SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
AUGUST 17, 2021
RECORDED AT PETERSON EVENTS CENTER, PITTSBURGH PA
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show, giving us a rundown.
(1) 2.0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee) vs. SAM ADAMS & SYLER ANDREWS
Adams & Andrews connected with a nice leg sweep-dropkick combo out the gate on Parker, but 2.0 quickly took over with Lee power bombing Adams. 2.0 isolated Adams and made quick tags as Parker mocked the Sting woo and Stinger Splash. Adams was able to break free and tag Andrews, who cleaned house momentarily, but Parker made a blind tag and 2.0 hit an assisted elbow drop. That set the stage for 2 for the Show double hot shot for the victory.
WINNERS: 2.0 in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: For the second night in a row, Parker & Lee look ready for Darby & Sting tomorrow night. It’s amazing to see how misused these two were in NXT and they’re already wrestling Sting on Dynamite less than a month into their time in AEW.)
(2) TAY CONTI vs. REBECCA SCOTT
Ricky Starks joined Taz and his Knife Club pal Excalibur on commentary. Conti avoided an early school girl by Scott and just clobbered Scott with chops before she missed a corner running knee. Scott trash talks Tay, as Starks says you can’t trust a girl with two first names. Conti lit up Scott with strikes and some judo throws before hitting a spinning gut buster. Conti hit a corner pump kick and the DD-Tay to rack up another win.
WINNER: Tay Conti in 2:30
(Howard Analysis: Tay looks impressive yet again and she hasn’t lost a match since April. The crowd loves her and you have to assume she’s getting a title shot down the line.)
(3) BROCK ANDERSON & LEE JOHNSON (w/Arn Anderson) vs. JOE KEYS & SPENCER SLADE
Thunder Rosa joins commentary for this one and promotes the AEW Community Outreach Program. Brock got a hammerlock bodyslam on Keys before tagging Johnson, who used his speed to hit a nice dropkick. Keys used the little hair Johnson has to pull him to his corner as Slade tagged in with a suplex and running shoulder in the corner. Slade & Keys keep Johnson grounded before Johnson fought out and tagged Brock, who just threw clubbing shots on Keys. Brock hit a standing back body drop and the DDT for the victory.
WINNERS: Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: A quick, but solid showing from Johnson & Brock as this is the perfect way for Brock to get ring time. I’ve enjoyed this pairing so far.)
(4) MATT HARDY (w/Private Party) vs. WHEELER YUTA (w/Chuck Taylor)
Yuta used a cartwheel to avoid a backdrop early, then baited Hardy into trying to pick the leg and took Hardy down. Yuta missed a cross body off the second rope, as Matt drove Yuta into the guardrail outside with a baseball slide dropkick. Yuta tried fighting back, ran into a sleeper, countered with one of his own, but opt to turn it into a slugfest. Yuta hit an enziguri and double spring dropkick for two. Hardy fought back, Yuta skinned the cat, but ran right into a Side Effect for two. Yuta countered the Twist of Fate into a Samoan Drop for a close near fall. Yuta went up top, but got crotched. Hardy went for a superplex, Yuta shoved him off and Hardy landed awkwardly on his ankle. Matt claimed his ankle is broken as Private Party ran distraction, allowing Hardy to take his boot off and smack Yuta to steal the win. Post match, Private Party attacks Yuta & Taylor until Orange Cassidy walked out and wiped out Hardy with an Orange Punch as Best Friends stood tall.
WINNER: Matt Hardy in 7:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I have no idea where this H.F.O. vs. Best Friends story is going, as it just feels like they’re just filling weeks with no reason behind it. I guess we’re getting Hardy vs. Cassidy soon? I’ve just been very underwhelmed by Hardy & Private Party lately.)
(5) PENELOPE FORD vs. MASHA SLAMOVICH
Rosa on commentary puts over Slamovich training with her. After an early exchange, Slamovich delivered some chops and a very nice up kick. Ford cut Slamovich off and raked her face across the top rope. Penelope delivered a stiff kick to the back and standing moonsault that turned more into a headbutt as Penelope missed most of it. Penelope hit a springboard double knee on the apron. Slamovich battled back with strikes, but Penelope hit a fireman’s carry into a gut buster. The Muta Lock was applied and Penelope wins it. Post match, Penelope keeps beating Slamovich down until Thunder Rosa leaves commentary to chase Ford off.
WINNER: Penelope Ford in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Ford wins again and I assume we’re getting Rosa vs. Ford in the near future. Rosa needs something to do before hopefully getting Britt soon after she finishes her Statlander feud.)
(6) KRIS STATLANDER (w/Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor & Wheeler Yuta) vs. KIERA HOGAN
Hogan wanted no part of being booped by Statlander, who did a few cartwheels and delivered the boop. That didn’t sit well with Hogan, who wiped out Statlander with a running single leg dropkick in the corner for two. Statlander avoided a slam and countered into a stalling vertical suplex. Statlander hit a running corner knee and spinning fisherman’s slam for two. Hogan battled back with a neckbreaker, missed a roundhouse kick and Statlander planted her face first. Big Bang Theory connected flush to give Statlander another win.
WINNER: Kris Statlander in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Yuta, Chuckie T & Cassidy were all wearing matching jackets & pants that Ricky Starks said makes it look like they were about to rob a bank. As for Statlander, she’s obviously next in line for Britt Baker. Next to Rosa, Statlander is the top contender, so I’m looking forward to that showdown.)
(7) DEATH TRIANGLE (PAC & Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix)(w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. CHAOS PROJECT (Serpentico & Luther) & COLE KARTER
Chaos Project & Karter attacked Death Triangle before the bell as Luther used Karter & Serpentico as darts, throwing them into Fenix. Taz is insulted that Ricky Starks compared Chaos Project to Team Taz. The Lucha Bros double teamed Karter with a wheelbarrow splash before PAC made the tag and right as he did, Andrade’s music hit. Almas walked out with Chavo & his assistant, as Karter got a school boy and almost caught PAC. That was literally all Almas & crew did, they went right to the back. Serpentico was about to tag in, but Luther pulled him away, called Karter ugly and Chaos Project bailed on their partner. Fenix hit a corkscrew cutter and wiped out Chaos Project outside, Penta hit the Fear Factor on Karter for the win.
WINNERS: Death Triangle in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Cole Karter looked hilariously out of place with Chaos Project, as he’s this clean cut fella who is teaming with two psychopaths. He took almost all of the punishment in this one. I thought the Almas stuff was kind of pointless, but I’ve been underwhelmed by Almas’ entire AEW run thus far. Hopefully that turns around at All Out.)
(8) NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. TINA SAN ANTONIO
Nyla hit a spear right at the bell and leveled poor Tina with a lariat. Vickie screamed to finish her and Nyla hit the Beast Bomb for the quick win. Post match, Vickie got on the mic, screamed a promo and I could barely understand it with the screeching. She said after Nyla destroys all the Barbie’s, she’ll be champion again. Good things come to those who wait.
WINNER: Nyla Rose in 40 seconds
(Howard’s Analysis: With Nyla losing to Statlander last week, she needs to rack up squash wins for a few months on shows like this. It’s honestly what she’s best at.)
(9) 10 & JOHN SILVER & ALEX REYNOLDS vs. ANDREW PALACE & BILL COLLIER & RSP
Reynolds hit a running cross body and missile dropkick on Palace early. RSP tripped Reynolds on the apron, distracting him long enough for Collier to hit a spear on the apron, which looked gnarly. RSP threw Reynolds across the ring with a suplex. Palace tagged in with a snap back suplex. Collier entered the match with a stalling gorilla press slam. RSP missed a corner back elbow, Collier missed a boot in the corner and Reynolds made the hot tag to Silver, which popped the crowd. Silver hit a release German suplex, an overhead German suplex on the big Collier and finally dropped RSP with a brainbuster. 10 tagged in and hit a ripcord Cutter on Collier. 10 used Reynolds and threw him to the floor onto RSP & Collier. 10 hit a spinebuster on Palace, Silver & Reynolds hit what Excalibur called the Wombo Combo leading to 10 locking on the Full Nelson for the submission.
WINNERS: 10 & John Silver & Alex Reynolds in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This was an action packed match as the crowd were hot for Dark Order. You couldn’t ask for much more than what we get here.)
(10) FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. BRANDON CUTLER (w/Michael Nakazawa)
After stalling 90 seconds, the chase was on as Nakazawa was sent over the railing, allowing Kazarian to dish out chops on Cutler. Back inside, Cutler bumped around comically before Nakazawa tripped Kazarian during a suplex as Cutler almost stole it. We’re 4 minutes into this match and Cutler finally hits a dab into an elbow drop. Cutler then started dancing like an idiot and missed the follow up elbow. Taz said he was dancing like Ricky Starks and the FTW Champion is more than insulted. Kazarian hit a slingshot cutter, but Nakazawa took the ref. Cutler got the cold spray, tried to use it, but it locked up and Cutler sprayed himself in the face. Kazarian locked on the chicken wing for the win.
WINNER: Frankie Kazarian in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Taz & Excalibur had fun making fun of Cutler’s teeth in this one. This was all comedy and was honestly quite a bit of fun. Cutler is the perfect comic relief punching bag of The Elite. I’d much prefer seeing him wrestle over Nakazawa if I had to choose.)
(11) VARSITY BLONDS (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.)(w/Julia Hart) & JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. THE WINGMEN (Cezar Bononi, JD Drake, Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth)
Ricky Starks says JD Drake is an updated Mr. Hughes. I was going to say Roadkill or Big Bubba, but now all I see is Mr. Hughes. Jungle Boy & Peter Avalon started the match as they teamed on Celebrity Family Feud a few weeks ago, but are opponents tonight. Jungle Boy wiped out all Wingmen by himself before Pillman & Drake tagged in. Drake showed off his power, but Pillman used his momentum to work the arm. The Blonds did an assisted dropkick on Drake, but Bononi distracted Griff long enough let The Wingmen take control. Griff was isolated for a few minutes with Bononi hitting a Hoss Toss, JD with a cannonball, Avalon with a Frog Splash for two. Avalon’s shocked face remains hysterical. The crowd wanted a Luchasaurus hot tag and they got it as he cleaned house. Drake accidentally splashed Nemeth, but ate a Tail Whip for his troubles. Avalon was press slammed onto Bononi outside as Luchasaurus hit a choke slam on Nemeth and Jungle Boy locked on the Snare Trap for the submission. Post match, Luchasaurus raised Julia Hart on his shoulders, while the Blonds did the same to Jungle Boy.
WINNERS: Varsity Blonds & Jurassic Express in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: As much as I love live crowds singing along to Tarzan Boy, nothing compares to Taz singing it. It’s one of the best things in all of AEW. Excalibur pointed out if Taz sings enough of it, AEW can just use Taz’s version and they can save money, which popped Taz. This was a fun, action packed eight-man tag, with the crowd hot for both Jurassic Express & Varsity Blonds. I can’t help but wonder why Jurassic Express hopped The Blonds for a shot at the Bucks, but it is what it is.)
(12) DANTE MARTIN vs. LEE MORIARTY
Martin got a massive ovation following his break out showing in the six man tag last week on Dynamite. I’m happy that Moriarty got a loud Lee chant too during his introduction. After a quick back & forth, Martin hit a dropkick sending Moriarty outside, but Martin corkscrew flipped to the floor and sprung back inside. Moriarty took control with a nice arm breaker and that’s what he zoned in on with a crucifix pin for two. Martin ducked a high cross and fought back using his good arm until he hit a standing dropkick that was so high he almost missed Moriarty. Martin hit his signature double springboard moonsault for two. Moriarty hit a wrist trapped lariat for two of his own. Out of nowhere Martin hit a high sunset flip to catch Moriarty for the flash pin.
WINNER: Dante Martin in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: The crowd were behind Moriarty, but also were impressed by the flashy aerial moves of Martin as well. This is a match I hope to see again and really hope Moriarty gets another shot in AEW. This was fun for the brief time it went.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A very fun episode of Dark this week. This is exactly what I hope Dark is going forward with AEW out of Daily’s Place. You have 10-12 matches that throw a mix of talent out there to get the crowd hot for Rampage. We had three really hot matches tonight with the eight man tag, the Dark Order six man, and the main event being my favorites. I also like we’re getting Rosa vs. Ford presumably. Also, they kept Statlander looking strong, while continuing to build Conti. The comedy with Kazarian & Cutler was fun and we got some good squash matches as well. I vote to make Ricky Starks a permanent third mic with Taz & Excalibur. But if that happens, let’s just move Ricky a little further away from the pyro so he doesn’t have a heart attack every time is goes off close by him.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 8/10 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Spears & Wardlow, Thunder Rosa, Red Velvet, Parker & Lee, Dark Order, Hikuleo, The Hybrid2, Lucha Bros., no Acclaimed