Dark – November 8, 2019: The Smartest Thing I’ve Seen Them Do

IMG Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Date: November 8, 2019
Location: Bojangles Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Goldenboy, Excalibur, Arn Anderson
Hosts: Tony Schiavone, Dasha Gonzales

It’s a special Friday edition of the show as they want to get it out as a preview for Saturday’s Full Gear. That makes a lot of sense and it’s something that they should be doing in cases like this. I’m not expecting it to be much different, though at least it’s a bit shorter this week. Let’s get to

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

Tony and Dasha welcome us to the show

Justin Roberts introduces Arn Anderson for commentary. Well if you insist.

Big Swole vs. Hikaru Shida

Shida takes her up against the rope to start and it’s an early clean break. Swole’s shoulder puts her down and it’s time to run the ropes until Shida kicks her down, setting up the running basement dropkick. A running knee to the face makes it worse and another one, this time off a chair, has Swole down again.

Back in and we hit the half crab on Swole, followed by another running knee for two more. Swole comes back with a headbutt into a Flatliner for her own two. Shida grabs a fireman’s carry backbreaker but another running knee is countered into a rollup. Just to mix it up, a running knee finishes Swole at 7:08.

Rating: C-. Sweet goodness that was a lot of knees. I know it’s more realistic, but that doesn’t make it more interesting. Shida used half a dozen running knees here and they got a little old pretty quickly. Swole hasn’t shown me much but she hasn’t gotten a promo or really anything more than a supporting role so you can’t take much away from that.

Post match Shida is happy to bring Japanese strong style and wants the winner of the Women’s Title match. That alone is more than I’ve heard from most of the women and it was a nice little step forward for her.

Chuck Taylor has replaced Arn on commentary. Lucky us.

Shazza McKenzie/Shalandra Royal vs. Leva Bates/Nyla Rose

There is something interesting about these completely random teams. Nyla runs Shazza over to start so Royal comes in…for a dropkick that has no effect. A slam into the nerve hold doesn’t keep Royal down very long so Rose suplexes both of them at the same time. There’s a double chokeslam for a bonus, followed by a regular suplex to Shazza for two, with Rose picking her up. Royal gets tagged in despite trying to run away, meaning Rose drags her back in. A double Samoan drop sets up a Swanton to both at once for the double pin at 6:57. Leva was never in the match.

Rating: C. Now that is how you make someone look like a star. Commentary mentioned that Rose wanted to do this one by herself and that is exactly what we got here, with her running through both of them like they weren’t even there. Rose needs to be rebuilt after losing to Riho and that is exactly what happened. I loved the booking here and Rose looked like a killer.

Rose says she didn’t tag Bates in because she didn’t have to. She has been disrespected around here so she’s going to disrespect the locker room, one by one. Or two by one as she did tonight.

Full Gear rundown.

We look back at Cody announcing that if he loses, he will never challenge for the World Title again.

Video on Cody vs. Jericho and how serious Cody is taking things. It’s a cross between remarkable and frustrating that they can do this but so many of the other stories get almost nothing.

SCU/Cima vs. Hybrid Two/Kip Sabian

Cima hammerlocks Angelico down to start as we hear about the two of them being trained/inspired by Ultimo Dragon. Angelico reverses into an armbar of his own but Cima is up with a running dropkick. Evans and Sabian are knocked off the apron and it’s Kazarian coming in for an armbar to put Evans down.

It’s off to Sabian, who gets kicked and clotheslined down in a hurry as SCU is on a roll to start. Sky’s slingshot splash gets two and it’s Kazarian slingshotting in with a legdrop. Sabian rakes Sky in the eyes though and it’s a big boot from Evans to really take over. A faceplant sets up some stomping in the corner as the villains take turns on Sky. The front facelock keeps Sky in trouble but he kicks Evans away and makes the hot tag to Cima.

That means a bunch of running knees (a theme tonight), followed by a springboard knee to both of the Two. They don’t stay down long and it’s an elbow/belly to back suplex combination, followed by an assisted 450 for two on Cima. Back up and Cima suplexes Evans for two more with Sabian making the save. Kazarian comes back in with a missile dropkick and Cima’s top rope Meteora finishes Sabian at 12:27.

Rating: C+. This was your run of the mill formula six man and that was just fine given the talent in there. Cima has been an excellent substitute member of the team and I could go for seeing more of him in a prominent role. Daniels isn’t going to be around forever, and while Cima might not be the best full time replacement, he works very well for the time being.

One more Full Gear ad takes us out.

Overall Rating: C. This felt like a middle of the road show that was designed to make me watch Full Gear. That being said, it didn’t really add anything and was more along the lines of an extended advertisement. The show was about fifteen minutes shorter than the usual fare and that feels better. You don’t have to have any certain amount of content here so cut it down a bit and let the show breathe, which can help.


Hikaru Shida b. Big Swole – Running knee

Nyla Rose/Leva Bates b. Shazza McKenzie/Shalandra Royal – Double Swanton Bomb

SCU/Cima b. Kip Sabian/Hybrid Two – Top rope Meteora to Sabian

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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