your typical Dark matches, by having the main roster winning against unknown talent, and most of them filler. I can’t say none of the matches stood out, but I would definitely go out of your way to watch Frankie Kazarian vs. Kip Sabian as that match was great technically, and probably the last match of the night with TH2 facing The New Jersey Connection. If you can tune out the audio delay or maybe put the episode on mute, you might find the show more enjoyable. Otherwise, if you watch those two matches, I think that would satisfy episode 48. I’m just not really sure what AEW thoughts are by having double digit matches. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10. Episode 48 clocked in at 2 hours and 40 seconds.