By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 63)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed November 24, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed viewers to AEW Dark and was joined alongside Taz and Anthony Ogogo. Excalibur said in the intro that he would question Team Taz’s actions from last week…
1. Vipress vs. Big Swole. The two wrestlers started with a collar elbow tie up before breaking the hold. Swole would eventually put Vipress in an arm lock, with Vipress doing the same to Swole. Swole went off the hammerlock of Vipress, who returned the favor before taking down Swole with a headlock. Vipress attempted a sideslam, but Swole countered the maneuver by planting Vipress on the ground.
Swole hit the back elbow to Vipress, but Vipress would throw strikes to the back of the head of Swole. Vipress dragged Swole to the ropes for a three count, and then put Swole in a stretch submission. Swole eventually broke the hold by escaping out of the submission, but Vipress countered with a northern lights suplex. Swole came back with momentum using a headbutt to the jaw, and hit a tiger driver on Vipress. Swole won the match by making Vipress tap out to the clover leaf.
Big Swole defeated Vipress via submission.
Briar’s Take: Great competitive match between the two. Both women had plenty of time to get their stuff in. Vipres made her AEW debut.
2. Lee Johnson and Aaron Solow vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Reynolds tried recruiting Solow as the bell rang to join the Dark Order, but Solow declined the offer, hit a dropkick to Reynolds. Johnson was tagged in, and he and Solow hit a double team move with Johnson hitting the swinging neckbreaker. However, Reynolds tagged Silver in the match for the first time, and failed to take down Johnson by falling to the dropkick.
Johnson tagged Solow bak in the match and then Solow hit the double knees to Silver. Solow clotheslined Silver out of the ring and tried with a sucidia. Unfortunately for Solow, he was cut off by Reynolds with a strike. Reynolds tagged Silver in again, and both planted Solow down on the mat. Silver threw a kick to Solow, and taunted for a little bit. After the move, Silver threw Solow across the ring with a single bodyslam. Reynolds was in the match once more, and got the neckbreaker on Solow.
Silver returned to the ring and threw a few strikes. He eventually put Solow in a headlock submission, but Solow broke out of the hold with a screw high kick. Both men made the tag to their respective partners, and Johnson had momentum with a back elbow to Reynolds. Johnson then went over the top rope by landing on Silver. Though, once in the back ring, Johnson hit the blue thunder bomb on Reynolds in the middle of the ring. Silver hit an uppercut to Johnson, and then Reynolds got the victory following a series of moves to Solow.
Alex Reynolds and John Silver defeated Aaron Solow and Lee Johnson via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Good match from these two teams.
Leva Bates was shown in a library, where she knocked down the pictures of her, Brandon Cutler, and Peter Avalon. She said, “It’s finally time to show the world what I can do”… A “Killing The Business Young Bucks” book ad aired.
3. Michael Nakazawa vs. (Trent w/Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor). Following the bell ringing, Nakazawa was caught with baby oil in his trunks. The ref had to get the oil out of Nakazawa’s pants before the match could get underway. Trent and Nakazawa threw multiple strikes, before Nakazawa hit a powerful clothesline. Nakazawa went to the top rope, and hit a diving shoulder tackle that sent Trent to the outside of the ring.
This move frustrated Trent, who had a discussion with Orange Cassidy and Taylor outside until he returned to the ring. After getting back in the ring, Trent continued with right hands to Nakazawa. However, Nakazawa got the leg of Trent on the top rope, but Trent would counter with a half nelson and a northern lights. Trent went for a pinfall, but Nakazawa kicked out at two. Trent then hit a powerful clothesline to Nakazawa that sent him falling on the mat.
With the ref distracted by Trent, Nakazawa poured the turkish baby oil on himself in the corner. Nakazawa then got his thong out, and tried putting the thong to Trent. Trent blocked the move by doing a rolli up, and a backdrop driver. Trent then followed with a bicycle knee strike, another knee strike to the back of the head of Nakazawa. Trent scored the victory with third, and final strike to Nakazawa.
Trent defeated Michael Nakazawa via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Comedy, comedy, comedy. This match was written in comedy, and had so much eye rolling for a man who’s obsessed with baby oil.
A Chris Jericho Bubbly ad aired.
4. Tesha Price vs. Red Velvet. When the match started, Excalibur said ‘they will have an update on Brandi Rhodes on Dynamite.’ Both Price and Velvet then hit numerous arm drags until Velvet hit the leg lariat to Price. Velvet then followed with a single leg dropkick. After the move, Price went for the cover, but only got a two count. Price then hit a running bulldog on Velvet, and got another two count. Price would hit a knee to the midsection of Velvet, and not go for the cover right away. Velvet fired back with back elbows to Price, and a bulldog. Velvet followed with a moonsault, and dropped Price with the knees to the side of the head to win the match.
Red Velvet defeated Tesha Price via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: That finish was definitely a weird way to finish a match.
Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard were shown backstage. Alex Marvez wanted a word with them for Spears’ controversial win over Scorpio Sky. Spears said ‘he and Tully find people and expose their weaknesses around the world.’ Marvez asked what’s next for him and Sky. Spears said ‘nothing’…
Lance Archer came to the ring with a wrestler on his shoulders and chokeslammed him. Jake Roberts questioned Lance on who was the guy who beat DDP? He said ‘that’s me.’ Archer then took the mic and said ‘who was the guy who dominated all over Japan?’ Archer said ‘that was me.’ Archer said ‘when his music countdown starts, the wrestlers at ringside get scared.’ He then followed ‘anyone in AEW to get in his face, and show him who they are’…
5. VSK and Baron Black vs. Private Party” Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy. Kassidy and Black began the match for their respective teams and Black hit the waist lock takedown to Kassidy. Kassidy though got a drop toe hold on Black, and tagged Quen into the match. VSK was tagged in, but Quen hit the arm drag to VSK. Shortly thereafter, Kassidy tagged in, and Private Party hit the wishbone and double dropkicks to VSK, Black.
After tagging himself in, Kassidy hit the running bulldog to VSK. However, VSK and Black got some momentum with a coupe of strikes. VSK tagged Black into the match, but their momentum would be stopped after Kassidy planted VSK down. Black and Quen were both in the ring again and Quen hit a back body drop on VSK. Kassidy made a blind tag, and both members hit a shooting star press to score the win over VSK and Baron Black.
Private Party defeated VSK and Baron Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not a bad match from the two teams. The match concluded with the expected victory for Private Party.
6. Rache Chanel vs. KiLynn King. Chanel went for a leg lock takedown, but King went for a cover early. Chanel though rolled up King for a two count, however King did the same maneuver. Chanel drove King to the mat, and threw King to the turnbuckle. Chanel followed with a back elbow to King, and a running boot to King.
Chanel attempted a huracanrana to King, but King caught Chanel by throwing her to the middle turnbuckle. King would hit a couple of clotheslines, and a German suplex to Chanel. After the move, Chanel hit a powerful clothesline to King and almost got the victory. Chanel tried for a crossbody, but King planted Chanel down in the middle of the mat to win the match.
Rache Chanel defeated KiLynn King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I accidentally clicked play on the Pro Wrestling Boom podcast during the match as I was typing my review.
7. Marko Stunt vs. Sammy Guevara. The two showed a sign of respect once the bell rang. Stunt would hit a torpedo from the middle of the rope to Guevara that sent him to the outside of the ring. Stunt successfully hit a dragonrunna to Guevara on the outside. Once back in the ring, Guevara threw a knee strike that stopped Stunt’s momentum. Guevara hit a springboard 450 on the outside to Stunt. A short time later, Stunt went to the top of the stage, and dived over the pyro onto Guevara. However, Guevara finished Stunt off quickly with the GTH.
Sammy Guevara defeated Marko Stunt via pinfall.
After the match, Guevara took the mic and said ‘another win for the good guys.’ Guevara said ‘2020 threw everything at me and I’m still here, everything included.’ He then followed by saying ‘there’s no days off no matter if it’s Dark or Dynamite.’ Guevara said ‘no one is going to outshine him, and that he was the champion in AEW.’
Briar’s Take: A brief match.
Another Chris Jericho Bubbly ad aired.
8. Dreamgirl Ellie vs. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabain). Ellie rolled up Ford when the match started, but Ford planted Ellie down with a clothesline. Afterward, Ellie attempted a sucide dive to Ford, but Ford blocked the move by throwing an elbow. Ford then lifted Ellie, and hit the double knees to Ellie. Ford went for the pinfall, but Ellie kicked out. Ellie though tried a tiger driver, but Ford hit a hamstring elbow. Ford followed a release German suplex, and hit the cutter on Ellie. Ford would win the match by hitting the fisherman suplex.
Penelope Ford defeated Dreamgirl Ellie via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This match was kind of there and felt like more filler than anything. Kind of needless.
Another Young Bucks book ad aired.
9. Lady Frost and “Biconic Beast” Jenna vs. Ivelisse and Diamante. Jenna rocked Ivelisse on the ground with an elbow, and Jenna hit a spinebuster on Diamante. Jenna tagged Frost in the match, and hit a kick to the head of Diamante in the corner. Ivelisse was tagged in by Diamante, and got the uppercut to Frost followed by another kick from Ivelisse.
Ivelisse went for a cover, but only got the two count. Ivelisse put Frost in a submission hold, though the submission was short lived. Both Diamante and Ivelisse hit the powerbomb Frost. Diamante put Frost in a headlock, but tagged Ivelisse into the match once more. However, Frost hit a swinging neckbreaker to Ivelisse, and finally tagged Jenna back again. Jenna took down Diamante with a clothesline, as well as a knee. Jenna then hit a double chokeslam to Diamante and Ivelisse. Jenna tried lifting Diamante up, but Ivelisse hit a thrust kick that was sent into a code red combination that ultimately won Diamante, Ivelisse the match.
Ivelisse and Diamante defeated Lady Frost and Jenna via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Both Ivelisse and Diamante continue to work well with each other but both are needing a direction soon as far as storyline goes. Meanwhile, Jenna’s “Bionic Beast” character looked cartoony as hell, but she looked impressive in her own right. With that said, the match up was very random.
10. Adam Priest vs. Brandon Cutler. Cutler planted Priest down with a side slam headlock once the match started. Cutler then hit another side headlock takedown to Priest. Cutler followed with a couple of shoulder tackles to Priest. However, Priest sent Cutler down after tripping him and began stomping Cutler in the corner. Priest then laid out Cutler again by planting him on the mat. Despite the maneuvers, Cutler lifted Priest up for a TPK, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Cutler though would hit multiple elbow drops to Priest and eventually landed the TPK to Priest to get the victory.
Brandon Cutler defeated Adam Priest via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Like Dreamgirl Ellie vs. Ford, this match was sort of there and didn’t amount to much. Just another way for Cutler to continue is winning ways.
Britt Baker’s “Waiting Room” segment aired. She said ‘the response to her show has been overwhelming.’ Baker added that her dental office has been flooded with requests from people all over the world. Baker congratulated Renee and Jon Moxley for their pregnancy. Baker then introduced her next guest Tay Conti.
Baker asked Conti who her favorite wrestler was in the women’s division. Conti said ‘Red Velvet and that she would like to wrestle Hikaru Shida.’ Baker received a fan mail from Tony S in Atlanta, and he asked what her relationship status was? Conti said ‘it was none of Baker’s business about her relationship.’ Following that answer, Baker and Conti got into somewhat a heated argument before The Acclaimed broke in and rapped to the viewers…
Briar’s Take: Boy howdy that was a trip and a half. The Acclaimed appearance felt very random.
11. Cezar Bononi, KTB, and Seth Gargis vs. “The Gunn Club” Billy, Colten, and Austin Gunn. KTB hit a powerful shoulder tackle that planted Austin on the mat. However, Austin fired back with a face plant, and tagged Colten. KTB tagged Gargis in the ring, but Colten tagged Billy in the match. Both Billy, Austin, and Colten made numerous brief tags with Billy hitting a double axe handle to Gargis. Bononi made his first appearance in the match after being tagged in by KTB.
Bononi planted the shoulder tackle on Billy, but Billy hit a shoulder tackle of his own. Billy went for the chokeslam, but Bononi countered with a strike. Austin made the blind tag, however Bononi planted Austin with a clothesline. Bononi tagged KTB in the match again, and KTB rolled through with a shoulder to the midsection to Austin. KTB then hit a headbuttt on Austin. Gargis and Bononi made brief tags to each other and Bononi threw a kick to the midsection of Austin.
Bononi planted Austin again, and only got a two count. Austin hit an enzurigi to Gargis, and Colten tagged in. Colten hit a double clothesline to KTB and Gargis. Colten went for the cover, but Bononi broke the cover. Colten won the match with a Colt45 on Gargis.
The Gunn Club defeated Cezar Bononi, KTB, and Seth Gargis via pinfall.
Another Chris Jericho Bubbly ad aired.
Briar’s Take: Solid match from The Gunn Club.
12. The Panda X-Press vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy planted Ultimo Panda on the ground with a dropkick, which made Ultimo Panda tag in Super Panda. Luchasaurus tagged in and hit the front suplex. Ultimo Panda was tagged in, but Jungle Boy hit the senton with an assist from Luchasaurus. Ultimo Panda planted himself on Jungle Boy, and got a two count on Boy. Both Panda’s hit a running belly to Jungle Boy. Super Panda tagged into the match, and so did Luchasaurus.
Luchasaurus came in, and dropped both Panda’s to the ground with a double clothesline. Luchasaurus threw a roundhouse kick to Ultimo Panda, but Ultimo Panda planted Jungle Boy on the ground. Super Panda landed the frog splash to Jungle Boy, and almost got the upset with a two count. Luchasaurus hit a kick to Super Panda, with Jungle Boy following through with a clothesline.
Jurassic Express defeated The Panda X-Press via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: What in the hell did I just watch?
13. Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. vs. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico. Pillman hit the arm drag, and dropkick to Angelico as the match got underway. Evans tagged himself in, and hit the hanging neckbreaker. Evans illegally hit the boot to the jaw of Garrison, which caused Garrison to get frustrated. The ref blocked Garrison getting in the ring, while Evans hit the snap suplex on Pillman Angelico was back in the ring, and threw a kick to Pillman.
Angelico followed through with a figure four to Pillman, who got to the ropes to break the hold. Evans tagged in again, and successfully hit the standing sky twister. Evans then planted Pillman with a scoop slam. Evans tried going to the top rope, but Pillman countered with a superplex. Garrison saw his first moments of the match, and hit a rolling elbow strike to Angelico followed with a diving splash in the corner. Garrison caught a leaping Evans, and Pillmangot the flipping neckbreaker after tagging in. Angelico tagged in and threw a kick to the back of the leg of Pillman. Angelico made Pillman tap out to the Cruceta Invertidas to score the victory.
The Hybrid 2 defeated Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. via submission.
Briar’s Take: A momentum win for their match ahead of Top Flight on Dynamite Wednesday night. After the match, Top Flight came to the ring to save Pillman Jr and Garrison from further beatdown.
14. Alex Chamberlain and Damian Fenrir vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Bowens threw chops to Fenrir, but Fenrir hit arm drags, a dropkick to Bowens. Caster tagged in, but was caught with a dropkick from Fenrir. Fenrir was on the apron, which allowed Bowens to trip Fenrir to the outside. After being in the match briefly, Caster was tagged in, and both he and Bowens hit a neckbreaker combination on Fenrir. Caster picked up Fenrir for a back body drop.
While Fenrir was on the apron again, Bowens threw an illegal kick to Fenrir. Fenrir finally made the tag to Chamberlain. Chamberlain planted Bowens down on the mat, and would be in the ring briefly as he tagged Fenrir in again. Bowens threw a rolling elbow strike that sent Fenrir on the mat. Bowens made the tag to Caster, which saw Caster follow with a diving elbow drop to score the victory.
The Acclaimed defeated Alex Chamberlain and Damian Fenrir via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: More solid stuff from The Acclaimed.
15. Alan Angels vs. Matt Sydal. When the match started, Sydal sat down on the mat to play mind games on Angels. The two then went for attempted headlocks, before Sydal got the wrist lock of Angels. Sydal then rolled through for a cradle, only for Angels to kick out immediately. Sydal followed with multiple arm drags, and put Angles in a front face lock. Afterward, Sydal hit the huracanrana before getting blindsided by Angels with a clothesline.
Angels attempted a back body drop, but Sydal planted Angels with a low ankle drop. After the low ankle drop, Sydal was dropped to the ground from the apron from Vance. Once back in the ring, Angels began stomping Sydal in the corner. Angels and Sydal went back and forth with Angels planting Sydal down with a kick to the left leg to Sydal. However, Sydal got the standing moonsault and a two count. Sydal then planted the leg lariat to Angels, and followed with a northern lights bomb.
Sydal went to the top rope, but Angels threw the knee to Sydal. Angels then got the Spanish Fly, and almost got the upset victory over Sydal. Angels landed the moonsault press from the top rope, and nearly got the win again with the two count. Sydal caught Angels with the knee, and turned him inside out for the pinfall.
Matt Sydal defeated Alan Angels via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A great competitive match from these two men, and a match that should have closed Dark.
16. Fuego Del Sol vs. Peter Avalon. Del Sol and Avalon began the match countering each other’s moves. Del Sol put Avalon in a single leg crab, but Avalon would break the hold briefly. Avalon then sent Del Sol over the ropes with a clothesline. Avalon then planted Del Sol down with a body slam, only to follow with a leg lariat. Both Del Sol and Avalon went to the top rope and Del Sol sent Avalon down with a diving headbutt. Del Sol continued with a diving crossbody, and a swinging neckbreaker on Avalon. Del Sol attempted a Tornado DDT, but Avalon scored the win with the martinis.
Peter Avalon defeated Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Holy moly, y’all! Peter Avalon FINALLY got his FIRST pinfall victory in AEW!
17. “The New Jersey Connection” Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss vs. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentinco vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson in a Triple Threat tag match. Janela and Kiss dived onto both Uno, Grayson, and Chaos Project on the outside before the bell rang. Janela and Kiss continued their momentum by hitting a tag team combination move on Serpentinco. Evil Uno made the tag, however Kiss threw big elbow strikes to both Uno and Grayson. Uno planted Kiss down on the mat, and only got the two count.
Luther and Serpentinco though hit a running bulldog on Kiss. Luther slammed Kiss on the ground, and then planted Serpentinco onto Kiss. Uno was back in the ring again, and taunted Janela. However, Serpentinco was frustrated with Uno for making the blind tag. Janela took them all down with a dropkick, and lifted Grayson over the top. Janela then hit a double clothesline to Uno and Grayson, then followed by suplexing Serpentinco on both members of Dark Order. With assistance from Janela, Kiss hit the doomsday device on Serpentinco and only got the two count.
Uno then rolled with a senton on Kiss, and nearly got a pinfall himself. Luther then threw Serpentinco from the top rope on Kiss and Janela. He followed with a cannonball senton Uno and Grayson. Luther and Serpentinco planted Kiss down on the mat and received a two count. Janela made the tag, but was caught by Grayson. With assistance from Uno, both hit the fatality to win the match.
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson defeated The New Jersey Connection and Chaos Project via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A quality match to close the show, but it didn’t really amount to anything storyline-wise. It was just kind of filler, and a weird way to end the episode.
Overall, this show had a lot of needless matches that made it longer than needed be. I am a strong believer that a show like this should fall under an hour or little more than an hour, not two and a half hours. Once the show starts going past the two hour mark, it starts to drag and take the excitement out of the show. Keep the episode under an hour and it will leave your fans wanting more. Or… just go ahead and put this on regular TV if you’re going to pull that off.
Otherwise, a lot of the matches were random and didn’t amount to much with no story to most of them. With that said, Vipress and Big Swole had a quality opening match and both looked impressive in a match that went longer than I thought it would. The show peaked with Alan Angels and Matt Sydal, who had a hell of a match with back and forth action and solid moves. It definitely stood out from other matches and, as I stated above, this match should have either opened or closed the show due to the quality.
As for everything else, most matches are passable as they were just there unless you count the fact that Peter Avalon finally got his first victory after having a 27-match losing streak. We’ll see if AEW continues to have Avalon win more often like Cutler does now. I have a feeling that both Cutler and Avalon will work their way back to each other at some point with winning ways continuing. Episode 63 clocked in at 2 hours, 46 minutes, and 29 seconds. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.