By Joseph Collins for F4WOnline.com
The Big Takeaways:
-1 was a delight on commentary on an edition of Dark that was anchored by both solid women’s and tag team matches.
It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means: time for AEW Dark. Taz, Ricky Starks and Excalibur were on commentary for the opening matches.
One previously announced match didn't end up happening: Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall and Nick Comoroto vs. Ryan Nemeth, Vary Morales and Shawn Dean.
Miro (w/ Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford and Charles Taylor) def. Fuego del Sol (2:38)
There is an ongoing Dark storyline of del Sol trying to hit a tornado DDT on any of his opponents. It did not happen here. After a superkick and Game Over where Miro bent all the way back (his shoulders were on the mat), del Sol tapped out.
Jurassic Express (w/ Marko Stunt) def. Lee Johnson and Aaron Solow (7:32)
Johnson and Jungle Boy started the match and had the standard babyface respect exchange, missing simultaneous dropkicks and then kipping up. Solow and Johnson combined for the back suplex/hangman’s neckbreaker combo the Dudley Boyz made famous on Jungle Boy who sold a lot for the underdogs tonight.
Jungle Boy made the hot tag after nailing a hard lariat on Johnson. A chokeslam and standing moonsault got Luchasaurus a near fall on Solow, broken up by Johnson. Johnson and Solow mounted a comeback on Jungle boy, but he caught Solow in the snare trap (STF) for the tapout. He moves on to face Dax Harwood on Dynamite Wednesday.
SCU def. TNT (Terrence & Terrell Hughes) (8:31)
Daniels sold for the Hughes brothers for way too long before getting the hot tag to Kazarian. TNT caught Kazarian with a side suplex/top rope legdrop combination for a near fall. TNT went for the 3D, but Daniels and Kazarian blocked it and hit the Best Meltzer Ever for the pin in a match that went way too long.
-- Anthony Ogogo replaced Starks as the third man in the booth.
The Butcher and the Blade (w/ The Bunny) def. M’Badu & KC Navarro (3:32)
Navarro got destroyed by the heels until M’Badu broke up a pin attempt. Blade then threw Navarro so M’Badu could get the tag. He looked good for about 30 seconds against Blade, but was eventually defeated with the suplex/powerbomb combination from Butcher and Blade.
Rey Fenix def Baron Black (8:45)
Fenix got full pyro for his entrance. He came off the top for a springboard, but Black caught him in a reverse atomic drop and a suplex. Black took control, moving the fight to the outside. Fenix came back, countering Black’s chops with hard kicks. Black snagged Fenix with a single crab and transitioned into a bow and arrow. An atomic drop followed by a backstabber got Black a near fall. Fenix came back with a hook kick and a Muta lock, but Black got to the ropes to break the hold.
Both guys exchanged stiff chops and a power bomb got Black a near fall. Black followed the powerbomb with a Texas clover leaf, but Fenix fought out of that into a sunset flip for a near fall. A springboard cutter and a fire thunder driver finished Black to complete a really good match.
Post match, Fenix helped Black off of the mat in a show of respect. Ogogo called it a “Dark classic” and he’s not wrong. This should have been the main event.
Shanna def. KiLynn King (4:51)
This was a nice back and forth match. Unlike last week in her match with Marti Daniels, Shanna hit the tiger suplex and bridged right the first time to get the pin.
Dr. Britt Baker (w/ Reba) def. Brook Havoc (3:27)
This was Havoc’s first AEW match and she is the first graduate from Cody Rhodes' Nightmare Factory. Well, you have to start somewhere. Baker dominated the match and finished Havok off with the lockjaw. She got a rubber glove from Reba before applying her finish in a nice touch. This was a nice showcase for Baker to lead into her match with Thunder Rosa in two weeks at Beach Break. She faces Shanna on Wednesday's Dynamite.
-- Santana and Ortiz cut a backstage promo.
Abadon def. Vertvixen (2:43)
Abadon no sold a jawbreaker early and countered a sunset flip pin attempt with a headbutt. She countered a clothesline attempt with a head and arm suplex and then pinned Vervixen after a cemetery drop neckbreaker.
Lee Johnson def. “Pretty” Peter Avalon in a walk off
Aubrey Edwards, Brandi Rhodes, and Jerry Lynn were the judges for this. They walked a red carpet with an AEW logo on it. Johnson walked first and got all 9's from the judges while Edwards and Brandi both gave Avalon a 9. Lynn asked for a replay and gave a 6 (The judges only had cards with 9s on them). After the judges' decision, Cezar Bononi ran in and attacked Johnson so I sense a new partnership between he and Avalon.
Santana & Ortiz def. RYZIN & Mike Verna (1:14)
Gorilla Monsoon used to say you don’t get paid by the hour. Santana and Ortiz combined to give Verna an assisted death valley driver to get the win. RYZIN never even got that tag.
Tay Conti (w/ Anna Jay, -1 and the Dark Order) def. Davienne (3:06)
This was Davienne’s AEW debut and it didn't go great for her. After a knee and a bunch of judo throws from Conti, Davienne escaped to the floor and asked for a timeout. Back in the ring, Conti hit a series of clotheslines and then a running knee in the corner. Conti hit a pump kick and then tied up Davienne for the submission win. Conti worked both the camera and the crowd and looked fantastic here.
Preston “10” Vance (w/ -1 and the Dark Order) def. Ray Jaz (4:57)
10 and -1 aped the Jurassic Express entrance. -1 joined Taz and Excalibur on commentary saying, “Shut up, Excalibur. Thank you, Taz!” A slingshot wheelbarrow German suplex from Vance popped -1 on commentary. -1 abused Excalibur and was complementary to Taz throughout. -1 declared he is the leader of the Dark Order. Jaz got the advantage, but this match was all about -1 on commentary. “This is what hell looks like for Ray Jaz,” he said when Vance made his comeback. A spinebuster and ripcord clothesline to the back of the head got Vance the win.
Post-match, -1 battered Jaz with a kendo stick and Brian Pillman Jr. tried to make the save with a lacrosse stick. That didn’t go well for him as Vance had to pull -1 off of Pillman to save him from a beating.
Red Velvet def. Madi Wrenkowski
- 1 stayed on commentary for this match and he Excalibur bet $5 on the winner. When Velvet started to make her comeback, -1 said, “I think the oven is on!” because Velvet’s gimmick is that she bakes. The kid has great instincts. A bulldog and standing moonsault got Velvet a near fall, and a running boot scored Velvet the win. Excalibur said he had to go to the ATM to pay him his money. -1 is great.
Danny Limelight def Sean Maluta (1:50)
-1 stayed on commentary and predicted Limelight would win. A tornado dive over the top rope was a highlight and a quick kick on the seated Maluta got Limelight the pin.
Ivelisse (w/ Diamante) def. Jazmin Allure (3:45)
-1 was done on commentary for the night to my utter disappointment. A snap vertical suplex and a bridge got Ivelisse a near fall. She looked good in a dominant performance as a tornado kick finished Allure.
Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) def. Jake St. Patrick (2:02)
This was St. Patrick’s AEW debut. He tried a dropkick right at the bell, but Hobbs shrugged it off. Hobbs tossed St. Patrick to the floor and Hook suplexed St. Patrick behind the ref’s back with nice form on the suplex. “He learned that from his mom,” claimed Taz. Hobbs hit a spinebuster and avalanche and debuted a new finisher: an inverted pump handle slam called the Town Business for the pin.
Britt Baker, Ivelisse, Abandon, and Tay Conti all looked really good in their matches as I’m getting very optimistic for the Women’s Title eliminator tournament coming up. -1 with Taz and Excalibur was so much fun on commentary. This was a good show that ran just under two hours.