Episode 51 of AEW Dark featured Will Hobbs being promoted, Brian Cage unleashing Weapon X, and Ricky Starks taking center stage in the main event.
Here’s the lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Sean Legacy vs Will Hobbs (okay)
- Brian Cage vs Tony Donati (okay)
- Griff Garrison vs Angelico (okay)
- Anna Jay vs Skyler Moore (okay)
- Lee Johnson vs Eddie Kingston (okay)
- Sonny Kiss vs Serpentico (okay)
- Ricky Starks vs Ben Carter (solid)
This was a standard Dark episode. Entertaining showcase bouts with the result never being in doubt. Starks and Carter had the best match. Angelico was back with his savvy submission skills. Watching Hobbs and Cage pummel people is always a good time.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Sean Legacy vs Will Hobbs
Hobbs used his powerhouse ability to impose his will. Hobbs even shoved away a crossbody attempt from Legacy.
Hobbs turned it up a notch with a delayed vertical suplex, regular suplex, then front suplex. An Oklahoma Stampede variation finished the job as Hobbs rammed Legacy into the corner then crushed him with a powerslam.
Brian Cage vs Tony Donati
Cage took care of business. This was a more vicious version of the previous bout.
Cage closed it with a powerbomb, a buckle bomb, then Weapon X.
Griff Garrison vs Angelico
Angelico used his submission game to frustrate Garrison. Garrison created momentum with a torture rack into a sitdown powerbomb. Angelico escaped the next maneuver to execute a leg pick into a standing leg lock. Angelico twisted his body to add torque as they crashed to the mat. Angelico transitioned to a knee bar for victory.
Anna Jay vs Skyler Moore
The Dark Order entered with Jay for support. They exited prior to the opening bell. Jay wrestled with attitude as the queen slayer. In the end, she overcame a gutwrench suplex to retaliate with a rear naked choke for victory. Commentary put over Jay using her forearm on the windpipe instead of the technical application with the crook of the elbow. I’m not sure if they were covering for Jay or if Jay’s style of choke was intentional.
Lee Johnson vs Eddie Kingston
Kingston’s approach was gritty. He would talk trash after moves. Johnson almost snatched the win with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kingston stifled Johnson with a knee to the gut then a spinning backfist to win.
Sonny Kiss vs Serpentico
Kiss was in the groove early by dodging attacks with nimble movement. There was a nifty sequence starting with Kiss missing a moonsault but landing on his feet then doing a bridging back arch to duck a clothesline. Serpentico anticipated it and attacked with a jumping stomp and followed with a low DDT. Kiss remained calm and won with a flipping butt press knocking Serpentico down to the mat for the winning pin.
Ricky Starks vs Ben Carter
Carter displayed fighting spirit, but he was no match for Starks’ savviness.
Carter came close to victory after a thrust kick and a frog splash. The newcomer continued his attack by going high risk. Unfortunately for Carter, he missed a Phoenix Splash. Starks pounced with a spear.
Starks secured success with a Dominator.
There’s not much to dive into about this episode. Each segment was a straightforward contest designed to let the star shine. Mission accomplished.
I may be mistaken, but I believe that was the first time Brian Cage won a match in AEW with the Weapon X maneuver. He has used that move to finish bouts plenty in the past. It could be a sign that Cage is upping his game after championship success has eluded him thus far. Or it could mean nothing. Something as simple as diversifying his finisher set. Time will tell if Weapon X will be part of Cage’s closing repertoire for big-time opponents in AEW.
Congratulations to Will Hobbs for becoming the first Dark talent to be promoted to the A side of a bout. He has that big man charisma when wrecking fools. I’m definitely looking forward to more from Hobbs in the future.
Ben Carter was the standout for the enhancement talent. He displayed great agility and clearly has the ability to bust a move if given the chance. I’d rank him alongside Shawn Dean as Dark prospects with potential to stick with AEW.
If you are wondering why Angelico has been rolling solo the past few weeks, it is because Jack Evans has a broken face. Evans went to the doctor on Monday, and there has yet to be an update. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to the man, the myth, the legend, Jack Evans from the Heavens.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 51?