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AEW DARK TV REPORT
AUGUST 9, 2022
RECORDED AT VAN ANDEL ARENA GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY RYAN HOWARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
AEW Dark Announcers: Excalibur, Caprice Coleman, and Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show.
(1) PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) & THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE vs. ISAIAH BRONER & JAMES ALEXANDER & BRAYDEN LEE & SAM MOORE
Taz was happy there was an R in Broner’s name, as he was almost caught off guard for a second. Butcher & Blade took the fight to Broner early with a double overhead chop. Alexander tried a dropkick on Butcher, who no sold and hit a pop up flapjack. Quen hit a huge missile dropkick until Moore made the tag and was hit with a step up dropkick to the floor from Private Party. Lee jumped in and was immediately hit with a head scissors enziguri into a poison rana. Kassidy did a springboard moonsault to the floor, as Butcher & Blade hit Drag the Lake for the easy win.
WINNERS: Private Party, Butcher & The Blade in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Just quick destruction from the fellas who I guess are still associated with Andrade Family Offices? There was no mention of Andrade, so perhaps that ship has sailed now that he has Rush by his side? I’m fine with that, they could just be his henchmen whenever needed, but it does leave them without a home faction wise.)
(2) ANNA JAY A.S. (w/Matt Menard, Angelo Parker & Daniel Garcia) vs. MEGAN MEYERS
Anna still has her Join Us Dark Order theme, despite being in J.A.S. now. Knees to the ribs and clubbing blows started things for Anna. A somersault into a low head kick in the corner, as Daddy Magic & Cool Hand Ang trash talked Meyers. Anna missed a corner spin kick; Meyers missed a charge and fell right into the Queen Slayer choke for the submission.
WINNER: Anna Jay A.S. in 1:30
(Howard Analysis: Garcia, Menard & Parker have already showed their influence on Anna, as they waste no time in their squashes and neither did Anna Jay A.S. here tonight.)
(3) BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta)(w/Danhausen) vs. ROHIT RAJU & REN JONES
Trent & Raju traded forearms with Trent winning that exchange. Raju used his speed but Trent got his grips on Raju with two gut busters and lariat. Half and half suplex into Sole Food sent Raju to the floor, as Ren Jones became an instant heel by cutting off the best friend hug. Chuck trapped Jones in a Razor’s Edge position, but threw him back into a Trent powerbomb, which looked awesome. Danhause & Raju got into it on the floor, as Trent hit a Spear on Raju, as Chuck hit a rising knee on Jones inside. Trent hit a running knee and Strong Zero connected for the victory. Post match, Raju go in the face of Chuck & Trent, but was cursed by Danhausen and punched in the groin for his troubles.
WINNERS: Best Friends in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: If there’s one thing better than a Best Friends dominating win, it’s a curse and good old groin punch from Danhausen. I’m hopeful Best Friends get a good run in this trios tournament, as I always wish they’d have gotten a tag title run, they’re a great team.)
-Video package was shown on the Lucha Rules tag match tomorrow night featuring Andrade & Rush vs. Lucha Brothers. This led to Tony Schiavone on stage doing an interview with La Faccion Ingobernable. Andrade said they don’t respect anyone in the front office nor the fans, but Andrade respects Tony Schiavone because of his earring. Rush said he didn’t come to play; he came to destroy every wrestler in this company except Andrade.
(4) 10 & EVIL UNO vs. JD DRAKE & PETER AVALON
The Wingmen attacked right out the gate and controlled Uno for the first few minutes of the contest. Avalon & Drake picked Uno apart, as the crowd chanted for 10, who, despite hailing from The Keep, might know some folks in the Grand Rapids area, almost like he grew up there. Avalon hit a massive frog splash, but Drake missed a corner cannonball. Uno got free off a hanging neckbreaker and the hot tag made to 10, who cleaned house. Big corner pump kick to Drake and stalling 10 count vertical suplex on Avalon. Spinebuster planted Avalon, but as Drake held 10 in the corner, Avalon collided with his partner. A cazadora into a suplex led to 10 hitting a discus lariat for the win.
WINNERS: 10 & Evil Uno in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: The Dark Order vs. Wingmen is the Randy Orton vs. John Cena feud of AEW Dark. Bet you weren’t expecting that comparison, huh? This is a feud they can always go back to whenever they need a match for Dark or Elevation. It was better tonight in front of a lively crowd firmly behind 10 and Uno, who continue to rack up wins.)
(5) MARINA SHAFIR & NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. HEATHER RECKLESS & JOSELINE NAVARRO
Marina & Nyla attacked before the bell with a DDT into a neckbreaker as once Reckless & Navarro were laid out, then Rick Knox started the match, which doesn’t seem fair. Nyla steamrolled Navarro on the floor, while Shafir planted Reckless in the ring. Nyla hoisted Reckless up in a Hart Attack position, but Shafir punted Reckless in the back before Nyla hit a spinebuster for the win in under a minute. Post match, Vickie cut a screeching promo, as she ran down the crowd for stuffing their faces with concession food and being on their phones. Vickie told us the definition of the word problem. She told podcasts and dirt sheets they are now called The Beast of Burdens. Marina & Nyla kept beating up Reckless & Navarro, as Nyla Beast Bombed them onto each other for good measure.
WINNERS: Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir in 45 seconds
(Howard’s Analysis: Despite this match being super short, I will always give props whenever I see talent from my hometown indy promotion get AEW matches. Always nice seeing the SCW QC Cup holder Heather Reckless on Dark. Vickie tried with the post match promo, but the crowd didn’t care at all, it wasn’t good. At least Marina & Nyla have a team name now, so there’s that.)
(6) KRIS STATLANDER vs. SIERRA
Statlander worked an early headlock takedown and hit a shoulder tackle to follow. Sierra tried a drop down, but Statlander had it countered into a senton and standing frog splash. Sierra floated over in the corner and drove Statlander face first into the opposite side buckle. Statlander fought back with a roundhouse kick, series of clotheslines and snap powerslam. Sierra avoided a corner charge and hit a nice sliding uppercut, but Statlander popped up with a charging high kick for the win.
WINNER: Kris Statlander in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Huge ovation for Statlander in this one, as hopefully she’s in line for a title shot at Jade or Rosa soon, she deserves it.)
(7) THE TRUSTBUSTERS (Ari Daivari, Slim-J & Parker Boudreaux) vs. SONNY KISS & ZACK CLAYTON & XAVIER WALKER
Kiss started with Slim-J, hit a quick hurricanrana and takedown before tagging Clayton, who showed off his power. Slim-J was just slammed with a suplex slam until Walker tagged in by stepping over the top and went to press slam Slim-J, who raked the eyes. A nifty head scissors in the corner led to Daivari making a tag for an assisted Sliced Bread for two. Boudreaux made the tag and no sold some shots by Walker and leveled him with a lariat as a result. Clayton ate a back elbow, Slim-J hit a diving reverse DDT and huge cross body on the floor. Boudreaux hit a corner splash and stalling back suplex slam, as Daivari made the tag. A huge frog splash won it for The Trustbusters, while Sonny Kiss turned his back on the action in the ring as post match, Daivari made a pitch, presumably to join them, leaving Sonny something to think about.
WINNERS: The Trustbusters in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Interesting turn of events post match, as it looks like the Trustbusters could be getting a new member to their ranks in Sonny Kiss. I’m intrigued, as Sonny seems like one of these talents just lost in the shuffle, so hopefully this will be the start of a push if Daivari gets his way.)
(8) ATHENA & HIKARU SHIDA & RUBY SOHO vs. EMI SAKURA & LEVA BATES & SERENA DEEB
Ruby & Serena kicked things off with solid ground work until Serena trapped Ruby in a gnarly neck crank leg lock submission. Ruby got free and starched Serena with a headbutt, looked for Destination Unknown, but Serena rolled out and Shida made the tag. Shida wanted to reignite their rivalry, but Serena tagged Sakura instead. Both ladies traded tilt a whirl back breakers until Shida hit an enziguri and tag to Athena. Sakura bit at the hand of Athena before Leva made the tag and was immediately caught with a sole butt to the ribs. Front face suplex from Athena, as Ruby did a cazadora assisted splash for two. The ref checked Leva, which allowed Serena to get a cheap shot on Ruby’s bad arm as her team took over. An octopus lock from Serena, but Ruby got free into a heel trip to make the hot tag to Shida, who ran wild. After 10 punches in the corner and suplex, Shida hit a springing Meteora for two on Sakura. Everyone took turns hitting their finish ending with Leva picking up the pieces after Sakura hit a spinning reverse DDT on Shida. Leva grabbed her librarian book, but Shida blocked it with the kendo stick. The ref grabbed the book from Leva and as she was standing there complaining, Shida hit a Disaster Kick and Kitana kick for the win.
WINNERS: Athena, Hikaru Shida & Ruby Soho in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was the party match of the night and it really had your standard blueprint of what we’ve seen in these matches in the past. That’s a good thing, as the six woman tags are always action packed and everyone gets a chance to shine. The ending was a little clunky with the book & kendo stick stuff, but this was an otherwise solid tag match. I should point out Excalibur said it was a loaded book, but if you saw how small the book Leva had was, like, how could you load that with anything?)
(9) ORANGE CASSIDY vs. ANTHONY HENRY (w/JD Drake)
Henry worked the arm early, cutting off Orange’s pocket counters. They went to the corner, Orange got his hands in his pockets and hit his float over kip up dropkick. Orange hit a tope suicida and had a face off with JD Drake. Orange lit Drake up with his tiny kicks until Henry took the ref to allow Drake to hit his bounce back forearm. Henry hit a Tiger Driver for two and immediately went to a STF, but Orange got the ropes. Orange tried his satellite DDT, but Henry put on the brakes and hit a perfect brainbuster for two. Henry went up top, but Orange wisely slid under the buckle. Henry was pulled face first into the buckle, Orange dove off the top, Henry moved and tweaked his knee. Henry zoned in on the leg, hit a sole butt, tried another brainbuster, but Orange hit Stundog Millionaire. Orange took out Drake with a dive and finally hit his satellite DDT back inside. Orange was distracted by Drake, but Henry ran into his partner. Orange punch wiped out Drake and the Beach Break put away Henry in a fun main event.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was the first time seeing Orange on Dark since changing his music to Jane and it just fits him so much better than The Pixies song did, especially if you know the back story of Orange and this character. A fun main event like I said, as Orange always gets the crowd going, while Henry is always a reliable guy to put on a solid match.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Fun episode tonight that was enhanced by being shot in front of a live audience at the Battle of the Belts taping last week. Match of the Night was the main event, as Henry & Orange have good chemistry and Orange is always over with the crowd. The six woman tag was a fun co-main event and we got our standard Dark squashes to fill up the show as well. I think it’s back to Universal next week, so having a loud and lively crowd tonight was a nice and fun change of pace. I wish there was a way for them to tape Dark in front of crowds like this more often, but I understand scheduling would make TV shows super long and kill the crowd energy for Dynamite and/or Rampage.