Preview: AEW DARK (6/2/20)

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Photo: AEW

It’s Tuesday and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for another episode of AEW DARK. This week, DARK will continue the pattern of showcasing up-and-coming indie talent, bringing back a few favorites from past episodes including Jon Cruz and Joe Alonzo, as well as introducing some new names to the AEW fans. Filling out the lineup for Tuesday is a match of the Natural Nightmares versus the winless duo of Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon. Here’s a look at this week’s card.

Brandon Cutler & Peter Avalon (w/ Leva Bates) vs. The Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall) (w/ Brandi Rhodes)

Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon (0-1 in 2020)
Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall (4-1 in 2020)

Photo: AEW

Hilarity has ensued when Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon appear on Being on the Elite, as the two continue their quest to prove who among them is the bigger loser. With both men still looking for their first AEW wins ever, Cutler and Avalon will try teaming up again for just the second time. What’s likely to happen is the two fail to co-exist against the much more well-oiled machine of the Natural Nightmares.

With just one loss this year, the tag team of QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes is beginning to climb up the tag rankings, currently occupying the third spot behind just the champions of Hangman Page and Kenny Omega and their #1 contenders for the titles, Best Friends. If Marshall and Rhodes keep picking up wins, they might find themselves in the title hunt sooner rather than later. They’ll have a great shot at it against Cutler and Avalon as it should be fully expected that the losing streak between the two will last until the two finally have a no disqualification, no count-out singles match where one has to win. Until then, look for a fun match between these four.

Jon Cruz & Joe Alonzo vs. The Butcher and The Blade (Andy Williams & Pepper Parks) (w/ “The Bunny” Allie)

Jon Cruz and Joe Alonzo (N/A)
Andy Williams and Pepper Parks (4-5; 3-4 in 2020)

Photo: AEW

Starting to become a DARK staple, long time indie veteran Jon Cruz will be in his sixth match with the promotion. Returning to the Cruz moniker after wrestling last week as his alter ego Serpentico, Cruz continues to receive showcase opportunities in AEW. He even wrestled twice in one night just a few weeks ago as both Cruz and Serpentico were used on a stacked DARK card.  A 13-year vet who has worked for every major promotion in the world, Cruz was trained at the 3D Academy and has won nine titles in his successful indie career. He’ll look to share some of that experience with his partner Joe Alonzo, who is just starting out in wrestling but already looking to make a big splash. Wrestling out of Illinois the just 23-year-old Alonzo made his wrestling debut in 2016 and since then he’s worked for a variety of companies most notably IWA-MS, Chicago Style Wrestling, Rockstar Pro, Berwyn Championship Wrestling and more in the Midwest indie scene. In March, he made his AEW debut and Tuesday will mark his third match with the promotion.

This will be his first tag team match on DARK though, which could be tough for him and Cruz as they’ll face the longtime team of the Butcher and the Blade. Sitting at just about a .500 overall record in AEW,  Butcher and the Blade have been allied with MJF since they arrived in AEW in November 2019. Since then, the duo has been a force to be reckoned with when they’ve stepped in the ring. Williams and Parks haven’t wrestled in AEW in a few months however so Tuesday will give them a good chance to shake off any ring rust.

John Skyler vs. Billy Gunn (w/ Austin Gunn)

John Skyler (0-1)
Billy Gunn (3-2; 1-2 in 2020)

AEW DARK
Photo: AEW

John Skyler made his AEW debut last week teaming with Brady Pierce so this Tuesday will mark his first-ever singles match with the promotion. A 16-time champion, the 32-year-old Skyler is a staple with Pro Wrestling Xperience and has also wrestled for Carolina Wrestling Federation, Ring of Honor, NJPW, MCW Pro Wrestling, House of Hardcore, IMPACT Wrestling, Anarchy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling EVO and more. Currently in the 11th year of his career, Skyler is certainly a well-known name in the Southern indie scene and now, he’s starting to become someone AEW fans can recognize too.

On Tuesday, Skyler will face the team captain of the Gunn Club, the Ass Man himself, Billy Gunn. Gunn has wrestled just a handful of singles matches in AEW and this will mark just his second of the year. A well-known career in WWE, Gunn has been with AEW since the beginning serving as both a backstage producer/trainer and occasional wrestler. Given the DARK formula, Gunn should pick up his first AEW singles win in his career with the promotion. However, look for Skyler to have a nice opportunity to showcase his skills.

Big Game Leroy & EJ Lewis vs. Santana & Ortiz

Big Game Leroy and EJ Lewis (N/A)
Santana and Ortiz (8-8; 3-5 in 2020)

AEW DARK
Photo: AEW

Making their AEW debut on Tuesday will be Big Game Leroy and EJ Lewis, who were both trained by House of Glory and Amazing Red and who are currently known for their time in the East Coast indie scene. The 23-year-old Leroy, otherwise known as Leroy Green, has been wrestling since 2016 for a variety of promotions including HOG and Combat Zone Wrestling primarily, his home promotions. In 2019, Leroy, who has competed alongside Private Party in the past, began to break out, debuting for EVOLVE and adding House of Hardcore, New York Wrestling Connection, and more to his list of places worked. His partner is EJ Lewis, a young indie wrestler that has become somewhat familiar of late to fans of the Young Bucks’ Being The Elite series on YouTube, as he’s been helping Private Party with their own backyard situation through the pandemic.

Opposing them are the Inner Circle‘s resident tag team experts in Santana and Ortiz. The former LAX, Santana & Ortiz made their AEW in-ring debut on the very first episode of Dynamite and have been causing trouble alongside the Inner Circle ever since. Having found success the world over including most notably in Impact Wrestling, Santana and Ortiz are also known, when they were still EYFBO, for their time in HOG. Much like their opponents on Tuesday, Santana and Ortiz got their start as a team in the East Coast indie scene and have been at it as a duo for nine years now. LAX is a forced to reckoned with and it’s likely only a matter of time until these two are positioned as the top tag team they are.

Christi Jaynes vs KiLynn King

Christi Jaynes (0-2 in 2020)
KiLynn King (0-1 in 2020)

AEW DARK King vs Jaynes
Photo: AEW

Hailing from Brazil and only recently beginning to showcase her talent on the U.S. indie scene, Christi Jaynes first made her AEW DARK debut in February before returning to the company last week, to take on newly crowned champ Hikaru Shida in her first match since winning the title. A rising star in the Texas and Midwest indie scenes, Jaynes is known for her time in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, WrestleCircus, IWA-MS and in Japan, for Stardom where she had a tour in 2017. A five-time champion, Jaynes has also worked in Mexico for the Crash and the UK for promotions including IPW UK and Southside Wrestling Entertainment.

Trained at the 3D Academy, KiLynn King made her pro debut just two years ago. The self-proclaimed “Queen of Crazy,” King has wrestled for IGNITE, FEST Wrestling, Go Wrestle, Generation Championship Wrestling, Queens of Combat and more. In 2019, she won her first title, the PW2.0 Women’s Championship. A Florida native, King made her AEW DARK debut last week against Penelope Ford.

Stay tuned to the 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. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8PM ET on TNT and AEW DARK Tuesday nights at 7 PM ET on YouTube.

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