By Joseph Collins for F4WOnline.com
The Big Takeaways:
Tag team and women’s wrestling highlighted a much shorter episode of AEW Dark.
It’s Tuesday and you know what that means.
Excalibur, Taz, and Anthony Ogogo opened the show. Ogogo was in and out on commentary and barely to be noticed.
Ricky Starks (w/ Hook) def. Mike Verna (3:26)
Hook walked Starks out and then went back to the locker room. Excalibur needled Taz on commentary about the potential of Starks being forced into a title match with Brian Cage should Cage beat Darby Allin in the TNT title match Wednesday. Starks gave Verna a little bit here and there, but mostly dominated the match. Verna got a near fall with a powerslam, but Starks finished him off with a spear.
Jurassic Express (w/ Marko Stunt) def. Fuego del Sol & RYZIN (5:15)
This was a showcase match for the Express before their match with FTR tomorrow night even though this pairing was Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. There was a great opening exchange from del Sol and Jungle Boy. Eventually, RYZIN got the heat on Jungle Boy, but refused to make the tag to del Sol until he missed a moonsault. Jungle Boy killed del Sol with a clothesline and got the hot tag to Luchasaurus, who dominated both opponents. RYZIN broke up an attempt from the Express at their finisher and del Sol hit a wicked poison rana which Jungle Boy sold like a champ. But, Luchasaurus cut off a dive from del Sol and chokeslammed him onto Ryzin and the Express hit their assisted sit out power bomb. Finally, del Sol tapped to the Snake Trap from Jungle Boy.
Tay Conti def. Marti Daniels (2:26)
Anna Jay walked Conti to the ring and then went back to the locker room. There were lots of judo throws from Conti early, followed by a plethora of kicks. Conti leveled Daniels with a vicious clothesline to the back of the head and a pretty sweet belly to belly throw got a near fall. A Ti-K-O finished Daniels, giving Conti the wn in a dominant performance -- exactly what you need to do to build her for the NWA Women's title match against Serena Deeb tomorrow.
Dark Order (Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, 5, 10 and Colt Cabana) def. Shawn Dean, Zack Clayton, Adam Priest, Danny Limelight and Vary Morales (8:15)
Dark Order dominated Morales in their corner early on and Morales bumped for everybody on the team. Cabana hit a neckbreaker and celebrated like he won the world title. Limelight got the hot tag off a miscue by Cabana, but Stu and Evil cut that off and Limelight took a turn getting dominated. Limelight managed a comeback with a suplex on Angels and tagged Dean. This led to the predictable, corner-clearing donnybrook which ended soon enough when everyone from the Dark Order hit a big boot on everyone from the other team all at once. Cabana, 5 and 10 hit their finishers on Priest, and then Uno got the pin after the End of the Night.
Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) def. Louie Valle (1:44)
Hobbs charged Valle in the corner with an avalanche. Valle got inadvertent color around his left eye. Hook stayed at ringside and hit Valle with a judo throw when Hobbs threw Valle to the floor. Back in the ring, Hobbs finished Valle with the world’s strongest slam. This was just complete dominance from Hobbs.
Red Velvet def. Leva Bates (3:38)
Velvet is “straight out of yo’ mama's kitchen” and walked to the ring miming like she was stirring a bowl. Velvet tried the Ma-Trish bridge out of a pin attempt but didn't look good doing it. Unfortunately, that was the best she looked in the whole match. Bates got a one count after a northern lights suplex. It feels like Velvet is doing an Alicia Fox impersonation and not a good one. Think about that. Velvet won with a boot to finish a not very good match.
Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) def. KC Navarro & El Australiano (5:07)
Silver tired of Navarro’s antics early on and absolutely destroyed him with a front kick. Reynolds held up Navarro in a military press and Silver flew in with a cutter for a near fall. Silver absolutely launched Navarro with a backdrop and sold that he was amazed at the height. Navarro got a tag and took way too long to climb the ropes to hit a skytwister press, and Silver and Reynolds looked kind of dumb standing around waiting for him. After a few more dives from Navarro and Australiano, Reynolds caught Australiano with a fisherman suplex into a package bomb for the pin.
Varsity Blondes def. Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow (5:35)
Peter Avalon came out for commentary and became enamored with Johnson who he wants for his “Pretty Parade” challenge. This was a pretty even tag match for the most part. Johnson hit a springboard dropkick on Griff Garrison and a double team neckbreaker got a near fall for Solow. But after a blind tag, Brian Pillman Jr. hit an Air Pillman flying clothesline on Solow for a near fall. Finally, Garrison held up Solow for a power bomb and Pillman came off the top rope with a flying dropkick for a great finisher. In another nice touch, Garrison rolled off and told Pillman -- the legal man -- to make the pin. In the post-match, Avalon handed Johnson an 8”x10” of himself which might be a challenge for a match.
Anna “99” Jay def. Alex Gracia (1:55)
This was another dominant performance for the lone female in the Dark Order. After a half dozen different kicks, Jay snared Gracia in the Queen Slayer sleeper for the win. Jay looked great here.
NWA Women’s Champion Serena Deeb def. Tesha Price (w/ Bro Jones) (3:49)
Poor Price didn’t even get an entrance. There was very good mat work from Deeb early in the bout. Jones wsa identified by Taz as the man in Price’s corner, but he added nothing. Deeb hit three rolling vertical suplexes on Price, and a face-first piledriver called the Detox got Deeb the pin. Great squash wins for Deeb and Conti really made it easy to look forward to their match tomorrow night.
Bear Country (Boulder and Bronson) def. Baron Black and Nick Comoroto (5:55)
Bear Country got a bigger entrance than last week. I thought this was just going to be a showcase for Bear Country, but Comoroto also wound up looking great here, throwing the Country boys around when he got on offense while Black took a lot of the offense from Bear Country. Black and Comororto wound up in a pile in the corner. The Country boys went to the opposite corner and ran diagonal across the ring with Bronson on Boulder’s shoulder (in a flying mare) and then they both cannonballed into Black and Comoroto. From there, Bronson got on Boulder’s shoulders in an electric chair and dropped down in a splash on Black for the pin. The last two double team moves were something else.
Top Flight def. Chaos Project (6:51)
Chaos Project jumped Top Flight before the bell to get an advantage and then, the match settled into Darius vs. Serpentico. A lot of Project’s offense was Luther dropping Serpentico on Darius by using various moves. A miscommunication between Project caused Serpentico to hit Luther with a dive, so Darius tagged in Dante. Dante got a near fall with a springboard uppercut on Serpentico. In an innovative spot, Dante threw Serpentico into Luther and then flipped into Luther with a blockbuster. Luther’s momentum caused him to DDT Serpentico for a near fall. Eventually, Dante dumped Luther over the guardrail and Top Flight hit their finisher on Serpentico for the pin.
With a final runtime of just over 90 minutes, they shaved an hour of time off the show and it was much better for it. There is about to be a logjam of rapidly improving tag teams in the AEW midcard with three Dark Order teams, Varsity Blondes, Bear Country, and Top Flight all looking very good. Nick Comoroto also looks like an exciting prospect as well.