Dark – August 11, 2020: It’s Coming Down To Nothing More Than Apathy
Date: August 11, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Taz
Yeah we’re back and I’m still not sure what to say about this show. They are getting into a little bit better of a format here as they are at least now doing a bigger main event between some midcarders, which offers a nice boost. Hopefully the rest of the show can be good enough to make that match work. Let’s get to it.
Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.
Quick announcers preview.
Lee Johnson vs. Rey Fenix
Fenix takes him straight down into an armbar and then a quickly broken chinlock to start as the announcers talk about how amazing Fenix is when he starts flying. Back up and Johnson ducks a bunch of kicks and we get a quick handshake. Fenix takes him down and goes for the face, sending Johnson to the ropes for the break. They go outside with Fenix sending him into various things and kicking Johnson in the head.
Back in and Fenix hits the AJ Styles drop down into a (running) dropkick before sending him to the apron for a spinning kick to the face. Johnson is right back up with a series of strikes to the head into a springboard missile dropkick for one. A Blue Thunder Bomb gives Johnson two more but Fenix ducks a superkick and kicks him in the head. The running spin kick to the face in the corner sets up the Black Fire Driver to finish Johnson at 6:29.
Rating: C. Fenix is one of those guys who we don’t see very often and in a way, that’s a good thing. He doesn’t lose a lot of the impact that he could have from being around too often and it’s a case of absence makes the heart go fonder. Fenix can fly very well and I could go for more of him on his own, but don’t overuse him.
Video on Scorpio Sky wanting a TNT Title shot.
Shawn Spears vs. Alex Chamberlain
Tully Blanchard is here with Spears. Chamberlain gets headlocked to the mat to start but reverses into one of his own. They run the ropes until Spears catches him with a shot to the ribs. That’s fine with Chamberlain who runs him over with a shoulder, meaning it’s time for a breather on the floor. Chamberlain follows like a schnook and gets pulled into the post. Spears drops the arm onto the apron and it’s time to work on said arm back inside. The good arm is fine enough to knock Spears outside but he’s back in with a slingshot stomp to the arm. The Death Valley Driver ends Chamberlain at 4:09.
Rating: C. I’m still not big on Spears but it is nice to see him do something like this where he works on the arm and takes someone apart. Spears still doesn’t exactly show me enough to make me think that he is going to be some big star but they need to build him up somehow. Chamberlain has a good look but that’s about all you could see with him here.
Post match, Spears lays him out with the glove.
M’Badu/Shawn Dean vs. Gunn Club
Austin and Dean start things off with Dean spinning out of a wristlock and snapping off a dropkick. Billy comes in for a big boot and two and it’s off to the rather large (and muscular) M’Badu. A shove is enough to get Billy to take his shirt off (Taz: “Such a vet move.”) and a running shoulder (from Billy) puts Billy down. M’Badu elbows him into the corner and hits a Stinger Splash before it’s back to Dean.
Some shots in the corner have Billy doing a Flair Flop and we hit the quickly broken chinlock. Billy DDTs his way to freedom and Austin tells his daddy to come on. The double tag brings in Dean and Austin with the latter sending M’Badu to the floor. Everything breaks down and the hiptoss neckbreaker finishes Dean at 6:42.
Rating: D+. Forgive me if I’m not incredibly interested in seeing Billy Gunn trying to make his son relevant in 2020. Austin seems like a fine enough guy but there is only so much that you are going to be able to do when you’re in there with your far more famous father. The match wasn’t too bad and M’Badu looked good in a short stretch, but the Gunn Club isn’t exactly thrilling.
Michael Stevens vs. Kip Sabian
Penelope Ford is here too. Stevens’ gear looks like he wore it to a rather messy Nickelodeon game show and let the weird goo dry. Sabian kicks him down and rubs Stevens’ bald head so Stevens takes him over without much trouble. That means time for some dancing/mime work, allowing Sabian to take over again. After a shot of water, Sabian stomps away and hits a pop up knee into a discus punch.
There’s a penalty kick as Tony talks about how much he learns from Taz every week. Stevens gets thrown into the corner where he shakes his hips a bit before jumping over Sabian. An X Factor gets two but Sabian catapults him into the corner. The springboard tornado DDT sets up the hanging twisting neckbreaker to finish Stevens at 5:12.
Rating: C-. Stevens is going to get more attention here but I’m not sure what I think about him yet. He made a quick impression, but how far that can take him remains to be seen. There is only so much you can get out of a five minute match that was mainly a squash and the bright gear isn’t enough. He got more of my attention than most AEW jobbers though so that’s a first step at least.
Private Party vs. Griff Garrison/Brian Pillman Jr.
Kassidy and Pillman start as Tony talks about Urban Dictionary. A leg lariat staggers Pillman and it’s off to Quen to strike away at the head. Pillman gets taken into the corner for a running shot to the face but Kassidy has to stop to pose instead of dive. Back in and Pillman manages a knee to the face so Garrison can come in instead.
Garrison’s kick to the face gives him his own two as Tony wants to know why wrestlers with long hair don’t tie it back. Kassidy gets sent into the corner but rolls away and brings in Quen to clean house. Everything breaks down and a top rope splash/top rope legdrop combination (an old Hardy Boyz move in a nice nod to their work with Matt) finishes Garrison at 5:59.
Rating: C-. One of the common criticisms of Private Party is that they’re great athletes but don’t really know how to put together a match. That was on display here as they just kind of did some spots and then had the finish. They were strung together better than normal for a Private Party match, but it still feels like they don’t really know what they’re doing. It’s far from terrible or even bad, but they need more polish than what they have now.
Pineapple Pete/Aaron Solow/Corey Hollis vs. Jurassic Express
Stunt starts for the Express and, after the required unfunny dancing, gets to face Solow, who starts on his knees. That means it’s off to Luchasaurus to wreck everyone in sight. Solow manages a spinning kick to the head but Luchasaurus kicks him even harder, allowing Jungle Boy to come in for a suplex. Stunt adds a high crossbody for two but Solow takes Boy into the corner for some stomping.
Pete comes in and hits a northern lights suplex, only to get clotheslined by Boy. A double clothesline allows the hot tag to Stunt (who everyone would pick next over Luchasaurus) and it’s time to do his thing, including a Razor’s Edge to Pete out of the corner. Everything breaks down and the Express stomps on Pete, setting up Stunt’s 450 for the pin at 5:20.
Rating: D+. And of course it was the same Jurassic Express formula: Boy and Luchasaurus look good and we stop for all of Stunt’s antics, including the mini version of the big man offense as he becomes more and more like Hornswoggle every day. I’m sure that’s an idea that was funny once, but it was in another company with someone more talented and versatile than Stunt.
Hybrid 2 vs. Natural Nightmares
Brandi, with her action figure, and Allie are here with the Nightmares. Marshall starts with Angelico and it’s an early battle over wrist control. A headlock takeover has Angelico down as the announcers talk about ring gear. Evans flips in to face Dustin, meaning it’s the drop down uppercut to put Jack down. Marshall hits a standing moonsault for two and adds a slingshot shoulder for the same. A rake to Marshall’s eyes draws Dustin in though, allowing Angelico to add a cheap shot as the villains take over.
Dustin breaks up a figure four with the legs and Angelico misses a Stinger Splash. Evans keeps running his mouth so much that Marshall slips over for the tag to Dustin so house can be cleaned. There’s the bulldog to Evans and the scoop powerslam hits the 2. Dustin’s top rope flip dive takes both of them down again and Marshall’s pop up right hand hits Evans. Whatever Dustin is calling the Final Cut these days finishes Evans at 6:22.
Rating: C-. I believe the term ho-hum is the right way to go here as it was a great miniature version of this entire show: not terrible, but completely forgettable with two teams fighting and one of them winning. That’s not exactly something that I want to watch and it’s all this show has, which doesn’t exactly give me the highest enthusiasm.
Rachael Ellering vs. Penelope Ford
Kip Sabian is here too. Ford slips out of a headscissors to start so Ellering switches over to an armbar instead. Ellering hits a running elbow to the face for two but Penelope knees her way out of a brainbuster. Sabian whips out a leaf blower as Ford starts choking on the rope. Sabian: “She’s hot as h*** and clever.”
A clothesline to the back of the head drops Ellering again and Ford kicks her in the face a few times. The fisherman’s suplex is broken up and Ellering starts hitting her in the head. A spinebuster gives Ellering two but a springboard spinning legdrop only hits mat. The Lethal Injection drops Ellering and now the fisherman’s suplex is enough to finish 5:40.
Rating: C-. How in the world was that almost six minutes? Anyway, Ford has grown a lot in recent months and it is great to see her develop into something more than the good looking manager. Ellering is someone who seems to have potential but she only looked ok here. Then again she has been out of action for a LONG time after her torn ACL so it is far from fair to really critique her at the moment.
Butcher and Blade vs. SCU
Blade and Kazarian start things off and have a rather long lockup (as in over a minute) until Kazarian switches into a headlock. That lets Taz go head first into the analysis of the technique and what Kazarian should be going for with various parts of his body. I love that kind of thing. Blade fights up and charges into the corner, only to get rolled up for two. Daniels comes in with a neckbreaker for two on Blade as Tony talks about meeting Daniels in 2000 and how bad of a year that was.
Butcher comes in for a hard slam and drops a knee on Daniels before grabbing the bearhug. Blade tags himself back in to chop away against the ropes but Kazarian makes his own blind tag to come in for the save. A belly to back suplex drops Kazarian onto Blade and Daniels adds a Lionsault for two. Blade’s distraction lets Butcher hit a backbreaker though and Daniels is in trouble again.
A side slam/running legdrop combination gets two on Daniels and we hit the bearhug for the second time. Daniels bites his way to freedom and brings Kazarian back in to clean house. That means the springboard spinning legdrop to Blade with Butcher’s saving elbow only hitting his partner. Butcher is sent outside and it’s the double powerbomb for two on Blade. The Best Moonsault Ever is broken up by Butcher though and the suplex onto Blade’s knees finishes Daniels at 11:38.
Rating: C. As usual, the main event is the best match on the show because of the time it gets and the people involved. I’m also a little surprised at the ending as Butcher and Blade are starting to rise a bit but having them beat SCU feels like an upset. I’m not sure how good the match really was, but after everything we saw earlier in the show, this was quite the hit.
The Dynamite preview ends the show.
Overall Rating: D+. My nearly complete apathy to this show continues to grow every week. It’s just most average(ish) wrestling that goes on for a long, long time every week. I need a little more to it than just watching a decent main event and it’s getting harder and harder to watch every week. I’m needing to take breaks to get through this show just so I can do something more interesting. It is far from a terrible show and the wrestling is rarely anything even bad, but I beg of you, find SOMETHING interesting to use on here.
Rey Fenix b. Lee Johnson – Black Fire Driver
Shawn Spears b. Alex Chamberlain – Death Valley Driver
Gunn Club b. M’Badu/Shawn Dean – Hiptoss neckbreaker to Dean
Kip Sabian b. Michael Stevens – Hanging swinging neckbreaker
Private Party b. Brian Pillman Jr./Griff Garrison – Top rope legdrop/top rope splash combination to Garrison
Jurassic Express b. Corey Hollis/Pineapple Pete/Aaron Solow – 450 to Pete
Natural Nightmares b. Hybrid 2 – Spinning suplex neckbreaker to Evans
Penelope Ford b. Rachael Ellering – Fisherman’s suplex
Butcher and Blade b. SCU – Suplex to Daniels onto Blade’s knees
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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Not telling you what to do of course, but honestly I wouldn’t review this show every week. Maybe every now and then if they do something like Omega vs Janela’s unsanctioned match.
It does well on Rumors so it’s not exactly up to me. And I can’t stand not doing every show of something. It’s bringing it on myself but I can’t help it.
You’re a completeist! Once you start somthing You have to finish it. Is that right about you? I get fustrated when I start somthing I can’t finish.
Yep. It’s why I can’t get into older comic books. I’ve been a comic geek for years but if I can’t read from issue #1, I don’t even start.
I do that when I read comic books online too. If you want to read older comic books just add to a list and read series in order you write them down. I’m a late bloomer though once I finish reading Deathstroke (2011) I’m going to read 1980s Teen Titans despite already reading Teen Titans (2003) and The comic based on the animated TV series. Guess publishing orders Important for you though as it may ruin contanuaity right?
So a fan of the Fray are you?
I was in high school when that song came out. How could I not be?
I had to Google the lyric and then kicked myself when I realized it was The Fray.
They were pretty good but whatever happened to them?
No idea. I’m not a big music guy. Just a like what I like person.