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AEW DARK TV REPORT
AUGUST 23, 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, plugging Price.com.
(1) THE RENEGADE TWINS (Charlette & Robyn) vs. ROCKY RADLEY & ALLIE RECKS
It took Taz 60 seconds to start singing Styx and got a snort laugh out of Excalibur. Early takedown by Radley on Robyn, as Reks made a quick tag and dropkick in the corner. Reks backed into the Renegade corner, where the twins unleashed double chops. Stalling vertical suplex from both twins got a two count. They tried it again, but this time Reks got a double DDT out of it. Radley made the hot tag, but the twins quickly hit a neckbreaker spinebuster combo for the win.
WINNERS: The Renegade Twins in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Well, the hot tag from Radley lasted all of 15 seconds before the twins just hit their finisher and ended things. Not really much more to say then that, I haven’t really gotten into the Renegades matches yet, hopefully that changes as they get more ring time on Dark.)
(2) ANTHONY OGOGO vs. METO
Ogogo immediately took down Meto with a hammer lock into an over hook. Ogogo let Meto to his feet, but hit a throw before going back to the wrist lock, snapping the fingers in the process. Meto got off a dropkick, but it only angered Ogogo, who hit a spinning fireman’s carry slam. A little shadow boxing led to a pop up punch that KO’d Meto.
WINNER: Anthony Ogogo in 3:00
(Howard Analysis: I’m not sure the direction of Ogogo right now, as it seemed like he was stacking wins for a while there, but stopped for some reason. I’m happy he’s back, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him wrestle Ricky Starks, especially if The Factory are going to continue to do Powerhouse Hobbs bidding in his feud with his former Team Taz partner.)
(3) PETER AVALON & RYAN NEMETH (w/Cezar Bononi) vs. LIAM GRAY & ADRIAN ALANIS
The Wingmen attacked at the bell, as Taz tells us Liam & Leila Gray have no relation, which he can’t back up, just assumes. Gray was isolated in the early going until Gray got a school boy on Avalon for two. Avalon knocked Alanis to the floor, tried to slingshot Gray to his corner, but Nemeth ate a right hand. Alanis made the hot tag, ran wild a bit with a dropkick into senton combo. Avalon saved his partner, sent Alanis into his own partner until Nemeth hit the Rude Awakening and Avalon hit a Frog Splash for the win. Post match, Tony Schiavone interviews The Wingmen, who said they are the buxom kings of AEW Dark, as they all tried to get Tony to touch tips, but he refused.
WINNERS: Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Quick work for The Wingmen, as Excalibur says it’s so they can get back to the back to go through people’s bags. Taz compares the splash by Avalon to Sivi Afi.)
(4) BLAKE CHRISTIAN vs. LUCKY ALI
Christian fired off an arm drag; kept Ali grounded, flattened with a slam and split legged moonsault for two. Taz us he got hit with one of those by a guy whose name rhymes with Ram, so Excalibur thinks it’s Randy the Ram from The Wrestler. Ali hung up Christian in the ropes and worked an extended waist lock to try to take Christian to the corner. Christian used his speed with a spin kick and corner discus lariat. A pump knee got Ali trapped between the ropes and Christian hit a double stomp off the second rope. A tope between the second and third rope led to a springing flying clothesline back inside. Ali avoided another dive, tried one of his own, but Christian cut him off with a superplex into a spinning neckbreaker. This led to step up curb stomp to give Christian the win. Post match, Tony interviewed Blake, who said he’s back on track after this win and will continue to stay that way no matter who the opponent may be.
WINNER: Blake Christian in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Wish this match went longer, as I’m always a fan whenever Christian can show what he’s capable of. He has the potential to be someone in AEW or ROH, I hope they realize it, he’s an excellent talent.)
(5) JORA JOHL vs. VARY MORALES
Morales tried an early hurricanrana and after a failed first attempt, fought for it and hit the second try. A huge diving cross body off the top to the floor connected by Morales, but he played to the crowd and ran into a flapjack by Johl. Back inside, Johl hit a series of chops; Morales fought back, but got cut off in the ropes with a stalling superplex. Johl missed a pump kick, Morales hit a series of kicks, went to the top, dove and ate a pump kick in mid air for the Johl win.
WINNER: Jora Johl in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Johl finally got music that wasn’t the H.F.O. or A.F.O. related, so, despite being the forgotten member of those factions, he’s finally able to shine on his own. I think being on Dark more often will give Johl a chance to improve in the ring and this was the case tonight, as Vary Morales is a great opponent for him.)
(6) MAX CASTER vs. JUSTIN COTTO
Caster offered a scissor to Cotto, but instead got a cheap shot. Cotto did a wall walk into an enzugiri, but ran into a Caster dropkick for two. Aubrey held up a two count and Caster immediately did the scissor, as Taz had to censor himself from saying anything that would get him in trouble. Cotto fought back with a handspring wheel kick, went up top, but missed a Shooting Star Press. Caster hit a back fist, back suplex and Mic Drop for the win.
WINNER: Max Caster in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Strong showing by Caster, who was riding solo tonight. Cotto, clearly a fan of Will Ospreay, as the moves he attempted were right out of his playbook.)
(7) MATT SYDAL & DANTE MARTIN vs. NICK COMOROTO & AARON SOLO
The Factory attacked right at the bell, but Sydal & Dante showed their speed to recover quickly. Sydal & Dante hit a double leap frog and double dropkick on Solo, who was planted with The Slice and standing moonsault for two. Dante tried a tope on Comoroto, who caught him between the ropes, Solo hit a kick to the ribs on the apron and Comoroto tossed Dante to the floor. Dante remained isolated until Comoroto tried a standing moonsault, but missed. Sydal ran wild off a tag with a Meteora off the top on Comoroto and sliding corner knee on Solo. While Solo was in the corner, Sydal tried a leaping hurricanrana and dropped Solo right on the side of his head, which was gnarly. Dante helped Sydal with an assisted hurricanrana pin, but Comoroto made the save and steamrolled everyone. The crowd wanted Comoroto to try another flip, but he did a tilt a whirl back breaker on Sydal instead. Backbreaker double stomp by The Factory, as Dante made the save at two. Dante fought off a powerbomb into a head scissors on the floor to Comoroto, made the tag, took out Comoroto with a moonsault, then the Nose Dive on Solo for the victory.
WINNERS: Matt Sydal & Dante Martin in 8:00
(Howard’s Analysis: You can tell this was taped during the July set of Dark tapings, as Comoroto isn’t dressing like a boy band member and is still the hairy grizzled fella. This was an action packed match, one that could easily have main-evented an episode of Dark, but I get a feeling this was pretty much the last match taped at the last set of tapings. Sydal & Dante keep looking strong and are at a spot where they can just have good matches with any of the top contending teams in AEW.)
(8) DANIEL GARCIA vs. WESTIN BLAKE
The AEW debut for the former NXT Tag Champion & Forgotten Son Westin Blake, who exchanged a back and forth series early on that ended in a Garcia back suplex. Uppercut by Garcia sent Blake to the corner and snap mare into dropkick for two. Blake fought back with a Chelsea Grin to take control, as he wore down Garcia. A chop battle commenced until Garcia slapped Blake in the jaw, hit a back suplex and PK for two. Garcia was hung up in the ropes and Blake hit a pendulum style piledriver between the ropes for two. A rad looking lung blower for Blake got him another near fall. Blake hit a bodyslam, but took too long to follow, as he missed a moonsault and Garcia hit a suplex into the Dragon Sleeper for the submission.
WINNER: Daniel Garcia in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Blake put up a good fight in his AEW debut, his chest being beaten red, but it wasn’t enough, as Garcia is on another level here. I’m looking forward to seeing Garcia’s interaction with Jericho tomorrow night on Dynamite and hope it’s just not another swerve for Garcia to remain heel, as I think they could go a lot of ways with this story.)
(9) TRUSTBUSTERS (Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux & Slim-J w/Sonny Kiss & JV-SK) vs. CA$H FLO & RYAN HOWE & OMAR AMIR
Jeeves is the new Trust Butler and is indy wrestler VSK, who Excalibur points out by name as JV-SK. Trustbusters made quick tags early, with Daivari ending up in the wrong corner, but fought his way out. Boudreaux made the blind tag and just steamrolled Amir, then the same for the big man Flo, who was turned inside out with a lariat. Howe was launched in the ring and immediately dumped to the floor, as was Amir. Boudreaux used Slim-J for a buckle bomb on Flo, then an assisted Sliced Bread for the three. Post match, Daivari introduces the Trust Butler and says In Bust We Trust.
WINNERS: Trustbusters in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Dominating showing by the Trustbusters, who you are going to see a whole lot more of in these next set of Dark tapings. Parker Boudreaux running through everyone was the highlight of this one.)
(10) DARK ORDER (John Silver, Alex Reynolds & 10) vs. JOEY SWEETS & TYSHAUN PEREZ & DK
Silver & Sweets kicked things off with Silver hitting a sprinting uppercut in the ropes for two. Reynolds made the tag and hit a double drop toe hold and dropkick with his buddy Silver. Sweets got a jaw breaker and tag to Perez, who was demolished with a lariat by Reynolds. The numbers were too much for Reynolds, who was beaten up momentarily in the wrong corner, but Reynolds fought back. 10 made the tag with a pump kick on Perez, spinebuster on DK and the Pendulum Bomb put away Sweets in short order. Post match, Silver said no one has them getting passed the first round, but they’re going to prove everyone wrong and become the first Trios champions.
WINNERS: Dark Order in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: The Dark Order boys need to keep up the momentum if they want a shot at beating House of Black this Friday in the Trios Tournament. With Hangman Page training them on Being the Elite, I have a feeling Dark Order and The Bucks & Omega might be the finals of this Trios tournament.)
(11) TONY NESE & JOSH WOODS (w/Mark Sterling) vs. OLIVER SAWYER & GKM
Woods had his way with Sawyer early, throwing him all over the place. GKM & Nese jumped in, with Nese tossing GKM to the floor. Woods hit running corner knees on Sawyer and an assisted Angle Slam by Nese & Woods got them the easy win. Post match, Tony questioned why Sterling is wearing a neck brace again following the attack by Jon Moxley on he & Nese last week. Sterling said they are contemplating suing the Blackpool Combat Club.
WINNERS: Tony Nese & Josh Woods in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Last week on Dark, Woods was a babyface, but tonight, he’s back with Nese & Sterling, so who knows if he’s good or bad at this point. I didn’t care for the post match promo from Sterling, who just seemed to be rambling. I assume we’ll get a match on Rampage or Dynamite with Nese & Woods and two members of the BCC, which should be a fun match.)
(12) IRON SAVAGES (Bronson & Boulder w/JD Davidson) vs. SEAN MALUTA & MANNY LO
This is the re-debut of Bear Country, who are now managed by JD Davidson and have new masks and gear. They’re still Boulder & Bronson, as Boulder steamrolled Lo, then took turns running through Maluta with a corner splash. Boulder hit a chokeslam on Lo, while Maluta fought back with a few shots. Maluta ran into a fireman’s carry and hit with a running DVD by Bronson onto Lo in the corner. Boulder backpacked Bronson into the corner cannonball for the win. Post match, JD Davidson introduced himself as the Iron Manager, is the meanest and will make a mark in AEW. Boulder said they never needed validation from fans or people in the back; they’ve been All Elite since the moment they’ve stepped into AEW. They’re frustrated their spots were taken and are ready to eat the competition alive.
WINNERS: Iron Savages in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Well, aside from the new tights and masks, this is the same Bear Country, but they now are Iron Savages, have a manager in JD Davidson and are bad guys now. Hopefully this leads to something, but they should get some new double team moves if they’re doing a full change to their characters.)
(13) THE WORKHORSEMEN (JD Drake & Anthony Henry) vs. ROSARIO GRILLO & DEAN ALEXANDER
Grillo tried to use his speed early, but ate a stiff Drake lariat and chop in the ropes. Grillo was beaten down with kicks by Henry, as Grillo got his neck cranked when he tried to mount a comeback. A violent chop nearly crumbled Grillo, who got a quick cradle for one, but dove to tag Alexander, who ran wild with a nice springing Disaster Kick on Drake. Alexander took too long to follow, ate a Drake enziguri and cannonball, while Henry did a double stomp off the top and Drake did a moonsault for the win.
WINNERS: The Workhorsemen in 3:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Complete destruction from Drake & Henry, who seem to have found some new confidence, which is trouble for their opponents. If I’m being honest, I enjoyed this squash from the Workhorsemen more than the previous Iron Savages one, I’d like to see Drake & Henry start stacking some wins, as they could really be fun against some of the top teams in AEW.)
(14) KILYNN KING vs. MAFIOSA
King got in some shots early, but Mafiosa got the corner choke using the splits. King battled back with a dropkick out of the corner, cut off Mafiosa in the corner and unleashed clubbing blows to the back. Crowd got behind King, who hit a running knee to the midsection and high kick to Mafiosa. King quickly hit a spinning pump handle slam to get the victory. Post match, KiLynn said it’s great to be back and got a “Welcome Back” chant by the crowd. She went toe to toe with Toni Storm last week and this week, in her hometown of Ohio, will go against Tony Schiavone’s girl Britt Baker. Right on cue, Britt Baker walked out from the back, saying it’s brutal to hear KiLynn talk about Ohio and also brutal to see her graphic that she has to wrestle her tomorrow on Dynamite. Britt ran through her resume while burying KiLynn’s. Britt said as much as she would like to do this now, D.M.D. don’t do Dark. KiLynn said she knows how much Britt likes to bleed, so how about she does Britt a favor and get her a new shirt, as Britt pie faced KiLynn, who shot a double leg. Britt was slammed into the barricade as KiLynn stood tall over The Doctor ahead of their match tomorrow night.
WINNER: KiLynn King in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Great seeing Kling Kling back on Dark after almost 9 months away, as she was one of those unsung stars of Dark the last few years during the pandemic. I really enjoyed the ending of this, as Britt coming out was unexpected and their showdown was great and built interest for their match.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: The first half of this show was leftover matches from the July 16 tapings, while the second half was taped this past Sunday. I honestly could’ve done without the first seven matches, as they just felt like filler they needed to burn off. At least the second half of the show re-debuted Bear Country as Iron Savages, got the Workhorsemen going, the Dark Order boys a win ahead of their match on Friday and finally the KiLynn King & Britt Baker showdown. Match of the Night went to Daniel Garcia vs. Westin Blake, as it had time, was hard hitting and Garcia looked strong ahead of Dynamite tomorrow.