By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 61)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed November 10, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to Dark with Taz and Ricky Starks joining him alongside on commentary.
1. Terrell and Terrence vs. “Chaos Project” Serpentico and Luther. Right as the bell rang, both Luther, and Serpentico started beating down Terrell and Terrence. Luther hit a punt kick on Terrence and a belly to belly suplex. Luther then picked up Serpentico and slammed him on Terrence, Luther would do this move multiple times. Serpentico made the tag, and got a two count following the maneuver.
Luther made his way back in the match, keeping the tags brief. Serpentico illegally hit Terrence with the ref distracted from Luther. With assistance from Luther, Serpentico hit a running bulldog on Terrence. Luther threw Serpentico from the top rope, planting himself on Terrence. Serpentico threw forearms, but Terrence countered with a boot, a shoulder tackle sending Serpentico down on the mat.
Terrence finally made the tag to Terrell. Terrell hit a dropkick to Serpentico, and sent Serpentico over the top with a backdrop. Terrell went for a cover, but Serpentico kicked out at two. Terrell made the tag back to Terrence, and both attempted a tag team combination but Luther made the blind tag on Serpentico. Luther hit a knee strike, and both Serpentico and Luther finished Terrence off with the creeping death.
Chaos Project defeated TNT via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A solid opening match on Dark, with some story. For those that don’t know, both members of TNT are the sons of D-Von Dudley.
2. Louie Valle and Justin Blax vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Bowens sent Valle down with a dropkick as the bell rang. Shortly after, Blax tagged in, as did Caster. Caster attempted a kick, but Valle hit an uppercut. Caster countered with an arm drag following Valle’s uppercut. Blax is back in the ring, but Bowens on the outside planted Blax on the apron of the ring.
Caster hit a leaping elbow on Blax. Caster, and Bowens continued to dominate Blax with tag team moves. Valle tried making a tag to Blax, but Bowens prevented the attempted tag. Caster went for a pinfall, but Valle came in to save the pinfall. However, Bowens and Caster won with a cutter on Valle.
The Acclaimed defeated Louie Valle and Justin Blax via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Both Caster and Bowens continue to be high on AEW’s radar by picking up another win. Caster and Bowens dominated this match.
3. Baron Black and Frankie Thomas vs. “Top Flight” Darius Martin and Angel Dorado. Martin and Black started the match for their respective teams, and right away Black and Martin went for waist locks. Martin hit a side headlock on Black, and followed with multiple arm drags. Thomas is tagged in, but Martin hit a leaping clothesline. Dontae is tagged in, and hit an over the top move. Martin put Thomas in a side headlock submission, but Thomas made the tag to Black.
Black went for the cover, but Martin kicked out at two. Black tried an abdominal stretch on Martin, but Martin fought out of the stretch by escaping the old. Darius is back in the ring , and fires with a clothesline to Thomas. Darius managed to hit a spanish fly on Thomas. Dontae hit a springboard on Black sending him out of the ring. Both members of Top Flight hit a dropkick to the face of Thomas to win the match.
Top Flight defeated Baron Black and Frankie Thomas via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Both teams are great, but this match was filler for most part.
4. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico vs. Adam Priest and Shawn Dean. Frankie Kazarian was on commentary. Angelico, and Dean would put each other in arm locks when the bell rang. Dean again went behind Angelico for another waist lock. Dean hit a dropkick to Angelico, but Angelico made the tag. Evans hit the corkscrew kick, and a standing sky sister press on Dean after Angelico planted a backdrop.
Angelico tagged back in, and with assist from Angelico, Evans hit a standing 450 splash on Dean. Evans made another tag, and went for a cover on Dean. Dean kicked out at two, and attempted a tag to Priest. Evans prevented the tag by tagging Angelico in. Dean hit a german suplex on Angelico, and a DDT on Evans.
Finally, Priest tagged himself in and came with tons of momentum. Priest hit a release German suplex on Angelico. Priest then followed with a Russian leg sweep on Angelico. Priest made another tag to Dean, and Dean followed with a double underhook on Angelico. Evans hit a 450 splash on Priest on the outside, while Angelico won with the Cruceta Invertidas by tapping out Dean…
The Hybrid 2 defeated Adam Priest and Shawn Dean via submission.
Briar’s Take: Not really much to see here, other than Kazarian added to the commentary by continuing the storyline feud with Evans and Angelico.
A Chris Jericho bubbly ad aired.
5. Ashton Starr and David Ali vs. “Lucha Brothers” Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo. Penta would shove Ali after the bell rang, and Penta followed with a roundhouse kick to Ali. Ali though hit a knee to the midsection, and a jumping back elbow to Penta to gain some momentum. However, Fenix tagged in after illegally hitting a kick to the head of Ali. Fenix hit a dropkick to the side of the head of Ali, as Penta would hit a diving foot stomp on Ali.
Starr came into the match after the tag, but Fenix planted Starr down on the mat, as Penta successfully a double stomp to the bottom of Starr. Starr made the tag back to Ali, though Penta and Fenix put Starr and Ali in a quick submission hold. Penta threw chops to Ali, and tried for the double underhook on Ali. Ali countered with a springboard on Penta, and tagged Starr back in the match.
Starr hit numerous dropkicks to Fenix. Both Lucha Brothers were on the outside when Ali and Starr hit both suicide dives on the outside. Back in the ring, Fenix kicked Starr off the apron, while Lucha Brothers planted Starr with a package piledriver to win the match.
Lucha Brothers defeated Ashton Starr and David Ali via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A great match as always by the Lucha Brothers. I am interested to see what Fenix vs. Penta II will be like on Dynamite.
6. Dani Jordyn vs. Leva Bates. Bates went for a rollup quickly, but Jordyn kicked out immediately. Bates put Jordyn in a crossface submission, however Jordyn would try to roll Bates on her shoulders for a count. Afterward, Bates put Jordyn in a headlock submission, and then hit a suplex on Jordyn.
Jordyn briefly stepped out of the ring to take a breather. Once back in the ring, Jordyn tried taking Bates book’s to hit her with it, but Bates blocked the maneuver. Jordyn though hit a dropkick to Bates planting her down on the mat. Jordyn drove Bates face first on the mat. Following the move, Bates rolled Jordyn up to pick up her first pinfall victory
Leva Bates defeated Dani Jordyn via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Well that was something else. Bates won her first match in a roll up package like it feels like we see in every wrestling match.
7. Fuego Del Sol vs. Alan Angels. Angels and Del Sol countered moves when the match started. Angels hit a kick to the midsection of Del Sol, who followed with a monkey flip. Angels went to the outside of the ring to stop the momentum of Del Sol, who attempted a move from the top rope, but Angels countered by sending Del Sol on the outside.
Angels lifted Del Sol, only to plant him down on the outside. Angels then hit a frog splash from the apron to the outside on Del Sol as well. Angels rolled Del Sol back in the ring, and got a two count. Angels planted another standing frog splash on Del Sol in the middle of the ring.
Angels hit a diving foot stomp on Del Sol, and then threw round kicks as well. Angels missed a move from the second rope, and Del Sol hit a moonsault to Angels. Del Sol went for a tornado DDT, but Angels fired with a clothesline to counter. Angels shortly finished Del Sol with the wing snapper to score the victory.
Alan Angels defeated Fuego Del Sol vía pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This match was just kind of there, as it really didn’t amount much to anything at all.
Another Chris Jericho Bubbly ad aired
8. Dreamgirl Ellie and Jennacide vs. Ivelisse and Diamante. Ivelisse and Jennacide began the match for their respective teams as Jennacide overpowered Ivelisse. Ellie made the tag, but Ivelisse, Diamante hit a backdrop driver on Ellie. Diamante followed with a suplex on Ellie. Diamante then threw a kick to Ellie, followed up with a clothesline. Diamante continued to dominate Ellie by putting her in a submission hold. Ellie broke the hold by throwing strikes to Diamante. However, Ivelisse tagged in, and hit a double underhook on Ellie.
Ivelisse then put Ellie in a bow and arrow stretch, but Ellie countered by attempting a pinfall. Ivelisse though hit a fisherman suplex on Ellie. After being dominated by Ivelisse, and Diamante, Ellie found an opening and tagged Jennacide while Diamante was tagged in. Jennacide caught Diamante with a throwaway slam. Jennacide tried another move, but Ivelisse made a blindside tag. Despite the blindside tag, Jennacide planted Diamante on the mat. Ivelisse, the legal partner came in the match, but Ellie hit a diving crossbody on Diamante. Diamante threw an uppercut on Ellie, and a suicida to Jennacide on the outside. Ivelisse quickly made Ellie tap out to pick up the pinfall.
Ivelisse and Diamante defeated Dreamgirl Ellie and Jennacide via submission.
Briar’s Take: While Diamante and Ivelisse are a great team and competitors, they seems directionless when it comes to anything storyline related.
9. “The New Jersey Connection” Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. Kiss started with a step up enziguri on Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy made the tag to Luchasaurus while Janela tagged in. Janela would try shoulder tackles, but Luchasaurus was too powerful for Janela. Luchasaurus then took down Janela and Kiss with a double clothesline. Luchasaurus tagged Jungle Boy back in, and Boy hit a senton on Kiss. Janela was in the ring again, and planted a leg drop on Jungle Boy. Kiss quickly made the tag, and followed with a split on Jungle Boy.
Jungle Boy tried gaining momentum back by hitting a jumping suicida on both Kiss and Janela. Janela went for a back suplex, but Jungle Boy sent him down with a powerful clothesline. Luchasaurus tagged in, and threw a roundhouse kick to Kiss. Luchasaurus then slammed Janela on the ground, and got a two count. Kiss and Janela would send Luchasaurus down with double clotheliness. However, Kiss hit a moonsault on Luchasaurus on the floor, as Jungle Boy planted Janela with a canadian destroyer. Both rolled back in the ring, and Luchasaurus hit a chokeslam on Kiss. Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy finished Janela off with an assisted powerbomb.
Jurassic Express defeated The New Jersey Connection via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Dark closed strong with this tag team match, but honestly, if you see any of these two teams wrestle before it’s somewhat of the same stuff you’ve seen in every match. Before Dynamite premiered last fall, I was high on Jurassic Express. I’m not sure why, but I really enjoyed their upside. However, when AEW didn’t go with them to win the tag tiles, it kind of just took the excitement out of the air. Now, you mainly just see Jurassic Express on Dark every week putting in the same stuff.
Overall, this episode of Dark is definitely passable, as this show was tag team heavy for the most part. There was really no storyline continuation of anything other than Frankie Kazarian being on commentary for The Hybrid 2 match. Even then, the commentary didn’t amount to too much. Ricky Starks was also on commentary again, but for me, his commentary just didn’t add anything either compared to previous weeks. This show peaked with TNT and Chaos Project facing each other in the first match.
As noted earlier, TNT are the sons of D-Von Dudley, and both looked really impressive in their match. I suspect AEW will bring them back for more matches in the future. On the other hand, Caster and Bowens continue to be the best thing on Dark that happens every week. Their in-ring work skills are great and they continue to get better. As high as AEW are on them right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up appearing on Dynamite before the end of the year or early next year. Otherwise, if you skip this show, you’re not missing much. Final Score: 5.0 out of 10. AEW Dark Ep. 61 clocked in at 1 hour, 23 minutes and 52 seconds.