Welcome to the weekly TJRwrestling review of AEW Dark. There wasn’t a show last week due to the holidays, but we are back in full force now. On the last episode of Dark, we had an abbreviated show, but still had a standout four-way tag team match that was won by Proud and Powerful. The opening and main event matches were good, but not on the level of the tag team match. The guest commentary for the show from Colt Cabana was very good and I wouldn’t mind hearing more of him in the future. Overall, the shows in the past few weeks have held their own, and you can read my complete thoughts on every show here.
AEW Dark consists of matches taped before and after that week’s episode of Dynamite, which they post to the AEW YouTube page the following Tuesday. I will post the video at the bottom of the review. How will AEW Dark kick off the new year? Let’s find out!
AEW Dark 1/7/2020 from Jacksonville, Florida
It’s episode 14, and we are on the heels of AEW’s big “homecoming” show that emanated from Jacksonville, Florida. The Daily’s Place, where they hold the shows at, is a venue that looks cool on camera and gives me that throwback WCW vibe. The show starts with a package going over what went down last week on Dynamite, between Jon Moxley and The Inner Circle. Moxley is going to make his decision known this week on Dynamite.
We now have an opening theme for Dark, and are joined at the top of the show by Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzales. Tony missed Dynamite last week due to having prior commitments, with Taz, filling in for him. I will say that Taz filled the spot well, and will probably have more opportunities with the company down the line. They talk about The Inner Circle’s offer to Jon Moxley, and contemplate if it’s enough to have him join forces with them. We are shown the matches for the night, and we are ready for the first match. Chuck Taylor is joining Excalibur on commentary for the night.
Skyler Moore vs. Awesome Kong (w/Brandi Rhodes and Mel)
This is Skyler’s AEW debut and I don’t like her chances in her first match with the company. Kong, Mel and Brandi are known as The Nightmare Collective, and are also floating in outer space somewhere in regards to where the hell this angle is going.
The match begins and Kong is on the offensive. She hits some chops and follow that with a big splash in the corner. Moore attempts a comeback, but Kong stops her in her tracks. Kong continues the domination and knocks Moore to the mat. Kong steps on her hair and Moore is in pain. Moore rolls to the apron, and kicks Kong in the head. The kick doesn’t register and Kong sends her back in the ring. She picks her up and hits a slam in the middle of the ring. Moore recovers and goes for a rollup, but Kong drops down on her chest. She goes for the pin, but Brandi stops her. Brandi then shouts to finish her, and Kong hits the Flapjack for the win in about 3:30.
Winner: Awesome Kong
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Match Notes: This was a glorified squash match. Kong dominated all of it, with Moore getting shots in here and there to no avail. It’s better to have matches like this on Dark, but it is a way to build Kong as a monster. This whole gimmick of The Nightmare Collective is still lost on me, and I don’t think I am the only one.
After the match, Brandi and Mel join Kong in the ring. They beat Moore down, before leaving the arena together.
Alex Marvez is backstage with Christopher Daniels. Daniels says he knows people think he doesn’t have it anymore. He talks about how he is still a valuable member of SCU, and the rest of the roster is going to find that out.
We are back with Tony and Dasha, who are talking about the AEW Women’s Championship match between Riho and Kris Statlander. They run down the upcoming AEW shows, before we are back to the ring for the main event.
The Hyrbid 2 (Jack Evans and Angelico) and “Superbad” Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) vs. So Cal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky)
SCU are the AEW Tag Team Champions, and this is one of Daniels’ first matches back since coming back from injury. The Hybrid 2 have been on Dark every single week, and this is no exception. Sabian and Daniels have a match tomorrow night on Dynamite.
Kazarian and Sabian start the match with both men trading moves. Kazarian with a takedown and holds Sabian in a headlock. Kazarian hits a shoulder block, but is distracted by Ford, giving Sabian the upper hand. This brings in all six men, with The Hybrid 2 and Sabian taking the advantage. SCU recover and throw Sabian into the corner, and The Hybrid 2 to the outside. All three men hit moves on Sabian in the corner. Sky is now the legal man, and hits a double ax off the top rope. Sabian rebounds and takes Sky down. Sabian gets the tag to Angelico but he is quickly cut off by Sky. Sky tags in Kazarian, and he hits a leg drop for a two count. He tosses Angelico into the corner and SCU continues to team up on him. Daniels with the tag and he continues to work on Angelico. Daniels goes for his Arabian Moonsault, but is having flashbacks of his botch a couple of weeks ago. Sabian regains the advantage, and makes the tag to Jack Evans. Evans hits Daniels with a suplex and gets a two count.
Evans locks in a chinlock and Angelico kicks Daniels in the face. Sabian is back in, and takes Daniels down with a knee strike. Sabian starts working on the arm, but Daniels fights out. He tosses Sabian into the ropes, but Sabian hits a dropkick. Daniels rolls to the outside and Ford hits him with a DDT. He rolls back in the ring, and is hit with another dropkick for a near fall. Tag to Evans, and he hits standing Senton for a two count. Evans picks Daniels up and sends him into the corner. Evans runs in, but Daniels hits a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker. Daniels makes the tag into Kazarian and he cleans house. He takes out all three men, before playing to the crowd. Evans and Angelico take advantage and double team Kazarian from behind. They hit the assisted 450 Splash for a two count. Evans goes back up top for a splash, but Kazarian gets the knees up. Daniels hits The Angel Wings and Sky hits the TKO, before he picks Evans up and they hit the SCUlater for the three count and the win in about 12 minutes.
Winner(s): So Cal Uncensored
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Match Notes: Another solid main event match to close out Dark. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it served its purpose. Sabian had a good showing here, with Ford getting involved in some of the match. The Hybrid 2 have become almost exclusive to AEW Dark, so it’ll be interesting to see if that trend continues. SCU are a great team, but I could see their run as champions coming to an end, possibly at AEW Revolution. I have been singing Scorpio Sky’s praises for a while now. Guys a bona fide Star.
SCU celebrates in the ring after their win, and the show goes off the air.
Overall Show Rating: 5 out of 10
This was a hard show to grade because there were only two matches on the night. I split it right down the middle since there was a squash match, followed by a solid main event. There was another match announced, but didn’t make it to air due to a technical glitch. That match included Billy Gunn and his son, Austin Gunn, taking on Shawn Spears and Preston Vance. Why didn’t it air? Perhaps because WWE found out Billy Gunn tried to wrestle as that name outside of WWE and blocked it from airing since WWE would own the Billy Gunn name. I’m sure they will air the match in an updated version soon enough.
The opening match saw Kong continue her dominance through the AEW Women’s division, and the main event had some good action between both teams, with SCU coming out on top. This show also didn’t have any type of interview segment, like the previous weeks have. This is something they can use to their advantage, and build some characters. They haven’t done one in a few weeks, and I think they should return down the line.
What did you think of episode 14 of AEW Dark? Loved it? Hated it? Wondered why it’s so short? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site and support each other. I’ll be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.