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AEW Dark recap (Sep. 1, 2020): Brandi Rhodes oozes arrogance with threats for Anna Jay

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Episode 49 of AEW Dark featured Santana & Ortiz with suggestive sauciness for Trent’s mom, Brando Rhodes getting sassy, and the Mega Losers exploding.

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

  • Eddie Taurus vs Shawn Spears (pass)
  • Santana & Ortiz vs Faboo Andre & Ryzin (okay, post-match promo is worth watching)
  • Allie vs Cassandra Golden (okay)
  • Frankie Kazarian vs Angelico (solid)
  • Brandi Rhodes interview (watch)
  • Donnie Primetime & Ryan Rembrandt vs Billy & Austin Gunn (pass)
  • Dani Jordyn vs Abadon (okay)
  • Ricky Starks vs Tony Donati (okay)
  • Jurassic Express vs Jon Cruz & David Ali (okay)
  • Anna Jay vs Red Velvet (okay)
  • Shawn Dean vs Kip Sabian (okay)
  • The Initiative vs Private Party (solid)

The high points of this episode were the promos from Brandi and Santana & Ortiz. Kazarian vs Angelico was the best match as an interesting clash of styles with nifty submission work. The Initiative vs Private Party is worth watching if you care about the breakup of Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler. Anna Jay vs Red Velvet is good to get an eye on to see what Brandi will be going up against.

Watch the show here.


Excalibur returned to the announce table. He teamed with Taz to call the action. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Eddie Taurus vs Shawn Spears

Tully Blanchard was ringside. Spears was cocky and strutting for the second week in a row. I guess his focused attitude that I enjoyed so much against Will Hobbs was an aberration. Spears was still aggressive though.

In this match, Spears’ weak spot was playing to the crowd on punches in the corner. Taurus escaped and smashed Spears’ face into the turnbuckles. Taurus went for the same corner punch tactic, but Spears picked him up for an atomic drop. A C4 came a short while later for Spears to win. Afterward, Spears decked Taurus with a black glove loaded punch.

Santana & Ortiz vs Faboo Andre & Ryzin

Domination with a little variation to the powerbomb kick finish from Santana and Ortiz. Santana hit a suicide dive to Ryzin. Ortiz powerbombed Andre then rolled him upward so Santana could kick through the ropes on the apron. Ortiz pinned Andre for the win.

Santana and Ortiz cut a post-match promo doing Trent’s mom dirty. Santana laughed that the Best Friends grew balls big enough to catch them slipping last week. He likes that they have fight and heart. That way it will feel much better when they send their asses home crying. Ortiz wanted them to tell Sue to stop hitting up his phone. Consider those drawers he left as a gift to her.

Allie vs Cassandra Golden

QT Marshall was ringside. Allie took control early, had a moment of trouble after a spinning side slam, then rebounded to win with a running bulldog and a Rabbit Hole elbow drop.

The real story was her dissatisfaction with QT. Allie was angry that QT took too long removing her jacket prior to the match. During the bout, Allie wanted a kiss on the cheek then pulled away to whip her hair into his face. She also demanded to be picked up off the floor and placed onto the apron. At least Allie blew QT a kiss during her finisher. All’s well that ends well, right?

Backstage, Santana and Ortiz were ambushed by the Best Friends. They brawled then the camera cut away as the show continued.

Frankie Kazarian vs Angelico

This was a mat match with classic skills. Angelico utilized various submissions to stifle Kazarian.

At one point, Kaz grabbed the ropes for a break. Angelico taunted him with laughter and a butt scoot to encourage more ground action. Kaz eventually seized momentum with a flurry of dropkicks. In the end, Kaz escaped a Razor’s Edge buckle bomb to connect on a reverse DDT for victory.

Brandi Rhodes interview

Tony Schiavone had a chat with Brandi and top-selling action figure Lil Bran Bran on stage. Schiavone asked for reaction to losing The Deadly Draw women’s tag team tournament and also being choked out by Anna Jay after Mr. Brodie Lee won the TNT Championship from Cody Rhodes.

Brandi replied that most people would be upset about losing a tournament designed for their success, but she is not most people. However, Brandi is quite perturbed that a trainee from the Nightmare Factory decided to listen to daddy Brodie and attack when her back was turned.

Anna is pretty, but being pretty don’t mean shit. The only thing that matters is actually being smart. Brandi doesn’t have confidence in Anna’s intelligence level after joining a goon squad. She does give Anna credit for being bold and going after the top of the food chain. The problem is that when you go for the queen, you best not miss. Brandi is still here. Walking, talking, confident, and cocky as ever. Anna better not miss again or else her ass will be sent back to the Nightmare Factory.

Donnie Primetime & Ryan Rembrandt vs Billy & Austin Gunn

Squash won by Austin’s hip toss neckbreaker.

Dani Jordyn vs Abadon

Abadon hammered the knee and never let up. Jodryn submitted from a single leg grapevine submission.

Ricky Starks vs Tony Donati

Donati frustrated Starks early with a series of roll-ups before Starks took over. Donati capitalized on Starks cockiness for another flurry of offense, but Starks righted the ship to win with an inverted powerslam.

Jurassic Express vs Jon Cruz & David Ali

Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus represented Jurassic Express. Marko Stunt was ringside on crutches to sell last week’s beating from Jake Hager. Jurassic Express had little trouble in victory. Jungle Boy pinned Cruz after a teamwork cutter.

Anna Jay vs Red Velvet

Dark Order was on stage for Anna’s entrance then exited before the match. Red Velvet worked up momentum until she ate a kick. Jay made it ugly on the floor by whipping Velvet into the guardrail. After two curb stomps in the ring, Jay cinched in a rear naked choke to win.

Shawn Dean vs Kip Sabian

Penelope Ford was ringside. Dean almost scored the upset with a DDT, but Sabian rebounded to win via rope-hung twisting neckbreaker.

The Initiative vs Private Party

Leva Bates was ringside. Strong teamwork early from Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler. Avalon had a nifty sequence of a springboard crossbody, a clothesline, a suicide dive, a slam, then a split-legged moonsault. It wasn’t enough though. The match continued.

Bates tried to lend a helping hand with a hurricanrana off the apron, but Marq Quen turned it into a handspring to avoid impact. In the end, Private Party made a blind tag before Cutler connected on a 450 splash. Cutler pinned Quen, but Isiah Kassidy swooped in for the roll-up win.

After the match, the Mega Losers exploded. Avalon had enough of failure and blindsided Cutler. He smashed that big D&D dice prop on Cutler’s head.

Taz closed it out by giving me a case of the chuckles. Excalibur observed, “I think we’ve seen The Initiative completely come apart here on Dark.” Taz quickly replied, “Good. They never won.”


That promo from Brandi Rhodes was something else. The content was great. The delivery oozed arrogance, and I think that could be an issue. Who am I supposed to root for? Anna Jay is on the side of evil, and Brandi’s current character has no redeeming values. If Brandi didn’t have the good will of being Cody’s wife, then she would have no sympathy at all.

Another issue with Brandi’s promo is that she lacks the fighting skills to back up her threats. Nobody is scared of Brandi. All she has is a spear and a couple of kicks. After Jay’s performance, I see some curb stomps and another rear naked choke in Brandi’s future. Despite these observations, I am entertained and thoroughly intrigued on seeing this feud play out.

So, did Ortiz just say he slept with Trent’s mom? I don’t know why else she would have his underwear. I suppose he could have left them in the broken van, or maybe Jake Hager made a personal delivery for his Inner Circle cohort. Sleeping with Sue is definitely not the tactic I would take, but I suppose all is fair in wrestling warfare. The bottom line is that it added even more fire to their feud and Wednesday night’s tag team clash on Dynamite between Santana & Ortiz and the Best Friends.

It was nice seeing Angelico use his submission prowess in singles action. Most of those locks, if not all, were learned under the tutelage of Negro Navarro. Abadon was impressive with in-ring growth. She executed strategy to show she’s not just a mindless zombie.

For counterprogramming to NXT’s 60-minute Iron Man match, I was hoping for a 60-minute iron man match between Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler. Their breakup now gives me hope that it could happen next week. This story has been brewing for a very long time. Avalon and Cutler deserve a feature match on Dark. Let them duke it out for an hour to see who truly is the losingest loser of the losers.

We’ll close with a very important message from Kip Sabian. #CropTop2020.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 49?