AEW Dark – October 8, 2019 (Debut Episode): Purpose Served

IMG Credit: All Elite Wrestling

AEW Dark
Date: October 8, 2019
Location: Capitol One Arena, Washington DC
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross

So this is something new (the second new show of the day) as AEW is releasing its dark matches (as “dark matches” enters a new definition) as a stand alone show on YouTube. Normally this is something that wouldn’t make a lot of sense but in this case, AEW needs to get their talent out there in front of an audience and that is what they’re doing here. There shouldn’t be any storylines here and it’s a pure wrestling show, which is nice for a change. Let’s get to it.

Tony Schiavone welcomes us to the show and explains the concept. He really is great at something like this and the voice is exactly the same as it was back in the 90s.

Darby Allin vs. Cima

Darby takes a bit too long looking into the crowd and gets caught with some double knees in the corner. That’s fine with Darby, who is right back with a springboard armdrag to the floor, followed by three straight suicide dives. Back in and the Coffin Drop completely misses, allowing Darby to dropkick him into the corner. Something like a Brock Lock on the mat keeps Darby down but he’s fine enough to crotch Cima on top.

That means a Tree of Woe with headbutts to the knee for a pretty unique set of offense. More shots to the knee have Cima in trouble but he’s right back with a tornado DDT for two. Back up and Cima offers him a chance for some chops, demanding Darby’s best shots. Instead Darby hits him in the face and flips over his back into a Stunner for two.

The Coffin Drop onto the knee bangs them both up a bit more so Cima is right back with the Perfect Driver for two of his own. A top top rope Meteora to the back of Darby’s head gets two more, only to have him get the same off a Code Red. That’s enough to set up the Coffin Drop, which finally connects as it’s supposed to, for the pin at 6:57.

Rating: C. I’m still not sure what to make of Allin, who is such a different kind of performer that it takes some time to get the idea of him down. The Coffin Drop comes off as rather stupid, though it fits into the kind of person Allin seems to be. Cima is someone who can have a fine match with anyone, though I’m not overly wild on either guy.

Tony explains the Tag Team Title tournament.

Lucha Bros/Hybrid Two vs. Private Party/Best Friends

Hybrid Two is Angelico/Jack Evans. Orange Cassidy is here with Private Party and Best Friends to a ROAR. Hang on though as Evans needs to yell about how he and Angelico are the A half of their team but a bunch of superkicks break that up in a hurry. Fenix dives onto the Best Friends and Quen gets sent over the top onto Evans and Angelico as I have a bad feeling about trying to keep track of all this stuff. Evans is already ranting about having to make saves until we settle down to Isaiah punching Angelico in the face and screaming.

A cheap shot from Evans takes Isaiah down so the Lucha Bros come in and try some double teaming, only to have Isaiah score with some enziguris for a breather. Evans and Angelico come in to beat on Isaiah instead as tagging is more of a suggestion here. Isaiah is fine enough to hurricanrana Angelico into Evans in the corner, which allows the tag off to Taylor as extra audio is bleeding through commentary.

Barretta comes in to take Angelico down but Evans hits a springboard moonsault onto both Friends. That earns him the sliding German suplex from Barretta, which draws in the Lucha Bros to superkick both Friends down. Quen springboards onto both Bros and everyone winds up on the floor, with Cassidy putting his hands in his pockets. Angelico and Evans take him down and…that’s about it for now. Back in and Angelico and Evans beat up the Friends as JR is trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

Isaiah hits a heck of a flip dive to the floor but the Bros are back in to kick Quen in the head. With Fenix on the floor, Taylor finds his own sunglasses but stops to hug Barretta. That sets up the stereo suicide dives, leaving Cassidy to go up for the hands in pockets dive to the floor. Isn’t that a bit much energy for him? Back in and Fenix saves Pentagon from Strong Zero and a kick to the head sends Taylor into a Backstabber. Fenix hits a big corkscrew dive, leaving Pentagon to finish Taylor at 8:46.

Rating: B. That’s about as high as any of these matches can get and they did exactly what they were suppose do. This was designed to be complete and utter chaos with everyone involved looking rather good in the process. As a bonus, Excalibur was perfect for commentary here as he can rattle off all of those names. JR on the other hand…..well he tried, but he lost the battle of the generations here.

Post match the winners argue over who gets to pose.

Quick look at the women’s division.

Britt Baker/Allie vs. Penelope Ford/Bea Priestly

Priestly shoves Baker on the apron to start so Allie snaps off an armdrag. Hold on though as Priestly wants Baker, which is exactly what she gets. That sends Priestly over to Ford, as you probably expected. Baker gets two off her own armdrag but Ford sends her into the corner for a Great Muta handspring elbow (that’s more JR’s speed). A northern lights suplex gives Ford two but she gets sent into the corner as well, this time allowing the tag to Allie.

The sliding forearm in the corner gives Allie two and it’s time to strike away at Ford. Priestly gets in a cheap shot on the floor though and the villains take over. A stomp onto Allie’s arm keeps her down but Ford misses a second handspring elbow. Baker comes back in to trade forearms with Priestly, followed by the fisherman’s neckbreaker for two. Priestly’s belly to back suplex gets two but Baker kicks her down and hands it back to Allie for a rollup. Everything breaks down and Priestly kicks Baker in the head.

Allie Death Valley Drives Priestly for two before heading to the floor, leaving Allie to DDT Ford for two more with Priestly diving back inside for the save. They head outside again though, leaving Baker to Paige Turn Ford into the Rings of Saturn. With that still on, Baker grabs something like a Mandible Claw (makes sense) at the same time for the tap at 11:11.

Rating: C-. If they want Riho and Nyla Rose to be the stars of the division, they might not want to showcase these four like this. The match was more interesting, easier to get into and just all around more fun. Riho vs. Rose did tell a good story and was better from a technical standpoint, but they’re hardly head and shoulders above these four and that was very apparent here.

We look at Chris Jericho and company taking over at the end of Dynamite.

Here’s a look at the Tag Team Title tournament with Twitter users picking their winners.

Preview for this week’s Dynamite.

Full Gear ad.

Jurassic Express vs. SCU

Jurassic Express now has a rather awesome entrance, complete with steps making a glass of water shake. Daniels has a mic on a stand with him so he can shout SCU. Daniels and Stunt start things off and Stunt can’t do much outside of spinning around into a small package. A stomp onto the back sets up the Floss Dance (ERG), with Daniels countering with his own. Jungle Boy and Kazarian come in to trade near falls off some rollups and cradles until Kazarian knocks him down for the springboard spinning legdrop.

It’s off to Sky to get in a boot to the head but Boy gets over to Luchasaurus and you can feel the fans getting more into things. That’s a bit too good though and it’s back to Stunt, who gets flipped onto Daniels into a splash for two. Boy comes back in for a chinlock but Daniels is right back up with a tilt-a-whirl side slam for two of his own. Stunt’s crossbody bounces off of Sky so Luchasaurus comes back in. Some strikes have no effect for Sky but a DDT puts Luchasaurus down….and he nips right back up.

Stunt and Boy dive onto Daniels and Sky, leaving Kazarian to get chokeslammed and moonsaulted for another near fall. A headscissors faceplant of all things (because Luchasaurus can just do that) sets up Stunt’s running shooting star press as everything stays broken down. Luchasaurus gets sent outside though and it’s Celebrity Rehab on Boy and a powerbomb/Backstabber combination finishes Stunt at 9:17.

Rating: C. They weren’t going for anything more than a fun match here, though they did get in enough stuff to make it feel different than the eight man tag. Stunt taking the pin was the right call if SCU has to win, though it is beyond ridiculous to see him out there with no muscle definition or anything close to being a realistic threat to any of SCU. Even Jungle Boy, who is small, is more believable than Stunt. Let him be a mascot or something, but having him wrestle is a step too far.

Tony wraps us up in a hurry.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a situation where you need to consider the point of this show. It isn’t meant to be anything more than a supplement to Dynamite in a way to get the wrestlers in an AEW ring. You don’t need to see anything here and as long as they keep it that way, this is the most inoffensive thing you could ask for. It doesn’t need to be around permanently as you don’t need so many people featured every week, but for a few months, this is a fine idea.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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