By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 66)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed December 15, 2020 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to AEW Dark, and was joined alongside by Anthony Ogogo and Taz on commentary…
1. Southera Chhun vs. Ricky Starks (w/Will Hobbs). Chunn threw strikes to Starks as the match began, which saw Starks put his elbows up. Chhun continued to dominate Starks, before Starks threw Chhun into the turnbuckle to stop his momentum. Hobbs then threw an illegal shot to Chhun. Starks hit the back elbow to Chhun. Chhun then used the ropes for a stunner on Starks, and got a two count. Despite the stunner, Starks laid out Chhun with the spear to score the victory.
Ricky Starks defeated Southera Chhun via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A solid match for Ricky Starks, who continues to be a Dark regular.
2. Baron Black vs. Brandon Cutler. Cutler threw multiple shoulder blocks to Black, and also hit a flying shoulder tackle. Black was looking for the Gory Special, but Cutler countered the move by throwing the enzuigiri. Black hit a rolling clothesline on Cutler to fight back. Cutler came back with a flying head kick. Cutler kept the momentum going by winning the match by hitting the springboard elbow.
Brandon Cutler defeated Baron Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The victory continues Cutler’s victory streak.
3. AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. KiLynn King in a non-title match. The wrestlers started with a collar elbow tie up, before the hold was broken. Shida tried putting King in a leverage submission, but King broke the hold again. Shida tried hip-tossing King, but King arm dragged Shida. King attempted some pins, but Shida kicked out at two each time. Shida countered and hit the scoop slam after King tried one of her own.
Shida hit a backbreaker and continued the fight on the outside by hitting the knee. King threw some right hands, and attempted another pinfall only to get a two count. King followed with the neckbreaker on Shida, and got another two count. Shida attempted a straight jacket, but could only get the enzuigiri on King. Shida then hit the landed knee strike, and a falcon arrow on King and then scored the victory.
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida defeated KiLynn King via pinfall.
Afterward, Abadon climbed the ropes and attacked Shida, thus furthering the feud between the two.
Briar’s Take: A competitive back and forth match.
A Young Bucks book ad was shown…
The Waiting Room with Britt Baker aired.. Baker hyped Angelico, as he would be facing Cody Rhodes on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday. Baker told Cody to make a good decision unlike the thing on his neck. Baker welcomed Tully Blanchard and Shawn Spears to the show. She asked Tully why Spears has been great lately. A knock was heard, and Spears opened the door. Marko Stunt was there with a guitar. Afterward, another knock was heard, and this time Scorpio Sky, who came in and attacked Spears. Sky threw Spears into the wall.
Briar’s Take: I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I do hope Sky throwing Spears into the wall of the Waiting Room is the end of this horrid segment.
4. Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy and Del Sol began the match for their respective teams. Del Sol then tagged Dean in, and walked in an arm drag of Boy. Luchasaurus was tagged in, and hit the suplex to Dean before tagging Boy back in the match. Boy landed the senton with the help of Luchasaurus. Dean hit the back elbow, and hit a leaping move from the ring post. Dean continued with an elbow drop that led to a two count.
Del Sol was tagged in again and hit a moonsault on Jungle Boy, who countered one of Del Sol’s moves with a backbreaker. Del Sol made the brief tag to Dean, and both members attempted a double team move before Luchasaurus came in and planted Dean and Del Sol on the ground with double clotheslines. Luchasaurus planted Del Sol by himself, and got a two count. Dean made the save, and both Del Sol and Dean hit a double dropkick. Jungle Boy returned to the match and clotheslined Dean. Jurassic Express won the match when Jungle Boy landed a powerbomb on Del Sol.
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus beat Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol.
Briar’s Take: Sadly, as much as I enjoy Jurassic Express, they’ve become Dark regulars. They are on the show every week. That being said, Jurassic Express continues to shine with good in-ring action.
5. Skyler Moore vs. Leva Bates. Thunder Rosa sat in on commentary for the match. Bates put Moore in a hammer side headlock when the match began. Bates and Moore countered each other’s move as the match went on, before Moore landed the hip toss on Bates. Bates locked in the crossface submission until the hold was broken briefly. Moore suplexed Bates and covered her for a two count. Bates performed a Backstabber on Moore that led to a two count of her own. Bates attempted a crossbody before Moore came back with a bodyslam. Bates ended up rolling up Moore for the pinfall victory.
Leva Bates defeated Skyler Moore via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match was what was. Nothing more, nothing less. Bates showing Moore the Young Buck’s book after the match was over was eye rolling.
6. VSK vs. Brian Cage. VSK threw a dropkick and a running uppercut. Cage fired back with an explosive clothesline and an overhead throw. VSK looked for a DDT, but Cage hit the double underhook suplex. Cage went for the cover, but he only got a two count. VSK rallied with numerous dropkicks and a jumping sucidia. On the outside, Cage drove VSK into the ring post to stop VSK’s momentum. Cage eventually suplexed VSK and followed up with the Drill Claw to before getting the pin.
Brian Cage defeated VSK via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: VSK being a possible upset to Cage was a nice touch, but Cage winning was predictable.
7. Louie Valle and Mike Magnum vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Caster and Magnum started the match for their teams. Caster threw a dropkick to Magnum, then both men tagged out. Valle threw a dropkick to Bowens. Valle went to the top rope, but Caster threw him off the rope, allowing Bowens to capitalize on the move. Caster and Bowens continued to make multiple tags with Bowens hitting the standing diving elbow.
Caster planted Valle with a backdrop suplex after illegally hitting Magnum on the apron. Valle hit a leaping missile dropkick on Caster. Both men tagged out. Magnum hit the back body drop to Caster, and a dropkick to Bowens. Despite Magnum’s momentum, Caster and Bowens stopped Magnum by landing multiple kicks. Bowens performed a suplex, then Caster hit The Fame to Claim diving elbow and got the win for his team.
The Acclaimed defeated Louie Valle and Mike Magnum via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: It was only a matter of time before The Acclaimed would officially make their Dynamite debut after being on Dark for a few weeks. It goes to show how high AEW is on them right now. I am intrigued to see how The Acclaimed does against Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels on Dynamite.
8. Dani Jordyn vs. Anna Jay. Jay shoved Jordyn into the rope, but Jordyn planted Jay down with a shoulder tackle. Jordyn went for the waist lock, but threw kicks instead. Jordyn picked up her scrapbook, but Jay hit a kick, laying her on the outside of the ring. Jay threw Jordyn into the barricade. Back inside the ring, Jay threw a kick to Jordyn before tapping her out with a submission hold.
Anna Jay defeated Dani Jordyn via submission.
Briar’s Take: This match was kind of there, with Jay dominating most of the match. More filler than anything.
9. “Bear Country” Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder vs. Stu Grayson and Evil Uno. Bronson hit a running senton on Uno before tagging in Boulder. Grayson was tagged in, and tried taking down Boulder, who proved to be too strong. Boulder dropped Grayson with a gorilla press. Bronson then threw strikes to Grayson in the corner, and attempted to lift him up. Uno made the blind tag with Bronson on the outside. Uno followed using the ropes illegally with his foot. Uno performed a Russian leg sweep as Grayson tagged in.
Later, Grayson and Uno threw a double dropkick at Boulder. Uno went for Fatality before the momentum was stopped by Bronson. Boulder and Bronson hit a running senton to Uno and Grayson and nearly pulled off an upset. Grayson planted Boulder for the Nightfall, which allowed Grayson and Uno to land the Fatality for the win.
Stu Grayson and Evil Uno defeated Bear Country via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good competitive match, quite possibly the best match of the night. Doing some research, Bear Country is mostly known for their work in Beyond Wrestling.
A Chris Jericho Bubbly ad was aired.
10. Ryzin and Sean Maluta vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela. Kiss tagged in Janela after being unsuccessful in taking down Ryzin. Janela delivered a short kick to Ryzin before tagging Kiss, who tried going for the moonsault until Ryzin threw him off the rope. Maluta illegally started attacking Kiss on the outside with Aubrey Edwards distracted. However, both got back in the ring, and Ryzin was caught in the ropes after Kiss dodged one of his moves.
Janela tagged himself in, as did Maluta. Janela planted Maluta into the turnbuckle, and landed the diving crossbody. Janela hit the clothesline, and tagged in Kiss once more. Janela would hit the brainbuster, with Kiss landing the splitting leg drop.
Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela defeated Ryzin and Sean Maluta via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A quality matchup with the predictable finish.
Another Young Bucks ad was shown.
11. Freya States vs. Tay Conti. Conti attempted a flying armbar, but Freya broke the hold by going to the ropes. Conti came back with a kick to the back of the head. Conti went for a pinfall, but States kicked out at two. Conti attempted a crossbody, but States caught her in midair then landed a leg drop to Conti. However, Conti hit a roundhouse kick to States. Shortly thereafter, Conti made States tap out to a submission hold.
Tay Conti defeated Freya States via submission.
Briar’s Take: A good enough back and forth match with Conti eventually getting the victory.
12. Danny Limelight vs. Matt Sydal. Limelight took down Sydal with a dropkick after jumping from the ropes. Sydal countered with a slice leg drop and a standing moonsault. Sydal followed with a snapurrana, but Limelight came back with a neckbreaker. Limelight went for a pinfall, but Sydal kicked out at two. Sydal put Limelight in a submission hold, but Limelight broke it. Sydal hit a leg lariat, and rolled through with another leaping kick.
Sydal planted the brainbuster, and once again only got a two count. Limelight hit a jumping clothesline, thus planting Sydal on the mat. Sydal countered the fireman’s carry of Limelight with a Russian leg sweep. Sydal went for the Cobra Clutch, but Limelight applied a sleeper. The match ended with Sydal planting Limelight on the ground, and scoring the victory.
Matt Sydal defeated Danny Limelight via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A great matchup between Sydal and Limelight. Both wrestlers fought back and forth.
13. Kaci Lennox vs. Ivelisse (w/Diamante). Lennox sent Ivelisse to the outside with a dropkick. Ivelisse returned to the ring and used the ropes for a swinging DDT. Ivelisse threw a kick in the shoulder blades of Lennox, who fired back with a cutter. Lennox landed multiple clotheslines, and even spiked Ivelisse on her head. Lennox went for the cover, but only got a two count. Ivelisse came back with a reverse DDT, and even countered Lennox’s move by putting her in a submission hold and forced Lennox to tap out.
Ivelisse defeated Kaci Lennox via submission.
Briar’s Take: A good showing from Ivelisse and Lennox, but Ivelisse got the momentum heading into their tag team match with Serena Deeb and Big Swole.
A Chris Jericho Bubbly ad was shown again.
14. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentinco vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent. Taylor put Serpentinco in a hammerlock when the match started, and then side headlock. Taylor then rolled through with a single leg crab. Trent tagged in and went over the top rope and landed on Serpentinco and Luther. Trent went for a spear on Luther on the outside, but Luther dodged it, which sent Trent into the barricade. Once the teams got back in the ring, Luther lifted up Serpentinco and planted him on Taylor.
Luther threw Serpentinco into Trent in the corner. Afterward, Luther hit a belly to belly suplex on Trent, who planted Luther with a back body drop. Luther fired back with clotheslines to Trent in the corner. With an assistance senton from Luther, Serpentinco once again landed on Trent, who continued to get dominated by Luther with a punt kick. The match ended up somewhat short, as Taylor threw Serpentinco off the top rope and Trent rolled up Luther for the victory.
Best Friends defeated Chaos Project via pinfall.
Afterward, Miro walked onto the stage, but was stopped by referees from going after Best Friends.
Briar’s Take: The match was solidly paced and competitive before a somewhat abrupt ending with Taylor throwing Serpentinco off the rope when Serpentinco was looking for Sudden Death.
Overall, a much improved episode of Dark with quality matches, and not nearly as many matches as we have seen previous weeks. The lighter match count definitely helps the show flow smoothly and prevents it from dragging. Dark started with some single matches, but got tag team heavy as the episode neared its end. The best matches of the night were Bear Country vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, and Matt Sydal vs. Danny Limelight. Both matches were great, and very competitive. Episode 66 clocked in at one hour, 53 minutes, and 56 seconds. Final Score: 7.8 out of 10.