By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 50)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed September 4, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark and hyped All Out…
1. Faboo Andre and D3 vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/Eddie Kingston). Butcher and the Blade attacked both Andre, D3 once the bell started. Butcher picked up D3 and planted him on the mat, as well as throwing him across the ring. Blade is tagged in, but D3 dropkicks the Blade. D3 tags Andre and Andre tried to take down the Butcher, but the Butcher hit him with a big leg drop and a suplex.
Butcher tagged in the Blade again and starts using illegal holds with an assist from the ropes. Blade picked up Andre and planted him down with a body slam. Andre however hit the huracanrana, which allowed him time to tag D3 back in the match. The Butcher made a blind tag and both the Blade, Butcher hit a powerslam neckbreaker combination. Eventually, both members of the Butcher and the Blade hit the full death on Andre to score the victory.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Faboo Andre and D3 via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Quick and painless match. The tag team bout just gave The Butcher and The Blade momentum in advance of the Casino Battle Royale Saturday night.
2. Red Velvet vs. Allie (w/QT Marshall). Brandi Rhodes joined Excalibur and Taz on commentary for the match. Velvet and Allie started the match up with an elbow collar tie up, before Velvet took down Allie with a shoulder block. Allie caught Velvet and hit kicks to the mid-section of Velvet. Allie and Velvet tried shaking in sign of respect, but Allie capitalized on the distraction and chopped Velvet a couple of times in the corner.
Velvet tried doing a running bulldog on Allie, but Allie countered the move and took a breather on the outside. Velvet tried going on top of the ropes for a move, but Allie used a thrust kick to knock Velvet off the ropes. Allie hit numerous clotheslines on Velvet and a running knee lift as well. In addition, Allie hit a running bulldog. Not too long after, Allie hit the Rabbit Hole to pick up the pinfall…
Allie defeated Red Velvet via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Allie is getting there (in terms of potentially being prominently featured on Dynamite) and she also really shines when she wrestles. Meanwhile, Brandi didn’t really add anything to the commentary.
3. Zack Clayton vs. Colt Cabana (w/Dark Order). Clayton made his AEW return for this match. Once the match started, Stu Grayson was frustrated with Cabana for breaking up the clean collar elbow tie up. Evil Uno also did the same a few moments later.
Cabana finally took Clayton down with a shoulder block. Cabana then was distracted by the Dark Order members of Reynolds and Silver, which almost allowed Clayton to pick up the upset victory. When Cabana and Clayton were on the outside, Cabana beatdown Clayton with energy from The Dark Order.
As Cabana and Clayton got back in the ring, Cabana hit biconic elbows and another shoulder block. But, Clayton was able to get some big upper cuts to Cabana. Clayton went to the top rope, but took too long in the process and Cabana picked up Clayton for the Chicago Skyline. Cabana then won the match by using Brodie Lee’s finisher, the discuss clothesline…
Colt Cabana defeated Zack Clayton via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A relatively short match with the right person winning. It is interesting to see The Dark Order members getting frustrated with Cabana for still trying to be the “good guy.” I guess we’ll see if that plays over into the eight-man tag at All Out.
Backstage, Dasha Gonzalez asked Peter Avalon if the Initiative is no more. He said he’s tired of being an enhancement wrestler. He threw out a challenge to his apparent former tag team partner Brandon Cutler and said that one of them will finally have a victory in their win column…
Briar’s Take: I really wish Google Docs had a Dark Mode like all other apps, you know?
4. Ryzin and Angel Perez vs. “The Lucha Brothers” Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix). Fenix and Ryzin started the match for their respective teams, with both wrestlers countering each other’s moves. Fenix tagged Pentagon Jr in the match and used a tag combo to take down Ryzin. Pentagon then laid out an overhand chop to Ryzin, as well as some kicks. Ryzin however, hit Pentagon with a backward moonsault from the top rope.
Perez is in the match now and hit a dropkick in the corner to Fenix, and a running knee strike. Perez tried going to the top rope for a move, but Fenix hit the double upkick. Fenix hit a twisting code red on Perez and Pentagon hit the destroyer on Ryzin. The Lucha Brothers quickly put away Perez with their signature combination for the win…
The Lucha Brothers defeated Ryzin and Angel Perez via pinfall.
After the match, Eddie Kingston and The Butcher, The Blade came to the ring and Eddie tried to get some fire for the teams. Eddie said let’s come together, but the Lucha Brothers, The Butcher, and The Blade were hesitant about hugging. Both teams did eventually hug in the middle of the ring…
Briar’s Take: The Lucha Brothers dominated the match with Ryzin and Perez getting little to no offense.
5. KiLynn King vs. Ivelisse. King took down Ivelisse with a couple of arm drags when the bell rang. Ivelisse however came off the ropes and hit a swinging DDT onto King. Ivelisse threw a kick to King and went for the cover early, but King kicked out at two. Ivelisse would continue to beat down King and put King into a leg submission hold. Ivelisse hit a running knee strike to King and almost got a victory after another two count.
King got momentum by hitting some clotheslines to Ivelisse and hit a release German suplex. King attempted another pinfall, but Ivelisse kicked out again. King tried picking up Ivelisse for a signature, but Diamante distracted King to allow Ivelisse get back down on the mat. Ivelisse then hit the code red for the win.
Ivelisse defeated KiLynn King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Without the Diamante distraction, who knows if Ivelisse would have won the match up. However, it seems apparent AEW is high on her by giving her a Dark victory against King, who is prominently featured on Dark regularly.
An All Elite Heels video was shown…
6. Shawn Dean and Brandon Bullock vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver. I believe this was Bullock’s AEW debut. Silver tried putting Dean into a submission hold, but Dean wasn’t allowing Silver to do so. Shortly after, Silver tagged in Reynolds. Dean though hit an enzurigi to Reynolds. Bullock is tagged in by Dean and Bullock hit a backdrop to Reynolds. Silver hit a powerbomb on Bullock onto the knees of Bullock. Silver also followed with a high round kick to Bullock.
Reynolds returned to the match and threw Bullock in the corner. Multiple tags were made and Silver hit a springboard splash, as did Reynolds. With assistance of Reynolds, Silver hit round kicks to Bullock, including one that took Bullock down. Bullock finally made the tag to Dean and Dean came in with tons of momentum, and hit a double DDT on both Silver and Reynolds. Dean went for the cover, but Silver kicked out. Silver hit a punt kick and hit a spinning slam on Dean. Bullock tagged in, but both Silver and Reynolds hit the stereo DDT to score the victory.
John Silver and Alex Reynolds defeated Shawn Dean and Brandon Bullock via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another momentum match for the Dark Order duo, who will face Private Party on the pre-show.
Backstage, Dasha Gonzalez spoke with Brandon Cutler, who accepted Avalon’s challenge of a match…
Briar’s Take: RIP to The Initiative tag team.
7. Luther vs. Darby Allin. Luther attack Allin’s knee during the entrances while Allin was on the top rope, Luther continued to target the left knee of Allin during the match. Allin locked in an armbar on Luther, but Luther got to the ropes to break the submission hold. Afterward, Luther hit a backdrop driver to Allin by continuing to target Allin’s left-knee.
Allin went for a back flip from the ropes, but Luther hit a backward suplex to Allin. Luther tried for a rolling cannonball, but Allin hit a Coffin Drop to the outside of the ring onto Luther. Back in the ring, Allin wins the match by using another Coffin Drop…
Darby Allin defeated Luther via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Great stuff from Allin here and some interesting developments by Luther attacking Allin’s left-knee to try and “injure it.” Curious to see if AEW will carry the left-knee “injury” into the 21-man Casino Battle Royale.
8. Dark Order 5 (Alan Angels) and 10 (Preston Vance) vs. “The Natural Nightmares” QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes (w/Allie). The Natural Nightmares came rushing to the ring and started stomping on Angels and Vance. Vance had some offense, but Dustin and Marshall sent both Angels and Vance to the outside.
Marshall hit a right hand and tagged Dustin in the match, as Dustin hit the running knee. Dustin would hit a backdrop onto Vance afterward. Dustin tagged Marshall in the match, and Marshall laid out chops to Vance. Marshall went to the outside after Angels pulled the ropes when Marshall bounced off. Angels is tagged in and hit the diving stomp onto the back of Marshall.
Vance hit a vertical suplex after being tagged back again. Angels then hit a small frog splash onto Marshall. Both Vance and Angels would continue to work on Marshall. Vance hit a spinebuster slam on Marshall. After a pinfall attempt from Vance, Dustin came in to break the pinfall attempt up.
Marshall tried tagging Dustin in, but Vance knocked Dustin off the apron. Angels hit a DDT after Vance hit the wing snapper. Angels went for another pinfall attempt, but Marshall kicked out again. Afterward, Angels hit a step up enziguri, but Marshall caught Angels in mid-air after he went for a move from the top rope. Dustin came back in the match and hit the running bulldog on Vance and a powerslam on both Vance, Angels. Vance hit an elbow forearm, which allowed him to tag Angels in the match. Marshall however hit the diamond cutter on Vance, while Dustin hit the final reckoning for the win.
“The Natural Nightmares” Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall defeated Dark Order 5 (Alan Angels) and 10 (Preston Vance) via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I am kind of shocked that The Natural Nightmares got the victory on this one, since the other Dark Order members won their matches. Like the Cabana match, we’ll see if the Dark Order leader Brodie Lee is frustrated with the pinfall loss of Angels and Vance.
Well, folks, we’ve hit 50 episodes of AEW Dark since it started nearly a year ago. There’s nothing in particular about this episode will make you want to go back and watch unless you’re an AEW diehard fan. The episode was mainly made of Dark Order matches. While there matches were momentum builder matches for their eight-man tag match and the pre-show match at All Out, AEW has to be careful to avoid overexposing the stable by having them wrestle in every other match on either Dark or Dynamite. AEW has done a good job so far of not overexposing the faction, but hopefully they will be a little cautious going forward.
Otherwise, this episode was mainly an episode to hype All Out, and gave wrestlers like Darby Allin, Lucha Brothers, and The Butcher and The Blade more storyline development and momentum ahead of their matches at All Out. I guess the only interesting thing that occurred in this episode was The Initiative breaking up after suffering numerous losses together. They are now challenging each other to a singles match. The storyline is somewhat disappointing, as I was hoping AEW would give Cutler and Avalon a big upset victory against a big name tag team like The Young Bucks, Lucha Bros, etc. But, I don’t think the victory would do the team any good since they’ve lost so much. On a side note, I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, practices social distancing, and enjoys All Out! Episode 50 clocked in at 1 hour, 04 minutes, and 56 seconds. Final Score: 6.0 out of 10.