The Big News --
Joey Janela, Nyla Rose, and Dustin Rhodes all picked up their first wins.
- Tony Schiavone introduced the show from the AEW Dark Control Center, ran down the matches, and announced that joining Excalibur for tonight would be guest commentator Taz.
Joey Janela defeated Brandon Cutler
Janela in back-to-back Dark matches, as he main evented last week against Kenny Omega and is opening up this week's show. Both men were looking to pick up their first win in AEW.
Last week I made a joke about Kenny Omega and Janela's unsanctioned match being a catch-as-catch-can mat classic -- well I want to believe Janela read my joke and took it to heart. This week, in a match held under standard rules, Janela showed off his wrestling skills. Like with Mick Foley, his technical skills aren't going to carry him, but it's good to know he has them.
Cutler is a bit too bland in look and personality to stand out, but -- in a weird way -- it makes him stand out when he's in the ring with someone like Janela or MJF (like he was on Dynamite's debut).
With that said, this was a solid opener. Janela hit a suicide dive at one point and then did a lap around the ring and leaped off the stairs with a forearm strike. Cutler came back and went for a springboard move, but Janela dropped him stomach-first on the top rope and hit a top rope brainbuster for the win.
It was time for From Undesirable to Undeniable, with Cody sitting down with QT Marshall aka Michael Cuellari. Cody met him at ROH, and he was a super nice, super friendly guy who then helped produce All In. Then he created a documentary called The Wrestler in an effort to get a job in WWE.
Marshall said he was hired in Ring of Honor and was immediately disliked by the locker room. He injured his neck almost immediately and decided to get out of the ring. Finally, he moved to Georgia and went all in on wrestling and now he's here. He's medically cleared and Cody told him he'd be wrestling in Pittsburgh this week.
It was a really good segment.
Nyla Rose pinned Leva Bates (w/ Peter Avalon)
Both women have zero official wins, despite Rose winning the women's Casino Battle Royale at All Out. Avalon came out with Bates and cut a promo on how rude the fans are here in the City of Brotherly Love.
The fans did not appreciate being talked down to by the Librarian, who gave a history lesson. He compared the nation's capital moving from Philly to D.C. to Bryce Harper moving from D.C. to Philly, since the Nationals flourished after Harper left for the Phillies. He also ripped on Rocky Balboa and the Eagles defense. Bates told Avalon to shhhh, which got a couple cheers.
Avalon threw some books in the ring for a distraction at the start, which did work, but Rose flung them back at him. Bates kept going for a crucifix pin, but she couldn't get Rose over. Rose hit a Death Valley Driver, but Avalon jumped on the apron to show the referee a passage in the book he's reading.
Bates nearly got a roll-up win, but Rose kicked out and then heaved Bates over the top rope and onto Avalon.
Back in the ring, Rose picked up the win with the Beast Bomb.
Schiavone ran down the lineup for tomorrow night's Dynamite and we got a video package for The Dark Order.
After their match last week, Alex Marvez interviewed SoCal Uncensored. They did not have an update about Christopher Daniels. Both Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian cut fiery promos about the Lucha Brothers and vowed to win the AEW Tag Team titles.
Jenn Decker attempted to interview PAC last week, who told her to move. PAC, covered in blood, said he has done nothing but help Jon Moxley since he got here. He left Kenny Omega laying out for him and this was the thanks he gets?
Up next was a video package promoting Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle.
The Young Bucks, Cody & Dustin Rhodes (w/ Brandi Rhodes and MJF) defeated Private Party, CIMA & T-Hawk
CIMA got the best of Cody early, so he rolled to the outside to regroup. Brandi gave him a kiss, then Cody turned to MJF and started leaning in, which was funny. Back in the ring, Cody unnecessarily did a diving tag to Dustin, which cracked Taz up. Dustin has been wrestling 31 years. T-Hawk, Nick Jackson, and Private Party were all born after Dustin debuted.
This match was more about the comedy than the eight-men trying to have a **** bout. Matt Jackson used a rolling Northern Lights suplex on Marq Quen. Nick was going about 200 MPH, hitting kicks and dives and X-Factors on all four opponents. They turned around and hit all their big moves on Nick and that would have been it, but Cody broke it up.
CIMA and Nick reversed each other over and over as T-Hawk was setting up for a chop. He eventually went for it on Nick, but Nick reversed it one last time and CIMA took the chop.
Dustin tagged in and went at top speed, hitting powerslams on Quen, CIMA and T-Hawk. Isiah Kassidy ran in, but Dustin held up his finger and asked for a quick timeout to take a breath. Kassidy was nice enough to do it and then ran in for his powerslam.
We had the giant dive spot that ended with Brandi diving when MJF hopped up on the apron. MJF showed why he's the best heel, as the referee got distracted again, so he went for a dive, but instead kept running the ropes and wouldn't dive. CIMA laid him out, so Cody laid him out, so T-Hawk laid him out, and The Young Bucks laid him out.
The Young Bucks and Rhodes brothers set their foes up on all four corners and hit Unnatural Kicks (the former Shattered Dreams) on all four and Dustin pinned T-Hawk with the Final Reckoning.
Final Thoughts --
Probably the weakest of the three AEW Dark episodes, even though the show was fine. Thank you for reading. Talk to you again next week!