Episode 162 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the stream. Excalibur and Taz were on commentary as usual this week. One of tonight’s featured matches will set up a confrontation with Samoa Joe and Wardlow on Grand Slam Rampage this week, so let’s get right to the action!
Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. Zuka & Alexander Moss
28-9 and 14-12 were Silver and Reynolds respectively. Zuka and Moss had no record as this was their first time teaming together. Taz pumped up “Grand Slam Dynamite Jones” tomorrow as the match got underway. Reynolds got a one count on Zuka then knocked him down with a hard clothesline before tagging in Silver. Double drop toe hold, double dropkick, and Moss ran in to break up the double teaming. He got pabcaked for his troubles. Silver gave Zuka a flapjack, adjusted his knee pads, and kicked Zuka in the chest repeatedly. Taz: “Shades of Bruce Lee, kind of.” Moss swept the leg from the outside, and the distraction enabled Zuka to get a clothesline and tag Moss in legally. They cut off the ring for a short two-on-one beating until Reynolds got the hot tag and ran them over. Moss ate a double stomp to the spine. Zuka broke up a suplex and ate a pump kick from silver. The stunner/German/jackknife double team combo got the pin moments later. Here’s a replay courtesy of AEW!
Emi Sakura vs. Avery Breaux
Sakura brought a 19-10 record and her second Baliyan Akki to the ring. Breaux brought a record of 0-3 and was rebuffed when she offered a handshake, so she knocked Sakura down with a dropkick. Sakura responded by whipping Breaux around by the hair and then having a spot of tea in the ropes. Breaux tried to make a comeback with forearms and Sakura just cackled and started biting her. Breaux tried to fire up again, ate a chop, got a takeover and a cannonball senton, and Sakura kicked out at two. Breaux appeared to be going for a vertical suplex but Sakura countered it and started her “we will rock you” stomp. Crossbody in the corner, butterfly suplex, moonsault, three count. That’s the most Breaux has been given in a Dark match yet. I hope that means they see something in her.
The Trustbusters vs. Marcus Kross, Mike Magnum & GKM
The Trustbusters were accompanies by Jeeves Kay and Sonny Kiss and sported a record of 3-1. Their opponents were making their debut in the trios division even though you should know them from other matches in different divisions by now if you follow the Dark shows. Slim J was feeling himself and tearing off his shirt to celebrate, causing Taz to quip he’d been taking his vitamins and saying his prayers. Excalibur kept saying GMK instead of GKM. It reminded me of when I bought a rap magazine as a kid with a poster on the inside that said “EMPD” instead of EPMD. Shouldn’t someone have checked that before it went to print? Anyway Boudreaux got called out by Magnum, that went about as well as you’d expect, the jobbers tried to jump him and ate a double clothesline for their trouble. Daivari and Slim J gave GKM a combination neckbreaker, Kross ran in, and he got a flatliner for +his+ trouble. Boudreaux picked up Magnum, tried to drive him through the canvas, tagged in Daivari, and he hit a frog splash to pick up the scraps.
Anthony Ogogo vs. Luke Kurtis
Ogogo brought a record of 20-1 to the ring. Kurtis had a 0-0 record. Ogogo gave him a release German suplex before Aubrey Edwards could even call for the opening bell. Ogogo wasted little time knocking him out with the pop up right hook and Edwards called off the match. Ogogo: “If you want to go home to your wife, stop doing that. I swear I will put you in the ground boy. When I was born the umbilical cord was around my neck. I was blue. I wasn’t breathing. I was fighting the first day of my life and I’ve been fighting ever since.” He went on to list all the British championships he had won and Olympics he won at. He railed at fighting “indie bum after indie bum” and “shit bag after shit bag” on Dark and claimed it was because “the top boys” didn’t want to face him. “Big boys, come on, someone fight the Guv’nor, or I’ll go look for a fight somewhere else.”
Zack Clayton vs. Vary Morales
Following his win last night Clayton sported a record of 3-4. Morales sported a 0-2 record in singles competition. The Orlando crowd razzed Clayton with a “you tapped out” chant referring to his match with Hook. Clayton pummeled Morales in the corner, turned a delayed vertical suplex into a back breaker, and then pulled him up before the three count. He threw an uppercut, went outside to argue with a fan in a Bulls jersey, and the fan screamed “Pull me over! Do it!” This seemed to be a planned spot so clearly that was an indie wrestler at ringside. Morales tried and failed to take advantage, Clayton turned a fireman’s carry into a cutter, and he got the pin with ease. Tony Schiavone went to interview him. Clayton: “I know you guys love me but shut your mouth while I say this. That was a dose of reality from Zack Clayton, and this business has needed a kick in the ass for some time. It takes more than your favorite good wrestler to move the needle. It takes a star, a superstar, to do it and get worldwide attention. Being a star is something none of you here or at home will never know. None of you in your pathetic lives will ever measure up to what I am, and the reality is, I’m just getting started.”
Marina Shafir vs. La Rosa Negra
Shafir was back tonight with a record of 18-6 following one of the worst promos on Dark all year. The only good line was “When you hear the violins, expect violence” and she even had trouble delivering that. Negra was waiting in the ring with a record of 0-2. Negra got a roll up for a near fall, a couple good shots, and a springboard off the ropes for another two count. That was the end of her momentum. Shafir knocked her down with an overhand chop and no sold a couple of body shots when Negra tried to get back up. She threw her with some judo moves, kicked her in the back, Negra tried to grapevine a leg and got stomped in the face. Shafir locked in her Greedy submission for the tap. Shafir needed that win to take the stink off her from Elevation, but watching the equally fit and athletic Negra had me wondering if the wrong woman got the W here. I wonder how she is on promos.
Madison Rayne vs. Viva Van
Rayne brought a record of 1-2 thus far in AEW. Just like our last match the opponent Van was waiting in the ring with a 0-2 record. We’re 40 minutes into an eleven match card and there are only four matches after this, which should tell you how fast things moved along if you didn’t have a chance to watch it yourself.
Rayne sold for Van for a little while. Van got her in a tarantula hold in the ropes and hit a clothesline for a near fall. Van clubbed her in the back, put her on her shoulders, but Rayne countered into a victory roll for a near fall. This was followed by an enzuigiri and some truly awful looking strikes. The northern lights suplex for a two count was just fine though. Rayne kicked Van in the back and then hit Cross Rayne for three. That gives her a five hundred record but I was left more impressed with her opponent. Tony Schiavone hit the ring for another interview and reminded us she’s also a coach. Rayne: “My plate is very full in the best way possible. I’ve worked my entire career to be right here in this moment with All Elite Wrestling. I’ve proved since day one I’m not afraid of a challenge. Whether it’s as a wrestler or as a coach backstage the queen bee is here to teach this women’s division and flip it upside down.” That verbiage was a bit awkward but at least she didn’t botch it.
KiLynn King vs. Sahara Seven
King brought a 2022 record of 1-3 to Orlando. Seven was waiting for her with a 0-1 record and attacked King almost before the bell rang. King gave her a knee, a head kick, a pump handle slam, and the quick pin was hers. Taz: “KiLynn King not playing games here!” She mouthed “who’s next” to the camera as we moved on.
Tony Nese & Josh Woods vs. Baliyan Akki & Ryan Matthews
Finally we get a team record for Nese and Woods on the chyron. They came to this match 6-1 and were accompanied by “Smart” Mark Sterling. Akki was back after seconding Sakura earlier and teaming with Matthews for the first time. Excalibur made sure to remind us to watch Rampage on Friday to see Nese & Woods against Samoa Joe and Wardlow. Matthews hit Nese with a shotgun dropkick, Nese escaped a vertical suplex attempt, and from there it was all Nese and Woods. They hit the double team neckbreaker and Woods made the pin. Somebody tell me where Sterling buys his suits. If any squash needed a Tony Schiavone interview after it was over tonight, this was the one.
Sonny Kiss vs. Joe Ocasio
Kiss was accompanied by Jeeves Kay and The Trustbusters, bringing a 2022 record of 6-5 to the match. Ocasio was waiting to make his AEW debut here. For some reason Taz was talking about Boudreaux drinking gallons of tea and milk. Kiss hit the split legged drop for two, slapped Ocasio, got picked up for an airplane spin, but Slim J distracted Aubrey Edwards to facilitate an illegal eye gouge. While Ocasio was blinded by the science a corkscrew kick finished him off. The Trustbusters all celebrated the win together.
Matt Sydal vs. JD Drake
Drake came out first for the main event sporting a 2022 record of 3-18. Sydal brought an overall record of 43-33. Drake dared Sydal to tie up with him while Taz asked Excalibur if he had a problem with him wishing his son a happy birthday on TV 15 years ago. Sydal hit a mariposa, a forearm, a kick, and got clubbed with a lariat. Drake kept pouring it on with elbows and chops while Taz said that Drake had a plate in catering that could feed a horse. “Two plates” even. The match spilled outside where Sydal ate the rebound clothesline. Drake tried to win by countout but Sydal got back in at 8. Kokeshi headbutt by Drake for a near fall. It was a good one but not as good as Maki F’n Itoh. Drake stepped on his head and back grinding Sydal into the mat. Sydal moved to avoid the counter to a sunset flip and then got a roll up for two. Sydal fired up with kicks for the comeback. Spinning heel kick for a two count. Sydal tried again to pin Drake but couldn’t keep him down. Drake went up the ropes but Sydal did a back bridge to dodge him, said “I don’t think so” and came off the ropes himself. Drake caught him for a power slam and near fall. Drake missed a cannonball into the corner. Roundhouse kick by Sydal. Lightning Spiral! 1-2-3. Great match from both men. Anthony Henry hit the ring to help Drake give Sydal a beating. No one made the save.
What to watch/skip
Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” for Dark is brought to you by “Light Weight.” Even though I highlighted Nese & Woods in the headline, I can’t argue that Drake and Sydal wasn’t a more competitive match and worthy of the main event slot. Watch both of those matches along with Sakura vs. Breaux, Clayton vs. Morales, and Ogogo vs. Kurtis (mostly for the promo). You could skip the rest but if you are feeling generous watch everything +except+ Rayne versus Van. I never want to see Madison Rayne throw strikes at anyone ever again.
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 a new episode of Elevation!