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AEW Dark recap (June 8, 2021): Former NWA champion obliterated by Lance Archer

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Episode 92 of AEW Dark featured a former NWA champion getting slaughtered by the Murderhawk Monster, Matt Hardy recruiting more troops, Joey Janela ditching Sonny Kiss again, and a high-octane main event between Matt Sydal and Dante Martin.

Dark had a prestigious newcomer in the mix. Welcome Zicky Dice to the stage. He is a former NWA World Television Champion and known as a motormouth sleazebag. Here’s a separate promo to get a taste of the man. This did not air on the broadcast.

Dice’s greeting committee to AEW consisted of Lance Archer.

Jake Roberts was on commentary. Archer brought Dice over his shoulder through the entrance tunnel. You knew this would not end well. Dice did his best to survive, but it was only a matter of time before the Murderhawk Monster finished him. A chokeslam and Blackout did the trick. Archer immediately exited to the back after victory as if he had more murdering on the agenda.

In a storyline for Dynamite, Matt Hardy recruited TH2 to eliminate Christian Cage. Instead of the usual $4,200 rate, Hardy upped the ante to $8,450 as an incentive. Jack Evans was chomping at the bit to destroy Christian, but Hardy preferred Angelico to handle the bout Friday night on TNT.

The most interesting moment of Dark came courtesy of Joey Janela. The story continued his party deeds and the deterioration of his friendship with Sonny Kiss.

Joey Janela was medically uncleared due to injury from his match against Hangman Page. Alex Marvez inquired about Janela’s current status. Instead of discussing injuries, Janela desired to occupy his time with Bad Boy Summer. Last week, Janela and Marvez went to Big Mami Milkers go-go bar with jugs aplenty. Janela wanted to cut the interview to party with Marvez at the Nip Factory. Sonny Kiss romped in with a hug for Janela. Kiss asked the Bad Boy for support against Aaron Solow and his goons. Janela is working on improving as a BFF, so he told Kiss that he will be there. As soon as Kiss left, Janela wanted to exit through the side door for the Nip Factory.

When it came time for Kiss’ match against Solow, the Concrete Rose was looking over the shoulder to no sign of Janela during the entrance. QT Marshall and Nick Comoroto backed Solow. Kiss was on a roll but took eyes off the prize to focus on QT. Kiss hopped onto the ropes for a staredown. Solow capitalized by yanking Kiss down to the mat, hitting a jumping double stomp, then securing the win via double underhook facebuster. After the match, the Factory roughed up Kiss. Janela never showed up.

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

  • Zicky Dice vs. Lance Archer (squash)
  • Willow Nightingale vs. Abadon (showcase)
  • Cyrus vs. Cezar Bononi (showcase)
  • Matthew Justice vs. Angelico (showcase)
  • Natalia Markova vs. Tay Conti (showcase)
  • JP Daily & Tommy Daily vs. Chaos Project (showcase)
  • Ariel Dominguez vs. Marko Stunt (showcase)
  • Aaron Solow vs. Sonny Kiss (competitive)
  • Missa Kate vs. Nyla Rose (squash)
  • Bear Bronson vs. QT Marshall (competitive)
  • Megan Bayne vs. Thunder Rosa (squash)
  • Kit Sackett, Dan Barry, & Justin Law vs. 10, Stu Grayson, & Colt Cabana (squash)
  • Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo vs. Big Swole & KiLynn King (showcase)
  • Matt Sydal vs. Dante Martin (competitive)

The main event was the most banging of the bunch. It was a full-length match. My guilty pleasure was the hoss fight between Bononi and Cyrus. Bear and QT was a fun time as well. Those are my top picks. The rest delivered as you would expect.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Ricky Starks joined the booth for a threesome. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Abadon defeated Willow Nightingale. Nightingale had momentum after a corner cannonball. Abadon turned the tide to escape a chinlock by biting Nightingale’s hand. Abadon rallied with a running low crossbody then used a new finisher to win. Nightingale was on her knees, so Abadon wrapped her leg around the neck and drove Nightingale’s skull into the mat like a DDT.

Cezar Bononi defeated Cyrus. Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, and JD Drake were ringside. Bononi was sporting a black eye as a fashion accessory. Cyrus was a brick wall of a man. Nemeth tried trickeration to land a running crossbody, but he bounced right off Cyrus to no effect. After a stalemate in power, Bononi used his agility to land a flying crossbody. Cyrus came back with a two-handed chokeslam, but he missed the high-risk moonsault maneuver. Bononi seized the moment to win with an Olympic slam to the larger man.

Angelico defeated Matthew Justice. The newcomer charged for a spear out of the gate. He followed with a flying smash but missed a flying attack into the guardrail. Angelico worked the lower extremities with a variety of leglocks. Justice caught wind once again only to miss a diving splash. Angelico landed a kick to the back of the head to set up the Navarro Death Roll submission to win.

Dante Martin is honored to compete against Matt Sydal on Dark, but he’s not coming into the ring as a fan. Martin is here to win.

Tay Conti defeated Natalia Markova. -1 was ringside. Judo throws, boots to the face, and a hammerlock DDT sealed the deal.

Chaos Project defeated JP Daily & Tommy Daily. JP was rocking on a hot tag, but that fire was extinguished by Chaos Project. Luther and Serpentico used a teamwork assisted Meteora to finish.

Marko Stunt defeated Ariel Dominguez. Stunt was pumped to finally face an opponent of similar size. It was an even affair with Stunt rallying for a flying elbow drop, running clothesline, and sliced bread off the turnbuckles. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus came out to celebrate.

Nyla Rose defeated Missa Kate. Vickie Guerrero was ringside. Nyla did work with a chokeslam, a couple of backbreakers, a fallaway slam, and the Beast Bomb. Afterward, Vickie Guerrero placed a parting prize atop Kate.

AEW Dark

QT Marshall defeated Bear Bronson. Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto were ringside. Bronson roared early to clothesline QT out of the ring and follow with a suicide dive. QT escaped a slam to shove Bronson into the ring post. QT scored a powerslam and diving headbutt. Bronson fired up for clotheslines, a spinebuster, and a swinging slam. QT was back on top with his backbreaker to flatliner combo. Bronson attacked with more hefty moves. In the end, QT escaped a piledriver to land kicks and a cutter for victory.

Thunder Rosa defeated Megan Bayne. Thunder worked submissions with focus on the left leg. An ankle lock was the tool to submit Bayne.

10, Stu Grayson, & Colt Cabana defeated Kit Sackett, Dan Barry, & Justin Law. -1 was ringside. The Dark Order had little resistance en route to glory. Grayson finished with a fireman’s carry backbreaker over the knee.

Big Swole & KiLynn King defeated Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo. Red Velvet was ringside. Hot tag to King to pound Exo. Vox ran in to break the pin and ate a Dirty Dancing elbow from Swole for her troubles. King pinned Exo on a modified facebuster slam.

QT Marshall’s Factory chatted with Tony Schiavone. QT was proud of pinning Cody Rhodes and requested Schiavone repeat the outcome. Tony just repeated the same words from QT, so QT asked it be done with passion. Schaivone went full announcer voice, and QT thanked him.

Matt Sydal defeated Dante Martin. This was a duel of quickness and agility. Sydal had momentum on a Meteora. Martin was able to kick out, so Sydal exploded for a jumping knee, head kick, and Lightning Spiral slam to win.

The main event was a perfect use of Dark. First and foremost, it was an exciting match. The war of attrition was also a quality developmental tool for Dante Martin. It allowed the experience of dancing with a skilled veteran. Martin had been on a hot streak over jabrones, so this loss is key in preventing any awkward moments in the rankings due to his padded record. It also provided Sydal a quality win to establish his upper gatekeeper role.

Poor Sonny Kiss. Joey Janela is addicted to nips. That’s the only reasonable excuse to ditch his partner yet again. For a story that is on a slow burn, I like how Janela is getting promo time to bring the chuckles. That is one of his strengths. He has me interested in next week’s update to Bad Boy Summer.

Abadon’s new finisher has potential as a unique move. The setup looks cool and the DDT impact is convincing. Cyrus was a blast as a big man. His style reminded me of King Kong Bundy. I definitely want to see more of him in AEW. Bear Bronson is a stud. In case you can’t tell, I’m partial to hosses. I loved Thunder Rosa using the warm-up bout to focus on strategy. She was determined to work the leg, and it paid off with the ankle lock. Taz cracked me up when singing Nyla Rose’s theme song. He has enough song credits to his name now that we should be getting a ‘Taz Sings the Hits’ album soon.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 92? Which was your favorite match?