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AEW Dark results: Big Swole vs. Diamante 'three strikes' match

AEW Dark 07-Sept-2021

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means. 

These matches were recorded at Friday’s Rampage taping from the NOW Center in Chicago, Illinois. This should be the last of the Tuesday Darks in front of a Rampage crowd for some time as they move those to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. As always, your hosts are Taz and Excalibur. 

Lance Archer defeated Jason Hotch (1:26) 

Archer was introduced as “chasing his opponent to the ring” as Hotch ran away before Archer could beat him up backstage. Hotch got to the ring first and tried a plancha, but Archer caught him and chokeslammed him on the ring apron. From there, it was total dominance from Archer who defeated Hotch with the Blackout. Points to Hotch for nodding “no” and looking forlorn right before he took the finish.

The Bunny (w/ Penelope Ford) defeated Laynie Luck (2:16) 

Bunny cut off an offensive flurry from Luck with a nice flying clothesline. Bunny finished her off with Down the Rabbit Hole. There wasn't much to the match. 

Evil Uno (w/ Colt Cabana and Stu Grayson) defeated Alan "5" Angels (w/ John Silver and Preston Vance) (6:08) 

Uno offered his hand to Angels and when he shook it, Uno pulled him into a rollup for a near fall. Angels got a near fall off of a high crossbody and in general, he seemed more eager to “fight” than Uno. That would change.

Uno came back with a big boot that sent Angels to the floor. Angels got a near fall with a sunset flip and Uno came back with a solid right. A series of Uno chops fired Angels up who took Uno down with a double leg and unloaded right hands and clotheslines. Angels got a near fall after a DDT and countered Uno’s finisher with a flatliner into the Koji clutch. Uno dropped to the floor and Angels came over the ropes with a springboard moonsault. 

When Angels continued after Uno on the floor, Cabana tried to calm him down. The distraction allowed Uno to hit Angels with a big boot followed by a whip into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Uno finished off Angels with Everything is Evil. I wanted to like this, but it didn’t feel like there was much heat from the crowd. 

The Acclaimed defeated Robert Anthony and Shawn Dean (1:00) 

And this is what we’re all here for: the return of The Acclaimed. Reading from a prepared rap, Max Caster said, “This rap has been approved by AEW management…” and “are they scripting our promos now, Max?” Positive references to the Jaguars and “Rhodes to the Top” were booed by the crowd as they were playing along with the bit. Caster eventually tore it up and went into his classic Acclaimed style, promising to “try not to be too offensive" and that they are going to make their opponents cry “like that fan did for Phil.” They got a huge “welcome back” chant. 

This match was over quickly. Anthony Bowens buried Anthony with a superkick and flattened Dean with a helicopter slam. A Mic Drop top rope elbow from Caster finished off Anthony.

Joey Janela (w/ the mystery woman) defeated Lee Moriarty (8:32) 

The mystery woman who ran in last week to aid Janela was still not identified on commentary. Purposefully, it seems she has no name yet. She took liberties with Moriarty on the floor, whipping him into the ring barricade while Janela distracted the referee. This was a pretty good back and forth match. Moriarty worked over Janela’s arm and Janela took a bad bump off an arm ringer, landing shoulder first and perpendicular to the mat.

Janela hit a top rope superplex on Moriarty followed by a tope suicida. Janela tossed Moriarty into the ring and mugged for the camera, giving Moriarity the time to come back and hit Janela with a tope suicida of his own. Back in the ring, they exchanged blows. Janela hit a superkick and Moriarty responded with an enziguri. Janela hit a clothesline and a piledriver for a near fall. 

Janela went for the death valley driver, but Moriarity took him down with an overhand wrist lock and a short arm clothesline for a near fall. Moriarty locked in a crossface that looked like the Gargano Escape, but Janela made it to the ropes with the woman’s help. Janela got another near fall off of a rollup and then hit the death valley driver to pin Moriarty in a good match. 

After the match, Sonny Kiss ran in to attack Janela and the mystery woman pulled him away.

Dark Order's Stu Grayson and Colt Cabana (w/ Evil Uno) defeated Travis Titan and RSP (3:05) 

Cabana got the hometown pop even though he’s on what looks like the heel side of this Dark Order kerfuffle. 

The crowd wanted Cabana to start the match, but RSP kept Grayson from tagging him in. Titan and RSP worked over Grayson in the corner. Cabana eventually got the tag and destroyed both his opponents, hitting a lionsault on RSP. Cabana and Grayson combined for a guillotine elbow drop. Cabana dropped Titan with the Chicago Skyline while Grayson hit Darkness Falls on RSP. Cabana pinned Titan to get the win.

Big Swole defeated Diamante in a three strikes match (10:01) 

Promos from Diamante and Big Swole laid out the rules for the match: the first fall is by pinfall, the second fall is by submission and the third fall is by knockout. However, the commentary team made it sound like any fall could be accomplished by those finishes and that the order didn’t matter. Ring announcer Justin Roberts made it sound like it was just a best of three falls match where you could only win the falls by pinfall, submission or a knockout.

A graphic explaining the rules might have helped everyone out, but the match played out pinfall first, submission second and finally. knockout. That made sense as there’s no point to the other falls if the first is a knockout. 

Fall 1: After multiple strikes and near falls, Swole hit a back suplex that nearly knocked Diamante out. Swole followed up with a knee strike that got a near fall. Swole went for the Dirty Dancing rolling elbow, but Diamante caught her with a surprise roll-up while pulling the tights to get the pin at 2:36. 

Fall 2: Diamante hit a running knee and several strikes, but Swole countered with a double leg and attempted the cloverleaf. Diamante hit an avalanche dropkick in the corner and went for a cover which shouldn’t have counted. The ref counted anyway but it only got two. Excalibur and Taz made it clear that pinfalls are off the table. Diamante tried to get a submission with an armlock, but Swole got to the ropes and the ref forced her to break. The crowd got behind Swole while Diamante worked a chinlock. Just like that, Swole caught Diamante with a heel hook and Diamante submitted at 5:26 (total time elapsed).

Fall 3: Knockouts are the only way to win. Also, this last fall is no disqualification so weapons are legal as well. Both competitors went to the floor where Diamante found a kendo stick, but Swole got it and used it on Diamante. Diamante came back with a rana and threw Swole into the barricade. Diamante and Swole get dueling chants from the crowd with more crowd support for Swole. 

Diamante found a chain under the ring and wrapped her fist in it. She caught Swole with a right to Swole’s gut and then whipped her with the chain. Swole was able to kick the chain out of Diamante’s head. As both competitors struggled to get it, they butted heads, stunning each other. Diamante rolled to the floor and Swole got the chain. She went after Diamante on the floor, but Diamante whipped Swole into the ring post and threw her back into the ring. 

Diamante found handcuffs under the ring and went back into the ring to handcuff Swole. While she was fussing with them, Swole wrapped her arm in the chain and knocked out Diamante with Dirty Dancing to end the match and, seemingly, the feud. 

Final Thoughts:

I really liked the concept of the three strikes match with three different finishes as it's something I could definitely see getting more play in AEW. That was good and Janela vs. Moriarty was very good, but Angels/Uno match was disappointing. 

I'm so glad the Acclaimed are back.

Overall, this was a pretty good episode of Dark and a nice way to end the string of shows from the NOW Center.