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AEW Dark recap (Feb. 22, 2022): Straight outta Saginaw!

Episode 131 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. Are you ready to get hype with a man from the Desi Hit Squad? Then let’s get straight into Tuesday night’s action!

Varsity Blonds (w/ Julia Hart) vs. Marcus Kross & Guillermo Rosas

The Blonds brought a record of 25-13. Kross and Rosas had never teamed before and thus had no team record. For whatever reason Kross had let his hair down and now looks like he’s trying out to be one half of a 1980’s tag team. Garrison took him down with a boot and Rosas got the tag. He ate a double team dropkick for his trouble. Rosas avoided a dive into the corner and had control of Garrison with an arm wringer. He tagged Kross back in and he hit a kick to the gut and tagged his partner for a double Russian leg sweep and a near fall. Hart looked on (as best she could through her eye patch) but seemed to be unconcerned. Kross jumped off Garrison’s chest and dropped an elbow for another near fall. Taz decided that Kross looked like Robert Plant circa 1969. Kross hit a sunset flip for another pin attempt before being turned inside out with a clothesline. Pillman finally got the hot tag and ran over Kross and Rosas while simultaneously screaming “I’m in the building baby!” Pillman drilled Kross into the canvas but Rosas made the save. Garrison smashed him into the ring apron for his trouble. Pillman went for a delayed vertical suplex but Kross nearly cradled him for the pin. Garrison got tagged back in, Kross got double teamed and his face smashed into the mat, and Hart shrugged like “oh well” after another Varsity Blonds win.

Rohit Raju, Karam, Sotheara Chhun, & Caleb Tennity vs. The Wingmen (JD Drake, Cezar Bononi, Ryan Nemeth, & Peter Avalon)

The Wingmen brought an eight-man tag record of 0-1, but since their opponents had never teamed together before, they brought a record of nil. You might recognize at least two of them though — particularly Rohit Raju from Desi Hit Squad (Impact) and Cody Chhun (DEFY Wrestling among others). Drake decided to go blow for blow with Raju and quickly learned that was a mistake. He tagged out to Chhun who ate a Bossman Slam right before all of the Wingmen hit the ring as a group. He gave Chhun a cannonball in the corner for good measure and Avalon hit a frog splash for the pin. I get who won and why they won but I was watching this match for their opponents, and I bet that you’ll feel the same way too.

Skye Blue vs. Ruthie Jay

Blue brought a record of 2-2 to the ring, while Ruthie Jay was making her AEW debut. Blue immediately went behind her for a side headlock, Jay shot her off, and Blue knocked her down with a shoulder tackle. Both wrestlers showed off their gymnastics acumen for a bit before Blue kicked Jay right in the jaw. Jay returned the favor but then threw a dropkick that missed by quite a bit. I hate saying that. I’m sure she’s well trained and works hard but you also don’t improve if people give you nothing but praise. Tighten it up a bit Jay. Blue gave her a dropkick to the chest, Jay floated her over to the apron, Blue kicked her in the head and came off the ropes with a flying crossbody. Thrust kick, flatliner, pin. Blue looked good and aside from one terrible dropkick, Jay was okay. She can get better given time.

Nick Comoroto (w/ The Factory) vs. Lamar Diggs

Comoroto entered with a singles record of 17-21. Diggs was waiting for him in the ring to make his AEW debut. Usually Comoroto’s opponents are diminutive compared to him, but Diggs was his equal in size if not in hours spend working on his biceps. I’m not saying he had a bad physique at all — just not a chiseled one. Comoroto reversed a suplex and draped Diggs over the ropes to put a knee on his head, and one of The Factor gave him a cheap shot for good measure (judging by the boos in Orlando, I’m guessing it was QT himself). Comoroto hit a one armed slam and dropped a huge elbow on Diggs. He escaped a body slam and hit a splash in the corner, then hit a nice dropkick in the opposite corner and fired up, but when he charged Comoroto a spear was waiting for him. Comoroto smashed Diggs’ head into the turnbuckle before giving him a tree slam, and that was all she wrote. The Factory hit the ring to celebrate his win.

Ben Bishop vs. Preston “10” Vance (w/ -1 & Alex Reynolds)

Vance brought a 51-18 record to the ring for this contest. Bishop was 0-1. To stall before this squash they did a little comedy with -1 taking off his shirt to get in Bishop’s face — but he was too short to do it so Vance put -1 on his shoulders. From that height -1 was able to pie face the tall drink of water Vance was facing just fine. At least one fan chanted “Vance is gonna kill you” even as Taz was trying to put Bishop over. (Maybe add him to Team Taz if you like him so much?) Bishop picked up Vance for a slam and a near fall. He tucked the head and hoisted Vance up for a powerbomb, but he managed to escape and then come off the ropes with a shoulder block. Bishop took a pump kick to the jaw, missed on a splash in the corner, and took a spinebuster from Vance when he turned around. You know what’s next — full Nelson, submission, victory. -1 got to put the move on Bishop too before being put on Vance’s shoulders again. Moving on!

Fuego Del Sol vs. David Ali

Fuego brought a 2022 record of 1-2. Ali’s overall record in AEW was 0-3. Based on those facts alone it was pretty safe to assume Fuego was winning tonight even if you read the spoilers in advance. Ali did have some fight in him though, kicking out of a shooting star press at two as Taz quipped that Fuego “does more moves in one match than I did in a whole career.” Ali hit a few kicks and an underhook suplex, leapt outside of the ring and back inside with a kick to Fuego, then slammed him for a near fall. Fuego got sent into the ropes and came back with a flying elbow. He called for the tornado DDT, Ali wisely tried to get away. but Fuego hit the asai moonsault to the floor to wipe Ali out. Back in the ring he hit the tornado DDT and a double stomp to the spine before making the pin.

Serpentico (w/ Luther) vs. Matt Sydal

Serpentico brought a singles record of 12-66 to the main event. Sydal’s singles record was 23-14. Obviously neither of these men had their records reset for 2022. In between Luther’s usual screeching I made out the words “he’s going to kill you,” and in my brain that wasn’t Luther threatening Sydal, it was a rare moment of clarity about Serpentico’s chances. Serpentico did take him down with a clothesline but it only resulted in a one count. At this point even Taz couldn’t figure out whether Luther was yelling at Sydal or Bruce Remsburg. Outside the ring Luther dropped Sydal on the barricade. Serpentico tried to charge him on the outside to take advantage but ate a high back body drop in response. Serpentico recovered with a double sledge and tried to mush Sydal’s face into the turnbuckle. Sydal came back with kicks and knee strikes before bouncing Serpentico’s face into the turnbuckle and delivering a meteora for a near fall. Serpentico elbowed his way out of a lightning spiral, Luther provided another distraction, and Serpentico hit a DDT for two. Serpentico missed with a senton atomico and the two exchanged roll ups. Sydal nailed him with a kick and finally connected with the lightning spiral for the win. A fun main event aside from having to listen to Luther again.

What to watch/skip

I know I’ve got N.W.A on the brain tonight, but since “Straight Outta Saginaw” was a song only in my head, how about another N.W.A parody instead? I’ve got to be honest — even though I liked Dark better this week, Elevation last night had the better crowd reactions. That’s the difference between taping in front of a live crowd who paid and a studio audience who got in free. If you skipped anything from this show it would be Blue vs. Jay, and if you only watched one thing it would be the main event. Serpentico is quite talented and it’s a shame he has to be held back by being one half of a geek tag team.

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!