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AEW Dark results: Darby Allin returns, Tino Sabbatelli debuts

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Match Recommendations:

  • Scorpio Sky vs. Aaron Solow | 6:36
  • Darby Allin vs. Robert Anthony | 6:49 

Show Recap:

AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida defeated Rache Chanel in a non-title match

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen Chanel and it's hard to express how clumsy she looks in the ring. Taz mentioned she has been competing for nine years which is quite surprising. 

Early on, she went to her bag, brought out a comb, and brushed Shida’s hair. Yes, you read that right. Shida hit a running forearm which led up to the finish and then a weird production cut happened that skipped ahead to her landing a knee strike. Shida then hit a falcon arrow for the win.

Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford) defeated Corey Hollis

Hollis returned to Dark for the first time since March. Every time I see him, I can just see he and John Skyler running through the tag team ranks of AEW together. Sabin and Ford did their usual antics early on with Sabin controlling 90% of the match. The little offense Hollis got in looked great, but Sabin hit Deathly Hollows for the victory.

- A video package aired with Dasha Gonzalez interviewing the Nightmare Sisters and Dustin Rhodes who were all training inside the Jaguars training facility. When asked what their goal is, Allie said it was to win while Brandi said they wanted to catch people’s attention. It ended with the two arguing amongst each other. 

Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) defeated Brady Pierce & Sabby

Sabby, formerly known as Tino Sabbatelli in NXT, made his AEW debut in this match. He previously played in the NFL for six years before making the transition to professional wrestling in 2015. I think it's obvious Best Friends were put in this match to see what Sabby and Pierce can do. They were in control to start, but Pierce and Sabby got it back after making quick tags and cutting the ring in half to continue their beatdown.

Trent attempted a springboard dive in the ring, but Sabby caught him and hit a devastating looking powerslam. Best Friends hit Strong Zero on Pierce for the win. Sabby and Pierce were given a competitive match against the number two tag team in AEW. It wasn’t perfect, but I could get behind this new team.

Ricky Starks defeated Will Hobbs

For back-to-back weeks, Taz continued to put over Starks, who has always looked like a star. After dominating most of the match, Starks landed a double underhook facebuster for the three count. Hobbs clearly needs more in-ring time, but his fundamentals are good and he looked solid during this match. Starks continued his run of great matches on Dark and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back on Dynamite in the near future. 

Scorpio Sky defeated Aaron Solow

We got another AEW debut as Solow made his first appearance. He has floated around many promotions in the last few years, and most recently toured with New Japan in late 2019. This was Sky’s first match since night two of Fyter Fest where SCU lost to Colt Cabana and The Dark Order. 

The two men traded offense throughout the match. Solow flipped over Sky and hit a powerbomb into the turnbuckle for a two count. After countering a top rope elbow, Sky nailed Solow with a TKO for the win. This was by far the best Dark match in recent weeks.

Diamante defeated Kilynn King

Surprisingly enough, King got a decent amount of offense in and her stuff looked much cleaner tonight than I have previously seen. Diamante looked like a grade school student standing beside King, but she overcame King’s height advantage and hit a code red for the win. 

This match was a perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a match until you’ve watched it. I was very impressed with both wrestlers and this was a very enjoyable sub-five minute match.

Darby Allin defeated Robert Anthony

Allin returned from injury as this was his first match back since Double or Nothing. As he made his way to and then into the ring, he kept staring at Taz who manages the man that put him out: Brian Cage. Anthony was clearly frustrated as Allin wouldn’t pay him any attention. After being kicked and slapped in the face, Allin turned his focus on Anthony and the match began.

Anthony got a ton of offense in, but Allin hit a Coffin Drop onto the apron to take control. After hitting a stunner, Allin then hit another Coffin Drop to get the win. 

After the match, Cage attacked Allin, suplexing him back into the ring. Anthony tried to stop him, but Starks came out and threw him to the outside. Cage and Starks fist bumped and Taz said he would explain what we just saw tomorrow night on Dynamite.

The Butcher & The Blade defeated Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler (w/Leva Bates) 

The heart and soul of AEW Dark were back at it again for their third main event in the past four weeks. Unfortunately, Avalon and Cutler’s search for a win will continue as The Butcher & The Blade easily defeated them.

Bates attempted a crossbody on the outside, but Blade caught her and held her, allowing Avalon to hit a tope suicida onto them. Bates sold it like she was hit by a train. Avalon was willing to sacrifice his own manager for a win. Now that’s dedication. The Butcher and The Blade recovered and nailed The Full Death to win the match. 

Closing Thoughts:

Overall, this week's Dark wasn’t bad, but like most weeks, it was just there. The main takeaway is Starks aligned himself with Cage and Taz which has been strongly hinted at in recent weeks. 

Once AEW returns to touring, I think it’s inevitable Dark returns to being a 2-4 match show that doesn’t go over an hour. If Dark turns out to be the second show on TNT for AEW, there has to be significant changes with the talent used or it will quickly become their version of WWE Main Event.