This week’s AEW Dark started without the usual AEW Control Center, which didn’t come across as a disappointment due to the fact we are rather lucky to still be getting a show each week. No one really knew what or who would appear on this week’s Dark as the company had only advised one match on their social media channels, we were quickly informed by Tony Schiavone that this would in fact be the only match, as one half of the Gunn Club, the bad-ass Billy Gunn faces the self-appointed Chairman, Shawn Spears.
Tony Schiavone was joint on commentary this week by Cody Rhodes, which was a real plus for the show as Cody always gives us a good wrestler perspective when on commentary. After the normal introductions, we got to see a small flashback from the quarter-finals of the TNT championship tournament match between Cody and Shawn Spears from AEW Dynamite the previous week, where Shawn Spears tapped out to the figure 4. Cody quickly informed us all that this was ‘a huge match for Dark this week’ and it certainly did feel that way as in previous weeks we have seen a few more squash matches with local indie wrestlers coming in the fold. While I appreciate seeing some of the local talent getting some work during these hard times it was a nice change to see a solid match between two identifiable stars.
Being a pre-taped match between the two stars meant that once again we did not have the small crowd of wrestlers you may be accustomed to seeing if you watch the regular AEW Dynamite show. This was a real shame as I have really enjoyed having the small crowd of eight or so wrestlers standing behind the barricades, as this really helps restore a small sense of normality to the show, unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience this on Dark. However, saying this we did have Austin Gunn at the side-lines and, believe me, he is more than enough crowd for anyone. Both members of the Gunn club have a special talent for being a rather loud member of the crowd during AEW shows, so having Austin in his father’s corner sure did help keep an atmosphere during the match.
Billy Gunn (w/ Austin Gunn aka the Gunn Club) Vs Shawn Spears
The match started with Spears displaying some of the tactics he has learned from his mentor Tully Blanchard, as he ran some laps inside the ring and ran his mouth off to the Gunn Club members. Austin Gunn instantly started to show us how ‘proactive’ he is outside the ring, chanting and cheering for his dad. This led and agitated Spears to mock the ‘ass-man’ before running some more laps within the ring. Billy Gunn started to dominate the match quickly as he turned the initial lockup into multiple arm submission moves.
After a right hook to the face, Spears decided he needed a break, calling for a time out and leaving the ring. As he came to the camera looking to see if his tooth was damaged which led to Cody on commentary accusing the AEW star Britt Baker of not actually being a dentist, I’m sure this will be mentioned and play upon in following weeks. Back to the match, after his time out Spears started to show some offensive for a few moments, before Billy Gunn returned the attack and Spears got caught up within the ropes.
Spears then decided to take another break before the Gunn Club successfully trapped him outside the ring, leading Billy to be able to throw Spears into the safety rail a few times, before this offensive was counted with Spears throwing Billy around into multiple obstacles. This led to the match quickly turning around as Spears now dominated and taunting Gunn, while this seemed to wake Gunn for a few moments, Spears was able to counter and got a nearly successful two count. At this point in the match, we started to see the toll this match was having on both competitors as they both struggled to hit their signature moves. Billy Gunn was then able to successfully hit his Fameasser move but Spears was able to roll out the ring. When he returned, he finally hit his signature C4 and the match was over, with Spears taking the win.
Overall, a smart move from AEW to give Spears the win after being defeated by Cody last week, especially as they had him defeat someone of the calibre of Billy Gunn instead of an unknown indie wrestler. The show then ended with the match previews for the next Dynamite show. While I am extremely appreciative that we were able to enjoy a solid match on Dark this week, it did leave me wishing for more, I felt the overall show would have been improved if they had added a few promos before and after that match. This would have given the show a more whole feeling then just a match uploaded to YouTube.
All images and videos courtesy of AEW Twitter and TDE Wrestling