The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark, Episode 104 (“Let’s Dance”), August 24, 2021.
From Chicago, IL.
Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz. Excalibur’s adjective of the day: “Massive!”
TONIGHT! Shawn Dean gets a homecoming, but he’s up against a tough assignment in Powerhouse Hobbs! Alan Angels looks to put his frustrations with Dark Order leadership behind him as he faces Dante Martin! Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto look to bolster the Factory by upsetting the Lucha Bros! And we’re running it back with a twist: Matt Hardy takes the Blade’s place to see if he can lead TH2 to a win over the Best Friends!
PLUS – Kris Statlander, Varsity Blonds, Thunder Rosa, and Preston Vance/John Silver!
Let Us Take You Back to Rampage on Friday as CM Punk debuted!
Opening match: Thunder Rosa (#2 women, 23-2) vs. Heather Reckless (debut). This crowd is AMPED for this show, as you can imagine. Ricky Starks is on commentary.
Rosa trips Reckless and gets an amateur roll into a front facelock, switching it to a headlock as they both get up. Reckless uses the hair to get to the corner and escape, but a blind charge misses and Rosa chops her repeatedly. Scoop slam sets up a half-senton and Reckless goes to the corner, dodging a blind charge and getting an avalanche crossbody. Second one misses, though, and Rosa gets a Mizline on Reckless leading to the double-knees. Reckless rolls away so the Tex-Mex flag doesn’t get tangled up in all this, and Rosa gets the shotgun dropkick and butterfly suplex for two. Reckless slips out of the Thunder Driver, getting a leg kick and enzuigiri for one. Rosa comes back with a Russian legsweep, which she turns into the Peruvian Choke for the win at 2:25. 1/4*
The women will have a Casino Battle Royal at All Out’s Buy-In. Nyla Rose, who won the other one, is already in it. Also, two special added matches – Moxley/Kingston/Allin vs the Wingmen and Gunn Club vs The Factory!
Varsity Blonds (#2 team, 17-4) vs. Ren Jones and Brayden Lee (debut). Also on Dynamite, the Blonds will face the Lucha Bros in what ought to be an incredible throwdown. Starks says they can’t be varsity because there’s no way either one graduated college.
Lee and Garrison start. Garrison with a waistlock takedown into a headlock, and we go International~!, ending with Garrison ducking a clothesline and getting an armdrag. BACK body drop follows, but Jones comes in and gets a cheapshot (he wasn’t tagged in). Lee brings Garrison to the corner and now brings Jones in legally, and Lee gets a Manhattan Drop to set up a Flatliner by Jones for one. Lee in, but Garrison kicks through a double clothesline and tags in Pillman. He runs both men over (flipping Lee with a lariat) before chopping Jones and getting a corner clothesline. Lee jumps in to stop Pillman, but Pillman with a twisting crossbody to Lee and SUPERKICK to Jones. Garrison returns and boots Lee off the apron, then it’s the Discus Punch into Air Pillman to win at 2:39. Your turn, Lucha Bros. 1/2*
CM Punk debuts in AEW against Darby Allin at All Out.
Captain Shawn Dean (2-3) vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (w/Hook) (#5 men, 13-2). Dean is from Chicago, and the crowd approves of finding out about that. Of course, he’s not the Chicago guy people are here to see, but that’s not important right now. I don’t like that they’re making the guy lose in his hometown, but it’s not like he should win.
Dean jumps the gun with a dropkick and follows with the hurricane DDT. Corner dropkick as Hobbs is dazed, but Dean runs into a SPINEBUSTER for two… and pulls Dean up. Town Bidness ends it at 40.7 seconds. Sorry, Shawn. NR
Starks encourages Hobbs and Hook to keep beating up Dean post-match as Hook holds a dragon sleeper on the middle rope and Hobbs adds more shots. Keep playing Hobbs’ music!
AEW Elite GM app ad.
AEW Women’s Champion and Savior of Humanity Britt Baker is in the house! She’s joined with Rebel and Jamie Hayter to meet Tony Schiavone in the ring. Hayter faces Red Velvet tomorrow. So how does Britt feel about Hayter facing a top rival? Well, before that, let’s honor one of the greatest athletes to set foot in the United Center… herself. And you saw those historic moments when she entered the ring as Women’s Champion. This gets her, the top heel mind you, applauded. She claims she never considered Velvet an enemy – or anything, really – until she tried to ruin the moment in Brittsburgh. What if she did that in Brittcago? So Baker had to teach Velvet a lesson. (And now a Brittcago chant, because… yeah.) Jamie Hayter says we’ll see the same thing we saw on Rampage…
…and here comes Velvet to grab Hayter and drag her out of the ring! Hayter grabs her back and tosses her on to the apron, but now Kris Statlander stops Baker from setting up a curbstomp on the belt. Crowd screwing up the face/heel dynamic aside, a good segment to build to tomorrow.
Dante Martin (14-5) vs. Alan Angels (10-16). Dark Order is very over in Chicago. Commentary talks up the Dark Order being split again. Angels asks Silver and Vance to go to the back so he can do this alone.
Crowd chants for Martin at the bell. Knuckle-lock, and Martin and Angels both try to cradle each other back and forth until Angels gets La Majistral for two. Angels tries a sunset flip, but Martin rolls through only for Angels to block Martin and they both stand up. Martin with armdrags to Angels followed by the high-rise dropkick. Martin gets sent to tha apron, and Angels dropkicks his legs out of him to drop him to the apron before following with a corner quebrada. Back in, Angels with a DDT for two. Cravat by Angels, but Martin breaks out and dumps Angels. He backflips over Angels with the latter returns, then gives him a BACK body drop (.8 Warlord) to cue the comeback.
Flying back elbow by Martin, but Angels stops Martin only to run into a gamengiri. Double-jump moonsault follows for two. They go to the apron and slug it out, with Martin blocking a German suplex only to run into a Rock Bottom on the apron. Back in, Flatliner sets up the Koji Clutch, but Martin stacks him for two. Wing Snapper is set up, but Martin with a low kick (to the quad, not the groin). He puts Angels up top and lands a gamengiri, then gets a straitjacket Death Valley Driver to win at 5:02. Dante Martin is a star in the making. *3/4
Stay tuned for Rampage on Friday – what’s going to happen given the first two episodes?
Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solow (w/QT Marshall) (2-1) vs. Lucha Bros (Penta El Cero Miedo and Rey Fenix) (w/PAC and Alex Abrahantes) (#3 team, no chyron). But first, we remind you that at All Out, QT Marshall will face Paul Wight. As long as Wight beats up Marshall and Marshall only, I’ll allow it. And holy heck are the Lucha Bros over! The Varsity Blonds are in the front row doing scouting.
Fenix and Solow start. They exchange armlocks and block SUPERKICKs from each other before getting a shoving match. Penta and Comoroto take over now, and you’d think that’s a mismatch but CERO! MIEDO! Comoroto stalks Penta, who asks for just enough time to TAKE OFF THE GLOVE. And Alex drops it! But he catches it second time. Comoroto blocks the MIEDO and tries a goozle, but Penta escapes and chops away. Comoroto tanks it and smokes Penta with a forearm. Solow in, and Comoroto whips Solow into Penta before catching him with a backbreaker so Solow can dropkick him for two.
Comoroto refuses to leave, so Penta SUPERKICKs him and brings in Fenix. Fenix bounces back and forth, strikiing both of them, then low bridges Comoroto out before dropkicking Solow and baseball sliding Comoroto. The Bros then see the Blonds and goad them, with Penta slapping Pillman, but in the ring, Solow with a catch German suplex and bridge for two. Solow with a 540 kick for one. Fenix escapes a fireman’s carry and SUPERKICKs both men in turn, flooring Comoroto before doing a tiger feint and roundhouse kicking Solow. Penta gives both men Sling Blades and then SUPERKICKs an upside-down Solow.
Enzuigiri dumps Comoroto, and Made In Japan (pumphandle cradle driver) gets two on Solow. Fear Factor Zero is set up, but Comoroto lariats Penta and Solow falls on top for two. Comoroto catches Fenix and carries him, but Penta starts a SUPERKICK PARTY only for Comoroto to slam Fenix and get a one-handed-press on Fenix while trying a DDT on Penta! Fenix escapes and a SUPERKICK PARTY levels Comoroto, then Solow eats a Casadora Cutter and Spike Fear Factor (as Fenix dives onto Comoroto for good measure) to get Penta the pin at 6:06 while he glares at the Blonds in the front row. Oh, I am READY for this semifinal match. **1/4
John Silver (9-3) and Preston Vance (22-4) (w/Alan Angels) vs. Kal Herro and Isaiah Moore (first time teaming). Normally it’s Alex Reynolds, but he’s on paternity leave.
Silver and Moore start. Silver with a single-leg slam, then a military press Hotshot and running back elbow. Vance in, but Herro tags himself in. Vance just shoulderblocks both men in turn and gets a fallaway slam on Herro. Silver returns, but Herro fights out and tries a backslide. Silver rolls through to get Yes Kicks and a brainbuster. Moore and Vance tag in, and Vance gives Moore a SPINEBUSTER. Silver with a gamengiri into a pump kick into an enzuigiri into a powerbomb into the UFO (that’s Silver to Vance to Silver to Vance to Silver), and Vance pins him at 1:53. NR
Main Event: Matt Hardy (17-4) and TH2 (Angelico and Jack Evans) (4-5) (w/Blade and Bunny) vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, and Orange Cassidy (#3 men)) (w/Kris Statlander) (3-1). So I guess Statlander’s match was cut for time despite the AEW subreddit saying it was happening. Maybe it’ll be on Elevation. Very good pop for the Best Friends.
Orange and Angelico start. HANDS IN POCKETS is blocked by Angelico, who twists the arms on Orange only for Orange to return with an arm throw. HANDS IN POCKETS, and Orange leaps over a backdrop attempt and gets a rana, dropkick, and kip-up. Yuta in, and he gets a running kick and half-senton for two. Angelico backs Yuta into the corner, and Evans gets a sucker punch and tags in. They switch waistlocks, and Yuta gets the over/under dropkick for two. Hammer Throw and Taylor comes in, and Yuta/Taylor get a Hart Attack forearm into a cover by Taylor for two.
Slam and Taylor goes up, but Angelico pulls Evans away so Hardy can come in and club Taylor. Evans stomps a mudhole in Taylor (Bunny adding a cheapshot), and Hardy comes in with shoulders to the gut. Hangman’s neckbreaker follows, and Hardy slugs Orange off the apron. He mocks the HANDS IN POCKETS pose to Yuta, but it takes too long and Taylor recovers with Sole Food. Yuta in, and he dropkicks both of TH2 until Evans avoids the fourth one. Yuta with an armdrag, but Angelico recovers only to get headscissored. Both of TH2 are dumped, as is Hardy and the Blade (sure why not), and Yuta with a springboard plancha onto all four. (See, JR? It can be organic.)
Back in, Evans stops Yuta on the top rope and slides through Taylor, but Taylor catches Angelico with a uranage and dives onto Evans and Hardy. Yuta and Orange with consecutive splashes (Yuta’s had a bit more oomph) for two, Hardy saves. Hardy ties up the referee, so TH2 gets the double-stomp back suplex for two on Orange. Backbreaker/neckbreaker by TH2 into a Side Effect by Hardy gets two, Yuta saves. Hardy dumps Yuta, but Taylor and Yuta pull him out. This leaves TH2 with Orange for a double suplex try, but Best Friends use the distraction to get a 3-on-2 suplex on TH2 instead.
Yuta sends Taylor into the corner, but Angelico dodges and smokes Yuta. Yuta rolls back in and gets a German on Angelico, but Evans with a soccer kick and standing skytwister. Taylor kicks down Evans, but Hardy comes in with the Twist of Fate. Orange leaps in and does the SHIN KICKS OF DOOM, ending with a flying small package DDT thing. Orange Punch set up, but Evans pulls Hardy away and Angelico rolls Orange up for two. Beach Break is reversed to a sunset flip try, but Orange sits down for the pin at 7:00. And in case you’re wondering why Angelico couldn’t kick out – HANDS IN POCKETS, baby! Not as good as last night, but still a ton of fun. **1/4 Orange gives Angelico the Orange Punch to send him out, and we HUG IT OUT!
- CM Punk speaks!
- Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy!
- Brock Anderson vs. Malakai Black!
- Red Velvet vs. Jamie Hayter!
- Gunn Club vs. The Factory!
- Mox, Kingston, and Allin vs. Wingmen!
- And the tag tournament semis – Blonds vs Bros!
HOW I’D BOOK IT!
- Malakai Black murders Brock Anderson.
- Jamie Hayter over Red Velvet.
- Moxley, Kingston, and Allin beat the Wingmen when Kingston backfists Drake, but Allin abandons the match to chase CM Punk.
- Matt Hardy cheats to beat Orange Cassidy, and during the post-match beating Jurassic Express comes out to help Best Friends.
- The Factory over Gunn Club when Marshall pins Austin.
- Varsity Blonds upset the Lucha Brothers thanks to Andrade’s tactics.
MY ALL OUT:
- Thunder Rosa wins the Casino Buy-In, with Ruby Soho as the Joker.
- Andrade El Idolo over PAC.
- TNT Champion Miro over Eddie Kingston.
- Women’s Champion Britt Baker over Kris Statlander.
- Jon Moxley vs Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP US Title, with New Japan picking the winner.
- Jurassic Express and Best Friends over Hardy Family Office in a 6-on-6 elimination match:
- Yuta pins Blade with a crucifix.
- Perry makes Evans submit to the Snare Trap.
- Taylor pins Quen with the Awful Waffle.
- Stunt cradles Kassidy for the pin.
- Saurus knocks out Angelico with a Tailwhip.
- Cassidy over Hardy with the Orange Punch to complete the sweep.
- Varsity Blonds over the Young Bucks to win the AEW Tag Team Titles.
- Kenny Omega beats Christian Cage to retain the AEW World Title.
- CM Punk over Darby Allin.
BELL-TO-BELL – 25:46 over seven matches (average time 3:41)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Lucha Bros vs Factory
- Rey Fenix
- Orange Cassidy
- Dante Martin