Episode 54 of AEW Dark featured SCU warming up for FTR, more interactions between the Dark Order and the Nightmare Family, and Colt Cabana blundering his way to a tag team loss.
Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Ray Rosas & Ryzin vs SCU (okay)
- Alex Garcia vs Penelope Ford (pass)
- Best Friends vs M’Badu & BSHP King (okay)
- Jurassic Express vs 5 & 10 (solid)
- Shawn Dean & Cezar Bononi vs Billy & Austin Gunn (okay)
- Tay Conti vs Red Velvet (solid)
- Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs Chaos Project (okay)
- Nyla Rose vs Rache Chanel (okay)
- Colt Cabana & John Silver vs Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall (solid)
Both Dark Order matches probably have value toward Dynamite. My favorite bout was Tay Conti against Red Velvet. Conti’s unique offense is cool to watch. That match also had a minor moment involving Conti’s Dark Order recruitment as well as an appearance from Brandi Rhodes.
There were also a handful of promos in this episode. Evil Uno’s conversation with John Silver is worth watching to help understand Uno’s current motivation to stand by Colt Cabana.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer. Ricky Starks returned on commentary for the third week in a row. AEW should change the name of the show from AEW Dark to AEW Absolute.
Before Starks hit the table shirtless, Shawn Spears joined the crew for the first match. He was scouting Scorpio Sky. Spears has unfinished business after Sky ran in to save Matt Sydal on Late Night Dynamite. One story beat to mention is that Spears clarified he has no relationship with FTR. Tully Blanchard manages them both, but Spears doesn’t cross paths with FTR. Both stay out of each other’s business.
Ray Rosas & Ryzin vs SCU
Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian represented SCU. This was a warm-up for their 20-Minute Brush with Greatness against FTR on Dynamite. Sky got the hot tag to clean house. SCU won with SCU Later.
John Silver was unhappy with Evil Uno about teaming with Colt Cabana. If Mr. Brodie Lee doesn’t like Cabana, then neither does Silver. Uno sees potential in Colt. He urged Silver to trust his judgement. Colt came down the stairs ready for action.
DARK EXCLUSIVE@SilverNumber1 isn't happy that he has to team with @ColtCabana tonight on Dark. But, @EvilUno makes Silver understand.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 29, 2020
Watch @TheAEWDark NOW via our Official YouTube Channel ➡️ https://t.co/CCGdAdViIe pic.twitter.com/IhcWCu1wiO
Alex Garcia vs Penelope Ford
Kip Sabian was ringside. This bout was a squash. Ford easily won after a lungblower then a fisherman’s suplex.
Best Friends vs M’Badu & BSHP King
Chuck Taylor and Trent took care of business in this showcase bout. M’Badu brought power, but the Best Friends quickly overcame to win with Strong Zero.
Brandon Cutler was upset about the double count-out against Peter Avalon. They are going to dance until one of them wins. Cutler was firm that there will be a rematch.
Jurassic Express vs 5 & 10
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus represented Jurassic Express. Marko Stunt was ringside. The Dark Order had no creepers with them during the match. 5 and 10 had trouble dealing with Jungle Boy’s speed and Luchasaurus’ power, but they almost earned the win after a spinebuster from 10 followed by a frog splash from 5.
Jurassic Express rebounded for victory with their teamwork cutter finisher.
Luther and Serpentico were born with hatred and desire to do hurtful things. Chaos Project is evil to its very core.
DARK EXCLUSIVE— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) September 29, 2020
P R A Y
F O R
B L O O D@KillLutherKill & @KingSerpentico of the Chaos Project are ready
Watch #AEWDark NOW via our Official YouTube Channel ➡️ https://t.co/CCGdAdViIe pic.twitter.com/daL0qOTmZb
Shawn Dean & Cezar Bononi vs Billy & Austin Gunn
Colten Gunn was ringside. Bononi called out Billy for a big man clash. Bononi got the best of Billy after a distraction from Dean. The Gunn Club stayed the course on the way to success. Billy catapulted Dean into a flying clothesline from Austin. Billy had a sitdown cover, but Bononi palmed Billy’s head and dragged him out of the ring. Austin saved his daddy with a flying plancha. Billy finished the bout with a Fame-Ass-er on Dean. The Gunn Club is now 8-0.
QT Marshall, Brandi Rhodes, and Dustin Rhodes had a message for the Dark Order. When numbers are even, the Nightmare Family is unstoppable. Brandi accused Anna Jay of being scared. Dustin wanted Colt Cabana to step away from their match to avoid a beating dished out to the Dark Order.
Tay Conti vs Red Velvet
Anna Jay was front row to cheer on Conti as a Dark Order prospect. Conti controlled the action with her martial arts skills. She won with a buttbuster then transitioned to an octopus choke. Jay celebrated with Conti. Jay also sweet-talked Velvet into thinking she could be a prospect as well, but it was a fake-out to kick Velvet in the head. Brandi Rhodes ran down for the save.
Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs Chaos Project
Luther and Serpentico brought the pain as Luther used his partner’s body as a projectile for teamwork attacks. Serpentico survived a hot tag comeback by Garrison to escape a double team move. Pillman ran right into a big boot from Luther. The Chaos Project then won via flying double knees combo slam.
Nyla Rose vs Rache Chanel
Vickie Guerrero was ringside. Chanel’s speed only got her so far against the Native Beast. Chanel escaped out the back of a Beast Bomb, went for a move off the ropes, but was caught by Rose for a successful Beast Bomb to end it.
Colt Cabana & John Silver vs Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall
Evil Uno and Brandi Rhodes were ringside. This Dark Order unit was not so smooth, but they were functional as a duo. Dustin had the hot tag moment culminating with a cannonball off the apron onto both foes.
When the Dark Order had victory in their grasp, there was a major malfunction. Silver ordered Cabana to assist on a teamwork move, but Colt was on the wrong side for execution. That delay allowed Dustin to recover and throw Colt out of the ring. Dustin then turned around into a thrust kick from Silver. QT pounced with a cutter to pin Silver for the 1, 2, 3.
This show was a standard episode of Dark. The matches were fine as showcase bouts. I enjoyed the increased number of promos. Cutler kept his feud with Avalon lingering. It was effective to prevent it from going cold while waiting for the rematch. Project Chaos had their first introductory promo, even though, they have teamed together in the past. It gave a good vision of what to expect. The Nightmare Family cut a simple babyface promo hyping toward the main event. It helped make that match feel important.
The biggest story was Colt Cabana blowing it again. His mental glitch could not have come at a worse time. Based on what happened, I’m putting the blame on him. Cabana should have been aware of what moves Silver often does with usual teammate Alex Reynolds. That’s something to assume Cabana would have picked up if he watched their matches. And if Cabana hasn’t been watching their matches, then that’s on Cabana as well for not being a supportive member in the Dark Order.
Luckily for Cabana, Evil Uno has the patience to work through these hiccups. Uno had explained earlier that he sees something special in Cabana. I don’t agree with that assessment, but we’ll see how Cabana evolves if he can truly accept the dark side. Maybe all Cabana needs is a mask.
Tay Conti was the star of this show in my eyes. Her offense still has the novelty cool factor. Her tosses are a nice change of pace in style from the standard AEW product.
I also like Conti’s aggression.
Conti knows how to turn it up a notch. That will help tell better stories when she gets time for longer matches in the ring.
I’m hoping Conti joins the Dark Order. She makes a good team with Anna Jay. I’m also hoping Brandi Rhodes saving Red Velvet leads to something for Velvet. I enjoy Velvet’s fighting spirit, so it would be nice to see her get a rub from Brandi’s star in tag action against the Dark Order’s ladies.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 54?