By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 49)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed September 1, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
The returning Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark and ran through the show lineup.
1. Eddie Taurus vs. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). Taurus was making his AEW debut. Taurus got Spears in a waist lock to begin the match, but Spears quickly countered Taurus’s move, as Spears hit the snapmare and shoved Taurus to the ground. Spears then put Taurus in a wrist lock, but Taurus hit the arm drag to Spears. Spears threw a left-hand to Taurus and started stomping on him, and then through him to the outside of the ring. Spears would continue to beat Taurus down on the outside by throwing him into the ring apron and barricades. Spears tried doing the 10 count punch, but took too long, which allowed Taurus to get the upper hand. Unfortunately for Taurus, Spears hit the C4 to end the match for the victory.
Shawn Spears defeated Eddie Taurus via pinfall.
Briar’s Take:Like every week on Dark, Spears’s matches are just enhancement for him to continue the glove storyline, which isn’t really going anywhere at the moment. At one point during the match, Excalibur noted the fans were back, and you could actually hear them this time when either Spears or Taurus would do the hand shot in the corner.
2. Faboo Andre and Ryzin vs. Santana and Ortiz. Santana took Ryzin down with a side headlock and head scissors once the match started. Santana then hit a shoulder tackle to Ryzin. Ryzin however would hit an elbow to Santana, but the elbow wasn’t enough to keep Santana down as Santana would hit three consecutive suplexes. Santana then hit a gutwrench, which sent Ryzin across the ring.
Andre and Ortiz would see their first outings in the match after being tagged in. Andre hit a crossbody from the top rope, but Ortiz would hit Andre’s kidney’s and then a big clothesline. Santana hit a jumping suicida on the outside to Ryzin, allowing his partner Ortiz to hit the sit out powerbomb to Andre to win the match.
Santana and Ortiz defeated Faboo Andre and Ryzin via pinfall.
After the match, Santana grabbed the mic and talked to Best Friends. Ortiz then took the mic and told Trent to have his mom stop blowing up his phone, and that he won’t be coming to dinner..
Briar’s Take:A good match by Santana and Ortiz, who never fail to have a bad match. It has been interesting though to see Santana, Ortiz on Dark for the last couple of weeks though.
An All Out ad aired…
3. Cassandra Golden vs. Allie (w/QT Marshall). Allie went for the roll up early, but only got the one count. Afterward, Allie hit the elbow to Golden and followed with a neckbreaker. Allie then hit a sliding elbow to Golden. Golden though hit a side spinning slam to Allie, in trying to break Allie’s momentum. Golden also hit a hip attack in the corner. Allie eventually got her momentum back and hit the running bulldog to Golden, only to win the match quickly by planting Golden on the mat.
Allie defeated Cassandra Golden.
Briar’s Take: Predictable, but a bounce back win after her loss in the Tag Team Tournament, as Excalibur noted on the broadcast. The match was nothing more than that.
Best Friends were outside the arena where they attacked Santana, Ortiz. Dasha Gonzalez said they needed to get somebody out there. The show quickly faded to another All Out commercial…
4. Angelico vs. Frankie Kazarian. Wrist lock counters started the match, before Kazarian took Angelico down with a drop toe hold, while Angelico did the same hold. Kazarian then hit the arm drag to Angelico. Angelico put Kazarian into an ankle lock submission hold. Though, Kazarian broke the hold by getting to the ropes. Kazarian rolled up Angelico, but Angelico kicked out multiple times. Kazarian then hit the backslide, however Angelico threw a hard punch while the ref was distracted and threw Kazarian into the corner. Angelico put Kazarian into a submission hold, but Kazarian got to the ropes to break the hold.
Angelico hit a running back elbow to Kazarian and went for the pinfall attempt, but Kazarian kicked out. Kazarian then hit a dropkick and planted him down with a bodyslam, followed up with a jumping leg drop from the middle of the rope. Angelico however hit the enzurigi and put Kazarian in an inside cradle. Angelico tried hitting the splash mountain to Kazarian, but Kazarian countered and hit his signature move to get the victory.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Angelico via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A great technical match by both men here. Not surprising, as Kazarian normally wrestles technical styles and does a great job. It was interesting to see Angelico having a singles bout. Despite that, he also got some moves in as well. Great stuff.
An All Elite Heels ad was shown.
Tony Schiavone interviewed Brandi Rhodes and asked her about the Dark Order’s recent attacks. Brandi said she had a problem with Anna Jay attacking her. Brandi added that she wants to play. Brandi also said that if Jay misses again, she would send her back to the Nightmare faculty where she belongs…
5. “The Gunn Club” Billy and Austin Gunn vs. Donnie Primetime and Ryan Rembrandt. Primetime made his AEW debut. Billy and Austin tagged in a couple of times once the bell rang. Austin hit a dropkick to Rembrandt to take him down. Billy is back in after tagging, and Austin, Blly hit a combination move on Rembrandt. Billy went for a cover, but Rembrandt kicked out at two. Another tag was made to Austin from Billy. Though Rembrandt hit several elbows to Austin on the mat. Rembrandt eventually made the tag to Primetime to see his first action of the match.
Primetime threw a couple of punches to Austin, but was distracted by Billy. With the distraction, Austin made the tag to Billy. Billy came in and took down Primetime, while also flattening Rembrandt. Austin and Billy hit the hip toss, neckbreaker combination to get the victory.
The Gunn Club defeated Donnie Primetime and Ryan Rembrandt via pinfall.
Briar’s Take:Primetime took the loss hereafter Austin went for the pin. The match was really nothing to write home about, as The Gunn Club dominated the outing to continue their winning ways. Primetime and Rembrandt really never got a chance to show their work. Good to see Rembrandt back though, who has competed on Dark before.
6. Dani Jordyn vs. Abadon. Jordyn threw right hands to Abadon to try and put her away quickly. But, Abadon hit the clothesline to Jordyn. Abadon started attacking the left-knee of Jordyn, which had a knee brace on. Abadon continued to target the knee area by driving the knee to the ground. Abadon tried to irish whip Jordyn, but Jordyn collapsed due to her knee giving out. Abadon eventually made Jordyn tap out to win the match.
Abadon defeated Dani Jordyn via submission.
Briar’s Take:The match was a little longer than I anticipated, as Abadon’s outings are normally pretty short. Though, the only story they told here was how vulnerable Jordyn’s left knee was and that’s it.
7. Tony Donati vs. Ricky Starks. Starks wore a “Team Taz” shirt during his entrance. Starks put Donati into the corner after the collar elbow tie up. Donati went for the roll up, but Starks kicked out shortly after the one count. Starks threw Donati to the outside and picked up Donati, and planted him down on the ring apron. Starks then hit a backdrop to Donati in the middle of the ring. Starks hit a spear to the mid-section to Donati and followed with a dropkick from the top rope to Donati. Donati however hit a couple of clotheslines, before Starks hit a knee to the mid-section and hit the double underhook facebuster to secure the win.
Ricky Starks defeated Tony Donati via pinfall.
Briar’s Take:Starks had some great offense and momentum here throughout his match. This seemingly only continued his storyline with Taz and Darby Allin. However, he did not use the “Coffin Drop” as he had been doing in recent episodes.
8. Jon Cruz and David Ali vs. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. Luchasaurus caught Cruz’s leapfrog and tossed Cruz to the corner, made the tag to Ali. Jungle Boy came into the match after Luchasaurus hit the tag. Boy hit a step up enziguri and an arm drag to Ali. Boy also hit a dropkick to Ali too. Boy made the tag again to Luchasaurus, and Luchasaurus hit the flat liner to Ali with an assist from Boy. Luchasaurus hit another kick to Ali and followed with a suplex.
Ali hit an elbow to escape Luchasaurus’s domination, which allowed Ali to tag Cruz back in. Cruz hit a double axe handle from the top rope. Ali and Cruz tried double teaming on Luchasaurus, but Luchasaurus would hit a knee strike to Cruz, a roundhouse kick to Ali. Luchasaurus tagged Boy back in, hit the chokeslam to Ali, while Boy hit the elbow to the back of the head.
Jurassic Express hit a combination move to help end the match with a victory.
Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy defeated Jon Cruz and David Ali via pinfall.
Briar’s Take:A solid outing here by Jurassic Express members Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. Cruz and Ali tried putting up a good fight, but Luchasaurus and Boy ultimately came home with the win.
9. Red Velvet vs. Anna Jay. Jay hit a leg lariat in the corner to Velvet, but Velvet hit her a leg lariat of her own. Velvet hit a standing edrop elbow to Jay. Though, Jay caught Velvet with a knee sending Velvet to the ground. Jay got a ref count of four after using an illegal choke to Velvet. Jay hit a snap suplex to Velvet, but Jay countered into a flipping neckbreaker. Velvet hit two clotheslines to take Jay down and a double knee strike. After the attempted pinfall count from Velvet, Jay threw Velvet into the barricades on the outside. Back in the ring, Jay made Velvet tap out to a rare naked submission hold.
Anna Jay defeated Red Velvet via submission.
Briar’s Take:Both women had a competitive match here, as both got some offense in. Though, Jay rightfully got the victory as she appears to be on a hot streak right now, and AEW is high on her, especially with The Dark Order team. If managed well, Jay could be a breakout star in the next few years.
10. Shawn Dean vs. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford). Sabian hit a back sweep to Dean and followed with knee strikes to Sabian. Though Dean hit several arm drags as well as a dropkick. Despite Dean’s brief offense, Sabian hit a punt kick to Dean. Dean however hit a german release suplex on Sabian and hit the DDT to Sabian. Dean went for the early victory, but Sabian kicked out. Sabian popped Dean up with another knee strike and hit the twisting neckbreaker to gain the victory.
Kip Sabian defeated Shawn Dean via pinfall.
Briar’s Take:A brief match, which is fine when regular roster members face wrestlers that people don’t know too much about. Both Sabian and Dean got their stuff in, but Sabian eventually gets another victory to his win column. I suppose, since AEW doesn’t have a spot currently on Dynamite, I guess they will continue to use Sabian and feature him on Dark until AEW finds something for him to do.
11. “The Initiative” Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon (w/Leva Bates) vs. “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy. Cutler and Quen started the match with a side headlock, but Avalon and Cutler quickly teamed up for a snapmare. Avalon went for the cover after the double axe handle, but Quen kicked out. However, Kassidy tagged in and hit the crossbody off the top rope onto both members of the Initiative.
Quen is tagged in again and hits Cutler with a backdrop suplex. Kassidy made another tag to Quen, and stomped to the chest to Cutler. Kassidy also hit the backdrop suplex as well. Quen tried beating down Cutler more, but Cutler made the tag to Avalon, as did Quen to Kassidy, and Avalon hit a diving crossbody onto Kassidy, and followed with a clothesline to Kassidy and a jumping suicida to Quen. Avalon then hit a springboard moonsault to Kassidy and got a two count.
Quen hit a backward moonsault onto both members of the Initiative and sent Cutler, Avalon to the outside. Bates tried doing a huracanrana, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Back in the ring, Kassidy made a blind tag to Quen. Without realizing the tag, Cutler did a 450 splash onto Quen, and went for the cover, but Kassidy broke the pinfall up. Kassidy would roll up Cutler with an inside cradle and get the victory.
Private Party defeated The Initiative via pinfall.
After the match, Excalibur and Taz hyped Wednesday’s Dynamite by going through the run card…
Briar’s Take:Not a bad match, but pretty predictable as have most Initiative matches are. The Leva Bates spot was comical, though nothing really ever materialized from the move. Not sure what AEW is trying to do here with The Initiative losing every match they’ve been in. Kind of puzzling to be honest. Are they trying to make Cutler and Avalon lose so many times that they finally get their big moment by winning against a big name team? One never knows as they had the opportunity to score the upset against The Young Bucks several weeks ago on Dark.
Overall, another typical episode of Dark, with the usual names getting the pinfall victories and adding another win to their win column. Thankfully, Dark wasn’t needlessly two hours long like it was last week. It was a bit shorter this week, but still getting close to the two hour mark. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see Excalibur back again after his hiatus. It seemed as though Excalibur and Taz picked up right where they left before Excalibur went away.
As for the matches, nothing in particular stood out, as they were kept short. I guess I would say go back and watch the Tony Schiavone and Brandi Rhodes segment, Ricky Starks vs. Tony Donati, and probably Red Velvet vs. Anna Jay for storyline continuation. In addition, you could also watch the Best Friends beatdown segment of Santana and Ortiz backstage. However, the segment was so short that it fell flat at the end when the cameras cut away so quickly to another All Out commercial. Final Score: 7.5 out of 10. Episode 49 clocked in at 1 hour, 34 minutes, and 22 seconds.