Preview: AEW DARK (8/25/20)

AEW DARK

When talking about AEW DARK before, Tony Khan has used the word “stacked,” but tonight is more than that. With 13 matches scheduled for the one-hour program, it’s a wonder how it will all fit in. The card is loaded with top names, including some AEW stars who are returning to the program for the first time in months. There will be new debuts, familiar stars back in the ring, and three women’s matches along with a lot of great tag team action. So once again, Tuesday’s episode of DARK is can’t miss.

D3 vs Lance Archer

Daniele Dentice D’Accadia or D3 for short, made his AEW debut last week on DARK, in three-man tag action alongside RYZIN and Faboo Andre. While the trio lost, D3 returns this week for his singles debut. The 29-year-old began wrestling in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2016, that he really started hitting the indie circuit. He is known for his time in DYNASTY Wrestling, REAL, American Combat Wrestling, and a brief stint as enhancement talent in WWE.

Lance Archer’s run on AEW DARK has been nothing short of masterful. He’s dominated every single one of his opponents, as can be expected, including two in one match, which he did last week. Archer’s AEW record still has just the one blemish, that being his loss to Cody in the finals of the TNT Championship tournament. But as Scorpio Sky’s recent title challenge showed, enough victories on DARK can help one rise in the rankings. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Archer receive a title match soon, even with a new champion holding the belt.

Penelope Ford vs Heather Monroe

Penelope Ford has been having a great year in 2020, much of which has been evidenced by her string of DARK victories. Ford managed to convert these into a women’s championship match against Hikaru Shida. While she lost, overall on the year, Ford is 6-2 in traditional singles matches.

Making her AEW DARK debut, the 30-year-old Heather Monroe, made her AEW debut last week on Dynamite. Known mostly for her time in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood as well as throughout the Southern California indie circuit, Monroe has also wrestled for RiSE, SHIMMER, Game Changer Wrestling, the Crash, and has made appearances for Ring of Honor, IMPACT Wrestling, and WWE.

Frankie Kazarian vs Kip Sabian

It’s a rare singles match for Frankie Kazarian as he’ll be without Christopher Daniels or Scorpio Sky by his side for just the third time in his 23 matches this year. But that’s not to say that Kazarian isn’t a capable singles wrestler as he certainly is. A former 5x TNA X-Division Champion and 2x PWG World Champion, Kazarian is a very talented wrestler. But at this time, he doesn’t have those same singles aspirations, at least, not to the level that his opponent does.

While many thought that Kip Sabian’s road to a title was through the tag team division based on how he was booked earlier this year, things have changed recently for the young Brit. Now, Sabian, the former IPW:UK World Champion, is picking up singles victories on DARK, going 3-0 since his repackaging as a singles star. Perhaps he could be someone who is considered for an AEW title down the line. He’ll get a step closer to that by taking on an opponent of Kazarian’s stature are opposed to his other DARK victories, against AEW’s collection of indie wrestlers.

Red Velvet vs Mel

Returning for just her third AEW DARK match this year, Red Velvet, a four-year pro out of Florida, is known for her time in Fighting Evolution Wrestling, as well as Shine and WWN where she worked a few shows in 2018. In AEW, she’s had the chance to make the most of her opportunity against some top women’s names including Abadon and women’s champion, Hikaru Shida. Velvet was also involved in the women’s tag team tournament, where she teamed with fellow wrestling youngster, Kenzie Paige.

Mel, a 12+ year veteran of the industry, hasn’t wrestled much for AEW this year, set to make just her fifth in-ring appearance with the company tonight, and just her third singles match. Known for her career with Pro Wrestling WAVE, SHIMMER, and RiSE, Mel is 1-1 in her AEW DARK appearances so far, with a loss to Shida but win over KiLynn King. Like Velvet, Mel took part in the women’s tag team tournament where she teamed with Penelope Ford.

Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela vs The Hybrid 2

Everyone’s favorite mixed/matched tag team, Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela are back in action. The Concrete Rose and the Bad Boy have been a fun and entertaining team ever since they were first paired together in March. Since then, Kiss and Janela have wrestled eight matches as a team, losing just one of them.

After being out of action for months, The Hybrid2 wrestled just their second tag team match since March last week, defeating the Initiative on AEW DARK. With the ring rust now shaken off, Angelico and Jack Evans will look for another win, albeit this time against a much-more rounded and successful opponent.

Storm Thomas and Demetri Jackson vs Best Friends

From just another tag team in wrestling’s most loaded tag division, to one of the best in said division, Best Friends have enjoyed tremendous success in 2020. Former challengers to Kenny Omega and Hangman Page’s titles, Chuckie T and Trent haven’t lost many matches this year. Continuing to shed the label of being more than just a comedy act, Trent and Taylor have already beaten the Inner Circle, Jurassic Express, Private Party, Butcher and the Blade and more. While they are making just their first appearance on AEW DARK this August, Best Friends bring a perfect 6-0 record on the program into this one.

Billy and Austin Gunn vs Frank Stone and Baron Black

The Gunn Club is back as since Austin Gunn’s return from injury, he and dad Billy, have seen regular tag team action on AEW DARK. Undefeated in four matches on the program this year, the Gunn Club is another tag team working their way up the rankings.

Two guys without much DARK experience but a combined nearly 25 years pro wrestling experience, will team together for the first time as the opponents for Gunn Club. A 12-year veteran, Frank Stone, known also by the name of JT Flash, made his return to wrestling last week on DARK, for the first time in six years. First trained with the Dudleys and wrestling out of New York, Stone is known for his time in Coastal Championship Wrestling and Ring Warriors. His partner, Baron Black, is an 11-year veteran, wrestling out of Atlanta. Black made his debut in 2009 after training with WWA4 and wrestling with the promotion for several years after. In 2015, Black made his WWN, IWA-MS, and ROH debuts. Recently, Black is known for his time in New South Pro Wrestling. This will be his third match with AEW.

Santana and Ortiz vs the Metro Brothers

Santana and Ortiz have used victories on DARK to re-establish themselves as the tag team they should have always been from the beginning. But much like other DARK successes, Santana and Ortiz’ Tuesday night dominance has yet to transfer as the team is coming off two straight losses at the hands of Best Friends. But things are different on DARK, where Santana and Ortiz are undefeated. They’ll look to keep that record blemish-free and make a statement in the meantime, as the now nine-year tag team takes on one that is a little newer to the scene.

Their opponents, the Metro Brothers, have been wrestling as a team since 2017. Made up of the duo of JT and Chris Metro, the brothers are known mostly for their time in ACW, FEST Wrestling, World Wrestling Network, and Atomic Wrestling Entertainment. Wrestling out of New York and trained by the Dudleys at the 3D Academy, the Metro Brothers, who have appeared on WWE as enhancement talent, will be making their AEW debut this week.

Jake Hager vs Marko Stunt

Jake Hager hasn’t wrestled many singles matches this year, but when he has been in action, he’s found success more often than not. This will be his first singles match in nearly two months, since he lost his TNT Championship challenge to Cody. It will be his first action period in almost a month and marks his return to AEW DARK for the first time since March.

Last in action alongside Jurassic Express two weeks ago, the 24-year-old Marko Stunt is returning to AEW DARK in singles action for the first time in over a month. On the year, Stunt is just 2-4 in such matches, and will have a tough test on Tuesday night against the Inner Circle’s muscle.

Ricky Starks vs Shawn Dean

Ricky Starks has looked great since aligning himself with Taz and the FTW Champion, Brian Cage. Starks in fact, after his win last week on AEW DARK cut a fantastic promo and made a statement in the process. Undefeated on DARK, the former NWA World Television champion, Starks, will look to keep that streak up against one of the AEW DARK favorites, Shawn Dean.

The Chicago native trained by the Nightmare Factory, Shawn Dean may only be a three-year pro but he’s already made an impact in AEW. Known for his time in the Southern indies as well as with AR Fox in World Wrestling Alliance 4, Dean is returning for his 14th match in AEW, 13th of which is on DARK. Dean has been one of the most regularly used indie wrestlers to appear on AEW DARK and it seems only a matter of time until the company signs him to a full-time contract given the quality of his past performances.

Nyla Rose vs KiLynn King

Ever since losing the AEW Women’s Championship in May, we haven’t seen much of Nyla Rose. When we have seen Rose however, she’s looked good, alongside new manager Vickie Guerrero. The 38-year-old Rose has won three of her last four matches, with the lone loss coming in the women’s tournament alongside partner, Ariane Andrews.

Her opponent will be a name familiar to regular DARK viewers as the Team 3D Academy trainee, KiLynn King, is returning to the program for the eighth time, which is more than any other indie woman who has been featured. King is relatively new to wrestling with a little under three full years experience to her name. She made her AEW debut in May and has been a regular on DARK ever since, wrestling both in singles and tag team action.

Luther and Serpentico vs the Initiative

While it seems that Brandon Cutler is a little more patient when it comes to his win-loss, or rather just loss record, his tag team partner, Peter Avalon, is desperate for a win by any means necessary. To cheat or not to cheat has been a point of contention among the Initiative and its played out on Being the Elite as well as AEW DARK. Still an unwilling duo, Avalon and Cutler could finally luck into a victory this week against the returning team of LUTHER and Serpentico. Though, it should be noted, Serpentico is the only indie wrestler featured on DARK to get a win, and he did so alongside LUTHER.

The last time LUTHER was in action was in that very match as he and Serpentico defeated the team of Brady Pierce and Pineapple Pete. This will be the third time LUTHER and Serpentico are teaming. Also known as Jon Cruz, no wrestler since May, whether contracted with AEW or not, has made more appearances on the Tuesday night program than Cruz and his alter ego, Serpentico. Having wrestled for all of the major U.S. televised companies in his 13+ year career, Serpentico first made his AEW debut in March 2020 and has been a DARK staple ever since. He has been on 11 out of the last 14 episodes of DARK. This week marks his record 14th AEW DARK appearance.

Jessy Sorenson vs Shawn Spears

Jessy Sorenson made his AEW debut last week in a handicap match, but will be making his singles debut tonight. Trained by the Dudleys, Sorenson is a 12-year veteran who is known for his time in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. The 31-year-old Sorenson, who will be wrestling just his second match of the year, has also made appearances for NWA, Ring of Honor, Ring Warriors, Ronin Pro Wrestling, and NXT in his career.

A focal point in AEW lately, the black-gloved Shawn Spears continues to pick up victory after victory, all the while under the watchful mentorship of Tully Blanchard, who seems to have his eye on some other talents as well. It seems AEW is leaning towards their own version of the Four Horsemen, featuring Spears, FTR and a mystery fourth man. But while that develops, Spears will look to keep up his DARK winning streak, which sits at five in a row. Overall, Spears is 10-2 in singles matches on the year, a record that will certainly have him in the conversation when it comes to a title shot in the near future.

 

Programming note: The August 26th episode of AEW Dynamite will air on August 27th instead due to TNT airing the NBA playoffs. This is the second of three episodes of Dynamite in August/September that will air on different dates/time slots. Make sure to set your DVR in order not to miss any of the action!

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 Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW DARK Tuesday nights at 7 PM ET on YouTube.


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