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AEW Dark recap (May 18, 2021): Everybody dies

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Episode 89 of AEW Dark featured Lancer Archer in his murder room, the Acclaimed rapping about Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, and Kris Statlander versus Diamante stealing the show.

Before we get to the matches, there were three verbal segments in particular that stood out on Dark.

Lance Archer proclaimed his desire to murder Miro. He cut a promo in a dark room with a swinging light bulb as frantic violin music played. Archer is going big-game hunting to take down Miro and win the TNT Championship. Archer’s destiny will be fulfilled. He demanded AEW give him the shot at Double or Nothing. The blood and pain of their battle will be so much fun. Everybody dies, and that includes Miro.

The Acclaimed rapped about their Dynamite opponents, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. The topic of the lyrics was that Mox and King are fake tough guys and all talk. Anthony Bowens wore stuffing inside his basketball jersey to mock Kingston’s belly. Max Caster is going to send Kingston back to Chikara.

Red Velvet was featured in a hype package for her match against Serena Deeb for the NWA Women’s World Championship on Dynamite. The NWA title contest is Velvet’s chance to change the game. Everyone that has held that strap has been high caliber. Winning the belt will show the world who Velvet is.

Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (Dynamite, competitive, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:

  • Will Hobbs vs. Dean Alexander (squash)
  • Dante Martin vs. Falco (showcase)
  • 10 vs. Ryzin (squash)
  • Chuck Taylor vs. Aaron Rourke (showcase)
  • Lee Johnson vs. Fuego Del Sol (competitive)
  • Evil Uno & Colt Cabana vs. Tamilian Vineesh & Duncan Mitchell (squash)
  • Cezar Bononi vs. Marko Stunt (showcase)
  • Nick Comoroto vs. Adrian Alanis (squash)
  • Sonny Kiss vs. Serpentico (competitive)
  • Big Swole & Red Velvet vs. Vertvixen & Jazmin Allure (showcase)
  • Griff Garrison vs. Deonn Rusman (showcase)
  • Matt Sydal vs. Marty Casaus (showcase)
  • Kris Statlander vs. Diamante (competitive)
  • Nyla Rose vs. Reka Tenaka (squash)
  • Angelico vs. Vary Morales (showcase)
  • Luther vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (competitive)

Upset alert! One of the competitive matches had a surprise winner. Statlander and Diamante delivered a TV worthy contest. That bout is my top recommendation. Luther and Pillman put on a brawny physical bout right up my alley. Johnson versus Fuego, Kiss versus Serpentico, Sydal versus Casasus, and the tag bout with Big Swole and Red Velvet were other enjoyable performances.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer. Ricky Starks popped by on commentary. He said that he is feeling great. Starks is suffering from some physical issues, but he’s built different and won’t be kept down. Starks also defied doctor orders by wearing a fashionable V neck collar instead of a normal shirt collar.

Will Hobbs defeated Dean Alexander. Hook was ringside. Alexander turned his back to gloat to the crowd during introductions. Unwise move to turn you back on Team Taz. Hobbs attacked. Alexander fired some punches, but Hobbs flattened him with a spinebuster to win.

Dante Martin defeated Falco. During turnbuckle fighting, Martin punched Falco down to the mat. A 450 splash followed for victory.

Matt Hardy revealed himself, Private Party, Evil Uno, 10, and Colt Cabana as participants in the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing. He will use that match to embarrass the Dark Order even more when he wins.

10 defeated Ryzin. Ryzin missed a flying senton, so 10 pounced for a full nelson submission.

Chuck Taylor defeated Aaron Rourke. Trent, Orange Cassidy, and Kris Statlander were ringside. Taylor closed with a rising knee strike then the Awful Waffle piledriver.

Lee Johnson defeated Fuego del Sol. Cody Rhodes came out with Johnson, but he did not stay ringside. Commentary put over Johnson as the crown jewel student of the Nightmare Family. Fuego went for a whirling DDT, but Johnson countered for a Blue Thunder Bomb to win.

Evil Uno & Colt Cabana defeated Tamilian Vineesh & Duncan Mitchell. This bout had a comedy vibe. Uno kicked off the finish with a neckbreaker DDT combo to both opponents. Cabana hit the Flying Apple to Mitchell, followed by a big boot and flying senton from Uno. Colt earned the win via reverse Boston crab.

Cezar Bononi defeated Marko Stunt. Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, and JD Drake were ringside. Stunt came out solo and flipped over Avalon’s sensual sled. Stunt was overpowered with ease, but he was shifty enough to counter for a few big moves. In the end, Bononi caught Stunt for a swinging Samoan drop to win. After the match, the hunks put the boots to Stunt. Jurassic Express ran out for the save.

Jungle Boy discussed his desire to move on from defeat to Darby Allin and move up into the Casino Battle Royale.

Nick Comoroto defeated Adrian Alanis. QT Marshall, Aaron Solow, and Anthony Ogogo were ringside. Alanis’ rally was squashed by a hefty clothesline and painful powerbomb.

Serpentico defeated Sonny Kiss. Luther and Joey Janela were ringside. Kiss was on a roll with kicks to take control. Kiss picked Serpentico up in a fireman’s carry, then Luther hopped onto the apron. Janela lost his composure and rushed into the ring. That inadvertently distracted referee Aubrey Edwards so Luther could pump kick Kiss. Serpentico scored a fancy roll-up to win in an upset.

Big Swole & Red Velvet defeated Vertvixen & Jazmin Allure. KiLynn King was ringside. Serena Deeb was in the front row scouting Velvet prior to their NWA Women’s World Championship match on Dynamite. Velvet and Swole did work to control the pace. Swole won with her Dirty Dancing elbow strike.

Griff Garrison defeated Deonn Rusman. Brian Pillman Jr. and Julia Hart were ringside. Garrison completed his comeback with clotheslines, a back body drop, running splash in the corner, Falcon Arrow, then a rolling elbow to win.

Matt Sydal defeated Marty Casaus. Mike Sydal was ringside. Sydal overcame Casaus’ power advantage with kicks to the head and forearm blows to the back. That softened Casaus up for the Lightning Spiral slam.

Kris Statlander defeated Diamante. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy were ringside. Statlander tried to boop Diamante’s nose. Diamante’s response was to bite Statlander’s finger. Both women had close pinfalls. Statlander hit a clothesline backbreaker combo, rumbled for corner attacks, then hit a sitout crucifix powerbomb. For Diamante, she nailed a cazadora stunner then executed a hurricanrana pin. In the climax, Statlander and Diamante exploded for fisticuffs in the center of the ring. Diamante attempted Sliced Bread, but Statlander countered into the Big Bang Theory piledriver to win.

Nyla Rose defeated Reka Tenaka. Vickie Guerrero was ringside. Rose finished with a cannonball into the corner then a Beast Bomb.

Angelico defeated Vary Morales. Angelico hit a dropkick to a flying Morales then hooked in the Navarro Death Roll.

Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Luther. Julia Hart was ringside. Griff Garrison and Serpentico were backstage after competing earlier. Pillman rallied against the larger man. That’s when Serpentico’s head popped up hiding in the front row. When Pillman was ready to pounce on the finish, Serpentico grabbed his foot. Pillman kicked the masked man away then launched for a springboard flying clothesline for victory.

After the match, Chaos Project pummeled Pillman. Hart ran to the back to retrieve Garrison. Jungle Boy... I mean Garrison ran out for the save.

The promo game was strong on this episode of Dark. I love the change of scenery for Lance Archer. The visual of the light bulb combined with the music really drives home the idea of Archer being a Murderhawk Monster. Red Velvet’s package was on point and helps rev up anticipation for that match.

Applause to Kris Statlander and Diamante. That was a fun fight. It was physical, intense, and creative. I also enjoyed the chess match of strategy. Statlander closing out with the Big Bang Theory counter was impressive and unexpected.

There were two action sequences that caught my eye in particular during the show. First was Lee Johnson with a smooth series of a DVD flowing to a kick to the face flowing to a standing moonsault. It looked effortless. Second was Statlander rolling into the ring to break the count then humorously rolling back out to fall off the apron as a splash onto the floor. That’s seems like something she learned from Orange Cassidy, except it would be much more effective for Statlander since she is larger than most of the women’s division.

Falco was interesting as an enhancement talent. If he becomes a big star in AEW, then I hope Tony Khan ponies up the cash to make Falco’s theme song be, “Rock Me Amadeus,” by Falco.

By the way, what’s the deal with that story of Fuego del Sol brawling with Serpentico a few weeks ago when Archer wrestled Luther on Dark? Is commentary setting up Serpentico to be Fuego’s first win with the story about Fuego’s positive outlook to break his losing streak?

Last note, Ren Narita versus Royce Isaacs and Danny Limelight versus Kal Jak were advertised but not aired.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 89? Which was your favorite match?