SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST (ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)… PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents the Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast with guest cohost PWTorch VIP analyst Todd Martin. Todd and Wade discuss Howard Finkel and what he represented as a great ring announcer but also how Vince McMahon treated him and what that says about McMahon. Todd then gives his strong view on WWE’s decision to release so many wrestlers yesterday during a pandemic just days before the next investor’s conference call. And much more.
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APRIL 21, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Cody
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
– Tony Schiavone welcomed viewers to the show as the AEW Dark graphic showed. He introduced Cody and previewed the match ups for the night including Penelope Ford vs. Anna Jay. Cody reacted to the match and said it’s “The Bad Girl” vs. “The Star of the Show” making her AEW Debut. Schiavone said that Cody will leave the broadcast and go to the ring to take on Joe Alonzo. Cody said Joe Alonzo is friends with the Inner Circle boys and he has no problem whooping his ass later on in the night. Schiavone then said let’s go to the ring for the first match.
As Ford made her entrance with Sabian, Cody stopped to congratulate them on their recent engagement. He said they got engaged at Baldwin Park, which is a dog park where Cody said he’s taken Pharaoh before (his Siberian Husky.) Cody said Sabian probably got down on one knee right where he took Pharaoh to “you know…”
(1) PENELOPE FORD (w/ Kip Sabian) vs. ANNA JAY
The match started with both women exchanging arm holds until Ford grounded Jay who wrapped her legs around Ford’s head momentarily. Ford bridged out of the hold to the delight of Sabian at ringside who applauded her. Jay took Ford back down with a side headlock, but Ford punched away and broke the hold. Jay and Ford separated and reset. Ford knocked Jay down with a pair of shoulder tackles, but stopped to admire her work rather than staying on Jay. Jay ran the ropes a third time, but this time she took down Ford with a hip toss and Ford backed into the corner. Jay ran into the opposite corner for a running start at Ford, but Kip Sabian jumped up on the apron and started talking to Jay. The official began counting for Sabian to get down, but Jay took the bait and stayed in the corner talking back. Ford took advantage of the distraction and hit a back handspring elbow to Jay then stomped away at her in the corner.
Ford walked Jay to the other side of the ropes and put her neck across the middle rope. Ford then put her knee across the neck of Jay choking her with the rope. As the official counted for Ford to stop the illegal choke, Sabian jumped up on the apron and gave Ford a kiss. Cody didn’t appreciate this and said “okay, we get it guys” then implored the official to get control of the match. Schiavone said he’s glad Cody and Brandi don’t do that and Cody said that they probably wouldn’t do it mid-match, but they have done it. Schiavone clarified that he meant doing that mid-match. Ford suplexed Jay for a two count. Ford went for another back handspring elbow in the corner, but Jay moved out of the way in time. Jay hit Ford with a drop kick then a clothesline in the corner for a two count. Jay went for another move, but Ford elbowed her on the side of the head for separation. Jay went for a clothesline, but Ford bridged backwards then hit Jay with a cutter. Ford hit Jay with a fisherman’s suplex into a bridge cover for the win.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 6:00
Schiavone then said goodbye to Cody and told him to go prepare for his match, which is next on AEW Dark.
– A commercial aired for Double or Nothing featuring highlights and commentary from the first AEW Double or Nothing event. The commercial said that Double or Nothing is live on May 23, but it didn’t note where it’s taking place.
– As Cody made his ring entrance, Schiavone tried to say that this was an important match for Cody to try and stay sharp and keep his focus because he will find out who he faces in the TNT Championship Tournament tomorrow after Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara meet. Cody respectfully shook hands with the official and Joe Alonzo as the bell rang to start the match.
(2) CODY (w/ Brandi Rhodes) vs. JOE ALONZO
Cody tried to take control of Alonzo’s leg, but Alonzo backed off. Cody tried again as they met in the middle of the ring, but Alonzo stood up and backed into the corner forcing a break. Cody stopped and leaned through the ropes to give Brandi a kiss before refocusing on Alonzo. The two locked up for a third time in the middle of the ring. Cody took control of the left arm and grounded Alonzo. Alonzo finally broke free and threw Cody into the ropes. Cody ran the ropes and shoulder tackled Alonzo who immediately popped back up and shook a finger at Cody. Cody and Brandi both applauded Alonzo for that and Cody tried to shake Alonzo’s hand again. Alonzo grabbed his hand and pulled him down to the ground before kicking Cody across the back. Alonzo threw Cody into the corner and charge at him, but Cody avoided him then hit him with a scoop slam as he bounced off the turnbuckles.
Cody lifted Alonzo above his head and held him there for ten to fifteen seconds before throwing him face down into the mat. Cody then stopped to do a couple pushups as Schiavone marveled at how in shape Cody is. Cody kicked Alonzo in the stomach then dropped to his back for an upper cut. Cody threw Alonzo into the ropes, but Alonzo slid out of the ring. Alonzo turned his attention to Brandi who was standing on that side of the ring. Brandi looked disgusted as Alonzo walked towards her. Cody exited the ring and punched Alonzo across the back and slammed his head into the ring apron a couple of times. Cody and Brandi then stopped to dance with each other for a second and Cody got another kiss before trying to enter the ring. Cody got into the ropes, but was met by Alonzo with a kick to the stomach. Alonze threw Cody down and went to hit a moonsault off the ropes, but Cody avoided it. Cody went for a clothesline, but Alonzo rolled through and hit Cody with a cutter.
Cody immediately stood up with a fierce look on his face as he no-sold the cutter. Alonzo took a second to celebrate and when he turned around Cody hit him with a pump kick to the jaw. Cody then went for the Cross Rhodes, but Alonzo countered it into a quick pin attempt for a two count. Cody took Alonzo down and locked in the Gael Lock for the tap out victory.
WINNER: Cody in 5:00
Cody took off his belt and, for a split second, looked as if he was going to hit Alonzo with it. Cody threw it down instead as the ref raised his hand. Brandi was on the apron behind Cody and looked confused by Cody almost using his weight belt, but then began clapping for him. Cody walked over to Alonzo, picked him up, then shook his hand before exiting the ring.
– Schiavone then plugged the double main event for AEW Dynamite tomorrow which are the two TNT Championship tournament matches: Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara and Kip Sabian vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes. Schiavone asked if this could be Dustin’s last match as the show ended.
The sound was just a little off during the women’s match. The commentary was about two or three seconds ahead of the match, so Cody and Schiavone were basically spoiling what was about to happen. It was quite distracting, but nothing too egregious.
Schiavone plugging “could this be Dustin’s last match” would be much more effective if they spent any amount of time talking about it on commentary during this show! If you haven’t seen the Road To from yesterday, I bet you’re really confused why he’d even ask that question.
Overall it’s another okay episode of Dark. This has turned into a squash match show to get some people wins, but with everything going on in the world it’s extremely understandable. For the people who can’t get enough AEW, or wrestling in general, it helps scratch the itch on a Tuesday night along with NWA Powerrr. If you want storyline developments and good to great wrestling, this show probably isn’t for you right now.
RECOMMENDED: 4/14 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Billy Gunn vs. Shawn Spears, Cody joins Schiavone on commentary, AEW actually hypes the Dynamite line-up