SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
APRIL 26, 2022
RECORDED AT CURTIS CULWELL CENTER, GARLAND, TEXAS
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
AEW Dark Announcers: Excalibur and Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show.
(1) RED VELVET vs. DULCE TORMENTA
Velvet controlled Tormenta and kept her grounded early. Tormenta got a quick sunset flip for two, superkick to the midsection, but ran into a Velvet leg lariat. Velvet took way too long to follow, which allowed Tormenta to hit the 3 Amiga’s suplexes. Tormenta played to the crowd and got hung up in the ropes by Velvet. A corkscrew kick quickly spelled the end for Tormenta.
WINNER: Red Velvet in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: I like the new attitude for Velvet since her Owen Hart tournament qualifier against Willow. I just wish there would’ve been more of a proper turn though instead of just sitting the Baddie Section one week. The aggressiveness of Velvet is a welcome addition to her character.)
(2) LEE MORIARTY (w/Matt Sydal) vs. SERPENTICO
Serpentico attacked at the bell, but Moriarty used his speed to break down his opponent. Moriarty wrapped Serpentico up like a pretzel and did an airplane spin. After a clothesline, Moriarty missed a suplex and Serpentico guillotined Moriarty on the top rope. Serpentico got a roll up into a superkick and dropped a headbutt for a near fall. Excalibur informs us Luther isn’t there tonight due to being lost and still hanging around the Boston arena they were in the previous week, this time at a Shania Twain concert. What a visual that is, Luther singing Man, I Feel Like a Woman? Moriarty mounted his comeback with a big time boot to the face for two. Serpentico got a two off a roll up with the tights, but Moriarty fought back with a spinning chop and Flatliner for the win.
WINNER: Lee Moriarty in 4:00
(Howard Analysis: These two worked very well together and Moriarty is another who has started showing a more aggressive side in recent weeks on AEW Dark and Dynamite. I hope he potentially gets the Wheeler Yuta treatment, as going back to the original pitch from Bryan Danielson to Jon Moxley to join forces mentioned Yuta, Daniel Garcia and Lee Moriarty. With Yuta & Garcia in factions now, I hope Moriarty can be the next to break out and join up with an upper level group.)
(3) ANNA JAY & SKYE BLUE vs. THE BUNNY & RAYCHELL ROSE
Bunny & Rose tried attacking prior to the bell, but Blue & Jay fought them off to officially start the match. Anna & Bunny kicked things off, with Anna hitting a spin kick to the corner and somersault neckbreaker for two. Rose pulled the hair from the apron and Bunny wiped out Anna with a clothesline. Taz drops an incredible Rochelle, Rochelle reference when talking about Raychell and it pops Excalibur. Taz is a treasure on Dark commentary and I hope he’s doing this for years. At the 3 and a half minute mark, finally Bunny tagged in Rose for the first tag of the match. Rose immediately missed a clothesline and Anna dropped her with a slam. Hot tag made to Skye Blue, who cleaned house, swept the leg of Rose and caught a spin kick to Rose’s head. Bunny broke up a pin and took out Blue with a superkick. Blue low bridged Bunny to the floor, tagged Anna, who hit a back heel kick on Rose and the tap out from the Queen Slayer.
WINNER: Anna Jay & Skye Blue in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: It seems in recent weeks, with Tay Conti somewhat turning heel, Anna Jay has found a new partner in crime in Skye Blue. This felt like a singles match that turned into a tag match in the last minute, as it was Bunny vs. Anna for a majority of this contest. Regardless, Anna & Skye have been building momentum as a team, while Bunny continues to search for a partner of her own. Which begs the question, where has Penelope Ford been? Not on AEW Dark, that’s for sure.)
(4) PENTA OSCURO (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. QT MARSHALL (w/Aaron Solo)
The crowd was firmly behind Penta, as QT told the fans he doesn’t suck, which just got the crowd more riled up. QT got a boot to the midsection, but Penta got a stiff kick and head scissors. Aaron Solo ran distraction to prevent a Penta dive, but Penta didn’t fall for it and hit a Sling Blade on QT for two. QT gained the advantage and tied Penta up by his mask on the ropes, took the ref and Solo got in a few cheap shots. Alex Abrahantes started to chase after Solo with a shovel around ringside. Penta got untied, escaped a corner ten punched and hung QT up with a double stomp in the ropes for two. QT foolishly started a chop battle with Penta, who is wearing a vest, so obviously he won that exchange. As Penta went for a home run shot, QT hit a beautiful enziguri, but Penta responded with a superkick. Penta was going to break QT’s arm, but Solo jumped on the apron, only to eat a superkick of his own. With the ref turned to Solo, Nick Comoroto hit the ring and laid out Penta with a spear, but QT only got two. QT signaled for the Diamond Cutter, missed, opted for a moonsault out of the corner, but Penta hit a superkick in mid air. Penta wrapped up QT, snapped his arm back and got the pin.
WINNER: Penta Oscuro in 7:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Who did QT Marshall piss off to have to face Minoru Suzuki & Penta Oscuro on back to back shows? Suzuki turned poor QT into a mannequin on AEW Dark Elevation with a forearm last night. You can always rely on QT to be an entertaining heel and tonight was no different, as the crowd was fully supportive of him getting his ass kicked by Penta. This was a very solid back and forth match that really flew by. The visual of Alex chasing Solo with a shovel is ridiculous, yet hilarious and gif worthy.)
(5) ABADON vs. CHARLETTE RENEGADE
Abadon blocked a kick from Renegade and fired one off of her own. Renegade tried a sunset flip, but Abadon no sold and just sat on the chest. Abadon hit a running leg drop onto the back of the head and senton to follow. Just like that, Black Dahlia connects and Abadon made short work of her victim.
WINNER: Abadon in 1:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Another one bites the dust courtesy of Abadon, who is on quite the AEW Dark win streak. Eventually I’d like to see Abadon get into a feud or potentially an Owen Hart qualifier that she wins. She continues to be impressive and steamrolls her opposition.)
(6) THE HARDY BOYS (Matt & Jeff) & TOP FLIGHT (Dante & Darius Martin) & FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. PRIVATE PARTY (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy) & THE BLADE & ANGELICO & MAX CASTER (w/Anthony Bowens)
This is sort of a rematch from last week’s Elevation, just with the addition of Kazarian & Caster. Kazarian & Angelico kicked things off with a quick series of reversals that led to a stalemate. The Blade made the tag and was picked apart briefly by Top Flight, as was Quen. Matt Hardy & Max Caster both tagged in and Platinum Max was isolated by The Hardys, who dished out their signature double team offense before the match broke down. Everyone but Jeff & Caster spilled outside, as Bowens ran distraction to allow Caster to gain advantage. The heel team kept Jeff isolated for about 4 minutes until Kassidy missed a Swanton and Kazarian made the hot tag to clean house with three springboard leg drops. Private Party tried to attack Kazarian, who rolled through and made the tag to Darius, who wiped out Private Party with a 619 on the bottom rope, while Dante hit a huge dive to the outside. Darius with a nice gut wrench German suplex, but Angelico broke up the pin. Darius found himself in no man’s land and was lit up with strikes until Private Party hit an assisted neckbreaker springboard splash for two. Kazarian made the save with a slingshot cutter, while Top Flight took out Blade with lightning fast double teams. Caster ate a sling shotgun dropkick from Dante, while Quen rolled up Darius with the tights for two. Darius countered a suplex into a brainbuster on Quen to make the tag to Matt, who hit a Twist of Fate, while Jeff connected with a Swanton for the pin.
WINNERS: The Hardy Boys, Top Flight & Frankie Kazarian in 13:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Obviously this match was taped prior to the announcement Darius Martin has been injured, so here’s hoping he gets well soon and has a speedy recovery. I’d like to also welcome back Angelico to Dark, as he’s been out with an injury himself, having just returned last week on Elevation. This was an action packed and super fun main event that got a long time for everyone to get involved in the match. It’s so cool seeing young teams like Top Flight and Private Party being in there with a team like the Hardys and once everyone is healthy again, I’d like to see a tag match with Matt & Jeff taking on either of those teams in a regular tag match.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Much like last week, I really enjoyed this episode of Dark that was taped in front of a much bigger live Texas crowd. You really had everything you could want out of these six matches tonight. Abadon & Velvet looked strong in squashes, Moriarty, Anna & Skye continued their winning ways and QT & Penta had a fun 7 minute battle. The match of the night goes to the 10 man tag with just how much action was involved. The crowd was fully behind Team Hardy and it was exactly the kind of main event this show needed. It’s back to Universal Studios for tapings this weekend for the next month of shows. I’m still hopeful we get more competitive matches, but I’ll just stop there since I don’t want to sound like a broken record.