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AEW Dark recap (May 26, 2020): Brandi Rhodes has a new adversary

Just when you thought AEW Dark couldn’t get any bigger, bam! They give us 10 matches this week. Episode 35 was highlighted by a repackaged character meddling in Brandi Rhodes’ business.

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

  • John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs Natural Nightmares (watch)
  • Michael Nakazawa vs Brandon Cutler (okay)
  • Peter Avalon vs Jungle Boy (okay)
  • Serpentico vs Christopher Daniels (pass)
  • John Skyler & Brady Pierce vs Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela (okay)
  • Tony Donati & Faboo Andre vs Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian (okay)
  • Mr. Grim vs Wardlow (pass)
  • Lee Johnson vs Colt Cabana (pass)
  • Kilynn King vs Penelope Ford (okay)
  • Shawn Dean & Alan Angels vs Best Friends (okay)

Once again, if you enjoy any of the participants, you will enjoy the match. Most of the showcases were competitive enough to hold my attention. Dark Order vs Natural Nightmares is worth watching for a storyline that may bleed over onto Dynamite. Even if it stays on Dark, it should be interesting going forward. The matches with Cutler and Avalon are setting up a story to find out who is the bigger jabrone between the two. The bouts for Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela and Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian display the continuing evolution of each new tag team.

Watch the show here.

The broadcast opened with a message from Taz. He will not be getting into any specifics about his new business relationship with Brian Cage. Cage won the Casino Ladder Match at Double or Nothing and earned a title shot for Jon Moxley’s AEW World Championship at Fyter Fest.

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

John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs Natural Nightmares

Silver & Reynolds wore their Dark Order masks. Brandi Rhodes was ringside for her team. This contest featured a surprise appearance.

Allie ventured out in a red dress with a green apple. She caught the eye of QT from a distance. QT was heavily distracted, so the Dark Order took advantage. Dustin cleaned house on the hot tag. The Natural Nightmares won after a Canadian Destroyer from Dustin then a cutter from QT. Allie blew a kiss to QT for his success.

Michael Nakazawa vs Brandon Cutler

Nakazawa tried to use baby oil early, but referee Bryce Remsburg snatched the bottle and tossed it far away. I bet Nakazawa is jealous of the news that Cody Rhodes and Mike Tyson bonded over baby oil.

Cutler’s strategy to win ended up backfiring. He tried to earn a count-out by pummeling Nakazawa outside the ring with a Torture Tack toss over the ropes onto the entrance ramp followed by a body slam on the ramp, a slingshot elbow drop on the ramp, and a body slam on the floor. Cutler went for one more slam, but Nak escaped out the back and pushed Cutler into the guardrail. Nakazawa barely beat the ten count. Cutler was not so lucky. Nak was victorious via the first count-out in AEW history.

Peter Avalon came out to laugh at Cutler’s loss. “You suck, Brandon.” Cutler’s 0-13 record makes him the worst in AEW. Cutler accused Avalon of being scared that Cutler will win first and leave Avalon in the dust to be the worst in AEW.

Peter Avalon vs Jungle Boy

Leva Bates, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt were all ringside. Top move of the show was a fancy springboard DDT by Jungle Boy.

Everyone was involved in the finish. Bates was on the apron, so Luchasaurus put her on his shoulder. Stunt swooped in to steal a kiss on the lips. That led to rope running and Jungle Boy locking in an STF submission variation to win.

Serpentico vs Christopher Daniels

CD won with the Best Moonsault Ever.

John Skyler & Brady Pierce vs Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela

Kiss and Janela used teamwork for victory. Kiss opened the ropes for a Janela suicide dive to take out one opponent. In the ring, Kiss used the butt bongo attack then Janela flew in for an elbow drop to win.

Tony Donati & Faboo Andre vs Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian

Penelope Ford was ringside. The Superbad Death Squad won with a sequence of twisting neckbreaker by Sabian, running DVD from Havoc, flying foot stomp by Sabina, then a teamwork finisher as Sabian dropkicked the opponent for Havoc to drop him with a Michinoku Driver. All of this damage was done to Donati for Havoc to pick up the pin.

Mr. Grim vs Wardlow

MJF was ringside. Grim had openings after evading charges, but Wardlow still dominated the action. Wardlow knocked out his opponent with a big knee as Grim was falling down off the turnbuckles.

MJF requested an F-10 after the bout. Wardlow obliged.

Lee Johnson vs Colt Cabana

Cabana played his game as only he can. That led to victory with a billy goat submission.

Kilynn King vs Penelope Ford

Kip Sabian was ringside. King had a size and power advantage. Ford needed a distraction from Sabian, so she could take over. King had one more spurt of offense, but Ford rebounded with a handspring cutter to win.

Shawn Dean & Alan Angels vs Best Friends

Orange Cassidy was ringside. Best Friends were the superior team. In the end, Chuck Taylor walked Dean over into a spear from Trent on the floor. Taylor caught Angels for a powerbomb. After giving the people what they want, Best Friends won with Strong Zero.

The strength of episode 35 was setting up minor stories. That was a curious character change for Allie. Gone is the leather clad Bunny. Here is the seductive woman in red. I noticed Blade and Butcher were wearing brighter clothes in the audience for Dynamite and Double or Nothing. Their look was different enough that I had to figure out who was sitting in the front row. Will there characters also be tweaked?

This should be a solid mid-card tag team feud. And of course, you know it will lead to fisticuffs on the outside between Brandi and Allie. Brandi may not be good in the ring, but she knows how to fill the managerial role well. QT Marshall looked like a doofus by being distracted so strongly. Brandi Rhodes will have to find QT a lady to keep him in line and away from Allie.

The feud of ego between Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon has been carried over from Being the Elite. Those two are the last winless regulars on the AEW roster. I can’t wait to see them finally clash for all the marbles, or more like just one marble. It seems as though they should become a team once that is settled in singles action with a 20-minute time limit draw. Cutler and Avalon have great chemistry as reluctant pals and could become a feel-good story of somehow working their way into a tag title shot. If that scenario does happen, it would be best to wait for live crowds to get a popping reaction.

Share you thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 35?

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