Preview: AEW DARK (6/30/20)


AEW is set for their final show of the month of June as AEW DARK will air on YouTube on Tuesday night. June has been a great month for the show as DARK has flourished with the continued use of indie talent, who have all put on good and entertaining matches even when the outcome was never in doubt.

The most recent AEW DARK tapings will wrap this month with matches featuring the viral sensation, Pineapple Pete, returns of Brady Pierce, Griff Garrison, KiLynn King, and more. The Young Bucks will be in action for the first time on DARK since February, Ricky Starks is set to make his DARK debut following the announcement he signed with AEW last week, and Allie and Brandi Rhodes will look to co-exist. It’s looking like another exciting night of DARK is on the way. Let’s get right to the card.

Lance Archer (w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts) vs. “Pineapple Pete” Sugar Dunkerton

Photo: AEW

Serendipity is defined as the “occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” For Suge Dunkerton, AKA Pineapple Pete, it was serendipitous and quite fortuitous that when he was called in for a set of AEW tapings back in March, he decided to pack his pineapple shirt in his overnight bag. Dunkerton, who was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho, explained that he was going to wear his lemon shirt that day, but chose the pineapple one because it matched his gear. Dunkerton chose the Hawaiian get-up because he wanted to stand out, and stand out he did. Now, a viral sensation thanks in large part to Jericho’s commentary and nickname of the man as Pineapple Pete, Dunkerton is returning for his sixth match in AEW this year and second in a row after he took on Shawn Spears last week.

A 17-year indie veteran, Dunkerton is now a crowd favorite in AEW. The 35-year old veteran of the industry, Dunkerton is known for his time in NWA, CHIKARA, Beyond, Resistance Pro Wrestling, IWA-MS, Freelance Wrestling, Tidal Championship Wrestling, and much more. Recently, he’s broken out into the UK scene, wrestling for Preston City Wrestling, IPW:UK, Over the Top Wrestling, and more. One-half of the current PCW tag team champions, Dunkerton has won 14 titles in his career and has competed in such prestigious tournaments as King of Trios, International Wrestling Cartel‘s Super Indy, and the Ted Petty Invitational.

But the fun-loving Dunkerton is about to find out that the pineapple shirt and light demeanor won’t save him against Lance Archer, who has lost just one match in his career with AEW and is sitting right among the top of the world title picture. His lone loss came in the finals of the tournament to crown the new TNT Champion and since then, not only is Archer undefeated, but he’s made quick work of all the men who have stepped up to face him. The Murderhawk Monster, a 19-year veteran of the industry, has demolished his two recent DARK opponents and will look to do the same to Dunkerton in their first-ever meeting.

KiLynn King & Skyler Moore vs. Brandi Rhodes & Allie (w/ Dustin Rhodes)

Photo: AEW

The last time Brandi Rhodes and Allie teamed up, it was almost a huge disaster for the two ladies as jealousy nearly cost them the match. That was just a few weeks ago. Is it possible, Allie and Rhodes will be able to sort through their issues so as not to make the same mistakes again this week? They’ll need to be sharp if they hope to win against the returning KiLynn King and Skyler Moore, who have known each other as both opponents and tag team partners in their short wrestling careers.

Both trainees of the Team 3D Academy, King and Moore are set to share a ring for the sixth time on Tuesday, and second as tag team partners. Both known for their time in IGNITE and Go Wrestle, King, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Crazy” and just two-year pro, has also wrestled for Generation Championship Wrestling, Queens of Combat, Full Throttle Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling 2.0, where she is a former women’s champion. This is King’s fourth appearance in AEW this year. Moore, who took part in a WWE tryout in April 2019, will be making her fourth appearance as well. Both young and up-and-coming names to watch, King and Moore, should be expected to have a nice showcase, especially if Rhodes and Allie continue to find ways not to get along.

It’s no secret that Rhodes does not like Allie. From the beginning, when Allie started showing interest in QT Marshall, Rhodes never trusted her and has resented having to work with her. But Marshall is Dustin Rhodes‘ partner in the Natural Nightmares so Brandi Rhodes has tolerated the budding flirtations between himself and Allie. In their match a few weeks ago, it was Allie who got jealous of how the crowd reacted to Rhodes, and used a blind tag to eventually steal the winning pin, despite having left Rhodes double-teamed for parts of the match. The two nearly came to blows after all was said and done. Rhodes and Allie’s relationship is sure to get worse before it gets better so expect more tension and hijinks on Tuesday night.

Griff Garrison vs. Ricky Starks

Photo: AEW

This should be a fun match. Returning to AEW DARK for the third week in a row, Griff Garrison has already begun to impress with his free-wheeling style. He’s looked great in limited opportunities but on Tuesday, he’ll face a man who is just beginning to showcase why he was someone AEW wanted to sign in the first place as Ricky Starks will make his DARK debut and first match since officially becoming All Elite.

A 22-year-old kid out of North Carolina, Garrison is perhaps best known for his recent stint in Ring of Honor as part of the Future of Honor brand. Perhaps someone the company was looking to sign on a more permanent basis prior to COVID-19 shutting down operations, Garrison was featured eight times for the promotion in the last two years. And he’s currently in just his third year of being a professional wrestler. No doubt a bright future ahead of him, Garrison is also known for his time in Southern Fried Championship Wrestling and Anarchy Wrestling, where he has already won four titles, including his most recent, the tag team championship, which he is in his second reign. Garrison and partner Ben Buchanan are the current champs, capturing the title just two weeks ago.

Technically the first non-contracted wrestler to compete for the TNT Championship (though his signing was announced shortly after the match) as part of Cody Rhodes‘ open challenges, “Absolute” Ricky Starks, is perhaps best known for his time in NWA, where is a former television champion after spending the better part of the last two years with the promotion. Starks, who began wrestling in 2012 has also worked for Anarchy Championship Wrestling, DDT, Inspire, Saint Louis Anarchy Wrestling, WrestleCircus, Dojo Pro, and more. The Louisiana native, Starks has also made appearances on ROH and WWE. In his career, Starks has won 13 titles, including the Xtreme Championship Wrestling title, which he currently holds. As impressive as all of that is, Starks is wrestling for the here and now, and that means working his way up to getting gold in AEW. He’ll get his first shot to climb that ladder on Tuesday night.

Scorpio Sky vs. Brady Pierce

Photo: AEW

Scorpio Sky‘s journey to singles stardom continues as he’ll look for his third win in a row on DARK, against the returning Brady Pierce, who is set to wrestle his first-ever singles match for AEW and fourth match on DARK overall.

Returning to DARK for the second time in three weeks, the 28-year-old Pierce, out of South Carolina, has been on the losing end of his three prior tag team matches with AEW. Set to make his singles debut, Pierce will look for a better result this time around. A known wrestler within the Southern indie scene, Pierce has been wrestling for nine years for companies including Premiere Wrestling Xperience, Resistance Pro Wrestling, WrestleForce, ECWA, Pro Wrestling BUSHIDO, and recently, Southern Honor Wrestling.

In April, Dave Meltzer reported that AEW was priming Sky, who had primarily only wrestled in tag team matches to that point, for a singles run in the company. The first man to pin Chris Jericho and later receive a world championship match against him, Sky is most known for his role in SCU. Alongside Frankie Kazarian, Sky is one-half of AEW’s first-ever tag team champions, but lately, as he’s stepped out on his own, the faction is being represented by Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. An 18-year veteran of the industry, the 37-year-old Sky has had his fair share of singles success outside AEW as 16 of his 22 career titles have come on his own. While Sky has yet to start wrestling in singles action on Dynamite, he’s slowly but surely been building up his DARK resume. It may not be long until Sky is a full-fledged piece of the championship picture.

Low Rida & Fuego del Sol vs. The Butcher & The Blade (Andy Williams & Pepper Parks)

Photo: AEW

Returning to action for the first time since their DARK debut just over a month ago, Fuego Del Sol and Low Rida are back in tag team action taking on another team who is returning for their first DARK match since May in the Butcher and the Blade.

Just 27 years old, Low Rida has already been wrestling for 13 years getting his start in 2007. Trained in part by Crazy Boy and Hernandez, Low Rida is well known for his work in Mexico and the Texas indie circuit working for promotions such as Desastre Total Ultraviolento, Independent Wrestling League, Martinez Entertainment Lucha Libre Mexicana, Aro Lucha, and AAA Lucha Libre. This year, he made his debuts for Major League Wrestling and IMPACT Wrestling as well. His partner is also well known on the indie scene, despite having just turned pro in 2014. A six-year veteran, Fuego Del Sol is known for his athleticism and charisma, traits he has shown for Imperial Wrestling Federation, Iconic Heroes of Wrestling Excellence, Wrestling for a Cause, and recently, in opportunities for AAW, IMPACT, and WWE.

They’ll face the rising duo of the Butcher and the Blade, who had found success under MJF’s watchful eye, especially on AEW DARK, where they have made quick work of their opponents. Andy Williams and Pepper Parks haven’t wrestled much in AEW this year, but when they have, they’ve certainly made their impact felt. Expect nothing less on Tuesday as Butcher and Blade will look to use their strength advantage against the lucha libre style of Low Rida and Del Sol.

The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs. Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler (w/ Leva Bates)

Photo: AEW

It’s been four months since we’ve last seen the Young Bucks on AEW DARK as their last appearance came in February, against QT Marshall and Peter Avalon. The Bucks will get Avalon again, only this time with a new partner, as Avalon and Brandon Cutler are back in tag team action, still looking for that elusive first-ever win in AEW.

With eight wins in 2020 and several opportunities to capture the AEW tag titles for the first time slipping through their fingers, the Young Bucks have yet to really establish themselves as the best team in the company, something they’ve preached since day one. Most likely heading toward a huge showdown against FTR, who will serve as their partners at the upcoming Fyter Fest, Matt and Nick Jackson will look to keep up their winning ways as the team is 4-0 since losing the tag title match against fellow Elite members, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page at Revolution in February. But something tells us, this tag team match will be a little easier.

Cutler and Avalon. Avalon and Cutler. Does it matter what order you say their names in? No, not really, because as of last week, the two are once again tied, 0-16 apiece, for their win-loss records. In summation, both are still winless over two years with the company. They’ve tried to get the victories in singles action and they’ve fared equally poorly in tag team action. Cutler and Avalon will not get the win on Tuesday. You can bet all your money on it and to steal a line from Paul Heyman, “that’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler.”

Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Max Caster

Photo: AEW

Hoping to continue his recent hot streak, Shawn Spears will look to pick up his third win in a row as he takes on Max Caster, who is making his AEW singles debut.

A heel his entire run in AEW, things haven’t worked out quite how Shawn Spears had intended to when he joined the company. But lately, Spears has been embracing his darkest impulses in his journey to become truly heartless, and as a result, the wins have been coming in bountiful measure. In fact, ever since Spears was gifted the infamous black glove, worn by some of wrestling’s most notorious villains, by his mentor Tully Blanchard, the 39-year-old veteran has been undefeated. But even before that, Spears had begun to pick up some wins in the form of enhancement talent squashes. Clearly being built back into a position where he can be a main event star as is Blanchard’s plan, Spears will look for another relatively easy win on Tuesday against the up-and-coming Caster.

Trained by Pat Buck and Brian Myers at Create-A-Pro Wrestling, Caster is a five-year veteran of the NY and East Coast indie scene. A former regular with Combat Zone Wrestling, Caster, who has won four titles in his career, has also made appearances for New York Wrestling Connection, Beyond, Limitless, and others. He made his AEW debut last week in trios action and will face a tough task this week, against a man who has shown he has nothing to lose and who has fully embraced the sinister side of the fingerless black glove.

Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and weekly on YouTube.