Preview: AEW DARK (7/28/20)

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scu vs best friends vs private party aew dark
All photos courtesy of AEW

There is a mammoth card set for this week’s AEW DARK as 12 matches have been filmed for the stacked show. Some of the AEW favorites in action this week include Orange Cassidy, Lance Archer, Scorpio Sky, Private Party, SCU, and more. Serpentico returns to AEW for the 12th time and Sammy Guevara is back in action for his first match since he was suspended just over a month ago. There will be a double dose of Dark Order, FTR will be in action making their AEW DARK debut, and Abadon will return to DARK for the first time since her AEW debut in March.

Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela are back as a team, as are Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon, hoping that a new name will bring them their first win (spoiler: it won’t). Plus, Shawn Dean, Willie Hobbs, Corey Hollis, Kenzie Paige, Pineapple Pete, and more indie wrestlers will continue to make the most of their opportunities.

It’s a great night of action set for what should be yet another fun episode of AEW DARK.

Orange Cassidy vs Serpentico

This should be a fun one. Orange Cassidy has been on a role lately but in some ways, so has Serpentico, who will be making his 11th appearance on AEW DARK this Tuesday.

Serpentico seems like someone AEW is going to sign sooner rather than later. A few weeks ago, during his last appearance, the longtime indie veteran became the first such performer to pick up a win on the program, when he teamed with LUTHER to defeat Brady Pierce and Pineapple Pete. Now in his 13th year as a professional wrestler, the 36-year-old Serpentico/Jon Cruz has worked for every major promotion but hasn’t been as prominently featured as he’s been lately on AEW DARK. He’s put on great matches thus far as DARK’s most used indie wrestler, and it seems he’ll continue to get showcases going forward.

Years ago, the prospect of Orange Cassidy wrestling Chris Jericho would have seemed all but impossible, but here we are, in 2020, a year that has held its fair share of unexpected moments. Also 36, Cassidy’s match with Jericho got people talking in what marked his first singles match on Dynamite since May. In the meantime, the man known for his trademark sunglasses and jeans has picked up three wins in his three DARK appearances. Overall, Cassidy has wrestled 11 matches in AEW this year, the same amount as Serpentico, believe it or not.

Lance Archer vs Frankie Thomas

AEW DARKThe Murder Hawk has found his newest prey as Lance Archer will face Frankie Thomas in his AEW debut.

A longtime veteran of the industry, Thomas notes on his Twitter that he has been wrestling for 14 years. Mainly wrestling with NWA‘s Elite Championship Wrestling, where he is a two-time tag team champion, and Bayou Independent Wrestling, where he is the current Deep South Heritage Champion, this is a huge opportunity for Thomas as he’ll take on Archer.

Still brandishing just a one-loss record (9-1 now), Archer is one of AEW’s resident monsters and he’ll look to continue showing that this week. Archer has made quick work of all his DARK opponents thus far, showing his dominance and sheer power. The 43-year-old and veteran of 20 years will be wrestling his first match since Fyter Fest earlier this month. But don’t expect rust as Archer has yet to show his age in AEW. He’s a force to be reckoned with and unfortunately Thomas will have to learn that the hard way.

Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) vs Shawn Dean and Will Hobbs

It’s a double dose of Dark Order this week as in the faction’s first appearance of the night, the very successful duo of Evil Uno and Stu Grayson will take on Shawn Dean and Will Hobbs, who are teaming up for the second time.

In Dean’s last appearance on AEW DARK, he and Joe Alonzo teamed with Hobbs in six-man action, in a loss against three other Dark Order members, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and Five. Dean, a Chicago native, is one of the DARK staples. Trained by the Nightmare Factory, Dean is making his 10th appearance on the program and 11th in AEW overall. The Captain has certainly made an impression and might be someone destined for an AEW future when all is said and done. His partner in Hobbs is another man who recently has made quite the impression in his three prior appearances, even if his ring time has thus far been limited. Known for his time in All Pro Wrestling and Gold Rush Pro Wrestling, Hobbs is finally seeing his career break into the mainstream with his time on AEW.

Evil Uno and Stu Grayson have been a bright spot for the Dark Order, a group who’s success hasn’t always been to the level that Mr. Brodie Lee would like. But Uno and Grayson aren’t the ones letting their leader down as the duo are 8-1 this year, with their only loss coming in an eight man tag several months ago. Grayson and Uno haven’t wrestled too much this year but when they have, they’ve been almost perfect. On Tuesday night, they’ll look to continue their run of victories under what will no doubt be the watchful eye of Lee.

Scorpio Sky vs Corey Hollis

AEW DARKScorpio Sky’s singles journey continues as he’ll take on Corey Hollis, who is back in action for the second week in a row. These two former NWA stars will be wrestling each other for the first time in what is sure to be an entertaining contest.

An 11-year veteran, Hollis is known for his time in the Southern indie scene, where he has wrestled for companies including NWA’s Anarchy Wrestling and Southern Honor Wrestling, where he is in his second reign as champion. The Alabama native first made his AEW debut in March, but has also wrestled for Ring of Honor, TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, and a brief stint in NXT a few years ago. In all, Hollis has won 13 titles and has proven his worth in the industry. He’s made the most of his opportunities but this week may be his biggest yet.

Sooner rather than later, Scorpio Sky will hold singles gold in AEW. The company is slow-building the former tag team champion to enjoy such a run by giving him showcase matches on DARK. Sky has wrestled 19 matches in AEW this year, which is more than most, with seven such matches being on DARK. In that time, he’s faced some of the top names to appear on the program including Robert Anthony, Serpentico, Lee Johnson, and just last week, Aaron Solow, in his debut. Sky has wrestled full length matches, giving him a chance to really showcase his skills. He’s yet to have a singles match on Dynamite this year but with the way his push is going, that will no doubt be something we’ll see in 2020.

Sammy Guevara vs Fuego Del Sol

Making his return in controversial style, Sammy Guevara will be back in action for the first time since he was suspended and sent to sensitivity training a little over a month ago. He’ll be taking on Fuego Del Sol, who will be making his AEW singles debut on Tuesday.

A native of Oklahoma, Fuego Del Sol has quickly made a name for himself despite just turning pro some six years ago. Known for his athleticism and charisma, Del Sol has wrestled for Imperial Wrestling Revolution, Wrestling for a Cause, Lucha Brutal, and more. Starting to break out into the mainstream in 2019, Del Sol has also recently made appearances for AAW, IMPACT and WWE. He’s wrestled twice previously on AEW DARK, but against Guevara, he’ll be making his singles debut.

Likely not expected to return so soon, Guevara pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes when he donned Serpentico’s mask and joined the Inner Circle in their beat down during last week’s Dynamite. It was only after the attack that Guevara unmasked to enjoy a happy reunion with Jericho and the rest of his faction mates. Guevara’s return to the company was made official shortly after as Tony Khan reported his suspension was over following the completion of the intensive sensitivity program. No matter one’s thoughts on Guevara’s return, it is clear the 27-year-old is still a big part of AEW’s plans. He was enjoying a great run prior to his suspension and this Tuesday, he’ll start to work his way back with his first match since June 11th, and first DARK match since May.

Michael Nakazawa and Pineapple Pete vs Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela

AEW DARKOne of AEW fans’ favorite tag teams will take on a newly teaming duo that could become a favorite as well as Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela return to DARK to take on Michael Nakazawa and Pineapple Pete.

Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela’s odd couple tag team pairing has been both fun and successful. With neither wrestler gaining much traction in the singles scene this year, what likely started out as a random one-off team has turned into a duo that went from DARK matches to their Dynamite debut back in June. Prior to their loss against Colt Cabana and Mr. Brodie Lee, Kiss and Janela were 4-0 on DARK, a record they’ll look to add a win to this Tuesday night.

Pineapple Pete has been great to watch as despite his losses, he’s always brought the energy to his AEW appearances. The legend of Pineapple Pete is well known at this point and so is the personality and charismatic, energetic wrestling style. Wrestling out of Georgia and known his time in NWA Anarchy, CHIKARA, Freelance Wrestling, IWA Mid South, and more, Pete, a 35-year-old pro wrestling veteran of 14+ years, will be returning for his eighth match in AEW and third in tag team action. His partner will be Michael Nakazawa, who is known for baby oil and trying to turn his name into a catchphrase. Wrestling out of Japan, the 44-year-old Nakazawa is 0-3 in tag team action this year, but is 2-1 in his last three AEW DARK appearances.

SCU vs Santana and Ortiz vs Private Party

scu vs best friends vs private party aew dark

While AEW DARK has spent the last several months showcasing indie wrestlers in big spots, this match is one that will likely have future tag team title implications as SCU, Santana and Ortiz, and Private Party take part in a triple threat that could lead to a #1 contendership opportunity for Kenny Omega and Hangman Page‘s titles.

Reuniting this year as Scorpio Sky has been in the midst of his singles push, SCU, represented by Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels, has looked fantastic. The two longtime veterans and former tag partners in both ROH and IMPACT, where they have won five combined tag team championships, Kazarian and Daniels have spent much of 2020 reminding fans why they are still one of the top acts in the company. In fact, since Daniels began representing SCU in tag team matches in place of Sky, SCU is 5-2, a record just slightly better than Private Party.

One of AEW’s most exciting young duos, Private Party has floated in and out of the top tag team scene ever since they joined the company. The combination of Marq Kwen and Isiah Cassidy were the most recent team to challenge for the tag titles, taking on Omega and Page at Fyter Fest a few weeks ago. While they lost, it was a great showing and one that the guys should look to build on this week. 4-0 on DARK thus far, a win over SCU and Santana and Ortiz (who Private Party just defeated a few weeks ago), would mark one of Private Party’s biggest victories of the year.

With Guevara back, the Inner Circle is primed to regain some of their lost momentum and one way to do so would be Santana and Ortiz to finally get the chance to show what made them one of the best tag teams in all of wrestling just a few years back. It wasn’t until late May that Santana and Ortiz picked up their first tag team win this year (not including six-man or larger matches), and it came on DARK. Santana and Ortiz only have two such wins this year but on Tuesday, they’ll be able to get a big victory to position them back towards a place of relevance. A Santana/Ortiz vs Page/Omega tag team championship bout would be great to see and the journey to that point could begin this week for the Inner Circle’s resident tag duo.

Wardlow vs Aaron Solow

AEW DARKAaron Solow made a fine debut last week but this Tuesday, he’ll face a much bigger challenge as he takes on MJF‘s muscle, Wardlow.

Trained by the Storm Wrestling Academy, Solow began wrestling 10 years ago, but only really started to get major recognition when he took part in and won Amazon’s Dojo Pro tournament. With the win came a television title match in Ring of Honor, an opportunity that helped Solow continue to build his brand on a larger stage. Now, the former Big Time Wrestling and Full Impact Pro star, has wrestled for WWE, was an alternate for the Cruiserweight Classic, ROH, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and more. He made his AEW debut last week against Scorpio Sky.

Wardlow lost his first singles match in AEW when he took on Cody inside a steel cage. But since then, the big man has been undefeated when in singles action, winning all five of his matches. Four of these have been DARK victories as Wardlow has made quick work of his opponents, spending just under 10 minutes of ring time combined in those matches. Wardlow’s biggest singles win came in June when he defeated Luchasaurus in a lumberjack match on Dynamite.

The Initiative vs FTR

As Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon continue their quest for a win, they’ll take on FTR in their AEW DARK debut. Yeah…the result for this one may as well already be in the books.

Cutler and Avalon have been on the losing streak to end all losing streaks. Except, there may be no ending this losing streak as it’s just been way too funny watching these two less-than-loveable losers continue to rack up the Ls. But this week, something’s got to give, right? That’s what the team, who have now officially been branded The Initiative are hoping for. However, the name may be as humorous as the results as taking initiative is not exactly something Cutler and Avalon have done or done well. But a team name seems to suggest this duo isn’t going anywhere, so take that for what you will.

The duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, formerly WWE’s Revival, have only been in AEW since June, but in that time, FTR has already defeated Butcher and the Blade, the Lucha Brothers, and SCU. Their track record has been impressive and it’s clear they are well on their way to a showdown with the Young Bucks and an opportunity for the tag team titles in short order. But in the meantime, FTR will have an easy night as they’ll hand the Initiative their first loss under the new name, but certainly not their first, or last loss, of their AEW careers.

Penelope Ford vs Kenzie Paige

AEW DARKIn action for the first time since losing in her women’s world title match against Hikaru Shida, Penelope Ford will look to get back to her winning ways against Kenzie Paige.

A newly-minted high school graduate, the 18-year-old Kenzie Page, who recently finished her training at Glenn Jacobs’ JP Wrestling Academy, is very new to the wrestling scene, having wrestled just a handful of matches in her young career. This will be Paige’s third match in AEW, and second on DARK, following her debut with the company in May.

Ford has been enjoying a great 2020, complete with her first title opportunity, which came at Fyter Fest. This will be Ford’s seventh match on DARK this year, where she currently has a 5-1 record. The 27-year-old has been positioned in a top spot in AEW recently and it’s possible her run isn’t over just yet. Ford will have a great opportunity on Tuesday to start a new streak and continue to show off her athleticism and improving skill set.

Abadon vs Skyler Moore

Making her return to AEW DARK for the first time since she debuted with the program in March, Abadon is set for action against the returning Skyler Moore.

With a unique and horrifying look, Abadon became an internet sensation when she debuted on DARK. Clearly she impressed many in the company as well as just a few months later she was announced as All Elite, becoming the latest female wrestler to sign with the company. Very young in her career, Abadon has been wrestling for just over a year, mainly in the West Coast with Denver’s Rocky Mountain Pro Wrestling. She’s already made a strong impression on AEW, defeating Anna Jay on Dynamite and earning a contact, and now in her DARK return, she’ll do so not as enhancement talent, but as the wrestler signed to a contract who is ready to make her impact.

Trained by the 3D Academy, Moore is returning to DARK for the fifth time. Known for her time in IGNITE and Go Wrestle, Moore also took part in a WWE tryout in April 2019. She’s only been wrestling a few years with just a handful of matches on record, but Moore is a name to watch, especially if she keeps receiving opportunities to wrestle some of the top women’s wrestlers in AEW.

Dark Order (John Silver and Alex Reynolds) vs Best Friends

AEW DARKOne day prior to their huge match against the Inner Circle, Best Friends will look to pick up another victory in 2020 against a Dark Order duo who just won their first match of the year a few weeks ago.

Still winless in standard tag team action (0-4 in their AEW careers), Alex Reynolds and John Silver have been struggling and that’s something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Mr. Brodie Lee. Lee has set his sights on recruiting Colt Cabana for the Dark Order as time and again, the team formerly known as the Beaver Boys has done nothing but disappoint him. Tuesday will give Silver and Reynolds yet another chance to gain favor under their leader’s watchful eye, but they won’t have an easy go at it as Best Friends have been one of AEW’s most successful teams this year.

Best Friends returned to AEW DARK action last week for the first time in a long time, defeated the team of Sabby and Brady Pierce. It was just another win for the duo of Trent and Chuck Taylor, who have been wracking up victories the entire year. The two recently challenged for the tag titles and while they weren’t successful in dethroning the champs, it doesn’t take away what Best Friends have accomplished 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.

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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