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AEW DARK TV REPORT
MARCH 8, 2022
RECORDED AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, ORLANDO FL
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur and Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-AEW announcers Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show.
(1) ANNA JAY (w/-1) vs. MARINA TUCKER
Anna hit an early shoulder tackle and hip toss before she popped Tucker with a back heel kick. Tucker fought back with a scoop slam and cartwheel elbow for one. Anna sent Tucker to the corner and hit a wheel kick followed by a Dangerous Jay kick and Queen Slayer for the quick tap out.
WINNER: Anna Jay in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Lightning quick win to kick off AEW Dark tonight and Anna Jay made -1 proud with her victory.)
(2) SCORPIO SKY vs. SONNY KISS
Kiss showed the speed off early, but Sky showed off his power with a shoulder tackle. Sky foolishly posed, was planted with a hurricanrana and back handspring kick in the corner. Kiss connected with a back flip knee to the midsection for two. Sky cut off Kiss’ momentum and targeted the back with multiple back breakers. Kiss baited Sky to the corner and took him out with some kicks and spinning back elbow. Kiss hit a springboard cross body for a near fall. Sonny rolled through a TKO into a roll up for two, but as both recovered, Sky cracked Sonny in the face with a big boot. That set the stage for a TKO to give Sky the win.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 5:30
(Howard Analysis: The last singles match Scorpio Sky lost was after he won the AEW Face of the Revolution ladder match to earn a shot at Darby Allin’s TNT Title. Since then, he’s gone 12-0 in singles action, with all those wins coming on AEW Dark & Elevation, the toughest of competition coming against a few Dark Order members and Sonny tonight. Sky is ready for tomorrow night and it’s safe to say whoever wins, has a tough task with Wardlow waiting the week after.)
(3) RED VELVET vs. KIERA HOGAN
Lots of reversals out the gate by both ladies until Hogan hit a dropkick and clothesline in the corner. Hogan hit a charging hip attack and sliding dropkick for two. Hogan hit a step up leg drop off the back of Velvet for another near fall. Hogan attempted a combo, but Velvet had it scouted and popped Hogan in the face with a wheel kick. Just like that, Velvet hit The Final Slice for the surprisingly quick win.
WINNER: Red Velvet in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I was caught off guard at how quick this match was and disappointed it didn’t go longer. Velvet wasted no time once she got in control.)
(4) TOP FLIGHT (Darius & Dante Martin) vs. THE WINGMEN (Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth w/JD Drake & Cezar Bononi)
Excalibur called Pretty Peter’s haircut a Brazilian Blowout, which Taz says you can take antibiotics to help that. Taz said if you filled Avalon’s nose with nickels, you’d be a millionaire. One Liner Jones over here tonight. Both Darius & Dante showed to be too quick for Avalon, who whiffed on arm drags on both men. Top Flight made lightning quick tags that dropped Avalon with a snap suplex, slingshot senton combo. Nemeth suffered the same fate, but as Dante posed, Avalon attacked from behind. With the ref turned, Nemeth knocked Dante off the ropes and Dante smacked the ring steps coming down hard. Avalon took the ref and The Wingmen went to work with cheap shots. Nemeth did his Pee Wee Herman strut before he kept Dante grounded. Dante used his speed to cause a miscommunication with The Wingmen and Darius made the hot tag. Nemeth was dropped with a German for two and Avalon was dropkicked onto Bononi & Drake on the outside. Nemeth ate a double enzugiri form the apron, Darius hit a slingshot Flatliner, while Dante hit his double jump moonsault for the win.
WINNERS: Top Flight in 6:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Welcome back Darius Martin, as this was Top Flight’s first official televised tag match (they’ve taped a Dark match yet to air) in a year. They picked up right where they left off and this will be the first win of many for a team I hope contends for the tag titles down the line.)
(5) KRIS STATLANDER (w/Best Friends) vs. KELSEY RAEGAN
Yuta, Chuckie T & Trent got booped by Statlander, who had to go get Danhausen from the back to get a big pop from the crowd. Statlander slammed Raegan down early, but Raegan turned the tables with a delayed chop that turned into a slap. That just angered the alien, who press slammed Raegan over her head with a slam. Excalibur popped Taz by saying Statlander is built like a linebacker. Statlander wasted no time and put away Raegan with the Big Bang Theory. The Best Friends gave the people what they want with a big group hug.
WINNER: Kris Statlander in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Danhausen might be very nice, very evil, but he has to be very happy, very delighted by Statlander’s dominance here tonight.)
-Tony Schiavone interviewed Private Party backstage about their main event match tonight with Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson. They trash talked them a bit, as Tony looked baffled. Matt Hardy walked in and called Arn Anderson history and told Private Party to steal the show.
(6) AQA & RUBY SOHO vs. DIAMANTE & EMI SAKURA
AQA frustrated Diamante early with her speed and quick tag to Ruby. Basement dropkick by AQA and single leg dropkick from Ruby, angered Diamante, who tagged Sakura. Ruby avoided a hair mare and took the fight to Sakura, who fought off both Ruby & AQA. Very awkward moment where Sakura rolled AQA into a sunset flip on her own partner and got them into a double submission, which allowed Diamante to just dropkick the pile. Sakura did the We Will Chop You chops, which was a chant that Taz tried to get going, despite this show being taped. AQA fought off a back breaker submission and made the hot tag to Ruby, who lit up Sakura with strikes and back heel trip. Sakura fought back with a chop lariat combo, but Ruby avoided a Diamante Code Red and hit No Future instead. AQA made the tag and hit a beautiful Shooting Star Press for the victory.
WINNERS: AQA & Ruby Soho in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This is the perfect match for AQA to get experience with established names in the AEW women’s division and I’d like to see more of that. That shooting star in a thing of beauty and having AQA under Ruby’s wing in tag matches is a huge positive.)
(7) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/Jose) vs. ALAN “5” ANGELS & COLT CABANA
Welcome back from Australia Colt Cabana, who is in action for the first time in AEW since late last year. Blade welcomed Colt back with corner strikes, but Colt used his speed to gain control soon after. Angels made the tag and hit a Shining Wizard for two. Angels momentum was quickly halted once Butcher came in and wiped out the smaller Angels. Colt jumped in and allowed Angels to hit a hurricanrana that sent Butcher to the floor. Angels tried another off the apron, but Butcher caught Angels and swung him into the steps. Fireman’s carry into a gut buster got Blade a two count back inside. Blade just launched Angels face first into the middle rope, but Angels fought back and made the Colt hot tag. Butcher dared Colt to hit him, but Colt opted for shoulder blocks and some quick jabs. Blade ate a bionic elbow and hit Butcher with the Flying Apple and moonsault for two. Angels made a tag, but was distracted by Jose on the apron, as Blade made a blind tag and hit Drag the Lake for the victory.
WINNERS: The Butcher & The Blade in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Excalibur correctly described Butcher & Blade as 1980s action movie villains. I dug this match quite a bit and would call this my favorite match so far tonight. Some fast paced action, some brawling with Butcher & Cabana and a nice tag win for Butcher & Blade, who hopefully can stay healthy as a duo and start stacking wins.)
(8) NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. SKYE BLUE
Blue avoided an early Beast Bomb into a hurricanrana, but foolishly tried an Irish whip, which failed. Nyla grabbed the ref and Blue was pulled to the floor by Vickie. Nyla sent Blue into the railing, but only got a one count back inside. Blue avoided a choke slam, but was planted with a neckbreaker and leg drop. Nyla missed a splash, ate a super kick, but got two. Blue went to the top, tried a cross body, got caught and was planted with a Beast Bomb for the victory.
WINNER: Nyla Rose in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Once Nyla got her grips on Skye, it was all over, as the downfall for Skye was trying a cross body on Nyla. It was academic soon after and the Beast Bomb was inevitable.)
(9) JAY LETHAL vs. SERPENTICO (w/Luther)
This was a game of catch me if you can early, with Lethal missing a slingshot dive outside, but caught Serpentico with a DVD onto the apron. Lethal was able to hit his tope suicida and two count back inside. Serpentico battled back with a hurricanrana and spinning flatliner, but celebrated instead of following up. Lethal tried a suplex three times and couldn’t hit it, so he opted for a spinning neck breaker and then finally hit his suplex. Lethal hit his Machismo Elbow off the top, but got a two, which surprised Lethal. Serpentico avoided Lethal Injection, hit a superkick and short DDT for two. Taz regrets not doing the short DDT in his career and Excalibur reminds him he wasn’t The Human DDT Machine. Luther screeched instructions, but it distracted Serpentico too long and he missed a Swanton off the top. Lethal knocked Luther off the apron and hit Lethal Injection on Serpentico for the win.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 5:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This turned into a fun match that was crammed with a lot of stuff into a 5 minute time frame. I’ll say it all the time, but Serpentico is very under appreciated on Dark, he always delivers against all opponents. I hope to see Lethal more on Dark, he’s always great in the ring and I hope this leads to more competitive matches.)
(10) PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen w/Matt Hardy) vs. LEE JOHNSON & BROCK ANDERSON (w/Arn Anderson)
Kassidy & Johnson had a quick exchange with near falls to start things off before both kipped up into a face off. Both men showed respect until Quen suckered Johnson in with a cheap shot. Brock made a blind tag and Quen was dropped with a double suplex slam. Matt Hardy grabbed the boot of Johnson, which allowed Quen to take control and isolate Johnson. Atomic drop, enziguri, camel clutch, double stomp was all delivered in a combo that got Kassidy a two count. Johnson fought out of the Private Party corner and was able to make the Brock hot tag. Brock fired off clotheslines and corner strikes on Quen, while Kassidy screamed in mid air off a back body drop. Brock hit a nice gut wrench slam on Quen, but as Matt jumped on the apron, Arn Anderson pulled him down and went Armed Anderson, as he clocked Matt. Brock didn’t see the blind tag to Kassidy, as he hit Quen with a spinebuster, went for the pin, but Kassidy rolled him up with his feet on the ropes to steal it.
WINNERS: Private Party in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Inexperience was the downfall of Brock, who didn’t see the blind tag and it cost him. A fun, quick main event, with two teams looking to get on track in the tag team ranks, which I will never complain about.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I dug this episode of AEW Dark quite a bit. The crowd in an arena has been missed, as has shows not dominated by squash matches. Nearly every match, save for Anna Jay & Statlander’s, were names we’re familiar with and were established names on the AEW roster. That’s something that has been sorely missing on Dark in the Universal Studios era so far. I hope more of those are in the future. I love squashes don’t get me wrong, but there’s such thing as too many. Luckily, tonight wasn’t that night, as I would give Match of the Night honors to Cabana & Angels vs. Butcher & Blade or Lethal vs. Serpentico. The Top Flight return to the ring deserves a very close honorable mention. AQA & Ruby could be something, Scorpio is ready for AEW Dynamite and Nyla looked strong as well. This was a top to bottom enjoyable episode tonight.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 3/1 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Daniel Garcia vs. Josh Woods, Best Friends vs. Nightmare Factory, Shafir vs. Kamela, more