Episode 41 of AEW Dark featured Brian Pillman Jr. in his AEW singles debut, Allie and Brandi Rhodes sticking together as the Nightmare Sisters, and Orange Cassidy unleashing a one hitter quitter.
Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Brain Pillman Jr. vs Shawn Spears (okay)
- Big Swole vs Rache Chanel (okay)
- Frankie Kazarian vs Luther (pass)
- Joe Alonzo, Brady Pierce, Tony Donati, and Faboo Andre vs Lucha Bros and Butcher & Blade (pass)
- Will Hobbs vs Orange Cassidy (pass)
- Michael Nakazawa vs Shawn Dean (pass)
- Scorpio Sky vs Serpentico (okay)
- Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler vs Dark Order (okay)
The segment most worth watching was an interview with Allie and Brandi Rhodes. That is if you are interested in their story. Brain Pillman Jr. vs Shawn Spears is worth checking out if you are curious about young Pillman. The match wasn’t designed for him to fully open up, but he did flash some of his skills. Orange Cassidy fans will love his fight. Scorpio Sky vs Serpentico was the most competitive. Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler vs Dark Order was the most entertaining.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Brain Pillman Jr. vs Shawn Spears
Tully Blanchard was ringside. Pillman overwhelmed Spears with a slick attack. After consulting with Tully, Spears took over with intense strikes. He stomped Pillman’s head on the stage steps. Pillman’s comeback was cut short after missing a flying crossbody. Spears pounced with a C4 to win.
Afterward, Spears loaded his black glove with steel and delivered a knockout punch to Pillman.
Big Swole vs Rache Chanel
This was Chanel’s AEW debut. She was billed from the fashion capital of Paris, France and had mannerisms of a diva. Chanel controlled Swole with mat work. The tide turned when Dr. Britt Baker DMD came to watch the match in her Role’s Royce. Swole immediately fired up to take control. She unleashed a bevy of moves and won with Dirty Dancing and a pump kick.
After the match, Swole left the ring to confront Baker, but Reba drove the dentist to safety.
Can @AllieWrestling & @TheBrandiRhodes keep their eyes on the prize and work together as a team?— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) July 7, 2020
Watch #AEWDark NOW via our Official YouTube Channel at https://t.co/oZiB2U1XM8. pic.twitter.com/5hGEStkD1T
Alex Marvez interviewed Allie and Brandi Rhodes. Marvez brought up how they wrestled each other last year at Fight for the Fallen. Allie pointed out that Brandi brought Awesome Kong and cheated to win. Brandi didn’t hide from her past wickedness, but she did portray it as a two-way street with Allie. Allie took credit for their tag team winning ways, while Brandi disputed that assessment.
Dustin Rhodes entered the scene to lecture Allie. He knows the eventual outcome of her relationship with QT Marshall. She will kick him in the balls and break his heart. Dustin reasoned about not doing that. Try focusing on the Nightmare Sisters’ success instead. He exited with a threat to not mess with his family.
Marvez inquired if the two ladies are still sisters. Brandi answered affirmatively with a desire to remain tagging together. Allie acquiesced by acknowledging that it wasn’t a terrible idea.
Frankie Kazarian vs Luther
Luther was in complete control early until Kazarian seized momentum to win with a victory roll. That triumph put Kaz in the club of 20 career wins in AEW. The other members are Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and Scorpio Sky.
Joe Alonzo, Brady Pierce, Tony Donati, and Faboo Andre vs Lucha Bros and Butcher & Blade
The bad guy foursome was looking to warm up for Fyter Fest when they wrestle the Young Bucks and FTR in 8-man tag action. This was total domination. The heels won with a teamwork blitz of a powerbomb by Butcher onto Blade’s knees then Pentagon held the victim down for a flying dropkick from Fenix. Pentagon picked up the pin.
Will Hobbs vs Orange Cassidy
Best Friends were ringside. Hobbs is a big man compared to Cassidy. OC dodged his charging opponent then struck with a Superman punch to win. The match was a one hitter quitter.
Michael Nakazawa vs Shawn Dean
Despite Nakazawa’s use of Turkish baby oil, Dean hung tough. Referee Aubrey Edwards ended up snatching the bottle and tossing it far into the crowd section. Nak had momentum with a spear and a flying shoulder tackle for a two count. Nak turned it up a notch by removing his own underwear. Dean ducked the oncoming attack and struck with a TKO and a backstabber. Nak got his foot on the ropes to break the pin. For the finish, Nak smothered Dean’s face with his stinky undies and utilized a tripping takedown to win. The implication was that Dean passed out due to the terrible smell.
Scorpio Sky vs Serpentico
Sky opened up by grounding the masked man. Serpentico took control after ramming Sky head-first into the guardrail. The match went back and forth after that. In the end, Sky rolled away from a diving foot stomp then connected on a TKO to win.
Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler vs Dark Order
Leva Bates was ringside for her team. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson represented the Dark Order. 5, 10, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver watched from the entrance ramp.
The Dark Order worked roughhouse style while the underdogs fought with heart. At one point, Bates grabbed Grayson’s foot as he was running the ropes, so he exited the ring to set her straight. Avalon took to the air for a crossbody to protect his companion. Dark Order goons confronted Bates. Culter took them out with a springboard tope.
AEW’s winless wrestlers had a chance at victory after a swinging DDT by Avalon and a springboard elbow drop by Cutler, but Uno saved Grayson on the cover. Grayson regained control with a Matrix dodge then a backflip double kick. Grayson looked for the hot tag, but Uno was on the floor with an apparent wrist injury, which may be legit. Grayson took matters into his own hands with a huge backbreaker to pin Avalon for the win.
The most interesting part of Dark for me was the singles debut of Brian Pillman Jr. I was curious how he would be treated in the ring, since his appearance was on the YouTube show. As a fan of Pillman, I was disappointed in how he was booked.
It is too early to jump to conclusions, but it looks like he’ll be taking the long road to reach mid-card status. Pillman had his moments in defeat against Shawn Spears, however, he didn’t reach that level of being a serious threat to win. If this was your first time seeing the man and he didn’t have the Pillman surname, then you would think he’s just another enhancement talent that AEW brought in for Dark. Building him up could become a story in itself, so I’ll have to take the wait-and-see approach. If you want to watch more Pillman, then check out his work in MLW.
I understand the attempt to showcase Orange Cassidy as a danger to take down Chris Jericho on night 2 of Fyter Fest, but I didn’t buy into the one hitter quitter at all. I think AEW has already done a good job with that chaotic brawl a few weeks ago to establish OC’s credibility. The match against Will Hobbs felt like unnecessary overcompensation.
Other thoughts: Big Swole has been a big-mouthed bully. I can’t wait for Dr. Britt Baker DMD’s return for a tooth extraction. I’m afraid there is little hope of career advancement in AEW for Shawn Dean after losing to Michael Nakazawa via stinky drawers. One aspect I felt was off for this episode was the repetitive use of certain maneuvers throughout. For example, the TKO was utilized a few times, then Scorpio Sky had it as his finisher. That didn’t make his version feel special.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 41?