The Big Takeaways:
A hilarious music video by The Acclaimed and a great main event between Joey Janela and Jack Evans highlighted this week's episode of AEW Dark.
It’s Tuesday and you know what that means. Taz and Excalibur were joined on commentary by Anthony Ogogo for the opening matches which featured new members of the Nightmare Family.
Nick Comoroto, QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes) def. Vary Morales and Jersey Muscle Society (3:33)
Ogogo sung the praises of Marshall on commentary. Jersey Muscle Society are Steve Gibki and Tony Vincita. This was another opportunity for Comoroto to shine as this was a squash, ending when Comoroto held Morales in a gorilla press while Rhodes came off the middle rope with a bulldog for the pin.
SCU def. Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow (11:03)
Johnson has a big match on Dynamite teaming with Cody Rhodes. Because of that, they needed him to look respectable so this went over eleven minutes.
Johnson and Daniels started with Johnson doing well early on. Solow was in the ring for a much too long heat segment, but eventually got the hot tag. Johnson again looked good against Daniels, getting a near fall with a blue thunder bomb. Johnson then hit a buckle bomb on Daniels, but sent him into Solow’s knees for a near fall. Daniels escaped a double suplex attempt and got the hot tag to Kazarian. Kazarian got a near fall off a cutter on Solow, and Johnson hit a plancha on the floor on Daniels. Finally, Kazarian caught Solow going for a crossbody and turned it into the Best Meltzer Ever for the pin.
Brian Cage (w/ Hook) def. Jake St. Patrick (1:00)
Cage murdered St. Patrick with a superkick and a release german suplex. He followed that up with a double power bomb and a third powerbomb onto his knee. Finally, the drill claw got the win.
The Acclaimed segment
The Acclaimed are with their therapist, clearly vexed. Bowens wants to know what they have become now that they have betrayed everyone they have ever loved. Caster can’t remember the lyrics to Judas. The therapists advised them that the only way they will get through this is “together.” This leads to a hilarious rap/spoof of “Le Dinner Debonaire” to preview their match with MJF and Chris Jericho...or as I like to call them, MJerichoF. They also worked in some visual jokes of MJF on Rosie O’Donnell with one of the Acclaimed as a young MJF and the other as Rosie. This was a pretty funny send up of the Inner Circle and MJF. These musical spots have been very creative and if they’re not careful, they are going to turn The Acclaimed babyface. Seriously, go find this.
Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero) def. Miranda Alize (2:11)
Alize went for an armdrag, but got face planted on a chokeslam instead. Guerrero got a slap in on Alize when the ref’s back was turned. A clothesline and beast bomb finished Alize.
PAC def. VSK (4:05)
This is the first time PAC has wrestled on Dark since December of 2019. Ah, the "before" times when wrestling had crowds and you could eat in restaurants. He is currently ranked no. 5 and has a match against Ryan Nemeth on Dynamite tomorrow night. PAC dominated the match early on. VSK made a brief comeback, but walked into a wicked boot and got snared in the brutalizer for the submission.
Sonny Kiss (w/ Joey Janela) def. KC Navarro (3:50)
Ricky Starks joined the commentary team for the next few matches. A split legdrop got a nearfall for Kiss as did a superkick. Kiss missed a standing moonsault and Navarro hooked a sleeperhold, but Kiss powered out. Navarro hit a spinning DDT for another near fall. Kiss came back with a superkick and finished Navarro off with a stunner out of a fireman’s carry. Navarro looked tiny next to Kiss.
Tay Contia (w/ Anna Jay) def. Alex Gracia (3:13)
Per usual, Jay walked out with Conti and then went to the back. Conti is getting more confidence in the ring with every match and it’s great to see. She got a kneebar on Gracia and they rolled out onto the floor. Gracia came back with a full nelson, but Conti countered and drove Gracia into the mat with a hammerlock DDT. After a pair of clotheslines and a running knee in the corner, Conti tied up Gracia with her submission for the win, continuing to improve every week.
Ryan Nemeth def. Marko Stunt (3:53)
Nemeth cut a cocky heel promo before the match. According to Excalibur, Stunt was just let go by FTR as the last time we saw him on Dynamite, he had been kidnapped. Stunt got way too much offense early on. Nemeth caught him coming off the top rope and dropped him with a delayed back suplex. Nemeth did his handstand hammerlock and got a dropkick for a near fall. Nemeth set up a hangman’s neckbreaker, but took too long taunting the crowd and Stunt countered into a sliced bread attempt. But before Stunt could hit it, FTR’s music played. The distraction allowed Nemeth to counter into the hangman’s neckbreaker to get the win.
Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi def. Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo (6:45)
Bononi and Avalon have a match with Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson on Dynamite tomorrow night. Bononi moved Avalon out of the way of a charging Bravo who wound up on the floor. Bononi got the tag and hit Bravo with a sit out michinoku driver for a near fall. Avalon got the tag and scored another near fall off a vertical suplex. This match went so long that Excalibur decided to plug the tag match with Rhodes and Johnson a second time. After a brief comeback from Dean and Bravo, Bononi press slammed Bravo to set him up for the Mar-ti-knees from Avalon for the win.
#10 (w/ Dark Order) def. Baron Black (7:21)
The Starks/Taz/Excalibur commentary team had a great time not really talking about the matches. Although, they did address that 10 and Black had matches with each other on the indies. Black and 10 exchanged serious chops early on and Black got the advantage after a dragon screw leg whip. Black hit an atomic drop followed by a backstabber for a near fall. 10 came back with clotheslines and a spinebuster and finished Black off with a deadlift powerbomb.
Red Velvet (w/ Big Swole) def. Diamanté (w/ Ivelisse) (5:38)
Ogogo returned on commentary. Velvet did well early but missed a move in the ropes and was suplexed by Diamanté. Diamanté hit a running dropkick in the corner for a near fall. When Diamanté went for the running dropick in the corner a second time, Velvet avoided it and hit a pair of clotheslines and a standing moonsault for a near fall. Diamanté came back with a standing sliced bread for a near fall. A bulldog got a near fall for Velvet, but Diamanté came back with a back elbow for her own near fall. Velvet avoided a Code Red attempt and hit her kinda claymore kick for the finish.
Joey Janela (w/ Sonny Kiss) def. Jack Evans (w/ Angélico) (9:00)
Evans springboarded out of the ring and kicked Janela before the match started. Evans threw Janela into the ring and tried to come off the top, but Janela shoved him to the floor and came off the top with a crossbody to the floor. Back in the ring, Janela hit a back suplex for a near fall. Angélico grabbed Janela’s boot to distract him, and Evans hit a kick for a near fall. Kiss got on the apron to complain about cheating, distracting referee Aubrey Edwards, which allowed the Hybrid 2 to cheat some more.
Evans scored a near fall off a back elbow and then worked a chinlock. Janela came back with a plancha to the floor and a death valley driver for a near fall. Evans came back with a top rope frankensteiner and a middle rope phoenix splash for another near fall. Evans and Janela exchanged strikes in the center of the ring. Janela hit a superkick and Evans came back with a poison rana. But, Janela popped up and nailed another superkick before falling to the mat.
Evans came off the top with a 450 splash, but Janella lifted his knees and almost got the pin off a small package. Evans countered a package piledriver but Janela got it on the second fall...but for two in a great near fall. Janela then followed it up with the top rope elbow for the pin. This was a great match leading into his TNT title opportunity against Darby Allin tomorrow night.
After Janela’s match here, I’m now really excited to see what he and Allin will do tomorrow on Dynamite while the music video from The Acclaimed has me looking forward to their match with MJF and Jericho. If the goal of this week's Dark was to generate buzz for Dynamite, mission accomplished.