All Elite Wrestling presents Dark
From: Orlando, FL
Opening Contest: Red Velvet vs. Duice Tormenta: Velvet keeps Tormenta on the mat to start and maintains control with a headlock. Tormenta gets a hammerlock on Velvet and gets a one count after a sunset flip. Tormenta kicks Velvet in the midsection and runs into a leg lariat by Velvet. Velvet tries for a suplex, but Tormenta counters with a series of suplexs finishing off with a delayed vertical. Velvet drop toe holds Tormenta over the middle rope and delivers a running double knee over the middle rope. Velvet connects with a corkscrew kick for the win. (*1/2. Not a bad extended squash. Velvet looked good in there and I like the attitude change for Velvet.)
Second Contest: Serpentico vs. Lee Moriarty: Serpentico attacks before the bell in the corner, but Moriarty takes Serp down to the mat and nearly wins with a rollup. Moriarty takes Serp down to the mat managing another two count. Serp elbows Moriaty, but Moriarty spins around with Serp over his shoulders. Serp forearms Lee, but is decked with a clothesline. Lee tries for a suplex, but Serp breaks free and avoids Lee in the corner. Moriarty sends Serp into the corner, but is dropped over the top rope. Serp plays to the crowd while keeping control of the bout. Serp ducks a clothesline and kicks Lee followed by a DDT and a headbutt for a two count. Serp keeps an abdominal stretch on the mat, but Lee hip tosses free. Lee kicks Serp on the arm followed by a back suplex. Lee knee strikes Serp a few times and delivers a clothesline in the corner. Lee nails Serp with a big boot off the ropes for a near fall. Lee hooks Serp for a suplex, but Serp counters with a rollup for a near fall. Lee decks Serp to the mat and hits a flatliner for the win. (*. Not much to this one and it didn’t really hold my interest. The crowd didn’t respond much to anything during the match either.)
Third Contest: The Bunny & Raychell Rose vs. Anna Jay & Skye Blue: All four women start the match in the ring with Jay and Blue knocking Bunny and Rose down. Jay spin kicks Bunny in the corner followed by a snap suplex. Jay hits a running blockbuster off the ropes for a two count on Bunny. Jay forearms Bunny a few times. Rose grabs Jay on the apron allowing Bunny to deliver a clothesline off the ropes. Bunny connects with a sliding forearm in the corner for a two count on Jay. Bunny stomps on Jay, but Jay fires back with forearms until a knee strike by Bunny stops that momentum. Jay gets an inside cradle for a two count. Jay backslides Bunny, but Bunny delivers a clothesline for a near fall. Bunny keeps Jay on the mat with a sleeper hold. Bunny argues with the referee on the count. Bunny chops Jay in the corner, but Jay battles back with forearm strikes. Bunny eye rakes Jay to keep control. Bunny rams Jay in the corner and chokes her before tagging in Rose. Rose chops Jay followed by a forearm. Jay plants Rose with a flatliner and tags in Blue. Blue cleans house with strikes. Blue head scissors Rose to the mat. Blue knee strikes Rose against the ropes and leg sweeps Rose, but misses a kick. Blue connects with a kick to the head, but Bunny breaks the cover. Bunny kicks Blue, but is dumped to the floor. Jay tags in and kicks Rose leading to the Queens Slayer choke for the submission win. (*. The tag match was mostly a singles encounter between Jay and Bunny, but Blue had a decent heat segment. Rose stood out as being quite inexperienced, which may explain her lack of involvement.)
Prior to the next match, QT Marshall cuts a promo asking if he deserves the boos since a few years ago the fans were chanting his name. QT claims that he wasn’t the one to turn on the fans and he helped AEW exist in the first place. QT demands to be introduced again and get the proper introduction.
Fourth Contest: Penta Oscuro vs. QT Marshall: They stall a little bit to start the match, but Marshall delivers a knee to the midsection. Penta kicks Marshall and comes off the ropes with a head scissors to send Marshall to the floor. Penta gets distracted by Solo on the apron and QT almost hits him on accident. Penta connects with a few sling blades for a two count. Penta kicks Marshall on the knee to drop Marshall to the mat. Marshall avoids a piledriver and forearms Penta on a springboard attempt. Marshall ties Penta’s mask to the middle rope. Solo gets on the apron and punches Penta a few times until Alex, Penta’s manager, comes over with a shovel. Marshall sits Penta on the top turnbuckle delivering right hands and taunts Penta, but is kicked on the middle rope. Penta goes to the top and double stomps QT in a tree of woe for a near fall. Penta throat thrusts QT a few times. Penta chops Marshall, but Marshall responds with a chop, as well. Marshall kicks Penta coming off the ropes. Penta has Marshall on the mat looking to wrench back on the arm, but Solo gets on the apron and is kicked off by Penta. Penta is speared by Comoroto and Marshall only gets a two count. Marshall signals for the cutter, but Penta shoves Marshall away. Marshall elbows Penta and tries for a moonsault, but is met with a kick instead. Penta wrenches back on Marshall’s arm and wins the match by pin fall. (*1/4. The stalling was a bit annoying, but the fans are into Penta and that made for a quick viewing experience. QT is such an old school heel and he’s good at getting the crowd to hate him. Action wise, there just isn’t a lot there when it comes to QT.)
Fifth Contest: Charlette Renegade vs. Abadon: Renegade works over Abadon with a few strikes, but Abadon doesn’t go down. Renegade tries for a sunset flip, but Abadon sits down onto Renegade. Abadon hits a leg drop over Renegade’s back followed by a senton splash. Abadon hits a leg draped DDT for the win. (NR. Literally an absolute squash. I’m not sure how to take Abadon, but the fans seem to like her.)
Main Event: Top Flight, Frankie Kazarian and The Hardy Boys vs. Max Caster, Angelico, The Blade & Private Party: Kazarian and Angelico kickoff the main event. Angelico controls Kazarian with a top wrist lock for a few moments and switches to a headlock. Kazarian breaks free with a shoulder block and they trade leg sweeps. Angelico kicks Kazarian, but Kazarian comes back with an arm drag. Dante Martin hits a springboard stomp on Blade. Blade works over Martin in the corner and yanks down on the left arm a few times. Martin tags in Darius leading to a double dropkick to Blade. Darius avoids Blade in the corner and Darius drop toe holds Cassidy. Dante returns to the match, but Cassidy decks Dante a few times. Matt enters the match and hammers away on Caster a few times. Matt rams Caster into the corner several times. Matt tags in Jeff, who comes off the middle rope to hit an axe handle over Caster’s shoulder. Hardy’s take Angelico over with a double suplex. Hardy’s hit stereo leg drops on Caster, and that leads to everyone getting in the ring and around ringside brawling. Caster decks Jeff from behind and stomps on Jeff to gain the advantage.
Caster sends Jeff into the corner chest first and Blade tags in working over Jeff with right hands in the corner. Angelico keeps Jeff on the mat with a leg lock and chokes Jeff on the mat for a moment. Jeff doesn’t give in, though. Quen prevents Jeff from tagging out and tags in Cassidy to keep control with an elbow drop for a two count. Cassidy takes Jeff over with a snap suplex. Cassidy keeps Jeff on the mat with a chin lock. Cassidy goes to the top missing a swanton as Jeff rolls out of the way. Jeff backdrops Cassidy and looks to tag out. Kazarian gets the hot tag and cleans house with forearm strikes. Kazarian clotheslines Cassidy followed by a forearm to Quen and a springboard leg drop to Angelico. Kazarian slams Blade and hits another springboard leg drop. Kazarian slams Caster and hits another springboard leg drop getting a decent pop from the crowd. Private Party drop Kazarian with kicks to the head. Kazarian counters out of a double back suplex and tags in Darius, who hits a missile dropkick to both members of Private Party. Dante hits a suicide dive to the floor. Darius hits a German suplex on Quen, but Angelico breaks the cover. Angelico kicks Darius, and Darius is double teamed with strikes followed by a neckbreaker/double stomp combo by Private Party for a two count. Kazarisna leg drops Quen over the middle rope. Kazarian slingshots Quen into the ring to hit a cutter. Blade clotheslines Kazarian to the floor. Blade is kicked by Top Flight followed by a flatliner by Darius. Caster plants Darius with a back suplex, but Dante dropkicks Caster. Quen gets a rollup on Darius with a handful of tights for a near fall. Quen hooks Darius, but Darius counters with a brainbuster. Matt tags in and hits the Twist of Fate on Quen. Jeff tags in and hits the Swanton Bomb off the top rope for the win. (**1/2. I like that this got plenty of time and the babyfaces all got plenty of time to shine. Having the match breakdown without much rules being enforced enhanced the match for me as it prevented it from stalling and feeling slow. I’d consider this a productive main event for Dark standards.)
A decent episode of Dark with the main event providing some quality action. The other matches were fairly quick and fine extended squash matches.
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