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AEW Dark results: Natural Nightmares vs. Dark Order

This week's edition of AEW Dark was billed as having a double main event: Nyla Rose vs. Raché Chanel followed by the Natural Nightmares vs. John "4" Silver and Colt Cabana of the Dark Order.

The Big Takeaways: 

The Dark Order continue to struggle to pick up wins as they went 0-2 on this week's show and showed major dissension in the main event. Shawn Spears staring down Scorpio Sky, Brandi Rhodes confronting Anna Jay, and Brandon Cutler accepting a challenge from Peter Avalon were the show's other major story developments. 

Show Recap:

Excalibur and Taz were tonight's commentary team. They were joined by Shawn Spears for the opener, who was then replaced by Ricky Starks for the rest of the show. Spears was awkward and unconvincing like he was simply playing the role of a bad guy, but Starks continued to naturally play off well with his Team Taz leader.

SCU (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) defeated Ray Rosas & RYZIN

Spears said that after their confrontation on the Late Night Dynamite special, scouting Sky was the reason for him joining commentary. Sky has quietly been no. 5 in the AEW men's singles rankings for nearly two months. 

SCU controlled the early portion. Rosas regained advantage with a missile dropkick and he and RYZIN took turns distracting the referee and performing illegal moves. Kazarian escaped for the hot tag to Sky and after a slingshot cutter, SCU performed their assisted knee strike for the win. 

Post-match, Spears sarcastically clapped from the commentary desk. He and Sky exchanged glances as SCU made their way to the back.

- Backstage, 4 (Silver) of the Dark Order was asked how he felt about teaming with Cabana. He complained to Evil Uno about having to team with him as Mr. Brodie Lee has had problems with him. After a pep talk, Cabana arrived but wasn't clued into the team's issues.

- Starks then joined the commentary team.

Penelope Ford (w/ Kip Sabian) defeated Alex Gracia

This was Gracia's AEW debut and despite being only two years into her career, she's well-traveled, making stops in Japan's STARDOM as well as CMLL. Unfortunately, this wasn't the most impressive debut as this quick match was mostly sluggish and indecisive.

A running dropkick sent Ford to the outside, but Ford took advantage when they re-entered the ring. A fireman's carry lungblower from Ford got two, and a fisherman's suplex got three.

Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?) defeated M'Badu & BSHP King

M'Badu showed great athleticism in this one. Best Friends controlled the early goings after a double shoulder tackle. They isolated King in the corner and beat him down with frequent tags. King escaped after a powerslam, but missed a swanton bomb.

Trent hit a Saito suplex on M'Badu before hitting a swinging DDT out of the corner. Taylor tagged in and Best Friends hit Soul Food into a half-and-half suplex followed by a double stomp into Crunchy to pick up the win.

- Brandon Cutler addressed Peter Avalon. Neither of them were happy with their double countout draw from a couple weeks ago, so they will continue to fight until there is a victor. I know that being a nerd is Cutler's gimmick, but he sounded rather flimsy in this promo.

Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) (w/ Marko Stunt) defeated Dark Order (5 and 10)

This was a very solid back-and-forth tag match. 5 (Alan Angels) and 10 (Preston Vance) are both talented wrestlers; they just need wins. Evil Uno and Anna Jay came out for the entrance. Luchasaurus and 5 started out, presenting a humorous image of their massive height difference. Luchasaurus roared and 5 fled to tag in 10. He and Luchasaurus wrestled around before the latter nailed an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.

Jungle Boy and 5 tagged in and performed some back-and-forth technical wrestling. Luchasaurus tagged back in and hit a huge buckle bomb followed by Jungle Boy's assisted flipping senton, but 5 took advantage by sweeping out Jungle Boy's legs after he had tagged in 10.

Dark Order continued to attack Jungle Boy. He eventually made a comeback with a rebound lariat, followed by the hot tag to Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus ran wild with strikes, concluding with the Tail Whip heel kick and a fireman's carry slam. 

Luchasaurus and 10 fought outside, but the former was sent into the ring post which allowed the Dark Order to take advantage once again. 5 hit a frog splash for a super close near fall as they teased the major upset. Dark Order missed a double team move on Jungle Boy which allowed Luchasaurus to take control with a chokeslam. An assisted cutter followed to give Jurassic Express the win.

- Serpentico & Luther, known as Chaos Project, cut a completely inscrutable promo. They take on Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison later on in the show and they have been praying for blood.

Gunn Club (Billy & Austin Gunn) defeated Cezar Bononi & Shawn Dean

This match was rough going; Austin's green, Billy's old, and Bononi still just hasn't developed as a wrestler. This was Bononi's AEW debut; he's a former WWE developmental wrestler in NXT. He's also huge, as he was clearly taller than Billy, and pretty shredded to boot.

After Austin and Dean performed some technical wrestling at the bell, the two giants tagged in. They fought back and forth for a moment, but Dean distracted Billy and Bononi took advantage with a big boot. After a long heat segment, Billy hit a spinning slam and reached Austin for the tag. He ran wild with offense, concluding it with a DDT for two. Billy hit the Fameasser on Dean to pick up the victory.

- QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, and Brandi Rhodes were backstage. Marshall said that the Dark Order is only strong in numbers while Brandi said Anna Jay isn't here tonight (which didn't make sense considering Jay joined the other Dark Order tag team for their entrance earlier and then both women participated in an angle in the very next segment). Dustin promoted their upcoming main event against 4 and Colt Cabana. 

Tay Conti defeated Red Velvet

Conti, another former NXT talent, picked up her first AEW singles win in this short showcase. She hit a pump kick in the early going which got two and then laid in ground and pound. Velvet fought back with clotheslines, a dropkick, and double knees to the back for two. Conti countered strikes into Kawada kicks and locked on a leg-assisted choke for the submission win. 

Post-match, Anna Jay hit her Dangerous Jay kick on Velvet, but Brandi ran out to make the save. She checked on Velvet as Conti and Jay fled, appearing to set up a tag match.

Chaos Project (Serpentico & Luther) defeated Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison

Serpentico attacked with his streamer gimmick before the bell. Unfortunately, he seemed to get tangled in it and had to wrestle the first minute or so completely covered in streamers. Back in the ring, Garrison and Pillman hit power moves on Serpentico, but Luther allowed Chaos Project to take advantage with a strong right hand.

Chaos Project's offense is based around Luther literally throwing Serpentico into opponents. They beat down Pillman, but a crossbody allowed him to tag in Garrison. A lariat and a facebuster almost gave Garrison the win, but Luther broke it up. Serpentico avoided a double team and Chaos Project hit a doomsday meteora for the victory.

Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero) defeated Raché Chanel

This was a very brief squash. Rose would have gotten the win with a double-hand chokeslam, but she picked Chanel up during the cover. Chanel fought back with a dropkick and a running knee, but Rose hit a uranage. Chanel attempted a last gasp at offense, but Rose turned it into the Beast Bomb for three.

Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall) (w/ Brandi Rhodes & Allie) defeated Dark Order (Colt Cabana & 4) (w/ Evil Uno)

4 and Cabana had never appeared as a two-man tag team before this match. The Nightmares dominated early on before Marshall and Cabana exchanged words, allowing 4 to take advantage. 

Marshall made a comeback with a backbreaker/flatliner combination, allowing him to reach Rhodes for the tag. He hit his signature offense, capped off with a powerslam for each of the Dark Order members. Cabana and 4 fled to the outside, but Rhodes took them out with a cannonball senton.

Marshall tagged in, but 4 held onto his leg which allowed Cabana to hit a strike and 4 to hit a gamengiri. They set up for a double team move, but there was miscommunication which led Marshall to hit the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Final Thoughts:

AEW Dark was a much more focused and streamlined show this week. Even though I feel like they could do even more to distill the show into its best aspects, there were fewer squashes and more of an emphasis on advancing storylines this week.

Excalibur works far better on commentary with Taz than Tony Schiavone did and the addition of Starks is a consistent highlight. Commentary used to be one of the lowlights of the show, but it was very enjoyable with the crew we had tonight. The two Dark Order matches were the best performances on the show.