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AEW DARK TV REPORT
JUNE 28, 2022
RECORDED AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, ORLANDO, FLORIDA
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
AEW Dark Announcers: Excalibur, Caprice Coleman, and Taz
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the 150th episode of AEW Dark.
(1) WILLOW NIGHTINGALE vs. ASHLEY D’AMBOISE
Both ladies traded arm bars until Willow punted Ashley in the chest to avoid a back drop. A hard chop and running boot floored Ashley to give Willow a two count. Ashley fought out of a fireman’s carry and hit a nice leg drop leg lariat. Willow fired back with lariats and a nice spinebuster for two. Ashley fought out of the corner, rolled into the ring into a somersault neckbreaker for two of her own. Willow popped an enziguri and pounced Ashley into the ropes. Big time cannonball corner senton led to the gut wrench into the Doctor Bomb for three.
WINNER: Willow Nightingale in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Fun opener, with both ladies getting in some solid offense. It’s always good to see Ashley on Dark, as she’s come a long way since her first appearance a while back. Also want to wish the best of luck to Willow as she makes her Tokyo Joshi Pro debut in July, looking forward to her success over there.)
(2) NICK COMOROTO & AARON SOLO (w/QT Marshall) vs. KNULL & MATT VANDAGRIFF
Solo cracked Vandagriff with a corner chop and snap suplex before Comoroto made the tag to hit a stalling suplex of his own. Comoroto taunted the big man Knull on the apron, no sold the shots from Vandagriff until he back flipped and hit Comoroto with an enzugiri. Comoroto responded with a bodyslam and elbow drop until Solo tagged back in. Vandagriff caught Solo with a snap DVD for the double down as both big men tagged in. Knull is larger than Comoroto and hit a corner splash, but Comoroto caught Knull the second try, as he powered out of a choke slam. Solo nearly got chokeslammed, but Comoroto hit a spear to save his partner. Vandagriff was sent outside by Solo, as Comoroto hit an Alabama Slam on the big Knull for the win.
WINNERS: Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo in 3:30
(Howard Analysis: My goodness, the impact of that finish from Comoroto on the bigger Knull was impressive. This was a quick win for The Factory, as they get back on track following their losses to YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Lance Archer at Forbidden Door this past week.)
(3) MATT SYDAL vs. JAKE SOMETHING
Taz is pulling no punches in the 150th episode of Dark, saying without any proof that Sydal has heat with Excalibur for short changing him on a PWG show. Sydal got a quick roll up out of the gate and went after the legs with kicks. A very nice spin kick to the face in the corner from Sydal, who took way too much time to follow up and Something hit a stiff elbow to the face. Clubbing blows from Something, who mowed down Sydal with a Thesz Press for two. Sydal ate multiple hard corner buckles and was trapped in a sleeper. Sydal got free with more leg kicks and nice leg lariat for the double down. Sydal hit a high kick in the corner and a top rope Meteora for two. Something cut off Sydal in the ropes and hit a diving corner spear. Both men traded near falls until Sydal hit a high kick to the head, but Sydal caught Something with a hurricanrana pin off a back suplex attempt to get the victory.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: The finish caught even the crowd off guard and some could be heard booing, as I think they were hoping for Something potentially winning? This was a very back and forth match and I’m happy it got time. Jake Something looked good, even in defeat and I wouldn’t have minded an upset, but Sydal is the established AEW name and there’s literally never any upsets on Dark, so I get it.)
-Wheeler Yuta cut a strong promo on Blood & Guts tomorrow night as well as Tony Nese in tonight’s ROH Pure Title match. I’m happy they’re giving Yuta more promo time on Dark.
(4) ATHENA vs. AMBER NOVA
Athena kipped up off getting slammed down by her hair, caught Nova in a cross body into a swinging back breaker. Taz pointed out that’s what happens to Cross Body Jones, you get caught. Nova hit rolling Northern Lights suplexes for a two count and immediately went to a sleeper. Taz said he wore orange boots once, didn’t get over, so Excalibur said he sold them to Amber Nova, which popped Taz. Athena took a back bump to break the hold and did a stalling suplex. A thrust kick and running low flatliner led to wrist trapped head lock submission for the win.
WINNER: Athena in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: You know your move is innovative when even Excalibur & Taz don’t know what to call it. Regardless, it looked awfully impressive, as this was a dominating performance from Athena, who continues to rise in the ranks and has to be one of the favorites, along with Kris Statlander, to challenge Jade Cargill next for the TBS Title.)
(5) DANTE MARTIN vs. LUCKY ALI
Ali was taken down by Dante and wanted a high five, which Dante didn’t fall for and hit a slingshot dropkick. Dante used his speed to avoid the grasps from Ali, who did a backslide turned into a flip, which draped Dante stomach first on the top rope. An atomic drop into a neckbreaker from Ali grounded Dante with a reverse waist lock. Both men collided off the ropes, as Dante spilled to the apron. Dante back flipped off a back suplex attempt, used his athleticism to hit a high cross body for two. Dante got a small package after getting his ankle picked, as Ali went to the floor and immediately was flattened with a pescado. Back inside, Dante hit his Nose Dive double jump moonsault for the victory.
WINNER: Dante Martin in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I could simply say Dante Martin loves to do flips and move on. The athleticism this dude possesses amazes me every time I see him. Ali gave it a good effort, but you have to ground Dante to have a chance, but the speed and flips were just too much.)
(6) JULIA HART vs. VALENTINA ROSSI
This is the first time seeing the full blown dark side Julia Hart in action on Dark and I already love it. Both ladies traded arm bars, until Julia slammed Rossi down by the hair. Stiff forearm and corner chops from Julia, who floated over a suplex into forearms. Rossi got to the ropes to escape a submission, as Julia continued to beat her down. Julia hit a back heel trip and standing moonsault, but no cover. Commentary points out she’s wanting to inflict pain more so than making pin attempts. Julia hit a charging corner forearm and locked on almost a Rings of Saturn for the submission.
WINNER: Julia Hart in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: The aggressive dark side of Julia has arrived and will become a force to be reckoned with going forward. Give us Abadon vs. Devil Julia in a match on Dark, it’s only right.)
(7) FUEGO DEL SOL vs. MARCUS KROSS
Somewhere Griff Garrison is watching this match not knowing who to cheer for, his Vlog buddy or former tag partner. Kross worked the arm, but Fuego responded with a cravat. A dropkick sent Kross to the corner, where Fuego fired off charging uppercuts and spear. Both men traded corner chops until Kross hit a springing back elbow. Kross wisely zoned in on the leg with a dragon screw. Taz & Excalibur said Kross is no relation to Kris Kross or Christopher Cross, which is good to know. Fuego hit a spinning cross body to the floor, but Kross cut him off in the ropes back inside. Fuego locked Kross in with a Dragon Sleeper in the ropes, tried a step in head scissors, which looked ugly. Kross responded with almost a Disaster Kick, but ate a thrust kick and Tornado DDT from Fuego. Instead of going for the pin, Fuego floated over into almost a Muta Lock, minus the leg lock, for the submission. Post match, QT Marshall & The Factory came out and offered Fuego a spot with them, but he turned them down.
WINNER: Fuego Del Sol in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I assume they left in the bad looking head scissors from Fuego because Excalibur said it looked as ugly as the paella they had in catering, which popped Taz. Aside from that spot, this was a fun little match with Fuego looking pretty strong here. I have no idea why QT decided now is the time to offer him a spot with The Factory, despite referencing Fuego’s match with Miro that happened about a year ago. I assume this is just beginning between those two.)
(8) 10 & EVIL UNO vs. RYAN NEMETH & JD DRAKE
Nemeth did his Pee Wee Herman strut out of the corner after he chopped 10, but it had no effect. 10 slammed Nemeth down with a chop, shoulder tackle and delayed vertical suplex for a ten count. Uno made the tag and did the same, but fittingly for a one count. Excalibur said Mark Henry once asked him how long 10 will hold an opponent up in a suplex for. That line got Taz, who had a cough attack and demanded a cough button for future episodes. Uno was tripped up by Drake long enough for Nemeth to send Uno to the floor and get clobbered with a bounce back clubbing shot to the head from Drake. Back inside, a bodyslam, headbutt and fist drop combo from Nemeth & Drake kept Uno isolated. A high low from The Wingmen got Nemeth a two count. At this point, Taz accidentally called referee Paul Turner Paul Diamond and everyone broke, myself included. 10 made the hot tag, hit corner pump kicks, diving shoulder on Drake and spinebuster on Nemeth. The match broke down until Uno spilled outside awkwardly after 10 sort of back dropped his own partner to the floor by accident. 10 was sent outside and Nemeth hit a pendulum DDT for two. Nemeth hit a neckbreaker and Drake with a moonsault, but 10 shoved Nemeth into the pin attempt to break it up. Drake missed a corner cannonball, Uno hit a stunner on Nemeth, as 10 hit a slingshot spear. A hot shot into a German suplex from 10 led to a discus lariat on Nemeth to give Dark Order the win. Post match, Drake attacked Uno on the floor, then 10 inside the ring from behind. Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi hit the ring for the 4 on 2 attack until Silver & Reynolds evened the odds. We had an 8 man brawl, which will lead to I assume next week’s tag match.
WINNERS: 10 & Evil Uno in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Good continuation of this feud from last week. It’s another chapter in this story during these set of tapings. Next week we’ll get the big 8 man tag, which should be fun. I need to point out how hilarious Taz making a Paul Diamond reference was. He’s made Paul Shaffer and now Paul Diamond name drops when trying to talk about Paul Turner. Taz & Excalibur are my favorite commentary duo in wrestling, there’s no comparison.)
(9) ARIYA DAIVARI vs. CALEB KONLEY
Daivari got in a few opening strikes until Konley showed off his speed with a monkey flip into a dropkick. Konley did an atomic drop, but didn’t use his knee, instead just dropped Daivari on his own ass. Daivari raked the eyes to avoid a fireman’s carry into a reverse DDT for two. Daivari kept Konley grounded until Konley got a leg sweep. Konley tried a standing senton, but Daivari got the knees up. Daivari put the boots to Konley in the corner and gave a hard corner buckle for two. A brief sleeper from Daivari, Konley rolled out and hit a series of strikes. Konley did a slingshot head scissors, back fist, back breaker into a flatliner for two. Daivari ducked a lariat, hit a neckbreaker, but missed a frog splash off the top. Konley hit a massive Blue Thunder Bomb for a close near fall. Konley was slow to capitalize and was hip tossed into the corner from Daivari, who hit a huge frog splash off the top for the victory.
WINNER: Ariya Daivari in 6:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This match was action packed from the start and both guys looked excellent. This was Daivari’s first win in AEW and hopefully not the last. He’s a name I’d like to see in the Pure title mix potentially down the line once he’s built up some wins. Yuta vs. Daivari would be a fun battle. Credit to Konley in his AEW debut, he had a ton of offense and hopefully we see him again on Dark.)
(10) WHEELER YUTA vs. TONY NESE (w/Mark Sterling) – ROH Pure Title
The judges for this title match are BJ Whitmer, Christopher Daniels and ROH Women’s Champion Mercedes Martinez. The Code of Honor was adhered and the crowd was firmly behind Yuta, who worked an early hammerlock. Nese escaped, hit a back elbow out of the corner, but ran into a bodyslam and standing senton for one. Yuta hit an open palm strike, which Nese cried it was a closed fist. While the ref got between the two, Nese got a cheap shot punch and took control. A single leg crab led to Yuta grabbing the rope to use his first of three rope breaks. Multiple hard corner buckles gave Nese a two count, as did a snap suplex. A body lock with the legs from Nese, who opted to let it go and drive Yuta to the corner. Nese wanted a superplex, Yuta fought free, only to eat a rolling uppercut. Yuta tried to get out of the clutches of Nese by holding onto the ropes and ref Mike Posey had no choice to call for Yuta’s second rope break. Yuta fought back with a massive Manhattan Drop and springboard flying forearm. Nese tried to create distance outside, but Yuta immediately hit a tope. As Nese got back in the ring, he took the ref as Mark Sterling grabbed Yuta’s legs, wrapped them in the ropes and Nese went to grab Yuta and the ref called for the third rope break, which is questionable at best. Yuta was frustrated and popped Nese in the face with a closed fist and was warned, so he’s at a massive disadvantage here. Nese spat in the face of Yuta, trying to get him to throw a punch to get disqualified, but Yuta didn’t bite. Nese instead hit a pump handle driver for a very close two, a Boston Crab, as Yuta is out of rope breaks. Yuta climbed the ropes to escape the hold, but ate a spin kick to the face from Nese. To the top went Nese, but he missed a 450 badly and Yuta got anvil elbows into the Regal Stretch for the submission. Post match, Nese & Yuta shook hands until Daniel Garcia pounced on Yuta off the stage with Matt Menard & Angelo Parker. The Jericho Appreciation Society getting their last shots in on a Blackpool Combat Club member heading into Blood & Guts tomorrow night. Garcia said after that match, he’s going to strip Yuta of his honor and of his belt.
WINNER: Wheeler Yuta in 10:00 to retain the ROH Pure Title
(Howard’s Analysis: With the odds stacked against him, Yuta fought back and defended his title successfully. I liked the story they told in this one, as Nese & Sterling used every trick in the book to try to steal the title from Yuta. I liked the Josh Woods match with Yuta a little more than this one, but this was an excellent main event. I wonder if Yuta vs. Garcia will happen at ROH’s next PPV? If not, please put it on Dark so I can review it!)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Happy Anniversary AEW Dark, congratulations on 150 episodes, as I’ve reviewed just under half of them for the Torch. This episode was quite a bit of fun, as the main event would be my Match of the Night. That co-main with Daivari & Konley deserves some respect and the rest of the show was filled with solid entertaining matches as well. When this show gives matches time to breath and not cram them with so many squashes, it immediately becomes a more entertaining show, so I hope that continues to be in the future for Dark. I also hope it becomes a show to showcase the ROH talent down the line.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S DARK REPORT: 6/21 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Jay Lethal vs. Blake Christian, Caster vs. Aeon, Statlander in action, more