Raise a toast to the Memphis greats!
As promised by last week’s AEW Dynamite, tonight will be the official airing of AEW honoring the legends of Memphis that inspired many of today’s icons! Plus, plenty of action as Darby Allin rolls the dice against Brandon Cutler!
- Darby Allin VS Brandon Cutler; Allin wins.
- Nyla Rose VS Shanna; No Contest.
- Peter Avalon w/ Leva Bates & Shawn Spears w/ Tully Blanchard VS The Gunn Club; The Gunn Club wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Dave Brown joins Excalibur on commentary!
The Memphis broadcasting icon loves the card he’s getting to see tonight. Darby Allin against Brandon Cutler, a grudge match between Nyla Rose and Shanna, and the AEW Dark debut of the Gunn Club, Billy and his son Austin! But first we throw it to Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez to discuss the history of Memphis Saturday morning wrestling. Dasha thinks back to how great it was to honor those legends on Wednesday, and everyone remembers the late great Lance Russell, Memphis Wrestling commentary star. But to truly honor Memphis Wrestling, we throw it to the ring!
Justin Roberts introduces the legends of Memphis Wrestling!
First, it’s the former USWA Champion, 7-time Southern Champion and 56 years of wrestling history, as well as the man who trained Hangman Adam Page, “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant! Next, on behalf of brother Brian Christopher (and father Jerry), Kevin Lawler! Then the 53-year radio personality and tonight’s guest broadcaster, Dave Brown! On behalf of the late Lance Russell is his son, Shane Russell! Then, the 3-time Southern Heavyweight Champion and one-half of the infamous Memphis Wrestling moment when he and Tommy Rich shaved Jerry Lawler’s head, it’s Austin Idol! Representing the Gilbert Family, it’s “Dangerous” Doug Gilbert!
Of course, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, Ricky Mortin and Robert Gibson are here! The fans definitely love Rock ‘n’ Roll. And representing the Poffo family, it’s Lanny Poffo! But of course, the final wrestler to pay tribute to is Lanny’s brother, the “Macho Man,” Randy Savage! Along with Savage, the other late legends of Memphis wrestling are honored with a 10 bell salute. With that, the fans give another ovation for all the legends of Memphis Wrestling!
Darby Allin VS Brandon Cutler!
The Undead Daredevil lost his rematch to the American Nightmare but he looks to rebound before taking on The Bastard, PAC! Will he gain some momentum or suffer a #TotalPartyKill instead?
The bell rings and Darby circles with Cutler. They tie up, Cutler powers Darby to ropes but Darby turns it around. Cutler puts Darby in a corner but Darby climbs to then tornado monkey flip! But Cutler keeps the elbow-collar and the two stand up. Cutler shoves Darby but Darby comes back. Fans rally behind Darby as Cutler shoves him back again. The two stand off and fans rally up again. Darby and Cutler circle and shake hands, but then Darby uses that to wring and wrench and La Magistrol! TWO, and very close! Cutler and Darby circle again. Darby headlocks but Cutler resists the takedown to get a back suplex. Darby lands on his feet and gets the headlock again. Cutler powers out but Darby bumps shoulders. Cutler doesn’t budge so Darby runs again, and he manages to run Cutler over!
Darby speeds up and Cutler hurdles over, but Darby headbutts low. Darby grabs Cutler to suplex but Cutler resists. Cutler suplexes but Darby slips out. Darby ducks Cutler to dropkick on the return! Fans fire up with Darby as he goes corner to corner, but into knees! Cutler goes up, jumps and moonsault kicks Darby down! Cover, TWO! Cutler drags Darby up, puts him in a corner and then wrenches to whip corner to corner. Darby hits buckles hard, and Cutler glares as he looms over him. Cutler drags Darby up as fans rally and duel. Cutler wrenches and whips Darby corner to corner again, and even harder. Darby stands up but Cutler runs in, only for Darby to elbow back!
Darby runs out and whips but Cutler reverses to scoop Darby and swing him, for a BIG Black Hole Slam! Cover, TWO! Darby lives but Cutler covers again, TWO! Darby catches Cutler in a crucifix, TWO! Darby keeps the arms, Fujiwara Armbar with finger torture! Maybe even a wristlock for a modified Kimura! Cutler gets the ropebreak! Darby lets go at 4 to then drop knees on the arm! Cutler clutches his bad elbow but Darby stalks over. Darby drags Cutler up as fans rally again. Darby CHOPS Cutler, then whips corner to corner. Cutler reverses and follows but is put on the apron. Darby throws a forearm but Cutler counter punches. Cutler slingshots to kick Darby down! Cutler paces while checking his bad hand.
Fans rally up but Cutler drags Darby up. Cutler lifts Darby to a torture rack and bends him. But Darby gets the bad arm! Cutler throws Darby but Darby has the fingers! Cutler breaks free, but Darby bobs ‘n’ weaves to fire hands and a headbutt! Darby hops on, DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!! Cutler survives and Darby can’t believe it! Darby crawls to a corner while Cutler goes to the opposite end. Fans rally up again as Darby climbs up. Cutler hurries to trip Darby up! Darby falls on buckles before hitting the mat! Cutler goes after Darby with a knee drop then knees against the ropes. Cutler drags Darby up to knee against the ropes more, then uses the ropes in a backbreaker rack. The ref counts and Cutler lets up, to then slingshot guillotine leg drop! Darby crashes and burns on the apron and then the floor.
Cutler drags Darby up to put him back in the ring and fans rally up. Darby dropkicks Cutler back out then slingshots. Cutler gets clear, Darby slingshots back in to DIVE! Direct hit sends Cutler into barriers! Cutler and Darby slowly stir as the ring count begins. Darby drags Cutler up and into the ring at 5. Darby rallies on Cutler with big forearms and whips, but Cutler reverses. Darby springboards but the Coffin Drop is caught into a full nelson! Darby powers out and tortures Cutler’s fingers again. Darby waistlocks but Cutler bucks him off to slingshot and springboards, but Darby gets around to throwback STUNNER! Cutler is down and Darby climbs up, COFFIN DROP! Cover, Darby wins!
Winner: Darby Allin, by pinfall
And Darby breaks even on his 2020 record! Will Darby’s match with Pac break the balance in a positive or negative?
Nyla Rose VS Shanna!
The Native Beast roughed up Portugal’s Perfect Athlete and got suspended, but that denied both women a chance to settle the score. Now that Nyla’s back, Shanna has her chance for revenge! Will she get it? Or will she only get beaten down all over again?
But before even getting in the ring, Shanna attacks Nyla from behind! Shanna channels the power of Dragonball Z with her ring gear as she goes after Nyla. Fans fire up as Shanna rams Nyla into barriers! But Nyla comes back with haymakers, and she rams Shanna into barriers in return! Nyla throws forearms then throws Shanna towards the ring. Nyla stomps Shanna and drags her up. The ref warns Nyla but Nyla just aims at the apron. Nyla lifts Shanna but Shanna slips out to BACK KICK! Nyla is rocked, Shanna gets space and runs in, but Nyla SPINE BUSTERS Shanna down! Nyla is angry now as she stalks Shanna. Nyla goes under the ring and brings out a TABLE! Fans like where this is going!
Nyla sets the table up and drags Shanna over. But Nyla thinks better, and puts Shanna up on the apron. Nyla climbs up to join her, and lifts Shanna, but Shanna fights free! Shanna hits a hotshot and Nyla wobbles! Fans see where this is going as Shanna runs, to SPEAR Nyla off and through the table!! Fans lose their minds as security and referees check on both women. Nyla sits up first but rage takes over! Nyla wants after Shanna and Shanna kicks at Nyla, but the referees and security separate them. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but the decision is made that for the sake of career longevity, this match is called off. The rage still boils in Shanna and Nyla, when and where will they finally get to have their grudge match?
Backstage interview with Shanna!
Alex Marvez checks on Shanna after that brutal brawl. There have been a lot of table spots between them, but this isn’t over. Shanna says Nyla is just a bully. And then Nyla attacks! Not exactly proving Shanna wrong. Alex asks Nyla what she’s doing, and she shouts, “Whatever I want!” And then she throws Shanna into stage signs nearby! Then the trunks! Nyla finds another sign, to throw into Shanna’s face! “Shanna, YOU made this s*it personal! Everybody needs to listen to what I gotta say!” But Shanna attacks back! Referees reappear to pull these two apart! Will anything other than utter destruction end this feud?
Peter Avalon w/ Leva Bates & Shawn Spears w/ Tully Blanchard VS The Gunn Club!
The Librarians are trying to get on a winning track while The Chair Man is looking for tag team #PERFECT10N. Will they get both of those things against the father-son combination of Billy & Austin?
Before the match, Austin grabs a mic to say, “Mississippi, how the hell are we?!” Doing pretty good from the sound of it. Austin doesn’t mean to do this to dad, but Austin feels we’re missing something. Maybe if we’re loud enough, maybe they can convince “Pop” to do his thing. Austin gets the fans nice and loud and then hands the mic over. Billy grins as fans cheer him on. “If you’re not down with the Gunn Club, we’ve got two words for ya!” “SUCK IT!” With that, Spears and Avalon make their entrances. And of course, Avalon has a mic to hush the fans.
“We are in the backyard of Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is a town with a royal history. A place full of kings, like Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.” Lawler has a restaurant so bad, your stomach ache makes you feel dead like a certain other Memphis king. Oof, and on Elvis’ birthday, even. Avalon tells “Gunn & Son” that he is excited for this match. But if Austin is Billy’s son, does that make Austin the Ass Boy? Leva takes the mic to hush Avalon, and then apologizes for him. Teams sort out and Billy starts against Spears.
Billy and Spears circle as fans cheer, “Let’s go Ass Boy!” Spears and Billy approach, but then Spears backs off to steal “SUCK IT!” Billy laughs that off but then Spears copies the ol’ pelvic thrust. They tie up, Billy headlocks but Spears powers out, only for Billy to run him over! And again! Things speed up and Spears ducks down, but Billy stops and stays very close as Spears sits up, to stare Lil’ Billy in the eye… Spears looks up, and Billy says “SUCK IT!” Spears bails out and Leva fans him off. Avalon shouts at Spears to get back in this, and Spears gets in the ring. Spears calls out “Ass Boy” Austin! Fans want to see that, too! Billy tags in his son, and fans fire up! Austin and Spears circle as fans cheer, “Let’s go, Ass Boy!”
Austin powers up for Gunn style martial arts, but Spears goes out to the apron. Spears asks Billy if he taught his son all that. Spears returns and circles with Austin. Spears suckers Austin in for a kick then puts him in the corner. Spears CHOPS away on Austin’s chest then tags Avalon. Avalon and Spears mug Austin then Avalon stomps Austin into a corner. Avalon keeps stomping, then hushes the crowd as he CHOPS Austin for himself. Avalon whips corner to corner, Austin goes up and over and things speed up. Austin dodges then hurdles Avalon, then counters a hip toss with a hip toss neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Austin drags Avalon up to wrench and whip and Billy tags in. Father and son rally on Avalon, Austin topping it off with a LARIAT! Spears runs in but the Gunn boys are ready! So Spears bails out.
Billy goes after Avalon but Avalon boots him away. Avalon runs but into Billy’s arms! Billy swings Avalon up but Avalon fights, and Leva saves him! Avalon then climbs up top, leaps, and hits a flying crossbody! Cover, ONE, and Avalon tags Spears. Spears stomps and CHOPS Billy in the corner, then mocks the Gunn dance. But Billy just glares at Spears as he turns around. Spears yelps, Billy grabs him and puts him in the corner. Spears dodges to CHOP again, then climbs up to rain down punches! Spears hears the fans counting along so he stops, because he hates the “TEN! TEN!” chants. Billy trips Spears up in the distraction, then brings him around to CHOP and CHOP. Billy puts Spears in the Gunn corner to CHOP again, and Spears wants a timeout.
Tag to Austin and Austin drags Spears back into the corner. Austin CHOPS but Spears shoves. Austin comes back to throw forearms and wrenches but Spears gives forearms back. Austin whips but Spears denies the dropkick to then throw Austin into the post! Spears drags Austin out and around to throw back into the post! Billy protests but Spears yanks on Austin’s arm. Spears clotheslines Austin down but fans rally up for “Ass Boy!” Spears tags Avalon and they go after Austin’s arm. Avalon hammerlocks Austin’s arm and pulls tight. Austin endures and fights his way up, but Avalon throws him down by his hair! Avalon hits Billy but Billy doesn’t fall. The ref keeps Billy back and Avalon fakes a tag to Spears. Spears drags Austin around to wrench and chinbar but fans rally up.
Spears wrenches again but Austin throws forearms. Austin reaches for his dad but has to punch Spears more. Avalon gets in as a distraction, Spears drop toeholds and clobbers Austin with crossface forearms! Spears drops knees on Austin’s bad arm, then drags him back up. Spears clotheslines Austin down again, but Austin comes back with a clothesline of his own! Both men are down and fans rally up! Spears and Austin crawl, hot tags to Avalon and Billy! Papa Gunn rallies with haymakers on Avalon and Spears! Billy whips Avalon but Avalon kicks his back drop away. Avalon runs but Billy shots “EAT S*IT” before hitting a spinning powerslam! Billy dodges Spears to scoop him for a scrapbuster!
Avalon staggers into a kick and Billy reels him in. Spears dropkicks Billy away and shouts at Avalon to get up. Austin tags in before Spears clotheslines Billy out, and Austin clotheslines Spears out! Avalon rolls Austin up, TWO! Avalon dodges and enziguris Austin! Avalon hushes everyone as he runs, but Austin shouts “SUCK IT” before hitting a FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Avalon lives and Austin can’t believe it! Austin heads to the corner and heads up top. Fans rally for “Ass Boy!” again but Spears trips Austin up! Billy whips Spears into barriers! Avalon SHORYUKENS and climbs, but Austin resists the superplex. Austin powers out to headbutt Avalon down! Billy gives Avalon a cobra clutch SLAM, then Austin SWANTONS! Cover, The Gunn Club wins!
Winners: The Gunn Club, Austin pinning
Spears didn’t even bother saving Avalon, he prefers to cut his losses and try a different tag partner. As for the Gunn Club, they just keep winning in the Dark! Will father and son find their way towards a title shot?
A pretty great episode for Dark right here. The tribute to the Memphis wrestling legends was really well done, and it was nice that it wasn’t biased in any way, even with Jerry Lawler still with the WWE. It was also great having Dave Brown on commentary, he’s still good after all this time. Darby VS Cutler was a good match, and naturally Darby wins, mostly because Cutler is on a story of always losing. Cutler has to be the one purple masked creeper, it’d just be a perfect twist. Nyla VS Shanna not actually happening as a match was a great move. That rivalry is getting really good, with the table spots and backstage brawling. I would hope it carries over to Dynamite for a really great grudge match. A Tables match is definitely where they’re going with this, but I feel like a normal No Disqualifications match would be better so there could be multiple table spots.
While the advertised Gunn Club match with Proud ‘n’ Powerful never aired, regardless as to why, I am very glad to have this match here tonight. Avalon’s promo to bash Lawler and Elvis in one go, wow! Also his line about “Ass Boy” was funny, and fans obviously went along with it. Spears showed a lot of personality in this match, especially when he was staring down the barrel of Billy’s “gun.” And given Avalon was his tag partner, of course Spears was losing, but with Avalon taking the fall. Father-son tag teams are rare but it’d be great if the Gunn Club could get on Dynamite and start heading towards the tag titles.
My Score: 8.2/10