SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
AUGUST 3, 2021
RECORDED IN CHARLOTTE, NC
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show, giving us a rundown.
(1) BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy & Wheeler Yuta)(w/Kris Statlander) vs. THE WINGMEN (Cezar Bononi & JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth)(w/Peter Avalon)
Ricky Starks joined commentary to celebrate his FTW Title win with Taz and also Knife Club with Excalibur. Drake connected with a shoulder tackle before both men traded arm drags in the early going. Nemeth & Yuta tagged in with Nemeth accidentally chopping his own teammates in the corner while they were holding Yuta. This happened four times before Peter Avalon jumped into the ring to berate Nemeth, giving Yuta a chance to punch Avalon. After all of that, Nemeth worked a hammerlock on Yuta before Bononi tagged in and hoss tossed Yuta to his corner. Drake & Bononi connected with a Manhattan Drop big boot combo before Nemeth tagged in and immediately lost control. Yuta made the hot tag to Taylor, who wiped out Drake & Bononi with a tope, which led to Orange Cassidy tagging in as he spun out of a Rude Awakening and did his pockets offense. Taylor hit a uranage, Yuta hit a splash and Orange just fell on Nemeth for a near fall. Yuta was distracted by Avalon, allowing Bononi to hit a fall away pump handle slam, Drake with a cannonball in the corner and Nemeth with the Rude Awakening for two. Drake made the tag missed a moonsault and Yuta rolled Drake up for the win. Post match, Orange Cassidy hit the Orange Punch on Peter Avalon, while Chuck hit an Awful Waffle for good measure.
WINNERS: Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy & Wheeler Yuta in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was quite the action packed opener. They did quite a few miscommunication moments between Nemeth and the rest of his crew, so I wonder if that leads to something. I’m happy Yuta got the win here, as the fans reacted really well for him.)
-Backstage, Jack Evans cuts a promo on PAC following him everywhere he goes, tonight he’s going to put him in a body bag “and you know this…man!”
(2) PAC (w/Lucha Bros & Alex Abrahantes) vs. JACK EVANS (w/H.F.O.)
Excalibur immediately brings up the history of these two in Dragon Gate and puts over the career of Masato Yoshino, who recently called it a career. Starks also puts over Yoshino while PAC tried a catapult on Evans, but Evans rolled him up a few times for near falls. Evans missed a leg sweep, but turned it into a leg scissors. Evans dropkicked PAC outside, but PAC swept the leg and Evans smacked his back hard on the edge of the ring. Back inside, PAC slowly attacked the back before he went up top for a superplex, but Evans fought out and knocked PAC to the floor. PAC hit his back on the edge of the ring as well as Evans hit a Sky Twister Press that wiped out PAC. Evans hit a springboard blockbuster inside the ring for a near fall. PAC fired back by turning Evans inside out with a lariat and sit out Liger Bomb for two. PAC missed a springboard, allowing Evans to his a Poison rana. Evans got a back slide with a bridge for a very close two. Corkscrew kick caught PAC flush, but Evans took too much time on the top and got hung up. PAC proceeded to hit a crazy falling neckbreaker off the top before slapping on the Brutalizer for the win. Post match, Andrade showed up and faked again like he was going to fight before retreating.
WINNER: PAC in 9:00
(Howard Analysis: This was a much slower paced match than you’d expect from these two. That said, this was a hard hitting battle and a very good match from both. This was one of the best performances from Jack Evans in AEW. As much as I want to see Andrade have matches with Fenix & Penta, part of me thinks the end game here is the Lucha Bros turning on PAC, which I hope I’m wrong.)
-We go to a Red Velvet promo talking about how she has tunnel vision on the Women’s Title now that she’s in the Top 5. She hopes Britt is ready, she’ll see her soon.
(3) TAY CONTI vs. KENZIE PAIGE
Taz mentions how Conti is one of his favorite competitors in AEW. Paige connected with a thrust kick and forearms as this turned into a stiff slugfest early. Tay baited Paige in and hit a series of throws before she went up top, rolled through and punted Paige in the face three times. This led to a gut buster and the DD-Tay for the win.
WINNER: Tay Conti in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: These two ladies duked it out in the opening minute of this match. Ultimately it was Tay who got the victory and continued her tradition of dancing with Aubrey Edwards after each win. I do like how Aubrey danced with Tay before checking on Paige.)
(4) SHAWN SPEARS & WARDLOW vs. FUEGO DEL SOL & SHAWN DEAN
Jake Hager joined the booth to inform us this war with Wardlow is far from over. Spears mocked Fuego with a cartwheel then a test of strength, which Fuego used his speed to get out of. Both Dean & Fuego hit dropkicks on Wardlow before clotheslining him to the floor. Dean & Fuego tried double dives, got caught and wiped out. Spears tried to grab a chair, but Wardlow told him no and Spears said he was no fun. Spears hit a C4 on Fuego, before Wardlow, staring down Hager on commentary, hit the F-10 for the victory.
WINNERS: Shawn Spears & Wardlow in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I liked the ovation Fuego & Dean got for their entrance. Those few dropkicks were all Dean & Fuego managed as it was a Pinnacle slaughter.)
(5) HIKARU SHIDA vs. MADI MAXX
Maxx tried to play possum with a knee injury early, but Shida didn’t fall for it, so Taz called it a broken possum. Shida set up a chair ringside, used it as a springboard, but Maxx avoided the attack and posted Shida. Maxx popped Shida with a back hand slap and punt kick for two. Maxx trash talk only fired Shida up, who slapped the taste out of Maxx’s mouth before hitting a running knee. Shida hit a snap suplex and misdirection into a running knee strike for two. Shida drove Maxx down with a sit out Dominator before putting her away with the Kitana for three.
WINNER: Hikaru Shida in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: I was impressed by Madi Maxx’s debut here as she got off far more offense than I expected. Shida continues to rack up wins as she makes her way back to a title shot.)
(6) LUCHA BROTHERS (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix)(w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. CHAO PROJECT (Luther & Serpentico)
Fenix & Serpentico started super fast with a series of takedowns and head scissors. Fenix did a no hands springboard before all four men got in each other’s faces. Penta was sent outside, Serpentico tried a suicide dive, but Penta caught him with a gorilla press in mid air. Luther made the save and posted Penta as Serpentico isolated Fenix inside allowing Chaos Project to take control. Luther used his partner as a slingshot before punching Fenix square in the armpit, as Excalibur said that sucks. Fenix fought back with a springboard kick to Luther and rewind kick to Serpentico before tagging Penta. Slingbade connected on both Luther & Serpentico before Penta hit a lung blower senton combo for two. Dueling super kicks by the Lucha Bros led to the Fear Factor double stomp combo for the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Bros in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was a pretty entertaining and chaotic tag match as the Lucha Bros continue to be one of the most impressive tag teams in AEW.)
(7) THE ACCLAIMED (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & MATT HARDY & THE BLADE (w/The Bunny) vs. VARSITY BLONDS (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison)(w/Julia Hart) & MATT SYDAL & MIKE SYDAL
The Blonds & Sydal’s brawl early with Matt & Mike doing dueling head scissors and standing moonsaults on The Acclaimed. The Blade tripped up Pillman, allowing his team to isolate him briefly before Griff tagged in and cleaned house. Griff dished out big boots, backdrops and corner splashes before he did the deal on Bowens hitting a Falcon Arrow for two. Matt Sydal tagged in and threw some kicks before he & Mike hit stereo meteoras on Bowens for two. Matt Hardy got in and dished out two Side Effects before Griff hit a roaring elbow on him. The Acclaimed attacked him and mocked an Eifel Tower before slamming him down. Pillman wiped both men out with a top rope cross body before Hardy dropped Pillman with a Twist of Fate. The Bunny took the ref long enough for The Blade to hit Mike Sydal with his brass knucks allowing Matt Hardy to pin Sydal for the win. Post match, Jurassic Express made the save and chased off Hardy & Blade while The Blonds laid out The Acclaimed.
WINNERS: The Acclaimed, Matt Hardy & The Blade in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Max Caster’s rap this week consisted of references to Simone Biles, Duke Lacrosse and a line about Julia Hart that was thankfully cut off by Bowens. Caster’s raps are unbelievable. They crammed about 12 minutes into 6 it felt like in this one. So much stuff was happening at the end and even after the match it was almost too much. The Blonds & Acclaimed need to have their match soon.)
(8) DIAMANTE vs. LEYLA HIRSCH
Leyla tried zoning in on Diamante’s arm, but Diamante pulled Leyla face first into the corner before putting boots to her. Diamante did her no arm splash for two before working the arm herself. Diamante mocked the crowd who chanted for Hirsch, but that led to Leyla hitting a series of suplexes. Leyla hit a hard lariat and springboard moonsault for two. The Bunny hit the ring with a chair, took the ref, but Big Swole grabbed the chair away from Diamante before she could use it. Leyla hit a release German and V-Trigger for two before making Diamante submit to the cross arm breaker. Post match, Swole & Diamante brawled to the back with no security separating them.
WINNER: Leyla Hirsch in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Excalibur mentioned Leyla’s match with Bunny tomorrow for a shot at the NWA Women’s Title, but never said Kamille by name as the current champion. I wish this match was competitive a little while longer before the outside interference stuff. I am happy they’re continuing the Swole & Diamante feud though. It almost makes more sense for the winner of a rematch with these two to get the NWA Title match, but that’s just me.)
(9) JON MOXLEY vs. BRICK ALDRIDGE
Brick attacked Mox at the bell, but went for a back drop and was leveled with a clothesline for his efforts. Mox with some boots to the chest, but Aldridge did a leap frog into a dropkick. Brick bealed Mox clear across the ring and hit a shoulder breaker, working the arm. Brick hit a corner splash, but as he went for another, Mox met him with one of his own. Corner superplex connected on the big man as Mox tried for the Paradigm Shift, but as Brick fought free, Mox opted for a rear naked choke for the submission.
WINNER: Jon Moxley in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I’m happy Mox was on the 100th episode of Dark, but it’s weird he’s on third from the main event. Brick took quite a bit of this match, but there was no way Moxley was losing tonight, even if he didn’t give the fans a Paradigm Shift.)
(10) PENELOPE FORD vs. REKA TEHAKA
Tehaka reversed a hip toss into an arm drag, then a monkey flip until Penelope hung Tehaka up in the ropes. Penelope hit a running double knee into the ropes and a back handspring elbow. Penelope connected with a release German for two. Tehaka got off a headbutt, but Penelope wrapped her up with a Muta Lock for the submission.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I’m not sure when this match was filmed on the show, but it felt like there were a lot less fans than any other match so far tonight. Penelope gets back in the win column following her loss a few weeks ago to Yuka Sakazaki on Dynamite.)
-Jade Cargill & Mark Sterling make their way to the stage to a very quiet reaction. They run down the fans for not giving Jade a catch phrase (I’m sorry, were we supposed to?). Sterling says Jade is now part of some wine brand. He runs down the fans again to get the first boos from the crowd. Look, I think there’s obviously money to be made with Jade and her look, but this storyline is absolutely brutal and gets absolutely nothing from the crowd.
(11) EDDIE KINGSTON vs. DANTE MARTIN (w/Darius Martin)
Kingston was smart early on, avoiding the speed and high flying of Martin, rolling to the floor to regroup. Martin hit a huge springboard shotgun dropkick for two, but ran right into a Kingston kitchen sink knee. Darius tried to get his brother back into it, as Kingston chopped Dante repeatedly. Dante tried to float over the ropes onto the apron, but Kingston booted him to the floor. Dante played a catch me if you can game and it ended in his double springboard moonsault for two. Martin tried for his flipping stunner, but Kingston blocked it into a half and half suplex. Kingston tried his back fist, but Martin hit an enziguri. Kingston ate it though and hit the back fist for the win. Post match, Kingston showed respect to Martin, applauding him in the process.
WINNER: Eddie Kingston in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I don’t think the crowd was expecting two babyfaces to square off as they were surprised, then loud for Kingston making his entrance. This is another match I really wish had more time as it was a styles clash I hope we see again.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a very fun night celebrating the 100th Episode of AEW Dark. You had some top tier names in Mox and Kingston, a chaotic eight-man, strong showings from contenders in the women’s division and continued some feuds in Diamante & Swole and The Acclaimed & Blonds. Match of the night I’d give to PAC & Evans, while the low light was that Jade & Sterling promo.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 7/27 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Dark Order in action, Red Velvet vs. Alejandra Lion, Diamante vs. Big Swole, more