Episode 76 of AEW Dark featured Brian Cage handling the competition like a machine, Eddie Kingston in a slugfest, and SCU chasing their destiny.
Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Brian Cage vs. John Skyler (okay)
- Lee Johnson vs. Serpentico (okay)
- Eddie Kingston vs. JD Drake (okay)
- Leyla Hirsch vs. Brooke Havok (okay)
- Jurassic Express vs. VSK & Angel Fashion (okay)
- JJ Garrett vs. QT Marshall (okay)
- Max Caster vs. Marko Stunt (okay)
- Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs. Louie Valle & Chris Peaks (okay)
- Kip Sabian vs. Fuego Del Sol (okay)
- Varsity Blonds vs. Shawn Dean & Carlie Bravo (okay)
- Aaron Solow vs. Ryan Nemeth (okay)
- Ivelisse & Diamante vs. Miranda Alize & Renee Michelle (okay)
- Tony Vega & Steven Stetson vs. Top Flight (okay)
- Bear Country, Sonny Kiss, & Joey Janela vs. M’Badu, Levy Shapiro, Daniel Joseph, & Aaron Fyre (okay)
- Ryzin & Baron Black vs. Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi (okay)
- KiLynn King vs. Tesha Price (okay)
- Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal vs. TH2 vs. SCU (solid)
The main event was the best match of the broadcast. It delivered as you would expect. The rest of the matches were standard Dark fare. King versus Price was the best of the rest. Kingston and Drake engaged in a bar fight inside the ring. Garrett showed interesting potential in his AEW debut against Marshall. Varsity Blonds versus Dean & Bravo was competitive.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Anthony Ogogo stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Brian Cage defeated John Skyler. Hook was ringside. Skyler was no match for the machine. Cage powered through with a shoulder block, discus lariat, powerbomb, and Drill Claw.
Lee Johnson defeated Serpentico. Arn Anderson and Luther were ringside. Johnson demonstrated agility with evasive tactics, strength with a gorilla press, and aggression with a tackle and punches. Despite that, he was often fighting from behind as Serpentico controlled the flow. Johnson rallied to win with a spinning blue thunder bomb.
Eddie Kingston defeated JD Drake. This clash was two burly bulls in a china shop.
Drake had momentum but missed a moonsault. Kingston exploded for a spinning backfist to earn the victory.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Brooke Havok. Cody Rhodes accompanied Havok but did not remain ringside for his student. Havok was feisty, but Hirsch had the big hits with a delayed vertical suplex and a German suplex. Hirsch tossed Havok to the mat to transition to an armbreaker submission.
Unfortunately for Havok, she won’t be wrestling for a while. Cody broke some bad news about a knee injury suffered during the match.
DARK tonight - https://t.co/lwyVDsS3LG— Cody (@CodyRhodes) February 23, 2021
(*spoiler* Leyla is a beast, but also my respect for Brooke has grown immensely. She tore her ACL halfway through this contest, and she fought on and fought hard!) pic.twitter.com/UVmKtCc1qs
Jurassic Express defeated VSK & Angel Fashion. The boy and his dino handled business fairly quickly to win with a teamwork powerbomb.
QT Marshall defeated JJ Garrett. Nick Comoroto was ringside for his mentor. Garrett had the mullet and singlet of a young Scott Steiner. His pump wasn’t nearly as big though. Garrett gave Marshall a game and had the veteran in trouble. QT came back with a pop-up forearm and cutter to win.
Max Caster defeated Marko Stunt. Caster rapped his way to the ring flanked by Anthony Bowens, while Stunt was out solo. Stunt used his speed to connect on a few moves. Caster took control by catching a leaping Stunt then pressing him into the ropes. Stunt’s fighting spirit spurted for a running shooting star press. As Stunt climbed the corner, Caster hopped up for a superplex. A flying elbow drop gave Caster the 1, 2, 3.
Alex Reynolds & John Silver defeated Louie Valle & Chris Peaks. Silver ran wild on the hot tag for a double Samoan drop to both opponents. The Dark Order finished the contest with a double flipping Destroyer.
Kip Sabian defeated Fuego Del Sol. Penelope Ford was ringside. Fuego provided fiery resistance, but Sabian was on another skill level. The newlywed won with a fireman’s carry sitdown slam.
Varsity Blonds defeated Shawn Dean & Carlie Bravo. The action got kinky when Brian Pillman Jr. applied a nipple twister to Bravo. The favor was returned as Bravo twisted Pillman’s nipple. Dean had the hot tag moment to run wild with dropkicks and a DDT to Griff Garrison. Dean and Bravo almost achieved victory after a standing sliced bread followed by a flying splash to Garrison, but Pillman broke up the pin. Garrison took control with a rolling elbow to Bravo. That led to a flying dropkick powerbomb combo giving the Blonds the W.
Ryan Nemeth defeated Aaron Solow. The Hollywood Hunk was extremely tan. He was also cocky with a headstand hammerlock. Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi arrived on stage to observe the action. Solow had momentum until Nemeth knocked him off the turnbuckles. A neckbreaker ended Solow’s evening.
After the match, Avalon and Bononi entered the ring to stomp Solow. Nemeth joined in on the fun. QT Marshall, Lee Johnson, and Nick Comoroto ran in to save their Nightmare Family member.
Ivelisse & Diamante defeated Miranda Alize & Renee Michelle. This match had a little bit of backstory with Alize’s mingling with Ivelisse and Diamante outside AEW. Las Sicarias were very physical with Alize. Michelle had the hot tag for a hook kick to drop Ivelisse. Las Sicarias regrouped to ground Michelle. When Alize was tagged in, she was reluctant to hit Ivelisse and focused on Diamante instead. Ivelisse was more interested in winning the match, so she cracked Alize from behind. Stereo knees, a double slam, and stereo head kicks made Alize easy pickings for the three count. Ivelisse pie-faced Alize when getting off the mat after victory.
Top Flight defeated Tony Vega & Steven Stetson. Darius Martin cleaned house on the hot tag leading to an assisted launching dropkick from Dante Martin for the win.
Bear Country, Sonny Kiss, & Joey Janela defeated M’Badu, Levy Shapiro, Daniel Joseph, & Aaron Fyre. The Bears were beasts, while Kiss and Janela brought flash. Cool moves were Bear Bronson slamming one opponent on top of another for a senton sandwich and Janela using the Bears as stepping stones for a flying attack to the outside. A totem pole splash by Bear Country was the winning maneuver.
Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi defeated Ryzin & Baron Black. Avalon was the soft one of the duo. Bononi had to save the day with his muscle. Black had Avalon down after an atomic drop and a backstabber. Bononi goozled Ryzin to slam him onto Black to break the crossface submission on Pretty Peter. Bononi forcefully shoved Avalon into Black, so Avalon could score the pin.
KiLynn King defeated Tesha Price. King came out on top of this hard-hitting fight by throwing Price into the ropes to bounce back into a huge clothesline. King rattled Price’s dome with a front driver for the win.
SCU defeated Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal and TH2 in a three-way. The affair delivered entertainment in the form of unorthodox stylings from these particular professional wrestlers. The finish broke down into chaos. Christopher Daniels blasted Jack Evans mid-cartwheel. Frankie Kazarian cleaned up with a reverse DDT for the three count.
After the win, Kaz mumbled something about SCU chasing their destiny. I believe he was referring to becoming tag team champs in AEW.
SCU continues on their quest to attain gold before going their separate ways. Remember that their next loss together will be their last as a tag team. After this quality win, SCU should start to pick up some steam for the rankings. The retirement angle for Christopher Daniels could be great for TV during that lull period between PPVs.
It is encouraging to see the potential for minor storylines to play out a little on Dark. Peter Avalon adding to his crew for his beef with the Nightmare Family should be enjoyable. Las Sicarias could also have a few matches with purpose involving Ivelisse, Diamante, and Miranda Alize.
A few parting thoughts. Brian Cage’s demolition sessions are getting me pumped for his street fight against Darby Allin and Sting. The machine’s mystique is being built back up. Taz humming the musical hits will never get old. John Silver’s feat of strength on the double Samoan drop was my favorite maneuver of the show. JJ Garrett was the standout on the enhancement side. He displayed a unique style for AEW.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 76? Which was your favorite match?