All Elite Wrestling presents Dark
From: Orlando, FL
Opening Contest: John Silver vs. Ryan Nemeth: Early on, Silver has control causing Nemeth to bail to the floor and traps Silver in the ring apron to deliver a few strikes. Nemeth takes Silver down and gives himself some points before stomping on Silver to keep control. Nemeth takes some time to taunt the fans, but still keeps control on Silver with strikes on the mat. Silver clotheslines Nemeth a few times and delivers a backdrop. Silver plants Nemeth with a sit down powerbomb for a two count. Silver kicks Nemeth and signals for a clothesline and decks Nemeth to the mat for a near fall. Nemeth connects with a DDT for a two count. Silver uppercuts Nemeth in the corner, but Nemeth has Silver on his shoulders, but Silver counters with a hurricanrana. Silver kicks Nemeth over the middle rope and hits the Spin Doctor for the clean win. (*1/2. A fine little match between these two. I tend to enjoy Nemeth and his mannerisms and I hope AEW can do something significant with him in the future.)
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviews Toni Storm. Storm promotes her tag match on Rampage and says she has a few friends in AEW. Storm is good at winning matches and that will be proven tonight in her singles match. She is teaming with Soho to take on Britt Baker and Jamie Hayder on Rampage.
Second Contest: Varsity Blonds (Pillman & Garrison) vs. The Workhorsemen (Henry & Drake): Drake and Henry attack before the bell. Henry and Pillman start the match with Pillman monkey flipping Henry followed by a dropkick and arm drag. Garrison tags into the match and keeps arm control on Henry. Pillman comes off the middle rope with an axe handle. Drake tags into the match and chops Pillman in the corner. Pillman fights back with a few strikes. Henry kicks Pillman from the apron. Henry heel kicks Pillman against the railing and fell over into the crowd. Drake slams Pillman followed by a falling headbutt. Henry stomps on Pillman in the corner.
Henry kicks Pillman over the back. Henry pulls back on Pillman’s arms with his knee between his shoulders. Drake returns to the match and chops Pillman. Drake drops Pillman with a back suplex, but misses a splash off the middle rope. Henry prevents a tag to Garrison. Pillman blocks a suplex and sends Henry into Drake. Garrison tags in and cleans house with clotheslines. Garrison slams Henry and splashes Drake in the corner before doing the same to Henry. Garrison big boots Drake to the floor. Garrison dives over the top to take both Drake and Henry out. Garrison hits a crossbody on Henry. Henry hits a German suplex, but is met with an elbow strike for a two count as Drake makes the save. Henry gets a rollup on Garrison for a two count. Henry hits a spinning TKO on Garrison and almost gets a win. Drake dumps Pillman to the apron to deliver a strike. Henry delivers a knee to Garrison and Drake hits a cannonball. Henry double stomps Garrison and Drake misses a moonsault. Pillman dropkicks Drake while being held by Garrison. Garrison forearms Henry and a superkick by Pillman. Garrison drives Henry down to the mat for the win. (**1/2. A solid match between these two teams, but I found myself far more interested in Drake and Henry. Blonds just seemed to lack a spark as a face team in thus outing. Drake and Henry had better offense and more entertaining moves. Henry and Drake would do well with the other top teams in AEW if given a shot, I think.)
Tony Schiavone interviews the Varsity Blonds and Julia Hart. Julia is dressed all in the black and looks disinterested. Pillman says that he use to think Julia had a pure heart, but that’s not the case anymore. Pillman says that House of Black can bleed and he saw what Death Triangle did to them. Pillman wants them to come for Julia on Wednesday. Julia leaves the ring without the Blonds.
Third Contest: Shawn Spears vs. Lord Crewe: Crewe gets a few chops and a running knee strike on Spears in the opening moments of the match. Crewe tried for a dive, but was stopped by a forearm and a back suplex onto the apron. Spears strikes Crewe several times in the corner and hits the C4 for the easy win. (1/2*. The best part of the match was Spears yelling at a child in the crowd.)
Fourth Contest: FTW Champion Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Terry Yaki & Jay Lucas: This is just a showcase for Starks and Hobbs. They dominate the entire match until Sparks wins the match with a spear.
Fifth Contest: Julia Hart vs. Jacey Love: This is Love’s debut in AEW. Julia continues to have a lot more aggression during the match. Hart dominate the match with a cartwheel clothesline and running forearm in the corner. Hart gets a quick submission with a head scissors.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviews the Factory regarding a tag match next week. QT is sick and tired of hearing about the LA Dojo for NJPW. Factory has been producing wrestlers from the start. QT puts over the members of his group and says they are taking over as the greatest dojo in pro wrestling history.
Sixth Contest: Tony Nese vs. Leon Ruffin: This is Leon Ruffin’s debut in AEW. Nese tosses Ruffin to the mat early on and poses to taunt him. Nese rams Ruffin into the corner and delivers a few stomps. Ruffin springboards on the ropes to avoid Nese and hits a dropkick. Ruffin poses to taunt Nese and takes Nese over with a few arm drags. Nese sends Ruffin into the corner back first a couple of times. Nese stomps on Ruffin to keep the advantage. Mark Sterling delivers a cheap shot while the referee is distracted. Ruffin tries to fight back, but a knee lift stopped him. Nese decks Ruffin with a strike and drops Ruffin over the top rope throat first. Nese misses a slingshot splash from the apron. Ruffin elbows Nese followed by a few strikes. Ruffin forearms Nese a few times. Ruffin kicks Nese in the corner and is met with a spin kick after Nese rolled through a sunset flip. Nese nails Ruffin with a running knee strike in the corner for the win. (*1/2. I enjoyed this extended squash match. Ruffin is a lot of fun and has charisma. I could see Ruffin becoming a popular talent in AEW as an underdog/enhancement wrestler.)
Seventh Contest: Angelico vs. Yuya Uemura: Uemura takes Angelico down to the mat early on, but Angelico reached the ropes quickly to break the hold. Angelico gets wrist control, but Uemura counters with a takedownt to the mat. They continue to counter each other on the mat with neither man getting a clear advantage. Uemura gets out of a head scissors, but Angelico reaches the ropes again. Uemura shoulder blocks Angelico, but Angelico comes back with an up kick. Uemura delivers an up kick as well and they have a standoff. Angelico wants to shake hands, but fakes Uemura out with a top wrist lock and wraps his arm around his waist, but Uemura reaches the ropes. Uemura chops Angelico to the mat and Angelico begs off against the ropes. Angelico dropkicks Uemura on the knee and locks in a modified ankle lock, but Uemura reaches the ropes. Angelico stomps on Uemura’s knee a few times. Uemura kicks Angelico away and hits a dropkick. Uemura splashes Angelico in the corner, but Angelico blocks a back suplex attempt. Uemura hits a back suplex on a second attempt for a near fall. Uemura almost wins with an inside cradle and takes Angelico down with an arm drag. Angelico pulls Uemura’s hair to avoid a suplex and sweeps Uemura to the mat. Angelico locks in a leg lock on the mat and wins the match by submission. (*. I am honestly surprised that Angelico won the match. I dug Uemura and his style in the ring. The pace of the match was rather slow and I was mostly bored by it.)
Eighth Contest: Invictus Khash vs. Dante Martin: Khash gets control with a wrist lock on the mat to counter Martin in the opening moments of the match. Khash knee lifts Martin and hits a hip toss before going back to a arm bar. Khash stops Martin with a headlock on the mat. Martin dropkicks Khash and fakes a dive to the floor. Khash yanks Martin down onto the apron and sends Martin into the ring post face first. Khash gets a one count back in the ring. Khash drives Martin down with an arm breaker. Martin forearms Khash a few times in the corner. Martin almost wins with a sunset flip. Khash goes back to working over the arm of Martin. Khash delivers a hammerlock scoop slam for a two count. Martin battles back with a few clotheslines, but misses a splash. Martin hits a top rope crossbody for a near fall. Martin tries for a suplex, but Khash blocks it and delivers a shoulder breaker for a two count. Martin tosses Khash with a German suplex and hits a suicide dive to the floor. Martin hits a double springboard moonsault for the win. (*. The majority of the match was dominated by Khash until the last thirty-seconds where Martin prevailed. I wasn’t really interested in Khash controlling the match and would have preferred a showcase for Martin.)
Tony Schiavone interviews Dante Martin regarding his match with Rey Fenix on Dynamite to qualify for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. Martin says it is an honor to be in the tournament and an hour to compete against Fenix in his first match back. Martin considers this to be a dream match and promises to not let anything stop him from qualifying.
Main Event: Toni Storm vs. Diamante: Storm takes Diamante down to the mat with a headlock for the early advantage. Storm shoulder blocks Diamante followed by a kneeling dropkick. Diamante elbows Storm in the corner. Diamante drops Storm throat first over the top and knocks Storm off the apron to the floor. Diamante sends Storm into the ring steps. Diamante gets a chin lock on Storm, but isn’t able to get a submission. Diamante yanks Storm to the mat and rams her into the corner followed by stomps and chokes Storm. Diamante takes Storm over with a German suplex a few times leading to a near fall. Storm battles back with a German suplex of her own. Storm delivers a running hip attack and a tornado DDT for a near fall. They begin to trade rollups. Diamante almost pulled off a major upset. Storm sends Diamante into the apron chest first. Storm spikes Diamante with a tornado DDT on the floor. Storm hits a fisherman suplex for a two count. Diamante drops Storm over the middle rope and hits a standing Slice Bread for a near fall. Storm counters a Code Red with a double leg slam. Storm spikes Diamante with a piledriver for the win. (**1/2. A good competitive match between these two women. There were a couple a moments where I thought Diamante could pull it off, so she’s got some good moves in her set. The match exceeded my expectations.)
It was a good show and I like these shows because the viewer gets to see people not normally on Dynamite or Rampage. Drake, Henry, Leon, Diamante, and Uemura stood out to me as being talents to keep an eye on. Nemeth has the potential to be a great heel, too.
Thanks for reading.
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