It’s Tuesday and you know what that means. This week's Dark matches were again taped at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
FTR, Wardlow and Shawn Spears defeated Baron Black, Austin Green, Aaron Frye and Dean Alexander (7:02)
The Pinnacle (minus MJF and Tully Blanchard) reunited to squash a bunch of jobbers in this eight-man tag.
Green is a big and impressive guy and they should have probably found something more meaningful for him to do. He had a standoff with Wardlow which ended with Wardlow slamming him in an impressive feat. FTR and Wardlow combined to give Frye a combination Big Rig/Casualty of War with Spears finishing him off with the C4.
Abadon defeated Valentina Rossi (1:54)
Rossi has three losses in AEW and the start of a winning streak was in no danger here. Rossi laid in some forearms and played to the crowd, but Abadon no sold them, took her down with a neckbreaker and finished her off with her inverted DDT/Rocker dropper. She scares me almost as much as Minoru Suzuki scares me...and Minoru Suzuki really scares me.
The Acclaimed defeated Michael Martinez and Vary Morales (2:36)
Max Caster tried to run up the ropes to catch Morales, but I think in a botch, he crotched himself and Morales caught him with a top rope dropkick. That bit aside, this match was all Acclaimed. Anthony Bowens hit Morales with a nasty twisting DDT while he was tied up in the ropes and Caster finished off Martinez with the mic drop.
Sonny Kiss defeated Kal Herro (1:40)
Herro got nothing in this match. Kiss finished him off with a TKO into a split to finish a total squash.
Kris Statlander (w/ Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta) defeated Zeda Zhang (3:30)
Statlander got the submission with the spider crab.
Skye Blue defeated Madi Wrenkowski (2:40)
Blue made such a great impression in a match with Red Velvet a few weeks ago that she was added to the Casino Battle Royale for All Out. She looked good here and won with a superkick and a fisherman's suplex.
Eddie Kingston defeated Anthony Henry (7:47)
Henry is the former Asher Hale of NXT and before that, a notable independent star. He and Kingston know each other well. Henry caught Kingston in the corner with a painful looking figure four dragon screw leg whip where he put Kingston’s legs in a figure four position and then whipping back. Kingston dropped to the floor and Henry followed, hitting a leg lariat on Kingston against the ropes.
Back in the ring, Henry made a target of Kingston’s legs, working them over with a leg lace. Kingston powered out by chopping at Henry’s chest, but he came back with heavy kicks to Kingston’s chest. Henry went for what looked like an Indian deathlock, but Kingston came back with chops. Henry got the advantage back by kicking the inside of Kingston’s leg and then the deathlock, complete with a bridge back to add pressure. Kingston powered out of the hold and hit Henry with chops.
Kingston charged at Henry, who caught him with a boot. Henry went to the top rope and came off with a body block, but Kingston caught him in an exploder suplex. Both guys began exchanging chops and forearms and Kingston won that battle with a series of backhand chops and a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall.
Kingston went for the back hand, but Henry ducked and got a kick for a near fall. Henry went for a crossface and transitioned into an ankle lock. Henry added a kneebar to the ankle lock, but Kingston made the ropes. After a last flurry from Henry, Kingston caught him with a DDT and got the pin to end a very good match.
This felt like a great main event to end the show on. But…
Gunn Club defeated Hunter Knott, Rosario Grillo and Cameron Stewart (4:44)
Excalibur is starting to lay bread crumbs in commentary about Billy/Austin Gunn team getting into the top five and a potential Tag Team title shot. Austin rolled up Knott to win a boring match. After the match, the Gunns looked surprised they won.
Diamante defeated Santana Garrett (4:41)
This was set up with an angle during the opening of last week’s show, but Garrett got a total “and in the ring to to my left” enhancement talent entrance. She is another recent NXT release and a former WOW Women’s Champion from when that show was on AXS after New Japan Pro Wrestling. Diamante won after hitting Sliced Bread.
Varsity Blonds (w/ Julia Hart) defeated Ryan Nemeth and Peter Avalon (w/ JD Drake & Cezar Bononi) (5:00)
One thing that bothers me about the Blonds: their gear is blue, but Jula’s gear is green. What gives? Color coordinate, people.
This match was so exciting that Taz and Excalibur were arguing about miniature FTR helmets and supply chain problems. Garrison sold for a good bit of this match, finally breaking away from Nemeth with a backdrop suplex. Nemeth caught Pillman with a DDT and Avalon got a two count. Garrison got the blind tag and almost got rolled up by Avalon, but he came back with the rolling forearm. Pillman then flew in from the other side with the Air Pillman, leading to Garrison getting the pin for his team.
Daniel Garcia (w/ 2point0) defeated Erik Lockhart (2:31)
Garcia got the win in dominant fashion with a Scorpion deathlock and looked great doing so.
Serpentico (w/ Luther) defeated Marko Stunt (4:45)
Marko has 18 AEW wins? I demand an audit.
What could have been a mildly entertaining match was ruined by Luther’s screaming. He advised Serpentico to go for the “flying snake,” which is a splash on the top rope. Serpentico missed and Stunt got a gutwrench suplex. Stunt followed up with a tope through the second and third ropes on the floor.
With the fight on the floor, Luther grabbed Serpentico and threw him off the entrance stage onto Stunt, but missed. Back in the ring, Stunt hit a lariat for a near fall. Stunt went for the Sliced Bread and Serpentico avoided it. While Serpentico distracted the ref, Luther laid in a shot on Stunt’s ribs. Serpentico then rolled him up for the upset win.
Orange Cassidy (w/ Best Friends and Kris Statlander) defeated Nick Comoroto (w/ QT Marshall and Aaron Solo) (7:25)
Excalibur kept mentioning on commentary that Cassidy is the number one contender in AEW which might be hinting at a TV match with World Champion Kenny Omega between now and November's Full Gear.
I was a little irritated that Cassidy didn't come out with Statlander for her match while everyone came out for his match, but I guess it fits in with his character being unmotivated.
After the usual shenanigans from Cassidy to open the match, Comoroto got Cassidy with a big delayed suplex. Comoroto kept trying to get a power bomb, but Cassidy kept finding ways to counter. Cassidy went for the Beach Break, but Comoroto overpowered him. Comoroto went for the power bomb again, but Cassidy countered with a rana and a DDT for a near fall. Cassidy went for the Orange Punch, but Comoroto caught him. Cassidy came off the top with a crossbody, but Comoroto caught him and hit a powerslam for another near fall.
Cassidy maneuvered Comoroto to the floor and followed through with a plancha. A fight broke out between Comoroto and Best Friends on the floor. Marshall tried to sneak in and attack Cassidy, but Statlander threw him her knee brace. Aubrey Edwards turned around and saw Marshall with the knee brace and assumed skullduggery on his part.
Edwards and Marshall argued and in the confusion, Cassidy hit the Orange Punch and the Beach Break to get the pin.
The finish was probably too cute for its own good. But, you gotta give the people what they want: the big group hug with the Best Friends and Cassidy after the match.
This was a pretty good hour-long show stretched into 90 minutes for reasons that continue to elude me. Kingston vs. Henry was really good while the Gunn Club match is a definite skip.