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AEW Dark recap (May 24, 2022): Roppongi! Roppongi Vice

Episode 144 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream via YouTube. Your commentary team this week was Excalibur and Taz. Let’s get right into the action!

Kris Statlander vs. Avery Breaux

Statlander brings a record of 44-17 to the ring. Breaux was waiting for her in the ring to make her AEW debut. Statlander did a go behind and threw Breaux to the mat. Breaux tried to return the favor and got thrown with ease. Breaux fired up with a couple of strikes and Statlander said “okay” and gave her a high back body drop. Statlander picked her up off the ropes and slammed her right on her face. Breaux fought off a suplex attempt and hit a punch and some boots in the corner, followed by a cannonball senton. She said “That’s right!” and began posing like she had already won, and the ref told her to pay attention because the match wasn’t over. He was right. Excalibur: “Avery Breaux should have kept her eyes on Statlander.” Night Fever finished the match.

“Daddy Magic” Matt Menard & “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker vs. Eli Isom & Tug Cooper

The men formerly known as 2point0 brought a record of 9-3 to the ring. Isom and Cooper were waiting for them in the ring, and they’d have to wait a little longer for this promo. “Our leader Chris Jericho is not here tonight, and that means that Daddy Magic gets his way. And when Daddy Magic gets his way that means there’s no Judas, no sing along!” Menard: “It looks like we have a couple of pro wrestlers here. And you know what we do — we beat up pro wrestlers! We do it for the AEW Galaxy, because we know you love sports entertainers.” Isom and Cooper were making their debut as a team in AEW for this contest. Isom and his partner had a meeting of the minds, 2point0 gave Cooper a double DDT, and the Jericho Appreciation Society picked up the win. One sided squash.

A.Q.A vs. Brittany Jade

A.W.A brought a record of 3-2 thus far in AEW. Jade was making her second appearance in AEW with a record of 0-1 to date. They tied up while Taz was complaining about gimmick infringement for Jade having a REDRUM tattoo. Jade applied an armlock but A.Q.A responded with a side headlock takeover and nearly got countered into a pin. A.Q.A jumped over Jade when she charged in the corner and did another side headlock. Jade clubbed her with blows and did one of her own. A.Q.A fought her way free and did a leaping elbow with a bulldog for a two count. Jade shoved her into the corner for some shoulders and threw her to the other corner for a snapmare and a face buster for a near fall. Jade went for a firewoman’s carry and A.Q.A elbowed her way out. Both women exchanged strikes until A.Q.A did a lariat, a slingblade and an enzuigiri. The cravate neckbreaker got the win.

Lee Moriarty vs. Alan “5” Angels

Moriarty brought a record of 8-4 following his win on Elevation last night. Angels brought a record of 9-8 but surprisingly none of the Dark Order accompanied him — not even -1. Angels cracked Moriarty with an elbow to the head so Moriarty responded with a knee to the body. Angels gave him an arm drag and tried to keep him grounded. This turned into a test of strength and when Moriarty broke it he kicked him in the gut. Moriarty responded with a round kick to the back. This moved into a straight up striking exchange until Moriarty got the better of it and Angels started selling his left shoulder after hitting the mat, which gave Moriarty a target to put all of his offense on. Excalibur: “The way Angels is reacting he may have separated the shoulder or caused some ligament damage.” Angels fought back with chops and kicks as best he could but wound up selling on the outside after an elbow to the face. He beat the ten count and fired up enough for a bridging northern lights suplex but Moriarty kicked out. Angels pushed Moriarty up onto the top rope and went up with him, Moriarty shoved him off, Angels came back with a knee strike and hit a top rope Spanish fly landing right on his shoulder. Moriarty rolled out of the ring to recover himself and Angels went for a suicide dive. Moriarty avoided it, gave him the boot, and did his own suicide dive before throwing Angels back in. A Border City Stretch gave Moriarty the win.

Sonny Kiss vs. Carlie Bravo

Kiss had a record of 4-3 for 2022 heading into this contest. Bravo was waiting in the ring with a record of 0-1 to date in AEW. Recently the Cageside Commentary Crew noted that they’d like to see Sonny Kiss be used more prominently on the main roster. So would I but I think part of the momentum to do so got derailed by Joey Janela leaving AEW, the person who Kiss had worked both with and against the most. Hopefully the “Beautiful Bad Ass” can turn that around. A body press and a backflip into a knee drop were the start of that, along with a backflip elbow and a leg lariat over the ropes, but Bravo cut off a springboard move and hit a snap suplex. He yelled “Bra, vo, show” and hit a knee drop for the near fall. Hard right forearm as Bravo mocked the crowd for chanting for Sonny, and mocked the referee for not knowing how to count to three. Bravo face painted Sonny with a boot until that woke Kiss up, who fired up with strikes and did a top rope arm wringer flip into a clothesline. Bravo took double boots to the face on the floor and ate a high dive over the ropes for good measure. Sonny Kiss finished it from there with a split legged moonsault! Great match.

Robyn Renegade vs. Vicky Dreamboat

Renegade brought a record of 0-4 to this match, while Dreamboat was making her AEW debut. It didn’t take long for the action to spill outside, where Renegade gave Dreamboat repeated chops and smashed her face into the apron. Renegade yelled at a fan who said “I wish your sister was here,” threw Dreamboat into the ring, and fish hooked her with both hands from behind. Dreamboat almost surprised her with a roll up but Renegade came back with a boot to the face for a near fall and mocked the crowd some more. She bounced Dreamboat’s head off the mat repeatedly and said “come on Vicky” dismissively. Pump handle slam. Instead of going for the pin she argued with the crowd some more, then went to the second rope for a moonsault and missed. You could hear the fan she yelled at earlier going “Ha ha!” Apparently Robyn and Charlette switched places on the outside after this. Dreamboat tried to get a suplex but Renegade reversed it into a slam and finally picked up her first win. Taz was so impressed he asked the truck for a replay.

Tony Schiavone came in the ring to interview her, but wasn’t sure who he was interviewing. “No, I haven’t seen my sister. She should be here soon.” Her sister hit the ring. Schiavone: “These fans know what’s going on here. How are you continuing this charade for crying out loud? There has to be an investigation. Something’s going on here. And you’re trying to pretend you’re Robyn? Congratulations on your... win? There will be more on that to come.”

Anthony Ogogo vs. Trenton Storm

Following his win on Elevation last night, Ogogo brought a record of 13-1 to the ring. Storm was waiting for him with a record of 0-1 in AEW. Storm tried to get the upset with a thrust kick to the jaw but got a huge clothesline right back. Ogogo immediately started to pummel Storm with uppercuts in the corner, then tied him up in the ropes for a body punch. Stephon Smith called for the bell as Storm was unable to continue. Ogogo wasn’t done though as he put Storm on the top rope for a Tower of London. He didn’t have the flag to drape over his opponent, but Storm was dead either way.

“The Librarian” Leva Bates vs. Kiah Dream

Bates brought a record of 5-11 to the ring. Dream was waiting for her in the ring with an AEW record of 0-1. Dream stole the librarian’s glasses to mock her and then got taken down for her trouble. When they got back to their feet she gave the glasses to the referee and Dream promptly took advantage and started beating her down, screaming “you’re pathetic” and slapping her around. Bates came back with open palm strikes and a bridging suplex for a near fall. Bates sat down on a roll up and got the pin, hugging referee Mike Posey after. We need to see more of Leva Bates on TV too.

Roppongi Vice (“Azucar” Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta) vs. The Wingmen (Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth) w/ JD Drake

The Wingmen brought a 2022 record of 0-1 to the main event. Roppongi Vice was 2-1. The Wingmen jumped them before the match began and got beaten up on the outside for good measure. Excalibur: “The bell hasn’t even rung yet Taz!” Taz: “Referee Mike Posey didn’t even get a chance to call for the bell.” They fought their way up onto the stage and Beretta took a double vertical suplex on the steel. They came down yelling “you’re next” at Romero but he escaped the 2-on-1 beatdown, forcing the Wingmen to collide before he did a double dive over the steps. Beretta followed it up with a moonsault off the stage. Romero and Beretta celebrated with a high five before Avalon got thrown back into the ring and we finally got the opening bell. Beretta tagged in and they took turns throwing shots at Avalon as Posey let them double team him with no repercussions.

Nemeth tagged in and Drake timidly tried to help Avalon. The Wingmen managed to trap Beretta under the ring apron for a beating and Nemeth threw him back in for a near fall. The heels cut off the ring to work Trenty Locks over. He hit a swinging DDT for a double down and made the hot tag to Romero, who promptly ran corner to corner cleaning house on The Wingmen. Beretta tagged back in, and Nemeth had to make the save after an assisted draping foot stomp. Avalon yanked Beretta off the ropes and tagged in Nemeth for the pendulum DDT and a near near fall. Avalon tagged in for a diving splash pin attempt and Romero made the save. The heels gyrated their hips to rile up the crowd and gave Beretta time to recharge and toss Avalon high over the ropes when he charged. Double knee strike courtesy Roppongi Vice and Romero hit another knee for a near fall. JD Drake swept the leg on the outside and Orange Cassidy had seen enough and came out to take care of him.

He did the little ankle kicks which distracted Drake long enough for Romero to hit a suicide dive, and Rocky came right back in the ring to hit the double team Strong Zero for the win! The Roppongi Vice theme played as they exchanged a high five, then morphed into the Best Friends theme for a group hug with Cassidy, after which they both gave him high fives. As Excalibur would say, “You’ve got to give the people what they want!”

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Rocky Romero’s own song “Nakasuzo Road.” Go out of your way to watch Angels and Moriarty — they were both working really hard and got an otherwise lukewarm Universal Studios audience to respond to the match. They also really enjoyed Kiss vs. Bravo, proving yet again Sonny Kiss needs to be better utilized by AEW. As good as each of those matches were, the Roppongi Vice main event was the cream of the crop. I’m probably biased (in fact I know I am) but I think they’re one of the most underrated teams of last seven years. If they hadn’t had a few years apart between decades their stock would be even higher, but Beretta wanted to pursue singles success in the NJPW heavyweight division. I’m happy every time these men team together and the more often they do the better it is for everyone else too. No “skips” this week.

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 Monday for Elevation!

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