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AEW Dark recap (Jan. 26, 2021): Santana & Ortiz get their edge back

Episode 72 of AEW Dark featured Santana & Ortiz getting their edge back and Peter Avalon may have a new monster-sized associate by his side.

There were two notable moments during the show courtesy of Santana & Ortiz and Peter Avalon. We’ll start with Proud and Powerful. They cut a promo about it being their time to eat. Consider that fair warning and beware. Santana & Ortiz backed up their words with an aggressive victory over Mike Verna & Ryzin. They disposed of Verna via assisted DVD. The win was so dominant that Ryzin never had a chance to tag into the ring.

This attitude from Santana & Ortiz is encouraging yet a little odd in timing after they lost the Inner Circle tag team battle on Dynamite. Let’s hope this signifies that they are done playing games and out for blood from everyone.

The other noteworthy moment saw a potential new ally by Peter Avalon’s side. The culmination of Pretty Peter’s Pageant Provocation was a walk-off between Peter Avalon and Lee Johnson. Guest judges were Aubrey Edwards, Brandi Rhodes, Jerry Lynn. The contest had old-school rules. First model walks, second model duplicates. One outfit. 10 steps down, pose, 10 steps back. The walk-off can be viewed at the 1:06:00 mark.

Avalon came out to insult the women judges and compliment Lynn. Both participants wore a black shirt and black pants. The style difference was in the jacket. Johnson’s chose dark, while Avalon chose light.

Johnson went first with a twirl twist. All three judges rated a 9. Avalon oozed sex with his strut. His big move was to unbutton the coat. Aubrey and Brandi rated a 9 again. Lynn asked to see a replay. Upon further review, Avalon had a hiccup in his giddy-up. Lynn teased a 9 then turned it upside down for a 6. Johnson was deemed the victor. His celebration was cut short after being attacked by Cezar Bononi. The violence did not appear to be planned, but it seems that Avalon has a new associate by his side.

Bononi is a good choice to receive a bigger role in AEW. He is a large man, and AEW can never have enough monsters. This is low-card action at the moment, but you never know if the duo can pick up steam to move up to Dynamite in time.

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

  • Miro vs. Fuego Del Sol (okay)
  • Jurassic Express vs. Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow (solid)
  • SCU vs. Terrence & Terrell Hughes (solid)
  • M’Badu & KC Navarro vs. Butcher & Blade (okay)
  • Rey Fenix vs. Baron Black (solid)
  • Shanna vs. KiLynn King (okay)
  • Brooke Havok vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD (okay)
  • Abadon vs. Vertvixen (okay)
  • Santana & Ortiz vs. Ryzin & Mike Verna (okay)
  • Davienne vs. Tay Conti (okay)
  • Ray Jaz vs. 10 (okay)
  • Red Velvet vs. Madi Wrenkowski (okay)
  • Sean Maluta vs. Danny Limelight (okay)
  • Jazmin Allure vs. Ivelisse (okay)
  • Jake St. Patrick vs. Will Hobbs (okay)

Jurassic Express, SCU, and Fenix were in the best matches from this batch. All three contests were competitive. The majority of the remaining contests were showcase bouts.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Ricky Starks, Anthony Ogogo, and -1 stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Miro defeated Fuego Del Sol. Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford, and butler Charles Taylor were all ringside. Fuego used his speed to survive until eating a big clothesline. Miro called Taylor up to the apron to clap in support. Fuego recovered for a hurricanrana attempt, but Miro countered for a Samoan drop. A pump kick and Game Over submission ended it. Miro’s submission hold was a bit different this time as he leaned all the way back.

AEW Dark

Afterward, Miro ordered Taylor to roll Fuego’s body out of the ring.

Jurassic Express defeated Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow. Marko Stunt was ringside. The underdogs were close to an upset when Johnson powerbomb tossed Jungle Boy into Solow’s knees, Johnson followed with a DVD, then Solow crashed down for a flying double stomp. Jungle Boy kicked out on the cover to keep the match alive. Luchasaurus took control to set Jungle Boy up for his Snare Trap submission on Solow.

SCU defeated Terrence & Terrell Hughes. Both teams exchanged extended sequences of physical control. SCU rallied in the end for a Best Meltzer Ever to win.

Butcher & Blade defeated M’Badu & KC Navarro. Bunny was ringside. She distracted the referee, so Blade could choke Navarro with his jacket. Bunny also pounded punches to Navarro on the floor. When Butcher covered Navarro, M’Badu charged to break the pin. Butcher tossed Navarro into the opposing corner, so M’Badu could tag in for some big man action. The two rams collided. Butcher came out on top with a clothesline. The meat men finished M’Badu with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo.

Rey Fenix defeated Baron Black. Black worked over Fenix, but the luchador displayed his Modelo fighting spirit to overcome with a corner kick, rolling cutter, and fire thunder driver.

Shanna defeated KiLynn King. King had blue makeup around her eyes extending across her face. I think that was the first time she used that look. Shanna withstood King’s power attack to rally with a diving stomp, running dropkick, and tiger driver for victory.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD defeated Brooke Havok. Reba was ringside. This was Havok’s AEW debut out of the Nightmare Factory as a student of Cody Rhodes.

Havok had a minor flurry of offense, but Baker was never in real trouble. The dentist used a curb stomp to set up her Lockjaw submission.

Abadon defeated Vertvixen. The zombie was unfazed by Vertvixen’s strikes. Abadon crushed her opponent with a suplex, smashed her skull into the mat repeatedly, and finished with a Gory driver.

Tay Conti defeated Davienne. Anna Jay and -1 were ringside. Davienne was no match strategically. Conti was always two steps ahead. She won with a pump kick and rear octopus choke.

10 defeated Ray Jaz. -1 was on commentary, and 5 was ringside. 10 landed awkwardly on his knee, so Jaz chop blocked him. 10 recovered to deliver a pump kick, clotheslines, and a spinebuster. He closed it with a ripcord clothesline to the back of the head.

Afterward, -1 hit Jaz with a kendo stick. Brian Pillman Jr. ran out to duel with a lacrosse stick, but Brodie Lee Jr. kicked his butt.

Red Velvet defeated Madi Wrenkowski. Lil Cupcake exploded for a flatliner, clotheslines, kicks, bulldog, standing moonsaut, running double knees, then a running single-leg dropkick to win.

Danny Limelight defeated Sean Maluta. Limelight was lit. He launched for a cool corkscrew plancha to the outside. A soccer kick to the head gave Limelight the 1, 2, 3.

Ivelisse defeated Jazmin Allure. Ivelisse was running game until Allure scored a jawbreaker and a facebuster. Ivelisse returned fire to win on a tornado kick.

Will Hobbs defeated Jake St. Patrick. Hook was ringside and suplexed the Team Taz adversary on the floor. Hobbs powerhoused St. Patrick with a spinebuster and pumphandle powerslam.

Ivelisse and Tay Conti were both impressive in victory. They opened up their offense to dominate. It is good timing with the women’s tournament coming up. Baron Black was the star on the enhancement side. He showed a wide variety in moves when hanging with Fenix. My favorite moment of the evening was Taz singing the noises of Jungle Boy’s 80s theme song. Taz promised he wouldn’t croon, but he couldn’t help himself when the rhythm took over.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 72? Which was your favorite match? Do you think Santana & Ortiz will actually build momentum for a run up the rankings? Are you intrigued by the pairing of Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi?

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