Welcome to the TJRwrestling weekly review of AEW Dark. Last week, we saw three matches, headlined by the Gunn Club vs. Shawn Spears and Peter Avalon. It was an average show overall, which makes two weeks in a row of average shows. As always, you can check out my detailed reviews of AEW Dark here. Also, the news came out that AEW has been renewed on TNT for the next 4 years, which includes adding an additional show to the network later this year. Speculation is that this might just be AEW Dark moving to TNT, but with most speculation, we will have to wait and see. Either way, that’s awesome news for AEW.
AEW Dark consists of matches that are taped before and after that week’s episode of Dynamite, which they upload to the AEW YouTube channel the following Tuesday. I will post the show at the bottom of the review. Will the Dark brand find its footing and have a solid outing? Let’s find out!
AEW Dark from Miami, Florida 1/21/2020
It’s episode 16 of AEW Dark and we are on the heels of the Bash at the Beach themed episode of Dynamite. We are joined poolside by Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzales. They hype up part 2 of Bash at the Beach, which takes place tomorrow night aboard the Jericho cruise. They talk about the upcoming matches for tonight before throwing it down to Excalibur and Tazz for the first match.
Diamante vs. Big Swole
This is Diamante’s AEW debut, and she actually gets a nice reaction from the Miami crowd. Swole recently signed full time to AEW, so we will probably being seeing more of her in the women’s division.
The match begins with a tie up, with Swole taking the early advantage and working the arm. Diamanté rebounds with a roll up for a two count. Both women are back to their feet, with Swole locking in a headlock. Diamanté gets back to her feet and Swole taunts her. Big pump kick by Swole. Diamanté goes to the outside and hits a top rope neckbreaker. She follows that up with choking Swole on the ropes. Both women are back in the ring, and Diamanté hits a series of snap suplexes. She pulls Swole to the mat by her hair for a two count. She puts Swole in the corner and hits an elbow to the face. Diamanté showboats which gives Swole a brief moment and she hits a boot to the face. Diamanté recovers and hits a big kick on Swole for a two count. She slides to the outside of the ring, and reaches for a pair of sandals. She brings them in, and hits Swole with the sandals. Swole recovers and grabs the sandals and gets some shots in herself. Swole follows that up with a knee to the face, and a kick to the face which knock Diamanté to the mat. Swole hits a big headbutt, followed by the Dirty Dancing elbow and gets the win in about 8 minutes.
Winner: Big Swole
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Match Notes: That was an average match that didn’t have much heat to it. Swole has some power spots, and had control for most of it. Diamanté has a solid debut, and didn’t do anything to hurt her stock. Swole is pretty athletic, as well as having the power moves and I could see her getting a push down the line.
We are back poolside with Tony and Dasha and they run down the upcoming dates for Dynamite and talk about the next AEW Pay-Per-View, Revolution on Feb. 29. They talk a little more about the episode of Dynamite coming up tomorrow night, before throwing it back down to the ring for the main event.
Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk and Lindaman) vs. The Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)
Jurassic Express gets a nice ovation as they come down to the ring. Strong Hearts have teamed up before in AEW, losing their only match together.
Jungle Boy and T-Hawk start the match off, with Hawk getting the early advantage. He chops Jungle boy hard in the corner, which knocks him off his feet. He charges in, but Jungle Boy leaps over him and hits a kick to the head. Jungle Boy chops T-Hawk, before Stunt makes a blind tag into the match. Hawk tags in Lindaman, and faces off with Stunt in the middle of the ring. They don’t have much of a height difference. Both men go back and forth off the ropes, with Stunt eventually getting Lindaman in a pin for a two count. Lindaman is back to his feet, as both men square off again. Cima and Luchasaurus both get tags, and Luchasaurus hits a stiff kick to the head. Cima tries to make a comeback, but is cut off. Luchasaurus takes everyone out, before Jungle Boy comes in and they hit a double team Flatliner for a two count. T-Hawk and Cima roll to the outside, and Jungle Boy hits a splash to both of them. Luchasaurus press Stunt over his head and tosses him to the three men on the outside. They roll Cima back in the ring, and Stunt gets a two count after making the tag. Strong Hearts recovers and hit some triple team offense on Stunt.
T-Hawk throws Stunt in the corner, and hits another stiff chop to the chest. He continues to work on Stunt, and locks him in a submission hold. Stunt gets to the ropes, but T-Hawk beats him to his feet and hits a knee to the face. Stunt attempts a splash but T-Hawk catches him in a Sky High Powerbomb for the two count. Strong Hearts are back in and hit a triple powerbomb on Stunt. Lindaman works on Stunt, but he escapes and makes the tag to Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus hits all the members of Strong Hearts with stuff chops and kicks. He hits Lindaman with a kick to the head, followed by a chokeslam. Luchasaurus hits a standing moonsault and gets a two count. Jungle Boy gets the tag and starts to go to work on Lindaman. Cima breaks it up and they hit a double team on Jungle Boy. He follows that up with a dive taking out Luchasaurus and Stunt. Lindaman hits a bridging German suplex for a two count. Luchasaurus is back in and hits Lindaman with a thrust kick. They follow that up with hitting a double team powerbomb and pick up the win in about 11 minutes.
Winner(s): The Jurassic Express
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Match Notes: That was a fun 6 man tag team match. The Jurassic Express work well as a team and are a great mix of power and speed. Luchasaurus got a lot of stiff offense in which looks believable. Jungle Boy and Stunt are the smaller of the three, but definitely bring something to the table. I have mentioned not being the biggest Stunt fan, but he’s growing on me. Strong Hearts got a good bit of offense in the losing effort. Cima is the one that has gotten the most screen time, but T-Hawk and Lindaman had nice showings here too.
After the match, The Jurassic Express celebrated the victory as the show goes off the air.
Overall Show Rating: 5.25 out of 10
We are seeing the pattern of Dark getting two to three matches and just being over a half an hour long. It’s hard to rate shows that short, but this was a better show than the previous two weeks. Big Swole had a nice showing against the debuting Diamanté. The Jurassic Express are over in every city they have been in thus far and that wasn’t any different here. Both teams had a nice showing, and the Jurassic Express going over was the right move. They are going to be pushed hard in the coming year.
What did you think of episode 16 of AEW Dark? Loved it? Hated it? Wondering why it’s only 30 minutes now? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site. Support each other. I’ll be back sooner than you think with some more Collective Thoughts.