3/22 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Jay Lethal vs. J.D. Drake, Blake Christian vs. Rohit Raju, Hobbs vs. Del Sol, more

BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Analysis, detail, and results of this week's episode of AEW Dark

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

AEW DARK TV REPORT
MARCH 22, 2022
RECORDED AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, ORLANDO, FL.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

AEW Announcers: Excalibur and Taz

Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez

-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show, as the excellent theme of The Wingmen kick us off.

(1) JAY LETHAL vs. J.D. DRAKE (w/The Wingmen)

Lethal showed off his speed early, but had a Woo-Off with Peter Avalon on the apron. Drake sent Lethal to the floor and The Wingmen pounced while the ref was distracted. Drake hit his violent bounce back clubbing blow off the ropes before back inside he grounded Lethal. Lethal fought back, did a baseball slide on the floor and wiped out Avalon & Nemeth, who kept colliding into each other. Lethal wiped out Drake with a tope, but tried chopping Bononi, who no sold it. Back inside, Lethal caught Drake with the Lethal Combination for a near fall. Drake avoided Lethal Injection, but ran into Bononi on the apron. Drake hit a nice Black Hole Slam for two, but missed the follow up moonsault. This set the stage for a Lethal Injection to give Jay the victory.

WINNER: Jay Lethal in 6:00

(Howard’s Analysis: This was a fun opener, with Lethal thwarting all of The Wingmen over the course of the match. I’m very much looking forward to Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole tomorrow on AEW Dynamite.)

-Post match, Tony Schiavone interviewed one of the faces of Ring of Honor, Jay Lethal. Lethal was excited about the purchase and is looking forward to what the future holds. That future is Lee Moriarty at Supercard of Honor, which should be an excellent match.

(2) THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE vs. SHAWN DEAN & CARLIE BRAVO

Blade & Dean started things off with a chop off, but both made quick tags to their partners and it was Bravo who was fought off Butcher. Blade tripped up Bravo and leveled him with a lariat outside, as Bravo fought back with a back suplex on Blade in the ring. Dean made a hot tag and wiped out both Butcher & Blade, but made a quick tag to Bravo, who hadn’t fully recovered yet. Butcher was planted with a neckbreaker, but Bravo yelled what their plan was and Blade wiped them out. Dean was sent outside, which allowed Bravo to be dropped with Drag the Lake for three.

WINNERS: The Butcher & The Blade in 2:30

(Howard Analysis: Quick win for Butcher & Blade tonight, who look impressive ahead of what is easily their biggest match to date in AEW tomorrow night against Sting, Darby & The Hardys.)

(3) ANTHONY OGOGO vs. RAY JAZ

Ogogo showed off his power early, as he avoided an arm drag from Jaz and hit a huge back body drop. Big time knees to the mid section and spinning back elbow followed. Jaz got off a few shots, but walked right into an Angle Slam. Ogogo took off the hand wrap of his right hand and connected with a pop up punch that KO’d Jaz. Rick Knox made a 10 count, which commentary pointed out would’ve been quicker had Ogogo just pinned him, but it is what it is.

WINNER: Anthony Ogogo in 2:30

(Howard’s Analysis: Dominating showing from Ogogo, as are most of his matches. I’d like to see him in a slightly competitive match soon to continue his growth in AEW.)

(4) NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. KACY LENNOX

It took Vickie 20 seconds to trip Lennox, which resulted in Nyla steamrolling the poor girl. Lennox did get a boot up and clothesline, but it had zero effect, as Nyla hit a lariat of her own. Nyla draped Lennox on the ropes and hit the diving knee off the top for the easy win.

WINNER: Nyla Rose in 1:30

(Howard’s Analysis: Nyla is stacking wins, which I can only assume will either lead to a potential title match with Thunder Rosa or maybe she steps up and we get a clash with Jade Cargill for the TBS Title?)

(5) BLAKE CHRISTIAN vs. ROHIT RAJU

Christian showed off his lighting quick speed to hit a dropkick, float over and quick wheelbarrow into a frog splash for two. Raju avoided a float over and hit a leg sweep, but was slow to follow up. Taz even pointed out how long it took him to capitalize. Raju hit a double stomp to the chest and got two of his own. Christian responded with a nice handspring corkscrew kick, front slam and split legged moonsault for two. Christian missed a dive off the top and Raju responded with a leaping flatliner for two. Raju popped Christian with a jumping knee, but ran right into a standing Spanish Fly before Christian hit a springboard 450 for the win.

WINNER: Blake Christian in 3:30

(Howard’s Analysis: It’s great to see Christian in AEW and I hope we either see him again or in ROH. That split legged moonsault would make Rob Van Dam proud. I obviously wish this match would’ve gone longer, but credit both guys; they fit a lot in for the time given.)

(6) THE ACCLAIMED (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) vs. LIAM GREY & ARIAN ALANIS

Caster clobbered Alanis immediately with a back elbow and running knee lift to follow. Bowens made the tag and hit a double snap suplex before scissoring with his partner for the crowd. That felt awkward to even type out, but you know what I mean. Alanis fought back and made a tag to Grey, but all they got were a few strikes until Bowens wiped them both out. A nice airplane spin into a slam led to a spinning slam from Bowens and Mic Drop from Caster to get the victory.

WINNERS: The Acclaimed in 2:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Always the entertaining duo, The Acclaimed keep getting wins in 2022 and should be a key act in the AEW tag division all year.)

(7) A.Q.A. vs. VALENTINA ROSSI

Rossi tried to get an early start, but A.Q.A. got a quick arm drag and near fall. A.Q.A. tried a leaping cross body off the second rope, but didn’t really hit it and both ladies just fell down. Rossi took over and kept asking how the sauce was to A.Q.A, who fought back with multiple leaping sledge hammers and Sling Blade. A.Q.A. missed a wheel kick, but opted for an enziguri. This led to a spinning neckbreaker off a cravat to get the win for A.Q.A.

WINNER: A.Q.A. in 2:00

(Howard’s Analysis: This match was very shaky, but it’s the perfect place for A.Q.A. to get reps in for singles action. I did dig her neckbreaker finisher.)

(8) TONY NESE vs. KARAM

Nese backflipped out of the corner to show off his athleticism, but ran right into a slam from Karam as a result. Karam couldn’t follow and was hung up by the throat on the top rope and hit with a springboard moonsault by Nese. Karam fought out of a single leg crab and launched Nese off the ropes into a big time lariat. Nese raked the eyes to escape a fireman’s carry and hit a German suplex into the corner on the big man. This led to Running Nese for the quick victory.

WINNER: Tony Nese in 2:30

(Howard’s Analysis: Karam had a moment there to look really awesome, but it didn’t last, as Nese made quick work of his opposition.)

(9) ABADON vs. ANGELICA RISK

Taz points out how Abadon is a tad demented, as the crowd had a big Abadon chant to start. Risk hit a leg sweep, but celebrated, which let Abadon rise up and clobber her with a leaping back elbow. Abadon hit a big senton and Dahlia for the quickest win of the night thus far.

WINNER: Abadon in 1:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Abadon wasted absolutely no time racking up this win, as Dahlia slays another.)

(10) GUNN CLUB (Austin & Colten w/Billy) vs. THE BRICK CITY BOYZ (Victor Chase & JCruz)

Bell sounded and Colten wasted no time connecting with the Colt 45 for the win. That’s literally the entire match.

WINNERS: Gunn Club in 30 seconds

(Howard’s Analysis: Welp, Abadon enjoyed her fastest win of the night for 30 seconds, the length it took The Ass Boys to destroy their opponents.)

(11) MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. GEMMA JEWELS

Jewels was able to get off one strike from the corner before Mercedes chopped her opponent to the corner. Excalibur asked if Gemma Jewels is related to Jewel the singer, which Taz thinks Bryce Remsburg is because he has an annoying singing voice. That line popped Excalibur, as Mercedes hit a running corner kick and gnarly Dragon Sleeper for the submission.

WINNER: Mercedes Martinez in 1:30

(Howard’s Analysis: I mean, I can only say this so much tonight, but Mercedes made short work of the opposition tonight.)

(12) VARSITY BLONDS (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr. w/Julia Hart) vs. TONY VINCITA & SOTHEARA CHHUN

The Blonds chucked their jackets at Julia during their entrance, but she has one eye and didn’t see it coming, which broke Taz. Julia responded by just sitting on the steps with her back turned to the match the entire match. Chhun & Vincita tried isolating Griff, but he fought both men off with big boots and double noggin knocker. A slingshot shoulder tackle by Pillman sent both Vincita & Chhun outside to regroup. Back inside, Vincita was bealed across the ring, but Chhun tripped up Pillman and was isolated. Pillman fought off a double suplex and made the hot tag to Griff, who cleaned house with clotheslines and splashes. Chhun was sent outside with a big boot and The Blonds hit a combo of strikes on Vincita that ended with a Pillman Falcon Arrow for the win.

WINNERS: Varsity Blonds in 3:30

(Howard’s Analysis: It’s been a little over two months since Julia has been blinded by Malakai Black on AEW Dynamite and I have no idea if there will be a payoff to that anymore. Unless she’s going to turn on both guys or turn them against each other, I have no idea. Just something needs to happen with Julia & The Blonds, as I’ve liked her new mean streak whenever she wrestles.)

-Post match, Tony Schiavone interviewed The Blonds about being eliminated recently in the Casino Battle Royale, which shows you how long this show has been taped. Griff said The Blonds have been in the Top 5 rankings and the tag titles are in their future. Julia just stood there. I don’t like The Blonds chances against Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley tomorrow on Dynamite.

(13) MARINA SHAFIR vs. LAYLA GREY

Grey dove for an ankle pick, but Shafir side stepped her and hit a nice back breaker. I just noticed Marina’s entrance video is still playing as this match is happening, as she planted Grey with a slam. Shafir did a cartwheel, punted Grey in the spine and got a quick reverse triangle choke for the submission.

WINNER: Marina Shafir in 1:30

(Howard’s Analysis: Shafir goes to 4-0 in AEW, as tonight she barely showed any expression, she was out to inflict punishment and succeeded.)

(14) POWERHOUSE HOBBS vs. FUEGO DEL SOL

Fuego backflipped off the top into the grips of Hobbs, but Fuego’s speed avoided disaster. Just as I type that, Hobbs ran over Fuego so violently the ref had to check him. Hobbs launched Fuego to the corner and hit a big splash before he just laid Fuego on the ropes to club away. Hobbs picked Fuego apart with a suplex and whip to the corner that nearly turned Fuego inside out. Fuego avoided a shot, hit an enziguri out of the corner and dropkick off the top. Hobbs was sent outside and hit with a tope suicida, but foolishly tried a slingshot cross body and was caught. Fuego got free, posted Hobbs, hit a nice Tornillo and Tornado DDT back inside for two. Fuego missed a double foot stomp off the top, ran into a spinebuster and Hobbs submitted him with a Torture Rack.

WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs in 4:00

(Howard’s Analysis: Fuego had his one minute of hope and got in a lot in that 60 seconds, but ultimately, Hobbs mowed him down and was no match for Alabama’s #1 Luchador.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I know AEW Dark & AEW Elevation are shows to get folks wins and up their records, but tonight felt like overkill with the quick squashes. There’s only so many ways I can say someone made short work of their opponent. 14 matches in one hour were too much in my opinion. Four of those matches went over three minutes. JD Drake vs. Jay Lethal was match of the night by a mile and Hobbs steamrolling dudes will always be entertaining. If you like squash matches, this is the show for you. I’m hopeful the next set of tapings will have squashes at least spread out a bit.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S DARK REPORT: 3/15 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Young Bucks & Brandon Cutler vs. Dark Order, Ruby Soho, Top Flight, Archer, Sakura, Garcia, 2point0, more

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