Episode 74 of AEW Dark featured Sonny Kiss breaking out a new finisher, FTR messing with Marko Stunt, and Joey Janela picking up momentum in a barn burner against Jack Evans.
Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall, & Nick Comoroto vs. Vary Morales & Jersey Muscle Society (okay)
- SCU vs. Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow (solid)
- Brian Cage vs. Jake St. Patrick (okay)
- Rap song from The Acclaimed mocking Chris Jericho & MJF (okay)
- Miranda Alize vs. Nyla Rose (okay)
- PAC vs. VSK (okay)
- KC Navarro vs. Sonny Kiss (okay)
- Tay Conti vs. Alex Gracia (okay)
- Ryan Nemeth vs. Marko Stunt (okay)
- Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi vs. Shawn Dean & Charlie Bravo (okay)
- 10 vs. Baron Black (okay)
- Red Velvet vs. Diamante (solid)
- Joey Janela vs. Jack Evans (solid)
Janela versus Evans, Red Velvet versus Diamante, and SCU versus Johnson & Solow were the cream of the crop. I’d pick the SCU bout as my favorite of the bunch. 10 and Black had a competitive outing. Cage, Comoroto, and Nyla were impressive powerhouses. In terms of Dynamite stories, Nemeth was the recipient of a little help from FTR against Stunt and The Acclaimed cut a rap song video on Jericho & MJF.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Anthony Ogogo and Ricky Starks stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall, & Nick Comoroto defeated Vary Morales & Jersey Muscle Society. Comoroto was tagged in by QT for a flurry of body slams. Comoroto tagged in Rhodes for a teamwork finisher. As Comoroto pressed Morales high into the air, Rhodes jumped off the turnbuckles for a flying bulldog.
SCU defeated Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow. The newest member of the Nightmare Family performed well with Johnson by his side. The Nightmare duo were close to victory when Johnson executed an airplane spin on Christopher Daniels, followed by a dropkick, blue thunder bomb, DVD into the corner, and flying stomp by Solow. CD kicked out of the pin. He then escaped a double suplex for the hot tag to Frankie Kazarian. Kaz caught a leaping Solow for SCU to win via Best Meltzer Driver.
Brian Cage defeated Jake St. Patrick. Hook was ringside. Cage smashed. The demolition culminated with two powerbombs, a powerbomb backbreaker, and Drill Claw.
The Acclaimed music video. Anthony Bowens and Max Caster were in a therapy session with Bowens reciting Chris Jericho’s theme lyrics. Dr. Kelby advised that the only way through their issues was together. That led to the Acclaimed mocking Jericho and MJF with a rap song.
Nyla Rose defeated Miranda Alize. Vickie Guerrero was ringside to slap Alize. Nyla powered through her opponent to win with a Beast Bomb. Afterward, commentary and the camera made a point to acknowledge a friendly interaction between Las Sicarias and Alize. It could be something for the future to keep an eye on, or it could be nothing.
PAC defeated VSK. The Bastard picked apart and taunted VSK. The underdog’s brief rally was cut short by a big boot. PAC earned the W with a Brutalizer submission.
Sonny Kiss defeated KC Navarro. Joey Janela was ringside. After a DDT from Navarro, Kiss took control with a spinning kick. A handspring axe kick in the corner set up a new finisher for Kiss. The Concrete Rose picked Navarro up in a fireman’s carry position then dropped down in the splits to hit a stunner.
Tay Conti defeated Alex Gracia. Anna Jay accompanied her best friend but did not remain ringside. Conti crushed Gracia with a hammerlock DDT. Conti exploded with clotheslines and kicks to maintain momentum. A pump kick dropped Gracia so Conti could lock in an octopus choke for victory.
Ryan Nemeth defeated Marko Stunt. Nemeth grabbed a mic before the match to address the elephant in the room. It feels as if people don’t like him, because he is a true Hollywood hunk. Nemeth implored the masses to look deep into their hearts to realize that they actually adore him.
Stunt’s quickness posed problems for Nemeth. The hunk was able to knock Stunt off the turnbuckles to gain control. Nemeth went around the world with pelvic thrusts as he held his opponent in a neckbreaker position. Stunt escaped with a kick. As Stunt was setting up a maneuver of his own, FTR’s music played as a distraction. Nemeth capitalized with a neckbreaker to win.
Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi defeated Shawn Dean & Charlie Bravo. Avalon was often a goof, while Bononi picked up the slack with his muscle. In the end, Bononi provided a pop-up slam to Bravo then blasted Dean off the apron. Avalon picked up the win on a Marti-knees double knee attack.
10 defeated Baron Black. 10 was on the rocks after an atomic drop and a backstabber from Black, but the masked man rallied with clotheslines, a back body drop, a spinebuster, and a powerbomb for success.
Red Velvet defeated Diamante. Big Swole and Ivelisse were ringside. Close calls for pinfalls came on a standing moonsault by Velvet, a standing sliced bread by Diamante, and a running bulldog by Velvet. The finish came when Velvet escaped a Code Red attempt to unload a variety of kicks and win on a single-leg dropkick.
Joey Janela defeated Jack Evans. Sonny Kiss and Angelico were ringside. Evans attacked with a springboard kick before the bell. He followed with a moonsault off the stage onto Janela. Evans was too focused on flapping his gums, so Janela pushed him off the turnbuckles down to the floor. The Bad Boy pounced for a flying crossbody. Both men had strong sequences leading to near falls. Janela hit a DVD into the corner, a suicide dive, then a DVD in the center of the ring. Evans came back with a super hurricanrana then a Phoenix splash knee drop off the middle rope. Janela turned it up a notch with a big lariat and a package piledriver. Evans surprisingly kicked out of the pin, so Janela finished him with a flying elbow drop.
Sonny Kiss’ new finisher is a keeper. The stunner has been long-established as an effective maneuver, and Kiss made that version unique by adding signature splits. It’s good to see Kiss adding to an already impressive arsenal of attacks.
Brian Cage was the star of the show, in my eyes. That’s how an enhancement match should be done when The Machine is involved. He steamrolled Jake St. Patrick in short order with impressive power. It definitely left me yearning to see Cage rage again.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 74? Which was your favorite match?