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AEW Dark recap & reactions (Mar. 24, 2020): Squash city

Episode 26 of AEW Dark from Jacksonville, FL featured a bunch of squashes. This show was about providing a diversion for fans at home and providing indie talent a shot at getting paid.

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

  • Joe Alonzo vs Jake Hager (okay)
  • Jon Cruz & Matt Sells vs The Natural Nightmares (pass)
  • Shawn Spears & Robert “Ego” Anthony vs SCU (pass)
  • Suge D vs Kip Sabian (okay)
  • Brandon Cutler vs Colt Cabana (okay)
  • Corey Hollis & Mike Reed vs Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela (okay)

These were all squashes and showcases. Hager, Sabian, and Kiss & Janela had cool finishes. Shawn Spears had a little bit of story in testing out his potential tag partner.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to the broadcast from their announce position. Dasha Gonzalez handled ring announcer duties.

Joe Alonzo vs Jake Hager

Sammy Guevara was ringside for the squash. In the end, Joe Alonzo attempted a high-risk flying attack. Jake Hager caught him for a Rock Bottom then transitioned into an arm triangle choke to win via submission.

Jon Cruz & Matt Sells vs The Natural Nightmares

Skyler Moore accompanied Jon Cruz. Brandi Rhodes was ringside to support Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall. Showcase bout for the Natural Nightmares. Moore choked QT on the bottom rope to give her team a little bit of control. A short while later, Dustin got the hot tag and his team won with a teamwork cutter slam finisher as QT pinned Cruz.

Shawn Spears & Robert “Ego” Anthony vs SCU

Tully Blanchard was ringside to mentor Shawn Spears. Robert Anthony was found through the “Search for Spears” tag team partner gimmick, but no clip was shown of his video submission. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian represented SCU. Scorpio Sky was not present.

The story of the match was Anthony trying to impress and make a name for himself, while Spears was arrogant in his incompetence. Their teamwork was not on the same page. At one point, Anthony hit a sweet rolling DVD for a two count. Anthony and Spears attempted a double suplex to Kaz, but CD ran in underneath so Kaz could roll off CD’s back. SCU brought some fire, so Spears decided to ditch his partner. SCU finished the bout with a moonsault by CD into a tombstone piledriver by Kaz onto Anthony to win.

Once SCU left the ring area after their victory, Tully gave the thumbs down signal for Spears to attack Anthony with a C4.

Suge D vs Kip Sabian

Penelope Ford was available to provide timely interference on behalf of Kip Sabian. Sabian eventually won with a half and half suplex, Russian leg sweep, then octopus submission.

Brandon Cutler vs Colt Cabana

Comedy bout from Colt Cabana. Top move was a suicide dive from Brandon Cutler. For the finish, Cabana clobbered Cutler with a big elbow then hooked in a Superman pin to win.

Corey Hollis & Mike Reed vs Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela

Sonny Kiss was on the end of a beatdown after a big knee to the face from Mike Reed. Joey Janela got the hot tag to set up the win. The finish was a teamwork flying attack. Janela leaped for a flying elbow followed by a leg drop splits from Kiss off the middle rope. Kiss pinned Reed.

This show felt like a throwback to the days of yore when squashes were all the rage. It served a purpose of making the AEW roster look tough and padding records. The standout moments were the submission transitions from Hager and Sabian and the flying train from Janela and Kiss.

Considering the circumstances, it was nice that AEW gave so many indie talents a chance to be on Dark. That said, I don’t see any of them catching on to get a contract down the line. Suge D had the most charisma. Robert Anthony had fancy moves and might be able to score a singles bout against Spears. The rest were doing their job as meat to be beat.

Speaking of Spears, his quest for a tag team partner has jumped the shark. It feels like this story has lost focus. Spears is becoming a comedy jobber. Anthony was out there giving A+ effort, while Spears was the one who looked like a jabroni. Spears is getting to the point where I have to question why anybody would want to team with him.

Who stood out most for episode 26 of AEW Dark? Which match was the best?

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