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AEW Dark recap (May 25, 2021): Joey Janela abandons Sonny Kiss

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Episode 90 of AEW Dark featured a shocking betrayal.

Joey Janela is a bad boy. He is also a scumbag and a coward.

Janela’s evening began by partaking in the best match of the show. Bear Bronson was his adversary. Sonny Kiss was ringside to support Janela. The story was veteran savvy versus burly brawn. Janela tried to match the power game on a DVD, but he collapsed under Bronson’s weight. During turnbuckle fighting, Janela used his experience to execute a sunset flip super powerbomb out of the corner.

Janela missed a flying attack in the follow-up. Bronson pounced for a Boss Man side slam, but Janela kicked out on the cover.

Bronson picked up Janela with bad intentions. Janela escaped with an eye-rake. A thrust kick put Bronson onto his back for Janela to land a flying elbow drop for victory.

Backstage, Janela was excited about his win. Sonny Kiss was absent from the promo in order to prepare for the main event against Brian Cage. Janela planned to be ringside to make sure Team Taz doesn’t get involved. Once that business is over, bad boy summer is upon us. That means skinny margaritas, tanning on the beach, and beautiful women sucking on his nipples. Alex Marvez stole the scene by declaring that he wants to participate in bad boy summer.

When it came time for the main event of Kiss versus Cage, Janela was ringside to prevent any nefarious actions from Hook. Kiss started hot until Cage unloaded a hefty clothesline. Kiss fought tough to come back with a suicide dive and a springboard crossbody. Kiss ducked a discus lariat then exploded with kicks, a knee strike, and a flying split leg drop. Cage kicked out on the cover. Cage had enough fooling around and destroyed Kiss with a knee to the mush. Weapon X finished the job for Cage to earn the W.

After the match, Hook choked Kiss. Janela was on stage observing. He was hesitant to enter the ring with Cage looming large. Janela chose a cowardly retreat to walk away abandoning his partner. Hook continued the assault with a Russian leg sweep and submission stretch. Cage finally gave the word to Hook that it was enough.

I am in utter dismay over the lack of action from Janela to save his friend. If I owned any Janela merch, it would be set aflame in a bonfire. I will still be participating in bad boy summer, but it will be under protest.

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

  • Nick Comoroto vs. Duke Davis (squash)
  • Aaron Solow vs. Ganon Jones (showcase)
  • 10 vs. Dillon McQueen (showcase)
  • Evil Uno & Colt Cabana vs. Steven Andrews & Simon Lotto (squash)
  • Big Swole & KiLynn King vs. Bunny & Madi Wrenkowski (showcase)
  • Gunn Club vs. Kal Herro and Liam Gray (squash)
  • Leyla Hirsch vs. Vertvixen (showcase)
  • Dante Martin vs. Jason Hotch (showcase)
  • Diamante vs. Reka Tehaka (showcase)
  • Bear Bronson vs. Joey Janela (competitive)
  • Angelico vs. Ryzin (showcase)
  • Julia Hart vs. Tesha Price (showcase)
  • Brian Cage vs. Sonny Kiss (competitive)

Janela versus Bronson was the best of the bunch. Martin versus Hotch, Diamante versus Tehaka, and the main event were also a cut above the rest as my preferred picks. The closing angle is definitely worth watching for story development that may spill onto Dynamite.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Ricky Starks stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Nick Comoroto defeated Duke Davis. QT Marshall, Anthony Ogogo, and Aaron Solow were ringside to support Comoroto. Ganon Jones was there as well to watch Davis’ back. Comoroto won quickly with strong slams. He closed with a powerbomb.

After the contest, QT demanded Justin Roberts announce Solow’s match would be next. That bout was supposed to take place later in the show, but QT gets what QT wants.

Aaron Solow defeated Ganon Jones. Solow had some trouble with Jones’ explosive power, so he clipped the big man’s leg. Jones still had a rally left in him, but Solow used a corkscrew kick to put Jones down. A Pedigree from Solow finished Jones.

10 defeated Dillon McQueen. Cody Rhodes accompanied McQueen but exited prior to the bout. 10 overpowered McQueen often, but he could not maintain the momentum. McQueen was wily enough to take control at times. In the end, 10’s power overwhelmed McQueen. A spinebuster and a full nelson submission put McQueen away for good.

Evil Uno & Colt Cabana defeated Steven Andrews & Simon Lotto. The Dark Order handled their business with Uno securing victory on a ripcord flatliner.

Big Swole & KiLynn King defeated Bunny & Madi Wrenkowski. Blade was ringside. Hot tag to King to rough up the competition. Wrenkowski took the pain then struck back with a facebuster. As she went to tag Bunny, nobody was home. Bunny was still on the floor from an earlier blow. Meanwhile, King tagged Swole, who unloaded a rolling elbow strike to Wrenkowski for the win. Bunny shouted in anger after the match.

Gunn Club defeated Kal Herro and Liam Gray. Billy and Colten were the Gunn Club representatives in action. Herro wrestled with a fanny pack. His partner claimed it was a belt to hold up his pants, even though Herro was wearing a singlet. The Gunn Club dominated Herro. Gray tagged in for a flurry of offense that came to an abrupt halt when Billy punched him mid-air on a suicide dive attempt. Billy rolled Gray into the ring for Colten to finish with a double underhook neckbreaker.

Diamante gave a promo backstage. She is ready to wreck Reka Tehaka and show everyone how things are done where she comes from.

Leyla Hirsch defeated Vertvixen. Hirsch exploded for two German suplexes and an armbar, but Vertvixen was close enough to the ropes to break the hold. Vertvixen used her height advantage to stifle Hirsch, so Legit went low with a dropkick. After delivering a running knee to the head, Hirsch transitioned to the cross armbreaker to earn the tap-out.

Dante Martin defeated Jason Hotch. The newcomer had a sweet swinging backbreaker. Martin persevered to rally with flash and win via 450 splash.

Dasha Gonzalez interviewed a dancing Angelico. He’s never worried or stressed. When it comes to technical wrestling, most are low level, a few are higher up, and Angelico’s skill is sky high. Angelico is afraid of no man when it comes to hold-for-hold wrestling.

Diamante defeated Reka Tehaka. Tehaka started strong then Diamante used a tijeras transition into a Russian leg sweep. Diamante aggressively mauled Tehaka on the mat. Tehaka came back with a Samoan headbutt. Diamante took control with a backstabber. Tehaka blocked Diamante’s cazadora stunner, so Diamante switched gears to win with Code Red.

Angelico defeated Ryzin. Angelico worked his opponent down with focus on the knee. That paid dividends when Ryzin’s joint pain caused him to miss on a moonsault. Angelico sprung the Navarro Death Roll to win.

Julia Hart defeated Tesha Price. Varsity Blonds were in Hart’s corner. The cheerleader rallied with clotheslines, kicks, and a cartwheel attack. Hart kept on the pressure with a split leg drop to pick up her first AEW win.


Interesting angle to close the show. Joey Janela has always demonstrated intestinal fortitude in AEW, so it was a shock to see him back away without a fight. That was low how he abandoned Sonny Kiss. Due to that cowardice, Janela immediately became a no-goodnik in my book. He’ll have to do a lot of partying to drown out his conscience, so he can enjoy bad boy summer.

As for the rest of the show, Dillon McQueen stands out in the charisma department. KiLynn King’s continued improvement is a bright spot. I like the way she took charge in the tag match. Diamante earned a key win. After her recent losses, it is important that she demonstrates being a level above the enhancement talent. Those victories keep Diamante in the mix, whether as a future star or a valuable stepping stone to those on the rise.

My favorite move on the show was Jason Hotch’s backbreaker to Dante Martin. Credit to Martin as well for contorting his body for maximum effect.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 90? Which was your favorite match?