5/18 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Dean Alexander, Dark Order in action, Kiss vs. Serpentico, more

BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

AEW DARK TV REPORT
MAY 18, 2021
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Excalibur and Taz

-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show, giving us a rundown.

(1) POWERHOUSE HOBBS (w/Hook) vs. DEAN ALEXANDER

Ricky Starks is on commentary as Hobbs attacked Alexander before the bell, but missed a splash in the corner to allow Alexander to get in a few shots. He charged at Hobbs, who planted Alexander with a spinebuster for the quick win. We learn that Hobbs will be in the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing.

WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs in 1:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Absolute dominant performance from Hobbs, who has to be one of the favorites to win the Casino Battle Royale. Get well soon Ricky Starks!)

(2) DANTE MARTIN vs. FALCO

Martin connected with his slingshot single leg dropkick early, quickly followed up with a plancha outside. As Martin stepped back inside, Falco took over, grounding the high flyer with a tilt a whirl back breaker. Martin battled back with a leaping lariat, step up enziguri and double springboard moonsault for a near fall. Falco attempted to cut off Martin on the ropes, but got knocked down and Martin hit a 450 Splash with his knees smacking poor Falco right in the face for the victory.

WINNER: Dante Martin in 4:00

(Howard Analysis: Man, that 450 splash was brutal as Martin looked impressive yet again, but he caught Falco square in the face with those knees. Sadly Taz didn’t make a Rock Me Amadeus reference about Falco in this match.)

-Brief Matt Hardy promo is shown talking about the Hardy Family Offices and Dark Order mentioning how 3 Dark Order members (Evil Uno, Colt Cabana & 10) and 3 Hardy Family members (Private Party & Himself) will be in the Casino Battle Royale.

(3) DARK ORDER’S 10 vs. RYZIN

Excalibur & Ricky Starks are making The Sims references that completely baffle Taz, as Ryzin tried a wheelbarrow, but 10 caught him with a release German. Starks said “call the practitioner because we have a morgue body on the loose” which popped commentary. Ryzin hung up 10 briefly on the top rope, but would run right into a lariat and pump kick from 10. Ryzin was planted with a spinebuster, fought back only to miss his Senton Bomb, which allowed 10 to lock on the Full Nelson for the submission.

WINNER: Dark Order 10 in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Quick, but strong showing for 10, who adds another win to his record. Ricky Starks has been the highlight so far tonight on commentary, him popping Taz & Excalibur has been great.)

(4) CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Orange Cassidy, Trent? and Kris Statlander) vs. AARON ROURKE

Rourke is making his AEW debut and is a Create-A-Pro talent. “You’re telling me, there’s a CAP guy on AEW Dark? Color me shocked!” says Excalibur & Starks. Rourke caught Chuck with a dropkick early, but posed too long allowing Chuck to level him with a lariat and high angle back drop. They went to the floor and Rourke tried a whip into the railing, but Trent put on the brakes, hugging his best friend. Back inside, Rourke drove Chuck into the turnbuckles, tried again and Chuck launched him face first into the middle buckle. Chuckie T planted Rourke with the Awful Waffle for the victory immediately after. Taz is insulted Taylor would drop someone on their head, something he’s never done.

WINNER: Chuck Taylor in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: At one point in this match, Taz said if he was a woman, he’d fight Kris Statlander. Chuck looked solid in this one while giving Rourke some offense in the process.)

-Lance Archer cuts a brief promo on Miro, saying at Double or Nothing, he will get his TNT Title match whether management likes it or not. He kept whispering everybody dies. I assume this match will be made official tomorrow on Dynamite.

(5) LEE JOHNSON (w/Cody Rhodes) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL

Cody simply walked to the ramp with Lee, then immediately went to the back. Some very quick early trading of arm drags, which Fuego would actually win. Fuego got the misdirect step up hurricanrana, only for Lee to crack Fuego with a nice dropkick. Taz points out how all of The Nightmare Family poses and flexes, which is something his guys doesn’t do, except Brian Cage, who is the size of a small foreign car. Fuego sank in a single leg crab, but Johnson kicked free, they traded near falls before Johnson hit a rolling DVD and standing moonsault for two. Johnson grounded Fuego until Del Sol battled back and hit a victory roll into a stunner for the double down. They spilled to the floor as Fuego slipped trying for a springboard moonsault, but kept his balance long enough to hit it one legged, which was amazing. Back inside, Fuego got some insanely close near falls until he tried a Tornado DDT, but Johnson countered into a Blue Thunder Bomb for the win.

WINNER: Lee Johnson in 7:30

(Howard’s Analysis: This match was so much fun. I almost thought it was going to be a quick 3-4 minute match, but I’m happy it went longer and they kept it really even too. Fuego is so close to winning his first match, which hopefully happens soon.)

-The Acclaimed do a rap on Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston from inside an old jail. Max Caster saying he’ll send Kingston back to CHIKARA while also dropping Bagger Vance as well as Tegan and Sara references. This was again top notch stuff from Caster. Go out of your way to watch it.

(6) EVIL UNO & COLT CABANA vs. TAMILIAN VINEESH & DUNCAN MITCHELL

Cabana got the early advantage on Vineesh until Mitchell tagged in and Uno & Colt did a snazzy misdirect spot that involved a Manhattan Drop and single leg dropkick. Mitchell & Vineesh momentarily isolated Cabana before Mitchell accidentally clobbered his own partner. Evil Uno tagged in and cleaned house as Taz points out how Mitchell’s pants are about to fall down like Axl Rose in ‘89, then serenaded us to a little Sweet Child of Mine. As this happened, Cabana hit a Flying Apple, Uno hit a Senton Atomico and Cabana finished it off with a Billy Goat’s Curse for the win. Colt released the hold and rolled out of it, hysterically wiping out a sitting Uno with almost a Jushin Liger koppo kick in the process!

WINNERS: Evil Uno & Colt Cabana in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: That ending with Taz singing Guns n’ Roses and Cabana clocking his own partner with a somersault immediately after winning the match was enough for you to watch it. That was hilarious.)

(7) CEZAR BONONI (w/The Wingmen) vs. MARKO STUNT

Marko used his speed early on, kicking at the legs and almost caught Bononi low (“yam-bag city” as Taz called it). Bononi got his hands on Stunt and lawn darted him clear across the ring. Marko fought out of a suplex attempt and tried a hurricanrana, which Bononi put the brakes on for, only to be dropped face first to the buckles. Bononi gorilla pressed Marko high above his head, but Marko raked the eyes and hit a DDT on the way down. As Marko tried for another move, Bononi caught him and planted Marko with a rolling DVD for the win. Post match, The Wingmen attacked Marko until Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy made the save.

WINNER: Cezar Bononi in 3:00

(Howard’s Analysis: They played the catch me if you can card well in this one as the offense Marko did get off was speed based and Bononi put him away once he was able to get his hands on him. It looks like The Wingmen against Jurassic Express will happen on Dark or Elevation soon.)

-We get a Jungle Boy promo about how he’s entering the Casino Battle Royale, saying he wasn’t ready to potentially get a World Title shot the first time he entered one of these, but now he is and he wants to win.

(8) NICK COMOROTO (w/The Factory) vs. ADRIAN ALANIS

Poor Comoroto still has to lift up those steps for QT to sit on before his match. Alanis got in a few shots early, but couldn’t knock Comoroto off his feet. Alanis charged, but was caught and planted with a running powerslam. Alanis fought back with a discus clothesline, which Comoroto no sold. Comoroto beheaded Alanis with a lariat and hit a massive powerbomb that literally almost took Alanis out of his trunks for the win.

WINNER: Nick Comoroto in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Total destruction by Comoroto who got to show off his insane power. Poor Alanis got used as a crash test dummy it felt like.)

(9) SONNY KISS (w/Joey Janela) vs. SERPENTICO (w/Luther)

Luther ran distraction immediately for his partner, but it didn’t last long as Kiss gained control with a swinging head scissors. Kiss tried a springboard, but Serpentico took out the ropes as Kiss crashed and burned. Kiss battled back with a high angle belly to belly suplex, connected with a standing moonsault for two. Serpentico connected with a nice roll up, superkick, short DDT combo before he headed up top, missing a dive. Luther jumped on the apron, which led to Joey Janela getting into the ring, distracting referee Aubrey. Luther jumped in and wiped out Sonny with a pump kick, allowing Serpentico to roll up Kiss for the win.

WINNER: Serpentico in 6:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Taz & Excalibur spent a lot of this match talking about different kinds of birds, as Taz is apparently afraid of them. As for the match, this has to be considered an upset. This was a decent little match until the ending, which I assume leads to a tag match soon.)

(10) BIG SWOLE & RED VELVET (w/KiLynn King) vs. VERTVIXEN & JAZMIN ALLURE

Serena Deeb is shown in the crowd with the NWA Women’s Title scouting Red Velvet ahead of their title match on Dynamite. Velvet & Allure traded arm drags and simultaneous dropkick attempts before Swole gained control of Vertvixen, allowing her & Velvet to hit a double flatliner. Vertvixen fought back and kept Velvet in the corner as she & Allure hit a double hip toss and double dropkick for a near fall. Big Swole got the hot tag and hit a brutal knee on Allure, who was dropped by a Velvet spear as Swole hit Dirty Dancing on Vertvixen to get the pin.

WINNERS: Big Swole & Red Velvet in 5:00

(Howard’s Analysis: They packed quite a bit into this as I’m surprised Swole got the pin and not Velvet, who was obviously the focus in this match. I’ll say this again & again, I hope Big Swole gets more singles matches soon.)

-Well, right as I type that, we get a Red Velvet video package about her match with Serena and how she’s the underdog. Her back is up against the wall and she will change the game winning this historic title. They showed a few pictures of The Fabulous Moolah during this. This was an overall good highlight reel for Velvet vs. Serena tomorrow.

(11) GRIFF GARRISON (w/Brian Pillman Jr. and Julia Hart) vs. DEONN RUSMAN

I said this last week; Julia Hart fits perfectly with The Varsity Blonds. Griff used his size early on until Rusman hit almost a sledgehammer chop to briefly get an abdominal stretch. Griff got free, missed a corner splash and Rusman would connect with a slam and splash for two. Rusman hit a nice knee drop elbow drop combo until Garrison caught Rusman with a back drop, corner splash and Falcon Arrow for two. Griff would clobber Rusman with a roaring elbow for the victory.

WINNER: Griff Garrison in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Interesting they opted to have Griff & Pillman in singles action before their World Tag Team Title match with the Bucks on Dynamite. Regardless, a solid showing from Griff as I assume The Bucks will make The Blonds look like a million bucks tomorrow night, no pun intended.)

(12) MATT SYDAL (w/Mike Sydal) vs. MARTY CASAUS

Taz pointed out he’s doing commentary tomorrow night for the Christian vs. Sydal match on Dynamite. Sydal tried slamming Casaus head first in the corner, but Marty no sold and got off some clubbing blows. Sydal battled back with a drop toe hold in the corner and running sliding knee to the face. Sydal attempted his finish, but Casaus avoided it with a pump kick for two. Sydal picked the ankle of Casaus, but Marty fought back with a curb stomp. I think Marty looked for a full nelson, but Sydal countered and really fought for a multiple revolution head scissors. That led to the Lightning Spiral for the win.

WINNER: Matt Sydal in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: This was pretty quick, but Casaus looked good for the third time on Dark, while Sydal built momentum heading into the Christian match.)

(13) KRIS STATLANDER (w/Orange Cassidy and Best Friends) vs. DIAMANTE

Statlander tried to boop Diamante early, but Diamante bit the finger as a result. They trash talked a bit before Diamante clobbered Statlander with a lariat and chop. We got a nice little series of reversals until Statlander caught Diamante with a snap powerslam. Diamante rolled outside and ate a baseball slide before both ladies started chopping each other. Statlander slammed Diamante on the floor, broke the count, but she literally rolled off the apron onto a splash outside which was pretty cool. Back inside, Diamante took over with a stalling dropkick in the corner for two and cross faces shots to the face of Statlander. Diamante tried grounding Statlander, who battled back with a lariat, corner forearms and running knee strike. Blue Thunder Bomb connected for Statlander for two before Diamante got her wheelbarrow stunner. Diamante got a standing hurricanrana pin for a near fall before both ladies started slugging it out. Diamante went for Sliced Bread but Statlander countered into the Big Bang Theory for the win.

WINNER: Kris Statlander in 7:00

(Howard’s Analysis: This was an excellent back & forth match. I’m glad Diamante got a chance to put on a longer match as in recent weeks she has had some pretty quick ones. This was one of the more competitive women’s matches I’ve seen on Dark. I really enjoyed it. I have no idea who is next for Statlander. I know they’re both babyfaces, but I wouldn’t mind Statlander vs. Leyla Hirsch.)

(14) NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. REKA TEHAKA

Tehaka charged at the bell, but Nyla wiped her out with an axe kick. Tehaka fought out off a Samoan Drop and hit Nyla with a headbutt. Excalibur points out how you shouldn’t try a Samoan Drop on a Samoan as Nyla launched Reka across the ring, connected with a corner cannonball and Beast Bomb for the win.

WINNER: Nyla Rose in 2:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Nyla looked dominant again, which is exactly what she needs to continue to do – build that record while steamrolling people until they incorporate you into the world title picture again. Nyla destroying people is the perfect thing to do right now.)

(15) VARY MORALES vs. ANGELICO

The bucket hat and dance that Angelico did led to Taz referring to him as Swaggy Jones as this is the first time seeing him in about a month and a half. Both men traded arm drags to start before Morales hit a head scissors to the floor. Angelico suckered his opponent outside and leveled Vary with a dropkick before heading back inside where he worked a half crab on Morales. Angelico took way too much time after the rope break, which allowed Morales to hit a hurricanrana outside where Vary followed with a massive cross body off the top. Inside, Vary went for another cross body, but Angelico caught him with a dropkick in mid air, then sank in the Navarro Death Roll for the submission.

WINNER: Angelico in 5:00

(Howard’s Analysis: This was a fun little match with Morales getting in far more offense than I thought. I’ve missed seeing TH2 on Dark, so hopefully Jack Evans returns soon and we get some tag matches with them again.)

(16) BRIAN PILLMAN JR. (w/Julia Hart) vs. LUTHER

Commentary as well as Justin Roberts announced this as the main event despite two more matches being announced on social media. Pillman worked over the arm of Luther early until Pillman would eat a pump kick to the floor. Luther stalked Julia Hart briefly until Pillman made the save. Luther reversed a whip and launched Pillman into the guard rail. Commentary points out how Luther as well as Brian Pillman Sr. both trained at the Hart Dungeon. Luther missed a few corner splashes, which allowed Pillman to get back into this with a lariat and bodyslam for two. Pillman hit a high cross body for another near fall as Luther honestly seems gassed at this point as Pillman really had to work for a crucifix and backslide. We see Serpentico ringside as he tries to trip up Pillman, who kicks him away and hits Air Pillman to put away Luther. Post match, Chaos Project beat down Pillman, look for their finish, but Julia Hart ran to the back to get Griff Garrison, who chased off Luther & Serpentico.

WINNER: Brian Pillman Jr. in 6:00

(Howard’s Analysis: The back story of Pillman Sr. and Luther both training at the Dungeon was cool, but man, Luther gassed at around 4 minutes and the last two minutes were tough. I also don’t think it was a good ending to a show when your challengers for the tag titles tomorrow night have to chase off one of the lowest level teams on the roster. I would’ve preferred Pillman Jr. looking absolutely dominant here. If he struggles to put away Luther, they have zero shot against The Bucks.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I should point out that on social media; they promoted Ren Narita vs. Royce Isaacs as well as Danny Limelight vs. Kal Jak. Neither of those matches happened and I don’t know why. I was actually really looking forward to Narita wrestling and also Danny Limelight, who seemed to be poised to get a win following that great video package with Paul Wight on Elevation last week. Maybe they’ll be on next week? Regardless, this was just an overall ok episode of Dark with a few highlights. One of them was Ricky Starks during the first handful of matches he was on commentary for. Match of the night I’d give to Statlander vs. Diamante with Lee Johnson vs. Fuego a close second. We got an amazing music video from The Acclaimed, found out a couple names in the Casino Battle Royale, and had strong showings from people who will be featured on Dynamite tomorrow like Red Velvet & Matt Sydal. I just wish they would’ve had The Varsity Blonds look much stronger heading into their first tag team title match.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 5/11 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Milk Chocolate, Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart, Jungle Boy in action, more

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