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AEW Dark results: Daniels vs. Sydal, Taylor vs. Johnson


The Big Takeaways: 

Lance Archer has his eyes set on Eddie Kingston and the AEW World title, SCU continued their feud with TH2, and Brandon Cutler picked up his second straight win.

Show Recap:

Excalibur and Taz were joined on commentary by AEW developmental talent Anthony Ogogo for the first couple matches.

Big Swole defeated Tesha Price

This was Price's AEW debut and she held her own. She's known for her time in SHIMMER and SHINE as well as a few NXT appearances. The story here was that Price could outwrestle Swole, but Swole was the better striker. Swole exploded out with a lariat and a tiger driver before applying a clover leaf for the submission.

Matt Sydal defeated Christopher Daniels

Daniels and Frankie Kazarian have been feuding with TH2, whereas Sydal's story since coming to AEW has been the development of his technical wrestling acumen.

Neither competitor could establish an advantage as they performed chain wrestling to start. Sydal cut Daniels off with a jumping kick and hit a standing corkscrew moonsault for two. Daniels made his comeback after an exploder suplex. He hit his STO and a blue thunder bomb for another near fall before applying the Koji clutch, but Sydal was close to the ropes.

Sydal hit a jumping frankensteiner and followed it up with almost a sidewalk driver. He looked to fly, but Daniels cut him off with a uranage. TH2 came out on the ramp and distracted Daniels, buying Sydal enough time to counter the Angel's Wings into a cradle for three.

Brandon Cutler defeated Michael Nakazawa

Cutler picked up his first victory on last week's Dark. Nakazawa tossed away his oil before the bell, indicating he wanted to wrestle this match straight up.

Cutler hit a lifting reverse DDT right away for a close near fall. He attempted a springboard, but Nakazawa cut the dive off and hit a diving axe handle on the outside. He drove Cutler into the barricade and the official started the count, but when Cutler tried to get in, he couldn't grab on to the ropes due to the oil.

Nakazawa didn't have time to oil all the ropes so Cutler made his way in. They traded strikes before Nakazawa hit a spear for two. Nakazawa tried to grab the ropes to break his way out of Cutler's finisher, but couldn't get a grip due to the oil he had put on it earlier. Cutler hit the TPK for his second straight victory.

-- Frankie Kazarian was interviewed backstage by Dasha Gonzalez. She asked for Kazarian's goals in AEW. He first apologized for TH2 interrupting their interview from earlier in the week. He wants to establish that he belongs at the top of the AEW food chain. He's not on the posters or the press releases, but he doesn't care because his job is to wrestle. He has a huge chip on his shoulder, which will guide his path to the top. This was a simple, but very effective, promo.

Griff Garrison defeated Ariel Dominguez

This match had a couple of firsts as Dominguez made his AEW debut while Garrison achieved his first singles victory. Dominguez is really short, comparable to Marko Stunt or Rey Mysterio.

Dominguez tried to strike, but Garrison flattened him with a backdrop and a big boot. Garrison hit a big splash in the corner and caught a Dominguez dive, following it up with a rolling elbow. He put Dominguez in the torture rack and spun out of it with a powerbomb for the win.

Post match, Lance Archer and Jake Roberts walked out. Roberts implored Garrison to leave the ring so Archer could beat up Dominguez, but Garrison stood up to him. Archer sent him outside with a boot and a lariat. He then tossed Dominguez with a fallaway slam.

Roberts said that he and Archer want one more shot at the AEW World title. No matter who wins at Full Gear, Archer will get the next shot. Archer said that nobody can stop his path of destruction. He believes that Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston are worried too much about their feelings. If Kingston wins, Archer will take out every single member of The Family, including the Bunny, to get what he wants.

This was excellent and almost too good to be on Dark. Both Archer and Roberts played their roles perfectly.

Dark Order (Stu Grayson & Evil Uno) defeated Sean Maluta & RYZIN

Grayson fired out right away with a clothesline on Maluta. Uno tagged in, but Maluta countered some offense and hit a neckbreaker. RYZIN tagged in, but Uno regained the advantage by raking his eyes. Grayson tagged in and sent RYZIN outside, where Uno drove him into the ring apron. They beat RYZIN down with double team moves. Maluta got the hot tag after RYZIN hit a neckbreaker. Grayson sent RYZIN into the barricade and Uno cut Maluta off with a lifting flatliner for the win.

Ricky Starks defeated Trevor Read

Starks wasted no time peppering Read with strikes. He dropkicked Read out of the ring and then brought him back in with a vertical suplex. Starks laid out Read with a spear and the Roshambo for the quick pin.

Chuck Taylor (w/ Trent? & Orange Cassidy) defeated Lee Johnson

This was Taylor's first singles match since April. Johnson joined the Nightmare Family earlier in the week, and he's been the best of the regular Dark performers. This match was rather low energy for a Johnson match although he did kick out of most of Taylor's big moves.

There was a feeling out process as they performed some technical wrestling. They established Taylor's power advantage early on after a shoulderblock. Johnson met him with a dropkick and sent a double thumbs up to taunt Cassidy, but Taylor downed him with a big boot.

Taylor beat Johnson down with repeated power moves. Johnson evaded a moonsault and made his comeback. He went for a springboard and was met with Soul Food, but he sprung up and hit a blue thunder bomb. Taylor hit a pop-up sitout powerbomb for a good near fall before following it up with a falcon arrow for another two. He then hit a diving foot stomp for yet another near fall as he showed his frustration.

Johnson hit a gamenguiri and a tope con hilo and high fived Trent and Cassidy in a funny moment as they acted like they didn't know what was happening. Back in the ring, Taylor hit a stuff piledriver but Johnson kicked out yet again. The Awful Waffle was enough to finally earn the victory for Taylor.

Final Thoughts:

Compared to recent weeks, this special Friday edition of Dark was a breeze at exactly one hour long. None of the matches beyond Taylor vs. Johnson stood out, but the promo segments, especially Archer's, are worth checking out.