Reviews

A Collective Review of AEW Dark 1/28/2020 by Lance Augustine

Welcome to the weekly TJRwrestling review of AEW Dark. The Dark shows as of late have been a little on the shorter side, but thankfully the match quality hasn’t suffered. Last week, they had two matches, with the opener seeing Big Swole pick up a win over the debuting Diamante, and The Jurassic Express beating Strong Hearts in the main event. As always, you can see my in-depth review of last week’s show, along with every episode of AEW Dark here.

AEW Dark consists of matches that are taped before and after that week’s episode of Dynamite, and they upload them to the AEW YouTube page the following Tuesday. I will post the show at the bottom of the review. Will this show keep up the trend of being a mini-episode? Let’s find out!

AEW Dark from Miami, Florida 1/28/2020

It’s week 17 of Dark, and we are on the heels of the pretaped episode of Dynamite from The Jericho Cruise. This had to be one of the coolest settings for a wrestling show I can remember. The matches for Dark tonight were shot two weeks ago during the “Bash at the Beach” tapings.

We are joined at the top of the show by Tony Schiavone, who is on board The Jericho Cruise. He talks about the upcoming episode, before throwing it down to the ring for the first match. The full commentary team of JR, Tony, and Excalibur are calling Dark this week. A welcomed addition.

Tables Match: Shanna vs. Nyla Rose

This stems from the brawl these two had a couple of weeks ago on Dark. The scuffle ended with both women going through a table, but the match never taking place.

The match begins with both women getting in each other’s faces as the referee tries to stand between them. Shanna gets in some early offense and takes the advantage. It doesn’t last long though, as Rose overpowers her and slams her to the mat. She rolls out of the ring to look for the first table of the evening. As she grabs it, Shanna comes off the apron with a splash to the floor. Shanna tries to put the table in the ring, but Rose grabs the other end and throws her into the guardrail. Rose hits some punches on the outside, before setting the table up in the corner of the ring. She rolls Shanna back in and continues hitting her with some shots to the head and neck. She picks her up on her shoulder, but Shanna escapes. She continues to be on the offensive, and slams Rose into the table. She hits the ropes and hits a dropkick to the face. Shanna panders to the fans a little bit, before running and hitting a second dropkick. She picks Rose up to the top rope, and hits a hurricanrana off the second rope. That’s was an impressive looking move. Shanna sets the table up, and picks Rose up on her shoulders. Shanna collapses under the weight of Rose, and falls to the mat. She recovers, and takes the table to the outside and sets it up. She climbs back in the ring and hits Rose with a kick to the face which almost sends her through it. Rose is on the apron and Shanna hits her with a flurry of offense but Rose doesn’t fall off. She climbs to the top and attempts a cross body, but Rose catches her and puts her through the table and gets the win in about 9 minutes.

Winner: Nyla Rose
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars

Match Notes: The match as a whole was just alright. Shanna got a lot of offense in, but Rose winning here was a foregone conclusion. These two didn’t have much chemistry, although the hurricanrana spot looked cool. Nyla will challenge Riho in the near future more than likely, and they are building her as the monster of the women’s division.

After the match, Nyla isn’t through and grabs Shanna on the outside and throws her on her shoulders. She climbs to the top rope, but Sadie Gibbs runs in to make the save. She clotheslines Rose over the top, but misses a splash to the outside. Rose grabs her and hits her with a powerbomb through another table that was set up on the outside.

We are back with Tony, and he starts to go over the upcoming events for AEW. They are coming to the west coast for the first time coming up in a few weeks. He mentions AEW Revolution coming up on Pay-Per-View on February 29th and we are set for the second match of the night.

Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) vs. QT Marshall

This match took place last week on the Jericho Cruise.

There is a bell malfunction to start, and Sabian starts off with the fast-paced offense, and hits a dropkick. He tosses Marshall into the corner, but Marshall hits an elbow when Sabian charges in. He hits a nice dropkick for a two count. Marshall climbs to the top but is distracted by Ford, who eventually pulls him down onto the top rope. Sabian takes advantage of the distraction and starts to work on the arm of Marshall. He continues working on the arm in the middle of the ring. Marshall attempts a comeback, but Sabian cuts him off with an armbar. He kicks Marshall into the corner, and distracts the referee as Ford pulls on Marshall’s on the bottom rope. Sabian with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. He goes to the outside, and does something to a fan, much to the delight of Ford. He comes back in the ring with a splash, but Marshall catches him and hits a power slam. Flapjack by Marshall for a two count. He climbs to the top rope, but Sabian catches him coming off and locks in an armbar. He lets him go, and Ford throws an apple into the ring and Sabian catches it. He takes a bite of the apple, but Marshall recovers and hits a shot to the face. He throws Sabian back in the ring and as he tries to get back in, Sabian rolls him up and grabs the hands of Ford and gets the win in about 8 minutes.

Winner: Kip Sabian
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Match Notes: Sabian has shown he can hold his own in the ring. The pairing with Penelope Ford is good for both of them, and has led to a few singles victories of as late. Marshall is on par with Brandon Cutler and TH2 as being Dark staples. He got some offense in here, but Sabian was the right call to pick up the win.

Tony is back and briefly talks about the previous match, before getting us ready for the main event.

The Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno) vs. “The Concrete Rose” Sonny Kiss and Brandon Cutler

This match also took place two weeks ago when AEW was in Miami for Bash at the Beach.

The match begins with Kiss and Grayson starting things off. Grayson hits some quick offenses and sends Kiss into the corner. He makes a tag into Uno who hits Kiss with a big kick to the face. Uno hits some more punches, but Kiss recovers and hits a kick to the face. It doesn’t last long though, and Uni regains the advantage and makes another tag into Grayson. He starts to taunt Kiss, which gives the opening for Kiss to hit some offense and take the advantage. Kiss hits a split over the top, and goes for a pin and gets a near fall. Uno goes on the outside and grabs the leg of Kiss, which gives the Grayson the advantage. Grayson hits a Nightfall backbreaker for a two count. He tags Uno back in, and they hit the Fatality for the win in about 4 minutes. You’ll notice that not once did I mention that Cutler got a tag into the match.

Winner(s): The Dark Order
Match Rating: 0.5/5 Stars

Match Notes: That was the ole three-minute squash on a half an hour show. Uno and Grayson dominated the entire match, with Kiss gets bits and pieces of offense in. I think Kiss can be a viable star in the company, but not by being booked like this. Cutler not getting tagged into the match was something I can’t remember happening for the longest time. He didn’t even make an attempt to break up the pin. He is booked like a legit loser.

After the match, The Dark Order celebrate in the ring as the show goes off the air.

Overall Show Rating: 4 out of 10

That was a pretty poor showing for AEW Dark. The opening table match didn’t have much heat to it, and even though Shanna got a good bit of offense in, Rose was winning the whole way. The Sabian/Marshall match was probably the best of the night, but that’s not saying much. Sabian has some nice athletic moves, and has a big match this week against Cody on Dynamite. He has the potential to do some cool things if he is booked better down the line. The main event probably should have been the opening match on the show. The Dark Order continue their winning ways and will push the storyline further as the year progresses. I don’t get it, but maybe with time I will. I’ve been saying that for months now.

What did you think of week 17 of AEW Dark? Loved it? Hated it? Wondering if Brandon Cutler will ever win a match? Either way, follow me over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site. Support each other. I’ll be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.

Also, I wanted to say rest in peace to Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and the other victims of the helicopter crash on Sunday. It was a terrible tragedy and it just goes to show that we shouldn’t hold on to baggage that drags us down. Life is too precious.