Witness debuts on AEW Dark!
The AEW Women’s World Champion, Riho, welcomes the return of #BigKaiju, Shoko Nakajima! Can the international joshi make big waves in Alabama?
- Riho VS Shoko Nakajima; Riho wins.
- Sonny Kiss VS Jimmy Havoc; Havoc wins.
- Hikaru Shida VS Cassandra Golden; Shida wins.
- The Dark Order VS Jurassic Express; The Dark Order wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tony Schiavone welcomes us back to AEW Dark!
Don’t fret that Dasha Gonzales isn’t here, she’ll be back next week. For this week, Rocket City USA, aka Huntsville has plenty of action to make up for it!
Riho VS Shoko Nakajima!
Before being bombed by the Native Beast that night, the AEW Women’s World Champion was the first to greet AEW’s newest signing! Will the Big Kaiju win big now that she’s officially All Elite?
The bell rings and Shoko circles with Riho. Fans are on Riho’s side but Shoko doesn’t let that bother her. The two tie up, then Shoko shoves Riho away. They go again, Shoko gets the headlock takeover but Riho headscissors. Shoko moves around to roll back and float to a headlock! Fans cheer the exchange but Riho elbows back. Riho powers out of the headlock but Shoko arm-drags and dropkicks! Cover, but Riho Matrix slips out! Riho runs and dropkicks Shoko back down! Fans fire up as Riho brings Shoko up. Shoko slips under and arm-drags Riho out of the ring.
The 147 cm (4′ 10″) Kaiju builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit takes Riho down! Shoko drags Riho up and into the ring to cover, TWO! Shoko keeps on Riho with a facelock, then a cravat neck crank. She throws in knees while Riho endures. Fans rally but Shoko bumps Riho off buckles and stomps her down. Shoko keeps stomping but the ref backs her off. Shoko comes back to bottom rope guillotine! Riho fans boo as Shoko drags Riho out to cover. TWO, but a close one! Shoko drags Riho up and runs to basement BLOCKBUSTER! Shoko drags Riho into a butterfly lock but Riho endures.
Fans rally and Riho scrambles around to get the ropebreak! Shoko lets go reluctantly but drags Riho back up in a waistlock. Riho reaches for ropes, then works to wheelbarrow. Shoko blocks, dragon sleeper to backbreaker and then neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Riho survives but Shoko runs, into the wheelbarrow victory roll and STOMPS! Both women are down but fans rally up. Riho gets to a corner and climbs as Shoko stands. Riho leaps for a big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Shoko survives but Riho stays close. Riho whips, Shoko reverses, but Riho cartwheels and drop toeholds Shoko onto ropes! Riho dials it up, 619 misses!
Shoko dropkicks Riho onto the ropes and dials it up for herself! Riho ducks the 619, but Shoko comes back with a basement call! Shoko drags Riho up but Riho blocks the Northern Lights. Shoko throws a forearm but Riho returns it. Fans fire up as the two go back and forth, faster and faster! Riho gets the edge and clubs Shoko down! But then Shoko kicks low and runs, into a KNEE! Riho brings Shoko up but Shoko makes it a guillotine! Riho powers out to the Northern Lights! Bridging cover, TWO!! Shoko survives but Riho still smiles as she heads up top.
Fans rally as Riho aims and leaps, SUPER DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!?! Even Riho is shocked that Shoko survives! Fans say “This is Awesome!” as Riho runs corner to corner, into Shoko’s huricanrana! Cover, but Riho sunset flips through! TWO as Shoko pushes back to a prawn hold, but Riho rolls back to a cover, TWO! Shoko has the sunset flip, TWO! Shoko NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!!! Riho narrowly escapes and Shoko is furious! Shoko drags Riho over to a drop zone and climbs up top. KAIJU SENTON FLOPS! METEORA to the back! Riho runs, METEORA to the front! Cover, Riho wins!
Winner: Riho, by pinfall
The two smallest women in AEW put on a big match in Alabama! We know Riho is banged up after the Beast Bomb she took, but can she find a way to survive Nyla Rose and retain the AEW Women’s World title?
Sonny Kiss VS Jimmy Havoc!
The Concrete Rose takes on an extreme challenge in hopes of getting back on a winning track. But will Sonny kiss the end of a staple gun before this match is over?
The bell rings and Havoc circles with Kiss. They tie up and Havoc puts Kiss in the corner. The ref has Havoc back off and Havoc apologizes. Havoc and Kiss tie up again, Havoc waistlocks to a takedown and then floats to a facelock. The two roll but Havoc keeps hold. Kiss stands but Havoc cranks on the facelock. Havoc gets an arm, wrenches to a wristlock, but Kiss rolls to his feet, only for Havoc to wrangle him back down. Havoc goes after the fingers but fans rally up. Kiss stands, Havoc wrenches again, but Kiss rolls and flips and spins to slide under to a sunset flip. ONE, and the two stand off. Fans cheer the exchange as Kiss and Havoc circle again.
Havoc offers a handshake? Havoc says Kiss can trust him, but fans aren’t so sure. Kiss trusts Havoc and it was a clean shake. The two tie up, and Havoc DECKS Kiss! Havoc claws at Kiss’s eyes to then clobber Kiss from behind! Havoc whips Kiss to ropes but Kiss rolls off his back. Kiss huricanranas Havoc then wheelbarrows to an arm-drag! Havoc ends up in a corner, Kiss handsprings corner to corner to SLAP Havoc back! Havoc swings hands, Kiss ducks but gets an elbow! Kiss wobbles and Havoc bumps him off buckles to then run and forearm smash! Havoc runs side to side for a basement dropkick!
Havoc drags Kiss out of the ring to throw into railing! The ref reprimands but Havoc drags Kiss up to throw into the post! Kiss is down as Havoc refreshes the count. Havoc drags Kiss back up but Kiss CHOPS back! And again! Kiss CHOPS Havoc around the way, but then Havoc ducks and Kiss hits post! Kiss clutches his hand, and Havoc goes after it! Havoc pulls the bad arm against the bottom buckle’s crossbar! The ref counts at Havoc and he lets up at 4, to then climb up and drag Kiss to the top rope! Havoc just uses the top bar now! The ref counts again so Havoc lets up, and yanks Kiss into the buckle! Kiss tumbles down to the ground but Havoc fetches him back up.
Havoc brings Kiss around to hammerlock and RAM into the apron! Kiss clutches that arm but Havoc goes after it more, throwing it against the steel steps! The ref reprimands and Havoc tries to reason with her, while standing on Kiss’s hand! Havoc is sinister and sneaky, but he still puts Kiss in the ring. Havoc tortures the arm with a high keylock but fans rally up. Kiss endures, fights up and throws body shots! Havoc shoves and arm-drags Kiss into buckles! Then snap suplexes him back in! Havoc drags Kiss to a cover, TWO! Kiss is tough but Havoc keeps his cool. Havoc BITES Kiss’s bad hand! The ref counts but Havoc stops at 4, to stomp the hand! Havoc doesn’t see the problem and drags Kiss back up.
Havoc hammerlocks and back suplexes but Kiss slips out! Kiss boots Havoc then hops up top, but Havoc ROCKS him first! Havoc climbs up to go after the arm more, but Kiss fights him off! Havoc uppercuts the arm, then fireman’s carries for the ROLLING Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO, into the FUJIWARA! Kiss endures again as fans rally up. Kiss fights up, throws hands but Havoc hits the bad arm. Havoc ripcords but Kiss ducks and runs to slide and dropkick! Havoc staggers off ropes and into Kiss’s uppercut! Kiss scoops for an EXPLODER! And kips up! Fans are fired up as Kiss runs corner to corner again, and blocks boots to SLAP Havoc down!
Havoc drags himself up but gets Kiss’s handspring ax kick! Cover, TWO!! Havoc survives and Kiss was so close! Kiss has Havoc in a drop zone and fans rally up as he climbs. Kiss is up top, and MOONSAULTS! Havoc moves but Kiss lands on his feet! Kiss goes Matrix, but not for long as the bad arm gives out! Havoc goes to get Kiss but Kiss kicks from the mat! Kiss hits a running jawbreaker! Kiss fires off big slapping palm strikes, but Havoc BITES the arm again! Havoc whips but Kiss tumbles to the apron to ROUNDHOUSE back!
Kiss uses the one good arm to slingshot, but the splits leg drop gets knees! That doesn’t seem to be a low blow… Havoc gets Kiss for a flying takedown, to the cross arm! Kiss holds on but Havoc tortures fingers! Havoc has the hold, Kiss taps! Havoc wins!
Winner: Jimmy Havoc, by submission
But Havoc won’t let up! He goes after the arm more, and even Kiss’ ear and nose! Havoc’s been misbehaving and getting fined by AEW management, but will he care so long as he wins?
Luther speaks to AEW.
“Moon. Sun. I am the mutant sent to destroy the world!” Luther is the original Death Dealer. So “Mr. James Havoc,” strutting around with your barbed wire bats and such, that’s fine! Luther loves baseball and barbed wire. London Bridge is falling down, and “J to the Immy,” be ready to fall with it. It will soon be time to play ball.
Hikaru Shida VS Cassandra Golden!
The Wrestling Idol greeted one new signee, the Samurai of Stardom welcomes the other! Riho won as she “welcomed” Shoko, can Shida do the same? Or will Cassandra make bigger waves than the Big Kaiju in her AEW debut?
The bell rings and Shida circles with Golden. They tie up, Golden shoves Shida and flexes. Shida swings but Golden ducks to kick low and headlock. Shida throws body shots and powers out, but Golden grabs hair to reel Shida back in! The ref reprimands but Golden grinds Shida. Shida brings Golden to a knee and pops out the back to get the headlock for herself. Golden throws body shots and powers out, but Shida comes back to ram shoulders. Golden barely budges and she grins at Shida. Shida runs but Golden grabs hair again! Shida breaks free to grab Golden’s hair! The ref reprimands but fans approve as Shida roars and brings Golden around.
Golden breaks free to knee back and throw Shida by her hair! Fans boo as Golden goes corner to corner to hip attack Shida! Shida flounders on the ropes but Golden drags her off to cover, TWO! Golden grows frustrated with Shida as she stalks her to ropes. Golden whips but Shida blocks to throw forearms! Shida runs to knee Golden in the back! Shida manages a scoop to backbreaker! Fans fire up as Shida lets her hair down! The Samurai of Stardom hasn’t done this before! Shida goes to suplex but Golden blocks. Shida shoves and knees hard! She tries again but Golden suplexes to gourd buster!
Golden grits her teeth as she looms over Shida. Golden whips Shida corner to corner and then scoops for a sidewalk slam! Fans boo but Golden soaks it up. Golden drags Shida into the drop zone and climbs the ropes. Golden VADER BOMBS! Cover, TWO!! Shida survives and Golden is furious! Golden drags Shida up in a full nelson and thrashes her about! Shida reaches for ropes but Golden brings her away! Shida uses a leg to break free, then runs, but into Golden’s fireman’s carry! But Shida sunset flips through, TWO! Golden has a lateral press, TWO into Shida’s ghost pin! TWO and Shida ROCKS Golden with a right! Both women are down but fans are fired up! A standing count begins but Shida sits up at 2.
Shida gets to a corner as Golden crawls the other way. Fans rally for Shida as she runs corner to corner to KNEE Golden hard! Shida throws another forearm then runs again. Golden swings but into Shida’s judo throw! Fans fire up more as Shida goes up top. Golden flounders up to her feet and Shida leaps, missile dropkick hits! Cover, TWO! Shida fires up more and she fireman’s carries! Golden slips out and rakes eyes, to then throw Shida by her hair again! Leg drop, brother! Cover, TWO!! Shida survives but Golden drags her back up.
Golden throws a big forearm, then another, and another. Golden runs, into an enziguri! Shida drags Golden up fast, suplex to FALCON ARROW! SHINING WIZARD! But Shida still isn’t done, she builds up speed for a PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, Shida wins!
Winner: Hikaru Shida, by pinfall
Golden certainly made big waves, but it still wasn’t enough to wash away Shida! Will Shida climb up the ranks to be next in line for the AEW Women’s World Championship after Riho VS Nyla settles the score?
The Dark Order VS Jurassic Express!
The Exalted One wants to turn Marko Stunt to their side, and Evil Uno vows to accomplish that mission. But can he and Stu Grayson break the bonds of friendship between Marko, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus?
The teams sort out and fans cheer for Marko, so he starts against Grayson. The bell rings, and Grayson runs right into Marko’s dropkick! Grayson goes to a corner but Marko runs corner to corner to ram in his shoulder! Marko whips but Grayson reverses, Marko slips out and Grayson gets buckles! Grayson flounders and Marko springboard elbow drops! Marko keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl but Grayson blocks to spin him around the other way. Marko lands on his feet, only for Grayson to run him over! Grayson grins as he watches Marko crawl. Grayson back suplexes but Marko slips out! Hot tag to Jungle Boy!
Grayson dares JB to bring the fight, and JB swings into a waistlock. JB bucks Grayson off at the ropes to springboard and headscissor! Grayson is in a corner and gets a running forearm smash. JB whips but Grayson reverses, JB goes up and over to keep moving. JB ducks and redirects to hip toss, somersault and moonsault! Fans fire up but JB isn’t done there! JB rolls Grayson and runs to shotgun boot Grayson down! Grayson flounders around but JB CHOPS him! JB whips, Grayson holds ropes, and Evil Uno CLOBBERS JB! It seems JB missed the tag Uno made. Uno decks Marko and fans boo, but Uno brings JB up.
Uno whips JB into a corner for a CHOP, then throws JB down to go outside. Fans boo more as Uno climbs up top. Uno leaps to SWANTON! Cover, TWO! Uno argues the count as JB survives. JB CHOPS and CHOPS, Uno decks him! Fans rally as Grayson brings JB up for Uno’s corner splash! Tag to Grayson, and Uno feeds JB to Grayson’s spinning URENAGE! Cover, TWO! Grayson glares as he drags JB back up. Grayson feeds JB to Uno’s boot then Uno tags back in. Uno shows his claws as Grayson holds JB in place. Uno CLAWS JB’s back! The ref reprimands but Uno takes a bow. JB kicks and punches back!
JB tries to lift Uno but Uno claws his back again! Uno drops a leg, then drags JB up. Uno scoops and slams JB down then tags in Grayson. Grayson stomps JB to the apron then slingshots for the senton atomico! Grayson covers, TWO! Fans rally for JB as Grayson taunts Marko. JB hits Grayson but is thrown into buckles. Uno tags in to CHOP JB and wrench the arm. Uno reaches to tag Grayson back in but JB kicks Uno’s leg. JB heads for his corner but Uno keeps him away from Marko. JB kicks more and more, but Uno grabs him for an EXPLODER!
Tag to Grayson and Grayson drags JB up for a torture rack. JB slips out and shoves Grayson to then duck and run, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Both Grayson and JB are down from that demolition derby, but fans fire up again. JB and Grayson crawl for their corners, hot tags to Uno and Marko! Fans explode but Uno BOOTS Marko right down! Uno tags to Grayson and feeds Marko to him, but Marko tilt-o-whirls and sends Grayson into Uno! Marko runs and uses Grayson to step-up enziguri Uno! Marko then uses Grayson as a step for POETRY IN MOTION! Grayson runs in but Marko evades, and Grayson narrowly avoids running into Uno!
Grayson turns around, Marko dodges but Uno pops him up for Grayson to catch! But Marko turns that into a tilt-o-whirl DDT! Uno grabs Marko but Marko slips under to hot tag Jungle Boy! JB dodges Uno to ROCK Grayson! Uno runs in but gets a back elbow to rolling elbow! JB puts Uno in the corner but Uno puts JB on the apron. Grayson swipes but JB jumps up to mule kick Grayson down! JB shoulders into Uno then slingshots over to run. JB wheelbarrows but Uno denies whatever comes next with a shove, only for JB to come back with a LARIAT! Fans are thunderous as JB DIVES and takes out the Beaver Boy creepers! JB gets back in, fireman’s carries Uno for a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!
JB drags Uno up but Uno jawbreakers back. Marko and Grayson tag in, and Marko boots Grayson away. JB tags back in and the Jurassic boys duoble whip. Grayson crisscrosses them into each other, then fires off strikes! Grayson decks JB and whips Marko, but JB monkey flips Marko so he can headscissor Grayson onto ropes! Marko keeps moving to use JB as a step stool for MARKO CANNONBALL! JB hits a GERMAN! Marko intercepts Uno but Uno scoop slams Marko onto the cover! Uno drags Grayson over to tag in as fans declare, “This is Awesome!” Uno drags JB up but JB breaks free and gets around the back.
JB hops up but Uno slips out the back, and shouts for JB to “STOP!” Uno ROCKS JB with a right! Fireman’s carry, pop up and fold, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!?! Jungle Boy survives and shocks Evil Uno! Fans are thunderous again for “A E DUB! A E DUB!” Uno tells Grayson to go up and they tag. Uno brings JB up in the Gory Especial but JB slips out! JB shoves Uno at the corner but Grayson leaps over. Grayson runs in, JB dodges to tag in Marko! JB mule kicks Grayson, Canadian rack but Grayson slips out and shoves JB into the post!
Marko still flies, but he’s caught! Grayson pops Marko up and around to feed to Uno’s POWERBOMB! Uno tags back in and Grayson brings Marko up. Grayson gives Marko to Uno for the Gory Especial, then Grayson hops up top. Marko suffers FATALITY!! Cover, The Dark Order win!
Winners: The Dark Order, by pinfall
The Jurassic Express is derailed by the Dark Order, perhaps making the case why all those tired of struggling and losing should join them. But Uno tells his Creepers to add on, and the masked henchmen stomp away on Marko and JB! But here comes LUCHASAURUS! The man-dino ROUNDHOUSES, KNEES and HEADBUTTS! Luchasaurus CHOPS one then STOMPS another! The Beaver Boys try next, but they’re not enough to knock him down. They duck Luchasaurus’ clotheslines to enziguri superkick combo! That staggers Luchasaurus, but he handsprings?! TAIL WHIP and ROUNDHOUSE, then double CHOKE SLAMS! Standing moonsault for one, but now Uno and Grayson attack!
Fans boo as they beat Luchasaurus down with stomps, but here comes S C U! Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky have been wanting after Uno and Grayson, but Uno and Grayson retreat! Does Jurassic Express have allies in SoCal Uncensored? Or will everyone the Exalted One has his eyes on #JoinDarkOrder?
A really good AEW Dark episode this week, especially from the Women’s Division. The two newest signings had great showings, and I forgot Shoko pinned Riho at Fight for the Fallen last year. Riho wins to stay strong as she heads for her AEW Women’s World Championship defense for Dynamite, but I wonder if one more go with Nyla Rose ends her great run. Nyla could win tomorrow night and have a new contender step up for Revolution, quickly establishing a strong reign as only the second women’s champion ever. Shida VS Golden was also a really good match, and Shida really should be that next contender in such a case.
With the Nightmare Collective suddenly dead, it is a smart move to get Luther on a story. Luther VS Havoc should be a good feud, especially if it goes hardcore, as it should. And Jurassic Express VS The Dark Order was a really good main event. The Dark Order was definitely the team needing the win for their feud with SCU and other targets. SCU has an AEW World Tag title rematch with Hangman and Omega for tomorrow’s Dynamite, but I don’t think they win it. That’s fine, given the story with The Dark Order. I could also see things becoming an 8 or even 10 man tag if you throw Jurassic Express and the Beaver Boys into thing
My Score: 8.6/10