SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 20, 2022
RECORDED AT NOW ARENA IN HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL.
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) ALEX REYNOLDS & JOHN SILVER vs. ZUKA & ALEXANDER MOSS
Reynolds connected with an early cross body and clothesline out of the corner that flattened Zuka. A double drop toe hold and double dropkick on Zuka, while Moss tried to save his partner and suffered a double flapjack. Silver lit up Zuka with kicks and did a karate pose after his crane kick, which Zuka sold ridiculously. Moss tripped up Silver to allow he and Zuka to isolate momentarily until Silver fought out of the corner. Reynolds made the hot tag, ran wild with a diving uppercut that dropped Moss on his neck from the sell. Moss tried a back drop, but Reynolds double stomped the back. Silver wiped out Zuka with a running boot as Moss was planted with the Wombo Combo for the win.
WINNERS: Alex Reynolds & John Silver in 5:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Once Silver & Reynolds get on a roll with the offense, not too many teams stand a chance, this was one of those cases tonight. The Dark Order boys get back in the win column and ready to climb the tag team ranks once again.)
(2) EMI SAKURA (w/Baliyan Akki) vs. AVERY BREAUX
Sakura shrugged off a handshake prior to the match and opted for Mongolian chops instead. Breaux hit a standing dropkick, but Sakura quickly rag dolled her in the ropes where she sat on Breaux and had tea time with Akki. Breaux fired back with some forearms, but Sakura chomped on her arm as a result. Breaux really laid in some clotheslines, head scissors, did a weird goggle hand gesture with her eyes and hit a cannonball. Sakura responded with a spinning neckbreaker and the We Will Rock You cross body in the corner. Butterfly suplex led to a moonsault for the victory for Sakura.
WINNER: Emi Sakura in 3:30
(Howard Analysis: Taz made a bold statement that the woman in purple would win, as both women wore purple. Breaux put up a good fight, really laying in the offense she got off, but it wasn’t in the cards tonight for her, Sakura was too much to handle.)
(3) TRUSTBUSTERS (Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux & Slim-J w/Sonny Kiss & JV-SK) vs. MARCUS KROSS & GMK & MIKE MAGNUM
There was one woman in the crowd cheering for the Trustbusters and Excalibur thinks it’s Slim-J’s sister, which popped Taz. Kross had a early start on Slim-J, who turned Kross inside out with a lariat and ripped his tank top off 40 seconds into the match. Daivari made the tag and was caught with a dropkick by GMK, who was caught with a cheap shot from Slim-J to allow Daivari to take control. Magnum made the tag and immediately called for Boudreaux, as Daivari obliged. Boudreaux no sold punches initially and steamrolled over the big man Magnum. Kross & GMK saved Magnum from taking Boudreaux’s finisher and ate a double clothesline for their troubles. Daivari & Slim-J made a quick tag for a double team back slide back breaker. Slim-J dropped Kross with a cazadora flatliner, as Boudreaux tagged in and hit his stalling back suplex on Magnum, while Daivari picked up the pieces with a frog splash for the win.
WINNERS: Trustbusters in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Yet another dominating performance from the Trustbusters, who continue to rack up wins every week on Dark. I’m hoping something comes from this, as they’ve been featured quite often over the last few months.)
(4) ANTHONY OGOGO vs. LUKE KURTIS
Prior to the bell, Ogogo hit a release German suplex that dropped Kurtis on his head. Ogogo told referee Aubrey to ring the bell and she actually listened, which was weird. Kurtis got off a few strikes, but ran into an Ogogo big boot. Ogogo hit a pop up right hand for the KO win. Ogogo took the mic post match and said he was born with the umbilical cord around his neck and has been a fighter all his life. He has fought adversity to get to where he’s at. When he was at the Olympics, his mother was in the hospital and he won the gold medal for her. Ogogo said he could’ve gone anywhere and chose AEW, but for 14 months he’s fought shit bag indy bums because no one wants to fight him. If no one accepts his challenge, he’ll look for a fight somewhere else.
WINNER: Anthony Ogogo in 40 seconds
(Howard’s Analysis: Ogogo didn’t even take his jacket off for the match and wasted no time. I’m glad they gave him some time to talk post match, as he’s really been the guy who stands there in the Factory group. I’d like to see him break off from that crew, he’s capable of more in my opinion.)
(5) ZACK CLAYTON vs. VARY MORALES
Clayton used his size early, but Morales countered that with his speed to hit a quick dropkick off the second for two. Clayton popped up and mowed Morales down, as one guy in the crowd is really heckling Clayton. This just fired Clayton up, who hit a suplex into a neckbreaker. Clayton got into the face of the fan heckling him, who kept yelling Pull Me Over, which was confusing. Morales tried to attack from behind, but Clayton caught a springboard cross body into a TKO for the win. Clayton cut a post match promo about how no one has been able to move the needle like he can. He said no one in the crowd can amount to anything close to what he has. This, coming off him losing in seconds to HOOK, but I digress.
WINNER: Zack Clayton in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Commentary was baffled by the heckler fan, who was wearing a green basketball jersey Excalibur thought was Paul Pierce, but it was a green Bulls jersey, dubbed Shamrock Jordan. This was what makes Excalibur & Taz the perfect pair on commentary; they’re just as confused as we were.)
(6) MARINA SHAFIR vs. LA ROSA NEGRA
Negra was able to avoid the early offense from Shafir, by getting a few shots in the corner, but Shafir planted Negra with a slam. Negra got a quick roll up for one and a springing back elbow out of the corner for two. The two ladies had a standoff before Shafir hit an overhand chop to flatten Negra. Shafir missed a wild kick, Negra tried another roll up, but Shafir blocked it, locked in Greedy and got the tap out.
WINNER: Marina Shafir in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Credit to La Rosa Negra, this was the most trouble I’ve seen Shafir in during a singles match in a while. There was a hand print on Shafir’s chest from an early chop. That said, Shafir keeps racking singles victories and I wouldn’t be surprised if she got a title eliminator match sooner rather than later.)
(7) MADISON RAYNE vs. VIVA VAN
Rayne kept working a headlock early, but Van hit a knee lift in the ropes to knock Rayne outside. Van drove Rayne in the side of the apron and went back inside for a two count. Van suckered Rayne into a charge in the corner and trapped her in a Tarantula. Taz gave a shout out to Tajiri, as Van hit a sliding lariat for two. Rayne reversed an electric chair into a victory roll for two and lit up Van with strikes to follow. Rayne hit a nice Northern Lights suplex for two. Van tried fighting back, but Rayne dropped her with a gnarly looking Cross Rayne for the win. Post match, Tony Schiavone put over Rayne as the newest coach for AEW and Rayne said her plate is full, but not afraid of a challenge. Rayne is here to flip the women’s division upside down.
WINNER: Madison Rayne in 4:30
(Howard’s Analysis: That finish looked brutal, but we still got a replay of it post match. Up until that finish, Viva Van took a majority of this match. As a coach, I can see Rayne continue to get wins like this on occasion on Dark. I wouldn’t mind a Marina Shafir vs. Madison Rayne match on Dark or Elevation.)
(8) KILYNN KING vs. SAHARA SEVEN
Seven attacked at the bell with strikes, but King quickly responded with vicious chops and short arm clothesline. Seven got a roll up for two, King caught a boot, hit a knee lift and pump handle flap jack for the quick win.
WINNER: KiLynn King in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Always nice to see The King on Dark and she wasted no time tonight. Commentary puts over how this was a much needed win after losing to Britt Baker a few weeks ago on Dynamite. I agree and hopefully we continue to see more of KiLynn on AEW programming.)
(9) JOSH WOODS & TONY NESE (w/Mark Sterling) vs. BALIYAN AKKI & RYAN MATTHEWS
Woods & Akki had a nice opening series of counter wrestling, trading headlocks and escapes. Akki tried to turn it into a striking battle, which Taz questioned, only Akki got the upper hand early. Akki tried a springboard, but Woods caught him flush with a pump knee to the face. Nese made the tag and took Akki down for a while, as he was finally able to make the tag to Matthews, who ran wild. Matthews tried a stalling suplex, but Nese avoided it and hit a thrust kick to the face. Nese tagged Woods, wiped out Akki and hit the assisted Angle Slam for the win.
WINNERS: Josh Woods & Tony Nese in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Nese & Woods looked impressive here, but they’re going to need a miracle to get passed Wardlow & Samoa Joe on Rampage this week.)
(10) SONNY KISS (w/The Trustbusters) vs. JOE OCASIO
Kiss toyed with Ocasio early, who responded with a headbutt, charging back elbow and standing splash for two. Ocasio wanted a back drop, but Kiss slammed him down and hit a split leg drop for two. Handspring slap in the corner fired Ocasio up, who got an airplane spin. Slim-J took the ref, as Kiss raked the eyes and hit a corkscrew kick for the victory.
WINNER: Sonny Kiss in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Not much to say about this one, as it was quick work from Kiss, who put the Trustbusters at 2-0 on the night.)
(11) MATT SYDAL vs. JD DRAKE
Sydal used his speed early to sweep the legs out from Drake and hit a mariposa. Sydal hit a step up head scissors, but Drake popped up and flattened Sydal with a charging lariat. Drake buckled Sydal in the corner with chops, but missed a corner charge; Sydal went to the top and hit a head scissors that sent Drake outside. Sydal hit a dropkick through the ropes, got off a few chops, but played to the fans and Drake hit his signature bounce back clubbing shot off the ropes. Back inside, Drake remained in control with strikes and standing senton. Sydal tried a sunset flip, Drake thought he had it scouted, but Sydal suckered him in for a splash and missed. Drake went for a Vader Bomb out of the corner, missed that as well, as Sydal fought back with kicks. Sydal hit another series of kicks that had Drake just crumble for a two count. Drake fought back, went to the corner and looked for a leg lariat, but Sydal did a Matrix bridge to avoid it. Sydal leapt out of the corner and was flattened with a Black Hole Slam for two. Drake tried to end it, but Sydal avoided a corner cannonball and hit the Lightning Spiral for the win.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 9:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This was a very good main event and I wish the fans were into it more, but maybe it was towards the end of the block of matches for the taping? These two had a good back and forth battle using the speed vs. power story well. Sydal looked impressive in victory and Drake, as usual, looked great as well. Whether it’s in singles or tag team action, these two both put on entertaining matches.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was certainly a one match show, as 10 of the 11 matches were squashes, with only one match going over the 5 minute mark. Usually there’s a few more competitive matches sprinkled into Dark episodes, but tonight, to the surprise of no one, Match of the Night goes to Sydal vs. Drake.
Well, this is officially my final AEW Dark recap for PWTorch and I’d like to thank you for taking time to read these over the last year and a half. I really enjoyed getting to do this as I not only love a good squash, but I enjoyed becoming familiar with talent I might not have gotten to check out otherwise. I also want to thank Excalibur & Taz for their constant banter, Seinfeld references and in Taz’s case, singing. If you ever see Ruby Soho, Emi Sakura or Jungle Boy listed as being on Dark, you know you’re guaranteed to hear the golden pipes of the Human Suplex Machine.