12/7 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Brandi Rhodes returns to the ring, John Silver vs. Aaron Solow, more

BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


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

AEW DARK TV REPORT
DECEMBER 7, 2021
RECORDED AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, ORLANDO FL
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 and made sure to plug Price.com, the sponsor for tonight’s episode.

(1) LEE MORIARTY vs. MISTERIOSO

Moriarty avoided a Misterioso handspring back flip and got a leaping cross body off the top. Moriarty ran into a corner boot and clothesline for a one count. A running corner dropkick and slingshot stalling senton got a two. Moriarty hooked a deep arm drag into a crucifix pin for a near fall of his own. Leaping corner uppercut, leg sweep, and arm trap belly to belly got Moriarty another two. Misterioso fought back with a snap powerslam and double jump moonsault which landed on all of Moriarty’s knees. Misterioso took too long going to the top and missed a moonsault, which allowed Moriarty to hit a Pepsi Twist and Impaler Flatliner for the win.

WINNER: Lee Moriarty in 5:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Lee gets back in the win column following a really strong showing against C.M. Punk last week on Dynamite. I’m very happy for Lee that he’s getting a chance to shine in AEW.)

(2) LIO RUSH vs. RAYO

Steiner math rears its ugly head again as Taz says Team Taz has 125% chance to win the Dynamite Battle Royal tomorrow night. Lightning fast start for Lio, who sent Rayo to the floor, wiped him out with a low tope. Back inside, Rayo fought back with a wheelbarrow bulldog for two. Lio fired off a strike combo and handspring back elbow. Lio faked a leg sweep and hit a corkscrew kick, which led to the Frog Splash to get the three.

WINNER: Lio Rush in 3:00

(Howard Analysis: Taz really put over how Team Taz will force Lio to retire tomorrow night. I fully expect Dante & Lio to swerve Team Taz down the line, but I don’t know if it’ll happen as early as tomorrow.)

(3) BRANDI RHODES vs. ANGELICA RISK

Brandi got a shoulder block and a few arm drags early before Risk got a corner splash in. Risk took too much time posing, ate a pump kick and side kick to the face for two. Brandi slammed Risk down by the hair, so Risk returned the favor. Risk again posed for the crowd and connected with a running corner hip attack. I have no idea what Risk was trying to apply after that, but it was a leg lock, I think. Brandi escaped easily and hit a superkick flush. After a few quick clotheslines, Brandi hit a shining wizard and pop up forearm. Brandi locked in almost a Regal Stretch for the submission.

WINNER: Brandi Rhodes in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Brandi’s theme song starts with “Jealousy is the sincerest form of flattery” and I don’t know if that’s a good opening line for a babyface. This is Brandi’s first match back since October 2020 where she tagged with Red Velvet in a victory over Leyla Hirsch and who is now Cora Jade of NXT. As for tonight, there’s obviously ring rust, but Brandi looked pretty good for not being in a ring for 14 months. Having her knock off the ring rust on Dark is perfect.)

(4) EMI SAKURA (w/Mei Suruga) vs. RYO MIZUNAMI

Both ladies chopped the holy hell out of one another to start the match. Sakura switched it up to slaps to the face and leg kicks, but Ryo laid Emi out with a shoulder tackle. Mei tripped up Ryo to allow Sakura to take control with a hair mare. Sakura hit a chop on the apron and running body tackle that sent Ryo to the floor. Sakura took the ref and Mei attacked Ryo outside before sending Ryo back inside. Sakura missed Queen’s Gambit, as Ryo hit her machine corner chops. Ryo hit a big leg drop and leveled Sakura with a lariat for two. Sakura fired back with a chop and lariat before she ran into a Ryo exploder suplex for two. Ryo connected with a Spear for a super close near fall. Mei jumped on the apron, Sakura faked an injury, Mei hit Ryo with her cepter and Sakura rolled up Ryo to steal the win. Post match, Mei & Sakura put the boots to Ryo until Riho made the save and chased the heels off.

WINNER: Emi Sakura in 5:30

(Howard’s Analysis: If you haven’t seen the gif of Emi & Mei being terrified of Abadon last night on Elevation, it’s hysterical. I’m really happy we’re getting this feud on Dark, as I’m looking forward to the eventual tag match we’ll see from this.)

(5) ANTHONY OGOGO (w/QT Marshall) vs. BARON BLACK

Baron got a one count off a school boy early, before being ran over with a shoulder block. Baron hooked a brief abdominal stretch, tried for a cloverleaf, but Ogogo kicked away. Baron ran into a back breaker and multiple scoop slams. Ogogo hit a clothesline and snap suplex for another two. Baron fired back with strikes, as he poured it on before hitting an atomic drop into a back stabber. Corner roaring elbow and exploder only got Baron a one count. QT ran distraction, which allowed Ogogo to get an eye poke and Olympic Slam for the win.

WINNER: Anthony Ogogo in 5:00

(Howard’s Analysis: All I want for Christmas is a Baron Black victory in AEW. He more than deserves it. Much like Brandi, this is the perfect show to knock off ring rust for Ogogo. You can build up Ogogo into a monster before doing something with him on Elevation or TV. Not sure the eye poke and QT interference was needed though, especially after an interference win in the previous match.)

(6) WARDLOW & SHAWN SPEARS vs. RICHARD KING & JAY MARTE

Wardlow gave Marte a headlock to start, was quickly shrugged off and turned Marte inside out with a lariat. King tagged in and was actually able to get off a few shots, but foolishly tried a hurricanrana on a guy who does more powerbombs than anyone in the company. Wardlow hit two powerbombs on King, one on Marte, then two more on King. Spears made the blind tag, talked up Wardlow and stole the pin.

WINNERS: Wardlow & Shawn Spears in 2:30

(Howard’s Analysis: This was the easiest win in Spears’ life. I could easily see this all blowing up in Spears’ face eventually, but for the time being, he’s racking up wins due to the work of Ward Dog.)

(7) FUEGO DEL SOL vs. LUKE SAMPSON

Whoever is in charge of the graphics messed up and we never got a graphic shown, just Taz telling us it was next. Fuego tried for an early dive off the top, but Sampson planted him with a nice uranage. Sampson kept Fuego grounded until Fuego got a jawbreaker, only to get flattened with a full nelson slam for two. Fuego floated over a suplex hit a neckbreaker and got a few corner uppercuts. Fuego missed the Tornado DDT, but hit an enziguri and springboard moonsault. Fuego went up top, hit his Tornado DDT and step up double stomp for the victory.

WINNER: Fuego Del Sol in 5:00

(Howard’s Analysis: This match took me back to the WCW Worldwide days where you had a big bruiser of an enhancement guy against a luchador. The mismatch is great, but the luchador gets the win.)

(8) TEAM TAZ (Ricky Starks, Dante Martin & Powerhouse Hobbs w/Hook) vs. JT DUNN & OMKAR & KEKOA

Dunn was smart to get tossed down by Hobbs and tag out immediately to Omkar, who was steamrolled and triple teamed. Starks took Omkar down, posed, but ate a big boot from Kekoa. Dunn made a quick tag and starched Starks with a right hand, Starks tagged Dante, who cleaned house and hit a crazy high tope over the top. Dante literally could’ve landed in the fourth row if he wanted to. Starks hit a Spear on Kekoa, while Dante hit a double jump moonsault on Dunn for the win. Post match, Tony Schiavone talked to Team Taz about the Dynamite Battle Royal. Starks said they have the numbers on their side, saying they have 100% chance of winning, which is better than Taz math, but still wrong. Starks ran down Lio Rush, who came to the stage and said when the stakes are raised, Team Taz can’t get it done, just ask Hobbs. Lio guaranteed Team Taz won’t win the battle royal and they’ll feel the rush. The talking went longer than the match tonight.

WINNERS: Team Taz in 3:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Dante didn’t do anything to show he was a heel, but my goodness the dive was incredible. I’m excited to see where this Team Taz vs. Lio Rush feud goes.)

(9) THUNDER ROSA vs. SOFIA CASTILLO

Rosa had ground control early before she settled for some chops and arm drags. After she hit a dropkick and running corner elbow, Castillo fired off a roaring elbow and knee lift for one. Rosa shot a double leg and hooked on a reverse pendulum submission before she let go. Castillo did fight back briefly, but Rosa hit a corner lariat, double knees and shotgun dropkick. Rosa hit a Death Valley Driver and sank in the Peruvian Necktie for the submission. Post match, Tony talked to Rosa about her semi-final match with Jade Cargill. Rosa thanks the crowd for being behind her during her whole career. Mark Sterling interrupted and said Jade wasn’t there, she was busy doing rich person things. Sterling talked trash and suckered Rosa to turn her back from the stage, so Jade attacked from behind with a pump kick.

WINNER: Thunder Rosa in 3:00

(Howard’s Analysis: I like Sterling, but have never thought this pairing with Jade has clicked. I think Jade is perfectly fine on her own. Regardless, I do like that they used Dark as a way to get some heat on their TBS tournament match, which I believe Jade wins. I believe Rosa needs to be the one to uncrown Britt Baker.)

(10) JOHN SILVER (w/-1) vs. AARON SOLO

Silver controlled the action for the first few minutes, pressing Solo over his head, hanging him up on the top. Solo responded pulling Silver by his arm throat first into the ropes to take control. Solo trash talked -1, which immediately got the crowd to boo him. I firmly believe -1 would destroy Solo. Solo mocked the posing of Silver, which allowed Silver to fight back with forearms. Solo tried for a hurricanrana, but Silver put on the brakes and hit a Liger Bomb for two. A striking battle ensued, Silver rolled through a backslide to get off a combo kick, but ran into a Solo corkscrew kick. Silver tripped up Solo, hit a pump kick and Spin Doctor for the win. For the third match in a row, Tony interviewed the winner, as Silver said on Dynamite, he’s going to touch and beat Danielson. He said Johnny is Hungee for some vegan Bryan Danielson meat.

WINNER: John Silver in 5:30

(Howard’s Analysis: Strong showing and win for Johnny Hungee, who seems ready to hopefully not get his head kicked in tomorrow by Bryan Danielson. After the match, -1 kicked Solo to the floor and proved my point that he’d destroy The Factory member.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m a fan of these ten match episodes of Dark. This had only a couple matches that weren’t squashes, but I’d say match of the night went to Mizunami vs. Sakura. I’m really looking forward to the tag match we’ll get from that. We saw the return of Brandi Rhodes and return to Dark for Anthony Ogogo, two people who should hopefully have more matches on this show as the weeks go on. I’d say overall this was a skippable episode, but if you want a solid women’s match, I’d seek out Ryo vs. Emi. Silver & Solo put on a solid, but quick main event, too.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 11/30 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Adam Cole vs. Anthony Greene, Bear Country vs. Wardlow & Spears, more

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