Episode 40 of AEW Dark featured Ricky Starks bumping knuckles with Taz, Brandi Rhodes bonding with Allie as the Nightmare Sisters, and Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler embracing the silver lining against the Young Bucks.
Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Max Caster vs Shawn Spears (pass)
- Pineapple Pete vs Lance Archer (okay)
- Griff Garrison vs Ricky Starks (okay)
- Brady Pierce vs Scorpio Sky (okay)
- KiLynn King & Skyler Moore vs Brandi Rhodes & Allie (okay)
- Fuego del Sol & Low Rida vs Butcher & Blade (okay)
- Young Bucks vs Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler (okay)
No stinkers this week, but there also weren’t any matches I can point to that will knock your socks off. There was enjoyable storyline movement with the teams of Brandi Rhodes & Allie and Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler.
Watch the show here.
We’ll start with a little bonus material of the Young Bucks booking Brandon Cutler into a tag match with Peter Avalon.
The @YoungBucks wanted to surprise @BranCutler with a match on #AEWDark. But, it wasn't warmly received.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) June 29, 2020
Watch The Young Bucks vs. Cutler & @PAvalon tomorrow night on #AEWDark at 7e/6c via our YouTube channel at https://t.co/oZiB2U1XM8. pic.twitter.com/U6zydk59wI
The show opened with Avalon and Cutler bickering about who is worse. They were informed that they were booked for a tag match on Dark. The Young Bucks entered as their opponents. The Bucks wanted to teach Avalon and Cutler about tag team psychology and continuity. They claimed never to have fought among each other in 15 years as a team. Cutler called out that lie. Cue Impact and Generation wordplay from their time with TNA as Generation Me, as well as a plug for the Young Bucks book coming out in November.
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
More bonus material. Enjoy Max Caster with a diss track toward his opponent for Dark, Shawn Spears.
AEW MUSIC VIDEO #NotPerfect by "Platinum" Max Caster ✨— ''Platinum'' Max Caster (@CasterShow) June 30, 2020
Tonight, see me on #AEWDark beating up Shawn Spears!
7pm ET on the @AEWrestling YouTube channel
@AEWonTNT @TonyKhan @Perfec10n @CodyRhodes @MrChuckD @OfficialTAZ @alexmarvez @realmmarshall1 pic.twitter.com/ETPcRWjHkj
Max Caster vs Shawn Spears
Tully Blanchard was ringside. Spears dominated and won clean with a Death Valley Driver. Afterward, Tully slipped Spears a piece of metal and advised him to return to the ring. Spears loaded his black glove for a knockout punch to Caster.
Pineapple Pete vs Lance Archer
Archer attacked Pete from behind during Pete’s entrance. Pete had a flurry of offense that was extinguished when Archer caught a suicide dive and countered it into a chokeslam on the apron.
Pete had heart and hustle, but he couldn’t compete with the Murderhawk Monster. Archer crushed Pineapple with a Blackout then the claw to smash his skull into the mat for the pin.
During the match, Archer was yakking at Joey Janela in the fan section. After the match, Janela ran in to save Pete from further harm. Janela’s weapon of choice as an equalizer was a leaf blower. Archer versus Janela is scheduled for night 2 of Fyter Fest on July 8.
Griff Garrison vs Ricky Starks
Starks was often one step ahead of Garrison and won via spear. Starks went over to the commentary table to diss Excalibur and fist pound with Taz.
.@starkmanjones making all the right moves in and out of the ring. Showing love to @OfficialTAZ, and @ShutUpExcalibur... well, maybe better luck next time, Excalibur. #AEWDark— TDE Wrestling (@tde_gif) June 30, 2020
➡️ https://t.co/IJTjCTgMFH pic.twitter.com/4AknHK1Ew6
Brady Pierce vs Scorpio Sky
Sky was too slick for the taller man. Sky was victorious on a slingshot twisting cutter.
KiLynn King & Skyler Moore vs Brandi Rhodes & Allie
Justin Roberts announced the duo of Brandi and Allie as the Nightmare Sisters. Brandi grabbed his mic to state that they are not related and not a team. Dustin Rhodes was ringside as their manager. Brandi and Allie argued about who would start the match. Brandi went first. As she was running the ropes in full control, Allie tagged herself in. Brandi returned the favor later but walked right into a clothesline from King. King and Moore beat on Brandi for awhile. Allie received the hot tag and unleashed Dustin’s signature maneuvers.
Allie clobbered Moore with an inverted facelock standing elbow drop. Allie decided to tag in Brandi to pick up the winning pin. Afterward, Brandi looked confused and untrusting, but she was still happy about the victory.
Even more bonus material. This time from Brandi and Allie discussing their match. They left to celebrate with Prosecco wine.
Fuego del Sol & Low Rida vs Butcher & Blade
B&B brutalized their opponents. For the finish, Butcher hooked in a cloverleaf submission on Fuego, so Low Rida ran in to boot Butcher to no effect. Blade took care of Low Rida with a suplex into the corner. Butcher adjusted his hold by powerbombing Fuego then stepping over to transition into a crab submission to win.
Young Bucks vs Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler
Hmm, interesting. The Young Bucks are listed on the left side. That’s the jobber side. I think every person on the left has lost since AEW began bringing in enhancement talent during the coronavirus pandemic. Could there be a massive upset in the making?
Leva Bates was ringside. The story of this match was Avalon and Cutler not getting along then gelling at the end. At first, Avalon didn’t want to tag. Cutler would yell at Avalon whenever he tried breaking the rules. They slowly progressed with solid teamwork and even had Matt Jackson down for a close call pinfall. In the end, the Bucks were too much to handle. Nick Jackson cleaned house on a hot tag. The brothers hit a couple of superkicks then a BTE Trigger to win.
Side note: Matt was still clutching his ribs during the bout. That constant rib injury could play into their 8-man tag bout for night 2 of Fyter Fest.
After the match, Avalon and Cutler shook hands to imply they are now an official tag team.
Nightmare Sisters are doing it for themselves,
Standing on their own two feet,
And ringing on their own bells,
Nightmare Sisters are doing it for themselves.
When Brandi Rhodes and Allie were introduced as the Nightmare Sisters, I almost died laughing. They are now 2-0 and sharing victory wine. This story took an unexpected turn as Brandi is warming up to Allie. If we get a montage set to, “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” by Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin, I’d be elated.
I’m all aboard with interest for this story. It gives me a reason to be excited for Dark. AEW has me very curious how it plays out. AEW’s women’s division is not deep enough at the moment to create tag team titles. I guess Brandi and Allie will keep working hard in the ring and hitting the pay window to purchase Prosecco. There will eventually be a big blow up. Until then, I’m rooting for Brandi and Allie as sisters.
Echo the same sentiments for the team of Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler. Maybe they can be called the Dungeon Brothers or something that mixes Dungeons & Dragons with libraries. Their quest to score their first win in AEW is a compelling Dark storyline. I hope it happens against a real tag team as an upset, rather than defeating enhancement talent. The reaction wouldn’t pop the same against Jabron A and Jabron B.
One last bit of intrigue. Is Ricky Starks setting up a path to be managed by Taz? If so, that would be cool. Starks can stand for himself in the promo department, but Taz would add an extra edge to Stroke Daddy’s presentation.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 40?