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AEW Dark
March 17, 2020

by Samoa Rowe

AEW Dark

From the Salt Lake City, Utah Dynamite tapings on March 11th 2020. I wanted to review something tonight and there's no Powerrr, so here we are. Our hosts are Excalibur and Taz.

Peter Avalon (with Leva Bates) vs. Colt Cabana

I wonder in kayfabe terms, how many matches Avalon would have to lose in order to get booted off the AEW roster. He's nearing a year without a single victory, and he has been an active part of Dark. Colt fools around by tossing Avalon's book into the air and then politely handing it to Bates. Cabana crawls around to make Avalon look foolish and connects with a chop. Colt applies a reverse surfboard stretch and rolls him into a body scissors. Colt is clearly enjoying himself. Avalon scores a shoulder thrust in the ropes and dropkicks Cabana to ringside. Avalon's flying crossbody gets 2 so he stretches the arms. Cabana makes his patented comeback with thrusts, jabs, and falling splash for 2. Bates shields Avalon on the ring apron, and gets caught in a tug of war. Avalon pulls Bates free and they tease a kiss, but the distraction allows Colt's Superman press to finish at 5:41. This was a fun Sunday Night Heat match, **.
Winner: Colt Cabana

Tony Shiavone and Dasha Gonzalez promote some merch... and that's about it. The weather looks nice in Utah.

The Hybrid 2 (Angelico and Jack Evans) vs. Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa

TH2 are looking to improve their less than stellar win/loss record against two of AEW's jobbiest jobbers. They cheap shot Nakazawa before the bell and quickly go to work on his back. Angelico leg sweeps him into a nasty looking head scissors variation and tags in Evans for cheap kicks to the back. Nakazawa uses baby oil to slip out of a cravat. TH2 attempt a double suplex, but Nakazawa is too oily. Hot tag to Cutler, who runs wild and hits a springboard clothesline and spinning slam for 2. Cutler catches Angelico with a guillotine leg drop and spins Evans with a clothesline, then dives onto Angelico. Cutler's springboard elbow drop gets a great nearfall on Evans. Nakazawa covers Evans in oil for a slipping leg drop/double stomp combo. Nakazawa accidentally sprays oil in Cutler's eyes, which allows Evans to hit a moonsault to ringside. Angelico hits a running buckle bomb and Evans finishes Nakazawa with the 630 splash at 6:26. Solid match, with TH2 looking strong in victory, and Cutler showcasing his athletic chops, **¾.
Winners: The Hybrid 2

Shiavone and Gonzalez talk about how awesome Riho is.

Penelope Ford (with Kip Sabian) vs. Riho

Bell rings and they trade strikes. Riho answers Ford's power with a dropkick and running knee strikes. Sabian grabs Riho's boot, which allows Ford to maneuver into a stunner. Back handspring elbow by Ford and a vertical suplex gets 2. Riho catches Ford with a double stomp to the gut and follows with 619. Crucifix Bomb by Riho gets 2. Riho overcomes Sabian's distraction to hit a flying double stomp for another nearfall. Ford comes back with a fireman's carry gutbuster. Riho puts together a combination of moves but Ford hides in the ropes, allowing Sabian to sneak in, but Riho counters him with a snap Dragon suplex! Ford flips into a cutter and hits a Fisherman Suplex for the win at 6:08. The fans are less than impressed with that result. Solid in-ring work but they lost the crowd with the interference and finish, **.
Winner: Penelope Ford

The Exalted One is coming! Kudos to AEW for turning the Dark Order into a net positive for their brand.

Stu Grayson (with The Dark Order) vs. Christopher Daniels (with SCU)

The ref tosses everyone before the bell. Daniels gets a hot start like a crafty veteran should. Grayson is forced to ringside, where Daniels hits a baseball slide dropkick and then sends him into the rails. Flying crossbody by Daniels gets 2. Grayson comes back with a hard uranage! He almost seems surprised to be in control and dishes out Methodical Heel Offense. Grayson hits a nifty slingshot senton onto the apron. The flying double stomp misses, allowing Daniels to hit an Exploder Suplex into the buckles. Daniels rallies and hits the STO and Blue Thunder Bomb. Grayson answers with a swinging DDT and running knee for 2. Grayson kips up into a Pele Kick, but Daniels catches him with an enziguri. Grayson blocks Angels Wings and hits a sitout face buster for 2. Grayson misses the Best Moonsault Ever and Daniels hits Angels Wings, but gets 2 via rope break. Daniels pulls him into a leg scissors neck vice, but Dark Order members show up for a distraction. Daniels counters Grayson's fireman's carry maneuver and desperately pins him at 10:08. They kept a lively pace and provided some surprising twists and counters along the way, ***.
Winner: Christopher Daniels

The Dark Order swarm Daniels, but SCU and Colt Cabana run in for the save. Daniels hits a proper Best Moonsault Ever to send Evil Uno and the Exalted One a strong message.

Final Thoughts: A solid hour of showcase matches featuring an enjoyable roster. Not much to complain about, but not much to go out of your way to see either. Credit to AEW for making the Dark Order interesting after some notorious stumbles.

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