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AEW Dark recap (Aug. 9, 2022): Trustbusters break monopolies, Parker Boudreaux breaks bodies

Episode 156 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats replay. Excalibur and Taz called the action from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Let’s see what Ari Daivari and his entourage were up to tonight!

Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade vs. Isaiah Broner, James Alexander, Brayden Lee & Sam Moore

Private Party brought a team record of 30-21 to Universal Studios. Butcher & Blade (sans Bunny) brought a record of 25-13. Their four opponents were waiting in the ring to “make their eight-man tag team debut” although individually they’ve worked the Dark shows before. It should be evident from this booking that 1.) there is no eight-man division 2.) this was a way to give two established tag teams something to do and 3.) they picked four men to work with them that they could show off their moves with and not risk getting hurt. Butcher & Blade dragged the lake for the finish, which is appropriate given Quake by the Lake is tomorrow night.

Anna Jay vs. Megan Meyers

Jay now has a Jay A.S. graphic for her intro. Her 2022 record was 24-3 and she was accompanied to the ring by Cool Hand Ang and Daddy Magic among others. Meyers brought a record of 0-1 in singles action following her tag team loss on Elevation. If this went more than a minute it was only a second longer than a minute. Jay applied the Queen Slayer for the submission and her crew helped throw Meyers out of the ring. Ouch.

Best Friends vs. Rohit Raju & Ren Jones

Best Friends brought a record of 30-12 along with the very nice, very evil Danhausen. Raju and Jones were teaming together for the first time. I’d also venture to say it’s probably the last time. Raju got sent across the ring with Sole Food, but Jones broke up a Best Friends hug for the heat. He ate a double team spinebuster for his trouble. Strong Zero put him away, Raju came in the ring to protest, and Danhausen put a curse on him by hitting him in the “yam bag” as Taz likes to say. Want to see that? Well you’re in luck!

Tony Schiavone came out to interview Andrade El Idolo and RUSH. RUSH: “La Faccion Ingobernable’s the best faction in the world. Remember that!” Idolo: “We don’t respect the mask. We don’t need the mask. We are handsome Mexicans. We don’t respect anybody in the locker room, we don’t respect the office, we don’t respect anybody here. But Tony, I respect you. You know why? I like this earring.” RUSH: “Everybody listen. I didn’t come to play! I came to destroy every single wrestler in this company — except you my brother. We will beat the Lucha Bros. and all the people will know who is La Faccion Ingobernable!”

The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Preston Vance) vs. The Wingmen (Peter Avalon & JD Drake)

The winless Wingmen brought their record of 0-1 to the ring. Uno and Vance brought a perfect 6-0 record to the ring, currently ranked third in the tag team division. Wingmen jumped them before the bell to try to change their fortunes. Uno was the face in peril for the two-on-one beatdown. Avalon tried to rip his mask off and was admonished by the ref. He also tried to sit on his head and choke him out with the bottom rope. Uno fought Drake with forearms and elbows but ate a swinging neckbreaker for two. The crowd chanted “we want ten” for Vance, so Drake knocked him off the apron as Avalon did a splash for a near fall. He missed a cannonball senton in the corner though, Avalon ate a hanging neckbreaker, and Uno crawled through the legs to tag in Vance. Drake ate a pump kick, Avalon ate a delayed vertical suplex, and both men got their spine put onto the pine. Drake and Avalon collided heads, Avalon ate a double team move, and Vance finished him off with the discus lariat. Avalon took one hell of a bump for it too.

Marina Shafir & Nyla Rose vs. Heather Reckless & Joseline Navarro

Shafir and Rose were accompanied by Vickie Guerrero and brought records of 13-6 and 73-32 respectively. Reckless and Navarro were teaming together for the first time and got jumped before the bell. Excalibur: “Treating them like an airline that cancelled their flight.” Shafir threw some kicks as Rose held Reckless in the air, then she hit a spinebuster for the win. Guerrero: “Well done ladies. Well done! When I am up here, I expect all of you to pay attention to me. Perhaps you should stop stuffing your face with cheap concession food and get off your phones. You purchased a ticket to see these two talented ladies. Am I correct? Nyla Rose is the example of destruction, and Marina Shafir is called the problem. For a little education, a problem is a situation that needs to be resolved. I welcome all problems. We can create a unique union here. I said excuse me. You will now address the three of us as the Beast of Burdens. That is all for now. All of you are excused. Continue ladies!” Navarro and Reckless were brought back into the ring for even more of a beating. Reckless got power bombed onto Navarro for good measure.

Kris Statlander vs. Sierra

Statlander brought a record of 50-18, ranked No. 2 in the women’s division. Sierra brought a record of 0-1. This unintentionally highlights a problem with the rankings in AEW. When would the No. 2 ranked contender in any sport be facing someone who has only had two matches and no wins? Not in boxing, not in MMA, and perhaps not even in pro wrestling. Statlander should be facing other contenders, not people who have never been ranked. Statlander hit her with a roundhouse kick, a clothesline, a power slam, and a high kick. That was all she wrote. At least it was quick.

The Trustbusters (Ariya Daivari, Parker Boudreaux & Slim J) vs. Sonny Kiss, Zack Clayton & Xavier Walker

Sonny Kiss came out first flanked by Clayton and Walker for their trios debut. Their trust busting opponents were also making their trios debut, although of the two teams, they’re the only one I could see competing for trios titles. Kiss and Slim J started things off. Kiss did a baseball slide, a rana, and a backflip reverse elbow before tagging in Clayton. Clayton hit a short arm clothesline and an elbow drop. J got suplexed into the corner to tag in Walker. Walker pressed J overhead but J raked the eyes to escape and tagged in Daivari. An assisted sliced bread got the near fall before Boudreaux tagged in. Walker tried to him Boudreaux and he no sold and hit a lariat, pounding on his chest like a gorilla. The ref lost all control of the match here. J did a dive to the outside to wipe out Clayton, Boudreaux tried to drill Walker through the ring and Daivari called for the tag to hit a frog splash and eat the scraps. Excalibur: “A dominant performance.” Kiss seemed to be eyeing the winners, then having a conversation with Daivari, as the seeds were being sewn for Kiss to join The Trustbusters.

Ruby Soho, Athena & Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb, Leva Bates & Emi Sakura

Bates came out first, followed by Sakura, and “The Professor” came out last. This was their “trios debut.” Rancid’s music hit and Soho came out first, followed by Shida, then Athena. They too were making their debut as a team. There was a “Ru-by” chant before she and Deeb even locked up. Deeb tried to submit her early but she rolled Deeb onto her shoulders for a near fall (shades of Morgan and Rousey). Shida tagged in and begged Deeb to bring it. She tagged Sakura to take her place and the crowd booed. Shida hit an enzuigiri and tagged Athena in. Athena worked an arm wringer but Sakura reverse it and bit her hand before tagging in Bates. Athena woman handled her and tagged in Soho for an assisted splash and a near fall. Deeb yanked her arm into the ropes while the ref was distracted and Excalibur pointed out it was the same one slammed in the car door by Tay Conti. Sakura tagged in to hit a diving crossbody and stand on the right arm. Deeb tagged to try and submit the arm. Referee Stephon Smith nearly called for the bell but Soho escaped with a back heel trip. Shida and Sakura both tagged in. Shida hit ten punches, a dropkick and a suplex. She hit a meteora off the second rope and Bates made the save. Deeb hit a Detox on Athena, Sakura hit the Angel’s Wings on Soho, Bates got tagged in and Shida got double teamed for a near fall. Bates picked up her book to hit Shida but Shida blocked it with her kendo stick and the ref took the book away. Shida hit the Katana and got the pin. I’ve been critical of some of the women’s trios matches on the Dark shows, but this was excellent.

Orange Cassidy vs. Anthony Henry

Henry was accompanied by JD Drake and brought a singles record of 0-3 to the ring. Cassidy and his “Jane” music brought a record of 63-23-2 to the ring. I’m sure someone named Jim is having an apoplectic fit ... if he even watches Dark shows that is. The whole “hailing from wherever” and “weighing whatever” must drive him absolutely bonkers. Grand Rapids was quite happy to see him though, as a loud roar and a series of half cocked thumbs up could be seen all around Van Andel Arena. Drake tried to interfere and got a series of little shin kicks, but then he did his rebound punch and Henry hit a tiger driver for a near fall. He went for the STF but Cassidy got the ropes. Henry stomped on him and the crowd booed as he put the thumb up and mocked Cassidy. For what it’s worth it’s weird to me that Henry (the former Asher Hale) is winless in AEW. I realize that that’s how he’s been positioned, but I’d put him with The Trustbusters and let him pick up some victories over enhancement talent. He was fluid in every moment of this match with Cassidy. Cassidy hit an elbow suicide dive to wipe out Drake, Henry ate the DDT on the inside, and he signaled for the orange punch until Drake caused a distraction. They wound up bonking heads, Drake ate the punch instead, and Henry ate the Beach Break for the pin. Solid main event!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” for AEW Dark is brought to you by Entourage. As our commentary crew pointed out after Elevation last night, the Trustbusters theme song sounds a lot like “Superhero” by Jane’s Addiction, featured in Entourage’s intro. Ari Gold was based on Ari Emmanuel, and Ari Daivari based his new character on said same, so I get it. Maybe all good Jane’s Addiction songs sound alike though! Henry and Cassidy had the best worked match, but the women’s trio right before it was really good. I’d also recommend the promos by RUSH and Andrade, and Vickie Guerrero introducing Beast of Burdens (even though her delivery was a little bit off). Skip the following squashes: Anna Jay, Kris Statlander, and the eight-man opener. No PAC title defense this week? Someone must have listened to me. I keed, I keed.

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!

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