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AEW Dark recap (Jan. 11, 2022): Hangman Page comes to the Super Show

Episode 125 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream from YouTube. Your commentary team this week was Excalibur and Taz. Tonight’s show had a stacked lineup of 14 matches so just let’s go straight to the action for what was billed as a “Super Show” edition of Dark.

“Captain” Shawn Dean vs. Liam Cross

Dean brings a 2022 record of 1-0 to the ring. His opponent Cross was waiting for him and sported a 0-0 record as this was his AEW debut. Dean gave him a little but of offense but then finished him off with a diving splash as you’d expect. Nothing much to this one. It certainly wasn’t the caliber of Dean’s upset win over MJF.

Anthony Ogogo vs. Baron Black

Ogogo brought a record of 7-1 to the ring. Unless I’m mistaken they never even showed Black’s record on the screen. Maybe it reset for 2022 like Shawn Dean’s did — but if that’s the case why did they list Ogogo’s overall W/L record and not his double oh deuce deuce record? As my friend D would say, I’m overthinking this.

Ogogo could have pinned him off a clothesline but pulled Black back up to his feet instead, generating a “you suck” chant from the crowd in the process. Black fired up with some chops and tried to damage the left arm, then did an atomic drop and a backstabber into a crossface. Ogogo broke out of it, planted Black with one arm, set him on the top rope, and gave Black a headbutt for good measure. You know what comes next — Tower of London, 1-2-3. A backstage interview with Matt Hardy was next. Hardy said Marq Quen had some travel issues but they found a “suitable replacement” in Serpentico for the match where the Hardy Family Office takes on the Dark Order & Hangman Page.

Red Velvet vs. Shalonce Royal

Velvet’s 2022 record was 2-0 coming in. Royal was waiting for her in the ring and jumped her before the opening bell, so we never even got an announcement or her W/L record. If you know Royal though you know two things — she never wins, and she sings opera after every single move. Velvet finished her with the Final Slice to improve to 3-0. Excalibur: “It didn’t take long.” No kidding!

The Gunn Club vs. Patrick Scott, Marcus Kross & T.I.M.

Gunn Club brought a trios record of 23-0, so apparently their W/L total didn’t reset for 2022. I’m overthinking this again. Austin took the mic and said if there was one “ass boys” chant they’re going to leave. The whole crowd started chanting it immediately.

Scott, Kross and T.I.M. were waiting on the outside. Austin proved to be as good as his word as he and his brother left due to the chants and left Billy Gunn all alone to hit the Fameasser and make the pin. Justin Roberts seemed confused when he said “Here are your winners... the Gunn Club?” Aubrey Edwards raised the hand of the only man in the ring, so I guess it counts. A backstage interview with Daniel Garcia followed.

TayJay vs. The Renegade Twins (Charlette & Robyn Renegade)

TayJay brought a team record of 8-1. The Renegade Twins were waiting in the ring, and even though they’ve worked on the Dark shows before, this was their official team debut as they had each wrestled solo (using some “twin magic” to get heat). Robyn broke up a pin on Charlette only for them to eat double thrust kicks, Charlette got kicked in the head, then both of the Twins were put in submissions. Excalibur: “It didn’t matter who the legal competitor was. Both of them tapped out.”

JD Drake vs. Orange Cassidy

Drake brought a 2022 record of 0-1 along with a couple of masked enforcers. Cassidy brought a 2021 record of 40-9-1. Alright folks... I’m not trying to overthink this, I’m really not, but the inconsistency about whether or not someone is introduced with their overall record, their record from last year, or the “reset” record for 2022 is tweaking the OCD part of my brain in a negative way. I want AEW to make up their mind which one they’re going to do and do that for everyone. If we’re not playing favorites in AEW, then don’t play favorites! Treat everyone the same.

Drake took Cassidy off his feet with a chop, hit him with a body slam, then threw him into the barricade off a suicide dive and gave him a punch on the rebound. The masked men came over and did a little damage before Drake fed Cassidy back in and mocked him by pretending to put his hands in his pockets. Scoop slam, head butt, Cassidy kicked out immediately. Drake threw him out of the ring and started arguing with the ref so his flunkies could continue the attack. Back senton led to a neck crank as the crowd urged Cassidy to get back to his feet. Drake cut him off with a knee to the back then whipped him hard into the turnbuckle. Cassidy finally landed on the apron on a whip and started bouncing Drake’s head off the turnbuckles. Diving crossbody, suicide dive into the flunkies, tilt-a-whirl DDT, and the flunkies caused a distraction before he could hit the Orange Punch.

Drake did a cannonball into the corner for a two count. Drake threw Cassidy out to the flunkies and enough was finally enough as Chuck Taylor and Wheeler YUTA ran down to make the save. Cassidy did a roll up for two, Drake did a Bossman Slam for two, Drake went to the top rope and nobody was home for the moonsault. Scoop slam on Drake. Orange Punch! 1-2-3. That was a surprisingly long and competitive Dark match. Give Drake the credit he deserves for working the perfect “big man” heel match to get the crowd even more behind Cassidy.

Dante Martin vs. Aaron Solo

Solo brought a 2021 record of 13-25 to the ring. Martin brought a 2022 record of 2-0 following his win on Elevation last night. Solo got the heat by shaking the ropes to cut off Martin’s high flying offense, doing some ground and pound, then loudly proclaiming “That’s right!” Martin fired up while Excalibur was plugging upcoming events and got a near fall. Solo hit a series of kicks to stagger Martin for a near fall. Martin sent him out to the floor and followed with a suicide dive. Double springboard moonsault (“Nose Dive”) for the pin followed to improve Martin’s record to 3-0.

Backstage “Smart” Mark Sterling said Jade Cargill would not be defending the TBS Title tonight against Skye Blue. They said if Blue could pull off the miracle win she’d get a future title shot, but if she lost she’d never get to challenge while Cargill was the champion.

Eddie Kingston vs. Joey Janela (w/ Kayla Rossi)

Janela brought a 2021 record of 12-4 along with his enforcer Kayla Rossi. Kingston brought an overall record of 37-15 and limped his way down to the ring with his right shoulder taped up. Three things should come as no surprise here — Rossi interfered when the match was on the outside, Janela worked over the leg to get heat, and the crowd was way behind Kingston in this match. Kingston hit machine gun chops, a German suplex for a near fall, and went up to the second rope to lay in punches as the fans counted along. Janela picked him up mid punches for a power bomb and a kick to the face. Janela went to the top but got pie faced in response. Avalanche exploder by Kingston as Rossi looked on. Kingston chased Janela down when he rolled out, Rossi did a dive off the top aiming for Kingston, but she crashed into her partner instead! Kingston missed with a spinning backfist but connected with a lariat and a Northern Lights bomb for three. This match was damn good.

Thunder Rosa vs. Kasey Fox

Rosa brought a 44-7 record to the ring. Fox was waiting for her to make her AEW debut. She teased offering Rosa a handshake then gave her a cheap shot instead. Fox did a Russian leg sweep and got a one count, at which point Rosa overwhelmed her with chops and strikes. Fox came back with a few elbows then got planted with a clothesline before being thrown onto the ropes for the dropkick to the back, followed by a missile dropkick to the chest, a Death Valley Driver and the Peruvian necktie for the tapout. Describing this match took longer than the match itself did. Backstage QT Marshall had something to say.

Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Alexander Moss

Hobbs brought a record of 36-16 and ran down to the ring to attack Moss before the opening bell, so we never even got his hapless opponent’s record. He applied the Torture Rack for the immediate finish. I’d be shocked if this was 30 seconds total bell to bell.

Daniel Garcia vs. Fuego Del Sol

Garcia brought a 2021 record of 12-9. Del Sol brought a 2021 record of 7-34. Garcia gave Del Soul a double underhook suplex into the turnbuckle for a near fall and then sarcastically applauded him for kicking out. Low crossbody for a two count. Uppercuts in the corner to wear Del Sol down. Del Sol tried a cradle to counter a sharpshooter and hit a hanging neckbreaker afterward. It might have been my imagination but the crowd seemed kind of dead for this match. Del Sol went top rope but nobody was home. Garcia planted Del Sol on his head and put on a Sharpshooter with extra torque for the tap. Sammy Guevara got pissed when Garcia didn’t let go and ran down to make the save, setting up his defense of the interim TNT Title against Garcia on Dynamite this week.

Jade Cargill vs. Skye Blue

Blue brought a 2022 record of 1-0. Cargill brought an overall record of 23-0 along with Mark Sterling and her TBS Title. Cargill tried to take her out quick and Blue got out of the way. Cargill grabbed a handful of hair to badmouth Blue and got kicked in the head, then got her head snapped off the ropes, but when Blue went for a crossbody Cargill caught her and threw her with a fall away slam before putting the boots to her. Blue escaped from a firewoman’s carry but got caught on her next move and hit with the Glam Slam for three.

Jurassic Express vs. Nick Comoroto & QT Marshall

This one was billed as a world tag team title contenders “eliminator” match coming in. Wouldn’t you want two teams that aren’t the champions in such a match though? Jurassic Express are already the champs after beating Fenix and Penta, and had the belts around their waists to prove it, but there I go overthinking things again. If you guessed that the formula for this match was for The Factory to cut off the ring and beat down Jungle Boy, you’d be 100% correct. When Luchasaurus finally got the hot tag he fought off both members by himself and did corner to corner back elbows on both men followed by a double goozle. Comoroto broke it up but they both got kicks for their trouble. Marshall gave Luchasaurus a step up enzuigiri and the ref lost all control when Jungle Boy ran in. Marshall and Luchasaurus did a double down and then both tagged out. Marshall hit a pop up and Comoroto hit a spear for a near fall. Comoroto signaled it was time to put Jungle Boy away but he escaped and made the tag while doing a suicide dive onto Marshall. He came back for a DDT and Luchasaurus made the cover for two. Comoroto and Luchasaurus traded overhand rights and shoulder blocks. Luchasaurus hit a tail whip and Jungle Boy did a DDT on Marshall off his back before Luchasaurus made the pin. Fun match. The crowd loved it!

Hangman Page, Alan Angels, Preston “10” Vance vs. Matt Hardy, Serpentico & Isiah Kassidy

So the story here was that if Hardy’s team got a win, Hardy would get a future title shot against the world champion Page. Since he had never teamed with Serpentico before this was considered their “trios debut.” Angels was 15-26, Vance was 37-6, and their partner Hangman Page brought a record of 18-2-1 in 2021 along with the world title around his waist.

Page no sold Serpentico, exactly as he should have, because Page is a world champion and Serpentico is a world class geek. Angels tried to chase down Serpentico on the outside and Hardy took advantage, at which point the heels cut off the ring to beat him down. Since they were in Charlotte this wasn’t a heel move to the crowd — they chanted “delete” with every time Hardy smashed Angels into the turnbuckle. Angels finally did a double crossbody to give Vance the hot tag and he cleaned house with pump kicks and a spinebuster to Kassidy. Vance went for the full nelson but Hardy broke it up with a neckbreaker. Serpentico got tagged in and failed hard, and Page got tagged in to throw Serpentico around. Hardy tried and failed to interfere, Page hit a fall away slam and a suicide dive, but Serpentico got dragged out before the buckshot lariat. Page gave him a Death Valley Driver when he was thrown in but Hardy broke up the pin again.

Page tagged Angels, Hardy went for a Twist of Fate but Page reversed it into one of his own. Angels did a frog splash after but Hardy kicked out at 2.9. Angels dragged Hardy to the corner and went to the top, Kassidy cut him off and Hardy got underneath him, Hardy hit Splash Mountain but Vance broke it up. Angels tagged Page, Page gave Cassidy a rolling elbow and a clothesline, Hardy’s Twist of Fate was blocked and he spilled out to the floor. Serpentico went to the top rope, saw everybody waiting for him, made the sign of the cross and jumped off. The faces all stepped out of the way and let him splat on the canvas. Buckshot lariat from Page for the win!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by the late great Black Rob, because that main event made me say “Whoa!” A lot of this show did as well. Kingston vs. Janela was excellent, Lucha Express vs. The Factory was much better than I thought it would be, and Drake vs. Cassidy might be the best match J.D. Drake has ever had on any AEW program. If you choose to skip anything, skip the squash matches for Thunder Rosa, Powerhouse Hobbs, Gunn Club and Red Velvet. It’s not that they were bad though — they’d have to had gone long enough to even be judged as good or bad. They were nothing whatsoever.

Cageside commentary crew! I welcome your feedback in the comments section below. I’m also on Twitter if you want to hit me up there. See you next Monday night for Elevation!