Episode 86 of AEW Dark featured the debut of Marty Martinez, Lance Archer murdering, and the next chapter in the feud between the Hardy Family Office and the Dark Order.
The rouge’s gallery passing through Dark has seen many faces. Some are more familiar than others. One in particular stood out in this episode as a former Lucha Underground champion. That man is Marty “The Moth” Martinez, using his real name Martin Casaus.
Casaus’ appearance is not a huge shocker, but it is still cool for fans of Lucha Underground. Last month, he posted an image of his journey taking him to the Nightmare Factory. It made logical sense that it was only a matter of time before he would pop up on AEW programming. Tonight was that night. Casaus stepped into the ring against fellow Lucha Underground alum “The Machine” Brian Cage, who was flanked by Hook.
Hey DR's who said I'd never wrestle again, I'm on @aewontnt#AEWDark TOMORROW at 7/6c on https://t.co/rYVQd5SJ1e— Martin Casaus (@martincasaus) April 27, 2021
I know @MrGMSI_BCage from LU & know this is a match the believers wanted. I've rehabbed, scratched, & clawed so I can wrestle again. AEW LETS PLAY!!! #martycasaus pic.twitter.com/q3ScQJBNKb
Casaus took it to the muscle man with a crazy smile on his face.
Believers... IT'S TIME!@martincasaus has arrived!#AEWDark #AEW— (@WrestlingCovers) April 27, 2021
➡ https://t.co/j91GtUTGG2 pic.twitter.com/FiTdJweZ79
Casaus initiated a test of strength then booted Cage in the gut. Cage paid Casaus back with a dropkick. Cage smashed Casaus’ head into the turnbuckles, but it had no effect. Casaus fired away with bludgeoning blows. Casaus ran the ropes ducking clotheslines, however, Cage caught the crossbody attempt and countered into a DVD. The match progressed with Casaus taking flight for a plancha over the ropes.
@martincasaus has brought the fight to Brian Cage! #AEWDark #AEW— (@WrestlingCovers) April 27, 2021
➡ https://t.co/j91GtUTGG2 pic.twitter.com/rGUy8CUs57
In the end, Casaus’ craziness may have backfired. He licked his palm and shoved it in Cage’s face. I’m not quite sure what he was trying to do, but it fired up Cage to pummel him with a discus lariat and Drill Claw for victory.
Will #HangmanPage be the next victim of the Drill Claw? After a Win tonight on #AEWDark, @MrGMSI_BCage faces #1 ranked @theAdamPage tomorrow night at 8/7c on #AEWDynamite on TNT!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 27, 2021
Tune into Dark Now at https://t.co/bHcWYLGXEO - and every Tuesday at 7/6c on https://t.co/lBSV4sbfpB pic.twitter.com/08IHbyorsJ
Casaus looked good in defeat. He moved well with strong offense while exhibiting his signature oddball attitude. Let’s hope this showing opens doors in AEW or elsewhere. Three cheers for The Moth!
Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (Dynamite, competitive, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- The Acclaimed vs. Fuego Del Sol & D3 (showcase)
- Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal vs. David Ali & Aaron Frye (showcase)
- Andrew Palace vs. Dante Martin (showcase)
- Varsity Blonds vs. Duke Davis & Ganon Jones (showcase)
- Marty Casaus vs. Brian Cage (competitive)
- Leyla Hirsch vs. Renee Michelle (showcase)
- Jake St. Patrick vs. Lance Archer (squash)
- Diamante vs. Raychell Rose (showcase)
- Lee Johnson vs. Will Allday (showcase)
- Penelope Ford vs. Ashley D’Amboise (showcase)
- Cole Karter vs. Colt Cabana (squash)
- KiLynn King vs. Dani Jordyn (competitive)
- Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis vs. SCU (showcase)
- Blade & Private Party vs. Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & 10 (Dynamite)
Matt Hardy’s feud with the Dark Order was the feature with two promos. Once action picked up in the main event, it became the top match of the show. King versus Jordyn and Casaus versus Cage were also quality contests. Archer’s destruction was enjoyable. Take your pick on the rest.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
The Acclaimed defeated Fuego Del Sol & D3. Max Caster’s rap had references to Lego, Prego, and Action Bronson.
#TheAcclaimed have ARRIVED to kick off #AEWDark— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 27, 2021
Tune into Dark Now at https://t.co/bHcWYLYywm - and every Tuesday at 7/6c on https://t.co/lBSV4rTE11 pic.twitter.com/7g6W2R8Aq6
Fuego’s tornado DDT attempt was countered by Anthony Bowens for a suplex into the corner. A slam and flying elbow drop combo earned the win.
Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal defeated David Ali & Aaron Frye. Hot tag to Matt for an inside hook fisherman’s buster followed by a double Meteora flying knee attack. The pin was broken, so the Sydal brothers finished with a teamwork Lightning Spiral slam.
Dante Martin defeated Andrew Palace. Martin rallied with a hurricanrana to his opponent off the turnbuckles then connected on a 450 splash for victory.
Varsity Blonds defeated Duke Davis & Ganon Jones. Jones missed a moonsault. That allowed a hot tag to Griff Garrison to clean house with a Stinger splash and a spear. Brian Pillman Jr. tagged in for a teamwork powerbomb to win.
Matt Hardy was pleased with another opportunity for the HFO to kick Dark Order butt. Bunny was upset about that turd Darby Allin injuring Butcher’s cleaver hand. Hardy blamed his losses to Allin and Hangman Page on the Dark Order. The plan is to embarrass those idiots so much that they leave AEW.
Will #HFO "embarrass" #DarkOrder all the way OUT of @AEW?— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 27, 2021
Tune into #AEWDark Now at https://t.co/bHcWYLYywm pic.twitter.com/PdPKL9ExkO
Leyla Hirsch defeated Renee Michelle. Hirsch capitalized on a missed moonsault from Michelle for a running knee to the head then an armbar to win.
Lance Archer defeated Jake St. Patrick. Jake Roberts was on commentary. St. Patrick dropkicked Archer during his entrance, but the tide was quickly turned with a chokeslam on the stage. Archer battered his opponent and used a helicopter slam in the end.
The Dark Order will not tolerate any more tomfoolery from Hardy’s hooligans. HFO will be competing against the Dark Order’s most devious members in Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and 10.
#DarkOrder sends a message to #HFO ahead of their 6 Man tag tonight on #AEWDark— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) April 27, 2021
Tune into Dark Now at https://t.co/bHcWYLGXEO - and every Tuesday at 7/6c on https://t.co/lBSV4sbfpB pic.twitter.com/TUOHRp50OY
Diamante defeated Raychell Rose. Diamante came alive with a Russian leg sweep, running dropkicks in the corner, and a flying double stomp to the back. She closed with a stunner to set up Code Red.
Lee Johnson defeated Will Allday. Johnson caught a hurricanrana to counter into a buckle bomb. A fisherman’s neckbreaker over the knee finished it.
After the match, QT Marshall attacked Johnson. QT shouted about not being thanked by Big Shotty. Dustin Rhodes ran in for the save with a bull rope. Anthony Ogogo, Aaron Solow, and Nick Comoroto came out on stage to protect their trainer.
Penelope Ford defeated Ashley D’Amboise. Kip Sabian was ringside. A handspring cutter led to a fisherman’s suplex and victory.
Colt Cabana defeated Cole Karter. Cabana smashed his opponent’s head into the turnbuckles then pounced for a Superman pin to win.
KiLynn King defeated Dani Jordyn. Back and forth bout. Highlights include King catching a crossbody on the floor for a fallaway slam, a DDT in the ropes from Jordyn, a flipping neckbreaker from Jordyn, and a German suplex from King. In the end, King prevailed with a Kingdom Falls forward face-plant maneuver.
SCU defeated Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis. Frankie Kazarian was in trouble after taking a backbreaker, neckbreaker, and spinebuster. He broke free with clotheslines to tag Christopher Daniels. Order was soon restored for SCU to win via Best Meltzer Ever. The camera and commentary made a point to show Cezar Bononi and JD Drake in the crowd for a possible future matchup.
Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & 10 defeated Private Party & Blade. Matt Hardy, Bunny, Colt Cabana, Alex Reynolds, and 5 were ringside. With assistance from Cabana, the referee caught Bunny stomping Uno, so he ejected both Bunny and Hardy. The match heated up in the end when Grayson exploded for suplexes. HFO rallied with Silly String, a teamwork neckbreaker powerbomb, and a 450 splash to Grayson. Dark Order was able to break the pin. Grayson recovered with a backflip double kick. The match broke down with moves all around. 10 ran in to save Grayson from a powerbomb by trapping Blade with a full nelson. Blade tapped out to the submission.
Time for some quick thoughts. I like seeing those two promos prior to the main event. They were simple segments but made a huge difference in making me invested in the match. Varsity Blonds need to work on their powerbomb closer. They have been using various moves over the weeks with Brian Pillman Jr. flying in to add force. I appreciate experimenting, but this one wasn’t so hot. Pillman’s contribution probably did not add much to the impact. The awkwardness might have actually prevented full power from Griff Garrison. Ashley D’Amboise caught my eye from the newcomers. She looks like an athlete. That was Dani Jordyn’s best match by far on Dark. She shined when given the opportunity. KiLynn King keeps getting better. If she ever goes on a roll, all this hard work will make it rewarding for her and her fans.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 86? Which was your favorite match?