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AEW Dark recap (Jan. 12, 2021): Tay Conti impresses

Episode 70 of AEW Dark featured Tay Conti and Serena Deeb in warm-up bouts before their NWA Women’s Championship clash on Dynamite, the Dark Order rolling strong, and Top Flight with innovative offense.

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

  • Mike Verna vs. Ricky Starks (okay)
  • Ryzin & Fuego Del Sol vs. Jurassic Express (okay)
  • Tay Conti vs. Marti Daniels (okay)
  • Dark Order vs. Shawn Dean, Zack Clayton, Adam Priest, Danny Limelight, & Vary Morales (okay)
  • Louie Valle vs. Will Hobbs (okay)
  • Red Velvet vs. Leva Bates (okay)
  • Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs. KC Navarro & El Australiano (okay)
  • Varsity Blondes vs. Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow (okay)
  • Anna Jay vs. Alex Gracia (okay)
  • Serena Deeb vs. Tesha Price (okay)
  • Baron Black & Nick Comoroto vs. Bear Country (okay)
  • Chaos Project vs. Top Flight (solid)

The main event was the top bout for the evening. All the rest offered the same quality you would expect from Dark. Alex Reynolds & John Silver versus KC Navarro & El Australiano and Varsity Blondes versus Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow were two of the better contests from the bunch. The bouts from Tay Conti and Serena Deeb are good to watch if you want to get pumped up for their NWA title fight on Dynamite.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Anthony Ogogo, Scorpio Sky, and Peter Avalon stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Ricky Starks defeated Mike Verna. Hook accompanied Starks. Absolute came back from a powerslam for a rope-running spear to win.

Jurassic Express defeated Ryzin & Fuego Del Sol. Marko Stunt was ringside. Fuego’s momentum from a poison rana was quickly extinguished. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Fuego out of the ring down onto Ryzin. Jurassic Express hit a teamwork powerbomb on Fuego then Jungle Boy rolled him over for an STF choke. Luchasaurus hit a spinning head kick on Ryzin to prevent a breakup.

Tay Conti defeated Marti Daniels. Anna Jay accompanied Conti. Domination from the judo black belt. Conti utilized a variety of tosses, suplexes, and kicks. Victory was earned on a Gory knee strike.

Dark Order defeated Shawn Dean, Zack Clayton, Adam Priest, Danny Limelight, & Vary Morales. Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, 5, 10, and Colt Cabana each got a chance to shine with nifty moves. Dean was the star of the other squad with a flurry of offense. In the end, Dark Order cleared the ring to blitz Priest with ripcord clotheslines, an elbow blow, and Fatality.

Will Hobbs defeated Louie Valle. Taz wanted to send a message to future wrestlers who think they can wear orange and black. Those colors belong to Team Taz.

Hobbs dished out pain to bloody up Valle. Hook was ringside and attacked with a judo throw on the floor.

Hobbs finished by power slamming Valle into oblivion. Hobbs added a second slam after the bell.

Red Velvet defeated Leva Bates. The Librarian controlled the pace throughout, however, Velvet escaped a fireman’s carry to hit a forward Russian leg sweep then a single-leg dropkick to the head for victory.

Alex Reynolds & John Silver defeated KC Navarro & El Australiano. This was the AEW debut of AAA’s Australian Suicide. He was in fashionista mode. Highlights from Australiano were a corkscrew senton, a flying corkscrew crossbody, and a shooting star press off the ropes down to the floor. Reynolds and Silver cleaned it up with an airplane spin slam by Silver to Navarro and a fisherman’s suplex into a cradle pin by Reynolds to Australiano.

Varsity Blondes defeated Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow. Peter Avalon was on commentary with his eye on handsome studs, specifically Johnson. The Nightmare Family member hit high flying offensive maneuvers. The Blondes took over as Brian Pillman Jr. superkicked Johnson in the face, much to the chagrin of Avalon. Solow ate a rolling elbow from Griff Garrison then a teamwork dropkick powerbomb. Pillman secured the winning pin.

Afterward, Avalon offered Johnson a signed 8 x 10 photo. Johnson politely took it to the back, but it didn’t seem like he was interested in the gift.

Anna Jay defeated Alex Gracia. Tay Conti accompanied Jay. The Queen Slayer made quick work of Gracia. After a couple of heel kicks and a neckbreaker, Jay took Gracia’s back for a rear naked choke.

Serena Deeb defeated Tesha Price. Price had some loudmouth dude in her corner. Her entrance was skipped and commentary never said his name. Deeb started with mat work. Price answered with big elbows and measured punches. Deeb rebounded with a chain of neckbreakers and a snap suplex. The NWA women’s champ ended it with her Detox front slam finisher.

Bear Country defeated Baron Black & Nick Comoroto. This bout had burly men throwing beef. Bear Country feasted to close it with a teamwork double bowling ball in the corner then an assisted totem pole splash to pin Black.

Top Flight defeated Chaos Project. Luther brought the power to use Serpentico as a battering ram. Top Flight brought the innovation. Dante Martin hit a unique combo by placing Serpentico under Luther’s arm then using the snake man to step up for a flipping neckbreaker to Luther. The momentum caused Luther to DDT Serpentico. Top Flight was victorious as Dante hit a rocket launcher dropkick to Serpentico in the corner.

Tay Conti and Serena Deeb both had efficient outings to show they are ready to compete for the NWA Women’s Championship on Dynamite. They were strong enough to light the fire of anticipation in me as a fan. I’m looking forward to seeing how Deeb fares against Conti’s judo and jiu-jitsu skills. Deeb is strong on the mat as well, so their match should be a dandy.

A couple of parting thoughts. El Australiano didn’t disappoint in his AEW debut. It was nice that he was allowed to shine with high-flying moves. Peter Avalon was very funny on commentary as a connoisseur of beauty. He has me curious where this shtick is leading. Top Flight continues to impress. That is a team that is making the most of their time on Dark.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 70? Which was your favorite match?

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