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AEW Dark recap (Aug. 6, 2021): Friday night’s alright for a fight too

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Episode 101 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. Let’s talk about what went down in AEW’s return to Jacksonville. Our commentary team for this Friday night bonus edition of Dark (designed specifically to promote Rampage next Friday) was Excalibur and Taz.

Jurassic Express vs. D3 & Ryzin

Keeping with the theme of crazy hairdos on Dark this week, D3 and Ryzin both sported some very brightly colored mohawks, looking like a matching pair of Switch joycons. D3 ate the Thoracic Express for the pin and Marko Stunt hit the ring to celebrate. Taz almost overshadowed the entire thing by singing Jungle Boy’s theme song on commentary.

Kris Statlander vs. Leila Grey

Statlander was accompanied to the ring by “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy, who would have his own singles match later on. Grey was woman-handled, got a a brief comeback, then Statlander hit a Blue Thunder Bomb, a Glam Slam and a dead lift German suplex back to back. The Big Bang Theory to end it was almost overkill. 95-100% squash.

Lucha Bros. (w/ Alex Abrahantes) vs. Sage Scott & Jake St. Patrick

No sign of PAC joining the Lucha Bros. this time around. Penta had his fun early mocking Sage Scott. Scott got revenge by kicking Fenix in the back so his partner St. Patrick could get a near fall. Penta single-handedly took out both men when he came back in, then Fenix lent a hand with a double stomp and a kick so his brother could pick up the pinfall. A short but fun match — be sure to check this one out.

Julia Hart (w/ Varsity Blonds) vs. Angelica Risk

Thankfully we had no rap about Julia Hart this time. In fact it would probably be wiseif we didn’t have any freestyles on Dark for a little while. Risk couldn’t resist shaking her back end again, prompting Excalibur to quip that twerking was part of the Team Taz curriculum. Risk got countered coming off the top rope and pinned with a running bull dog. Sloppy match.

Ethan Page vs. Baron Black

Baron Black’s 2021 record before this bout: 0-14. It wasn’t hard to guess where this match was going, not that AEW Dark matches often are. FTW champion Ricky Starks joined commentary just to give this one some extra life. Black actually got a minute or so of offense before the inevitable destruction via Ego’s (Razor’s) Edge. I actually wound up more impressed with Black for going out there and taking that beating than I did Page.

Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solow vs. The Gunn Club

QT Marshall joined commentary (and got derided by Taz for holding the mic). This was the first match of the broadcast where I wasn’t convinced who would win going in. Billy and Colten Gunn were undefeated in tag team matches in 2021, but Comoroto and Solow are a powerhouse duo. A “let’s go Colten” chant broke out when Comoroto was beating him down. Billy rolled up Solow with a handful of tights, leaving Marshall irate at the upset. They seemed to be teasing a match between Marshall and Gunn in the aftermath.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Peter Avalon (w/ The Wingmen)

It’s a little strange for Kazarian to be accompanied by no one — no Christopher Daniels, no Scorpio Sky — but that’s how the SCU cookie crumbled. Like the prior tag team match, this bout was longer and more competitive than the typical Dark match. Cezar Bononi distracted referee “Dropkick” Mike Posey to keep him from making a three count. It didn’t matter though as Kazarian put him in a crossface chicken wing for the tap. Watch this.

Dante Martin & Sydal Brothers vs. Darian Bengston, Vary Morales, & Aaron Frye

Bengston looks like a low rent Raven. He at a Stunner from Martin and was immediately double teamed by the Sydal brothers for the pin. Nothing bad but nothing very good either.

Lance Archer vs. Tre Lamar

Jake “The Snake” Roberts joined commentary for this match. Archer beat Lamar up before the match even began, and as the aforementioned commentary noted, it was “academic” once he hit the Blackout. The most one-sided squash of the entire show.

Abadon vs. Kelsey Heather

Abandon dug a hole and buried Kelsey Heather in the ring to the surprise of absolutely no one. Heather didn’t even want to be in the ring with her. Smart girl. The only thing that annoyed me about this match was that they keep calling Abadon the “Living Dead Girl” yet for some reason Tony Khan has not paid Rob Zombie for the rights to the song.

Orange Cassidy (w/ Best Friends) vs. Jora Johl (w/ Private Party)

Johl spent a bit too long celebrating his moment of offense, and Cassidy immediately made him pay for it with the Orange Punch. Both sides spilled into the ring but cooler heads prevailed — or Cassidy simply couldn’t be bothered — take your pick. AEW Dark ended with a group hug.

What to watch

The Kris Statlander, Abadon and Lance Archer matches were fun one-sided squashes. If you want something with more give and take, try Solow & Comoroto vs. the Gunn Club, which was good right up until the lame finish. Kazarian and Avalon was the best match of the show, and you can’t go too wrong ending a broadcast with Orange Cassidy.

What to avoid

Hart and Risk weren’t on the same page and both looked green as a result. I’ve seen better from the Jurassic Express but I think that’s largely due to the caliber of their opponents, and the same goes for the Sydal brothers. Everything else was largely passable.

Cageside Seats commentary crew! Get up off your chairs and become the keyboard warriors of old, striking a mighty blow in the comments section below. See ya!