By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 59)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed November 3, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
The broadcast team of Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to AEW Dark…
1. Bshp King vs. Darby Allin. Allin put King in a side headlock when the bell rang, but King lifted Allin over the rope on the apron to break the hold. Taz talked about how King had a size advantage over Allin in the process. Allin got back in the ring, and hit an explosive dropkick to send King to the outside of the ring. Allin went for a sucidia, but King moved, preventing Allin to do the move. Allin though would hit a torpedo like move through the ropes on King to the outside.
However, when Allin got back in the ring, King got some offense in and threw some strikes to Allin. Excalibur asked Taz ‘if he got his answer from Will Hobbs?’ Taz said ‘no.’ King then hit a powerslam on Allin, but missed with a flying senton. Afterward, Allin hit a modified “Coffin Drop” from the middle of the ropes. Allin then went for a pinfall, but King kicked out at two. Not too long after, Allin rolled up King for the quick victory.
Darby Allin defeated Bshp King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Aside from the rollup victory, which happens far too often in wrestling, the match was solid with King being a AEW Dark regular. A nice momentum victory for Allin, who will face Cody at Full Gear for the TNT Title on Saturday. Meanwhile, I am getting really tired of the “size advantage” talk. Why does it really matter if someone is smaller than their opponent? If they can fight, and do what their opponent does, then just leave the talk alone. Geesh.
2. Leyla Hirsch and Elayna Black vs. Red Velvet and Brandi Rhodes. Brandi and Black began the match for their respective teams. Black put Brandi in a wrist lock, while Brandi countered and did the same. Black then hit a knee strike in the corner to Brandi. Brandi though started to comeback just a little with a few moves, and tagged Velvet in the match. Before going back to the corner, Brandi hit a sidekick to the head of Black.
Meanwhile, Black tagged Hirsch into the match, and Hirsch hit a shoulder block on Brandi. But, Brandi Hirsch down with a big punt kick. Hirsch tagged Black back in the ring, and Black lifted Velvet up for a GTS type move. Hirsch quickly tagged in, and hit the double knees on Velvet, went for a pinfall but only got a two count. Hirsch would then clothesline Velvet. She tried going to the top rope for a moonsault, but Velvet rolled over as Hirsch came down.
Velvet got the tag to Brandi, and Hirsch tagged Black in. Brandi came in, and began planting Black on the mat. Brandi threw kicks, and a step up enziguri to Black. Brandi hit a spear to Hirsch who came in the match to send her to the outside. Brandi would end the match with a shot of Brandi to Black to win the match…
Brandi Rhodes and Red Velvet defeated Layla Hirsch and Elayna Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Your standard AEW Dark tag team match. It seems apparent that AEW is high on Hirsch, who was wrestling for a second consecutive week.
3. Danny Limelight and KC Navarro vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (w/Marko Stunt). Limelight and Jungle Boy countered each other’s move, before Jungle Boy hit a shoulder block to Limelight. Limelight, and Jungle Boy then went for pinfalls, but both kicked out. Jungle Boy used the ropes for an arm drag takedown, and then put Limelight in an arm lock submission.
Luchasaurus was tagged in, and so was Navarro. Luchasaurus manhandled Navarro by throwing him to the corner. Luchasaurus would throw chops to Navarro. The two then ventured to the outside, and Luchasaurus continued his beat down on Navorro. Eventually, the two got back in the ring, and Jungle Boy was tagged in. With the assistance from Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy hit a move from the top rope. Limelight would also be back in the match, but his momentum was slowed with a dropkick from Jungle Boy.
Boy went to use the ropes again, but Navarro illegally threw a kick to the back of Boy. Shortly thereafter, Luchasaurus and Limelight met each other again. Navarro tried distracting Luchasaurus, but Luchasaurus took Limelight, Navarro down with double clotheslines. He then hit the tail whip to Navarro, while Limelight dodged the chokeslam. Limelight went to the top rope, and hit a diving knee strike. Limelight went for the same move, but Luchasaurus hit a modified chokeslam to Limelight. Jungle Boy then tagged in, and with assistance from Luchasaurus both hit a double team move to win the match.
Jurassic Express defeated Danny Limelight and KC Navarro via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Chalk that up as another victory for Jurassic Express.
After the match, a Chris Jericho “Bubbly” ad aired (yes, folks, it’s the same commercial you saw last week on Dynamite)…
4. Ryzin vs. Frankie Kazarian. Both wrestlers started with a collar elbow tie up, with Kazarian taking down Ryzin with a drop headlock. Kazarian continued to dominate Ryzin with a wrist lock. Kazarian then rolled over Ryzin with an inside cradle, but Ryzin kicked out. Ryzin would foot stomp Kazarian, and even planted Kazarian on the ground with a powerbomb with help from the turnbuckle. Kazarian began his comeback with chops to Ryzin, and a clothesline followed with a leg lariat.
Kazarian tried lifting Ryzin for a suplex, but Ryzin blocked the attempt multiple times. Finally, Kazarian hit the fisherman suplex on Ryzin to plant him down on the mat. Kazarian rolled up Ryzin again, but Ryzin kicked out. Ryzin hit a Manhattan drop, and planted Kazarian’s head on the turnbuckle. Ryzin tried hitting a moonsault from the top rope, but Kazarian blocked the move, then finished off Ryzin with a reversal DDT.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Ryzin via pinfall.
Dasha Gonzalez tried interviewing Kazarian about his goals moving forward. However, Jack Evans and Angelico attacked Kazarian from behind. Evans told Kazarian that ‘Christopher Daniels needed to mind his own business.’ Daniels came to the ring to save Kazarian, and beatdown both members of TH2 to send them out of the ring. Daniels somewhat threw out a challenge to TH2 saying he “would be glad to face them in the ring.”
Briar’s Take: This matchup definitely felt very random.
5. Dave Dutra vs. Ricky Starks. Dutra made his AEW debut. Starks hit an arm drag to Dultra once the bell rang, and put Dultra in an arm lock submission. Starks then threw a strike to Dultra. Though, Dultra got some shots in on Starks, but Starks threw Dulta off the turnbuckle. Starks lifted up Dultra for a backdrop powerslam. Starks would drive a knee to Dultra, but Dultra rolled up Starks for a one count. Unfortunately, for Dultra, Starks hit the spear and roshambo for the victory.
Ricky Starks defeated Dave Dultra via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Starks is great, and Excalibur continued to bring up Darby Allin in the match, which only aggrivated Taz. Taz saidduring the match that “it should be Starks in the TNT title match against Cody.” I have to wonder if this feud between Darby and Starks will continue after Full Gear on Saturday?
6. Sean Maluta and Alex Chamberlain vs. Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. Garrison put Chamberlain in a waist lock when the match started, but Chamberlain hit the shoulder tackle to plant Garrison down. Garrison went for a hip toss, however followed with a boot to Chamberlain. Pillman Jr was tagged in, and hit a diving double stomp to Chamberlain.
Maluta was tagged in, and then Garrison was as well. When briefly in the ring, Garrison hit a leg drop over the rope onto Maluta. Pillman was then tagged in again as well, but Maluta got the advantage by planting Pillman Jr on the ropes. Chamberlain tagged in for a short while, and hit a clothesline to Pillman. Maluta tagged in once more, and threw some chops to Pillman. Maluta even hit a Samoan drop to Pillman Jr, and got a two count out of the move.
Pillman finally got some momentum by hitting a powerslam and then tagged in Garrison. Garrison hit a face plant on Maluta, and got a two count after Chamberlain broke the pinfall. Pillman hit a springboard on Chamberlain off the middle ropes. Pillman hit a spear from the top rope, and Garrison got the pinfall victory for their team…
Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr defeated Sean Maluta and Alex Chamberlain via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: As the bell rang, Lance Archer came to the ring, and hit a double chokeslam to both Maluta and Chamberlain. Archer would cut a promo on Eddie Kingston about the AEW title match.
7. Aaron Solow and Angel Fashion vs. Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Before the match began, Caster rapped to both Solow and Fashion. Bowens threw a kick to Fashion when the match started. Fashion though would hit a huracanrana to Caster, and a leg lariat. Fashion didn’t see the tag to Bowens, and Bowens hit a kick to the chest of Fashion. Bowens then hit a backdrop on Fashion.
Bowens followed with a double axe handle on Fashion. He then put Fashion in a submission hold. Caster, and Bowens made multiple tags to try and dominate Fashion. Bowens hit a kick to Fashion, and Caster hit the backbreaker to Fashion. Bowens then followed with a knee strike to Fashion, who finally made the tag to Solow, and came in with tons of energy. Solow hit Caster with a running uppercut, and a clothesline from the top rope to Caster. Fashion was tagged in after the move, but Caster blocked the double team move with a high boot to Fashion. Caster tagged in Bowens, and with assistance from Caster, Bowens hit a cutter on Fashion to win the match.
Max Caster and Anthony Bowens defeated Aaron Solow and Angel Fashion via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A costly tag from Solow, as Fashion ended up being dominated from Caster and Bowens. It is intriguing to see Caster in a rap-mode like character. it’s almost similar to John Cena’s early days. I am curious to see where AEW takes Caster and Bowens, as they seem to be on a high right now. AEW announced the signing of Caster and Bowens on Tuesday.
An AEW game trailer was played…
8. VSK vs. Alan Angels. VSK hit a scoop slam on Angels, and a kick to Angels. Both then rolled to the outside, and Angels threw VSK into the barricade. Angels followed with a snap suplex on the outside of the ring to VSK. Both would roll back into the ring and Angles hit a round kick to VSK. Angels went for an early pinfall, but VSK kicked out. Angels then threw foot stomps on VSK in the corner, and hit an uppercut on VSK as well. After being dominated, VSK hit a German suplex and a high boot to Angels. VSK tried lifting Angels up, but Angels hit a powerful round kick. Then on the apron, Angels planted VSK. Quickly, Angels won by hitting the wing snapper on VSK.
Alan Angels defeated VSK via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Did you know, if you watch AEW Dark on your phone, your phone is further ahead than what you would be watching on the desktop?
Cameras were backstage with Peter Avalon, who was in a fancy room with a little bit of the bubbly. Avalon asked the cameraman if he likes to wrestle and how many books he likes to read? “I’m sorry, that was inappropriate,” Avalon said. The camera guy slapped Avalon, and Avalon angrily kicked out the camera guy saying he was ‘pretty Peter Avalon, and that he doesn’t need anybody and that he will prove PPA is All Day…
9. “Jersey Muscle” Tony Vincita and Steve Gibki vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/Allie). The Butcher threw Tony Vincita in the ring shortly after the bell was rang. Vincita tagged in Gibki, but Butcher hit an powerful shoulder block. The Blade was tagged in, and just completely dominated Gibki. Gibki tried going to the rope, but Allie provided a distraction by hooking his leg and Butcher threw Gibki off the rope. Blade, and Gibki was on the outside briefly before returning to the ring. Gibki tagged in Vincita, and Vincita hit a forearm to Blade. However, Vincita was caught by Blade and Butcher hti a crossbody to Vincita. Butcher, and Blade then finished off Vincita with a powerbomb and neckbreaker combination.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Jersey Muscle via pinfall.
When the match was finished, The Natural Nightmares of Dustin Rhodes, and QT Marshall came to the ring and beatdown The Butcher and The Blade…
Briar’s Take: This match was definitely short lived, as Jersey Muscle got limited offense in.
10. D3 vs. Will Hobbs. When Hobbs was making his entrance, he quickly walked over to the announce table and glanced at Taz before walking to the ring. Hobbs planted down with a modified chokeslam on D3. Hobbs then picked up D3, and quickly won over D3 with an Oklahoma powerslam. As Hobbs won the match, Taz said ‘his patience was running out on an answer from Hobbs.’ Starks then said ‘payback was a bitch.’
Will Hobbs defeated D3 via pinfall.
After the match, Starks went to the ring, and tried beating down Hobbs with the help from Brian Cage. However, the lights went out, and Darby Allin came to the ring to save Hobbs.
Briar’s Take: Like the previous match, Hobbs put D3 away quickly.
11. Baron Black and Nick Comoroto vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson. Comoroto and Grayson would start the match for their respective teams. Grayson went for a crossbody, but Comoroto caught Grayson in midair. Grayson rolled out of Comoroto, and made the tag to Uno. Though, Comoroto would prove to be too powerful for Uno and Grayson. Comoroto made the tag to Black, and Grayson went for a hip toss but Black put Grayson into an abdominal stretch. Black then followed with a stretch to Grayson. Uno would make the tag, and hit a high boot to Black. Uno then threw some right hands to Black in the corner. He also followed with a backbreaker to Black.
Grayson was tagged in, and hit a delayed senton on Black. Grayson then hit an elbow strike on Black. After being dominated by Grayson, Black hit a backstabber and tagged in Comoroto. Comoroto hit a double axe handle on Grayson, and a scoop slam on Uno. Comoroto tagged in Black, but Grayson slid off Comoroto, hitting the nightfall on Comoroto. Uno tagged in, and both he and Grayson finished Black off with Fatality to win the match.
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson defeated Baron Black and Nick Comoroto via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I’m surprised AEW hasn’t been using Comoroto to help him pick up victories, as he is incredible to watch.
Another Chris Jericho Bubbly commercial aired…
12. Shawn Dean, Cezar Bononi and Fuego Del Sol vs. John Silver, Colt Cabana and Preston Vance. Bononi stood over Silver in the middle of the ring, but Vance quickly came in the ring to attack Bononi from behind. This allowed Silver to hit a powerslam on Bononi following the distraction. Cabana made the tag, and so did Del Sol. Cabana planted Del Sol down with a scoop slam. Vance was tagged in, and hit a powerbomb on Del Sol in the middle of the ring after a failed huracanrana attempt from Del Sol.
Shawn Dean saw his first moments of the match, however Vance proved powerful for Dean with a punt kick. Silver, and Cabana made tags to each other with Cabana staying in the match. Cabana threw an elbow to Dean. Dean though hit the enzurigi to Cabana. Bononi was tagged in, and started to dominate over Cabana. Vance made the blindside tag, and hit a spear to the midsection of Bononi. Vance also hit a spinebuster to Del Sol. Silver sat out Del Sol with an airplane spin to get the victory.
John Silver, Colt Cabana and Preston Vance defeated Shawn Dean, Cezar Bononi and Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I’m not really sure what the story was behind this match. It didn’t amount to anything at all. It was just there so to speak.
13. Lei’d Tapa vs. KiLynn King. Both Tapa, and King went to the outside of the ring following their brief period in the match. Tapa would plant King on the floor, but both women made their way to the ring. King started to throw some rights, however Tapa hit the samoan drop on King. King then hit a series of elbow strikes to Tapa, and a crossbody on Tapa. Tapa went for the fireman’s curry, but King countered with a clothesline. King went to the top rope, and won with frog splash over Tapa.
KiLynn King defeated Lei’d Tapa via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: King got her first career victory in AEW over Tapa. It will be interesting to see where AEW takes her from here.
14. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico vs. “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy. Kassidy hit the arm drag takedown on Serpentico when the match started. Serpentico dodged the third attempt, and quickly tagged in Luther. Luther lifted up Kassidy, but Kassidy hit a single leg dropkick to Luther. Luther then made the tag back to Serpentico, while Kassidy made the tag to Quen. Quen hit an punt kick to Serpentico, and brought Serpentico down with an arm drag submission. Both Kassidy, and Quen then hit a couple of double team moves before Quen made the tag back to Kassidy.
Quen and Kassidy hit the Manhattan drop, enzurigi combination on Serpentico. Quen and Kassidy then planted Luther down with a double dropkick. Kassidy made the kick to Luther, but as Luther hit the release German suplex, string steamers flew on the ring onto Kassidy. Luther lifted up Serpentico and planted Serpentico on top of Kassidy. Serpentico went for the cover, but Kassidy kicked out at two. Luther tagged in again, and hit the facelift on Kassidy. He then hit the butterfly suplex on Kassidy. Luther, and Serpentico made multiple tags with Luther hitting a scoop slam on Kassidy. With assistance from Luther, Serpentico hit the senton from the top rope.
Kassidy dodged the Irish whip, and tagged Quen into the match. Quen hit multiple elbows, and a leg lariat to Serpentico. Quen then kicks Luther, and hits the off the top moonsault to Serpentico. Kassidy, and Quen got the victory by hitting the gin and juice on Serpentico.
Private Party defeated Chaos Project via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: As noted by Excalibur, this was the first match back for Luther, who has been absent following his loss at Chris Jericho’s 30th anniversary show from a few weeks ago. As for the match itself, a great match from both teams who performed their parts well.
Another AEW Games ad was aired…
15. Lee Johnson vs. Sammy Guevara. Guevara, and Johnson were putting each other technical moves as the match got underway. Guevara hit a dropkick to Johnson after dodging one of Johnson’s moves. Guevara then hit some shoulder to the midsection of Johnson. Johnson would dodge Guevara’s move, and hit a dropkick of his own to Guevara.
Guevara followed with a forearm to Johnson, and continued to dominate Johnson with stomps. Johnson tried going for a move from the top rope, but Guevara moved the ropes that caught Johnson off guard. Guevara planted Johnson with a delayed vertical suplex on the top rope.
Guevara was going to attempt a sucidia on Johnson, but Guevara stopped to show boat. However, Guevara would quickly follow with an over the top move onto Johnson. After the sucidia, Johnson hit a powerful clothesline and a hanging neckbreaker to Guevara. Johnson would follow with a springboard missile dropkick, and landing himself on Guevara.
Guevara attempted a springboard, but Johnson dodged the move by sending Guevara to the outside while Johnson hit the moonsault over the top rope on Guevara. Back in the ring, Johnson hit the enzurigi however Guevara blindsided Johnson with a high knee strike. Shortly thereafter, Guevara hit the GTH that knocked out Johnson. But, the finish was enough for Guevara, as he hit the twist of fate on Johnson to get the pinfall victory.
Sammy Guevara defeated Lee Johnson via pinfall.
As Dark wrapped up, Excalibur ran down the card for Dynamite…
Briar’s Take: A nice story buildup to Guevara’s match with Matt Hardy at Full Gear, and some showboating by Guevara who took Matt’s finisher to win the match for him. Overall, not a bad episode of Dark that had some storyline continuation between Darby Allin and Will Hobbs wit Taz, Ricky Starks, and Brian Cage. I feel as though this is the only thing that’s making Dark worth watching at the moment, and that may be a smart move by AEW to keep viewers tuned in not only on Dynamite but Dark as well. Whenever Hobbs gives his answer, I expect that will most likely be on Dynamite instead of Dark, as that show is the bigger attraction.
Meanwhile, it is interesting to see Max Caster and Anthony Bowens pick up a win this week following their loss last week to Best Friends. As I noted in my review, it seems as though the company is high on that team right now, and I’m curious to see where they take Caster and Bowens. Perhaps, we could see those two down the line on a Dynamite show at some point.
As for the matches themselves, nothing really stood out, but I would probably go and watch Darby Allin vs. Bshp King, Ricky Starks vs. Dave Dultra, and Will Hobbs vs. D3 for some more story continuation.
It also appears we’re heading into an SCU and TH2 feud following the post match attack on Kazarian. Whether or not, that will be featured on Dynamite or Dark remains to be seen. My guess is probably Dark since that’s where we’ve been seeing SCU for the last few weeks.
Dark opened up strong with Darby Allin, but kind of hit stale through the middle of the show with some filler as normally the case. It picked back up as the episode neared its end with Chaos Project facing Private Party, and Sammy Guevara facing Lee Johnson in a competitive match.
It seems as though AEW has been staying in the two hour direction, as this was the third show or so that’s been two hour plus. There’s so much wrestling to keep up with nowadays, but if AEW wants to keep Dark at a two-hour show, then I hope they put some AEW roster members who aren’t featured on Dynamite prominently and make some other storylines that would make Dark feel worthwhile. Episode 59 clocked in at 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 19 seconds. Final Score: 8.0 out of 10.