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AEW Dark recap (Oct. 25, 2022): An ‘Absolute’ main event!

Episode 167 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 this episode, and without further adieu let’s get right to action filmed when All Elite Wrestling was in Toronto.

Lance Archer vs. Isaiah Brown

Archer threw his opponent Brown down the ramp and entered the building with a record of 26-0 on Dark. Brown’s record was never even shown. The bell rang and he got exactly one springboard move in off the ropes before Archer took over. He choke slammed Brown over the apron back into the ring, then gave him a suplex that send him flying across said same. Brown tried forearms and kicks and Archer didn’t sell a thing. He yelled at the camera “This is my house” and put Brown on the roof to give him a forearm. Brown escaped a choke slam and hit a chop block to the leg and a boot to the face, but Archer sent him to the floor with a big right hand. He threw Archer back in, put him on the ropes, hit the Blackout, 1-2-3. Time to change his Dark record to 27-0.

Zack Clayton vs. Shane Saber

“The Reality” Zack Clayton brought a record of 4-4 in singles competition to this match. Saber was making his AEW debut, introduced as hailing from Toronto, and getting the pop you’d expect to go with it. They even chanted his name for a little bit. Clayton was not impressed, dropping a knee on his nose, whipping him hard into the turnbuckle and posing for the crowd to get heat. Saber got dropped onto the top rope ribs first. Diving knee to the back of the head. Saber kicked out! Clayton laid in some ground and pound and applied a chinlock. “Let’s go Saber” chants. He tried to escape with elbows to the body and Clayton applied a front face lock. He slapped a woozy Saber in the face and that started a brief comeback, one that ended with Clayton’s fisherman buster for the three count.

Athena vs. Alexia Nicole

Athena entered this match with a record of 8-2 in singles competition. Nicole was making her AEW debut in this match. Nicole was yet another local favorite in this match. She tried to go to the top rope and Athena knocked her down with a boot to a chorus of boos. Nicole escaped a delayed vertical suplex but ate a wheelbarrow Taz-plex. This crowd wasn’t going to cheer for anything Athena did, including the lung blower from her shoulder for the pin. Given the same thing happened on Elevation this should have been a surprise to no one, but this wasn’t as good as that match. She showed Nicole respect after the match ended.

Danhausen vs. James Stone

Danhausen had a very nice, very evil record of 5-4 in AEW coming in. Stone was waiting for him in the ring and making his promotional debut. Danhausen tried to stomp a mud hole into Stone and walk it dry. Stone responded by rocking Danhausen and laying in right hands on the ground. Chop. Face into the turnbuckle. Chop. Face into the turnbuckle. Stone mocked Danhausen’s curse and paid for it with a German suplex. Danhausen locked up Stone’s left arm and got a submission win as Excalibur compliment his new aggression. Taz: “Slightly angry, slightly affected by the bell.”

Aaron Solo vs. Serpentico

Solo brought a record on Dark of 6-12 to Toronto. Serpentico was accompanied by Luther (wearing a Canadian flag as a cape) and had an overall AEW record of 13-95. Luther threw Serpentico into the ring and they did their full entrance like this was a tag team match. Solo immediately rolled out of the ring and went over to Dasha Gonzalez to make her say “Aaron Solo wants you to know that QT Marshall will not be accompanying him for this match” as if that made a difference because he walked down the entrance ramp a minute later anyway. Outside the ring Luther threw Serp into Solo, patted him on the head, and fed him into the ring. Solo floated Serp to the apron, he kicked Solo in the head, Solo shoved him off to the floor, and Marshall kicked him in the head. Solo rolled Serp back into the ring, Serp got a boot up, a running clothesline, a superkick and a jawbreaker. Solo rolled out and Serp did a suicide dive to the floor. Luther threw Serp back in again and then hit Solo with a suplex with the ref distracted talking to Marshall. Moonsault by Serp for a near fall. Marshall pearl harbored Luther on the outside, Solo hit the corkscrew kick on the inside, 1-2-3 for the V. Marshall may have had a handful of trunks to boot. Judge for yourself from the replay.

Riho vs. Jungle Kyona

Riho’s singles record before this bout was 24-7. Kyona was waiting in the ring to make her AEW debut but as Excalibur noted the two had a lot of history together in STARDOM. That was obvious in the first minute of the match as they countered each other’s moves. Riho hit a 6-1-9 but Kyona kicked out. Riho did a Northern Lights suplex and Kyona kicked out again. Kyona cut Riho off when she went up the ropes. Riho tripped her and did a double stomp as she was caught in the ropes, then went back up to the top. Kyona avoided a second stomp, rocked Riho’s block, but Riho went for a guillotine choke. Kyona countered with a vertical suplex and a diving lariat for a near fall. Kyona threw Riho into the corner, ran into with a clothesline, set her on the top rope and appeared to be going for a muscle buster. Riho escaped it, hit knees to the head, and did a double stomp. Kyona kicked out again! Riho had a bloody lip from the back and forth. Running flying knees finally finished Kyona off. This was a fast, fun and violent match. I wish they had 3-4 more minutes and a bigger platform!

Lucha Bros. (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) vs. The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)

The Workhorsemen brought a 2-1 record in AEW Dark matches to this bout. Alex Abrahantes accompanied the Lucha Bros., sporting a 10-0 record in matches on Dark before this bout. This match was even faster than Riho and Kyona if you can believe that. It was certainly shorter! Henry ate the double team piledriver for the quick pin. Don’t get up for a drink or a sandwich during this bout. It’s fun to watch the Lucha Bros. squash people.

Emi Sakura & Serena Deeb vs. KC Spinelli & Taylor Rising

Sakura and Deeb entered separately and were billed by their individual records of 21-11 and 27-8 respectively. Spinelli and Rising were teaming together for the first time. Fun fact — Spinelli got her first major break on a Canadian reality TV show where her trainer was Lance Storm. To be honest I wasn’t nearly as familiar with Rising but her black leather tights and long blonde hair definitely catch the eye. Deeb sat on her back for a submission and Spinelli was having none of it. She chopped Deeb repeatedly and hit a thrust kick to make her break it up, then carried her partner back to the corner. Deeb hit her with the Detox, Sakura put Rising in a dragon sleeper, and Deeb put Spinelli in the Serenity Lock for the submission. Another fun women’s bout on Dark!

Ricky Starks vs. Nick Comoroto

Comoroto entered flanked by Marshall and Solo sporting a Dark record of 7-10. I’m still not a fan of this “Nicky Boy” gimmick for Comoroto. If you had a guy who looked like Bruiser Brody, would you try to turn him into Nick Nemeth? I wouldn’t. Starks brought a Dark record of 31-0. Comoroto threw the sucker in his mouth at Starks before the action began, although it appeared Starks cleanly blocked it with a flick of his hand. Comoroto rocked Starks with an uppercut and took over the match from there. Bryce Remsburg warned him about choking Starks on the ropes and Marshall hit a cheap shot from the outside while he wasn’t looking. Solo lent a hand on the outside too and the crowd responded to The Factory’s antics by singing “Oh, Q-T’s an ass-hole! Oh, Q-T’s an ass-hole!” Comoroto choked him with a boot, Remsburg warned him, Marshall interfered again. Rinse, lather, repeat. They just kept building up the heat.

The fans exploded when he finally hit “Nicky Boy” with a DDT. Solo reached in to grab a boot and Comoroto power bombed Starks for a near fall. Excalibur: “The numbers (are) really against Ricky Starks in this one.” Comoroto tried to grab the ropes as he countered a roll up and Remsburg waved off the three count. Crucifix bomb by Starks. High boot for Solo. Marshall dragged him out of the ring but ate a thrust kick. Comoroto hit another power bomb and Starks kicked out again. Solo and Marshall finally got throw out by the referee and Toronto all sang “na na na hey hey goodbye” to them. Boot to the gut, sit out power bomb, Starks gets the pin and the crowd goes wild! A spear after the bell for good measure as he bowed to the audience and blew them a kiss.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Cypress Hill, because you don’t ever want to get loco with Penta or Fenix. Aside from that tag team match I also highly recommend Riho vs. Kyona, Solo vs. Serpentico (despite the finish), the women’s tag team match, and the antics of Danhausen. Skip Archer’s squash, Clayton’s one note heat, and Athena vs. Nicole (with apologies to both ladies). Everything else was fine.

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 after the show airs at 7 PM ET!

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