Did you really think AEW Dark was taking the night off?
One night wasn’t enough, AEW Dark is back for more! Will Team Taz’s Brian Cage and Ricky Starks rebound from a Casino Battle Royal disappointment?
- Will Hobbs VS Sean Legacy; Hobbs wins.
- Brian Cage VS Tony Donati; Cage wins.
- Angelico VS Griff Garrison; Angelico wins.
- Skyler Moore VS Anna Jay; Jay wins.
- Lee Johnson VS Eddie Kingston; Kingston wins.
- Sonny Kiss VS Serpentico; Kiss wins.
- Ricky Starks VS Ben Carter; Starks wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Will Hobbs VS Sean Legacy!
The Embodiment of Willpower impressed during the Casino Battle Royal, but could not conquer the field! Will he rebound and end the Legacy before it begins?
The bell rings, Hobbs and Legacy circle, and Legacy is pretty big so he wants a test of strength. Hobbs takes him on with that, they knuckle lock but then Legacy kicks low. Legacy headlocks, Hobbs endures and throws body shots, then powers out and runs Legacy over! The crowd fires up as Hobbs grabs Legacy’s arm and forces that knuckle lock! Hobbs wrenches the arm and wrist, then lifts Legacy with one arm! Then he lets Legacy down to run him over with a shoulder! Hobbs looms over Legacy, brings him up and Legacy CHOPS, but Hobbs just grins. Legacy runs, Hobbs follows, but then Legacy dodges and crossbodies, only for Hobbs to knock him out of the air! Legacy bails out, Hobbs pursues, and Hobbs puts Legacy back in the ring.
Hobbs drags Legacy up, suplexes, and holds him there for a count of 5 before dropping him down hard! The crowd fires up for Hobbs as he drags Legacy back up and suplexes him again, hard and fast! Legacy crawls, Hobbs makes sure the cameras are watching as he brings Legacy back up. Another suplex for a gourd buster! Legacy wobbles back up and Hobbs we are seeing his willpower. Hobbs runs into Legacy’s back elbow, but he stays up to catch Legacy and scoop him! Oklahoma Stampede and POWERSLAM! Cover, Hobbs wins!
Winner: Will Hobbs, by pinfall
Finally, Hobbs has his first win in AEW! “Don’t test me!” Will Hobbs be the one putting the rest of AEW to the test as he continues to battle on?
Brian Cage VS Tony Donati!
The Machine was another Casino Battle Royal hopeful that fell short, but he is still Team Taz’s FTW World Champion. Will Cage get back in the groove against groovy Tony?
Taz is upset that the FTW Champion isn’t announced as such, but he stays on commentary. The bell rings, Donati rushes Cage but Cage puts him in the corner to enziguri and GERMAN SUPLEX! Donati flops off his neck and shoulders as Cage heads over. Cage drags Donati up, reels him in and OVERHEAD belly2belly suplexes! Donati doesn’t land on his head but Cage picks him up. Cage uses Donati to get some curls in and then TOSSES Donati overhead again! Cage drags Donati up, whips him but Donati kicks back. That only angers Cage, but Donati dodges the clothesline to fire off European Uppercuts! Cage shrugs those off to back kick hard!
Cage stands Donati up, runs but Donati follows to forearm! Cage stays up, Donati throws more forearms. Donati runs into a SUPERKICK! Cage drags Donati back up, suplexes and POWERBOMBS, to then dead lift and BUCKLE BOMB! Cage isn’t done, he drags Donati up into the Gory Especial, WEAPON X!! Cover off the reverse STO, Cage wins!
Winner: Brian Cage, by pinfall
Cage has more weapons up his sleeve than even Taz realized! Cage keeps on rolling, will he head for another title to add to the FTW belt?
Angelico VS Griff Garrison!
The Hybrid2 wasn’t in the Casino Battle Royal, but that’s not to say neither of them wants to prove they’re great singles wrestlers. Angelico takes on the Ivy League MVP, will Angelico get a grade A win tonight? Or will this be Griff’s graduation into the big time?
The bell rings and Griff circles with Angelico. They tie up, Griff puts Angelico on the ropes but lets up. Angelico circles with Griff again, they tie up again, and Angelico gets the arm to wrench to a wristlock. Griff rolls, wrenches back and also has a wristlock. Angelico spins through, pries free and gets the wrench back on Griff. The crowd cheers this exchange as Griff wrenches, slips around, cravats to a snapmare, but Angelico pops out to get the wristlock back. Angelico steps through, goes around and arm-drags Griff to a corner before lounging on the mat. Griff gets up and shakes out his arms. Angelico is ready as they circle, but Griff steps over and rolls Angelico up, TWO!
Griff dodges Angelico to ROLLING ELBOW! Angelico staggers to a corner, Griff is all over him but the ref backs him off. Griff walks in but Angelico sends him into buckles face first! Angelico stomps Griff, drags him up, and whips him corner to corner hard! Griff bounces off buckles chest first and falls down. Angelico drags Griff as he gasps for air, gets both legs and ties them up on a modified figure four bend. Angelico drags Griff into a partial butterfly stretch at the same time! Griff endures Angelico’s take on the Navarro Dos Mil, the Navarro 2000! Angelico uses the ropes for leverage, the ref sees that and counts, and Angelico stops at 4. Griff gets to the opposite end, Angelico goes after him but Griff fires off body shots.
Griff fights up to his feet to throw forearm after forearm and ROCK Angelico! Griff runs, but Angelico elbows Griff back! Angelico shoves Griff, drop toeholds him and floats around to a modified STF! Griff endures the special crossface, drags himself and Angelico over, and gets the ropebreak! Angelico lets go at 4, but keeps his cool as he stalks Griff to a corner. Angelico kicks Griff, brings him up and whips. Griff reverses and rallies with clotheslines! Griff boots the clothesline of Angelico’s away and BOOTS Angelico down! Angelico is in the corner, Griff goes corner to corner for a BIG splash! Griff whips corner to corner and runs, into a BOOT! Angelico goes up top but Griff anchors him to a torture rack! TOWER HACKER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!
Angelico survives and Griff can’t believe it! Griff gets up as the crowd rallies up. Griff lifts, Angelico fights out of the atomic drop to trip and hook the legs up again. TWISTING Navarro 14!! Griff taps, Angelico wins!
Winner: Angelico, by submission
Angelico adds on to make sure Griff learns his lesson! Will the Suave South African start heading up the ranks of AEW’s singles division?
Skyler Moore VS Anna Jay!
AEW knows #WeWantMoore and gives us Moore! But will she be ready to take on the #Queenslayer and Star of the Show, The Dark Order’s Ms. 99?
The bell rings and Jay circles with Moore. They tie up and Jay knees low and hard! Jay bumps Moore off buckles, throws big forearm shots then bumps Moore off more buckles. Moore flounders around, Jay brings her up and whips her corner to corner! Moore bounces off buckles and falls to the mat, Jay toys with her. Jay brings her up, but Moore blocks the buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Moore runs, Jay dodges but Moore arm-drags to a cover, TWO! Moore arm-drags and scoops Jay for a SLAM! Jay scrambles away and out of the ring. Moore is annoyed but Jay says, “She doesn’t know the new me!”
Jay gets in the ring, kicks Moore low and hard, then bumps her off buckles again. Moore flounders and Jay eggs her on. Jay brings Moore up, whips her into buckles and then CLOBBERS Moore from behind! Jay blows a kiss to the camera while Moore gets back to the corner. Jay runs in and heel kicks! Jay whips corner to corner, runs in but Moore boots her away! Moore runs out to rally with clotheslines and elbows! Moore spins Jay around, knees then gut wrenches for a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Moore grows frustrated, she drags Jay up and whips her to a corner. Moore runs in but Jay boots her away.
Jay back suplexes to put Moore in the ropes and CLAW the back! Moore falls back into a Tree of Woe, Jay STOMPS her down! Jay drags Moore around by her head, cranks on her head and smothers her in a sleeper hold! The rear naked choke is in deep, Moore taps out, Jay wins!
Winner: Anna Jay, by submission
The Queenslayer Clutch defeats another, but will Jay get to use that on her true target in Brandi Rhodes again?
Lee Johnson VS Eddie Kingston!
#BigShotty has been having to do what Maxwell Jacob Friedman tells him to lately, but MJF 2020 didn’t work out at All Out like Team MJF was hoping. As for Kingston, he and his “friends” were close to winning but the Murderhawk Monster made sure none of them lasted long. Which man rebounds for their team as AEW approaches its first anniversary?
The bell rings and Kingston circles with Johnson. They tie up, Johnson headlocks but Kingston powers out. Kingston bumps shoulders with Johnson and just laughs it off. He tells Johnston to run, Johnson does and they ram shoulders again. Kingston picks Johnson up with a T-BONE! Johnson is down and Kingston mocks him, “That hurt, huh?” Kingston stomps Johnson, then mocks the crowd clapping. Johnson throws body shots but Kingston boots him down! Kingston brings Johnson up to CHOP him down! Kingston paces, dares Johnson to get up, then kicks him while he’s down. “Is this it?” This must be the bottom of AEW’s barrel from what Kingston can tell.
Kingston brings Johnson up to CHOP him again and again! Johnson gets up every time but wobbles to a corner. Kingston brings Johnson back up, whips him corner to corner hard, but runs into a back elbow! Johnson boots back, then again and ROCKS Kingston with a right! Johnson goes out to springboard missile dropkick! Kingston flounders up, Johnson throws forearms and kicks and an uppercut! Johnson reels Kingston in, for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies for Johnson as he gets up and throws more forearms on Kingston. Johnson runs, but into Kingston’s kitchen sink knee! BACK HAND!! Cover, Kingston wins!
Winner: Eddie Kingston, by pinfall
That could’ve been a knockout, too! Kingston has his first win in AEW in just his second singles match, but will that be the first of many?
Sonny Kiss VS Serpentico!
The Concrete Rose was a house of fire in the Casino Battle Royal but the fire was extinguished. The SNAKEMAN lost to the Bad Boy in the Buy-In, but he doesn’t sweat it. Which man builds momentum for their respective tag teams here tonight?
The bell rings and Serpentico rolls as he circles with Kiss. Kiss avoids Serpentico’s lunge, goes Matrix and then does the splits to dodge more, and arm-drags to a wheelbarrow and another arm-drag! Kiss runs corner to corner to ram into Serpentico. Kiss rolls back, Serpentico fakes Kiss out to do the splits so he can mule KICK Kiss down! Serpentico drops ax handles to cover, TWO! Serpentico drags Kiss up and around, Kiss throws body shots and forearms, then a rolling elbow! Kiss whips, Serpentico reverses and runs in, but Kiss puts him on the apron. Serpentico enziguris back, slingshots and stomps! Cover, TWO! Serpentico argues the count but drags Kiss up. Kiss throws body shots, Serpentico snapmares and KICKS Kiss in the back!
Serpentico runs to drop the ax handle again, then rolls back to cover, TWO! Serpentico grows frustrated with Kiss and the ref, but he rallies up the crowd. Serpentico stomps Kiss, drags him up, and knees Kiss down. Serpentico grinds Kiss with a chinlock across his knee. The crowd rallies up, Kiss fights up and elbows out, but Serpentico clubs Kiss down. Serpentico whips, Kiss holds ropes and boots back! Serpentico “fixes” his neck but runs into an ax kick! And an enziguri! Kiss springboards off the bottom rope for the split-leg leg drop! Cover, TWO! Kiss grows frustrated, brings Serpentico up but Serpentico jumping KNEES back! Serpentico back suplexes, Kiss lands on his feet to dropkick and back elbow! Kiss spins Serpentico around for an OVERHEAD suplex!
Kiss kips up, the crowd fires up and Kiss handsprings corner to corner to SLAP Serpentico! Serpentico runs into a COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Kiss keeps his focus and heads up top, to MOONSAULT! Serpentico moves, Kiss lands on his feet and goes Matrix to dodge again, but Serpentico DOUBLE STOMPS Kiss down! Serpentico drags Kiss up for a BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Kiss survives and Serpentico grows further frustrated. The crowd rallies up as Kiss gets to a corner. Serpentico slithers around, runs corner to corner but Kiss slips out and roundhouses back! Kiss is up top, for a MOLLY-GO-ROUND! Cover, Kiss wins!
Winner: Sonny Kiss, by pinfall
The Concrete Rose conquers the SNAKEMAN, scoring one for Jersey’s Finest over Chaos Project! Will things turn into a tag team battle between those partnerships soon enough?
Ricky Starks VS Ben Carter!
The Absolute wasn’t able to win the battle royal, but he did get some revenge on Darby Allin when he and Cage literally put him in a body bag full of thumbtacks! Will Starks get a win against the #Incomparable British prodigy?
The bell rings and Starks circles with Carter as the crowd rallies. Starks blows kisses to Vickie Guerrero and she makes cougar claws. Starks offers a handshake to Carter, Carter takes it, and then Starks DECKS Carter! Starks waistlocks, thrashes Carter around, drops down to roll Carter, but Carter gets back up to switch. Starks sits down, pries at the hold and rolls to get up, half nelson, snapmare and chinlock. Carter pops free fast and wrenches the arm to a wristlock and cranks on it. Starks endures, pie faces Carter then steps through to headlock and takeover. Carter moves around, works his way up, the crowd rallies but Starks wrenches to another wristlock. Carter rolls, handsprings and wrenches back to a shoulder breaker!
Carter hammerlocks, headlocks and spins to get a hammerlock and leap frog. He slides under but Starks kicks low and clubs Carter down. “Not in my house!” Starks CHOPS Carter, whips but Carter reverses. Carter hurdles, drops under and dropkicks Starks down! Starks gets to a corner, kisses Aubrey Edwards’ hand, but Carter runs in to CHOP Starks! Carter whips corner to corner, Starks reverses but Carter goes up and over and handsprings away. Carter comes back but runs into a HUGE back suplex! Starks gets up, strikes a pose and shakes out the cobwebs. Starks kicks Carter while he’s down, stands on his head and pulls on his arm. The ref counts but Starks stomps Carter at 4. Starks gets Carter off the ropes, bumps him off buckles, then grins as Vickie enjoys it.
Starks bumps Carter again just for Vickie, then drags Carter around to bump off more buckles. Carter hits back, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Starks ROCKS him and kicks him! Starks fires off furious fists to Vickie’s enjoyment, and both her and MJF’s assistant want to see Starks end it. Starks chokes Carter on the ropes, the ref counts and Starks lets up at 4. Starks tells Aubrey he knows the rules, then he mule kicks Carter in the chin! Carter kicks back from the corner, Starks whips Carter and elbows him down hard! Vickie and the Starks fans cheer, but Carter throws forearms and CHOPS back! Carter CHOPS over and over and over in the corner! Carter runs corner to corner, but Starks BOOTS him down! Starks dead lifts and back suplexes Carter hard! Cover, TWO!
Starks traps the arms and digs his elbow into Carter’s head in this seated cobra twist. Carter endures, fights up and throws body shots! JAWBREAKER! The Not Starks Fans cheer but Starks KNEES Carter down! Starks suplexes Carter, but Carter slips out and rolls him up, TWO!! Carter SUPERKICKS Starks down! Carter hurries up top fast, and leaps for a FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!!! Starks survives and Carter has Taz worried! Carter gets back to a corner, goes back up top, but Starks avoids the PHOENIX SPLASH! Carter flounders up, and Starks SPEARS!! Starks drags Carter up, ROSHAMBO! Cover, Starks wins!
Winner: Ricky Starks, by pinfall
The Incomparable definitely gave The Absolute a great match, but not enough to stop him! Will Starks be the one to bring another belt to Team Taz?
More stuff from Dark is a bit of a surprise, but I guess they can’t take a week off without there being major holidays. This was pretty good for a shorter episode, or a shorter one compared to what we’ve gotten lately. It’s great for Hobbs to get his first win, it means he’s moving up from jobber to established AEW guy. Hobbs is really impressive in many ways, he can definitely be a big name for AEW and in wrestling as AEW heads into year two. Angelico and Griff had a good match, and we go to see more of Angelico’s Mexican submission style he’s studied over the years. Obviously Angelico wins, he and Jack Evans are a great tag team and great singles wrestlers as we saw in Lucha Underground.
Anna Jay has a good win over Skyler Moore, but I’m waiting for how Taynara Conti will tie into her story with The Dark Order and Brandi. Still hoping we get Jay & Tay VS Nightmare Sisters inside the Dark Order VS Nightmare Family story. Kiss VS Serpentico was a good match that probably could’ve gone either way, but Serpentico loses to both of Jersey’s Finest this weekend. Makes me think Janela and Kiss beat Serpentico and Luther in a tag match. Kingston whoops Johnson, I’m surprised Wardlow didn’t come out to keep that story going. Maybe MJF losing means the “campaign” is over and Johnson is off the hook. Seems like a shame, really, there was some potential there as making Johnson the third man in the stable.
Team Taz rebounds separately, but also obviously. Cage destroys Donati with his Lucha Underground finisher, so that’s cool. I like the idea that a “signature” can be a finisher on weaker opponents, so Cage can use Weapon X on Dark and Drill Claw on Dynamite. Starks VS Ben Carter was really good and a good main event. I like the character work that Starks is a bit of a flirt because he sees himself as a stud, and that it is returned by some. Starks wins but Carter is another case where, if given a chance through AEW, he can be a big name in wrestling. He’s already got a good indie following like Warhorse, AEW can definitely help bring him up to another level. Taz said himself that his team isn’t done with Darby so maybe Darby seeks payback tomorrow night on Dynamite. Darby still needs a teammate so this isn’t 2v1, just not sure who.
My Score: 8/10