It’s Tuesday and you know what that means. Tonight's AEW Dark matches were taped last Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with Taz and Excalibur on commentary.
Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) defeated Jaysin Strife (2:18)
Strife was a very apt name as Hobbs manhandled him. Hobbs pulled up Strife at two after a spinebuster and got the submission with the torture rack backbreaker.
Andrade El Idolo (w/ Jose “The Assistant”) defeated Jah-C (2:35)
Jah-C got cocky early on, so El Idolo just murdered him with a clothesline. He followed up with a stiff boot and made a motion that he was looking for Jah-C’s head in the crowd. Jah-C went for a rollup after avoiding El Idolo with a too cute dodge, but El Idolo kicked out and yanked back viciously on Jah-C’s arms, bending them both back behind his back while scissoring them with his legs. I have no idea what to call it, but it looked painful and got an instant submission. I’m pleasantly surprised to see El Idolo working these shows with the local talent.
Shawn Spears and Wardlow (w/ Tully Blanchard) defeated Arik Cannon and Renny D
The fans taunted Spears with a “10! 10! 10!” chant early on. Cannon is a local star and helped train Dante and Darius Martin. He got a big ovation from the crowd when he tagged in and got in a few licks before Wardlow destroyed him with a clothesline. Renny D got the tag and Wardlow power bombed him four times, taking a break in between the third and fourth one to power bomb Cannon. Wardlow got the easy pin on Renny D. After the match, Spears hit the C-4 on Renny D and acted like he won the match.
Ruby Soho defeated Hyan (1:20)
“Ruby Soho” played clearly and completely which was different than last week for some reason. The crowds are hugely into Soho who won this rather quickly in a "runaway," finishing her with the No Future kick that’s kind of like a ripcord gamengiri. Her ovations on the last two shows make her the front runner, in my mind anyway, to be the first TBS champion.
Too Fast Too Fuego defeated Brandon Gore and Kit Sackett (4:29)
I was watching this with eagle eyes to see if I could determine for certain if Fuego Dos is, in fact, Cody Rhodes. There are no tattoos on Fuego Dos and I definitely saw a tattoo on Rhodes Saturday. Is he having them lasered off every week? That seems excessive, but I do believe he would do anything for AEW. The crowd was very behind Fuego Dos, even chanting his name. And, fans cheering him on is the most definite evidence that Fuego is not Cody.
Fuego Del Sol got worked on for a bit before finding his partner for the hot tag. Dos hit a tope suicida on Sackett and Fuego Clásico hit the tornado DDT on Gore to get the pinfall. And, there was a man holding a Fuego 3 sign in the crowd. If they bring this guy in, AEW really needs to get around to creating some Trios titles.
The Acclaimed defeated Dark Order's Alan "5" Angels and Colt Cabana
Max Caster went all in on Minneapolis, insulting Prince’s music (who, according to the commentary team, Caster had never heard of before the show) and the fans who were “so dumb they voted for Jesse Ventura.” The quality of the shade thrown in Caster’s raps remains top notch. Also, if Taz's singing on commentary gets any worse, I'm going to start a GoFundMe to get him lessons.
Cabana and Caster did a fantastic comedy spot around 17 arm ringer and irish whip reversals. Angels then flew in with a high crossbody for a near fall.
The Acclaimed had a great double-team move on Angels: a sunset flip into a back stabber/neckbreaker combination. The Acclaimed double teamed Angels with a suplex and Caster slowed things down with a cravat. When it looked like Angels would get the hot tag after hitting a enziguri on Anthony Bowens, Caster pulled Cabana down from the corner to cut that off in some good old school heel tag action.
Cabana got the hot tag and hit the Acclaimed with a standing quebrada. In another great sequence, Caster dropped Angels with a backdrop suplex, but Cabana flew in with the superman cover on Caster. Bowens broke it up and behind the ref’s back, he smacked Cabana with the boombox. Caster got the win to end a good match with a bad finish, but The Acclaimed are awesome.
Riho, Kris Statlander and Ryo Mizunami defeated Nyla Rose, Emi Sakura and The Bunny (w/ Vickie Guerrero, Lulu Pencil, Mei Suruga) (6:54)
This started with an out of control brawl before the match could officially begin. After a few minutes of brawling, the ref rang the bell and Mizunami started with the Bunny. Riho got the tiger feint kick on Sakura, but Rose yanked her out of the ring and took control.
Sakura went for her finish on Riho, but Riho countered and got the tag to Statlander who hit a great spinning power slam. The match got out of control again and then everyone was hitting finishers on everyone else. Sakura hit a double underhook into a backbreaker on Statlander and assisted Rose on a senton that only got two. Statlander then hit Sakura with the big bang theory and got the pinfall in a good, chaotic match.
The Varsity Blonds and Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson (w/ Arn Anderson) defeated The Factory's Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto, JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth (w/ QT Marshall)
Brian Pillman Jr. and Nemeth had an excellent exchange on the mat to open the match. Griff Garrison used Pillman as a springboard to splash Nemeth in the corner, but wound up in the heel corner and was beaten down.
Anderson got the tag and worked over Nemeth’s arm, but Nemeth whipped him into into a knee from Drake (ironically, a trademark Arn Anderson spot). Anderson got dumped to the floor and Drake did his pop-up forearm spot, using the ropes as a springboard. This lead to an extended heat sequence on Anderson.
Drake went for a cannonball in the corner, but Anderson got out of the way and got the hot tag to Johnson. Johnson got a near fall on Solo with a blue thunder bomb. Nemeth came in with a pendulum DDT on Johnson, but Pillman hit Air Pillman on Nemeth. Solo went for the “sit-out facebuster/call it anything but the pedigree” on Johnson, who backdropped him over the top. Drake came in with a flying boot on Johnson for a near fall. Johnson later hit a tope con hilo on a pile of guys on the floor.
When Julia Hart went to check on her men, Marshall got in her face so Arn Anderson got in his face and then Julia slapped him. Back in the ring, Brock Anderson hit a spinebuster on Drake and Johnson came in with the frog splash for a win.
This was the third really good match in a row.
“The Meat Man” John Silver defeated Peter Avalon (8:22)
John Silver is now "The Meat Man," reverting back to a nickname he used on the indies. If there’s not a “Meat Man” t-shirt on ShopAEW.com, what are we even doing here?
He and Avalon had some fun exchanges with shoulder tackles early. Avalon got a surprisingly long heat segment on Silver while on commentary, Taz complained about having to sit with Silver in first class the last three weeks. Silver apparently likes to put the window shade up, which irritates Taz.
Silver hit a Liger bomb for a near fall. Avalon came back with a springboard crossbody for a near fall. Both men exchanged chops in the center of the ring. Silver came back with a series of kicks, absorbed one last flurry from Avalon, and hit a release german suplex and the spin doctor for the win.
The show peaked with the last match and now, it's just padding the runtime.
Sonny Kiss defeated Adam Grace (2:12)
Grace has a nice dropkick. Kiss got the win with the fireman’s carry into a split stunner.
Dark Order's 10 defeated Mikey Wild (1:30)
A pump kick, spinebuster and full nelson finished off Wild.
Scorpio Sky defeated Craven Knyte (1:47)
Ethan Page accompanied Sky out and went to the commentary booth. Knyte (from St. Paul) made his AEW debut in a losing effort. Sky won with the TKO.
They should tape every Dark on the Rampage before a pay-per-view. This was a good show for the first hour and then went back to the Dark days of the spring where the show overstayed its welcome by about 30 minutes. The eight-man tag match was the peak of the show.
Sliver vs. Avalon was okay, but stop the show after that and watch the media scrum from Full Gear (or whatever YouTube autoplays for you next).
The Acclaimed tag team match, the women's trios match and the eight-man tag are worth seeking out if you need more wrestling in your life.