Episode 173 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the stream courtesy Cageside. Excalibur and Taz called this episode as per usual. It’s time to peacock!
TONIGHT! It's #AEWDark at 7/6c!@briancagegmsi takes on @LEONRUFF_, see #ROH World 6-Man Tag Champs @theDALTONcastle & @TateTwinBrent/@TateTwinBrandon in action, plus @AthenaPalmer_FG, and MUCH more!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 6, 2022
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Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Justin Corino, Jaden Valo & Defarge
6-0 was the record for Dalton and his Boys in trios action on AEW/ROH programming. Their opponents Corino, Valo & Defarge were waiting in the ring with no previous record as a group. Taz: “If you feel like you’re watching a show in Vegas and a wrestling match breaks out, so be it!” Excalibur: “Did she say Defarge or DeBarge?” Valo ticked off Castle immediately by imitating him and got slammed on his face. Taz: “I think he was a little annoyed. I think he felt disrespected by Valo.” He tagged out Defarge tagged in as did one of the Boys, but that didn’t last long as Corino tagged back in and so did Castle. The Boys spun him around, Castle fell on him, and both of Corino’s teammates made the save. Castle hit a suplex and yelled “bring me a boy” as per usual, so Brandon and Brent Tate took their turns being thrown onto a man on the outside, and it ended with Castle hitting Corino with Bangarang for the pin.
Kicking off #AEWDark, it's the @ringofhonor World 6-Man Tag Team Champions @TheDaltonCastle & #TheBoys @TateTwinBrent & @TateTwinBrandon! Tune into tonight's new episode right here:— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 7, 2022
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Abadon vs. Leva Bates
Bates and her library book had a 2022 record of 1-2. Abadon’s record for this year to date was 12-0. Abadon dropped down on the mat and waved at her, and when she got up Bates tripped her and made the sign of a cross. “The power of Christ compels you!” Abadon responded with a snapmare and fish hooks. Bates kicked her in the face and hit a pretty northern lights suplex. (That’s who should be “coaching” the women’s division, not Madison Rayne.) Abadon missed a hip attack in the corner and ate a series of kicks followed by swinging double knees to the chest for two. Abandon stumbled back to her feet and got taken for a ride with another German suplex. Abadon hit a heel kick, an enzuigiri, and Black Dahlia for 3. I wanted this match to go five more minutes (and for Bates to win).
The #LivingDeadGirl @abadon_AEW goes one-on-one with @wrestlingleva TONIGHT on #AEWDark; tune in now!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 7, 2022
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Brian Cage (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Leon Ruffin
I heart Leon Ruffin, but with a 1-3 record going against a guy the size of “The Machine” Brian Cage, I don’t expect the kind of upset we saw last night. Speaking of Cage he brought a record of 24-0 to this bout. Taz: “Cage probably has a one hundred pound advantage over Ruffin.” That would be a minimum. In fact Cage was so unconcerned he stopped mid-match to start flexing like this was a bodybuilding contest (which Taz noticed). He threw Ruffin so hard into the corner that he had to wipe his hands like the match was already over. He hit a backbreaker, blew a kiss to the crowd, and Ruffin tried to crawl out under the ropes. Cage caught him and tried to pull him back in. Ruffin hit an elbow to escape and that only pissed off Cage, who came out to attack him and throw him back in. Ruffin tried to stun Cage coming back in and then hit a suicide dive, but Cage caught him and threw him into the ring post. Cage climbed to the top rope and gave him a suplex from the outside to the inside and started flexing his muscles again. He made a lateral press and pulled Ruffin up before Aubrey Edwards could count three, but Ruffin escaped a Drill Claw and hit an enzuigiri, an elbow, a boot to the face and some closed fists. Three forearms had Cage reeling, a cutter had Cage off his feet, but a discus lariat ended his momentum. Powerbomb, Weapon X, 1-2-3 done. To my surprise we got a post-match promo.
Prince Nana: “Hey! Hey! Hey you know what? You see Prince Nana has been telling you people from day one. You see what you just witnessed just now, is what we call, Embassy excellence. And the person who brought it to your attention here tonight is none other than what?” Cage: “The Weapon X-cellence of Execution.” Nana: “The Embassy is forever, and the Embassy is on the hunt!”
With a dominant victory on #AEWDark, @briancagegmsi shows why he is the "Weapon X-cellence of Execution", and as @princeKingnana states, #TheEmbassy is on the HUNT!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 7, 2022
Watch #AEWDark right now!
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Jay Lethal & Satnam Singh (w/ Sonjay Dutt) vs. Brick City Boyz
Lethal and Singh brought a 5-0 record to this match. The Boyz (not to be confused with Dalton Castle’s “Boys”) were waiting in the ring with a record of 0-2, going by the names of Julio Cruz & Victor Chase. Dutt: “Atlantic City, just one second. Hold on guys, shut up! Where exactly is Brick City?” “Newark, New Jersey!” “What a coincidence my friend Jay Lethal is the King of New Jersey. My other friend Jeff Jarrett is the King of Tennessee, some would say the king of professional wrestling. My other friend is Satnam Singh, seven foot four, one in a billion, so what I’m trying to say is in just a couple of minutes, Brick City is going to crumble.” Singh pressed Cruz overhead and threw him out of the ring. He picked him up for a slam, tagged in Lethal, Lethal picked up Cruz and dropped him on his face then immediately followed it with a Lethal Injection for an easy pin.
What does @TheLethalJay have in store?— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 7, 2022
Tune in to #AEWDark right now!
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Athena vs. B3cca
Athena’s record for 2022 was 17-2. B3cca’s record was 0-1. Athena offered her a handshake and B3cca knew better than to accept it. She tried to slap it away and missed, but Athena beat her up for it anyway. B3cca tried to kick Athena off and fire up with some kicks and forearms, then hit a cutter for a near fall, and that was where any hope she had of winning came to an end. Athena picked her up like it would be a delayed vertical suplex, but dropped her over the ropes to the floor instead, then came out to throw her into the ring steps. She yelled at the crowd, threw B3cca back in, twisted her legs and pulled her head back for the dragon sleeper submission. Naturally she refused to let go and the referee warned her to break or be disqualified. She stood on the head of B3cca as her hand was raised.
Catch @AthenaPalmer_FG in action right now on #AEWDark!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 7, 2022
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Trent Beretta (w/ Chuck Taylor) vs. Anthony Henry
Henry brought a record of 2-0. Beretta’s record on Dark was 20-3. Henry kicked away the handshake offered by Beretta, so commentary was sure to point out that maneuver went better than the last match. Henry tried to knock Beretta off his feet with a tackle and failed. Henry went for a guillotine and was tossed overhead and clotheslined to the floor. Beretta leapt over the ropes to splash him and gave Taylor a hug. Henry ducked Beretta as he charged and sent him into the barricade, then ran all the way around the ring for a crossbody to send him over the barricade into the crowd. One lucky fan got the whole thing on his cell phone. Wonder if he tweeted it.
Back in the ring Henry got a near fall and Beretta signaled that his neck was hurting. Aubrey Edwards warned him to not go after it and he ignored her. He signaled for a piledriver and got countered into a near fall. Henry gave him a neck crank with his feet and kicked him in the spine, then sat on the ropes for a breather. Beretta tried to charge and got tripped into the corner turnbuckle. Henry tried to come off the ropes and ate a suplex instead. Chops from Beretta. Back to back Germans. Springboard DDT. Two count. Taylor pounded on the mat to cheer his friend on. Henry escaped a suplex and hammered Beretta in the neck. Beretta blocked a suplex to the outside then came out to hit a spear. Back in the ring he hit a flying knee to the back of the head for two. Beretta set Henry on the top rope and went up behind him, but Henry escaped and dropped him on the yam bag. Henry climbed up to hook Beretta but got pushed off. Henry ran up again and hit the avalanche falcon arrow for 2.9.
A nice overhead throw by @trentylocks! See it all on #AEWDark right now!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 7, 2022
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Henry went to the top again and sized up Beretta. Double foot stomp, 2.9. Henry went to the apron to attack Beretta, teased a piledriver, but got reversed into a Crunchie. Beretta rolled him back in and made a cover for two before Henry got his foot on the ropes. Both men traded chops and forearms. Beretta landed a lariat rebounding out of the corner. Henry blocked a Crunchie and hit a piledriver for another near near fall. Beretta kicked Henry away, Henry jumped on him for a roll up, but Beretta reversed it and got the three count. Surprising finish but a fun match!
What to watch/skip
Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Radio Ga Ga,” because Dalton Castle’s entrance always seems to remind me of that Queen classic. Order wise this was a strange episode. I would have booked it in exactly the opposite of the order it aired, but to their credit Beretta and Henry had the best worked match of the show and deserved the time and spot they got. This was a rather short episode by Dark standards (47 minutes) so I have no “skips” this week. I was tempted to say Brian Cage versus Leon Ruffin since it could have ended in a third the time it got, but watching Cage throw people half his size around with ease is just too much fun.
Cageside commentary crew — share your feedback below in the comments section. If you love pro wrestling find me on Twitter too unless it suddenly implodes. See you Monday for Elevation!