This week on Dark we were treated once again to the commentary team of Tony Schiavone and Cody Rhodes. I always enjoy this duo on commentary as not only does Cody give you a different perspective from Schiavone, they both are very skilled at mentioning and making sure you remember the wrestlers who are not there each week. We were treated with two different matches this week on AEW Dark as we would see Penelope Ford along with her finance Kip Sabian versus Anna Jay, followed by Cody Rhodes along with Brandi Rhodes versus Joe Alonzo.

Both matches had been pre-taped before the temporary move to Georgia which means we were not treated once again to the small crowd of wrestlers from the regular AEW Dynamite show. While this is always a shame AEW did a good job of covering this by including a valent in both matches, this added some form of atmosphere to the show.

Penelope Ford (w/ Kip Sabian) Vs Anna Jay

The first match on this week’s show was between the bad girl Penelope Ford, along with her real-life fiancé Superbad Kip Sabian as she faced off against the star of the show, Anna Jay. DC’s Katana, sorry Anna Jay, was first to the ring this week as she set off to compete in not only her first AEW Dark match but also her first match since signing her official AEW contract.

The match started with a strong battle between the two opponents before Penelope slammed Anna Jay into the ring, which Anna quickly counted with a headscissors. The first moments of the match showed both competitors hitting moves on one another, showing both Penelope Ford and Anna Jay in an impressive light. This was, of course, until Anna Jay displayed some of her greenness in the ring, as she clearly waited for her cue from Penelope Ford to perform her next move. Sensing some trouble in the air for Penelope, Kip Sabian quickly jumped to her aid as he jumped up to the ring in order to distract her opponent and run some good interference, which allowed Penelope to set up a handspring elbow and once again take control of the match.

Penelope saw a perfect opportunity to mock the advantage she now had over her opponent, by kneeling on her shoulders while sharing a kiss with Kip Sabian. Penelope continued her dominance by hitting Anna Jay with a big forearm shot and then suplexing her into the middle of the ring before getting a two-count cover. Anna Jay now saw her opportunity to turn the match back into her favour as she dropkicked her opponent into the corner of the ring, before quickly snapping Penelope out of the corner and trying to get a successful cover. After two attempts at a cover and only getting two-count, Penelope started to hit back and displayed her gymnastic ability once again. Unfortunately for Anna Jay, this is how the match would end as Penelope performed a beautiful matrix-style bridge, into a cutter before finally hitting her opponent with a fisherman’s suplex and winning the match.

Overall, both competitors put on a decent match, Penelope Ford and Anna Jay both had moments of dominating and showed some impressive wrestling moves. The minor issues showed by Anna Jay’s greenness in the ring can be expected as this was in fact only her seventh professional wrestling match, and why this isn’t ideal, it didn’t take anything away from how impressive this woman clearly is, she performed some clean moves for having such a short career. It was also good to see that once again Penelope Ford is taking advantage of the troubling times to show how impressive she can be within a ring and how she can use her gymnastic background to push her ahead of her competitor.

After the match had ended Cody left the commentary table as he prepared for his match against Joe Alonzo. We were then treated to a short promo for the next AEW PPV, Double or Nothing which will be showed live on the 23rd of May.  It will be interesting to follow Dark over the next few weeks to see how they will incorporate the upcoming event within the storylines showed within the show. I, for one, am hopeful that we will start to see some more storylines incorporate into Dark over the next few weeks.

Cody Rhodes (w/ Brandi Rhodes) Vs Joe Alonzo

The final match of the week was between the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes and Joe Alonzo. Joe Alonzo has become a regular on Sammy Guevara’s vlog in recent weeks which has given fans the opportunity to get to know his character. This was also only Joe’s second match on AEW Dark, which showed the purpose of their match tonight was to not only improve the ring record of Cody Rhodes but to showcase some of the talents of Joe Alonzo.

The match started quickly with Cody showing his respect by shaking Joe Alonzo’s hand, he then went on to quickly dominate Alonzo as both competitors tested each other’s strength with a number of takedowns and twists until both men ended up in a collar elbow tie-up. Alonzo then managed to jump back up from Cody’s takedown which earned him a round of applause from both Cody and Brandi Rhodes. Cody then returned to take full control of the match as he countered every offence Alonzo tried to throw at him until Cody dropped Alonzo headfirst in the ring. Joe Alonzo had obviously taken some advice from Sammy Guevara on how to get into the head of his opponent, as he quickly rolled out the ring and tried to get some attention from Brandi, even asking her for a kiss before Cody came to the aid of his wife hitting Alonzo in the back.

This clearly aggravated Rhodes as he repeatedly sent Alonzo’s face into the apron of the ring until Cody made a crucial mistake taking his eyes off his opponent, which gave him the chance to perform a cutter on Cody. Unfortunately, this had little to no effort on Cody as he rose straight to his feet once again. At this point, Cody saw his opportunity to hit Alonzo with his Cross-Rhodes, Alonzo showed some quick offence though as he turned Cody’s attempted Cross-Rhodes into a roll-up of his own, which only gave Alonzo a two-count. This close call though clearly lit a fire again in Cody as he placed Joe Alonzo into the Gail lock, where Alonzo could only last a few moments before tapping out, which shows another move within Cody Rhodes arsenal he could use to get the win against his opponents.

Cody and Joe Alonzo’s match could be the definition of an entertaining squash match, as even before the match had started, you knew this match was purely to add another win onto the belt of Cody. Although, saying that, Joe Alonzo was able to display his confidence within his ability and was able to get some offensive moves in against his opponent. While Alonzo was always going to lose this match, I feel it still showed him as a good competitor who has some potential, he was clearly just out of his dept competing against someone as experienced as Cody. It was also nice to see the respect Cody has for the younger talent within the company as he repeatedly shook Alonzo’s hand and even applauded Alonzo during the match.

Overall, AEW Dark this week was a decent show, nothing particularly special happen and there wasn’t any real storyline development, but if you want to watch some new talent competing in two good matches, then the lack of storylines probably wouldn’t bother you. This episode of Dark was not supposed to show us a large amount of storyline development, it was about two things, helping improve the win records of Cody Rhodes and Penelope Ford while also introducing us to two new talents who are finding their feet within the company.

The first match left you extremely impressed by Penelope’s pure gymnastic in-ring ability without squashing Anna Jay, who also looked impressive when you consider her limited wrestling career. Anna Jay is clearly progressing at an impressive pace in her wrestling career and I for one am excited to keep following her and to see what she makes of her opportunity at AEW. Whereas the second match between Cody and Joe Alonzo did something very similar, it showed Cody’s dominance while still giving use moments to see how Alonzo would use his ability to counter Cody’s dominance.

All images and videos courtesy of AEW and TDE Wrestling