Welcome back to the weekly TJRwrestling review of AEW Dark. Last week on Dark, we had an average main event with some less than stellar matches on the undercard. The last episode aired on Friday, rather than the normal Tuesday, in preparation for Full Gear. We also didn’t have “From Undesirable to Undeniable” with Cody, which is the segment they use to help us get to know their talent, either.
AEW Dark consists of matches taped before and after that week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, which they release on the AEW Youtube channel the next week. I will post the video at the bottom of the review. Will this week’s episode of Dark make a comeback from the last couple of weeks? Let’s find out!
AEW Dark from Nashville, Tennessee 11/19/2019
The show started at about 7:12 PM eastern. Once the show does come on, we are joined this week in the control room with Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzales. They mention the fallout from Full Gear being in full effect in AEW. They briefly talk about Dynamite tomorrow night, before sending it to the ring where Excalibur is joined on commentary this week by Dustin Rhodes.
Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) vs. Best Friends (Trent Baretta and Chuck Taylor) (w/Orange Cassidy)
Private Party are coming off a loss at Full Gear against The Lucha Brothers and SCU for the Tag Team Titles. Best Friends didn’t have a match at Full Gear but have been on Dynamite the last couple of weeks, either in singles matches or as a team.
Quen and Baretta start the match off with Quen throwing his chain at Orange Cassidy. He put the chain on to a big reaction from the crowd. Both men trade blows in the ring, with Baretta hitting the big boot to know Quen to the mat. Northern lights suplex by Baretta for a two count. He tags in Chuck Taylor, and Taylor continues working on Quen in the corner. Quen recovers and hits a dropkick before tagging in Kassidy. Big elbow by Taylor, followed by a belly to belly suplex. Tag to Baretta, who chops Kassidy hard. Kassidy recovers and hits some athletic moves and tags Quen back in. Quen with a step up dropkick knocking Baretta to the floor. Orange Cassidy gets up on the apron and poses with Private Party. Best Friends get Kassidy to the outside and hits a double team suplex.
Baretta and Taylor continue to double team Kassidy. Taylor knocks Quen off the apron before getting a near fall. Taylor starts biting down on Kassidy’s foot. Baretta is back in and hits Kassidy with some stiff shots. Kassidy recovers and starts to fight back. Taylor is back in the ring and assists Baretta in hitting a big superplex. Quen breaks up the two count. Kassidy starts to mount a comeback and takes both men out. Kassidy rolls to his corner and gets the tag into Quen, who starts diving all over the ring and to the outside. He gets back up on the apron and hits a springboard crossbody for a near fall. Quen climbs to the top but is cut off by Taylor, who he knocks to the floor. Hanging neckbreaker double team move by Private Party. Quen makes a tag but Kassidy is hit with a suplex by Baretta. Taylor is back in and hits Kassidy with a big boot. Both men tumble to the outside, where Kassidy misses a moonsault and is speared by Baretta. Back in the ring, Taylor makes a tag and Best Friends hit some double team moves on Kassidy. Best Friends attempt an assisted DDT, but it’s countered and hit with the Silly String. Quen is tagged back in, and hits a splash to the outside on Baretta. Orange Cassidy did all he could to stop Quen from jumping. He rolls Baretta back in the ring, and hits a shooting star press for a near fall. Both teams hit some double team moves before Kassidy is powerbombed onto a prone Quen in the corner. Best friends hug in the middle of the ring, before hitting the Strong Zero and getting the win in about 15 minutes.
Winner(s): Best Friends
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Match Notes: This match was a pretty good opener for this week. Both teams are over with the crowd and they had a lot of time to shine. Quen and Kassidy always show great athleticism but can show their inexperience at times. Although Orange Cassidy didn’t get involved, he had some spots in the match. You either get the gimmick or you don’t. The crowd was dead at spots throughout, but overall a strong outing from both teams.
After the match, Best friends celebrate their victory in the ring.
We have a commercial for shopAEW.com, before going back to Tony and Dasha in the control room to introduce the next match.
Kris Statlander and Big Swole vs. Britt Baker and Riho
This is Big Swole’s third Dark match, while Statlander is making her AEW debut. Also, Britt Baker is a dentist in case you didn’t know already.
Riho and Swole are the first two in the ring. Swole muscles Riho to the corner, before letting her go. Swole continues to overpower Riho. Both women make tags to their corners with Statlander taking the early advantage. She hits Baker with a dropkick for a two count. Swole is back in, and Baker is hit with a double team move before kicking out at two. Swole attempts to power Baker up with a suplex but Baker escapes. Baker continues working over on Swole ending in two nearfalls. She’s into the ropes and hits Swole with a neck breaker. Baker continues working on the arm is Swole and hits a knee in the corner. Swole counters with a roll up and a kick out by Baker. Both women are climbing to their corners, with Riho getting tagged in and stops Swole from getting to her corner. Riho hits the headscissors, but Swole regroups and hits a clothesline. Statlander is tagged in and hits Riho with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. She follows up with a senton for a two count.
Riho recovers and hits the double stomp. She crawls to the corner and gets the tag to Baker. Statlander makes the tag and Swole hits the Flatliner for a two count. Swole with a spinning suplex. Statlander and Swole both cover but Baker and Riho kick out. Totally illegal pin attempt. Baker and Riho regain the advantage and Riho hits the double stomp to Swole on the outside. Statlander and Baker are back in the ring. Baker hits a cutter move followed by Riho hitting a double stomp from the top for a two count. Statlander and Baker continue to work on each other in the ring. They roll around the ring with Statlander getting a near fall. Baker hits a swinging neckbreaker but the pin is broken up by Swole. Swole hits Statlander by accident and Baker hits a superkick. Swole gets knocked out of the ring with Baker putting Statlander in the Lock Jaw submission and winning after 14 minutes.
Winner(s): Britt Baker and Riho
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars
Match Notes: This was a tag team match that had two teams that didn’t mesh well together. Riho and Baker have wrestled in the past, so being a team here had a weird dynamic. Big Swole is like an AEW Dark regular and has not had much luck so far. Statlander had a decent enough showing, but took the fall in the end.
After the match, Baker and Riho show respect to one another and embrace in the ring. Back in the control room, Dasha talks about the main event match coming up but first shoots it over for another segment with Cody.
From Undesirable to Undeniable with Cody
This segment returns after not having one on the last episode. This week, Cody is talking with Justin Roberts. For those who don’t know, Justin was in WWE for a little bit before being released from the company in 2014.
Cody talks about Roberts teaching Brandi the ins and outs of ring announcing. Roberts talks about the low point of his career was being let go by WWE. He talks about finding a career outside of wrestling just in case he never got a chance to return to wrestling. Roberts talks about seeing Being the Elite and being enthralled by it. Cody asks him about being undeniable, and Roberts wants to be a big part in building AEW. Cody thanks Roberts and the segment ends.
Segment Notes: I’ve never been the biggest fan of Justin Roberts although I think it’s fair to say does his job well. The ring announcer gets lost in the shuffle sometimes, but I think the ring announcer can play a huge role in a big moment. The segment wasn’t long. It was good to see it making a return this week because it’s fun to see AEW people in more of a sitdown interview setting.
Tony Schiavone narrates a package about upcoming AEW Dynamite events. We then see Tony and Dasha back in the control room. They talk about Dynamite and show the replay of the MJF segment from last week. If you haven’t seen his promo exchange with Jericho last week, please go watch it now. Dasha asks Tony about Wardlow, who made his AEW debut and beat up Cody. They talk about the brawl between The Young Bucks and Santana and Ortiz in which they powerbombed Matt Jackson through the stage. Dasha talks about Matt not being cleared to wrestle, so Nick will go one on one with Rey Fenix tomorrow night on Dynamite. They also show the replay of Scorpio Sky handing Chris Jericho his first loss in AEW. They go over the full card for Dynamite before going to the ring for the main event.
The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) vs StrongHearts (T- Hawk and Lindaman)
This was an awkward spot for this match with them just talking about Matt Jackson being out of action.
T- Hawk and Nick Jackson are the first men in. They both take turns trying to get the advantage. Hawk takes Nick off his feet and hits him with a hard chop. Nick regroups and gets the tag to Matt. They hit some double team moves and getting a near fall. Hawk with a chop that knocks Matt to the floor and hits Nick with a powerbomb in the ring. Lindaman gets the tag and hits Nick with the Flatliner. He grabs Nick from behind but Nick reverses and hits a kick to the back of the head. Lindaman suplexes both Bucks into the corner. Lindaman works Nick over to the corner and tags in T-Hawk. Hawk hits from power moves before getting a near fall. Lindaman hits a splash to the outside on Matt, and Hawk gets Nick in a submission hold in the ring. Nick and Hawk exchange blows in the ring, before Nick hits an enziguri that knocks both men down. Nick gets the tag in and Matt hits Lindaman with three Northern Lights Suplexes. Strong Hearts get back in the ring and Lindaman is hit with a facebuster from Nick. Knee strike from Nick, followed by superkicks by both Bucks. They hit Lindaman with the Meltzer Driver and get the win after 9 minutes.
Winner(s): The Young Bucks
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Match Notes: This match wasn’t bad, with The Young Bucks picking up the win. They have been putting in the time to get other teams over, so a win here feels right. Strong Hearts didn’t have a bad outing either, although it seemed like The Bucks got most of the big offense in. The match was a little on the shorter side, but that’s alright since the other two matches went over ten minutes each. A good way to end the show.
Overall Show Grade: 6 out of 10
It was tag team mania this week with all three matches being tag team matches. The opening match was good with both teams shining at various points in the match. The women’s tag team match was alright, but didn’t have much heat to it. The main event had its moments with The Young Bucks getting what seems like a rare win in AEW. A nice bounce-back show for Dark.
What did you think of this week’s edition of AEW Dark? Loved it? Hated it? Wish it would start on time? As always keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Support the site and each other, and I’ll be back soon with some more Collective Thoughts.