AEW DARK: July 27, 2021

The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark, Episode 99 (“Okay, Let’s Get the Texas Nine Nine Joke Out of the Way”), July 27, 2021.

From Garland, TX.

Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz.

TONIGHT! Well, we burned most of our stuff last night, so here’s some fun leftovers! Varsity Blonds team with Dante Martin to face The Acclaimed and Ryan Nemeth! After a couple weeks of teases, Diamante and Big Swole will face off! Plus, we have Abadon, Red Velvet, and Uno and Stu!

In the cold open, Evil Uno says that tomorrow they have the important ten-man elimination match. There’s a lot on the line: Adam Page’s championship aspirations and a tag title opportunity for the Dark Order. But tonight’s the dessert before the main course. This match tonight is to prove a point: they actually are the very best tag team in AEW. They will hurt people.

Opening match: Red Velvet (11-2) vs. Alejandra Lion. If you ever want to know why AEW Dark hasn’t been a waste of time, check out Red Velvet. She showed up during the pandemic, impressed people while losing her first 10 or so, and now she’s been in a match with Shaquille O’Neal. Alejandra has a big fur shoulderpad – Tazmaniac-like, the announcers say. Excalibur: “Cease and Desist Jones!”

Lockup, and Velvet flips Lion. Another lockup, and Lion goes behind only for Velvet to back her into the ropes for a break. Lion then slaps Velvet, which allows her to get Velvet on tilt. Lion gets a cravat and knee strikes, then follows with a variant of Just Desserts for two. She claws at Velvet’s face from a chinlock position – not quite a fish-hook – then CLUBBERING, THEY BE CLUBBERING TONY follows. A huge backrake on Velvet (“Shades of Rugged Ronnie Garvin”, sayeth Taz), and Lion follows with a corner clothesline. Double knees miss, though, and Velvet goes to the comeback. Trip into the middle rope leads to the double knees to Lion, and the standing moonsault follows, but Velvet won’t cover. Gut kick sets up the Final Slice (Overdrive) for the pin at 2:41. 1/2*

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Backstage, we’re with Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss, back together and better than ever. No more go-go bars for Janela, and no more bad influences (“Sorry, Alex.”) Next week for AEW Dark 100, it’s the start of their road to the gold. Janela says the Young Bucks are On Notice™, and they’re coming for those straps. Kiss adds their new tag name: Bad Romance.

Abadon (12-1) vs. Killa Kate (debut). “Crawling to the ring” will never get old. Killa Kate being named Killa against Abadon shows what’s in a name, doesn’t it? Also Taz imitates an alligator. It makes sense in context. Sort of.

Kate rolls through a lockup, twice, but Abadon cuts off the third try with knees to the gut. A hairpull slam follows, then a running kick to the skull to send Kate to the outside. Abadon leaps off the apron to flatten Kate, then pounds away on her and sends her into the guardrail. Back in, Abadon grabs the legs, but Kate turns it into Hell’s Gate. Abadon stacks her for two, then uppercuts her. Abadon with shots to the gut in the corner, but a charging headbutt finds nobody home. Kate sends Abadon back into the turnbuckle head-first, which does nothing but earn her a backhand slap. Kate tries more forearms, but it does nothing but ire Abadon. Kate runs into a powerbomb as the crowd chants Eat Her Soul, and the leg DDT ends it at 3:05. Match was the usual, but the crowd chant was welcome. 1/2*

Let Us Take You Back to last week, where Diamante interfered in a match between Big Swole and The Bunny, costing Swole the match. Afterwards, Swole said she’ll face Diamante anytime, anywhere. Which translates to here and now.

Diamante (13-8) vs. Big Swole (14-2). Gotta say, I enjoy that once in a while they run a mini-angle through Dark like this, or like the Blonds/Acclaimed angle. Excalibur calls it a “big-time grudge match”, which is nice of him but I wouldn’t go that far. Big Swole sounds like she’s not as over as she seemed. Maybe the pre-show crowd wasn’t well-mic’d?

Swole goes for a head kick on the bell, but Diamante sees it coming and bails. Diamante slowly returns and tries an armdrag, but Swole blocks it and gets her own. Diamante retusn the favor, then they both block each other before Swole knocks Diamante over. It leads to an International~!, with Swole blocking a hiptoss and getting one of her own before landing a SUPERKICK for one. Crucifix gets two. Swole to a bodyscissors as the crowd chants something and, yeah, they’re not exactly mic’d up. Diamante stacks her for one, so Swole rolls her over for one. Diamante with a Polish Hammer in the corner, then a left hook.

She drags Swole’s throat over the top rope – maybe go wide cam for that one, guys – but Swole stops a whip and boxes Diamante. Diamante recovers with a Hotshot and Northern Lariat. She stands on Swole’s head before getting between Swole and the nearby ropes to stomp away. She backs Swole into the corner and stomps a mudhole in her, but Swole gets some rights when pulled up. Diamante stops her with an uppercut before landing the shotgun dropkick for two. Diamante wants the Nerve Hold Armbar as the crowd does chant for Swole, but switches to an elbowdrop when Swole is by the ropes. Crossface forearm blows lead to a headlock on the mat.

Swole elbows her, but Diamante hangs on and drags her back down. Second try sees Swole break, so Diamante clubs her back. Polish Hammer is ducked and Swole with cross-chops for the comeback. Double dodge into a headbutt leads to corner uppercuts from Swole. Swole is sent to the apron and comes in with a sunset flip try, but Diamante sits down and grabs the rope to win at 5:38. Diamante almost forgot to grab the ropes. Not good. Diamante has regressed without Ivelisse around. *1/4

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Evil Uno and Stu Grayson (21-5) vs. Zach Mason and Warren Johnson (first time teaming). According to the folks in the YouTube chat, the enhancement team is from Booker T’s school. Dark Order is CRAZY over, to the point that even Excalibur has to make a point of it. Uno and Grayson are teaming with Hangman, Silver, and Reynolds against the Elite tomorrow, and you’d think Silver being cleared to wrestle would be a bigger deal.

Johnson works over Grayson and hammer throws him, but Grayson comes back with a shoulderblock and rana. He rushes Johnson into the corner and brings in Uno, who whips Grayson in for an avalanche and adds a big boot on the return. Big chop by Uno, but Mason gets a knee to Uno’s back. Uno knocks Mason down and returns to beating up Johnosn with chops. Johnson reverses and hammer throw, but his Stinger Splash misses only for Mason to clothesline Uno from the apron. Johnson stomps a mudhole and emphatically tags in Mason, who lands some forearms and chops in the corner.

Uno tries to fight back against both guys, only for Mason to cut him off. Big tag to Johnson, who boxes Uno and brings Mason back in. Mason alley-oops Johnson into a Stinger Splash, then lariats Uno for two. Snapmare by Mason and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Uno elbows out, but Mason stops the hot tag by yanking Uno down by the mask. Brainbuster try, but Uno reverses to a suplex. Hot tag Stu, who runs over Johnson and gets an overhead suplex. Uranage follows, then Grayson tosses Johnson and gives Mason a five-arm.

With both men on the outside, Grayson nails the somersault hilo to a big pop. Back in, Grayson gets the tag to Uno, who catches Johnson’s leapfrog in a deadlift German suplex. Johnson gets hit with a Pele from Grayson and an Inverted DDT/SUPERKICK combo. They go back to Mason, and a flying knee/piledriver ends him at 5:06 to a nice pop. Young Bucks vs Dark Order is gonna be so good when it’s tag title time. *1/4

Let Us Take You Back to review all the garbage Anthony Bowens has said about Julia Hart the last two weeks.

Main Event: Dante Martin (12-4) and the Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman and Griff Garrison) (w/Julia Hart) (#1 team, 16-4) vs. Ryan Nemeth (5-6) and The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) (#2 team, 14-3). Which trio sounds more like a 50s rock band? With the Dark Order on a roll, we’ve reached a very good problem to have: which of the three teams – Uno and Stu, Varsity Blonds, or Acclaimed – should win the belts next? You can make an argument for any and all of them. And now, your comments of the week from Max: “The Second Amendment should be repealed / and now that Max Caster’s on the beat / I’m the only one in this building packing heat!” “If Julia’s getting involved / Imma rip her like Ezekiel Elliot’s dog!” Pause. “C’mon, try me, baby, try me!”

Bowens and Martin start, with Bowens throwing Martin down. Martin comes back with a monkey flip and armlock, but Bowens steps on the foot to reverse. Martin reverses that and tries an armdrag, but Bowens blocks and they criss-cross. Martin with a springboard dropkick for two. Martin takes the arm, and the Blonds REALLY want in, but Bowens stops it and sends Martin to the corner. Caster in, and the Acclaimed try a double suplex, but Martin runs them together and brings in Pillman. Everyone bails and Nemeth has to take over, with Pillman getting an armdrag and lock.

Garrison in, and he punches the arm and takes the lock. Pillman axhandles the arm and chops Nemeth, and the Blonds get the Hart Attack Dropkick for two. Pillman with a ground hammerlock on Nemeth, holding on through a snapmare and forcing Nemeth to make the ropes. Pillman back elbows Nemeth, who asks the ref if his tooth is loose, which allows Caster to cheap-shot Pillman and there’s a triple-team. Caster in with right hands to Pillman, and Bowens tags in as the Acclaimed pound him down. Big chop in the corner by Bowens to Pillman, but Pillman fires back. Bowens stops a hot tag with a sleeper, though, keeping himself between Pillman and his corner.

He keeps it up, stopping the hot tag and spinning Pillman into a Northern Lights suplex for two. Nemeth in, and he kicks away before Hammer Throwing Pillman into the corner. The Acclaimed hold Pillman wide open as Nemeth does his dance before the corner spear. Bowens in, and they try a dual hammer throw, but Pillman leaps up top and crossbodies both men as everyone in the ring is down. Nemeth is dumped, but he pulls down Martin and sends him to the guardrail. No problem, as Garrison tags in and he cleans house, ending with a big boot to Bowens.

Long-distance Stinger Splashes follow on both guys (at once, actually), then a Midnight Express flapjack for two on Caster. Garrison picks Caster up, but Caster elbows out of a back suplex and reverses to try one of his own. Garrison flips out and nails the Discus Punch, and Pillman goes for Air Pillman… but Bowens shoves Caster out of the way and catches Pillman with an uranage. SUPERKICK to Garrison, but Martin gets the double-jump moonsault on Bowens. Caster goes up, but the Mic Drop on Pillman misses and Pillman cradles for two. Martin tagged in, and he gets a high-jump shotgun dropkick.

Nemeth enters as Martin does his comeback sequence, ending with a standing dropkick. Nemeth whips Martin across the ring, so he dives onto the other four guys leaping over the turnbuckle!! Martin returns and survives an ankle pick, and the Osaka Street Cutter ends it (on second try – Nemeth wasn’t ready for the first one) at 7:41. Minus a bit for the ending, but all six kids brought it HARD in this main event. **1/2

Now Pillman has a mic as we review that incredible dive. Pillman imitates Caster’s “yo”s and says he took the mic because all the Acclaimed do right is talk. But the Blonds do a lot more right, especially in the ring, and that’s why they’re the #1 contenders in the #1 company. They’re bigger, stronger, faster, and willing to run through a wall to get the tag titles. And the Acclaimed are softer than concrete, so how about we settle it now in the ring? That’s a Mic… PolitelySetDown. The Acclaimed think about, but decide not to as they head to the back and the faces celebrate to end it.

HOW I’D BOOK FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN:

  1. FTR over Santana and Ortiz with a spike piledriver on Santana.
  2. Hikuleo vs. Lance Archer goes as the IWGP wants it to.
  3. Dark Order and Hangman Page vs The Elite:
    1. Silver over Anderson with a discus lariat;
    2. Grayson over Gallows after Fatality;
    3. Bucks over Reynolds with BTE Trigger;
    4. Omega over Uno with the One-Winged Angel;
    5. Bucks over Grayson using the cooling spray;
    6. Hangman over Matt with the Buckshot lariat;
    7. Nick over Silver with a cradle using the tights;
    8. Nick disqualifies himself beating up Hangman with a chair;
    9. Hangman pins Omega anyway via a Victory Roll to earn the title shots.
  1. Christian Cage and Jurassic Express beat Angelico and Private Party when Luchasaurus pins Kassidy; The Hardy Family Office lay waste post-match.
  2. Unscheduled women’s match: Thunder Rosa over Madi Wrenckowski.
  3. Chris Jericho over Nick Gage (in a match that’ll be my White Elephant gift to Tommy Hall), after which MJF announces the Third Labour: a handicap match against the Death Triangle. (I think we know how he’s winning THIS one.)

STATS:

BELL-TO-BELL – 24:11 over five matches (average time 4:48)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Six-man main event

THREE STARS:

  1. Brian Pillman Jr.
  2. Evil Uno
  3. Abadon

Tomorrow, we fight for the fallen!