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AEW Dark recap (June 28, 2022): Wheeler Yuta vs. Tony Nese

Episode 150 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 was Excalibur and Taz. Let’s get right into the final show before Blood & Guts tomorrow night on Dynamite!

Willow Nightingale vs. Ashley D’Amboise

Nightingale came out with a record of 1-4 and her own entrance music.D’Amboise was waiting for her in the ring and that’s certainly a good sign for Nightingale, winless to date in AEW and sporting a record of 0-4. For the record I’d be fine with them signing D’Amboise too but I like Nightingale more. Taz and Excalibur spent a lot of time talking about this being the 150th episode and a huge milestone. They even acted like there was cake and a pot of coffee at the announce table. Nightingale hit a huge spinebuster for a near fall. D’Amboise hit a neck breaker for a near fall of her own. Enzuigiri by Nightingale and a pounce (period). Cannonball senton in the corner. Nightingale took down the straps and did a gut wrench lift into a doctor bomb for the pin. Congratulations Nightingale!

Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo vs. Matt Vandagriff & Knull

Comoroto and Solo had a team record of 4-10 before this match and were accompanied to the ring by QT Marshall. The good news for all three is that Vandagriff and Knull were waiting for them in the ring to make their tag team division AEW debut. Each team had the “big man/small man” dynamic, with Solo and Vandagriff matching up as did Knull and Comoroto. Actually Knull might have been bigger than Comoroto at least in height, but he still got speared all the same. Comoroto slashed his throat, said “you’re mine bitch” to the shock of Taz, and then gave him a nasty looking elevated slam for the pin. I think Knull’s head bounced at least once. Take care of your opponent Comoroto.

Matt Sydal vs. Jake Something

Sydal brought a record of 39-32 to this contest. Something was waiting for him in the ring and sporting a record of 0-1. Speaking of size differences, Jake Something looks like he ate Matt Sydal for breakfast. That didn’t stop Sydal from going for a roll up and firing off some kicks and chops to diminish the size advantage. Spin kick to the jaw dropped Something to the canvas. He got back to a knee though and threw a elbow to the face for a two count. Taz: “This Jake Something, he’s a big powerful nasty guy.” Excalibur: “Jake Something is using his size and power very effectively right now against Matt Sydal.” Taz: “It’s Somethin’, not something.” Excalibur: “I’ll tell you something, Matt Sydal is in a lot of trouble.” Sydal fought to his feet with elbows to the gut, hit a leg lariat, and both men were down. Sydal got up first throwing kicks every which way. Something floated him to the apron, he threw another kick and went top rope for a meteora. Something kicked out at two. Sydal stomped on his face, went to the top rope again, but Something got up before he could do anything and then speared him in the corner. He dragged Sydal to the center and the two exchanged rolling near falls. Sydal hit a roundhouse kick, his next move got blocked, but he countered his way into a cradle for the pin. Something exchanged a handshake with him afterward.

This led to a backstage interview with Wheeler Yuta. “It’s almost time for the most violent vicious match I’ve ever been involved in, Blood & Guts. But first I have to prove I’m the best pure wrestler in the world. Don’t think because it’s pure rules that I can’t bring out my vicious side. Tony Nese I’ll take it out on you and then Jericho Appreciation Society I will kick, your, ASS.”

Athena vs. Amber Nova

Athena came out sporting an AEW record of 1-0. Nova was waiting for her in the ring sporting a record of 0-2. Taz said we had seen Nova “several times” on Dark, but that would be more than two. Maybe he’s counting tag team matches. Athena caught Nova mid air, did a backbreaker, a back heel trip, and got shoved into the corner while she had a headlock. Nova hit a pair of Northern lights suplexes and tried to sink in a sleeper. Amber Nova went for a DDT and it was blocked. Athena hit a delayed vertical suplex, a kick to the jaw, a flatliner, kipped up, and finished Nova with a triangle choke submission.

Dante Martin vs. Lucky Ali

Martin came out to the ramp with a singles record of 50-28. Ali was waiting for him in the ring with a record of 0-1. That doesn’t bode well for a “lucky” man. Martin hit a springboard dropkick off the bottom rope to send Ali flying. Ali blocked a back bridge and dropped Martin ribs first across the ropes. Ali grabbed a waist lock, Martin tried to escape with reverse elbows, Ali threw him to the ground, Martin kept on fighting. Eventually Martin grabbed the top rope to block a roll up and escape, but then the two collided heads and both men were down. Ali grabbed a handful of hair and picked Martin up, but he got free and started running wild on Ali. He went to the top rope for a crossbody and a near fall. Ali tried to hang on to a boot but Martin turned it into a small package for two. Martin flipped over Ali then flew over the top rope with a pescado to wipe him out. Martin finished Ali off with the nose dive for a fun and fast faced match. Ali may not be Lucky but he’s a good opponent for this style of match.

Julia Hart vs. Valentina Rossi

Julia Hart came out bathed in the blue lights of the House of Black, sporting an AEW record of 5-3 for 2022 and a sparkling bandana covering her face. Rossi was waiting for her in the ring with a record of 0-2. Hart just stared a hole through her until the bell rang. Rossi had to get her boots on the ropes to get a reprieve from Hart’s assault. She kept beating Rossi down without even going for a pin when she had Rossi prone on the mat. Finally she trapped an arm and pulled on the other arm and shoulder until Rossi tapped to the pain.

Fuego Del Sol vs. Marcus Kross

Fuego brought a 2022 record of 3-4 to the ring for this bout. Kross came to this bout 0-1. If you’ve never seen Kross before, I guarantee you won’t forget him after you do. His hair wouldn’t look out of place on Ric Flair in the early to mid 1980’s, although his chops aren’t quite as good as Flair’s... or Fuego for that matter. Still he went for a figure four leg lock (no surprise) and nearly got cradled for a pin. He went for it a second time and Fuego kicked him right out of the ring. He followed up with a dive to wipe Kross out on the floor, then went to the top rope but got cut off with a head kick. Fuego responded with a dragon sleeper in the ropes, a titlt-a-whirl in the ring, but Kross hit a springboard kick right back. Fuego recovered and signaled for the tornado DDT, hit it, and immediately transitioned to a bridging chinlock for another submission victory.

QT Marshall immediately cut off the celebration flanked by his Factory flunkies. “Cut that stupid music off. Is it QT sucks or you suck? You guys can’t even get on the same page. Fuego that was really impressive. Give it up for Fuego Del Sol people. Fuego you and I have had our beef. Last year you and I had one of the best matches in Dark history. I’ve realized over the past year that I was wrong about you. Fuego, honestly, and I don’t do this often — especially not here — I’m willing right now in front of every single person here to offer you a spot in The Factory. These people don’t have a clue what’s right for Fuego Del Sol. I know what’s right for Fuego Del Sol. Shut up and let him think for himself!” Fuego: “As one of the future talents here in AEW, I believe I’m headed for the promised land, but it’s not with The Factory.” He dropped the mic and took his leave as Marshall held his boys back.

JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth vs. Evil Uno & Preston “10” Vance

Drake and Nemeth were having their first tag team match of 2022 on this episode of Dark. That’s right. It’s June and this is only the first time these two Wingmen are working a tag. Uno came out 62-34 and Vance was 63-33. Honestly this match didn’t get going until Uno hit a neckbreaker on Nemeth, kicked Drake off when he tried to stop the hot tag, and Vance tagged in to clean house on both men. Drake and Nemeth collided heads, Vance knocked Drake down with a shoulder block, and put Nemeth down with spine on the pine. He went for the full nelson, Drake broke it up, and Uno came in to stop Drake. Vance floated Uno to the floor when Nemeth tried to throw him into them. Uno got back up and tagged in to score a near fall. Nemeth hit a pendulum DDT for a near fall right back. Hanging neckbreaker, Drake went up top for a moonsault, and Vance broke up the pin. Nemeth threw him out and gave chase. Nemeth tagged in and threw Drake into the corner but Uno got out of the way, hit a stunner and tagged in Vance. Vance hit a spear, hit an assisted hotshot into a German suplex on Nemeth, hit a discus lariat and finally pinned Nemeth. Drake continued stomping on Uno on the barricade even after the match was over then pearl harbored Vance. Bononi and Avalon ran down for the beating, but Silver and Reynolds ran down to make the save, leading to quite the cluster at the end of this match — one that ultimately left the Dark Order standing tall and The Wingmen fleeing up the ramp.

Ariya Daivari vs. Caleb Konley

Daivari was competing in his first AEW singles match of 2022 in the co-main event. Caleb “With a K” Konley was waiting for him and also making his first AEW singles appearance this year. Daivari hit a reverse DDT for a near fall, hit a loud set of chops on Konley, laid in some ground and pound and applied a sleeper. Konley fought back up and swept the legs. He went for a senton but Daivari got the knees up. Daivari stomped on him in the corner until the ref made him back off. Konley got whipped hard into the opposite corner for a two count. Daivari went for the sleeper again and Konley fought out again. They even did it a third time. That’s officially their transition spot. Konley went for chops and a short arm clothesline. Konley spun his way through the ropes, did a ‘rana, a backbreaker and a flatliner for two. Both men are working hard but the crowd seems a little tepid for this match, just applauding politely as opposed to really getting invested. Daivari hit a neckbreaker and went up to the top. Konley got out of the way though and sent Daivari flying with a dropkick, then hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Another round of polite applause. Maybe the crowd was just burnt out at this point in the taping. Daivari hit a hip toss into the turnbuckle and finished Konley with a frog splash for yet more lukewarm applause. Both of these men deserved better for their work.

ROH Pure Championship: Wheeler Yuta (c) vs. Tony Nese

The crowd was booing before Nese or “Smart” Mark Sterling even walked out. Nese brought a record of 18-3 to this main event. Pure champion Yuta brought a record of 25-20 and the belt around his waist. The judges were BJ Whitmer, Mercedes Martinez and “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. A handshake started the match and the crowd chanted for Yuta as Excalibur explained the pure rules set. Yuta was the first man to burn a rope break. Whitmer seemed disappointed that he was forced to do so. Sterling was gloating when he burned the second as Martinez was taking notes about the match. Taz: “We might crown a new champion here Excalibur!”

Yuta finally got on offense at this point and sent Nese outside the ring for a breather, but Yuta hit a suicide dive to wipe him out. Sterling double legged Yuta and dragged him to the outside, and when Yuta tried to block it that was his third and +final+ rope break. Yuta also got a warning for a closed fist and was warned he’d be disqualified if he did it again. Nese spit in his face trying to get him to do it but he wouldn’t. German suplex by Yuta for two. Yuta was bleeding from the nose as he got back up.

Nese hit a pump handle piledriver but Yuta kicked out at 2.9. Nese applied a Boston crab and Yuta crawled to the ropes, but Posey informed him there were no more breaks. He climbed up the ropes instead to break Nese’s hold. Nese went to the top rope but Yuta rolled out of the way and then started elbowing Nese repeatedly before applying the step over toehold face lock/straight jacket. Nese tapped out! Fantastic finish.

Nese reluctantly shook Yuta’s hand. The moment Yuta left the ring the Jericho Appreciation Society ran down to beat Yuta up. Menard: “Take a look! You like this Yuta? Blackpool Combat Club, take a look. Tomorrow night, Detroit, you think you’re ready? I don’t think so! You’re not nothing!” Ang: “We are the five star of symbol of excellence, and when Blood & Guts is done you and your pro wrestling friends will appreciate us.” Garcia: “And after that I’m gonna strip you of your honor and strip you of your belt too.” That’s how Dark ended!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” report is brought to you by “Born In Battle.” I wonder if this is going to be a recurring problem, but for the second week I felt like Elevation had a better crowd response as compared to the Universal Studio sound stage. Maybe the Florida heat just wilts the fans before they even get in the door. The hottest reaction was for the main event by far, followed closely by the heat QT got for interrupting Fuego’s victory lap. The best matches were the main event and Sydal vs. Something. The most skippable matches were Hart vs. Rossi and Athena vs. Nova — not because they were poor but because they were so one-sided and lacing in audience response. You could skip Daivari vs. Konley too given the reception they got, but maybe try watching it with the sound off instead.

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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