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AEW Dark recap (Aug. 30, 2022): Hart vs. Dreamboat, not Hitman vs. Steamboat

Episode 159 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the stream. Excalibur and Taz called the action from their home base at Universal Studios in Orlando. We’re inching ever closer to All Out 2022 but we’ve got 13 more matches on Dark and tomorrow’s episode of Dynamite on deck, so let’s get to it!

John Silver vs. Serpentico

Serpentico brought a record of 13-89 and unfortunately also brought Luther. Silver came on his own with none of the Dark Order and brought a record of 60-31. For some reason even though I was trying hard not to pay attention to Luther he screamed at Silver and proclaimed him “the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” You know what they say about people who live in glass houses... their insurance rates are really high. Meanwhile Taz was making “hi ho Silver” jokes on commentary and then pondering how random YouTube viewers would react. Excalibur: “Yeah — if they tuned in exactly five and a half minutes into the broadcast.” Silver hit Serpentico with the Spin Doctor and brought this bout to a merciful end.

Diamante vs. Charlette Renegade

Charlette was accompanied by her twin sister Robyn and brought a singles record of 2-6. Diamante brought a 2022 singles record of 8-1. I can’t be alone in thinking Diamante is a star in all but how she’s booked right? She’s got the look, the charisma, and the athletic ability. Speaking of which she hit a dropkick to the back of the head, a forearm, a back elbow, and then she got blindsided by Robyn when referee Stephon Smith wasn’t looking. Charlette took advantage and choked Diamante in the ropes while the crowd chanted “kick her out” at Robyn. Diamante hit a modified leg drop and a pair of rolling Germans, the twins bonked into each other, and Diamante hit a third before finishing Charlette with a Code Red. That leg drop may have been meant to be a ‘rana but like a pro she worked through it and kept going, and that’s all you can ask for. The right woman won here.

“Cool Hand” Angelo Parker vs. Gus De La Vega

“Daddy Magic” Matt Menard accompanied Parker to the ring, who was sporting a singles record of 12-3 for this contest. Vega was waiting in the ring with a record of 0-1. He was destroyed by an elevated DDT in a match I swear wasn’t more than 20 seconds bell to bell. If you disagree with me get a stopwatch and time it for yourself. “Taz. I know you can hear me. Send Hook!” Taz: “Welp.” He tried to ignore that and introduce the next match.

Kiera Hogan vs. Mylo

Hogan brought a record of 12-8 to the ring. Mylo was waiting for her with a record of 0-1. Excalibur wouldn’t let the comments of Parker from the previous match. “That’s above my pay grade. I don’t do that! Hook does what he wants. Cool Hang Ang wants a taste though! We’ll see how that goes.” Meanwhile back in the ring Hogan was mocking Mylo. “C’mon boo. What you got!” She apparently had nothing because Hogan finished her off with a roundhouse kick and slashed her throat. Taz: “Get it done quick, get out of there.”

The Trustbusters vs. Logan Cruz, Tyshaun Perez & Hermano

The Trustbusters were accompanied by both Sonny Kiss and Jeeves Kay, sporting a trios record of 2-1. Their opponents were waiting in the ring to make their debut in the division, which we can actually call a division in these Dark reports thanks to the tournament that will conclude at All Out on Sunday. Cruz made a big mistake calling out Parker Boudreaux. He threw chops and strikes that were no sold, got run over like a freight train, and Boudreaux threw his partners into the ring for good measure. He stacked all three up in the corner and hit a splash on them simultaneously, then gave Slim J an assist for Sliced Bread, then Daivari hit a big splash from the top rope. Boudreaux tried to drive Cruz right through the canvas for the finish. Excalibur: “The Trustbusters with a statement victory tonight.” Taz: “It’s a potpourri of athletes. Different type of athletes, but they kind of gel together thanks to that man right there Daivari.”

Julia Hart vs. Vicky Dreamboat

Taz: “This Julia, there’s something special about her, but she’s dangerous and a tad eerie.” Well said sir. She brought a record of 13-3 to the ring for this match. Excalibur: “She’s in competition with Angelico for best new theme music this year.” Also accurate! Dreamboat was waiting for her with a record of 0-2. Dreamboat was the first opponent in a while to not act like she was scared of Hart, and she even got a roll up early in the match. Taz: “We don’t usually see Julia Hart get frustrated. She got a little pissed there.” A kick, a stomp and a back elbow expressed how pissed she was. She sent Dreamboat face first into the middle turnbuckle, hit a knife edge chop, stomped a mud hole into her, and got warned by Aubrey Edwards to back off. Dreamboat hit a leg sweep and Hart rolled out to recover, then dragged her out to the ringside area, landing butt first. Dreamboat bashed her face into the steel steps in response and Hart sold her jaw as she rolled back in. She hit a couple of kicks on Dreamboat, a clothesline to the back of the head, applied the Hartless Lock and Dreamboat submitted. She kept selling the jaw afterward.

Lexi was backstage with J.A.S. Menard says Parker’s match was 17 seconds long, and Hook’s match with Zack Clayton was 27 seconds. Parker: “We talk a lot about a lot of people. Hook you’ve got our attention. He’s a phenomenon isn’t he? Send Hook! That’s what everybody wants. That’s what I want! Send Hook.” Parker: “Are you a tough guy, or are you a pretty boy? What if we walked into your locker room and stole your hair gel? What would he do then?” Parker: “Speaking of stealing things, what if we stole that FTW Title from him?”

Kayla Rossi vs. Vipress

Rossi brought a record of 1-0 to the ring along with Diamond Sheik. Vipress was waiting for her with a record of 0-2. Meanwhile Taz was saying that just because you’re a pretty boy doesn’t mean you’re not a badass too, and Excalibur confirmed his statement. Taz complimented Rossi’s physique and bodybuilding background before she hit a fall away slam, kipped up, and did a standing moonsault for the pin. The ref tried to raise her hand and she refused it, preferring for Diamond Sheik to do it himself.

Varsity Blonds vs. Rosario Grillo & Dean Alexander

The Blonds brought a record of 29-17. Grillo and Alexander brought a record of 0-1. “Dropkick” Mike Posey tried and failed to keep both Blonds from beating up their foes in the ring at the same time. They did what they wanted to who they wanted, when they wanted, and sent Alexander flying into the barricade for good measure. Double team dropkick brought yet another one-sided match to an end. Taz: “Sometimes you gotta compete with a chip on your shoulder and we just saw that.”

Dante Martin vs. AR Fox

Martin’s record before this contest was 57-31. Fox came in 0-1 but Excalibur was sure to note he was a high-flying legend of the independent scene, and the fans in Orlando knew him too as there were dueling chants for both men. They went toe to toe for the first minute and then had a face off in the ring as the fans chanted for Fox. Fox went from a front chancery to a corkscrew brainbuster for a near fall as the crowd popped again. Martin responded with a knee to the body and a vertical suplex. Martin hit an enzuigiri and a crossbody for two and change. Fox hit back elbows, Martin hit a boot to the face, Fox hit a springboard Spanish fly and a 450 off the top for 2.9. Don’t tell me “flippy dip” matches don’t have psychology because this match had tons! Each man was trying to one up the other, but it wasn’t until Martin hit the Nose-Dive that he finally got the better of the veteran Fox. This could have been the main event.

Brock Anderson vs. Tyson Maddux

Anderson was accompanied by “The Enforcer” and sported a record of 15-11. Maddux was waiting for him with a record of 0-1. He toyed with him for a little bit, stomped on him for a little bit, hit a spinebuster and pinned him. That’s all there was to it.

The Workhorsemen vs. Oliver Sawyer & Manny Lo

Drake and Henry brought a record of 1-2 in AEW Dark tag team matches. Yes — the chyron was that specific in this case. Not just their tag team record, their AEW Dark tag team record. We are apparently keeping separate records just for the Dark shows and I wasn’t even aware of that fact. Either way it wouldn’t matter because Sawyer and Lo were teaming together for the first time so they were obviously being fed to the Workhorses for dinner. Running knee, cannonball senton, diving foot stomp, moonsault press to Sawyer by Henry, Drake, Henry and Drake again in that order for the (as Excalibur said) “impressive” win.

Tony Schiavone hit the ring to interview the horsey fellas. Drake: “Listen listen listen. I love my Wingmen, they’ve all been really good to me but, I had to take a moment for some self-reflection, for some realization. I called my brother, quite possibly one of the best pro wrestlers on the planet. And now you are looking at two men who are possessed and obsessed with success. Failure is not an option!” Henry: “What you just saw, that’s the real JD Drake. Going forward, you know what we’ve got to do. We’re gonna punch in” — Drake: “and we’re gonna punch out. We’re the Workhorsemen.” Well if you were going to rebuild both of these men, that’s one way to do it.

Leila Grey vs. Renee Michelle

Grey brought a record of 1-6 for 2022 to the ring. Michelle was waiting for her with a record of 0-2. I tried and folks I failed to get excited about two winless women facing each other, even if Grey is the “wannabe Baddie.” Michelle certainly treated her like a wannabe with a dropkick and a back heel kick for a near fall. Grey responded with a jawbreaker, a forearm, a running knee strike, and a spinning DDT launched off the top rope. Grey slammed her face first into the canvas for the finish. It was obvious who would win, but this entire match looked like it was worked in slow motion and choreographed before they got in the ring.

RUSH vs. Blake Christian

Christian brought a record of 2-3 to the main event. RUSH was accompanied by Jose the Assistant and brought a record of 3-2. Nearly identical AEW records, but one is a huge star in the pro wrestling world and one might be... someday... maybe. Don’t get me wrong I like “All Heart” Blake Christian but putting him in the ring with RUSH means he has no chance at this point in his career, work or shoot. It won’t surprise you to know that RUSH threw him into every barricade and nearly choked him out with a camera cable until Jose stopped him.

RUSH threw Christian back into the ring and the beating continued. He threw a chop so hard in the corner that Aubrey Edwards sent him a dirty look. He sent her one back like “What are you going to do about it?” He hit another, kicked Christian in the face, and struck a tranquilo pose. Christian tripped RUSH, kicked him through the ropes, and knocked him down with a missile dropkick. RUSH rolled out to recover and Christian hit back to back suicide dives. He followed it up with a Fosbury Flop over the top and threw RUSH back in. Springboard 450, two count. That’s as close as he’d get. Headbutt, elbow strike, Bull’s Horns, pin. RUSH gave Christian far more in the match than I expected going in.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Ricky Steamboat vs. Bret Hart from WWF in 1986. I +could+ be wrong but I think this is the only recorded one on one match between the two, which feels like a huge missed opportunity. If you know of any others though please share them with everyone in the comments below. Skip Grey vs. Michelle — it was bad. Skip Anderson vs. Maddux — there was nothing interesting about it. Go out of your way to see Martin vs. Fox, Hart vs. Dreamboat and RUSH vs. Christian — all three were excellent. Everything else falls squarely in the middle but I am impressed they are trying to do something with Drake and Henry. I don’t have high confidence it will work but you don’t get anywhere by +not+ trying. It was fun to see J.A.S. mock Hook for not winning as fast as Parker did too. A fine episode of Dark on the whole but it didn’t seem to tie into the PPV well unless they’re going to announce a match for Hook on Dynamite.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback in the comments section below. If you love pro wrestling you can find me on Twitter to discuss it there too. See you after All Out for a new episode of Elevation!

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