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AEW Dark recap (May 19, 2020): Darby Allin uses shady tactics on path to victory

Episode 34 of AEW Dark was another supersized edition with 9 bouts. It featured Hikaru Shida in a tune-up and Darby Allin using a controversial method to gain momentum for success.

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

  • Dani Jordyn vs Hikaru Shida (solid)
  • Clutch Adams vs QT Marshall (pass)
  • Jason Cade vs Marko Stunt (okay)
  • Musa & Lee Johnson vs Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian (pass)
  • Shawn Dean vs Fenix (okay)
  • Jon Cruz vs Luther (pass)
  • Ryan Rembrandt & Mike Reed vs Private Party (okay)
  • Alan Angels vs Sammy Guevara (okay)
  • Serpentico vs Darby Allin (solid)

These were all showcase bouts with each one being entertaining in its own way, however, not every bout was important leading into Double or Nothing on May 23. As with last week, you will enjoy the contest if you are a fan of the star performer. Jordyn vs Shida was a nice snack to whet the appetite for Shida’s title bout against Nyla Rose at the PPV. Allin’s match may have potential character development, but we’ll have to see how he competes in future contests.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur and Taz were on commentary. Dasha Gonzalez was the ring announcer.

Dani Jordyn vs Hikaru Shida

Shida hit the first big move in the form of a running to knee on the floor as Jordyn was lying out on the apron.

As Shida re-entered the ring, Jordyn caught her with a DDT and an armbreaker. Shida came back with another running knee then a missile dropkick. Jordyn still had life to counter into a release German suplex. In the end, Shida hit another knee strike and the Falcon Arrow slam to win.

Clutch Adams vs QT Marshall

QT’s ribs were taped to sell his previous match against Lance Archer. Adams controlled the flow for much of the match. QT had the top highlight with a backbreaker into flatliner combo.

QT won after escaping a suplex then unloading a cutter.

Jason Cade vs Marko Stunt

Cade underestimated Stunt’s speed, but he eventually used his size advantage to take control. Cade may have broken Stunt’s nose on an elbow strike. Stunt rallied with a reverse rana, springboard headscissors takeover, then suicide dive. Stunt won with a Razor’s Edge out of the corner then a 450 splash.

Musa & Lee Johnson vs Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian

Penelope Ford was ringside. Her meddling was not needed in this affair. The Superbad Death Squad rudely toyed with their competition. Johnson had a flurry of fire, but Havoc put him down with an Acid Rainmaker then a fisherman’s DDT to win.

Shawn Dean vs Fenix

Fenix had an extra level of fury for this bout. He took the best of what Dean could dish then asked for more. The top spot was Dean catching a slingshotting Fenix into a vertical double underhook position for a Tiger Driver.

In the end, Fenix exploded with a thrust kick, corkscrew kick in the corner, then a musclebuster spinning driver to win.

Jon Cruz vs Luther

Luther destroyed Cruz. Luther submitted Cruz via Camel Clutch eye gouge.

Ryan Rembrandt & Mike Reed vs Private Party

Private Party used their creative teamwork maneuvers for victory. The finish came on Silly String to the illegal man followed with a springboard leg drop facebuster and senton atomico from Isiah Kassidy for the win.

Alan Angels vs Sammy Guevara

Guevara was on point early and showboated in the ring. Angels rebounded with offense of his own then mocked Guevara’s signature Sex God pose. The contest was closer than Guevara would have liked, but he rampaged when it was time to close. Guevara pummeled Angels with a running knee strike then a Go To Hospital fireman’s knee maneuver to win.

Serpentico vs Darby Allin

The debuting Serpentico was a masked wrestler from Puerto Rico. Allin started with classic wrestling in the form of side headlocks. Serpentico picked up momentum with an eye rake when referee Aubrey Edwards enforced her authority on a corner separation. Serpentico attacked with a running knee, tossing Allin into the ring steps, and a slingshot stomp. Allin got out of his predicament by pulling ref Edwards in front of a charging Serpentico. The newcomer stopped short, so Allin took control with a barrage of strikes. That led to a superplex by Allin.

For the finish, Allin hit a Coffin Drop outside then his Last Supper bridging leglock pin for victory.

The big takeaway for this episode of Dark was Darby Allin using referee Aubrey Edwards as a shield to purposely thwart Serpentico’s attack. That was pretty shady. In my opinion, it is another example of Allin’s mental weakness in the ring. It was a smart play strategically, but Allin taking shortcuts shows he is getting desperate for success. If a heel did that, no big deal. That’s what heels do. When Allin did it, it makes me question if he will be turning to the dark side if he fails to win his next big match.

It is also worth pointing out Taz’s takes on commentary in regard to Allin. Taz took a neutral approach. Whenever Allin displayed technical skill, Taz offered praise. Whenever Allin made questionable decisions, Taz explained what he would have done. Taz clearly still wants to mentor Allin, but he could withdraw support if Allin is disrespectful again. Something could be baking here. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of the oven.

Share you thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 34?

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