Episode 165 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the stream courtesy Cageside Seats. Excalibur and Taz called the action tonight. Let’s get to it! We’ve got more action, more excitement, more +everything+.
Lance Archer vs. Alec Odin
Archer brought a 53-10 record to the opening contest and nearly ran over Dasha Gonzalez when he hit the ring. Odin was waiting for him to make his AEW debut. He had on stars and stripes attire and attempted to jump on the turnbuckle to flex his biceps, and Archer was having none of it and immediately jumped him. From there this turned into a fairly typical and one sided Archer beating, complete with chopping the crap out of him and spiking him into the mat. Taz: “He can finish him any time he wants.” Instead Odin reversed a vertical suplex and tried to fire up like the Hulkster. He climbed the ropes and fought off Archer with back elbows, but he responded with a step up knee and the Blackout for the pin. Taz: “Another impressive violent performance by the Murderhawk Monster.”
Serena Deeb, Penelope Ford & Jamie Hayter vs. Brittany Blake, Jordan Blade & Trish Adora
Ford was accompanied by Kip Sabian (and his box) with a singles record of 33-14. Her teammate Deeb had a 16-3 record, while Hayter brought a record of 6-3. Blake, Blade and Adora were waiting for them in the ring in their first match as a trio. Hayter was a big crowd favorite in Washington D.C., getting chants before she even entered the ring, and while she was waiting on the apron to be tagged in. Ford and Blade were going strike for strike until she gouged Blade’s eyes. Adora tagged in and Ford did the Matrix move to avoid her, then did a handspring back elbow and a running high boot for good measure. Deeb came in and gave her a slingshot neck first into the bottom rope. The crowd chanted for Deeb too as she did a swinging neckbreaker and went for the Serenity Lock. They booed Blake when she came in to break it up. Once the heels cleared the ring Deeb went for it again and tapped Adora out, although it looked suspiciously like something went wrong in the execution.
She is #TheProfessor for a reason! @SerenaDeeb locks in the submission tightly, leaving her opponent no option but to tap out! Deeb scores the victory for the team tonight on #AEWDark!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 11, 2022
▶️ https://t.co/dEEpCh2GXR pic.twitter.com/U0TNEYgp5d
Marina Shafir (w/ Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero) vs. Hikaru Shida
Shafir hit the ring with a 13-3 record. Shida brought a record of 50-9. Shafir tried to dismissively pat Shida on the head when they had a face off and it didn’t take long for her to make Shafir pay for it with a knee left on the apron. Rose and Guerrero distracted her and Shafir tried to choke her out with her legs. Taz gave detailed escriptions of all the judo throws and Shida sold big after Shafir hit a German suplex. Shafir mocked her and the crowd responded by cheering Shida on to fight back. Shida hit a shoulder tackle and a forearm and Shafir no sold. She begged Shida to hit her some more. She did and finally knocked her down, then climbed the turnbuckle for ten punches in the corner. Shafir tried to escape but ate a missile dropkick for a near fall.
Shida went out to the ring apron and started to climb the ropes, but Shafir kicked her down and dragged her back into the ring. Kick to the body, Falcon Arrow blocked, single leg takedown by Shafir looking for the Greedy submission. Shida blocked it and Shafir went for a rear naked choke, but Shida blocked it with one hand and slipped out to hit a knee to the back as a concerned Vickie Guerrero looked on. Shafir pulled herself up by the ropes as the ref started a ten count. They both got back up and Shida hit the Falcon Arrow, but Shafir kicked out at 2.9. Shida hit the Katana and this time Shafir did not kick out before three! This was worthy of being a Dark or Elevation main event.
A physical back-and-forth battle between @MarinaShafir and @shidahikaru on #AEWDark; in the end, Shida was able to score the win, giving her momentum rolling into tomorrow's tag team bout LIVE on #AEWDynamite on TBS!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 11, 2022
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Brian Cage (with Prince Nana) vs. Papadon
“The Machine” brought a record of 32-7 in AEW along with his manager Prince Nana. Papadon was back for the second show in a row and unlike last night he actually got an introduction this time, so we learned his record so far was 0-2. The bad news is he didn’t have more of a chance to win here than he did facing Lance Archer. Cage caught him on a crossbody, hulked him up and hit a Death Valley Driver. Papadon got a rope break on what could easily have ended the match. That just gave Cage more time to lay in a beating for the D.C. fans. Scoop slam, near fall, double biceps, kick to the face. Papadon ducked a discus lariat and threw a few kicks and uppercuts, a dropkick to the knees, and kicks to the sternum and back. Cage ducked the next kick but got tripped into the turnbuckle. Papadon came off the ropes with an uppercut and signaled to end the match, but Cage countered into a waterwheel drop and signaled for his own finisher — Drill Claw, one-two-three. One thing both Papadon matches had in common — he got more offense than you’d expect!
A huge win for #TheMachine @briancagegmsi on #AEWDark! The future is looking mighty strong for #TheEmbassy! Watch tonight's brand new episode right here:— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 11, 2022
▶️ https://t.co/dEEpCh2GXR pic.twitter.com/GsFCWEnMHi
This was followed by a promo from “The Reality” Zack Clayton vowing he had signed a full time deal with AEW and would do what he wanted to whoever he wanted until someone could step up and stop him from doing it.
Athena vs. Gia Scott
Athena brought a 6-2 record to this contest. Scott was waiting for her sporting a record of 0-2. Taz and Excalibur claimed that Athena was making Scott angry with repeated side headlocks and she certainly seemed to respond that way, whipping her hard into the corner and pulling her up with a handful of hair. This lead to strikes back and forth. Scott ducked an enzuigiri but got rolled up for a near fall. She slammed Athena hard for a near fall of her own. Scott kicked Athena in the back, Athena ducked a kick to the face and knocked her down with a thrust kick and a boot to the face. She cracked her neck and then dropped Scott over her back, and Scott rolled out to the floor to try to recover. Athena gave her a running dropkick into the barricade and threw her back in. Athena went to the top rope for the Eclipse and finished the match. Another fun women’s bout on Dark! Oh — I guess we’re calling the Eclipse the “O-Face” now according to Excalibur. So be it. The tweet confirms it.
QT Marshall vs. Action Andretti
A bevy of flunkies from The Factory accompanied Marshall, sporting a record of 28-13, and he immediately demanded a mic to cut a promo. “Cut the music! Come here young man. Guys.” Andretti walked over without having been introduced by Dasha, and the crowd booed Marshall heavily. “QT Marshall, pleasure to meet you.” He offered a handshake. “What’s your name.” “What’s my name?” “Are you hard of hearing I said what’s your name?” “I am the sight to see Action Andretti!” Marshall: “I realized this is the biggest night of your life, and you didn’t even get a televised entrance, so on the count of three let’s chant for Action.” They did. Marshall then offered for his flunkies to go to the back so that the match could be a “fair” one on one bout. The crowd chanted “QT sucks” so he instructed Dasha to say “Ladies and gentlemen, QT says he doesn’t suck.” Excalibur finally told us Andretti was 0-3 even though he never got officially introduced (or a chyron graphic). I would have said we could have figured it out from Elevation, but he was in tag team action so we didn’t get his singles record. Marshall toyed with him, mocked him, told him he wasn’t nothing, and Andretti finally hit a DDT and a shooting star press for a near fall.
Marshall hit his own DDT, kipped up, and signaled for the Diamond Cutter. Andretti nearly caught him in a roll up, took Marshall out to the floor, and followed up with an Arabian Moonsault. He missed with the 450, landed the thrust kick, hit the split legged moonsault and Marshall kicked out at 2.9! At this point I’m thinking Andretti must have been one of his students from The Factory because they’re having a hell of a match. Marshall hit him with a haymaker and tried to pin him with his boots on the ropes, but referee Paul Turner caught him and wouldn’t allow it. Andretti back flipped over Marshall, enzuiguiri from the apron, springboard, and Marshall caught him with the Cutter mid-air for the pin. The crowd hated this finish, which they were supposed to, but you’d definitely want to see Andretti in Action again after this. Marshall definitely doesn’t suck, even if nobody will ever like him that much.
Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Joe Keys, Josh Fuller & BK Kline
Castle and his Boys brought a record of 3-0 in AEW as the reigning ROH Six Man Champions, and had on the title belts to remind us of it. Their opponents were waiting at ringside and making their first appearance in trios action. Keys got the better of a Boy as Castle screamed at him to “block the next (shot) with your face.” Obviously he was just waiting for a hot tag and once he got it he cleaned house on all three men and hit a stalling German suplex. “Bring me a boy!!” You know what happens next — he throws Brandon and Brent Tate into his opponents over and over again as the crowd erupts, and then he finishes the match with a Bangarang. When I get tired of seeing that I’ll let you know, but today is definitely not that day. Here’s a highlight in case you didn’t watch it live (or the replay).
Bang! A! Rang! #ROH World 6-Man Tag Team Champions @theDALTONcastle & The Boys @TateTwinBrandon @TateTwinBrent get the W tonight in impressive fashion on #AEWDark!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 11, 2022
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Kip Sabian (with Penelope Ford) vs. Brandon Cutler
Sabian brought a 2-1 record and had his box with him again, and Ford came down with him in support of her man. Cutler entered with his can of cold spray and record of 2-5. The D.C. crowd was solidly behind Cutler and even chanted his entrance song during the match. The match was booked to take advantage of this with Sabian and Cutler exchanging fireman’s carries as a “boo/yay” spot until he did an airplane spin for so long that (once again) he made himself dizzy. Sabian fell on top of him for a near fall, and Cutler rolled him up to get one right back. Sabian went for his box, acted like it was giving him advice, then went to trade forearms and strikes with Cutler. Cutler got him in the ropes and caught him with shots each time he rebounded. They booed ref Aubrey Edwards when she pulled him off. Sabian stole his cold spray, used it as a distraction to nail him with a headbutt, then planted him for the three count.
Taking advantage of the distraction of Brandon Cutler, @TheKipSabian was able to secure the win in his bout tonight on #AEWDark! Make sure you head over to our YouTube channel to watch the action in its entirety!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 12, 2022
▶️ https://t.co/dEEpCgL5zh pic.twitter.com/eySkMhqZkw
This was followed by a promo video for Action Andretti where he said that Marshall got the better of him tonight, but promised to be back for more, and based on that I’ve got to feel that “Andretti is All Elite” whether they’ve actually said he was signed to a contract or not.
Toni Storm vs. Emi Sakura (Women’s Title Eliminator)
Sakura brought a record of 21-10. The interim champion Storm brought the title and a record of 14-2 to this contest. Storm mocked Sakura by dumping her “tea” on her head, tripped her, suplexed her, and went for a cover. Storm worked a headlocked and Sakura fought it off by grabbing her hair. Storm knocked her down with shoulder tackles and a dropkick and she rolled out to the apron to recover. Storm gave her a kick through the ropes and went outside, where Sakura met her with Mongolian chops and did a draping backbreaker to the pretty black mats. Back in the ring Storm anticipated and countered the “we will chop you” and Sakura responded by biting her and climbing on her back for the Romero Special. She grabbed the neck too once she had it on before finally letting go.
Thumb to the eye, kick to the head, paintbrush with the boot from Sakura, and Storm got up angry and ready to trade shots. Sakura hit a chop lariat combo and stacked her up for a two count. Storm gave her a German suplex, an uppercut, a high boot and got a two count. Sakura stalled too long after sending Storm face first into the mat to get a pin, but hit her with a back breaker and the crossbody to the back. She came off the second rope, picked Storm up for the delayed vertical backbreaker, and Storm kicked out at the last second. Storm hit a DDT and followed with the hip attack in the corner, then immediately went for the Storm Zero and the pin. Another match worthy of being a main event on any Dark!
Dante Martin & Matt Sydal vs. Aaron Solo & Cole Karter
The Factory accompanied Solo and Karter to the ring, who were making their debut as a team for the final match of this episode. Their opponents brought records of 28-16 and 38-17 but the team record wasn’t show (AEW inconsistency rears its head again). Martin and Sydal double teamed Karter as Solo had to look on. Usually it’s not the faces cutting off the ring, but as Taz noted it’s “smart tag team wrestling” no matter who’s doing it. Solo finally cut Sydal off as he was about to springboard off the ropes so that he could tag himself in. Nick Comoroto lent a hand from outside as Solo distracted the ref. Backbreaker for two. Karter tagged back in. Now it was time for the heels to cut off the ring until Martin could get the hot tag, with Solo doing everything he could to get the D.C. audience to boo his team.
Martin pounded the turnbuckle to get them clapping for the comeback. Sydal got turned inside out with a clothesline before he could make the tag. Face first into the turnbuckle. Sydal finally hit a rana and leapt out for the tag and Martin immediately started flipping and flying, wiping out Carter on the outside and hitting the shotgun dropkick on the inside. He planted Solo with one arm and Karter broke up the pin. He ate a dropkick to the face. Comoroto tried to distracted him long enough for Solo to hit a corkscrew kick but it was only a two count. The ref threw Comoroto out when he threatened to use his cane. Martin went for a roll up and got two. Martin got powerbombed into Solo’s waiting knees, Solo missed a leap off the top when Sydal came in to assist, and Martin finally hit the Nose Dive to end the match and this week’s show.
.@lucha_angel1 picks up a huge win for the team, with the Nose Dive in the main event of #AEWDark! If you missed any of tonight's episode, make sure to catch it all right here:— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 12, 2022
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What to watch/skip
Once again this portion of the recap is brought to you by Planet Peacock. Before I say anything else though I’d like to compliment our readers for 1.) pointing out Nyla Rose’s attire on Elevation was inspired by Freakazoid! (I feel bad for not realizing that) and 2.) expressing their positive opinion on the Elevation main event. The greatest part of pro wrestling is that it’s a smorgasbord with a wide variety of content where there’s something for everyone.
Case in point — this episode of Dark was longer than I prefer, but it certainly wasn’t bad, and you may actually prefer longer episodes than I do. I recommend Shida vs. Shafir, Papadon vs. Cage, Marshall vs. Andretti, Storm vs. Sakura, and our recurring Peacock show from Dalton Castle. I don’t have “skips” per se this time. Like I said nothing was bad but those are the matches I liked more than the rest. This was definitely a “more everything” episode by the time 90+ minutes were up and in this case I don’t think it hurt the show. I would have ended it after Storm vs. Sakura though.
Cageside commentary crew — share your feedback in the comments section below. If you love pro wrestling you can find me on Twitter too. See you next Monday for Elevation!