The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark Episode 94 (“Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Tag Teams!”), June 22, 2021.
We cold open with Alex Mavez talking to the Varsity Blondes. They both wrestle tonight, but what about Miro and what he did? Pillman calls Miro the bully of AEW. Miro expects people to be scared of him, but the Blondes aren’t. When you put your hands on his team, he will come after you. He fights for his friends! And yes, tonight he faces Bear Bronson, but when he sees Bronson, he will see the eyes of Miro.
From the AEW Arena.
Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz, who insists EVERYTHING IS FINE in Team Taz. Excalibur wants to know about their friction and can’t wait to ask.
TONIGHT! Tag wrestlers go one-on-one up and down the card! Dark Order’s Stu Grayson faces Chaos Project’s Serpentico! Varsity Blonds’ Brian Pillman Jr goes against Bear Country’s Bear Bronson! The other half of the Blonds, Griff Garrison, faces Jurassic Express’ Marko Stunt! And the Sea Stars’ Ashley Vox takes on… Abadon. Well, they can’t all be tag wrestlers.
However, we also get showcase matches for Best Friends’ Chuck Taylor and Dark Order’s Colt Cabana, plus we’ll see Lance Archer, Brian Cage, The Bunny, and Diamante!
Opening match: Lance Archer (26-7) vs. Rex Lawless (no intro due to hot start).
Archer enters the ring and delivers a Thesz Press before the bell, then batters Lawless. He tosses Lawless in the corner and Hamemr Throws him. A blind charge misses and Lawless gets a boot in the corner, but they run at each other and Archer wins that confrontation. Short-arm clothesline follows. He sets Lawless up top before clotheslining him right back off the top turnbuckle (shades of Hansen/Kobashi, says Excalibur). He chokes Lawless against the bottom rope, then demands Lawless fight back. Lawless does, but Archer tanks his shots and gets a full nelson slam. Lawless goes back to the top rope via Archer, and the Blackout ends it at 2:14. Archer storms off immediately. 1/2*
Brian Pillman Jr. (w/Griff Garrison and Julia Hart) (15-6) vs. Bear Bronson (8-9). Ricky Starks on the headset, and he says it’s been a rough day for him. He’s wearing multiple necklaces over his neck brace. When Boulder gets healthy I want the teams to go at it.
Pillman floats into a headlock to start, but Bronson shoves him off and the tackle is a stalemate. Bronson swings and misses, but avoids the dropkick. Pillman avoids both an elbowdrop and a senton, then kicks Bronson’s back. Bronson catches a kick from Pillman, only for Pillman to low-bridge Bronson to the outside and follow with a dropkick through the ropes. Back in, Pillman with a sunset flip try, but Bronson sits on him for two. He boxes away on Pillman in the corner, then clubbers him down, Tony. More rights in the corner, but Bronson misses a blind charge. Pillman begins firing back before chopping away hard and landing an uppercut. Whip, reverse, and back elbow leads to Pillman slamming Bronson. Springboard reverses crossbody off of a corner whip gets two. Bronson reverses a suplex and tries Snake Eyes, but Pillman sends him into the corner. Air Pillman ends it at 3:24. Easy night for Brian, but he needs that to look like Miro won’t kill him. (Miro will totally kill him.) *
Brian Cage (8-2) vs. Chandler Hopkins (0-3). No sign of Hobbs or Hook here. Just assume every match is non-title – he’s the FTW Champion – until further notice. Starks gets mad about Cage’s pyro, and Taz has to tell him to support the family.
Hopkins slides out of a press slam and gets an enzuigiri and some fancy kicks. He charges straight into the Samoa Joe uranage, though, and Cage with a forearm before catching Hopkins mid-gymnastics with a release German suplex. Shoulder shots to the gut in the corner, then a big chop. Hopkins goes up and over, then heads back up with a Cena Stunner. Cage catches him and tries the F-5, but Hopkins slides into a sunset flip, so Cage picks him up and yeets him over his head. Hopkins lands on his head on another German and kicks Cage, then gets more kicks in. Roundhouse misses, but Hopkins gets out of a pumphandle slam and lands a Tajiri handspring gamengiri for two. Taz is losing his cool. Hopkins charges in the corner and gets thrown to the floor, though, and Cage picks him up. Back in, Cesaroplex is teased, but Hopkins hangs Cage up and pendulum drops him. Starks is enjoying this… until Cage catches Hopkins with the F-5 for… two, but Hopkins’ foot is on the ropes. JBL Bomb is teased, but Hopkins escapes and leaps… into a powerbomb anyway. Weapon X ends it at 3:59. Starks and Cage DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER, based on the way they stare and bark at each other. Then Starks races off with Cage stalking after him. What a fun match! *3/4
Diamante (22-14) vs. Ashley D’Amboise (0-4). There’s quite a few of you who think Diamante has fallen off a level since going solo and losing Ivelisse. Excalibur mentions that Rey Fenix is on Spanish commentary while he heals.
Diamante jumps at the bell and mauls D’Amboise, getting a Hammer Throw but running into a back elbow. D’Amboise then charges, so Diamante gives her an overhead suplex and shotgun dropkick for two. D’Amboise tries to get in some shots, but Diamante with a tilt-a-whirl into a Russian legsweep. VULCAN NERVE PINCH… WITH BODYSCISSORS… gets the submission at 1:04!? That’s a new one. Diamante kicks D’Amboise out of the ring post-match. NR Coach Taz mentions that D’Amboise reached back to elbow Diamante away, so Diamante grabbed the arm and switched it to a Russian armbar with bodyscissors. Ah, that explains the submission.
Colt Cabana (13-4) vs. Kit Sackett (first singles match). As expected, the whole crew comes out together. They note Colt is wearing a Brodie Lee tribute jacket.
Sackett charges and runs into a cross-chop that winds Sackett, then a second one sends him to the floor. Colt throws him back in, and the Bionic Elbows follow. Sackett with a forearm, but he runs into another Bionic Elbow. Sackett catches Colt with a dropkick but gets mule kicked out of the corner, and the Superman Pin ends it at 46.9 seconds. No one’s wasting time today. NR
Chuck Taylor (9-3) vs. Dan Barry (first singles match). Excalibur, god bless him, even references that these two were a longtime tag team in the indie scene as An Officer And A Gentlemen. I can verify, having seen them live in 2016, that they were a lot of fun. The other Best Friends say they don’t want any trouble, and Trent offers a fistbump to Barry. Even Bryce Remsburg, the ref, is familiar.
Code of Honor, but Barry kicks Taylor mid-handshake and gets a snapmare and dropkick. Taylor comes back with corner kicks, then gets sent to the apron on a charge and knocked to the floor. Barry follows with a quebrada, and even Trent is impressed. Back in, springboard kneeling senton gets one. Ground abdominal stretch by Barry, but Taylor punches out. Barry keeps control, but gets a whip reversed into Sole Food and a big boot. Taylor is ready to fire, but Barry rolls out of the way only to run headlong into a rising knee. Middle-rope moonsault misses, though, and Barry goes up to the top. His moonsault misses too, and Taylor gets two piledrivers to end it at 2:43. Taylor seems disappointed in the match, maybe because of how short a time he got. Trent, interestingly, is upset they didn’t get along, but everyone HUGS IT OUT. Except Barry; he’s long gone. 3/4*
Abadon (8-1) vs. Ashley Vox (1-2). The fact that Justin Roberts mixes up his intros shows that he’s a person and not a cypher, which now that I think about it helps with Vickie’s abuse of him. A shame Vox doesn’t get an entrance.
Vox sticks and moves on Abadon and tries to cradle her, but Abadon just picks her up in a tree choke. Vox escapes with a headbutt (not that that hurts Abadon), then tries a fish-hook (which Abadon just bites on). Red liquid that Abadon spits up winds up on Vox’s finger, and Abadon takes advantage of the freak out with a release German suplex. Orton-style backbreaker out of the corner, then she tries the leg-wrap DDT, but Vox escapes and get an enzuigiri. Abadon with a backfist, and now the leg-wrap DDT wins at 1:30. Is Tony Khan double-parked again? NR
Griff Garrison (w/Brian Pillman Jr and Julia Hart) (14-7) vs. Marko Stunt (17-24). Excalibur talks about how Miro inexplicably came out to attack the Varsity Blondes after Penelope Ford beat Julia Hart. They commend the refs for separating the fight, mind you. Taz (referencing Stunt): “I was 120 pounds in the fourth grade. Probably Marko’s height too.”
Code of Honor to start. They lock up, and Garrison pushes Stunt to the corner and takes his hat off, holding over his (and Stunt’s) head. Stunt stomps on the foot, retrieves his hat, then ducks a clothesline and turns Garrison inside-out before getting a seated crossbody. Stunt keeps ducking everything Garrison has and chops him, laughing at Garrison… until Garrison takes offense to that. He puts Stunt up top, but Stunt leaps over Garrison before giving him a tilt-a-whirl rana. Garrison bails, so Stunt delivers a pair of tope suicidae. He wants a third, but Garrison catches this one and turns it into an F-5 on the apron! Back in, it gets two. Garrison slams Stunt, playing heel in this match, but the long distance Stinger Splash misses. Stunt goes up top and gets the diving elbow to the back, then a spike rana for two. Acid Drop is tossed away, and Garrison nails the Discus Punch to win at 3:09. Actually a fun match. *1/2 Code of Honor after the match too.
The Bunny (w/The Blade) (16-7) vs. Reka Tehaka (0-6). So I totally forgot there was a time when Bunny DID go by Allie within AEW. I rescind my remarks from the last time she fought. Thankfully, no one else from the HFO comes out.
Bunny gets a running forearm on the bell to floor Tehaka. A chop follows, then Allie boots away and gets a running kneelift. She skips around before tossing Tehaka into the corner and getting a boot choke. Sliding forearm in the corner follows, then a kick to the back. She again chokes Tehaka, this time along the bottom rope, but Tehaka recovers with HEADBUTTS OF DOOM (yes, she’s Samoan, why do you ask?). Monkey flip try, but Bunny shoves her off and delivers a SUPERKICK. Down the Rabbit Hole finishes at 2:17. 1/4* To show how much Excalibur and Taz are into this show, they start quoting Cher.
Main event already: Serpentico (w/Luther) (1-3 singles) vs. Stu Grayson (13-2). Oh, I get it, they want to keep the shows on YouTube to under an hour. Taz says the Chaos Project theme reminds him of their wedding song. No one is sticking around to be at ringside with Grayson.
Serpentico bails at the bell, much to Grayson’s chagrin. He stalls on the outside, then dodges Grayson until Luther trips Grayson and gets Serpentico a leg trip, SUPERKICK, and DDT for two. Serpentico sends Grayson to the corner and stomps a mudhole before adding a knee choke. Grayson fights back with chops, but Serpentico sends him into the middle rope so Luther can choke Grayson by his beard. Serpentico with a forearm and he goes up and over, landing a dropkick. He rakes the chest of Grayson, which wakes him up. Serpentico chops Grayson, but no sale. Grayson wants more, and Serpentico complies, but Grayson shoves Serpentico away. Serpentico recovers with an X Factor and he goes up, but the double-stomp is rolled through and Grayson with a flying knee. Nightfall is tried, but Serpentico goes to the eyes and gets a rollup with tights for two. Grayson with a pop-up powerslam for a double-down. Serpentico hangs Grayson up on the top rope, then looks to suplex him to the floor. Grayson fights out and gets a spinning leg sweep, setting up the tope atomico to the apron on Serpentico. He tells Luther to stay the hell out of this, and back in, Serpentico catches Grayson in a prawn cradle for two before Grayson gues nuts with chops. Uranage and kneedrop, and Grayson does a corkscrew plancha onto Luther just to make a point. Serpentico ducks a clothesline, but handsprings straight into Nightfall for the pin at 5:24. Good win for Grayson, as he took out both men and won it by himself. **
- It’s LIVE, and anything can happen!
- But we do know it’s the Hangman and the Powerhouse as Adam Page faces Will Hobbs!
- And in the main event, the BIG GOLD is on the line as Kenny Omega faces Jungle Boy Perry!
It’s pretty clear that they’re burning what they got a Daily’s Place in order to get ready for going back on tour. The matches we saw probably all deserved an extra 1-2 minutes, though. If Dark and Elevation are going to be more like this on the road, maybe I should switch to the point system that Scott has for NWA Powerrr.
…eh, I’ll be me.
BELL-TO-BELL – 26:31 over ten matches (average match time 2:39, yikes)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Grayson/Serpentico
- Brian Pillman Jr
- Chandler Hopkins
- Stu Grayson
- Dan Barry
We’re approaching the end of an era. Will anyone else miss Daily’s Place or just me?