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AEW DARK TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 23, 2021
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Additional guest commentators throughout the show: Anthony Ogogo.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Excalibur and Taz welcomed us to Dark. They were joined by Anthony Ogogo at the beginning of the show.
(1) BRIAN CAGE (w/Hook) vs. JOHN SKYLER
Skyler charged in at the bell, but Cage ran him down. Skyler hit a thrust kick to Cage’s jaw, but Cage was only rattled for a second. Cage hit a discuss lariat, then power bombed Skyler. Cage hit the Drill Claw for the win.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 1:00
Moynahan’s Take: Strong squash win for Cage. Can’t say I was surprised here, but again, this helps build him up further as a legitimate threat.
(2) LEE JOHNSON (w/Arn Anderson) vs. SERPENTICO (w/Luther)
The two traded a series of reversals to start until Johnson landed a dropkick. Johnson followed it up by press slamming Serpentico, then covering for a two count. Johnson went for a sunset flip pin attempt but Serpentico slapped him across the face. Serpentico rolled Johnson up and nailed him with a stiff thrust kick to the face. Serpentico spring boarded into the ring with a double stomp onto Johnson’s stomach. Serpentico followed up with a flurry of stiff shots to Johnson, then whipped him into the corner. Johnson fought back, landing a series of clotheslines, then a hanging neck breaker. Johnson hit the Blue Thunder Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Lee Johnson in 5:00
Moynahan’s Take: This was Johnson’s first AEW singles victory and right off the heels of his recent tag team win on Dynamite a few weeks back. A solid match overall.
(3) EDDIE KINGSTON vs. J.D. DRAKE
The two locked up to start the match. Kingston laid in some stiff chops, and Drake obliged with some of his own. Kingston missed a spinning back fist and Drake nailed him with an enziguri. Kingston hit Drake with a boot to the face. Kingston maintained the advantage, but Drake kept fighting back with stiff shots. Kingston dropped Drake with a headbutt (nasty). Kingston came off the middle rope but was caught with a stiff right hand by Drake. Drake charged in with another chop, then came off the middle rope with a Vader bomb. Drake dropped Kingston with a high kick to the face then hit a cannonball senton as Kingston laid in the corner. Drake missed a moonsault, which allowed Kingston to hit the spinning back fist for the win.
WINNER: Eddie Kingston in 5:00
Moynahan’s Take: I can’t stress enough just how physical and intense this was. I really enjoyed the back-and-forth action and it was my first time seeing Drake wrestle. I recommend checking this one out.
(4) LEYLA HIRSCH vs. BROOKE HAVOK (w/Cody)
Havok took Hirsch down early on with a neck breaker but was unable to follow up on offense. Hirsch hit a delayed vertical suplex, but Havok kicked out at two. Havok rolled Hirsch up for a pin attempt but was unsuccessful. Havok missed a splash off the top. Hirsch hit a German suplex then locked in a cross-arm breaker for the tap out victory.
WINNER: Leyla Hirsch in 3:00
Moynahan’s Take: Leyla Hirsch certainly looked legit here. Okay, that was lame, but she did look very good in victory.
– An update to the Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament aired
(5) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. ANGEL FASHION & VSK
Jungle Boy and VSK started things off for their respective teams. Jungle Boy took an early advantage via headlock, then tagged in Luchasaurus who proceeded to kick VSK right in the face. Fashion came in, as did Jungle Boy. Jurassic Express double-teamed Fashion, and the VSK after he came into the ring. Jurassic Express hit their power bomb combo finish for the win.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 2:30
Moynahan’s Take: A strong showing by Jurassic Express, who didn’t allow their opponents much offense. The only thing they are missing is a name for their finisher.
– An ad for “A Little Bit of the Bubbly” aired
(6) J.J. GARRETT vs. QT MARSHALL (w/Nick Comoroto)
Garrett attempted to mat wrestle Marshall in the early going. Marshall at first obliged, then worked Garrett’s arm over after hitting a deep arm drag. Marshall landed a vertical suplex, but Garrett fought back, hitting a German suplex. Garrett hit a snapping elbow across Marshall’s back. Garrett hit a rolling elbow strike on Marshall, then followed up with a cannonball senton. Marshall fought back, throwing Garrett up in the air, and landing a right hand. Marshal hit the Diamond Cutter for the win.
WINNERS: QT Marshall in 4:30
Moynahan’s Take: Garrett looks like a much (much much much) smaller version of an early ‘90’s Scott Steiner. He looked good here though, using speed and some nice mat wrestling early on. Curious how much more we will see of him.
– An ad for the Young Bucks book aired
(7) MAX CASTER (w/Anthony Bowens) vs. MARKO STUNT
Stunt used his size and speed to his advantage early on but was caught by Caster attempting a cross body off the top. Caster threw Stunt down hard then rubbed his face into the mat. Caster kept Stunt down, using the ropes to his leverage. Stunt fought back, hitting a standing shooting star press for a two. Caster, however, caught Stunt on the top rope, and threw him off. Caster then came off the top with an elbow drop for the win.
WINNER: Max Caster in 4:00
Moynahan’s Take: Not much here, with Stunt attempting a few comebacks throughout, but ultimately not gaining much momentum. Good to see Caster in a singles match at the very least.
– An ad for “Wrestling with the Week” aired
(8) ALEX REYNOLDS & JOHN SILVER (w/The Dark Order) vs. LOUIE VALLE & CHRIS PEAKS
Valle and Peaks made their AEW tag team debut here. Peaks kicked it off against Reynolds and took the offensive advantage. Reynolds came right back, dropping Peaks with a drop kick. Reynolds slammed Peaks, then tagged in Silver. Silver took Peaks down hard with a kick to the chest. Reynolds tagged back in, as did Valle. Peaks and Valle (get it?) double teamed Reynolds. Valle drove Reynolds into the corner and started firing in with rights and lefts. Peaks came back in, and once again double-teamed Reynolds with Valle’s assistance. Reynolds hit an enziguri, allowing him to tag in Silver. Silver took out both opponents single-handedly. Silver put both Valle and Peaks on his back and hit a Samoan drop. Reynolds and Silver hit their Dark Destroyer finish on Valle for the win.
WINNERS: Reynolds & Silver in 6:00
Moynahan’s Take: An impressive win by Reynolds and Silver. Silver plays his role so well, whether on Dynamite, Dark, or BTE. I can’t wait to see him back in front of full live crowds.
(9) KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Del Sol took Sabian down early, allowing Sabian to scamper over to Ford in his corner. Sabian stepped into a vicious looking headbutt. With Del Sol in the corner, Sabian landed a stiff kick, then planted him with another. Del Sol hit a moonsault off the middle rope, then followed up with a sling blade/flatliner combination. Sabian caught Del Sol with a big right hand, slowing his momentum. Sabian hit Deathly Hallows for the win.
WINNER: Kip Sabian in 5:00
Moynahan’s Take: This was okay. Some fast action at times. Sabian looked good in victory and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for him now that the wedding angle is complete.
(10) THE VARSITY BLONDS (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) vs. SHAWN DEAN & CARLIE BRAVO
Pillman Jr. and Garrison traded quick tags early on, focusing on Bravo’s left arm. Bravo fought back, working on Garrison’s arm in return. Dean tagged in with a springboard elbow onto Garrison. Bravo was back in, nailing a sledgehammer onto Garrison’s arm. Pillman Jr. was able to tag in and hit a thrust kick on Bravo. Varsity Blonds kept Bravo in their corner and once again went for quick tags. Pillman Jr. locked Bravo into an arm submission and successfully went for the dreaded purple nurple. Pillman Jr. had Bravo in a single-leg crab. Garrison tagged in, but Bravo was able to throw him into Pillman Jr., knocking him to the floor. Dean made the hot tag and hit Garrison with a few dropkicks then a DDT. Bravo tagged in, and Dean came off the top with a splash on Garrison. Pillman Jr. tagged in then came off the top with a diving dropkick as Garrison held Bravo up. Pillman Jr. covered for the win.
WINNERS: The Varsity Blonds in 8:00
Moynahan’s Take: Good tag team action, as The Varsity Blonds continue to develop well as a tandem. Bravo and Dean looked good in defeat.
(11) AARON SOLOW vs. RYAN NEMETH
Nemeth took Solow over with a snap fireman’s carry, then boasted to the crowd in attendance. As Nemeth continued to chat up the crowd, Solow nailed him with a series of arm drags. Solow showed off his speed with a series of counters, then a dropkick, which rattled Nemeth to the outside. With Nemeth back inside, Solow hit a diving knee drop for a two count. Nemeth took the advantage back, whipping Solow hard into the corner, then ramming his shoulder into Solow’s midsection. Solow tried fighting back, but Nemeth pulled him down by the hair. Solow finally came back with some offense, hitting three clotheslines then a charging uppercut into the corner. Peter Avalon and Cesar Bononi came out on the ramp to watch the match. Solow hit a corkscrew kick on Nemeth. Solow then went to the top, but Nemeth knocked him down and hit a neck breaker for a three count.
WINNER: Ryan Nemeth in 8:00
– After the match, Nemeth joined Avalon and Bononi in a beat down on Solow. The Nightmare Family rushed the ring to drive them away.
Moynahan’s Take: A solid match with an interesting storyline progressing mid and post-match. Looks like we may see a feud between these two groups, with Nemeth seemingly joining Avalon’s crew.
(12) IVELISSE & DIAMANTE vs. MIRANDA ALIZE & RENEE MICHELLE
Michelle was rocked hard early on by Ivelisse. Diamante tagged in and landed a few shots to Michelle. Alize tagged in but was distracted by Ivelisse on the apron, allowing Diamante to nail her. Ivelisse and Diamante made quick tags, keeping Alize isolated. Michelle finally tagged in and dished out shots to both opponents. Michelle nailed Ivelisse with a hook kick, but Diamante broke up the pin attempt. Ivelisse and Diamante again made quick tags, but Michelle fought out of their double team efforts. Alize came in and faced off with Diamante, but Ivelisse attacked her from behind. Ivelisse and Diamante hit stereo knee strikes on Alize, then planted her to the mat. Ivelisse covered for the win.
WINNERS: Ivelisse & Diamante in 6:00
Moynahan’s Take: A solid tag match with solid ring work from all four women. I really enjoy the duo of Ivelisse and Diamante. I wish we would see more of them and I’m surprised neither appeared in the current women’s tournament. Let’s hope that changes sooner than later.
(13) TONY VEGA & STEVEN STETSON vs. TOP FLIGHT (Darius Martin & Dante Martin)
Darius, the older brother, kicked things off against Vega, hitting a few deep arm drags. Dante tagged in, as did Stetson. Dante flew off the top rope, landing on both Vega and Stetson. Dante caught Stetson with an arm drag into an arm bar. Vega distracted Dante from the apron, which allowed Stetson to drop Dante with a side slam. Vega and Stetson continued to work on Dante in their corner. Stetson hit a big spine buster on Dante, cutting off his attempt to tag in Darius. It didn’t work for long, as Darius tagged in and took down Stetson. Darius hit an enziguri, then came off the top with a dropkick. Vega broke up the pin attempt but was thrown out for his troubles. Top Flight singled out Stetson, hitting an assisted launching dropkick for the win.
WINNER: Top Flight in 7:00
Moynahan’s Take: A great momentum builder for Top Flight. It’s been fun watching them progress in the early going of their careers knowing they’ll be stars one day down the road.
(14) BEAR COUNTRY & SONNY KISS & JOEY JANELA vs. M’BADU & LEVY SHAPIRO & DANIEL JOSEPH & AARON FYRE
Boulder started off against Joseph, who got his face smashed in by a big boot. Bronson tagged in and helped Boulder slam Joseph to the mat. Frye came in and walked right into a suplex by Bronson. Kiss came in and nailed Frye with a single-foot dropsault. Janela tagged in and assisted Kiss with a few double team moves. Shapiro saw his first action, tagging in and poking the eyes on Janela. Janela found himself in the opponents’ corner, as they traded tags. Janela fought out of the corner, taking out each man, then hitting a German suplex on Shapiro. Bronson tagged in and took out each man. Bronson threw Joseph onto Shapiro, then hit a senton on both men. Janela jumped off Bear Country’s back and came down on all four opponents waiting in the floor. Back inside, Janela hit the DVD on Shapiro. Bear Country hit their double team splash for the win.
WINNERS: Bear Country & Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela in 7:00
Moynahan’s Take: An enjoyable match with four unique personalities between Kiss, Janela, and Bear Country.
(15) RYZIN & BARON BLACK vs. PETER AVALON & CEZAR BONONI
Bononi used his size advantage early against Black. Avalon tagged in but found himself in a bow and arrow submission. Ryzin came off the top, hitting a double foot stomp on Avalon’s arm. Ryzin hit a northern lights suplex for a two. Ryzin sent Avalon hard into the corner then charged in as a follow up. Avalon nailed Ryzin and Black, then tagged in Bononi. Bononi nailed Ryzin with a clothesline then tagged Avalon back in. Avalon dropkicked Ryzin and Bononi held him. Ryzin reversed Avalon’s Irish whip attempt and was able to tag in Black who hit Avalon with an exploder, then hit Bononi with a series of chops. Bononi was knocked to the outside and Black hit the backstabber on Avalon. All four men came in, and Bononi threw Ryzin on Black. Bononi picked Avalon up and threw him down onto Black into the Marti-knees finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Peter Avalon & Cesar Bononi in 8:00
Moynahan’s Take: Good tag team action here with Avalon and Bononi working well together. As mentioned earlier, I’m interested to see where their potentially new combination with Nemeth goes next.
(16) KILYNN KING vs. TESHA PRICE
King and Price traded reversals early on. King caught Price in an arm drag, then locked in an arm bar. Price fought out but King dropped her again with a boot across the jaw. Price draped King over the middle rope, then nailed her with a stiff shot to the side of her head. Price mounted King and laid in a few right hands. Price charged into the corner with a spinning kick on King but could only get at two count on the pin attempt. King caught price with a fall away slam but was unable to initially capitalize. King hit a German suplex but only for a two count. King threw Price into the ropes, then decked her with a clothesline. King followed up by driving Price down hard into the mat, then covered for the win.
WINNER: KiLynn King in 6:30
Moynahan’s Take: Price showed a tremendous amount of intensity here which was something we haven’t seen in the past. Even though King took the win, both women looked very good and worked well together. I’ve said this before but Dark really has been such a great showcase for the women’s division.
(17) SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. TH2 (Jack Evans & Angelico) vs. MATT & MIKE SYDAL
Mike Sydal and Jack Evans started things off. Mike hit Evans with consecutive arm drags, slowing him down. Daniels tagged in and nailed Evans with a single-leg takedown. Angelico tagged in and took it to Daniels in the corner, then kicked him hard into the stomach. Daniels reversed a whip, then dropped Angelico down. Kazarian tagged in and helped Daniels double-team Angelico. Matt Sydal tagged in for Angelico. Matt and Kazarian traded fast reversals, ending with Matt hitting a leg lariat. Mike tagged in and came off the top rope with a double foot stomp onto Kazarian. Matt tagged in and hit a standing corkscrew splash onto Kazarian. Kazarian tagged Daniels back in, and they once again double-teamed Matt. Mike and Evans tagged in. Evans and Angelico traded tags and focused on Mike Sydal. Angelico locked in a leg submission until Daniels came in to break it up. Mike fought out and made a tag to Matt, who took out both members of TH2. Kazarian made a blind tag and took out Evans but was then taken out by Angelico. All six men came in, ending with Kazarian hitting Evans with a cutter, but Angelico broke up the pin attempt. Evans attempted a dive to the outside, but Daniels nailed him. Kazarian followed up with a reverse DDT and the win.
WINNERS: SCU in 12:00
Moynahan’s Take: A solid main event. Not a shocking ending, as I imagine SCU losing a match at this point would be built up over time. All six men worked well together, especially in a style that can break down easily.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A jam-packed episode of Dark this week totaling 17 matches. Quite the departure from last week, which wrapped up in about an hour. Match of the week goes to Kingston and Drake, who had a stiff, old school battle. Overall, I enjoyed the action and continue to be impressed by the women’s division.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 2/16 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Jon Moxley in action, Kingston vs. Solow, and more