The Big Takeaways:
On a show where quick squashes were the order of the day, Ricky Starks may have set the record for the shortest match in AEW history at four seconds. On the other end of the spectrum, Brandon Cutler and Misterioso and a great back-and-forth match.
It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means. Taz and Excalibur were joined on commentary by Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo during most of the matches.
Jon Moxley defeated Jon Cruz (2:12)
This was Moxley’s first match on Dark since last May when he wrestled Robert Anthony. Like last Wednesday, he had his IWGP U.S. Championship belt with him and was announced as the champion. Cruz started out fast with a dropkick and a hurricanrana, but Moxley caught a charging Cruz with a release German suplex and standing vertical suplex. Moxley hit Cruz with a rolling elbow strike and sunk in a tight guillotine that lifted Cruz's feet way off the mat. He went limp and that was that.
Bear Country defeated Chaos Project (6:17)
Excalibur reminded us that a bit of a feud was started between Bear Country and the Butcher & The Blade. Serpentico started out with Boulder and the size difference meant the exchange did not go Serpentico’s way. Bronson tagged in and gets a Gory special, but some skullduggery from Luther got the match on the floor and the advantage went to Chaos Project. Luther got the tag and used Serpentico’s body as a weapon against Bronson.
Bronson sent Serpentico into Luther and got the hot tag to Boulder, who dropped Serpentico with a Samoan drop at the same time he DDT’d Luther. Bear Country tried to set up their finish, but Luther pulled Boulder out of the ring and Serpentico hit a senton for a near fall. Boulder came back and hit a sit out tombstone on Serpentico on to Luther. Bear Country finished Serpentico with their electric chair splash. This was my favorite Chaos Project loss so far.
The Butcher and the Blade (w/ The Bunny) defeated Jake St. Patrick and Sage Scott (1:41)
This started with an attack on the floor from the heels and it didn’t get much better for Scott and St. Patrick once the match got into the ring. A suplex from Blade into a powerbomb from Butcher finished Scott. This was like a Road Warriors squash. Butcher, Blade, and Bunny screamed threats at Bear Country into the camera afterward.
Shanna defeated Renee Michelle (4:10)
After a few minutes of unimpressive action, Shanna hit a flying forearm that saw Michelle do a 180 degree flip bump for, leading to a near fall. A jumping stunner from Shanna got a tremendous oversell from Excalibur. Shanna hit her tiger suplex and bridge but the bridge completely fell apart. This happened a few weeks ago when Shanna and her opponent struggled to get the bridge right and time stood still for 45 seconds before they awkwardly repeated the spot. This time, Shanna smartly just went for a traditional pin and got the win.
Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) defeated Eric James & VSK (3:01)
VSK nailed Silver from behind to get an advantage, but it didn’t last long. Reynolds and Silver combined to hit James with a Dark destroyer: like a Canadian destroyer, but instead of a flipping piledriver, it was a flipping double DDT. It's a crazy finisher and love it.
Jurassic Express def. Baron Black and John Skyler (:43)
After a flurry of offense from Jurassic Express, Luchasaurus back suplexed Black into a sitout powerbomb from Jungle Boy for the quick win.
Tay Conti (w/ Anna Jay) def. Vertvixen (1:55)
Super squash night on AEW Dark continues. Conti went for the juji gatame right out of the lock up and threw Vertvixen to the mat with a series of judo throws. Vertvixen came back with a couple of kicks, but Conti hit a series of devastating pump knees. After the third one, Conti looked directly into the camera and said “She’s done" in a great touch. Conti tied her up with her submission for the victory and continues to look awesome every week on Dark. On commentary, the possibility of Conti vs. Jay in the second round of the Eliminator Tournament was teased.
Eddie Kingston def. Aaron Solow (5:32)
This one started out with some solid mat work. When Solow got the advantage, Kingston, who has a shaved head, told the ref Solow pulled his hair. Since wrestling didn’t go his way, Kingston turned the match into a brawl and dominated. A suplex into a slam got a near fall for Kingston who went to a chinlock. Solow fought out, but went right into a double underhook suplex from Kingston. Solow managed a comeback with a dropkick and a spinning kick. Solow went to the top, but got caught and chopped, one of many hard chops from Kingston. Solow came back and got a double foot stomp on Kingston for a great near fall. Kingston came back with a knee to the gut and a spinning back fist to get the win in a good back and forth match.
Ricky Starks (w/ Hook) def. KC Navarro (:04)
Starks speared Navarro and that was that. Starks then went to the commentary table with Taz to call his own replay. I believe that is the shortest match in AEW history.
Brandon Cutler def. Misterioso (6:30)
This is Cutler’s first appearance on Dark since getting destroyed by Luchasaurus a few weeks ago. If you’re gonna wear a dragon mask and paint your face, go all in with it and give yourself a dragon-inspired name.
A tope con hilo from Misterioso early on flattened Cutler and once back in the ring, Misterioso hit a delayed senton for a near fall. Cutler came back with a springboard forearm, springboard senton and long distance leg drop for a near fall of his own. A shotgun dropkick from Misterioso set up a moonsault attempt, but Cutler got his boots up into Misterioso’s face instead. Cutler hit an enziguri and backdropped Misterioso to the floor, nailing a tope suicida and a springboard crossbody for another near fall. A middle rope crossbody got Cutler another near fall and then a twisting crossbody off the top rope got another two. Misterioso came back with a pair of thrust kicks for a near fall of his own.
After the fast pace of the opening five minutes, both guys started to slow down. Misterioso went for a lionsault and Cutler rolled out of the way, but Misterioso landed on his feet and then hit a standing moonsault for a near fall. Misterioso and Cutler brawled in the corner and went up the ropes where Misterioso tried for a superplex. Cutler reversed it, suplexing Misterioso face first to the mat and then hit a springboard elbow for the three. This was a great back and forth match.
Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) def. RYZIN (:25)
Hobbs destroyed RYZIN with an avalanche and finished him with the Town Business.
Nick Comoroto (w/ Natural Nightmares) def. Fuego del Sol (3:13)
Does everyone need to be in the Nightmare Family? I’m pretty sure the storyline of del Sol not hitting the tornado DDT will continue for at least another week.
Del Sol hit some dropkicks and Comoroto no sold them. He played more of a monster heel in this match than a babyface, tossing del Sol across the ring and generally brutalizing him. Comoroto tried a one handed press, but del Sol escaped. He tried a comeback, but Comoroto buried a knee into his midsection. Del Sol went for his tornado DDT, but Comoroto countered that into his press slam/powerslam finish for the three.
Comoroto would be better served as a heel, maybe with Cutler as his manager and playing off the snub from Lee Johnson on Dynamite last week?
This show clocked in at just over an hour which I appreciated because I will be able to watch the AEW paid ad on Impact during the 8 PM airing and not have to stay up until 11 PM. This featured lots of quick, dominating squashes where the stars looked good, but also a few good back and forth contests as well. I really enjoyed Misterioso and Cutler’s match and the Bear Country and Butcher and Blade wins set up their eventual match.