Episode 164 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the stream. Excalibur and Taz called the action (as usual) for this show. Let’s get to it!
A brand new #AEWDark drops TONIGHT 7/6c!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 4, 2022
-@Abadon_AEW v @freya_the_slaya
-@ARealFoxx v @AriyaDaivari
-@lucha_angel1+@MattSydal v #Workhorsemen @RealJDDrake+@Antnyhenry
-#IronSavages @bear_boulder+@bearbronsonBC v @GusDeLaVega84+@LevyValenz pic.twitter.com/gQC1qYWwjR
Marina Shafir vs. Sio Nieves
Shafir entered with a record of 12-3 and her usual chorus of violins. Nieves was waiting for her in the ring with to make her AEW debut. I’m sure that will go just fine for the young lady. (Cough cough.) I realize it may have been a long taping by this point, but it felt so quiet in Universal Studios that I could hear every step they took. Nieves knocked Shafir down with a dropkick, tried an arm wringer, tried a pin, and she got reversed and fish hooked. Shafir backed up and let Nieves get to her feet, and she managed to hit a jawbreaker as a result. Shafir responded with a back bodydrop and immediately sank in her Greedy submission. Shafir must like Nieves because she got much more offense than I expected her to.
Ari Daivari vs. AR Fox
Daivari was preceded by Jeeves Kay and accompanied by the rest of The Trustbusters, sporting a record of 8-6 for 2022. Fox was waiting in the ring for them and had a record so far of 0-1 in AEW. Daivari overpowered Fox in the corner to lay in a beating and when the referee tried to break it up he screamed “I know the damn rules!” Fox hit an enzuigiri and did a flip off the ring post to the floor to knock Daivari down. Slim J distracted him, Parker Boudreaux ran him over like a Mack truck, and referee Stephon Smith didn’t see any of it. Tony Khan would tell him to “tighten it up” if he was watching.
ox was thrown back in to continue the beating. Crossbody for two. Chop. Snapmare takeover. Rear chinlock. “A-R Fox” chant from Orlando. Vertical suplexes countered back and forth until Fox finally hit a corkscrew brainbuster. Taz promoted the fact Fox has trained many of today’s AEW stars. Stunner from Fox. Diving back elbow. Cutter. Daivari kicked out at 2.9. Orlando chanted “that was three.” Swing and a miss by Daivari. Back elbow by Fox. Daivari swept the legs but Fox hit another cutter for another near fall. Slim J got on the apron for a distraction, Daivari hit a low blow “to the yam bag” as Taz would say, and Daivari cleaned his clock with a clothesline to get the pin. It’s a shame Fox is 0-2 in the promotion, but he knew the job he was brought in to do and he’s been doing it like a pro.
A vicious way to secure the victory tonight for @AriyaDaivari! What does the future hold for the #Trustbusters? Don't miss another minute of #AEWDark right here: ▶️ https://t.co/4x8sxwP4Eh pic.twitter.com/K7NvcYydTh— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 4, 2022
Tony Nese & Josh Woods vs. Rohit Raju & Invictus Khash
Nese & Woods brought a tag team record of 7-2 and “Smart” Mark Sterling, although his suit was nearly as loud as usual. Raju and Khash were teaming together for the first time and were already in disagreement after Raju tried to strike a pose in front of Khash. Nese and Khash were 50/50 in the early going. He took a break to do some jumping jacks and then swept the legs to drop Khash on his rear before Woods tagged in. Running knee to the face before Raju ran in to break up the pin. Nese grabbed him by the trunks, threw him outside, and did a splash to take him out. He got back just in time to lend Woods the assist for their double team finisher, which you can watch a replay of right here.
Smart @MarkSterlingEsq's clients, the #PremierAthlete @TonyNese & the #TechnicalBeast @Woodsisthegoods, score the win tonight in impressive fashion! Watch #AEWDark right now! ▶️ https://t.co/4x8sxwP4Eh pic.twitter.com/gAr5a3owTp— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 4, 2022
Abadon vs. Freya States
Abadon crawled out to the ring with a record of 36-3. I know I’m being a bit cute with the title of this week’s recap, but Excalibur literally called it “the spooky season” before this match got underway. States was waiting for her in the ring with a record of 0-2. Abadon decided to do a ‘rana to the floor but got dropped ribs first across the steel steps in response. States started to beat her up on the apron and threw an axe kick for good measure. Taz: “Huh. Abadon might be knocked out here.” Nope. She immediately did the Undertaker sit up, hit States with the Black Dahlia, and picked up another Dark win (or is that another dark win) in AEW just like Elevation last night.
This was followed by a Renegade Twins interview backstage where they swore to Lexy Nair that “they don’t cheat” and included some new confusing “she is me and we are she” catch phrase that I honestly hope doesn’t stick. I guess is this the show to try that stuff out on.
Slim J vs. Blake Christian
Christian entered first with a record of 2-5. Jeeves Kay and the entire Trustbusters crew accompanied the 6-1 J to the ring. Christian was in control early, knocked J down with a dropkick, did another arm wringer, J got back up but Christian hit a dropkick and covered him for two. Christian continued to work the left arm but Daivari blatantly saved J by dragging him out and Sonny Kiss swept the legs on the other side of the ring. J tore his shirt off and threw Christian back in. Low blow while the ref was distracted for a near fall. Kick to the back of the head for another two count. J put Christian’s neck on the ropes and choked him with a leg. Sonny reached in from the outside to do more while the ref wasn’t looking. “Tighten it up.” Hard slap to the face by J. Enzuigiri by Christian and a right hand right back. Backbreaker, leg sweep, frog splash from behind, springboard lariat, and the crowd was as pumped up as they’ve been all episode for Christian. Daivari distracted Christian but he still did a dive over the top rope to wipe J out. Kiss grabbed a leg when Christian tried to grab the ropes, and J did a flatliner and cranked the neck for a submission. Taz: “I’m not quite sure why Slim J has a submission hold, but he got the win with it.” That makes two of us.
Eli Isom & Chris Farrow vs. The Wingmen (Ryan Nemeth & Cezar Bononi)
The Wingmen entered first with a record of 2-4. Farrow & Isom were 0-0 as this was their tag team division debut. Even the jobbers have a chance to pick up a win if they’re in with The Wingmen, but not this time. Nemeth hit Farrow with the Hunk o’ Love for a quick pin.
Lexy Nair returned to interview JT Davidson alongside Boulder and Bronson, the former Bear Country, recently renamed the Iron Savages. He promised her they would tear apart everyone in the division “and you can take that to the bank.”
The 'Iron Manager', @TheJTDavidson, sends a message to the #AEW locker room on behalf of the #IronSavages, @bear_boulder & @bearbronsonBC! They'll be in action later tonight on #AEWDark!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 4, 2022
▶️ https://t.co/4x8sxx6G2R pic.twitter.com/pTImvtU6Bk
Terry Kid vs. Parker Boudreaux
The 3-0 Boudreaux was like his stablemates flanked by Kay and the Trustbusters, and Kay splashed the water on his tray all over the cameraman’s lens. Kid was waiting for him in the ring with a mustache that he decided to flex in Boudreaux’s face. First of all he didn’t have nearly enough of one to justify it. Second of all that was the only offense he got in as Boudreaux immediately rag dolled him, gave him a splash, and pinned him for the win. No interference from the Trustbusters needed.
Robyn Renegade (w/ Charlette Renegade) vs. Skye Blue
Robyn brought a record of 3-9 to this contest. Blue brought a record of 8-10 and got jumped before the opening bell. Backstabber by Renegade for a near fall. Taz: “Back stabber, named after most of the wrestlers I’ve shared a locker room with. Making friends again with the old timers.” Spinning head kick by Blue for a near fall. Kick and a forearm by Blue. Elbow strike by Renegade. Step up knee by Blue. Flatliner for three. That looked really sloppy — more so than usual for Blue. She even tripped and fell in the middle of the match. There’s nobody I like more who I am simultaneously more afraid for every time she works.
Another impressive showing by @skyebyee here on #AEWDark, scoring the win over a tough opponent in Robyn Renegade! Catch up on tonight's episode right here: ▶️ https://t.co/4x8sxwP4Eh pic.twitter.com/dCisFZp2N9— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 4, 2022
Iron Savages vs. Gus De La Vega & Levy Valenzuela
Davidson re-introduced himself and the Savages to open the match, sporting a record of 18-10 from their Bear Country days. If they’ve been rebranded shouldn’t they start over with a new record? It would be at least 1-0 so that’s not entirely bad. Vega and Valenzuela were teaming together for the first time but you might recognize the latter as No Way Jose. He was there to catch the much tinier Vega when he was chucked out of the ring by the Savages. He ate the old Bear Country finish in the corner for the pin. Excalibur: “JT Davidson has unlocked an extra gear and their aggression is turned up to 11.” I wish I could agree but everything looks the same other than their name and their manager.
Dante Martin & Matt Sydal vs. The Workhorsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry)
Drake and Henry came out first with a record of 2-5. Marin came out 38-17 and Sydal came out 28-16. They were jumped before the bell and attacked on the outside, but Martin did a torneo to wipe them out and Sydal went to work on Henry in the ring. Mariposa. One count. Henry pushed him into the heel corner but he successfully fought them both until Drake tripped him from behind, then tagged in to continue working him over while Martin begged his partner for the tag. Sydal tried a roll up for a near fall. Chops in the corner. Henry tagged back in. Takeover into a chinlock. Roundhouse kick to the chest. Drake tagged back in. Sydal reversed a ‘rana and got one of his own, but Martin was yanked off the apron before the tag and given a piledriver on the floor to boot. Henry knocked him down and Drake made the cover but he still kicked out. His chest was beet red from Drake’s chops.
Martin sold his head and neck on the floor on the outside, which I had a hard time buying knowing that three minutes later he’d hit the ring to start flipping and flying. Meanwhile Henry pretended to be Sydal’s partner in the corner and beg for the tag. Taz had to admit that was a unique way to get heat. Twisting piledriver by Henry for a near fall. Taz claimed trainers were evaluating Martin while the cameras weren’t looking. Henry missed a splash in the corner and Drake hit a DDT before leaping out to tag Martin as he had just managed to climb back up on the apron. As I predicted he immediately started flying all around and flipping over Workhorsemen like he was never hurt at all. Drake kicked out of a hard lariat at 2.9. Workhorsemen tried to double team him, he leapt over them and then tried a sunset flip on Drake. Henry tagged in and they tried a double team powerbomb for two. Sydal ran in for a meteora and pushed Martin out of the way, which gave Martin the chance to hit Drake with the Nose Dive for three. That was a fun main event but not the least bit believable.
What to watch/skip
This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by spooky scary skeletons. It’s the season for all things frightful, which also feels like the only time of year AEW remembers they have Abadon under contract. Unfortunately unless they actually give her good opponents and competitive matches, there’s nothing to see from her you haven’t seen before. She gets an A+ for her attire and presentation and a F- in the way she’s booked. You can also skip Parker Boudreaux, The Wingmen, Iron Savages, Shafir and Blue. Daivari and Fox was the best worked match. Despite the dumb injury angle I always enjoy Martin’s aerial offense so tune in for the main event too. Less Trustbusters per episode please. I don’t hate them but it was major overkill on Dark this week. I still recommend J and Christian 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!