It’s Tuesday and you know what that means. This week's AEW Dark matches were taped this past Sunday in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios' Elite Zone with Excalibur and Taz on commentary.
Bobby Fish defeated Invictus Khash (1:48)
Clips from CM Punk running off Fish from Dynamite Saturday night were shown before the match.
I don’t think Fish will flounder against his opponent as he’s one of the toughest guys to come down the pike. Fish got a near fall after a sliding lariat and hit a couple of stiff knees before an exploder suplex into the ropes. Fish ended things with a knockout kick. Fish is a real shark and really schooled his opponent. Okay, I’m done.
Post match, Fish carped about Punk in an in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone, even stealing Punk's "It’s clobberin’ time!” line. That’s kinda shallow, Fish. Hopefully, Punk keeps his cool and doesn’t take the bait tomorrow night. Okay, now I’m really done.
Riho defeated Xtina Kay (4:34)
Kay was much larger and stronger than Riho and used that to her advantage. Riho came off the middle rope with a crossbody and Kay just caught her. Riho tried it again from the top rope and got a near fall. Riho missed a double foot stop and Kay followed up with a spinebuster. The former AEW Women's Champion dodged a standing moonsault and finished off Kay with a double knee strike for the pin.
-- A commercial aired for Jon Moxley’s book, featuring comments from Bryan Alvarez, Chris Jericho and Jim Ross, among others.
-- TNT Champion Sammy Guevara did an in-ring interview which brought out Ethan Page. I’m into the match tomorrow, but these dueling promos did nothing for me. Scorpio Sky ran in and attacked Page and the Men of the Year then beat Guevara down. Page set Guevara up for the Ego’s Edge, but Santana & Ortiz made the save.
Eddie Kingston defeated Jack Evans (4:22)
Evans is quickly becoming the designated job guy for TH2 and/or the HFO. Evans’ head is still pretty well shaved from the Orange Cassidy hair vs. hair match on Rampage a few weeks ago which I had totally forgotten about. Evans’ hair looks no worse than Kingston’s.
Evans went for a spin kick that was so slow and telegraphed that Kingston had time to go out to the crowd and get a hot dog before coming back in to duck. Evans hit another slow spin kick while Excalibur put over how tough Lance Archer is after nearly breaking his neck on that missed moonsault Saturday.
Evans came off the top and Kingston caught him in an exploder suplex, followed by a series of chops. Kingston then hit a DDT for two. Evans came back with a Michinoku driver for a near fall. The spinning back fist and backdrop driver led to Kingston applying the stretch plum for the quick submission win to end a fine match.
Dante Martin (w/ Lio Rush) defeated JDX (2:51)
Apparently, Rush tried to poach Powerhouse Hobbs from Taz after Hobbs lost on Friday night, a fact Taz was none too happy about on commentary.
Martin was a real favorite with the audience. He dodged an attack from JDX that sent him to the floor, followed by a pescado. After a brief flurry from JDX, Martin came off the top with the double jump moonsault for the pinfall win.
Schiavone interviewed Rush and Martin after the match. Of course, Martin didn’t do any of the talking. Rush talked about running the Sydals out of AEW.
-- Schiavone (who’s getting a lot of work tonight) interviewed Adam Cole about The Elite attacks on Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Cole talked about beating down Jungle Boy and that The Elite are responsible for the state of professional wrestling. I also believe he might have put the locker room on notice. I like the promo segments, but there has been a lot of them.
-- Schiavone interviewed Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling about the TBS title tournament. Sterling explained why Cargill has a bye with way more words that “she was in the top five, duh.”
Tiger Ruas defeated DJ Brown (0:11)
One capoeira kick and it was over for Brown. Schiavone interviewed him after the match and he demanded more competition from Tony Khan.
Diamante defeated Skyler Moore (1:18)
After a standing sliced bread, Diamante locked in a nerve hold and bodyscissors to get the quick submission.
-- Schiavone (enough with this guy already!) interviewed “The Premiere Athlete” Tony Nese, who challenged Fuego Del Sol for Dark next week. Nese was confirmed earlier as signed with AEW after his appearances in the crowd Saturday on Dynamite.
Preston “10” Vance (w/ -1) defeated Shayne Stetson (0:53)
A spinebuster and a full nelson got Vance the submission. After the match, he put -1 up on his shoulders and I’m trying to decide if that makes Vance “9” or “1/10.” Or maybe “-1/10.”
It’s a math joke. Speaking of jokes…
Too Fast, Too Fuego defeated Dean Alexander and Kidd Bandit
I had no idea what was going on here. At first, I thought that Too Fuego (or Fuego 2?) was definitely not Cody Rhodes. The clues: jaded fans weren’t booing him. Also, when he went for Rhodes' trademark “drop down and smack the guy with a right hand,” Too Fuego (or Fuego 2?) dropped down and kicked the guy in the head. Totally different moveset. Then, I got a good look at the mask and the man definitely had Cody’s eyes...but there were no tattoos! Committing to laser tattoo removal for the bit is some kind of dedication.
Bottom line: the jury is still out on who Too Fuego really is, but he might be the long lost luchador nephew of the Midnight Rider. Oh, and Del Sol planted Alexander with a tornado DDT to get the pin.
Bryan Danielson defeated Aaron Solo (w/ QT Marshall & Nick Comoroto) (9:32)
This match started just as Halloween Havoc NXT was going on the air.
Danielson opened with some impressive mat work, focused on Solo’s arm. Solo dropped to the floor to consult with Marshall while poor Comoroto was just standing around at ringside again. Danielson worked the arm some more and got a bunch of near falls with a body bridge that Solo had to fight to get out of. Danielson kept going for the cross armbreaker, but Solo was able to block it. So, he slapped on a hammerlock and viciously stomped on Solo’s pinned left arm.
The two exchanged chops in the corner, but when Danielson went up to the middle rope, Solo swept the leg and Danielson crashed to the mat. Solo followed up with a dropkick that sent Danielson in the corner. While Solo distracted the ref, Marshall choked Danielson against the bottom rope. Solo got a near fall after a vertical suplex.
Solo ran in for a dropkick, but Danielson caught him. He tried to slingshot Solo into the corner, but Solo caught the ropes and came down on Danielson with a double stomp instead. While Solo distracted the ref, Marshall snuck in and took a shot at Danielson from the outside. Danielson finally made his comeback with a running clothesline and a running dropkick in the corner. Danielson hammered him with chops and kicks in the corner, another running dropkick and a top rope hurricanrana.
Danielson hit the yes kicks and a roundhouse kick to the head. He went for the running knee, but Comoroto grabbed his foot, leading to Solo hitting a spinning leg lariat for a near fall. Danielson took out Comoroto with a tope suicida, but when he came off the top to attack Solo, Solo caught him with a dropkick. Solo went for the pedigree (sorry, the double underhook facebuster) but Danielson knows how to counter that move and quickly transitioned into the LeBell Lock for the tap out.
They should have spread a few of the promo segments out over a few shows. I dug Danielson vs. Solo, but not in a way that you should go out of your way to see it. The Fuego/Fuego 2 thing really needed a one-minute video package or something for the folks who don’t follow all the ancillary non-canon programming (that whole gimmick apparently came from Sammy Guevara’s blog).
Overall, Dark was a fresh and fun show this week.