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AEW Dark recap (Aug. 2, 2022): Everybody loves The Acclaimed (and the Bastard)

Episode 155 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 show. It’s time to get all the fans entertained with another episode of Dark so let’s go right to the action!

The Trustbusters (Ari Daivari & Slim J) vs. Logan Cruz & Tyshaun Price

The Trustbusters were making their debut in the tag team division for this match. Cruz and Price were waiting for them in the ring to do the same. J and Price were the two men who started this match off. J kicked him in the gut, dropkick to the face, and Daivari got tagged in. Cruz got tagged and Daivari immediately dropped him and started stomping on him. J tagged in for a double team vertical suplex, and both men put the boots to Cruz. Price tried and failed to make the save. J went top rope for a cutter while Daivari held him in place, and then they did a double team neckbreaker for good measure. J was about to make the pin but Daivari demanded to be tagged in and covered the prone man, who hadn’t moved a muscle the entire time. That’s as much credit to the “carpenters” as the stars here for making The Trustbusters look like a literal million bucks. Tony Schiavone hit the ring to interview them both after the match.

Daivari: “Tony! Yes. If that helps you, just like Ari from Entourage, you can refer to me as Ari Daivari, and you can refer to us as The Trustbusters. I’ve been dealing with NFTs, stocks, real estate, I don’t know why everybody’s crying about the real estate market I’ve bought three houses in a week. Who are you to doubt the fact that I’ve doubled the investment? Just like these clowns who are trying to doubt us, you’re going to learn that The Trustbusters are the greatest investment in AEW.”

Willow Nightingale vs. Harley Cameron

Nightingale brought a record of 3-4 to the ring for this match. Cameron was waiting for her in the ring to make her AEW debut. Cameron gave me Scarlett Bordeaux vibes. Maybe it was all the red leather she was wearing. Nightingale took her down with a clothesline and flexed the double biceps. They did a dance in the ring before Nightingale hit a scoop slam, a senton and a low crossbody for two. Cameron tried to drive Nightingale into the turnbuckle, got blocked, but still managed to hit shoulders to the body and a Russian leg sweep for a near fall. Chin lock applied by Cameron. Nightingale got back to her feet and shoved Cameron off, then hit her with a pair of clotheslines and a spinebuster. Taz: “Might be the beginning of the end here.” Cameron still had to eat the pounce (period) though. Nightingale pulled down the straps and did a cannonball senton in the corner, then hit the Doctor Bomb for the emphatic pin. We already know Nightingale is good, but Cameron worked well with her for this match.

Diamante vs. Rocky Radley

Click, click, boom boom! Diamante brought a 41-24 record to this match after an extended absence from Dark programming. Radley was waiting for her to make her AEW debut. Taz noted that Diamante referenced 3-0-5 in her entrance, and tried to trip Excalibur up by seeing if he knew what that meant. (Spoiler alert — listen to any Pitbull song. You’ll find out quick.) Diamante wasted little time taking Radley apart and unloading with chops and strikes. Radley tried to fight with strikes to the gut but got clubbed in the back, thrown into the corner, taken down with a drop toe hold and given multiple knees before Diamante applied a chinlock. Diamante threw her down face first, dropped an elbow, but Radley still had some fight left in her and landed a kick to the jaw. Diamante blocked a whip by grabbing the ropes, then rolled through a pair of German suplexes. Radley got locked up in an overhook straight jacket for the verbal submission and Diamante flashed an evil smile.

The Factory (Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto) vs. KC Rocker & Caleb Teninty

Solo and Comoroto brought a record of 5-11 to this match. Comoroto stopped to tear up a fan’s sign on the way to the ring. Rocker and Teninty were making their debut in the tag team division in this match. They were the textbook definition of geeks you feed to your monsters — small, skinny, pale, no definition whatsoever. In other words Comoroto was undoubtedly having a ball working with the guys, because he looked like even more of a giant than usual. He pressed Rocker overhead for some reps, threw him down as hard as he could, tagged in Solo, and he did a knee drop and cupped both ears. Clubbing blow to the back of the head. Rocker escaped being picked up and tagged in Teninty, but Solo hip tossed him into the corner and Comoroto came back in. Comoroto hit a back breaker, Solo jumped off the top for a foot stop, and the match was over. Squash-a-roonie!

Capt. Shawn Dean vs. Jonathan Hudson

Dean brought a record of 8-1 for 2022 to this match. Every time his entrance music comes on I feel like I’m playing a Capcom fighting game. Hudson was waiting in the ring to make his AEW debut. We’ve got a lot of “debuts” tonight which tends to mean a lot of obvious wins. Hudson tried to mock Dean’s salute and paid for it with a couple of arm drags and a dropkick. Hudson put the boots to Dean in the corner and picked him up for a fisherman suplex and a near fall. Hudson got on top for some ground and pound and said “I’m the captain!” The crowd said “What?” “I’m the captain!” “What?” “I’m the captain now!” Dean slammed him down to take his captaincy back, then went to the top rope for a huge splash off the top and the three count. That’s how you do it.

Serpentico vs. Parker Boudreaux

Serpentico came out sans Luther with a record of 13-84. Parker Boudreaux was introduced as a member of The Trustbusters family, so in storyline Daivari made good on his promise to pick up the contracts of anybody he wanted. The funny thing about it is the former WWE prospect looks like he could eat both of them for breakfast. Taz: “Big guy. Big guy right there. Daivari’s building a strong stable. Let’s see what he can do. Big athlete for sure.”

Needless to say Boudreaux rag dolled his opponent. You could blink and miss the entire match. He picked Serpentico up, spun him around, and smashed him into the mat for three. Tony Schiavone hit the ring for another interview with The Trustbusters.

Daivari: “I told you, that I was going to scout the professional wrestling world for the best talent that money can buy. Parker Boudreaux, six foot five, 310 pounds of pure destruction!” Boudreaux: “I’ve arrived.” Schiavone: “He’s arrived! Parker Boudreaux.”

The Acclaimed vs. The Wingmen (Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth)

The Wingmen came out first and Nemeth had a mic and something to say. Their record in the tag team division so far was 0-5. Nemeth was advised by Avalon to wait until he got to the ring to make his promo, which confused Taz to no end. “Ahem! Ahem! Thank you. We’re bold, we’re buxom, we’re beautiful, and we have the best buns in the business baby. We are the kings of AEW Dark, we are The Wingmen. Thank you. Thank you. We just got off the phone with our real life friend Billy Gunn, and he ASS-ed us to tenderize The Acclaimed.” Avalon: “Butt! Butt! But we are The Wingmen. We are going to make you pretty!” And yes Avalon showed his rear end every time he said that, hence the “butt.”

Caster: “Yo! Listen! Listen! Yo. Yo. Acclaimed old school steady raising the roof. Who are these guys? I forget the name of the group. Your whole run is like a bad spell. Now you swept under the rug like Elaine Maxwell. How do these guys think that they’re lookers? When they dress up like Hunter Biden’s hookers? The Acclaimed, the hottest on the stage. If you were our Wingmen, we wouldn’t get laid.” Bowens: “Universal Studios! The Acclaimed have arrived.” They certainly have. The Acclaimed sported a record of 35-9 for this match.

After Caster played face-in-peril for a little bit, Bowens made the hot tag and ran over both of The Wingmen with ease, covering Avalon for a near fall. Avalon hit an enzuigiri and Nemeth hit an illegal DDT but Caster ran in to break up the pin. Nemeth tagged in legally but Bowens made them collide with each other and took Nemeth down with a discus forearm. Caster tagged in, Bowens slammed Nemeth, and Caster hit the mic drop for the win. This had to be expected given their Dumpster Match with the Gunn Club tomorrow.

PAC vs. Connor Mills (All-Atlantic Title Defense)

This bonus match was filmed at RevPro on July 23rd, 2022 in Manchester, England. Mills came out first and Excalibur noted he’s a six year professional wrestling veteran who frequently tags with Michael Oku. He also pointed out that Kip Sabian was in the crowd, which confused Taz since the person he was referring to had a box over his head. Mills was having his first match under the AEW banner (would’ve been nice for them to at least show his RevPro record) while PAC brought a record of 26-7-2.

Mills tried to overwhelm PAC at the beginning with a series of kicks to the chest and a punt to the back, but PAC kicked out before one. The Manchester crowd was heavily on his side in this match, and heavily against Mills (they booed him when he was announced as hailing from London). Mills tried a lionsault and got a two count. PAC went to the outside to walk it off, so Mills did a flip off the middle rope to wipe him out on the floor. He threw PAC back in and went to the top rope but PAC sprang to his feet, met him there, and Mills had to fight off a superplex attempt. He knocked PAC away, he back flipped and came down on his knees, and then Mills him him with a missile dropkick as he got up.

PAC tried to roll out for a breather and Mills threw him back in. PAC tried to beg off and Mills wasn’t having it, coming toward him, but it was a ploy as PAC drilled him in the kneecap and went to work. Pump kick to the jaw. Boot to the side of his face with all his weight behind it. Mills rolled out and PAC silenced the crowd, but instead of throwing a chop he brought him all the way up onto the stage and gave him an elbow strike. He picked Mills up and gave him a tombstone piledriver on the ramp with a sickening thud. PAC went back to the ring and waited to see if Mills would beat the count. You knew he’d make it at the last second, and he did. PAC stomped on his head twice, went to the second rope, and came off with a knee drop to the back of the head. Brainbuster, near fall.

Back outside the ring PAC didn’t want the crowd’s support and loudly yelled “Shut up with that shit!” He threw Mills into the barricade for a chop, then stopped to look at Kip Sabian (Excalibur: “Or who we presume to be Kip Sabian”) before throwing Mills back in. Mills tried to pull himself back up on unsteady legs and ate an over the top rope cutter for two. Taz: “He’s getting a little overconfident maybe but it’s hard to blame him. He’s controlled a good chunk of this match.” Vicious axe kick to the back of Mills head and a stomp. The crowd chanted “That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it, uh-huh uh-huh.” The inventiveness of English crowd chants always amuses me.

PAC flipped Mills upside down and inside out with a whip into the corner. Then he went outside to point at Kip Sabian, and the crowd was clearly in on it because they chanted “Kip Kip Kip” as this was going on. Mills hit a dropkick as PAC was coming back in and the two started trading forearms. Mills got about nine in a row but PAC hit a release German suplex. Mills responded with a rebound lariat for two. Mills ate a thrust kick on the outside, was thrown back in for a Liger bomb, and he still kicked out before three. Mills rolled out of the way of a 450 splash and hit one of his own for a near fall. Another quick near fall followed. Taz: “That’s the deal Connor. You gotta stay on him!”

Both men crawled to the ropes to pull themselves back to their feet. Back elbow by PAC. Backward heel kicks to the chest. Kick to the jaw from Mills. Superkick from PAC. Mills tried to springboard off the ropes and got caught. Mills returned the favor by catching him in mid-cutter for one of his own and a very close near fall. He pounded on the mat in frustration and the crowd was now on Mills’ side. He went to the top rope but PAC hit an enzuigiri and climbed up to the top with him for an avalanche brainbuster. He went back up to the top right away, hit the Black Arrow, and Mills was finally done. Tremendous match!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by The Acclaimed. Going into this show I was under the impression they were the main event, but once again Tony Khan came through with another international title defense for “The Bastard.” Needless to say go out of your way to watch PAC vs. Mills. His work was good but his selling was even better. The way he managed to feign being unsteady on his feet gave you the impression PAC was absolutely murdering him in the ring. Everything else was nearly a squash or a total squash (particularly Parker Boudreaux) but they were all fun, and a Max Caster rap will always get the people talking. A fun episode of Dark but I can imagine a lot of people will skip everything to go right to PAC’s match, which could be a problem for the show going forward if they keep licensing these international matches.

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!