Episode 145 of AEW Dark (Special) 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. Since this is a special edition I’m going to forego a slew of embedded tweets throughout this recap, but here’s a teaser for the main event.
Darby Allin vs. Brandon Cutler
Cutler brings a record of 1-3 and two cans of cold spray to the ring with him. Taz: “I don’t like Cutler’s chances in this match by the way.” Neither do I. Allin brings a record of 60-21-1 and he attacks Cutler right from the opening bell, hitting a suicide dive through the bottom rope to the outside, throwing Cutler back in, and doing a Coffin Drop without even going for the pin. Instead he puts on the Scorpion Deathlock and Cutler taps out immediately. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly run down and drag Cutler to the back before Allin can get a steel chair from ringside and attack him some more. “Kyle! I’m not a stupid man. I know that leg of yours is not 100%. This Sunday I’m going to do to you what you did to Sting. I’m going to tear your leg apart. See you at Double or Nothing!”
Anna Jay vs. Sandra Moone
Jay brings a record of 17-1 to the ring. Moone is already waiting for her in the ring, set to make her AEW debut. You already know how this went without me saying a word. For the record though Moone did get in a whip to the mat, a couple of forearms to the head, a side headlock and a knee to the body. Nearly all of the rest was Jay on offense until she was ready to sink in the Queen Slayer for the submission. Moone went out without tapping out, setting up Jay for her TBS Title shot against Jade Cargill tomorrow night.
House of Black (Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews, & Brody King) vs. Adriel Noctis, Gregory Sharpe & Matt Brannigan
Speaking of warm ups for Double or Nothing, the House of Black got three “carpenters” tonight before facing Death Triangle at the pay per view. Their trios record coming in was 4-0 while their opponents were debuting in the division. “Matt Brannigan” eh? I don’t think Matt Groening can sue, but that’s not a coincidence. Taz: “I hope they have a game plan.” Excalibur: “I hope they’ve updated their contact info with their next of kin.” King did a cannonball into the corner, Matthews did an inside half pump handle slam, and that was a wrap. I like Matthews so much more in this crew than I ever did during his WWE tenure.
Riho, Yuka Sakazaki & Skye Blue vs. Nyla Rose, Diamante & Emi Sakura
68-27, 40-22, 30-25 were Rose, Diamante and Sakura respectively as they made their way to the ring accompanied by Vickie Guerrero. 31-12, 8-7 and 10-24 were Riho, Sakazaki and Blue as they came down the entrance ramp. One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong. Blue got in Guerrero’s face on the outside and Rose promptly ran her over like a diesel truck. Splat. Back in the ring Sakura treated her to the “we will rock you” chops and crossbody, but missed with the Vader Bomb. Sakazaki tagged in for a springboard dropkick and a sliding lariat. Sakura ate a Merry Go Round but Rose broke up the pin and then hit a double clothesline. We had two delayed vertical suplexes and one firewoman’s carry from the heels before Diamante tagged in to go after Sakazaki. Sakazaki shot her off and hit a Northern Lights Bomb before tagging in Riho. Rose tagged in but ate a double 619, and then all three faces did dives off the ropes to wipe the heels out on the floor. Blue snapped Diamante’s neck off the ropes and Riho did a Northern Lights Suplex for two, then knees to the face for the pin. Excalibur: “It was a great adjustment by Riho, who uses those for an athlete of her size so effectively.”
Death Triangle (Pac, Penta Oscuro, & Rey Fenix) vs. QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo
The Factory brought a trios record of 4-4 to the ring for our main event. The fans were chanting “Zero Miedo” before Death Triangle even came out, accompanied by Alex Abrahantes, sporting a trios record of 4-1. Comoroto ate a triple dropkick and impressed the heck out of Taz. “Size is not everything” said the Human Suplex Machine. A triple dive to the outside followed. Comoroto gave Fenix a power slam and threw him into the Factory’s corner so they could cut off the ring and beat him down. QT Marshall got dropped by a kick so that Fenix could make the hot tag to his brother Penta. Double kicks to the jaw of Comoroto to send him to the floor. PAC tagged in and gave Marshall a series of moves culminating in a back German suplex for a near fall. PAC gave Marshall the bad mouth but got kicked in the head in a rebound off the ropes and hit with a Liger Bomb for two. All three heels attacked PAC but Fenix made the save. Marshall tried to hit a dive on the outside but missed and ate the double kicks. Solo was legal in the ring and ate a double stomp to the back of the head. They hit the Fear Factor double team piledriver and PAC applied the Brutalizer to make Solo verbally submit. He didn’t let it go right away — the ref had to pull him off after the bell. A fine finish to the show.
The “Special Dark” bottom line
Everything here was a teaser for Double or Nothing on May 29th in Las Vegas, so there were absolutely no surprises in the results. Perhaps that makes watching this show academic in a sense, but for me it was an appetizer giving us a taste of what’s to come tomorrow and it made me hungry for more. You could skip Allin vs. Cutler if you’re pressed for time, but this is the way I’d use Cutler if I was in charge — let the popular babyfaces destroy him in one sided squashes. Allin was also sending a message to Kyle O’Reilly in the process so again that’s worth giving some time to. You could skip Jay vs. Moone too although that sets her up for Jade Cargill. I’d call this episode “purposeful.” Everything tonight had a point.
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!