Episode 38 of AEW Dark featured Shawn Spears with his black glove, Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss rocking the ring, the team of Allie and Brandi Rhodes not meshing well, and 8 other matches.
Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Capital Vices (Sin & Money) & Jon Cruz vs Jurassic Express (okay)
- Brandon Cutler & Pete Avalon vs SCU (okay)
- Dani Jordyn vs Big Swole (pass)
- David Ali vs Lance Archer (pass)
- Musa & Shawn Dean vs Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss (okay)
- Red Velvet & Kenzie Page vs Allie & Brandi Rhodes (okay)
- Lee Johnson vs Shawn Spears (pass)
- Brady Pierce & John Skyler vs Dark Order (pass)
- Griff Garrison vs Jimmy Havoc (pass)
- Skyler Moore vs Penelope Ford (pass)
- Robert Anthony vs Scorpio Sky (okay)
This episode was a smorgasbord of showcases and squash matches. If you like one of the star participants, you’ll enjoy the match. The only bout worth watching for story reasons is the tag contest with Brandi Rhodes and Allie. Cutler and Avalon had some story as well in their relationship, but that never plays out on Dynamite.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Capital Vices (Sin & Money) & Jon Cruz vs Jurassic Express
Capital Vices certainly have a look about them. One is like a smaller version of Brodus Clay while the other has a fancy mustache and an Indiana Jones hat. Both wore football shoulder pads to the ring. They remind me of villains out of DuckTales.
Capital Vices had an amusing teamwork move to catapult Money’s head up into Jungle Boy’s pebbles. Despite that innovation, a win for Jurassic Express was never in doubt. In the end, Marko Stunt did two suicide dives to take out members of Capital Vice. Luchasuarus and Jungle Boy executed their combo cutter on Cruz to win.
Brandon Cutler & Pete Avalon vs SCU
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian represented SCU. Leva Bates was ringside to support her fellow Librarian. Cutler was not pleased with the heel distraction tactics of Avalon and Bates. They did manage to put up a fight with a few close pinfalls, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. SCU took out Cutler with a powerbomb and neckbreaker combo. Cutler rolled out of the ring. SCU took care of Avalon with their Celebrity Rehab finisher to win.
Dani Jordyn vs Big Swole
Squash. Swole won via Dirty Dancing ripcord forearm strike. Swole gabbed to the camera, “It’s Big Swole’s world, baby. You better recognize.”
Leva Bates was interviewed backstage about her team’s latest loss. She has a plan and believes it can work if they follow through. Cutler walked up angrily about the Librarians’ cheating ways. He argued with Avalon about who is worse. They both decided to be done as teammates.
David Ali vs Lance Archer
Jake Roberts was ringside. Domination by Archer. Ali had one minor flurry of offense then the beatdown continued. Archer hit Black Out but pulled Ali up on the pin. The Murderhawk Monster used the claw to smash Ali’s head into the mat for victory. Afterward, Archer hit a chokeslam for good measure.
Musa & Shawn Dean vs Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss
Janela and Kiss were a solid unit utilizing tandem maneuvers. During the match, Lance Archer came out onto the entrance ramp. Archer was ornery, but Jake Roberts convinced him to head to the back. Musa and Dean used that distraction to handle Kiss. Janela regained control on the hot tag. He used a suicide dive to dispose of Dean. Janela roared back into the ring for a super hurricanrana to Musa. Kiss closed it out with a flying split-legged leg drop.
Red Velvet & Kenzie Page vs Allie & Brandi Rhodes
Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall were ringside. Allie worked heel, while Brandi worked babyface. They began as a cohesive team with a teamwork Irish whip, but then shenanigans took place. The crowd erupted in cheers whenever Brandi hit a move. This caused Allie to become jealous of the attention. Brandi had Velvet up in a fireman’s carry position, then Allie demanded a tag. Velvet escaped during the distraction and pushed Brandi into Allie. Allie fell off the apron and hurt her ankle. Brandi was on the bad side of a double team for a while. She fought back with a spear, except Allie tagged herself in as Brandi was running the ropes. Allie entered the ring to steal the glory on the winning pin.
Afterward, Brandi shoved Allie and had to be corralled by Dustin.
Lee Johnson vs Shawn Spears
Tully Blanchard was ringside. This was Spears’ first match with his new black glove. He was more focused and did without the verbal taunts and comedy routine. For the closing sequence, Spears caught Johnson in a fireman’s carry position. Johnson escaped for a roll-up. Spears popper up and hooked in a Sharpshooter for the submission victory. The glove played no role in the match. It must have benefit Spears with a mental edge.
Brady Pierce & John Skyler vs Dark Order
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson represented the Dark Order. 5, 10, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver watched on the entrance ramp. Uno and Grayson took care of business. The used their Fatality finisher to win. Mr. Brodie Lee came out to applaud their success.
Griff Garrison vs Jimmy Havoc
Havoc won with an Acid Rainmaker clothesline and a fisherman’s DDT.
Skyler Moore vs Penelope Ford
Kip Sabian was ringside and brought the family dog. Ford won with a handspring cutter then a bridging fisherman’s suplex. Superbad had a smooch session after the bout.
Robert Anthony vs Scorpio Sky
Competitive contest. Sky won via TKO.
These supersized editions of Dark have jumped the shark. I can appreciate getting paychecks to the losing talent and getting experience and exposure for the winners, however, the novelty has worn off for me as a viewer. Do we really need 11 matches with no doubt about who will win? The runtime of 1 hour, 36 minutes for this show became a chore to watch. That’s not to say it was boring. It just doesn’t have much oomph to make me excited.
The one match I was excited for was Brandi Rhodes and Allie as a tag team. I wanted hijinks, and hijinks were delivered as Allie stole the win. The rage was popping in Brandi’s eyes post-match. I know a fight between Brandi and Allie won’t be a masterpiece, but I still believe their eventual clash will be very entertaining. Even though the beef is sizzling between those two, I don’t anticipate it carrying over onto Dynamite during the Natural Nightmares’ title shot against Hangman Page and Kenny Omega. That is unless Allie stirs the pot.
The stars that stood out to me for this show were Luchasaurus, Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss as a team, and Scorpio Sky. Luchasaurus was a beast. He’s looking more and more like a singles title contender when he unleashes his dino power. Janela and Kiss worked well together. No need to rush them into a title shot yet, but they could work their way into the rankings over the next few months. Sky was solid. I’d like to see him wrestle Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship. Sky has me believing he could pull off the upset, as long as it happens after Fyter Fest. Cody is obviously going to be champ going into his fight against Jake Hager. It would not be smart to burn through a match against Sky beforehand.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 38?