Episode 88 of AEW Dark featured Max Caster comparing backsides with Sonny Kiss, a new valet for the Varsity Blonds, Diamante picking a feud with Kris Statlander, and Brian Cage in a rowdy HOSS FIGHT!
The top moment from Dark was Max Caster’s rap. The Acclaimed made their way to the ring to face off with Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela. Caster rapped about the infamous ‘Sunny days’ reference and used The Boondocks reference to make the outrageous claim that he has a better derriere than Kiss. “Hey yo Sonny, what you say? Let’s keep it old school. We can have Sunny days. On second thought, I think I’ll pass. You’re not that cute, and I got a better ass. Booty butt booty butt booty butt cheeks.”
The match itself was very good and much better than I anticipated. I give it the thumbs up recommendation to watch for yourself.
In the bout, the tide turned when Anthony Bowens shoved Janela off the ropes crashing down onto the stage. Janela’s knee took damage. The Acclaimed worked Janela over focusing on the knee. Janela eventually escaped by countering an airplane spin into a DDT. That led to a hot tag to Kiss. Sonny cleaned house with a splits stunner to Caster. Kiss walloped Bowens with a rolling elbow. Tag back to Janela for a flying elbow drop, but Janela collapsed on the turnbuckles due to his injured knee. Bowens used a grounded cloverleaf submission on Janela to wrench the knee. Kiss was able to break the hold.
The match continued with Janela and Caster hitting opposing flying elbow drops onto Bowens and Kiss. A double clothesline had everyone down on the mat. The Acclaimed persevered in the end. They took out Kiss, then Bowens locked in another grounded cloverleaf on Janela. Caster connected on a flying elbow drop as Janela was still in the submission. That was enough for the winning pin. Victory to The Acclaimed.
Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (Dynamite, competitive, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Milk Chocolate (squash)
- Evil Uno, 5, & Colt Cabana vs. Spencer Slade, Cole Karter, & Andrew Palace (showcase)
- Lance Archer vs. Angel Fashion (squash)
- QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, & Aaron Solow vs. Jake Logan, Ryzin, & Rick Recon (squash)
- Varsity Blonds vs. Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan (showcase)
- Willow Nightingale vs. Diamante (showcase)
- Dante Martin vs. Aaron Frye (showcase)
- Nyla Rose vs. Ashley D’Amboise (squash)
- Ryan Nemeth & Cezar Bononi vs. Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis (showcase)
- Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart (showcase)
- Marty Casaus vs. Jungle Boy (competitive)
- Big Swole & Red Velvet vs. MK Twins (showcase)
- 10 vs. JD Drake (competitive)
- The Acclaimed vs. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela (competitive)
- Brian Cage vs. Bear Bronson (HOSS FIGHT!!!)
- Mike Sydal vs. Will Hobbs (showcase)
The Acclaimed and Kiss & Janela is the primo pick of the bunch. Not far behind in terms of entertainment is the hoss fight between Cage and Bronson. That hoss action was titillating. Casaus and Jungle Boy had a rousing affair. Moxley & Kingston, Diamante, Swole & Velvet, and Hobbs were other matches that tickled my fancy.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston defeated Milk Chocolate. Mox and King marched to the ring to attack before the ball and win with their clothesline half-and-half suplex combo.
A quick day at the office for Mox + Kingston on #AEWDark. Full match— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 11, 2021
And don't miss #AEWDynamite TOMORROW LIVE on TNT at 8/7c, when #YujiNagata challenges @JonMoxley for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship! Get tix now at https://t.co/UN1cNiJJrQ pic.twitter.com/EWxAb6BwV1
Evil Uno, 5, & Colt Cabana defeated Spencer Slade, Cole Karter, & Andrew Palace. Dark Order handled business with Evil Uno earning the pin on a cross-arm flatliner.
Diamante was interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Her success has been well documented. What pisses her off is that alien bastard Kris Statlander returning from injury like it’s all good. Diamante plans to send Statlander back to where she came from. Diamante will show the rest of the galaxy how she does it.
Lance Archer defeated Angel Fashion. Jake Roberts was on commentary. The Murderhawk Monster wrecked shop closing with a lariat, buckle bomb, chokeslam, then helicopter slam.
QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, & Aaron Solow defeated Jake Logan, Ryzin, & Rick Recon. Anthony Ogogo was ringside. Comoroto lifted the steel steps onto the stage for QT to sit and watch. Comoroto’s power was the difference maker. In the end, he used a military press to toss Ryzin onto Logan and Recon. Comoroto continued with a brutal powerbomb to Ryzin. The student tagged in his teacher for the first time. QT had easy pickings for a cutter to win. After the match, QT slapped on the figure-four to add insult to injury.
Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi took a selfie when Ryan Nemeth rolled in to compliment their pretty picture. JD Drake wanted clarification about their team name. Are they Pretty Picture or Wingmen? The Hunk waxed poetic to basically say they are one in the same.
Varsity Blonds defeated Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan. Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison had a new valet in cheerleader Julia Hart.
The match climaxed with a hot tag to Pillman for a powerslam. Tag back to Garrison for the teamwork flying powerbomb maneuver to win.
Diamante defeated Willow Nightingale. Diamante escaped a pumphandle for a cazadora stunner then Code Red for victory.
Dante Martin defeated Aaron Frye. Martin rallied with flashy strikes then a springboard moonsault. He closed with a 450 splash.
Nyla Rose defeated Ashley D’Amboise. Vickie Guerrero berated Justin Roberts before introducing her Vicious Vixens client. Rose steamrolled D’Amboise with a cannonball senton in the corner paving the way for a Beast Bomb.
Dark Order was interviewed by Alex Marvez about Matt Hardy putting Alex Reynolds in the Leech submission after his match on Elevation. Hardy crossed the line. Dark Order is sick of HFO, and they are going to show them their dark side. Also, Evil Uno hyped 10 before his match with JD Drake.
Ryan Nemeth & Cezar Bononi defeated Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis. Peter Avalon and JD Drake were ringside. Bononi caught a flying crossbody to set up Nemeth for the Rude Awakening neckbreaker to win.
Kris Statlander defeated Julia Hart. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy were ringside. Even though Hart joined the Varsity Blonds earlier, they did not accompany her to the ring. The alien made a statement with Big Bang Theory for victory.
Jungle Boy defeated Marty Casaus. Marko Stunt was ringside. Jungle Boy took advantage of Casaus’ missed moonsault to clobber him in the back of the head with a running elbow strike. That set up the Snare Trap submission for Jungle Boy to win.
The Snare Trap leads to another submission win for #JurassicExpress' @boy_myth_legend on #AEWDark— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2021
Watch Dark now at https://t.co/baPW3Wc9cp - and every Tuesday at 7/6c on https://t.co/lBSV4sbfpB pic.twitter.com/aO9TEf4XG1
Big Swole & Red Velvet defeated MK Twins. KiLynn King was ringside. Hot tag to Velvet to clean house. Swole recuperated enough to join in on the fun. Velvet and Swole attacked the MK Twins with running uppercuts. Swole hit a rolling elbow, while Velvet connected on a hook kick for the three count.
10 defeated JD Drake. Evil Uno, 5, Alex Reynolds, Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, and Cezar Bononi were ringside. Just Delicious actually wrestled in his shiny shirt, and his cowboy boots looked fancier as well. 10 had momentum when Drake ran into a spinebuster. Avalon hopped onto the apron as a distraction to buy recovery time for Drake. That didn’t matter in the end, because 10 ducked a clothesline to cinch in the full nelson submission.
Brian Cage defeated Bear Bronson. Hook was ringside. Excalibur mentioned Bear Boulder was injured during the Godzilla vs. Kong match between Bear Country and Jurassic Express. Boulder will be out for a few months. HOSS FIGHT!!! Cage was in trouble after a Boss Man slam and a back drop driver. The Machine rallied by picking Bronson off the turnbuckles for an electric chair front slam. Bronson escaped a fireman’s carry by unloading elbows, but then he ran the ropes into a discus clothesline. Cage ended the contest with a powerbomb and a Drill Claw.
Will Hobbs defeated Mike Sydal. Hook was ringside. Matt Sydal was not. Mike’s speed and flexibility bought him time, but it was no match for Hobbs’ power. Hobbs demolished Sydal with the Town Business cradle slam to win. After the match, Hobbs delivered a short-arm clothesline for good measure. Matt ran out to protect his brother.
Dark had an enjoyable outing for episode 88. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston kicked it off into high gear with a pummeling. I’d like to see a similar result against the Young Bucks. Have the arrogant Jacksons get unexpectedly steamrolled in one of those title eliminator gimmicks. That would also explain Moxley and Kingston leapfrogging the rankings for a title shot at the Double or Nothing PPV on May 30. This assumes that the Bucks retain against SCU Wednesday night on Dynamite.
Thumbs up for Diamante starting a mini feud with Kris Statlander. This is a perfect example of a quick setup to make fans excited about their eventual match. I also liked seeing Diamante get some mic time. It seems like Diamante is being used to elevate others, but I hope AEW keeps her around once touring comes back.
Speaking of quick setups, now I have desire to see Matt Sydal versus Will Hobbs. The little action of saving his brother was enough to create anticipation for a show like Dark.
On commentary, Jake Roberts warned Sting to leave Lance Archer alone. I’m not sure how that makes sense, since Archer is the one butting into Sting’s affairs. Perhaps Roberts senses he is close to losing his client.
The hoss fight rocked hard. That’s the kind of match I envision when I say the FTW title should have steady defenses. Do it once per month. Build up a hoss with a path of destruction left in his wake, then bombs away with Cage in the ring.
Taz was in top form grunting, tooting, singing, and losing it with laughter to accompany his always excellent analysis. I love Evil Uno’s flatliner variation. It looks like a killer. Big Swole & Red Velvet are clicking on all cylinders as a team. Is it time for the women’s tag tournament to return yet? The MK Twins picked up their game as powerhouses. I like the addition of Julia Hart as a cheerleader for the Varsity Blonds, but we’ll have to wait and see if it is a permanent thing. I’m not sure what to make of it, since they did not accompany her.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 88? Which was your favorite match?