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AEW DARK TV REPORT
MARCH 1, 2022
RECORDED AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, ORLANDO FL
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Paul Wight, Mark Henry, Eddie Kingston
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show.
(1) LEE JOHNSON vs. DARIAN BENGSTON
Both men traded side headlocks before Johnson got a head scissors escape. Bengston suckered Johnson in with a handshake and back rake, but Johnson made him pay with a running back elbow and vertical suplex. Bengston hit a knee lift on the apron, but missed a follow up springboard moonsault. Johnson responded with an AJ Styles moonsault into a reverse neckbreaker off the ropes. Johnson put Bengston away with a fisherman’s neckbreaker for the victory.
WINNER: Lee Johnson in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Solid little opener that I wouldn’t have minded getting more time. Bengston looked good in defeat and it’s always nice to see Big Shotty Lee in singles action from time to time, as he’s usually in tag action with Brock Anderson.)
-A video package on Sonny Kiss’ music on the Who We Are compilation, the representation and experiences everyone involved in the album share.
(2) SONNY KISS vs. ASHTON STARR
Kiss fired off a few early takedowns before doing a nice single arm rope walk into an arm drag. A step up hurricanrana followed by Kiss, but Starr was able to plant Kiss with a tilt a whirl back breaker. Starr dumped Sonny onto the apron, but Kiss hit a high kick. Kiss tried a springboard, but Starr countered into a Northern Lights for two. Starr wasted far too much time and Kiss hit an overhead throw and corkscrew kick for the three.
WINNER: Sonny Kiss in 2:30
(Howard Analysis: Quick victory for Kiss, who is officially in the win column with his first singles win of 2022.)
(3) THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. DONOVAN IZZOLENA & B. JACK
Caster trash talked early, but ate a dropkick from Izzolena. That didn’t last long, as Caster hit a dropkick of his own before Bowens made the tag. Excalibur plugs an upcoming show in Fort Myers and Taz said he was going to open yogurt shops in the area, but decided not to. B. Jack literally just slowly walked into the ring and got beat up for his troubles, something that baffled Taz. Caster hit Izzolena with a spinning back suplex on the edge of the ring before Bowens hit his spinning slam and Caster hit a Mic Drop for three. B. Jack disappeared after getting beat up for a few seconds.
WINNERS: The Acclaimed in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Caster’s opening of his rap was “The whole roster couldn’t lace our boots, how we gonna wrestle Questlove from The Roots?”It was a line that popped even Izzolena. This was pretty much a handicap match for poor Izzolena, who was probably punished by his partner for laughing at Caster’s rap.)
(4) MARINA SHAFIR vs. DANIELLE KAMELA
This is the AEW debut of the former Vanessa Borne. Kamela worked a wrist lock early, but Shafir hooked a triangle to escape the hold. Kamela went back to the wrist, but Shafir pie faced her in to the corner. Kamela connected with a dropkick and somersault neckbreaker for two. Kamela tried to work the arm, but Shafir countered into a throw. Shafir locked in a straight jacket choke, sent Kamela to the ropes where she just collapsed. It looked like she was playing chicken briefly and tried to take Shafir down, but Marina had it scouted and dropped Kamela with a slam. Shafir locked in a quick submission and that was that.
WINNER: Marina Shafir in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This was Kamela’s first official match since leaving NXT back in early 2020. All she did was work the arm while on offense, which ultimately was her undoing since Marina can throw her opponents all over the place.)
(5) DANTE MARTIN vs. JACK EVANS (w/Angelico & Jora Johl)
Dante tried an early dive, but Evans literally dove out of the way before takeoff. Evans suckered Dante to the floor and took control until Dante did a head scissors using the stage. Back inside, Evans knocked Dante off the top rope and rained down punches. Body scissors transition into a Muta Lock variation from Evans was quickly released so Evans could hit a snap suplex. Dante fought back, but was tripped by Johl. Evans hit a head scissors, which sent Dante to the floor and Evans hit what looked like a diving kick but only got about 5% of it. In the ring, Evans hit a flying kick and standing sky twister press for two. Evans jaw jacked with the fans while on the second rope and Dante hit a running somersault hurricanrana to begin his comeback. Dante pancaked Evans and hit a running dropkick for two. There was a little miscommunication with Evans trying a springboard back handspring into something, which he didn’t get, but Dante sold it like he did. Regardless, it ended up in a two count before Dante clotheslined Evans outside. Dante hit a massive tornillo that took out Johl & Evans. Back inside, Dante hit a double jump moonsault for the win.
WINNER: Dante Martin in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This is the first time we’ve seen Evans on Dark since October of last year and only the second time since having his head shaved from Orange Cassidy. Which begs the question, what was the point of that match? Evans’ hair is entirely back at this point. I was kind of underwhelmed by this match, as these two were on different pages a few times in this one. Evans tried to ground Dante for most of the time and we didn’t get much high flying as a result. Once Dante got control, he hit a few flashy high risk moves and won it.)
-The Wingmen cut a brief promo about their bodies (I’m not kidding, that was it). The highlight of this being Pretty Peter Avalon’s hair. I have no idea what purpose this served.
(6) ABADON vs. SAHARA SEVEN
Seven said she didn’t sign up for this, but was able to take Abadon down with a running uppercut in the corner. Abadon rose from the dead with Seven’s head turned and wiped her opponent out with a charge. Abadon snapped her head in place and hit a running back elbow. Abadon hit a knee lift in the corner and release German that dropped Seven on her noggin. Abadon repeatedly stomped down onto the chest of Seven before putting her away with Dahlia for another win.
WINNER: Abadon in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Dahlia slays another victim, as Abadon gets another impressive victory.)
(7) DIAMANTE vs. VIPRESS
Both ladies traded super stiff chops and forearms early before Diamante wiped Vipress out with a running back elbow. Taz said Diamante is pounding down elbows like he’ll be pounding down bourbon when AEW goes to Vegas soon. Vipress turned the tables momentarily with some strikes, but Diamante avoided a German suplex into a cazadora stunner. Diamante hit Code Red for a quick win.
WINNER: Diamante in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: It’s been a while since we’ve seen Diamante in singles action on Dark. It’s always fun to see her pick up wins, as she really had to fight for that cazadora stunner. Luckily that Code Red hits every time.)
(8) KIERA HOGAN vs. KELSEY RAEGAN
Hogan took Raegan down early and hit a few running hip attacks in the corner. Raegan battled back with uppercuts, but Hogan hit a dropkick out of the corner to regain control. Hogan took out the leg and hit a step up leg drop for two. Raegan spun out of a suplex, but ate a superkick and Buzzsaw Kick to give Hogan the victory.
WINNER: Kiera Hogan in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: I’ve said it before that buzzsaw roundhouse kick would make Yoshihiro Tajiri proud. Once Hogan hit that, it was all over.)
(9) DANIEL GARCIA (w/2point0) vs. JOSH WOODS
Woods wants the Code of Honor, but Garcia refuses and reminds him this isn’t ROH. Garcia tried to pick the ankle, but Woods escaped and Garcia bailed to regroup. Both men traded arm drags before Woods put on the brakes, patted Garcia on the head before hitting a knee lift. Garcia pushed Woods to the ropes and Matt Lee hooked the leg of Woods, which allowed Garcia to get the takedown. Woods tried a drop down, but this time Garcia put on the brakes and drove his knee into the neck. Garcia picked Woods apart and applauded his effort in doing so. Both men traded forearms while Woods had wrist control the whole time. Woods hit a jawbreaker into an overhead throw and overhead belly to belly. Woods connected with a running knee in the corner for two, but Garcia floated over a suplex for a school boy for two. Garcia locked in a sleeper and Saito suplex for another two. Garcia wanted his Scorpion Death Lock, but Woods got a roll up into a near fall. Woods hit a butterfly suplex neckbreaker for another two of his own. Woods nailed a deadlift German and release German, but Garcia ran Woods throat first into the top rope while he tried a third suplex. Garcia dropped Woods with a Gotch Style Piledriver for the three.
WINNER: Daniel Garcia in 6:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This was some really good stuff here on what should’ve been the main event of this episode. The grappling and counters these two did was excellent and it’s a match I’d like to see again. Garcia continues to impress and Woods, the few times he’s been in AEW, has looked real good as well.)
-Shawn Dean has a video package on his theme music on the Who We Are compilation.
(10) SHAWN DEAN vs. WILL AUSTIN
Dean fired off a few arm drag variations and dropkick that sent Austin to the floor. Dean tried a dive, but ate a leaping Austin kick from the floor. Austin hit a running corner kick, flipped out of the corner and hit a hurricanrana. Austin missed a corner splash and Dean lit him up with a few clotheslines. Dean hit a float over into a suplex slam before going up top for a big splash. Dean opted not to cover and instead put away Hit’em with the Deal, a wrist clutch driver, for three.
WINNER: Shawn Dean in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Quick win for the Captain, who gets his third win of 2022.)
(11) ORANGE CASSIDY & WHEELER YUTA vs. AARON SOLO & NICK COMOROTO (w/QT Marshall)
I would never have expected this, but Solo & Yuta started the match with a test of strength. Yuta took Solo down with a monkey flip and Comoroto made the tag and wanted a test of strength. Yuta foolishly gave it to Comoroto and to the surprise of no one, Comoroto won. Comoroto hoisted Yuta up over his head by one arm and dropped him until Orange made the tag. Comoroto wanted another test of strength, but Orange put his hands in his pockets. Comoroto took the glasses off Orange, but got booted in the midsection and Orange allowed Comoroto to put the glasses back on him. Yuta & Orange did a double suplex on Solo, with Orange’s hands still in his pockets. Orange got a one count and asked referee Bryce how much it was, that popped Taz. QT took the ref, which allowed Solo to hit a corkscrew kick and Comoroto took over on Yuta. Comoroto pressed Yuta over his head ten times, but only got a two count. Yuta hit an Angle Slam on Solo and made the lukewarm tag to Orange, who lit up Solo with his little kicks. Orange hit a high cross off the top for two. Comoroto took the ref, QT tripped Orange, Comoroto connected with a stalling vertical suplex for a near fall. Orange remained isolated until he hit a Stundog Millionaire before Yuta made a hot tag. Yuta skinned the cat, tried for a German on Comoroto, but Orange helped with a double back suplex. Comoroto landed right on his head as QT shoved Yuta off the top with the ref’s back turned. Comoroto hit a big spear; Solo made the tag and hit about 5% of a top rope foot stomp for two. Solo tried a pin attempt with QT’s assistance, but Bryce finally caught them and tossed QT. Bryce waved bye to QT as Yuta hit a crazy seatbelt lock pin attempt for two. Orange was caught off the top by Comoroto, but Orange swung into a DDT. Orange Punch into a German suplex on Solo won it for Yuta.
WINNERS: Orange Cassidy & Wheeler Yuta in 14:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This match maybe went long, but the payoff was good as QT got his hand caught in the cookie jar and it ultimately spelled the undoing for The Factory. Yuta & Orange are a fun duo on Dark, but this is literally the only show they ever team on, so their tag wins really doesn’t result in much other than a victory.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was the final set of matches from the taping last month. I think this means another set of tapings is on tap and I really hope we get some more competitive matches on Dark. I said it last week, but I wouldn’t mind some more sprinkled in each week. AEW certainly has the roster to bring in some of these guys we only see on Dynamite & Rampage every so often in the ring. I’d love for there to be more storylines and meaningful matches on Dark. Which I realize could be hard taping so far in advance, but you could put together solid matches with the stacked roster. I digress, as for tonight; Garcia vs. Woods would be Match of the Night, with the main event being fun as well. The rest was mostly your standard Dark squashes.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 2/22 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Matt Sydal vs. Serpentico, Varsity Blonds vs. Kross & Rosas, Skye Blue vs. Ruthie Lee, more