This week's AEW Dark featured several matches taped at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, as well as an AEW All-Atlantic Championship bout between PAC and LJ Cleary that was great.
Kiera Hogan defeated Allie Recks
Hogan made quick work of Recks, basing her entire offensive strategy around beating down Recks with leg-based offense. After nailing Recks with a nasty roundhouse kick, Hogan pinned her.
Alex Reynolds (w/ -1) defeated Ryan Nemeth
The longest (and most exhausting) feud in wrestling continued here, pitting a member of the Dark Order against a member of The Wingmen. At this point, it feels like it's rivaling Brock vs. Roman in match count, specifically.
Nemeth controlled Reynolds early on, working down various parts of the body. The match spent a few moments on the outside with Nemeth taking advantage of the environment in various ways.
Reynolds eventually made the predictable comeback and hit a few big moves, much to the delight of the crowd. Reynolds would go on to beat Nemeth with an impressive stunner from the top rope.
Marina Shafir defeated Tracy Nyxx
Shafir shut down any offense that Nyxx threw at her early on before tapping her out with a combination leg/arm submission roughly 45 seconds into the match.
Slim J defeated Blake Li
Slim J didn't get much of a reaction of the crowd, which disappoints me as an avid viewer of the Georgia indie scene.
J pulled out some of the classic tricks here, throwing Li into a few corners. After hitting a few strikes here and there, J came off the top rope with a diving kick of some sort. Moments later, J made Li submit with an inverted STF.
Julia Hart defeated Renee Michelle
Hart began choking Michelle on the mat until the referee broke it up. Michelle tried to take advantage and roll Hart up, but it only resulted in a two count. Hart would later attempt a handspring back elbow, but Michelle reversed it the first time.
Hart would go on to nail Michelle with not one, but two handspring back elbows later on. Shortly after, Hart submitted Michelle with a crossface.
Cole Karter defeated Mike Orlando
Orlando was a favorite with the fans. (His last name is the city these tapings took place in after all.) He threw Karter across the ring to start and followed that up with a few clotheslines. Karter eventually fought off Orlando which bought the former Two Dimes in NXT enough time to hit a 450 splash for the win.
Angelo Parker (w/ Matt Menard) defeated Cameron Stewart
The streak of squash matches continued here with Stewart getting virtually no offense in before getting hit with an elevated DDT, which resulted in the pinfall victory for Parker in a rare singles match.
Ari Daivari (w/ Slim J) defeated Blake Christian
Daivari held the early advantage, taking Christian to various corners around the ring and delivering a few shoulders to the gut. Christian wouldn't be phased by this, hitting a handspring enziguri to slow down Daivari.
Christian continued to show off his high-flying skills throughout the bout, ducking and dodging multiple moves that Daivari pulled out. At one point, Christian hit a frog splash onto Daivari, who was dangling over the top rope, for a near fall.
Moments later, Daivari hit an impressive lariat followed by his own frog splash for the win.
After the bout, Daivari claimed he is the richest man in wrestling before noting that he's buying out Slim J's AEW contract.
Dante Martin defeated Peter Avalon (w/ Ryan Nemeth)
Nemeth got involved only seconds after the bell rang, grabbing Martin's foot as he was backed into the turnbuckle. Avalon would toss Martin out to ringside moments later, prompting Nemeth to get involved again.
Once things got settled back in the ring, Martin's energy picked up. After hitting a crossbody, Martin nailed Avalon with a few punches. Avalon attempted to get back into the thick of things, but Martin fought out of a fireman's carry. Moments later, Martin hit his signature Nosedive for the win.
AEW All-Atlantic Champion PAC defeated LJ Cleary to retain the title
The crowd was firmly behind Cleary, which was good, but it was not to be for him. This match was taped last weekend in OTT.
The two traded wristlocks early with both men escaping them by flipping completely out. Things steadily got more physical as the match continued, but PAC remained firmly in control after blasting Cleary with a shotgun dropkick.
The bout spent a few moments outside with PAC delivering a few stiff kicks to Cleary while he was on the arena floor. When the match spilled back in the ring, PAC was taunting Cleary with slow offense.
Cleary started laughing at PAC before popping him with a disgusting headbutt. Cleary went from 0 to a 100 at this point, hitting a massive lariat, which prompted a great reaction. Cleary followed that up with a top rope stomp to the back of "The Bastard" for a near fall.
After a few moments, PAC nailed Cleary with a superkick and seemingly had him in position for a black arrow. Cleary refused to let it happen as he popped up and nailed PAC with a kick to the head. When PAC fell off the top rope, Cleary positioned himself on the second rope and nailed him with a canadian destroyer. Cleary would go on to hit a second destroyer moments later, which somehow resulted in a near fall.
PAC wasted no time after the near fall, wrenching the arm of Cleary and locking in his signature Brutalizer submission for the win and the second defense of the new title.