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AEW Dark recap & reactions (Feb. 11, 2020): Dark Order continue their ascent

Emele

Feb. 12, 2020

Episode 19 of AEW Dark from Huntsville, AL featured joshi action with Riho against Shoko Nakajima, Luther calling out Jimmy Havoc, Hikaru Shida taking care of business, and the Dark Order calling in the goons for Jurassic Express.
Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time:
Shoko Nakajima vs Riho (okay)
Jimmy Havoc vs Sonny Kiss (skip)
Cassandra Golden vs Hikaru Shida (okay)
Dark Order vs Jurassic Express (solid)
Fine matches all around. Shoko vs Riho was a little sloppier than I thought it would be. Havoc vs Kiss was more grounded. Golden vs Shida was a showcase for Shida. The main event of Dark Order against Jurassic Express was power vs speed with post-match shenanigans.
Watch the show here .
Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the broadcast. Taz and Excalibur handled commentary.
Shoko Nakajima vs Riho
Non-title bout. Riho was actually the taller opponent for once. Despite Shoko Nakajima being 4’10”, she was more powerful than Riho. Top sequence was Shoko catching Riho with a guillotine submission but Riho countering with a Northern Lights suplex. For the finish, Shoko missed a flying senton. Riho attacked with doubles knees to the back of the head then double knees to the face to win.
Jimmy Havoc vs Sonny Kiss
Taz had marbles in his mouth at times. It sounded like he said Sonny Kiss was a certified yogurt (yoga) instructor. Jimmy Havoc worked the mat without relying on hardcore tactics. He focused on Kiss’ arm. That pain gave Kiss trouble executing certain flashy maneuvers. Kiss did hit a cool single-arm belly-to-belly suplex and his patented handspring axe kick in the corner. For the finish, Kiss attempted a slingshot splits leg drop, but Havoc got his knees up into Kiss’ cojonoes. Havoc transitioned into an armbar. He bent Kiss’ fingers back for emphasis and earned the tap. Havoc was victorious via submission.
Luther calling out Jimmy Havoc
After Havoc’s match, Luther cut a promo backstage by himself. It was like he hacked into the feed. Luther is the original death dealer. He has noticed Havoc strutting with a barbed wire baseball bat. Luther loves baseball and barbed wire. He warned Jimmy that it will soon be time to play ball.
Cassandra Golden vs Hikaru Shida
This was the AEW debut for Cassandra Golden. She was thick and powerful. Golden’s top move was a Vader Bomb. The bout was competitive, but Hikaru Shida wore Golden down. In the end, Shida was the winner after an enziguri, a Falcon Arrow slam, knees to the back of the head, then a single-leg low dropkick.
Dark Order vs Jurassic Express
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson represented Dark Order, while Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt represented Jurassic Express. Dark Order was accompanied by Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and creepers. Luchasaurus was not present ringside.
Power vs speed. Dark Order controlled the action. Jurassic Express had spurts of fast-paced comebacks. The beginning of the end was when Grayson rammed Jungle Boy into the ring post. Grayson then caught Stunt trying a flying hurricanrana. Grayson tossed Stunt into a powerbomb from Uno.
Teamwork Fatality finisher ended the match as Dark Order won with Uno pinning Stunt.
Afterward, the creepers stomped Jungle Boy and Stunt. Luchasaurus ran down to clean house. Reynolds and Silver tried to attack from behind, but the dinosaur roared wild on them. Uno and Grayson got the upper hand though. Lastly, SCU ran down to chase off the Dark Order.
Episode 19 of Dark had a nice mix of styles and talent. Shoko Nakajima is interesting as a ball of energy. Jimmy Havoc went to his British wrestling roots. Cassandra Golden did well enough for a return ticket to Dark . Riho and Hikaru Shida both made the fans happy. I’d say Jungle Boy was the standout performer. He displayed athleticism and increasing strength. If that new AEW show ends up with a feature championship , Jungle Boy will have been built up enough to compete for that honor.
The finish to the show was enjoyable. It is always cool to see Luchasaurus whip kicking fools. SCU stood tall in the end to continue their feud with the Dark Order. Dark Order will need a better third partner than Alex Reynolds or John Silver if they want to prevail against SCU’s trio.
If there was any doubt about Riho being a fan favorite, this match should silence the doubters. The crowd was firmly behind Riho. They loudly booed Shoko just because she was against Riho. Shoko didn’t do any heel moves or tactics to earn the crowd’s ire.
With the Nightmare Collective’s future up in the air, I wonder if Luther will get a big hardcore match as his going away gift. Jimmy Havoc is just the man for that job. Both can go to bat on each other. Neither is a good guy, so perhaps an alignment shift will take place over the coming weeks.
Last note. It was mentioned on commentary that tag matches have 10 seconds to clear the ring between tags. I don’t recall hearing that rule before. It would not be surprising if AEW made that adjustment, since the rule is never followed at 5 seconds. If so, then good rule change by AEW.
Who stood out most for episode 19 of AEW Dark ? Which match was your favorite?
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