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AEW Dark results: Lucha Bros/B&B vs. SCU/Private Party

By Parker Klyn for F4WOnline.com

Tony Schiavone and Taz returned to commentary and were joined Veda Scott, making her Dark debut fresh off the Women's Tag Team Cup tournament. She has been quite good on commentary, so I am glad to see her getting more opportunities before Excalibur returns.

Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford) defeated Michael Nakazawa

Nakazawa did some comedy with the oiled up spin drill, which frustrated Sabian. Sabian hit a springboard kick followed by an athletic looking tope con giro. Sabian controlled most of the match, but Nakazawa kept countering with cradles. The finish came when Nakazawa pulled out his underwear, but Sabian turned it around and put it in Nakazawa’s own mouth, followed by the Deathly Hallows for the win.

Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss defeated Shawn Dean & Frank Stone

This was the first time Dean and Stone have teamed together in AEW while Janela and Kiss have quietly put together a solid 6-1 tag team record, albeit nearly all on Dark. Dean and Stone got a surprising amount of offense in this matchup, with Stone in particular looking solid.

Janela started out with Stone, who was quickly forced to tag in Dean. Both Janela and Kiss continued their offense early on. Dean and Stone took advantage when Dean, the non-legal man, hit a kick on Janela when the official wasn’t looking. They maintained their advantage with frequent tags and double-teams. Janela fought them off with a double DDT, followed by a rough looking back walk senton, and made it to Kiss for the hot tag. Kiss hit his signature handspring slap, but missed the split leg drop. Stone and Dean hit a combination Samoan drop/neckbreaker for a nearfall.

Janela cut Stone off with a superkick, and Janela hit an elbow drop followed by Kiss hitting the split leg drop for the pin.

Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) defeated Will Hobbs

The story the announcers told was that Spears continues to cheat in his matches by putting Kevlar in his glove. After a quick shoulderblock exchange stalemate, Spears consulted Blanchard for advice. Spears offered the test of strength, but feinted into a short legdrop to put Hobbs on the mat.

Hobbs’ left leg was the target of Spears’ offense for most of the match. He attempted a comeback with a spinebuster, but Spears kicked out Hobbs’ knee and hit the Death Valley Driver for the win. Spears continued to attack his knee after the match, wrapping it across the ringpost, and flipping him off. He then loaded up his glove and knocked Hobbs out with a palm strike.

- Ricky Starks shared a prerecorded promo addressed at Darby Allin. The content wasn’t groundbreaking, but his delivery was solid and unique.

The Hybrid2 (Jack Evans & Angelico) defeated The Initiative (Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler) (w/ Leva Bates)

Evans & Angelico haven’t won since before the pandemic, losing their return match against Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall, while The Initiative is 0-9 as a team. Hybrid2 were the team that worked as heels in this match and despite Avalon’s grating character, The Initiative actually came across as somewhat likable. This match was the best thing yet on the show, but it broke down a bit at the end. 

Evans did some comedy karate at the start before he and Cutler exchanged about a dozen cradles and nearfalls. Cutler countered out of a cazadora into a facebuster as he and Avalon hit double teams. 

Avalon dropkicked Evans to the floor and teased hitting him with Bates’ book before thinking better of it. He left the book by Angelico’s side and Angelico took advantage by hitting him with it when the referee wasn’t looking. Angelico and Evans continued to beat down Avalon with power moves and lucha submissions. 

Cutler got the hot tag after Bates distracted Evans. He dispatched both of the Hybrid2, hitting a springboard forearm followed by a spinning slam for two. The Initiative almost got the pin, but Angelico broke it up. Evans hit an assisted standing 450, but Cutler kicked out. Evans and Avalon fought on the floor, but Bates hit a hurricanrana on Evans. 

Avalon landed a moonsault on Angelico, but Evans broke up the pin for a good nearfall. Angelico hit a buckle bomb and nailed the 630 splash for the win. I like the story they are telling as Avalon and Cutler continue to fight for their first win. Dark could use more self-contained stories like this.

Abadon defeated Red Velvet

Velvet attacked right at the bell, but Abadon fought back immediately with a headbutt. There was a scary moment when she pulled Velvet face first into the apron on an arm ringer takedown. It was elementary from there as Abadon continued to beat her opponent down, concluding with the Cemetery Drive for the win. 

This was a good showcase. Abadon has a cool look and powerful offense, and Velvet wrestled like she was intimidated but not to the point where she forgot that this was a professional wrestling match she needed to try to win.

Dark Order (Colt Cabana, John Silver & Alex Reynolds) defeated D3, RYZIN and Faboo Andre

The majority of the remaining Dark Order members (excluding most notably Mr. Brodie Lee) joined their bretheren for their entrance. This was the purest squash match yet on Dark as the losing team got almost no offense.

Cabana’s character is interesting as he continues to wrestle just like he always has (World of Sport style mixed with some comedy) but as a member of the Dark Order. Silver tagged in and took care of all three of his opponents with kicks. 

The jobber team occasionally attempted some semblance of a comeback, but the Dark Order would always cut them off with frequent tags. No comeback would come for D3, RYZIN, and Andre as Silver and Reynolds hit a team-based flipping DDT for the pin.

Ricky Starks defeated Lee Johnson

Taz continued to talk up Starks on commentary as AEW’s most exciting up-and-coming talent. He also couldn’t help himself from coaching Starks from the desk. Johnson was a good choice of opponent as Starks is small, but Johnson is smaller. Starks played a major heel, taunting and posing throughout the contest.

The two traded dropkicks early, but Starks cut his opponent off with a knee strike as he tried to re-enter the ring. As Starks maintained control, Johnson fought back with strikes, a clothesline, and a neckbreaker, getting a two count on a springboard dropkick.

The finish came when Johnson went to the top rope. Starks sprang up and cut him off and hit Roshambo for the quick victory. After the match, Wardlow approached Johnson with an MJF 2020 campaign button, furthering the AEW Championship match angle. 

Santana & Ortiz defeated Baron Black and Tony Donati

The Inner Circle members have a middling 7-6 record this year while Black and Donati have never teamed together in AEW. The commentary team discussed Santana and Ortiz’s ongoing feud with Best Friends.

Santana and Black started off and after beating Black down, Santana and Ortiz allowed him to tag in Donati. Ortiz kept up his team’s advantage with suplexes on Donati. Ortiz hit a powerbomb into a Santana knee strike for three to end a very brief squash.

Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) defeated Jon Cruz & Jessy Sorensen in a 2-on-1 handicap match

There was a fun moment at the start as Sorensen (the former TNA roster member) came out alone, followed by Archer coming out having already beaten down Cruz, carrying him on his shoulder. This was death and destruction all around. 

Cruz and Sorenson very briefly took Archer off his feet with kicks, but Archer hit a full nelson bomb on one and a black hole slam on the other. Archer then chokeslammed Cruz onto Sorensen while he had Sorenson in his grasp and covered Sorensen standing up, but Cruz got overconfident and broke up the pin. Archer then hit Blackout on Cruz and put both opponents in the EBD claw for the double pin.

Roberts set up for his DDT after the match, but it was just a tease.

Billy (w/Austin Gunn) defeated Alan “Five” Angels

I believe this is the first time Angels is back to being referred to as Alan Angels as previously, he had been simply “Five.” Once again, the rest of the Dark Order (sans Lee) joined Angels for his entrance. Billy teased the Dark Order at the bell as he’s about a foot taller than Angels.

Billy dominated early on, sending Angels to the floor. A delayed vertical suplex got a nearfall. In a strange moment, some women (including Vickie Guerrero) were shown ringside cheering Angels on. Angels made his comeback with a running dropkick, but Billy cut him off with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Billy went for the Fameasser, but Angels escaped with kicks. Billy fought back and hit what looked like a sleeper hold side slam for the win.

Post-match, Silver and Reynolds beat down Billy, but Austin made the save with a steel chair. I don’t really understand putting Billy over, especially versus a member of one of the company’s top stables.

Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr & Rey Fenix) and The Butcher & The Blade defeated SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) and Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy)

This was probably the best match on the show, but it was yet another example of a match that would have been exponentially better with a crowd. It’s just difficult for a team like Private Party to seem exciting when their dives get no vocal reaction.

Butcher and Daniels started us off. SCU hit some double teams, but Butcher powered out as the heels beat Kazarian down in the corner. Blade was now the legal man, but Kazarian fought back with a short-armed clothesline, followed by what looked like a botched leg sweep for two.

Kassidy was the first Private Party member in the match, but he allowed Fenix to tag in. Next, Pentagon and Quen tagged in, so a few minutes into the match, all eight competitors got into the action. Private Party continued to maintain the advantage, but Pentagon fought back with a sling blade. 

The four heels rotated in and out as Kassidy received a beatdown. Notable moments included a deafening overhand chop from Pentagon and a Muta lock submission attempt from Fenix. Kassidy escaped as Fenix and Blade attempted to work together, but Fenix accidentally hit Blade with a superkick. 

Quen ran wild with a flurry of offense after the hot tag, and we got the parade of big moves when Fenix broke up a pin. Quen and Fenix finished off the big sequence with a nice leg strike battle. Private Party hit stereo dives on Butcher and Blade, and Pentagon hit the Pentagon Driver on Kazarian, but it was broken up by Daniels. Butcher then pinned Daniels after the Full Death.

Final Thoughts: 

At an hour and 40 minutes, this was the second-longest edition of AEW Dark yet and it felt like it. There was very little on the show that I would  describe as bad, but not a whole lot was all that compelling either. Dark continues to feel like almost an entirely separate product compared to Dynamite, and without the great matches and compelling, detailed storytelling that Dynamite offers, Dark pales in comparison. 

Additionally, and for whatever reason, Taz was excruciating on commentary for much of the show –– ignoring matches, lacking chemistry with Schiavone and Scott, and all around detracting from the viewing experience. I have actually really enjoyed Taz’s contributions on Dynamite, so that was disappointing. 

Again, everything was solid enough on the show that I can’t recommend skipping any one thing in particular, but if you’re strapped for time, the Hybrid2 vs. Initiative match as well as the main event were the two best exhibitions this week.