AEW Dark 5/18/2021


It’s Tuesday and you know what that means: sixteen matches and a bunch of promos about the Casino Battle Royale. Ricky Starks joined Excalibur and Taz on commentary for a handful of matches, starting with the opener.

Neither the advertised Ren Narita vs. Royce Isaacs or Danny Limelight vs. Kal Jak matches were on the show for unknown reasons.


Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Dean Alexander (1:05)

*

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Hobbs won quickly with a spinebuster on the same day he was added to the Casino Battle Royale.


Dante Martin defeated Falco (4:00)

**

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Martin hit Falco with a gamingiri and a double jump moonsault press for a near fall. Martin and Falco fought over a superplex on the top rope, but Martin shoved Falco off. Martin won after hitting the 450 splash, but was slightly off on the landing and hit Falco in the face with his knees. Ouch.


-- Matt Hardy did a promo from the Hardy compound, talking about the Hardy Family Office beating members of the Dark Order on Elevation last night. He also announced that since three members of the Dark Order will be in the Battle Royal, three members of the HFO (himself and Private Party) will also be in.


10 defeated RYZIN (3:42)

*3/4

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After a pair of clotheslines and a pump kick in the corner, 10 hit a spinebuster. RYZIN made the briefest of comebacks, but missed a senton and 10 locked in the full nelson for the submission. He is basically wrestling the same match every week.


Chuck Taylor (w/ all the Best Friends) defeated Aaron Rourke

**

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Taylor won quick with the Awful Waffle and the Best Friends gave the people what they want: a group hug.


-- Lance Archer cut a great promo on new TNT Champion Miro, officially challenging him for Double or Nothing.


Lee Johnson (w/ Cody Rhodes) defeated Fuego Del Sol (7:30)

**3/4

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Johnson is apparently the “crown jewel” of the Nightmare Family. This was a good basic match. A standing moonsault from Johnson got a near fall. Del Sol countered an electric chair drop into a stunner. He later hit a springboard moonsault on the floor, but nearly flubbed it, only getting one of his feet on the ropes to spring. He came off the top with a crossbody, but Johnson rolled through and pulled Del Sol up for a slam (ala John Cena), but Del Sol rolled through and cradled Johnson and then hit him with a kick. Del Sol went for the tornado DDT, but Johnson countered into a blue thunder bomb for the win.


-- The Acclaimed are in the house, this time with a rap about Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, very rightly pointing out that they are cutting the line by getting a Tag Team title shot at the Young Bucks. The Acclaimed think Moxley and Kingson need a podcast because they’re “all talk.” No lie, I’d add that podcast to iTunes but I’d probably never listen to it.


Dark Order (Evil Uno and Colt Cabana) defeated Tamilian Vineesh and Duncan Mitchell (4:05)

**

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Uno and Cabana were announced for the Battle Royal while Vineesh and Mitchell made their AEW debuts here.

In a tribute to the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude feud of 1988, Uno hit a hangman’s neckbreaker and DDT on both opponents at the same time. He followed up with a senton on Mitchell, followed by Cabana locking in the Billy Goat's Curse for the submission.


Cezar Bononi (w/ The Wingmen) defeated Marko Stunt (2:47)

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This went way longer than it should have. Bononi won with a spinning samoan drop. After the match, the Wingmen jumped Stunt and were run off by Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. I’m sorry but anyone, especially someone the size of Bononi, looks foolish selling any of Stunt’s offense. Speaking of Jungle Boy, he declared himself for the Casino Battle Royale on Tuesday.


Nick Comoroto (w/ the Factory) defeated Adrian Alanis

**

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Comoroto put the ring stairs on the entrance stage for QT Marshall to sit and watch the match. He won a squash with a last ride powerbomb.


Serpentico (w/ Luther) defeated Sonny Kiss (w/ Joey Janela) (6:06)

**1/2

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Serpentico dominated a lot of this match, scoring a near fall after a DDT. But, he missed a double foot stomp off the top and Kiss mounted a comeback. Luther entered the ring to interfere, but so did Janela. While referee Aubrey Edwards went to keep Janela out, Luther hit Kiss with a pump kick and Serpentico rolled up Kiss for the win.


Big Swole and Red Velvet (w/ KiLynn King) defeated Vertvixen and Jazmin Allure (4:39)

**

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Swole and Velvet must be the top contenders for the non-existent AEW Women’s tag titles since they have won a tag team match on every episode of Dark for the last month. NWA Women's Champion Serena Deeb was shown in the crowd watching as she defends the title on Dynamite against Velvet tomorrow night.

Swole hit a blue thunder bomb on Allure and followed that up with a stiff knee, but the pin was broken up. Velvet came in and took Allure out with a spear, and Swole hit Dirty Dancing on Vertvixen for the pin.

A Velvet pre-taped promo for the title match tomorrow night followed the match. Why is a title challenger tomorrow night in a tag match here? Wouldn’t a singles match have made more sense?


Griff Garrison (w/ Brian Pillman Jr. and Julia Hart) defeated Deonn Rusman

**1/4

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Why are the challengers in the Tag Team title match tomorrow night in singles matches tonight?

Rusman is from Wasilla, Alaska, and you can see Russia from his house but you have to squint. (I’m stealing those jokes from Excalibur, so send your hate tweets to him. Actually, you can also send them to me. I don't get enough tweets.) Rusman did look good here. Garrison hit a falcon arrow for a near fall and evaded Rusman in the corner, hitting the rolling elbow for the win.


Matt Sydal (w/ Mike Sydal) defeated Marty Casaus (4:22)

**1/4

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Matt is facing Christian Cage tomorrow night and Taz will be on commentary. Taz all but let us know here that Team Taz will be interfering in that match tomorrow night or immediately after. Taz gave Christian advice and he didn’t even charge him for it. Sydal won with the lightning spiral. Taz’s commentary was more interesting than the match.


Kris Statlander (w/ Best Friends) defeated Diamante (6:49)

**1/2

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A promo last week set up this match. Statlander tries to boop Diamante who bit her finger in a nice counter. Diamante went up for a leapfrog, but Statlander caught her with a powerslam in a nice spot. The fight went to the floor where Diamante got the advantage. Back in the ring, an avalanche dropkick in the corner got her a near fall.

Statlander came back with a blue thunder bomb for a near fall. Diamante then came back with a cazadora into a stunner with a near fall off a hurricanrana into a cradle. Diamante went for a standing sliced bread, but Statlander countered into the Big Bang Theory inverted tombstone for the win. This was a very good match buried on this show.


Nyla Rose (w/ Vicki Guerrero) defeated Reka Tenaka (2:27)

*1/4

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Guerrero threw Justin Roberts out of the ring so she could introduce Rose who won a squash with the Beast Bomb.


Angelico defeated Vary Morales (4:59)

**3/4

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Angelico looked great here. Morales came off the top with a crossbody, but Angelico caught him with a dropkick. He then locked in the Navarro Death Lock for the submission.

Excalibur said this is the main event, but he’s lied to me before (and my Wrestling Observer preview of Dark had Ren Narita vs. Royce Isaacs and Danny Limelight vs. Kal Jak still listed -- neither of which occured).


Brian Pillman Jr. (w/ Julia Hart) defeated Luther (6:16)

***

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Hart’s cheerleader gimmick fits perfectly with the Blonds. Luther hit a pump kick and a release german suplex. Outside the ring, Luther started stalking Hart. Pillman made the save, but got whipped into the ring barricade for his troubles.

Back in the ring, Luther worked over Pillman with hair pulls and ugly clotheslines. Pillman came back and got Luther up for a slam and a crossbody off the top for a near fall. An ugly crucifix from Pillman also got a near fall. Serpentico tried to interfere, but Pillman kicked him away and hit Air Pillman for the win.

After the match, Luther and Serpentico tried to beat down Pillman, but Hart ran to the back and brought out Garrison to make the save which probably sets up a Chaos Project match for next week’s main event.

And that’s the show!


Final Thoughts:

We’re getting to the point where this show is going to be so long that it will be the lead-in for Dynamite. 16 matches is an insane amount of matches for a secondary show.


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