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AEW DARK TV REPORT
JULY 19, 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 show.
(1) JORA JOHL (w/Private Party) vs. LUKE SAMPSON
Early Snake Eyes from Sampson, but Johl caught the big man with a snap powerslam as a response. Private Party got in a cheap shot behind the ref’s back while Johl hit a suplex. Sampson fought back with forearms until Johl caught him on a cross body attempt into a fall away slam. Sampson responded with a series of clotheslines, jawbreaker and back suplex. The straps came down from Sampson, but Private Party took the ref as Johl hit a back elbow and pump kick for the win. The ref distraction didn’t really make sense, as Johl didn’t cheat to win this.
WINNER: Jora Johl in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: We learned last week on Rampage that Andrade still owns the contracts of the former Hardy Family Office members, so that apparently means Jora Johl as well. My issue is, if you don’t watch Dark, you’d have zero idea he was a part of that crew, even when Matt Hardy was the leader. I know he’s getting ring time on Dark, which is great, just mention him from time to time so others who don’t watch Dark know who he is.)
(2) LEE MORIARTY vs. RED JONES
Taz is a huge fan of this match because there’s literally someone he can call Jones. Moriarty did what he does best to start, wrap his opponent up like a pretzel. Jones got the ropes and hit a cheap shot knee to the midsection. Moriarty responded with a few arm drags to regain control. That was only momentarily, as Jones drove Moriarty face first into the corner and huge stomp to the thigh. A massive diving low cross body got a two for Jones. Moriarty blocked a pump handle into a hip toss, as a right hand from Jones woke up Moriarty. A huge pump kick from Moriarty led to the Border City Stretch for the submission.
WINNER: Lee Moriarty in 5:00
(Howard Analysis: TAIGASTYLE, all caps, no spaces, gets back on the winning track after his strong showing against Jonathan Gresham last week for the ROH title. Next up for Moriarty is Dante Martin, in what should be a very fun match. I wouldn’t mind seeing Moriarty paired up with Stokely Hathaway soon.)
-Lexy Nair interviewed Fuego Del Sol about his match with QT Marshall tonight. Fuego said he’s named this because he’s fired up, QT is light work and gets people fired up too. Fuego put over QT’s talent, but will use his fire to burn the Factory to the ground.
(3) SERENA DEEB vs. VIVA VAN
Serena worked the wrist and arm early, but Van answered with some forearms. Serena was sent to the corner and got a roll through submission. While sitting on Van’s head, Serena locked in almost a reverse butterfly submission that couldn’t feel great. Serena threw some uppercuts, but Van avoided one, swept the leg and got a sliding lariat for one. Serena got a corner clothesline and slingshot into the bottom rope. Serena hit the Deebtox for the victory and post match, she sent a message to Mercedes Martinez by locking on the Serenity Lock for good measure on Van.
WINNER: Serena Deeb in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I was surprised how much Serena gave Van here. I can’t wait to see Mercedes vs. Serena for the ROH Women’s Title at Death Before Dishonor. While I wish their team would’ve lasted longer, just steamrolling opponents, their match should be excellent come the PPV.)
(4) MARINA SHAFIR vs. AMBER NOVA
Marina no sold a shoulder block and caught Amber in a cross body, but Nova floated over into a headlock. Marina trapped the knee into a knee breaker, hit a judo throw and picked the ankle. Nova tried an enziguri, but Marina just got glanced by it and hooked an ankle lock. Marina screamed at Nova to hit her and just hit another throw into the Greedy submission.
WINNER: Marina Shafir in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Quick win for Marina, as Amber didn’t get off much of anything, she ran into a buzzsaw here tonight.)
(5) KONOSUKE TAKESHITA vs. ANTHONY HENRY
Takeshita tried an early sunset flip, but Henry locked the head of Takeshita with his feet and did a nice neck crank. Henry hit a straightjacket lungblower, snapmare and punt kick to the lower back. Takeshita would eat kicks and keep rising until he blocked a kick with a hard forearm. Huge Takeshita-line sent Henry to the floor, as he wiped out Henry with a somersault suicida that cleared the top rope. In a Vertebreaker position, Takeshita had Henry locked in a submission until they went to the corner and Takeshita hit a big superplex for two. Henry rolled through a Blue Thunder Bomb into a side headlock takedown, but Takeshita got a cross face. Henry rolled into a pin attempt for two, but as they both got up, Takeshita hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. Henry blocked a jumping knee strike and hit a leg wrapped dragon screw. A forearm battle ensued until Takeshita lit up Henry, who responded with an enzugiri, but Takeshita won the battle with a lariat. Henry got a kimura, transitioned into a cross arm breaker, but Takeshita stacked Henry up into a massive powerbomb for two. A lifting knee and jumping knee strike won it for Takeshita.
WINNER: Konosuke Takeshita in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was a really solid showing from both men, credit to Henry for pushing Takeshita here big time. I will keep singing the praises of how amazing I think Takeshita is. AEW has found a gem with him and I truly hope he becomes a top tier star. Go out of your way to see his matches outside of AEW if you’ve just been introduced to him in recent months. I’m hoping titles are in the future of Takeshita. I also respect his love for Cinnabon.)
(6) JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. JORDAN OASIS
Gresham showed respect off a takedown from Oasis early with a handshake, offered it again and got a cheap shot. Gresham unloaded chops that woke up Oasis, who dropped the ROH Champion with a chop of his own. There was a huge corner splash and cannonball senton to Gresham in the corner from Oasis. Gresham responded with a hurricanrana roll through into a stomp to the leg. Gresham was relentless in slamming the knee down repeatedly until Rick Knox called for the bell as I guess this was a submission.
WINNER: Jonathan Gresham in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I have zero idea why the ROH World Champion is wrestling sixth on a 14 match show and not near the main event, but it happened. It does seem like this whole heel turn and title match at the PPV this Saturday was rushed, but I believe Bryan Danielson was the original opponent. With injuries, you have to work with what you got, I just wish more time would’ve been spent in building Gresham for the AEW audience.)
(7) WHEELER YUTA vs. BRYCE DONOVAN
Yuta wasted no time grounding Donovan with hard hitting offense. Donovan was taken down easily and legs wrapped up as Yuta dared him to get the ropes until he bridged back that sank the submission deeper. Yuta released the hold, hit the ropes and ran right into a Boss Man Slam from Donovan for two. Donovan kept Yuta grounded with a half nelson until Yuta got free into a Manhattan Drop enziguri combo. Yuta went up top with a flying forearm, but Donovan responded with a roll up for two, with a handful of tights. A superkick sent Yuta to the ropes, but he skinned the cat and hit a nice German suplex into a bridge for three. Post match, Yuta told Tony Schiavone a Pure Rules Match is no place for a sports entertainer like Daniel Garcia. He said the day after the PPV, Garcia is going to struggle to get out of bed, will see a scar and remember who gave it to him.
WINNER: Wheeler Yuta in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: It’s amazing to see how far Wheeler Yuta has come over the last year. Around this time last year, he had his first upset win in AEW over Ryan Nemeth on Dark and look at him now. He’s only getting better.)
(8) DANHAUSEN vs. JAKE SOMETHING
Danhausen tried to curse Jake at the bell and Jake clobbered Danhausen with a forearm for two. Jake no sold a clothesline and leveled Danhausen with a clothesline. Jake hit what I can only describe as a flying crotch block for another two. Danhausen fought out of a fireman’s carry, fired off a curse on Jake, tripped him up and hit a quick snap release German suplex. Diving corner elbow, shoulder to the midsection and hit a Northern Lights for two. Jake rolled through a hurricanrana into a sit out powerbomb for two of his own. Jake took too much time to follow up and got flash pinned off a small package and Danhausen gets a win in his debuthausen.
WINNER: Danhausen in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was the Battle of the Arby’s Meat Boys from Ethan Page’s Vlog that I recommend checking out. Jake took nearly all of this outside of a few suplexes that no doubt Danhausen learned from his boy Hook. This had a little comedy, but ultimately Danhausen was victorious and the crowd popped big.)
(9) THE RENEGADE TWINS (Charlette & Robyn) vs. VALENTINA ROSSI & AVERY BREAUX
Breaux was trapped in the Renegade corner early, as the twins made fast tags and put the boots to Breaux. It happened so fast that the ref couldn’t remember who was the legal woman. Rossi made a tag and took down Charlette, but got a one count off a split splash. Robyn got a cheap shot on the apron and the twins took over with double team offense on Rossi. A very awkward looking handshake double elbow drop that probably should’ve been edited off happened. Rossi got free and made the hot tag to Breaux, who sent the twins into each other and the match broke down clunkily, which is a word I just made up. The twins did twin magic with the ref’s attention turned and the Renegades hit an assisted Hart Attack for the win. Post match, Tony Schiavone couldn’t tell them apart and tried to call out their twin magic and they played dumb.
WINNERS: The Renegade Twins in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Well, a lot of this was just clunky and off. I can’t say much more, only that hopefully more ring time on Dark will help.)
(10) MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. J-ROD
After a series of early clotheslines, Mercedes punted poor J-Rod in the face with a low running boot. J-Rod responded with a fireman’s carry Snake Eyes and handspring elbow to the corner. A running bulldog got J-Rod a two count on the ROH Women’s champ. J-Rod hit a snazzy looking twisting Vader Bomb out of the corner for another near fall. Mercedes battled back with heavy chops and Death Valley Driver for two. Violent party and leaping dropkick in the corner led to the Three Amigas, as the last suplex was a twisting neckbreaker off the ropes. Mercedes awkwardly got her Brass City Sleeper to win via submission. Post match, Serena Deeb came out to the stage and had a stare down with her opponent this Saturday on PPV.
WINNER: Mercedes Martinez in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Aside from the finish, which looked off, the rest was pretty solid stuff and Mercedes gave J-Rod a lot more offense than I thought. This was my first time seeing J-Rod and she held her own for the most part with the reigning ROH Women’s Champion, who has Serena Deeb in her sights in what should be a fantastic match like I said early.)
(11) VARSITY BLONDS (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. TERRENCE & TERRELL HUGHES
Fast tags and offense from the Blonds out the gate, as the Hughes brothers couldn’t get anything going. They’d get off one offensive move, but the Blonds would immediately regain control. I should point out, as this is all going on, Taz is talking about how he’s been struck by lightning twice in his life and once was in Des Moines, Iowa, so there’s your Taz trivia fact (that’s almost certainly a lie) of the week. A massive roaring elbow from Griff won things easily and they looked dominating in this match.
WINNERS: The Varsity Blonds in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: The Blonds face Christian & Luchasaurus tomorrow on Dynamite and I have a feeling they aren’t going to be as successful. I have no idea the direction The Blonds are going now that Julia Hart has left them, but in my opinion, Pillman needs to leave Griff.)
(12) QT MARSHALL vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
QT wouldn’t allow Fuego to do his high flying offense early and grounded the luchador to boos of the crowd. For some reason, someone in the crowd chanted You Can’t Wrestle at QT, which is odd to chant at a trainer. I digress; QT hit a nice back elbow off the top rope for two, but kept Fuego grounded. Fuego tried fighting back, but got hit with a handspring enziguri. QT tried for a Lionsault and missed, which gave Fuego his hope spot in a kick combo into a neck breaker. Springboard moonsault, kip up and running Shooting Star Press got a two count. Taz asks if Fuego is still on Sammy Guevara’s Vlog and Excalibur has no clue, annoyed Taz put him on the spot, which Taz laughed about. I don’t watch either Excalibur, its ok. QT caught a cross body into a swinging back breaker and flatliner. Fuego countered a Diamond Cutter into a roll up and sent QT to the floor and nailed an Asai Moonsault. Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo tried attacking Fuego, but he fought them both off. Fuego leapt off the top, but ate a QT right hand. Fuego responded with a Poison Rana, double stomp for two, then locked on a submission. Solo took the ref, Comoroto helped QT to the ropes for the break. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal wiped out The Factory boys and took them to the back, which allowed QT to get a low blow, piledriver, but Fuego kicked out at two. QT acted like he was going to punch the ref, he ducked and Fuego hit a low blow of his own. A Tornado DDT from Fuego sent QT outside, where Fuego hit another Tornado DDT through the ropes. Back inside, Fuego hit a Sky Twister Press, but pulled back too much on the leg and QT’s foot got the rope. Fuego went up top again, tried a Shooting Star, but QT caught him barely in a Diamond Cutter. QT hit another proper one for the victory.
WINNER: QT Marshall in 11:00
(Howard’s Analysis: That finish had Randy Orton vs. Evan Bourne feels, but wasn’t hit nearly as clean. With that one exception, this was a really fun match that picked up big time once The Factory was taken to the back by Martin & Sydal. With QT winning this one, you have to think a six man tag is happening soon with these fellas.)
(13) JAY LETHAL vs. LOGAN CRUZ
Pre-match, Lethal introduced the fans to his opponent and student, Logan Cruz. Lethal said this is going to hurt him a lot more than it’s going to hurt Cruz. At the bell, Cruz offered a handshake, but got slapped in the face and super kicked to the floor. Tope suicida from Lethal, who poured down punches. Lethal blocked a kick into a dragon screw, as Lethal zoned in on the leg back in the ring. Cruz tried fighting back with chops, but was flattened with a Lethal Combination. An avalanche dragon screw out of the corner and the Figure Four was applied for the quick submission. Post match, Tony interviewed Lethal about comments of Christopher Daniels defending Samoa Joe. Lethal said if Daniels isn’t careful, he’ll be a sacrificial lamb led to slaughter.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: A message was clearly sent to Samoa Joe ahead of their match on Saturday for the ROH TV Title. I wish Joe would’ve been around on TV more to build this match, but Lethal, Sonjay & Singh have done their part in making you want to see Joe kick their asses.)
(14) DANIEL GARCIA vs. ALAN “5” ANGELS – Pure Rules Match
The Code of Honor was adhered as Garcia got a quick takedown and pretty much placed Angels in the ropes, causing Angels to burn his first rope break. Angels picked up the speed, hit a leg lariat, but stopped from delivering punches in the corner, as closed fists aren’t allowed. Angels leapt to the corner, but Garcia shoved him to the floor, crashing down. Both men traded chops until Garcia hit a float over snap suplex for two. Garcia zoned in on the midsection and repeatedly jumped down on it. A Boston Crab was applied and Angels had no choice to use his second rope break. Garcia drags Angels to the corner ropes, but Angels fought free with a step through flatliner. An enziguri sent Garcia to the floor and Angels hit a low tope flush. Back inside, a Northern Lights Suplex got Angels a two count. Garcia fought back with a palm strike, back drop and running corner boot. A Northern Lights Bomb got a very close two count for Garcia. Angels countered a Sharpshooter into a roll up, we got a quick chop battle that turned into forearms and slaps until Garcia folded Angels up with a lariat. Garcia tried another, Angels countered again into a stalling piledriver for two. Garcia got the knees up to avoid a Frog Splash, locked in a Rear Naked Choke and Angels used his third and final rope break. Garcia went right back to the choke, but Angels climbed the ropes with Garcia on his back. In a unique finish, Angels passed out from the choke while on the second rope with Garcia still riding him, passed out and Garcia won it. Post match, Garcia locked on the Sharpshooter, as Wheeler Yuta hit the ring and Garcia bailed.
WINNER: Daniel Garcia in 10:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I really liked that finish, as you don’t see that often, but the Pure Rules allow it. Selfishly, when I saw they were building Yuta vs. Garcia on the last set of Dark tapings, I had hoped it would’ve been on Dark, which knew would never happen. Hopefully these two have a hell of a match on Saturday. Credit to Alan Angels in this one, who was a guy in AEW you’d always rely on for quality matches. This was the last match he taped for the company before parting ways with them. I hope he finds success wherever he goes.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m happy a lot of the ROH competitors on this Saturday’s PPV were featured tonight. The rest of the show was filler and probably didn’t need to be on this episode of Dark and maybe next week or the weeks after. I guess you film so many matches; you have to spread them out, so I understand. 14 matches feel like too much, though. The Match of the Night goes to the main event, as I really enjoyed Garcia vs. Angels, with Takeshita vs. Henry being a close second. I’d also give a nod to QT vs. Fuego, as they always have good chemistry together. The ROH PPV crew showed they are all ready to roll this Saturday, as Lethal, Mercedes, Serena, Yuta & Gresham will hopefully have strong showings come Death Before Dishonor.)