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AEW Dark recap (Mar. 6, 2021): Big Swole’s promo gold

Episode 78 of AEW Dark featured Miro sending a violent message to Chuck Taylor, Big Swole demanding debts will be paid in gold, Jake Roberts and Lance Archer gunning for Cody Rhodes, as well as various wrestlers picking up momentum on the night before AEW’s Revolution PPV.

Let’s hit all the story beats before getting into the matches.

After Chuck Taylor defeated JD Drake, Penelope Ford distracted Orange Cassidy on stage so Kip Sabian could dropkick him.

Miro promptly showed up to put Taylor in a cobra clutch. Taylor passed out, but Miro threw water on him to send a message of violence for their PPV match. Miro was angry that Taylor is wasting his time. Miro mocked the lazy shin kick routine on OC then clobbered him with a powerful thrust kick to the head.

Big Swole came out on stage for a promo (at 25:58) for the most interesting segment of the show. She’s been hearing how she is underutilized by AEW, but that’s not the right word. Swole is undervalued. She scratched and clawed her way to become #1 then was slapped in the face by not being in the women’s tournament. Swole was so hot in anger that she had to take time off. She’s happy for Ryo Mizunami’s success, however, whoever wins the women’s title match at Revolution will be in debt. Payment will be due, and Swole’s price is gold.

Good delivery from Swole on that promo. It walks the line between a babyface with a chip on her shoulder and leaning heel with a persecution complex. She does have legitimate gripes. Swole was ranked #1 for the final 8 weeks on 2020 and first 2 weeks of 2021. She did deserve to be inserted into the women’s tournament. However, Swole conveniently forgets her defeat to Hikaru Shida in a title match on the October 14th edition of Dynamite. Since that loss, Swole has had 5 singles wins against Dark talent. That’s not exactly a strong case to be calling your shots. Swole’s next move will be key. I can see her teeter-totting either way between good and bad to reach her goal for gold.

After Lance Archer’s win over John Skyler, Jake Roberts had the mic in hand with threats about Archer hurting Cody Rhodes during the Face of the Revolution ladder match. Archer spoke about taking what they want. The TNT title was always supposed to be his. He is very happy that Cody is in the match. Archer will murder him and take him away from his pregnant wife, Brandi. Nothing is going to stop Archer from becoming the rightful TNT champion. Everybody dies in that ladder match.

The Acclaimed had a rap video about Max Caster in the Revolution ladder match (at 47:38). If the others want to beat him, they will need magic tricks. Cody Rhodes got big-leagued by the Shaq attack. Pentagon must be scared wearing face paint and a mask. Scorpio Sky killed them with boredom. Lance Archer will be choked with his own ponytail.

After Bear Country’s match, Bunny came out on stage as a distraction so Butcher and Blade could attack from behind with chairs. That’s twice now for these violent beatdowns by BBB. Bear Country is going to have to take matters into their own hands. Do bears eat bunnies?

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

  • Natural Nightmares vs. Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi (okay)
  • JD Drake vs. Chuck Taylor (okay)
  • Pentagon vs. Azriel (okay)
  • John Skyler vs. Lance Archer (okay)
  • Angel Fashion & Fuego Del Sol vs. Ricky Starks & Brian Cage (okay)
  • Jake St. Patrick vs. Jack Evans (okay)
  • Gunn Club vs. D3 & M’Badu (okay)
  • Tesha Price vs. Thunder Rosa (okay)
  • Bear Country vs. Cameron Stewart & Ryzin (okay)
  • Vary Morales & Labron Kozone vs. 5 & 10 (okay)
  • Leila Grey vs. Tay Conti (okay)
  • Chaos Project vs. Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal (okay)

This edition of Dark had low-stakes matches and warm-ups for the PPV. The promos and extracurricular activities drove the interest. The main event was the most competitive contest. My personal picks of the bunch are Jack Evans followed by Thunder Rosa.

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.

Natural Nightmares defeated Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi. Pretty Picture’s entrance involved Bononi pulling Avalon on stage as he lied seductively across a heart-shaped pallet on wheels.

Nick Comoroto was ringside to support Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall. Rhodes cleaned house with a hot tag to pin Avalon on a bulldog.

Chuck Taylor defeated JD Drake. Orange Cassidy was ringside. Drake was in control, but the tables turned when Taylor knocked out his legs on the turnbuckles. An Awful Waffle piledriver to Drake off the corner ended the match.

Pentagon defeated Azriel. The underdog had momentum on a cobra clutch backbreaker, but Pentagon got his knees up on the ensuing frog splash. A pumphandle driver and Mexican Destroyer segued into an armbreaker and winning pin.

Lance Archer defeated John Skyler. An extended squash won by Blackout.

Ricky Starks & Brian Cage defeated Angel Fashion & Fuego Del Sol. Hook was ringside. Team Taz arrogantly dominated. They closed out the match with Starks spearing Fuego and Cage hitting a Drill Claw on Fashion for victory.

Jack Evans defeated Jake St. Patrick. The man, the myth, the legend, Jack Evans from the heavens showed why is is the mejor luchador. He showcased plenty of sweet moves. St. Patrick surged with a Falcon Arrow slam, but Evans kicked out on the pin. As St. Patrick climbed the corner, Evans sprang to life for a super German suplex then a 630 senton for the W.

Gunn Club defeated D3 & M’Badu. Austin and Colten handled their business. Colten turned the tide on a hot tag leading to the 3:10 to Yuma back body drop neckbreaker teamwork combo to D3.

Thunder Rosa defeated Tesha Price. Rosa was aggressive, while Price was feisty. A flurry of strikes set up the Fire Thunder Driver for Rosa’s win.

Bear Country defeated Cameron Stewart & Ryzin. Boulder’s double body slam of two men at the same time paved the way for a totem pole splash by Bear Country to win.

5 & 10 defeated Vary Morales & Labron Kozone. -1 was ringside. 5 led the charge with a wingsnapper to Kozone sending him into a powerful clothesline from 10.

Tay Conti defeated Leila Grey. -1 was ringside to support Conti in place of the injured Anna Jay. Conti turned up the heat with three judo tosses, two running knee strike in the corner, and one hammerlock DDT.

Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal defeated Chaos Project. Hot tag to Matt to unleash a variety of fancy kicks. Luther broke up a straitjacket cobra clutch. Mike hit a splits kick to knock Luther out of the ring. A double Lightning Spiral slam by the Sydal brothers finished Serpentico.

Quick thoughts. Chuck Taylor’s Awful Waffle piledriver to JD Drake was badass. I like the creative workaround to execute the maneuver on a heavyweight. Pentagon was not as efficient as I would have hoped after his time away. I picked him to win the ladder match, but I’m having second thoughts now. His opponent scored more offense than he should have. It was nice to see Jack Evans shine in singles action. All in all, this was a typical episode of Dark highlighted by relevant promos heading into Revolution. That activity provided a pleasant change of pace from the normal stockade of showcase matches.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 78? Which was your favorite match?

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