I’ll be trying a different format this week (per Other Luke’s suggestion) and he will be following suit, surely for NXT! NXT is bringing Charlotte Flair in on a key storyline, so I’m sure he will be all over that story later this week. But first, as always, we get the Tuesday night YouTube show for AEW – AEW Dark. You can watch this week’s episode here. Without further ado!
Shoko Nakajima vs. Riho
The story of this match is that Shoko Nakajima pinned Riho in a tag team match back in July at Fight for the Fallen. Riho is the current AEW Women’s Champion and Nakajima is a tiny wrestler who is vicious. Somehow, Nakajima is shorter than Riho (4’10” versus 5’1″).
The 619 double reversal and hit was a pretty cool spot between these two. I think the chemistry is there but there were some sloppy spots. It seemed like Nakajima kicked out late every single time she was being pinned. Not like a 2.99 in a main event. Like the ref had to stop counting then she kicked out. Just didn’t present well. I do like that Riho won the match with an actual pin and not just her normal “surprise” roll-up. I think it was a fine match but the sloppiness really hurts it. Overall Grade: C–
Jimmy Havoc vs. Sonny Kiss
This is the first time we’ve seen Jimmy Havoc in a few weeks – I think he was off doing some independent shows. The announcers even mention it a few times, so maybe it was just giving him some rest. He’s a hardcore guy so he could have been banged up. Sonny Kiss has been in a lot of tag matches as of late so he’s been back but man – is there some differences in this matchup! I do want to give a slight old school BEST to production for this match. All of the hits, punches, kicks were shot from the right angle to where on TV, they looked great. I just noticed there were some distinct camera changes and I think it was for the best in all cases but one (the ring post chop, which is tough to do).
As far as the match goes – I think this is the first match where Jimmy Havoc has truly TRYING to work heel. He does hardcore stuff like staple people’s foreheads which usually gets a pop from the crowd, but in this match he argued with the ref, cheated, and really worked heel against Sonny Kiss’s clear face character. Overall, the match was fine. Nothing great, nothing horrible, but just didn’t do it for me. Overall Grade: D
After the match, Luther got on the mic. He is supposedly famous for his death matches in Japan? As is Havoc. And now apparently we’re headed for some crazy ass match between the two? Luther has been so weird since coming to AEW and no one had (has) a clue who he is? So I’m not sure on this, yet.
Cassandra Golden vs. Hikaru Shida
A couple thoughts that come to mind before this match starts. 1.) this is Cassandra Golden’s debut. I can’t wait until 10 years from now I can be like yeah I watched Cassandra Golden (or whoever) be a jobber on AEW Dark. Will be fun to look back on. 2.) OMG someone help Hikaru Shida. She was just forced to carry a match against Mel on AEW Dark last week. I don’t want to see her do it again.
Golden appeared to be yelling at the crowd already, so I assume she’s working as a heel. I think Hikaru Shida is a very, very talented wrestler. She’s doing GREAT work right now. Cassandra Golden did fairly well for her first match in AEW. She’s being working the independents but it’s much different when you get in front of a lot of fans and when you’re wrestling someone for the first time. So, overall, a good showing. Not sure if AEW will sign her long term or not, but a good showing for her first match. Carried some by Shida, of course, who is on another level right now. Overall Grade: C+
Dark Order vs. Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy)
I’ve written about Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy before, but I love the duo. I used to be all in on Luchasarus but he’s been MIA lately and maybe he’s rehabbing that injured hammy a little longer. (I just had a weird vision where there’s not room for Lucha in the group and he turns on Jungle Boy for a top tier feud in a year or two….if it happens, MARK THIS PAGE.)
Marko Stunt started this match on fire. A dropkick out of the gate? Love it! I’m giving The Dark Order a redo. I honestly don’t think they were packaged right at first but maybe they’ll be okay. My biggest complaint is they aren’t great wrestlers. This match was a little better. I thought the two teams complimented each other nicely. I think having The Dark Order win was a nice touch. It was a competitive match but they’re significantly bigger than Jurassic Express. This was DO’s best match to date, by a landslide. Now, we just have to wait and find out who the EXALTED one is. Overall Grade: B
We got the continuity of The Dark Order/Christopher Daniels, too. So that’s always a nice footnote to end on. That’s it for AEW Dark this week! Let us know what you thought of this week’s episode!