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AEW Dark recap (July 12, 2022): Fyter Fest special - PAC vs. Umino, Rosa vs. Yamashita

Episode 152 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats replay. Excalibur and Taz called tonight’s action for tonight’s special “Fyter Fest” preview episode of Dark. Let’s get right into the show!

AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Match: Thunder Rosa vs. Miyu Yamashita

Yamashita came out first for this special match from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling over the weekend. AEW added a graphic to the footage denoting this was Yamashita’s debut in the AEW women’s singles division. Rosa came out with her cowboy hat on yelling and pointing to the fans and the world title belt around her waist. “You want this? You’re going to have to fight for it.” Her singles record was not in the graphic but it was in gold to match her championship. Rosa encouraged the crowd to clap along to a chant and smiled as Yamashita stared a hole in her. The referee checked over both women, they exchanged a respectful handshake, and a ring of the bell got us underway!

Aja Kong was shown watching the match from the crowd. Rosa and Yamashita went hold for hold in the early going, exchanging takedowns, arm locks and drop toe holds. After a rope break Rosa threw a chop, did a leapfrog and an arm drag, did a roll up and got a one count. Yamashita countered Rosa and got a one count, did a deep arm drag, and Rosa got back to her knees as the two stared each other down. The two switched to throwing strikes as Rosa dropped to her knees for an uppercut, then did a sliding lariat for two. Yamashita kicked her in the spine and Rosa returned the favor. Yamashita did it again and Rose fired back again. Yamashita did a third takeover for a kick and Rosa responded with a scoop slam and a cover for a near fall. Excalibur: “It’s worth noting Rosa was the one who stopped throwing kicks.”

Yamashita did a gut wrench into a gut buster and Rosa sold the pain before throwing her opponent out and doing a running dropkick. Yamashita responded with a running kick on the apron and screamed as the crowd gave her a round of applause. She threw Rosa back in for a two count and went for a sleeper hold. Rosa fought back with punches to the body but Yamashita did a headlock takeover into a front facing cobra clutch. Rosa got a rope break to escape. Yamashita picked her up, Rosa fought free, Yamashita missed with a kick and Rosa hit a stunner. Running lariat in the corner. Knees to the face. Dropkick to the back. Double stomp to the chest. Northern lights suplex. Yamashita kicked out at 2.9!

Yamashita and Rosa started trading forearms and elbows back and forth. Rosa grounded Yamashita for a stomp in the middle of the ring and another near fall. She pulled Yamashita toward the corner and climbed to the top rope. Yamashita got back up before she could do anything, threw a roundhouse kick and yanked her off. Yamashita flattened Rosa with a front kick and Rosa pulled a mouthpiece out of her top and put it in.

Yamashita threw a head kick and a pump kick and Rosa threw a toe kick and did a forewoman’s carry into a death valley driver. Yamashita kicked out just before three +again+. The crowd chants got pretty loud at this point. Rosa threw elbows and looked for a fire thunder driver but Yamashita hit a skull kick and Rosa grabbed the ropes at the very last second. Yamashita pulled her up and did a bridging German suplex for a near fall. Rosa and Yamashita traded top position on an inside cradle but Yamashita was able to hang onto it for a second longer and get the pin! They shook hands and Rosa left holding up her title.

Bear Country (Bear Bronson & Bear Boulder) vs. Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy)

We’re back in Universal Studios now for Private Party’s entrance, who came out with a team record of 29-20. Bear Country came out with a team record of 16-9. Bronson and Kassidy started the match off. Bronson threw him down face first and threw him into the corner for a splash and a chop. The ref tried to make him back up and he did only to knock Kassidy down. Quen tagged in and so did Boulder. Quen got a side headlock but Boulder picked him up with one arm, shot him off and knocked him down. Boulder hit the ropes and caught Quen in mid air by the “yam bag” as Taz said, and Quen sure screamed like it. Boulder hit repeated clotheslines and dropped Quen’s corpse in the middle of the ring, then threw him over to Bronson and made the tag. Kassidy grabbed a boot on the outside and Private Party used it to hit Silly String for a near fall.

Bronson charged Quen into the corner so Kassidy legally tagged in. The ref was distracted for some double team action. Kassidy put the boots to Bronson and showed off his kicks to the camera. Quen tagged in to do the same. Kassidy tagged in for shoulder blocks. Ref Mike Posey tried and failed to stop the double teaming. Kassidy started dancing. Taz: “That little hip-hop foot jumping thing that he does. I don’t mean the genre of the music. I’m not talking about like Travis Scott or Jay-Z. I said Jay-Z because you’re a little bit older.” Bronson flattened both members of Private Party and crawled for the hot tag. Boulder came in for lariats and scoop slams aplenty. Double splash in the corner. Boulder caught both men mid and gave them a fall away slam, covering Kassidy for two. Bronson tagged but their double team was interrupted by Marq Quen. Bronson responded with a Boss Man slam. Bronson got on Boulder’s shoulders for the Bear Bomb but Kassidy interrupted it for a cutter and did a suicide dive to the floor that hurt him more than it did Boulder. Nevertheless Quen used that to hit a shooting star press on Bronson for the pin!

Capt. Shawn Dean vs. Conan Lycan

Dean came out to the ring with a 2022 record of 7-1. After two matches that nearly went 40 minutes in total I was ready for a squash match and hopeful it was coming. Lycan was making his AEW debut but looked like a pretty tall drink of water with some good definition to boot. Taz tried to claim Dean was in the new Top Gun movie but I couldn’t find his gimmick name or his real name (McBride) in the cast credits so I can only assume he was goofing on the “Captain” part. Lycan hit a spinning slam for a near fall. Lycan went out to climb the ropes but Dean got out of the way of the 450 and hit a flying dropkick. Dean went up to himself, did a salute, and hit a splash for the pin. Not a squash but definitely much shorter than the first two matches. Lycan showed some promise here.

Rohit Raju was backstage for an interview. “Those of you in the know are thinking it’s about damn time so let me reintroduce myself — Rohit, Ro to the H-T-T, and Dark is getting a little bit brighter. I’m going to prove to the world that I’m a walking bag of money and Baron Black when I’m done with you you’ll be a walking bag of pain. I’m Rohit Raju and my mother calls me sun/son because I shine like one.”

Jericho Appreciation Society (Matt Menard & Angelo Parker) vs. Jake St. Patrick & Sage Scott

J.A.S. brought a record of 11-3 to the ring. Patrick and Scott were waiting for them with a record of 0-3. Menard and Parker jumped them right at the bell and beat them down with authority. If this match went longer than 30 seconds it was only a second more. Blink and you’ll have missed this squash entirely. Menard: “We don’t get paid by the hour. Statement victory! No doubt about it!” Parker: “The five star symbol of excellence!” Menard: “Where are you at Schiavone?” It’s hard to believe these guys were Ever-Rise. They are so much better in AEW than they ever were in NXT. Of course they were plenty good on the indie scene as 2.0 but in the land of WWE they never had a chance to shot it.

Willow Nightingale vs. Mila Moore

Nightingale came out with a record of 1-0 for 2022, billed as “weighing exactly the right amount.” Moore was making her AEW debut. Moore hit a backstabber and nearly scored the upset, if you can call it an upset for someone 0-0 to beat someone 1-0. Nevertheless Nightingale immediately hit a pounce, a cannonball senton, and the Doctor Bomb for three. That’s exactly what I expected and I wasn’t disappointed. Keep on winning Nightingale!

Baron Black vs. Rohit Raju

Time to see if Raju can deliver on his promises from earlier. Raju came out with a 2022 record of 1-2. Black was waiting for him with a 2022 singles record of 0-1. I’m not sure it makes a difference whether they bill him by his 2022 record or his overall record, because I’ve never seen Black win a single match on Dark or Elevation. He got tripped into the ropes, hit with the knees to the back of the head and a clothesline, and Raju was feeling himself and took a minute to soak in his success. Black countered a whip but Raju gave him a lariat to the back of the head for two. Black caught a charing Raju with an elbow, threw a series of uppercuts and chops, and screamed with his fist in the air. Black planted Raju and applied a crossface. Raju cradled backward for a near fall and hit a rising knee after they broke free. Running boot and cannonball senton to the corner. Raju to the top rope! Diving stomp, pin.

Angelico vs. Logan Laroux

Angelico came out with a record of 1-0 for 2022. Laroux was waiting for him with the exact opposite record. Excalibur claimed that Angelico had been training with a stand up grappling master in Mexico. Taz kept teasing some bad news but Laroux delivered his own with a spear for a near fall. He went outside and climbed to the top rope but Angelico intercepted him in mid air and applied the Navarro Death Roll for the submission. Taz: “The bad news is I don’t follow Angelico on the Twitter, but the worse news is Angelico doesn’t follow me! But with me being High Road Jones, I follow Angelico. Let’s see what you do now. I’m putting people on blast. If they don’t follow me I’m calling them out.”

Nick Comoroto vs. Dante Martin

Comoroto came out first with a record of 22-37 flanked by Aaron Solo and QT Marshall. Martin came out with Matt Sydal sporting a record of 52-28. Marshall told the production truck to cut his music, said he was going to cut a promo, and that he didn’t give a damn if the people in Orlando wanted it or not. They chanted “boring” and he responded “Matt Sydal is boring and I’ll get to that in a minute.” He said Martin has all the promise in the world but his coach was a love and peace hippie and even the fans in Orlando knew that was a bunch of crap. “Let me show you what a real coach does.” Comoroto clubbed Martin while he wasn’t looking and the bell rang to get us underway.

For better or worse you know everything that happened next if you’ve watched even one episode of Dark. If you haven’t let me briefly summarize it — Comoroto beat down Martin forever, and whenever he was about to make a comeback The Factory would interfere from the outside to get more crowd heat. Speaking of two point ohs, I wonder how long Bruiser Brody 2.0 can keep working figurative and literal dark matches before they do something more with him. I understand if he was green at the start coming straight out of wrestling school, but he has a look most people would kill for and isn’t green as grass any more. Martin hit a missile dropkick for a near fall. He waited for Comoroto to try to get up and hit a roundhouse kick. He tried a crossbody and Comoroto hit a neckbreaker for two. Comoroto signaled for the end and went for the waterwheel drop but Martin crabbed the ropes and then countered a fireman’s carry to hook the legs for three. Okay — this match was the worst of both worlds. Martin doesn’t get to do his high flying, and the guy who beat him down slips on a banana peel to lose. The Factory tried a post match beatdown but Fuego Del Sol ran out to make the save. It looks like a three on three match will be next.

AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match: PAC vs. Shota Umino

And we go overseas again for the main event of our show, with this match taking place at RevPro in Sheffield, England. Umino gave fist bumps to all the fans at ringside and brought a “Death Rider” jacket with him in honor of his friend Jon Moxley.

The All-Atlantic champion PAC got a nice hometown reaction as he came out with the title in his right hand. There were no fist bumps from the “Bastard”. He was all about business here. He even teased climbing the ropes to pose and got a disappointed “aww” when he didn’t. If you’re gonna be a bastard, be a bastard. Sheffield still chanted for him anyway.

This match was listed as Umino’s debut in the AEW singles division, while PAC brought a singles record in AEW competition of 24-7-2. Now who were the two draws? The first person who knows and says so in commentary will get a shoutout on Twitter from me. The bell rang and the two men circled the ring sizing each other up. PAC grabbed a tight side headlock, Umino shot him off, and PAC knocked him down with a shoulder tackle. Umino knocked him down with an elbow strike in return and he rolled out of the ring. Umino: “C’mon bastard!” They brawled a bit outside and PAC got the better of it before throwing Umino back in. He silenced the crowd like he was going to throw a chop and didn’t. Gotta love The Bastard.

Umino and PAC spent the next few minutes trying to outsmart each other until they brawled on the outside and Umino threw him into the barricade all around the ring. There was barely enough room between the ring and said barricade for them and the camera crews though and one poor cameraman took a bump. Umino tried to throw PAC back in but PAC rolled right back out the opposite side. Umino tried again and PAC caught him coming and put him in the corner for a big boot and a boot to the neck. Snapmare in the center of the ring, knee to the mouth, sleeper hold. Umino got his feet on the ropes but PAC refused to let go immediately and got admonished by the ref. PAC stood on Umino’s head and kicked him in the back of the head when he got up.

Dueling chants broke out as the beatdown of Umino continued. Umino hit a back elbow and a dropkick. Excalibur: “I think PAC was lulled into a false sense of complacency.” Umino threw three straight uppercuts, whipped PAC to the corner for another, and hit a backdrop before trapping the right arm in a double wrist lock. PAC got his boots on the ropes and like PAC did earlier he refused to break right away. Umino took PAC outside to pummel him on the barricade and mimicked Moxley’s walk before a running dropkick into the steel. He threw PAC back in for a missile dropkick and a fisherman suplex and PAC kicked out at 2.99. Taz called on Umino to not slow down and keep up the pressure. PAC staggered to his feet, Umino tried and failed to pick him up, PAC hit a spin kick to the gut and a kick to the chin. Single leg dropkick made Umino sell the back of his head. PAC climbed the ropes and waited for Umino to get up before throwing a big dropkick for two. The crowd sang “he’s a bastard, yes he is” to the melody of “Oh My Darling Clementine.”

PAC and Umino did the fighting spirit spot where each man wallops the other as hard as he can and waits for the other to return the serve. I don’t think I’ve seen a better version of it this year in AEW than Samoa Joe and Minoru Suzuki. Enzuigiri by Umino. Thrust kick by PAC. Umino channeled Trent Beretta for a crunchy. Excalibur: “You pick up influences like that and Trent was in New Japan for years. It rubbed off on Umino.” PAC got up very slowly using the ropes for leverage but landed a thrust kick that crumbled Umino. He went outside and Umino dropkicked the ropes to make him fall, hit a DDT and a brainbuster, PAC kicked out. Umino hit the hanging reverse DDT for another near fall and screamed in agony to not get the pin. Death rider attempt was blocked. Umino nearly countered a crucifix into a pin. PAC climbed onto Umino with a crucifix submission, Umino tried to hold on, but eventually he fell to the ground and reluctantly tapped out. What a match!

What to watch/skip

After a hard hitting special edition of Dark I’m in the mood for some hard hitting music, so tonight’s episode is brought to you by Demigodz’ “Worst Nightmare” produced by the legendary DJ Premier. If you only watched the opening and closing matches I’d understand as this was 20 minutes shy of being two hours long. If you don’t go that way then I’d also recommend Bear Country vs. Private Party, Nightingale vs. Moore, and Raju vs. Black.

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 next Monday for Elevation!