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AEW Dark Ep. 5 recap & review: Shawn Spears tortured Joey Janela with pliers to the tongue

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Episode 5 of AEW Dark from Charleston, WV featured an impressive outing from powerhouse gymnast Sadie Gibbs, a rousing promo from Britt Baker, and Shawn Spears using pliers on Joey Janela’s tongue.

Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time:

  • Shawn Spears vs Michael Nakazawa (pass)
  • “Big Swole” Aerial Monroe & Mercedes Martinez vs Sadie Gibbs & Allie (okay; slow first half, rocking second half)
  • Britt Baker hype promo (watch)
  • Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy vs Joey Janela & Jimmy Havoc (pass)
  • Joey Janela backstage with Tully Blanchard, Shaw Spears, and a pair of pliers (watch)

Watch the show here.


The episode began with interesting two-minute warning music. It sounded like new age underwater stuff with a mix of Miami Vice. Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez welcomed us from the control center. Excalibur and MJF were on commentary. MJF was a treat to listen to with insightful technical analysis and jokes, such as alluding that baby oil is made of babies, Sadie Gibbs hiding her UK teeth behind a mouthpiece, and white hooligans from West Virginia.

Shawn Spears vs Michael Nakazawa

Tully Blanchard escorted Shawn Spears ringside. The high spot of the match was baby oil hijinks from Michael Nakazawa as he hit a sliding senton.

For the finish, Nakazawa removed his inner undies to attempt a running maneuver, but he charged into a pump kick. Spears followed with a slingshot brainbuster suplex to win.

“Big Swole” Aerial Monroe & Mercedes Martinez vs Sadie Gibbs & Allie

The first half of the bout was rather choppy. It really picked up steam after the ten-minute announcement to become very entertaining. Highlights include a vertical suplex by Sadie Gibbs, a Three Amigos starting with a double suplex then Mercedes Martinez with a suplex then a stalling vertical suplex, a vicious rip cord discus forearm strike by Big Swole, and a handspring somersault cannonball over the ropes by Gibbs to the outside.

The match involved plenty of teamwork moves and dramatic pin breaks from teammates. In the end, Allie hit a super arm drag to Martinez and a superkick to Big Swole. Gibbs finished the job with a moonsault to win, although, I’m not sure if the legal women were involved. It was quite chaotic.

Britt Baker may rip Bea Priestley’s jaw off

Schiavone and Gonzalez had an outfit change to report from the Full Gear control center. Britt Baker will wrestle Bea Priestley on the pre-show. Baker delivered one heck of a promo about ripping Priestley’s jaw off her face.

Baker’s goal as a professional is to win matches, not hurt people. Priestley gave Baker a concussion with a boot to the head in the ring. Baker received texts and calls from numerous people to check on her health, but not one message from Priestley. That shows Priestley is a piece of shit. Baker threatened excruciating pain on the mandibular nerve. That means she can rip Priestley’s jaw off her F-ing face. Will she do it though? We’ll see.

Cody was next up with Undesirable to Unreliable with guest Jimmy Havoc. Havoc got where is by being himself. To all those who said he would never make it, they can F off. Havoc started doing horror promos to begin his rise of getting over. It is now undeniable that Havoc is in AEW and was good enough to get signed.

Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy vs Joey Janela & Jimmy Havoc

The top highlight of the match was a suicide dive by Marko Stunt followed by a moonsault from Jungle Boy to the outside.

It was also enjoyable to see Jimmy Havoc clobber Stunt while floss dancing, Joey Janela German suplexing Stunt, and a rip cord splash/leg drop combo from the Jurassic Express.

A side story of this bout was Janela not being on board with Havoc’s extreme nature. Havoc brought in a stapler to use on Stunt, but Janela tagged himself in to prevent the violence. Havoc handed the stapler to Janela for him to do the dirty work, so Janela decided to staple Havoc in the forehead.

A short while later, Janela won the match with an avalanche package piledriver on Stunt. Afterward, Havoc licked his own blood but did not attack Janela in retaliation.

Joey Janela gets a visit from the toolbox

The closing scene began with Joey Janela smoking a cigarette in the back. He was approached by Tully Blanchard, who took exception of Janela putting a cigarette in his beverage. Spears blindsided Janela then put a pair of pliers inside his mouth to clasp his tongue.

AEW Dark

Janela screamed in pain.


The women’s match was the best of the three for episode 5 of AEW Dark. I’m not sold on Allie’s offensive style, but Aerial Monroe, Mercedes Martinez, and Sadie Gibbs were laying the licks in quite heavy. Those three made me curious to see more.

Britt Baker sold me on her future bout with Bea Priestley. That was some serious smack talk. I want to see if Baker can back up her violent words.

Speaking of violence, holy smokes did the show end with a bang. Shawn Spears is truly going the extra mile to please his mentor, Tully Blanchard. Clasping a tongue with pliers is the type of brutality in professional wrestling that will get my attention. It felt like old school Horsemen justice. That’s what Janela gets for being rude.

Who stood out most in the ring for episode 5 of AEW Dark? Did Britt Baker talk you into watching her match against Bea Priestley? Do you like the type of extreme measures taken by Shawn Spears in your wrestling product?