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AEW Dark recap & reactions (Mar. 17, 2020): Christopher Daniels has something to prove

Episode 25 of AEW Dark from Salt Lake City, UT featured Christopher Daniels on his way to proving there is no Exalted One and a shocking upset in women’s action.

Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time:

  • Peter Avalon vs Colt Cabana (okay)
  • TH2 vs Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa (okay)
  • Penelope Ford vs Riho (solid)
  • Stu Grayson vs Christopher Daniels (solid)

Avalon vs Cabana had a comedic tone within the wrestling. The tag bout had flurries of action to make it enjoyable. Ford vs Riho had a very unexpected finish. Daniels took on Grayson as part of his two-step plan to prove the Exalted One does not exist.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to the show. Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez would appear later.

Peter Avalon vs Colt Cabana

This bout had a little bit of story development between the Librarians. Peter Avalon was knocked silly on the apron. Colt Cabana climbed the corner to fly, but Leva Bates pleaded with Cabana not to attack. When Cabana hopped down onto the apron, Bates began poking him in the chest. Cabana grabbed her finger and bent it backward. In an effort to save Bates, Avalon grabbed her arm, which led to a tug of war when Cabana grabbed her other arm. When Cabana let go, the result was a romantic dance dip and the Librarians locking eyes. Colt ruined the moment by kissing Avalon on the cheek.

That led to the finish. Cabana clotheslined Avalon back into the ring then used a Superman pin to win.

TH2 vs Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa

TH2 started strong by focusing on Michael Nakazawa. Nak broke free for the hot tag by using his Turkish baby oil to slip out of holds. Brandon Cutler came in with fire.

Cutler also hit a suicide dive and a springboard elbow drop.

For the finish, Nakazawa squeezed baby oil into his mouth. He was going to mist Jack Evans in the face, but Evans moved and Cutler became the accidental target. Evans took out Cutler with a springboard moonsault on the floor.

Angelico crushed Nak with a running powerbomb into the corner. Evans hit a 630 senton on Nakazawa to win.

Penelope Ford vs Riho

Kip Sabian was ringside and provided several distractions to assist Penelope Ford. For example, he grabbed Riho’s foot when she was running and argued with Riho about who hates who more when she was about to attempt a flying maneuver.

Sabian also played a role in the finish of this back and forth bout. Riho went for a snap dragon suplex to Ford, but Ford was able to grab the ropes for a break. While the referee was occupied, Sabian slipped into the ring. He tried to surprise Riho with a snap dragon. Riho reversed it into a snap dragon to Sabian.

Ford pushed the ref into Riho, so she could execute a handspring cutter.

Ford pounced with a bridging fisherman suplex pin to win. That’s right, Ford defeated Riho.

Stu Grayson vs Christopher Daniels

The background for this match was Christopher Daniels’ challenge on Dynamite for singles matches against Stu Grayson and Evil Uno. When CD beats both, we will all see that there was never any Exalted One that was going to save them.

Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Scorpio Sky, and Frankie Kazarian were all ringside until referee Mike Posey ejected all of them prior to the opening bell.

Grayson utilized a rugged strategy, while CD took advantage with his veteran savvy. My favorite move was a slingshot senton on the apron by Grayson as he shouted, “This is fun!”

For the finish, CD smashed Grayson’s face into the canvas then applied a leg choke.

A creeper ran down to create a distraction. CD let go to focus on the creeper. Grayson snatched CD up for a fireman’s carry backbreaker, however, CD countered into a surprise pin to win.

After the match, the Dark Order attacked CD. SCU and Colt Cabana ran down for the save. The fighting finished with a moonsault from CD onto the interfering creeper. CD grabbed a mic with words for Evil Uno. One down, one to go. CD doesn’t see an Exalted One, because there is no Exalted One. When CD and Evil Uno wrestle, CD is going to get rid of the Dark Order once and for all.

Wow, I am shocked that Penelope Ford defeated Riho. That’s the real headline news for this episode of Dark, but I didn’t want to spoil the results in the title. That upset victory is a great way to mix up the women’s scene. Add in Bea Priestley declaring her intentions to challenge for the Women’s Championship and Big Swole getting more camera time as of late. We now have three potential opponents for Nyla Rose to pad her resume as queen bee.

As for how Ford looked in the ring, it was clear that she needs more experience to become more fluid in transitions, but she is certainly on the right path to becoming a star. Ford already has the look, attitude, and flashy moves down. Once Ford gets more ring time, she should be a pillar in the AEW women’s division for years to come.

I loved Taz using the telestrator to explain the leverage of Ford’s fisherman suplex pin. Taz’s terrible drawing skills adds a level of charm that is amusing.

Christopher Daniels and Stu Grayson put on a nifty bout. Based on the story, it was obvious CD was going to win. Yet, they still made it interesting. I’m curious to see Daniels’ reaction when the Exalted One is finally revealed. He seems so sure about his claims. We should get resolution to this chapter of the Exalted One, since he is being advertised to appear on the next Dynamite.

Who stood out most for episode 25 of AEW Dark? Which match was the best?

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