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AEW Dark recap (Nov. 30, 2021): Was Anthony Greene ready for Adam Cole, bay bay?

Episode 119 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream from YouTube. Your commentary team this week was Excalibur and Taz. Before we get started, I’ve just learned that Big Swole has left AEW by mutual agreement, and I wanted to say that she will be missed. There was no intro tonight as we got straight to the action!

Bear Country vs. Shawn Spears & Wardlow

Spears came in 14-4 and Wardlow was 22-3. Bear Country’s 2021 team record coming in was 10-3. Spears and Bronson started for their respective teams. Spears showed off his agility to piss Bronson off and then put him in an armbar. The second time he did it Bronson knocked him down with a shoulder tackle and did a cartwheel of his own. Boulder tagged in and gave him a head butt, and since he fell right in front of Wardlow, he tagged in and called for a test of strength. They went 50/50 until Wardlow double legged him. Boulder knocked him out of the ring with a shoulder tackle. Bronson tagged in and did a suicide dive as Spears was consulting with Wardlow on the floor. Bronson threw him back in and laid in strikes in the corner. Spears escaped and tagged out. Wardlow did some ground and pound before a series of spears and uppercuts. Spinebuster by Wardlow as he screamed “Who is the man?” Spears and Wardlow cut off the ring for a bit, but Wardlow failed to hit a spinebuster and Bronson sat down on his chest. Boulder got the hot tag and Spears was the victim as Wardlow tagged him in. Wardlow tried to make up for it with an assist but Boulder sandwiched them both in the corner. Wardlow tried a cross body but got slammed for a one count. Boulder dragged him to the corner and did a moonsault off the middle rope, but Wardlow got out of the way. Wardlow hit a clothesline for a two count. Spears tried a double sledge but Boulder slammed him down. Bronson tagged in, Boulder picked him up, and Wardlow blocked the assisted slam with the Casualty of War and made the pin.

KiLynn King vs. Renee Michelle

King brought a 2021 record of 13-11 to this match. Michelle was waiting in the ring with a record of 0-4. With the outfits they were wearing, it looked like a “Red vs. Green” PVP match. King and Michelle exchanged some smack talk before Michelle threw her into the corner to lay in some forearms and kicks. Taz encouraged her to do the same to referee Bryce Remsburg. Michelle screamed at him when King kicked out on a two count. King threw her into the corner for a lariat, a running back elbow and a release German suplex for two. Moments later she hit Kingdom Falls for the pin and stomped on her for good measure. Afterward Fuego Del Sol described himself this way — “I try hard, or I die hard” — in preparation for a match with Ethan Page later in the show.

Santana & Ortiz vs. Gus De La Vega & Brandon Gore

Santana & Ortiz brought a record of 14-3 following their win on Elevation last night. Vega & Gore were waiting for them in the ring. That didn’t bode well. Ortiz had his way with Gore before tagging Santana in. Commentary seemed to be telling the story that Ortiz was the slim and trim one in the gym while Santana was the “heavyweight bruiser” of the crew. Sure, I’ll buy that. Vega tried to tag in and help but he got Outlined In Chalk for the pin. Another quick and devastating win for The Proud & Powerful.

Skye Blue vs. La Rosa Negra

Skye Blue brought a singles record of 1-7 to the ring, where La Rosa Negra was waiting to make her AEW debut. Negra hit a spinebuster for a near fall. Blue took her down with a clothesline in response. She booted Negra in the face, hit a hurricanrana, and a roundhouse kick from the apron. Blue went to the top rope for a crossbody and a near fall. Belly to belly suplex from Blue, followed up by a flatliner for the pin, improving her record to 2-7.

Alan “5” Angels (w/ The Dark Order & -1) vs. Mike Reed

Angels brought a singles record of 14-24 to this match. Reed was waiting for him in the ring with a record of 0-1. Well then. Angels hit a frogsplash for a near fall while -1 was busy on the outside putting on multiple lucha masks. Angels kicked Reed in the head, went to the top rope for a crossbody, hit a step up enzuigiri, and Reed fell out of the ring. Angels did a suicide dive to knock him into the guardrail, threw him back in, and did a Wing Snapper for a win. The guy who used to get squashed just got a squash win, and -1 joined him in the ring to celebrate.

Ryo Mizunami vs. Dani Jordyn

Mizunami brought a record of 15-6 to this match. Jordyn brought a singles record of 0-8. The good news is they like her enough to keep bringing her back and even let her have her own gimmick, a “burn book” with drawings of people she doesn’t like. The bad news is they haven’t figured out who to give her that first win against, and it wasn’t going to be Mizunami. She chopped the life out of Jordyn and argued with the ref when he asked her to let Jordyn out of the corner. When she finally did she threw Jordyn to the opposite corner for a clothesline, then did the Hogan leg drop for two. Jordyn tried to fight back with a jawbreaker but got picked up and put down with a power slam for another dominant win.

The Butcher (w/ Jora Johl, The Bunny & Matt Hardy) vs. Michael Martinez

The Butcher’s singles record in 2021 was 13-6. It was about to be 14-6 as the hapless Martinez waited for him in the ring. He didn’t even get an introduction as Butcher attacked him before the opening bell. Hardy celebrated as the Butcher carved him up with ease then hit the ring to celebrate after the pin. The single biggest squash of the show thus far.

Julia Hart vs. Nikita Knight

Hart brought a singles record of 7-8, not being accompanied by the Varsity Blonds for this match. Knight was waiting in the ring with a singles record of 0-1. Guess who’s about to hit the .500 mark in their AEW career? You already know. Hart did a moonsault press and didn’t even go for the pin. That allowed Knight to mount a brief comeback, hitting Hart with a Michinoku Driver that stunned both Taz and Excalibur. We had a double down as both women did simultaneous dropkicks, and they exchanged “boo/yay” punches when they stood up. Hart did a splitting leg drop, a handspring clothesline, a running back elbow, a jaw breaker, and a bulldog for the pin. Knight got way more than you’d expect here.

Infinito vs. Ray Jaz

The mysterious Infinito made his AEW debut here, announced as hailing “from the beginning of time” and “weighing more than you can imagine.” Jaz was the more experienced wrestler despite waiting for him in the ring and having a singles record of 0-1. If you want spoilers about who Infinito is here’s a Squared Circle thread about it. Based on his height and physique you might be able to figure it out even without their help. Infinito put Jaz in an infinite airplane spin (it seriously went on forever) before Infinito rolled up his helplessly dizzy opponent for the pin. This was fun but mostly because I knew who Infinito was going into the match.

“Legit” Leyla Hirsch vs. Sahara Seven

Hirsch brought a singles record of 21-6 to this match. Seven was waiting for her in the ring with a singles record of 0-2. Do you even need to guess who the winner was here? No. No you don’t. Hirsch hit a German suplex, a running knee, and put on the armbar for the submission, and Seven tapped out immediately.

Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto vs. Varsity Blonds (w/ Julia Hart)

Both teams got their full intros for this match. Taz and Excalibur were surprised Hart wasn’t nursing injuries from her victory earlier in the evening. This was the first competitive match in at least a half hour or more. Pillman gave Garrison the tag to let him run over Solo and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Big splash in the corner, high boot, and Garrison planted him face first for a near fall. Hart pounded on the apron sensing victory was at hand, but Solo escaped and tagged Comoroto, who hit a big bruising spear. Garrison escaped a gorilla press, got a roll up for a near fall, and dived for Pillman to make the tag. Pillman tried a sunset flip but needed a rolling elbow assist from Garrison to complete it for the pin.

Tony Schiavone hit the ring to interview the winning team. Garrison: “Gold is for sure on our minds baby! That match was just a stepping stone to prove why we’ll have gold around our waist in the very near future.” Pillman: “Look what we’ve been through. From Julia Hart being harassed every match, from going toe to toe with FTR and the Young Bucks, and if those guys are the future, we’re the NOW of professional wrestling.”

Tony Nese vs. D’Marceo James

Nese brought a record of 3-0 following last night’s Elevation card. James was waiting for him in the ring to make his AEW debut. Uh-oh. That’s bad news for Mr. James since Nese is facing Sammy Guevara for the TNT title on Dynamite. Splash for a near fall. James was so confident that he stopped to flex a bicep. Nese whipped James into the buckle so hard he fell to both knees. He also ground a knee into the back of James’ head as light boos broke out in Orlando. James made his comeback with punches and a drop kick, but missed the scissor kick and ate a reverse suplex into the turnbuckle. Running Nese finished him off.

Matt Hardy & Jora Johl vs. Baron Black & Prince Agballah

Hardy was 22-10 and Johl was 1-8 coming into this match. Black & Agballah were making their AEW tag team debut, but you should already know Black well by this point if you’re watching the Dark shows. He’s also one half of the brand new TERMINUS promotion launched alongside technical wrestler du jour Jonathan Gresham. That’s a group to keep your eye on in the future. Meanwhile back to AEW action!

Matt Hardy tagged in, Johl held Black up for an elbow to the spine, and Hardy laid in shots in the corner before a slingshot neck first into the ropes. Johl got tagged back in and hit Black with a power slam. Black hit a backstabber, Hardy tried to cut him off before the tag, but Agballah got it anyway. Hardy distracted him and Johl picked him up to drop him right on his face. Johl hit the high boot to the jaw and looked like he could easily make the pin, but Hardy demanded the tag and Johl reluctantly gave it to him. He picked up Agballah and hit the Twist of Fate for an easy victory. At least he gave Johl a handshake afterward.

Ethan Page vs. Fuego Del Sol

Page brought a singles record of 21-5 to this match and argued with a little kid at ringside before stepping in. Fuego Uno brought a record of 6-32.Fans continued to razz Page even as he dropped Fuego throat first across the barricade. He left Fuego on the ramp while arguing with the fans though and Fuego came flying off to wipe him out. Page was taken out again by a moonsault off the apron while the ref apparently decided this was a “falls count anywhere” match and continued to let them fight on the outside. Page hit a tornado DDT and a backbreaker on the floor as loud boos broke out. One fan even yelled “YOU STINK” loudly enough to make Taz & Excalibur laugh. It’s impressive when you can get that level of heat with the fans, particularly in the confines of Universal Studios.

Back in the ring Fuego managed a roll up for two before Page dropped him again. Page grounded him and tried to crush his ribs, but Fuego fought to his feet (say that three times fast) and got put right back down with a high back bodydrop. The crowd kept exhorting Fuego to make one comeback after another and Fuego finally took him down with a moonsault, a kick to the head, and a double foot stomp to the back of said head for a near fall. Fuego went to the top rope but Page got out of the way and hit a power slam for two. Page put Fuego on his shoulder for Ego’s Edge but he escaped and left Page hanging on the ropes for another double foot stomp, leading to a very near fall. He set Page on the turnbuckle, kicked him in the face, went up for a move but got thrown off with a body slam and taken down with a shoulder tackle. The Razor’s Edge, I mean Ego’s Edge, ended this match. Fun back and forth bout leading to our main event!

Anthony Greene vs. Adam Cole

“The Alternative” Anthony Greene came in with a singles record of 1-2. Adam Cole (bay bay) brought an undefeated 3-0 record to this match. Greene stunned Cole with a pair of dropkicks before stealing Cole’s t-shirt and saying “you suck bay bay” and throwing it into the crowd. Cole stalled for time, Greene gave pursuit, Cole got back in the ring and hit Greene with a pump kick. He went back outside to throw Greene into the ring post, rolled in to break the count, then finally decided he should attack Greene in the ring instead. Cole whipped him into the turnbuckle and mocked him as he sold his back, saying “this is what you asked for” and “nobody’s gonna cheer for you.” Damn it, I know that’s supposed to be heel heat, but it makes me smile every time Cole acts like a dick. How can you not love him?

Greene started firing up with punches and backed Cole into the corner for some boots to the body. Clothesline, back elbow, jawbreaker, neckbreaker, Greene was on a roll until Cole countered him into a near fall. Cole stomped on the canvas waiting for a super kick, hit it, and then refused to make the cover despite referee Paul Turner telling him to finish it. Cole went to the second rope looking for Panama Sunrise, Greene avoided it and hit a super kick of his own for a near fall. Michinoku Driver by Greene for two. They traded go behinds until Cole hit an enzuigiri and a backstabber for 2.9. Crucifix bomb for a near fall into a single leg crab. Greene dragged Cole back to the center when he tried to get to the ropes. Cole finally kicked him away and went for an inside cradle. He faked a superkick, kicked the knee, tried to Lower the Boom and missed. Greene with a reverse kick from the apron, but Cole cut him off with another kick when he dived back in, then successfully Lowered the Boom with the knee to the back of Greene’s head for three. Even Taz had to admit that Greene gave Adam Cole one hell of a match in the main event tonight.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by All About Tha BOOM. Does anybody else Cole’s AEW theme song sounds like Rage Against the Machine, or is that just me? The good news tonight is that despite being a 90 minute plus show, I didn’t feel like it dragged at any point. The best matches were Cole vs. Greene, Fuego vs. Page, Solo & Comoroto vs. Varsity Blonds, and Bear Country vs. Spears & Wardlow. What to skip? Nothing. It was all good, bay bay! A textbook episode of AEW Dark that should be taught in wrestling school.

Cageside commentary crew! Leave your feedback in the comments section below. I’m also on Twitter if you want to hit me up. See you next Monday night for Elevation!

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