The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark, Episode 111 (“Card Subject to Marko Stunt Returning from Low Earth Orbit After Last Night”), October 5, 2021.
From the All Elite Zone.
Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz.
TONIGHT! Skye Blue continues her quest for her first win against Madi Wrenckowski! It’s a battle of human lawn darts as Serpentico faces Marko Stunt! Former 205 Live talent Anthony Henry gets a tryout with Eddie Kingston! Nick Comoroto looks to step up in class as he takes on Orange Cassidy! Peter Avalon and Ryan Nemeth of the Wingmen face the Varsity Blondes! And as promised last week, Santana Garrett makes her AEW debut against Diamante!
PLUS – Sonny Kiss, Abadon, Kris Statlander, Daniel Garcia, The Acclaimed, Gunn Club, and the Pinnacle!
Opening match: The Pinnacle (Wardlow, Shawn Spears, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler) vs. Austin Green, Baron Black, Aaron Frye, and Dean Alexander. First time for both quartets. No sign of Tully Blanchard, by the way. FTR is the #5 team in the rankings. Austin Green may be as big as Wardlow.
Wheeler and Black start, jockeying for position. Wheeler gets a waistlock into a bodyscissors for two, then works the arm. Black reverses, and Alexander tags in to work the shoulder while holding the arm. Wheeler slugs out to escape and gets an uppercut, bringing in Spears. A big chop in the corner rocks Alexander, but Alexander goes up and over and lands a dropkick. Frye in now to keep the arm, but Spears with a kneelift and Harwood enters. Frye eats the corner and gets chopped, then Harwood throws in an uppercut.
Another chop, but now Frye fights back and they trade until Harwood gets a headlock and we go International~!. It ends with Frye landing a pair of dropkicks and an armdrag. Harwood escapes an armlock and brings in Wardlow as Frye wisely backs off. Frye brings in Green instead for a big man staredown, and yes Green is bigger. Lockups go nowhere, and some shoulderblocks get exchanged until Green blocks a slam by Wardlow and tries one of his own. Wardlow escapes and gets his slam. Wardlow taunts the crowd, so Black tags in and cradles him for two.
Wardlow’s charge eats boot and Black comes off the top, but Wardlow catches him, lifts him back up, and tosses him across the ring. Harwood in with a snapmare and lightning legdrops before adding a back suplex. Spears in next, and he gets between Black and the corner, but Black pops up out of nowhere with a Backstabber for the double-down. Hot tag Frye, and he gets the comeback on Wheeler and sends Harwood flying.
Legsweep on Wheeler, then a second-rope back elbow drop for two. His springboard almost wasn’t enough. Frye is caught mid-leapfrog with a powerslam, and FTR get a double flapjack into Casualty of War by Wardlow. Pinnacle clears the corner, and Spears is legal so he gets the Death Valley Driver to win at 7:05. Very nice match even though it was just a showcase. *1/2
Full Gear is coming, November 13.
Abadon (21-2) vs. Valentina Rossi (0-3). Wow, Abadon’s hair grew back since last night! Rossi is basically Marisa Tomei from My Cousin Vinny, as I think of different ways to describe her. Taz gives us the image of Abadon at Universal Studios.
Abadon catches Rossi with kneelifts, but Rossi with shots of her own. She celebrates, but Abadon powers back up and stops the next shot before landing hard forearms. Back elbow by Abadon and Rossi bails, so Abadon chases and gets a facejam and scream. Back in, Rossi sends Abadon into the corner and gets an uppercut, but Abadon zombie walks to her and nails a backfist and swinging neckbreaker. Leg DDT ends it at 1:56. Taz’s commentary on Abadon going to a hairstylist was funnier and more memorable than the match.
Are you attending a Dynamite before Long Island? We don’t care.
The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) (16-3) vs. Michael Martinez and Vary Morales (first time teaming). Yo! “I saw the tall guy, he was working the park / helping all the fat ladies in their motorized carts / the other guy is so little to see / he looks like a minion from Despicable Me.” Now, see, it’s not hard to do a diss track without crossing the line. Actually, it was pretty funny.
Bowens and Morales start. Bowens rushes Morales to the corner and chops him hard, but Morales goes up and over and nails a rana. A second rana off the springboard follows, but Bowens with a right cross to stop Morales. Caster in, and it’s a double Russian legsweep into a penalty kick from Bowens. Caster chops Morales and puts him up top, but Morales headbutts him. Caster charges… and BOTCHES the leap to the top, crotching himself on the middle rope!
Morales comes back with a missile dropkick, hot tag Martinez and he dodges a crossbody from Caster before cleaning house. Bowens catches Martinez with a SUPERKICK into a back suplex from Caster. Spinning hanging DDT from Bowens to Morales, and Martinez eats Acclaim To Fame for the win at 2:37. Caster isn’t exactly on a run of good decisions lately, is he? 1/2*
AEW Elite GM app ad. With no audio, in a rare technical mishap.
Sonny Kiss (10-10) vs. Kal Herro (0-4). Herro is the fanny pack guy. Interestingly, Kiss does not have his weight announced, I guess in keeping with his exotico status.
Lockup, and Herro backs Kiss into the corner, but gives a clean break and asks for a Fanny Pack Partay! Gerro follows up with a takeover and celebrates, so Kiss spears Herro and pounds away to stop that. Short clotheslines follow, then a spin kick and enzuigiri. 540 kick by Kiss follows, then the Splits TKO ends it at 1:42. The Kiss/Janela rematch is slowly being built.
Kris Statlander (w/Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta) (#5 women, 19-1) vs. Zeda Zhang (0-1). Orange Cassidy, of course, has a match later tonight and thus isn’t here. Crowd does a quick chant for Zeda as the bell rings.
Statlander reverses a waistlock into an armlock, but Statlander reverses and gets an armbar. Zhang blocks the BOOP and charges, but Statlander knocks her down. Test of strength, won easily by Statlander, and BOOP leads to uppercuts and a legsweep. Oklahoma Roll gets one. Sliding single-leg dropkick by Statlander sets up a slam (with Statlander showing off holding her up with no hands at one point), but the half-senton misses and Zhang gets a low dropkick. Two snap suplexes set up a push kick and roundhouse kick for two.
Statlander reverses a Kitchen Sink into a cradle for two, then gets a thrust kick. Running forearm in the corner and running knee, then the Electric Chair facebuster sets up a spider crab to win at 3:19. Basically, Statlander tied up all four limbs with her arms and held her upside down until Zhang submitted. I like the new finish. 3/4* And of course, Best Friends HUG IT OUT.
Skye Blue (0-6) vs. Madi Wrenckowski (3-6). Now THIS is the kind of stuff I want more of on Dark – a few low-carders getting a chance to be more than enhancement talent. But you couldn’t give Madi an entrance?
Lockup, and Madi with a takedown and she celebrates… so Skye cradles her for one. Legsweep gets one, crucifix gets one, and Skye ducks a right jab to get a pair of armdrags. Madi escapes the ten-punch and drops her on the top turnbuckle, then gets the Booker T scissors kick but refuses to cover, arguing with someone in the crowd. It allows Skye to come back with forearms until Madi gets a back heel trip and pounds her down for two.
Mat slams don’t even get one, so Madi goes to a ground dragon sleeper with chops. Skye gets up and elbows out, landing a HHH facebuster and clotheslines to cue the comeback. Leg lariat and dropkick in the corner, and Skye goes up after giving Madi a snapmare. Diving crossbody gets two. Skye with a SUPERKICK to Madi, and a fisherman’s suplex… wins at 2:40! FIRST WIN ALERT! Good for her. Madi looked off at times. 1/2*
Eddie Kingston (25-7) vs. Anthony Henry (debut). Oh heck yeah! For the record, Henry was one of the Southeast’s best tag wrestlers, forming the WorkHorsemen with none other than J.D. Drake. If Drake can have a spot in AEW, maybe Henry can too. Also, I’ve never heard of Asher Hale.
Big chant for Eddie to start. They look for strike openings at the start, with both men blocking each other like an MMA fight. They both get a flurry or two, but the guards are up until a big knee rocks Henry into the corner. Palm strike follows, but a blind charge misses and Henry catches both legs and gives Kingston a figure-four dragon screw out of the corner! Kingston understandably bails, but Henry flies at him and gets a flying roundhouse kick on Kingston as they crash into the corner! Henry wants the countout, but Kingston crawls back in. Henry works the leg (as would you), but Kingston gets up and is PISSED.
A Phenomenal Flurry is cut off with a low kick and push kick for one. Henry with a midified Calf Crusher, but Kingston chops Henry from a side position to break. Henry kicks Kingston and stomps on the leg, then tanks a few more chops before kicking Kingston down for two. We get SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION as Henry stomps on Kingston’s chopping hand, then does a ground dragon screw before trying for a Trailer Hitch. Kingston chops the head to get both men to a standing start, and Kingston chops the chest extra hard until Henry kicks the leg out of his leg and gets a Yes Kick and double-stomp to the knee.
Trailer Hitch-like standing figure four, with a Muta bridge added, and Kingston’s in all sorts of trouble until he smacks around the leg to break. Henry then stomps on Kingston and nails some Yes Kicks, but Kingston fires up and chops Henry into next week. Kobashi machine gun chops in the corner, but his leg gives out while doing a Hammer Throw and Henry catches the blind charge with a boot. Henry goes up top, but the flying whatever is caught into an Exploder for the double-down. Both men get up and it’s a chop fight, which Taz thinks favors Kingston, and they switch to rocking each other with forearms.
Kingston with chops to the back of the head while having wrist control, and a belly-to-belly gets two. Backfist to the Future is ducked, and Henry takes out the leg and lands a tornado Yes Kick for two. Crossface by Henry, and he rolls into the Anklelock like he’s Ken Shamrock! He adds the grapevine, but Kingston lunges and grabs the rope. Kingston tries a Saito suplex, but Henry elbows out and lands a flying knee. They exchange waistlocks, but Kingston blocks an O’Connor Roll and Kingston lands a big boot and DDT to win at 7:49. Yes, Anthony Henry is that good, folks. Imagine him and JD Drake as a team now. ***1/4
Gunn Club (Austin, Billy, Colten) (14-0) vs. Hunter Knott, Rosario Grillo, and Cameron Stewart (first time teaming). On top of their unbeaten trios record, Billy and Colten are #3 in the team rankings. That would be a decent payoff for this heel turn if they got a title shot on Rampage against the Lucha Bros. Bear in mind, they’ve mostly built that record against nobodies. Grillo and Knott are a regular team at the Factory.
Austin and Stewart start, and Austin gets an armlock that Stewart reverses. Stewart keeps control after Austin tries to roll out, and Stewart yanks Austin in a flip to the mat. Austin with a waistlock and hairpull slam, but Stewart goes up and over and gets an armdrag as Taz cracks Excalibur up by saying he’s going to take a limo to the Long Island show. Austin with a body blow and trip off the ropes, setting up the Hennig neck snap. Billy in, and he puts hi shead down so Stewart kicks him. Stewart runs into a clothesline, though, and he brings in Grillo.
A waistlock does nothing to Billy, who elbows out and lands a nasty right. I think the commentary may be out of sync. Colten in now, and he gets a gut punch in the corner and sends Grillo into another corner headfirst before stomping a mudhole. Billy back in, and he fakes out the crotch chop (because he’s a heel) before knocking Grillo out with a right. Austin mocks the crawl to a hot tag before lifting up Grillo, but Grillo gets a jawjacker and catches a blind charge. Hot tag Knott, who cleans house and gets a Nodowa Otoshi variant for two, Billy saves. EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL for a while, but Austin and Knott remain, with Austin turning a hiptoss into a stack cradle for the pin at 4:43. They really didn’t look good. 1/2*
Santana Garrett (debut) vs. Diamante (27-16). So this match was set up last week when Garrett was given a rude welcome by Diamante backstage. Garrett, interestingly, gets no entrance.
Diamante takes Garrett down off the lockup, then they exchange waistlocks as Taz is very extra today. Diamante trips Garrett, who kicks Diamante off and returns the favor. Diamante is not amused, but Garrett catches the slap and armdrags her. Diamante with the tilt-a-whirl into a Russian legsweep off the ropes, though, and she goes ground and pound. She then goes CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY and nails Garrett with a running chop in the corner. Some round kicks follow to set up the flop splash for two. VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM follows, with Diamante turning it into a straitjacket choke with bodyscissors. Garrett stacks her for two.
Short clothesline by Diamante and she wants another, but Garrett goes under and tries Sole Food. Diamante escapes but falls into a cradle for two. Diamante recovers with a DDT and has Garrett in trouble, but the shotgun dropkick misses. Garrett charges but is launched to the apron, recovering with a kick before going up. Diving crossbody lands, but Diamante ducks the follow-up only to get clotheslined. Handspring elbow in the corner misses and Diamante with kicks in the corner, then a Shiranui to win at 4:42. Diamante looks a step slow when she’s out there, and Garrett did herself no favors. 1/4*
Ryan Nemeth and Peter Avalon (w/JD Drake and Cezar Bononi) (0-2 as this duo) vs. Varsity Blonds (w/Julia Hart) (18-5). No sign of Adrian Jaoude after last week, as Bononi is back to his Wingmen self – must just have been a tryout match. Excalibur and Taz pretend that the Wingmen’s music is being played live just off-screen. I think this must have been near the end of a long recording session – they sound tired.
The Wingmen jump the gun and attack, but the Blonds return with stereo shoulderblocks and stereo slams. Nemeth bails and Avalon’s at the apron, but he gets caught coming back by Garrison to set up the Hart Attack dropkick. Garrison takes the arm, and Pillman with an axhandle as he keeps working the arm. Garrison off the middle rope with an axhandle of his own, and they keep arm control until Avalon breaks. So Garrison attacks Nemeth, Avalon, and Drake when he pops up on the apron, only for Nemeth to trip Garrison and the Wingmen to get a double dropkick. Nemeth gets one. Avalon in, and he gets a snapmare and kneedrop.
Garrison fights to his knees but gets slugged back down, and Avalon holds the arm as Nemeth kicks the gut. Leg pick by Nemeth, then a fireman’s carry, then a waistlock takedown as Nemeth dances. It gets one. Nemeth gets the front chancery, and when Garrison tries to get a tag out of it, Nemeth shoves him back only to get caught in a back suplex. Hot tag Pillman and he cleans house. Corner discus clothesline by Pillman and he goes for ten punches, but Avalon pulls him down into a cross-chop. Pillman leaps up top off a Hammer Throw and lands with a crossbody twist to both men.
Pedigree is set up, but Avalon with a SUPERKICK and Nemeth the Dolph DDT getting Avalon two. The Wingmen are furious at a slow count, allowing Pillman to tag Garrison. Pillman rolls out on a whip, and Garrison in with a boot to Nemeth. Avalon ducks the Discus Punch and gets a cradle with the tights for two. Discus Punch lands on the second try, and Air Pillman gets Garrison the pin at 5:02. It’s pretty clear Pillman is better than Garrison right now, and it’s also clear this team is more than the sum of its parts. *1/2
Daniel Garcia (w/2point0) (6-6) vs. Erik Lockhart (0-1). Okay, what’s the appeal of 2point0? They’ve literally been Just Two Guys when I’ve seen them. Lockhart first teamed with his brother and now goes solo.
Lockup, and Garcia with a waistlock takedown and push kick. Headlock by Garcia and a tight one, but Garcia hits the brakes on a drop-down and lands a kneedrop. Garcia stomps away and lands some uppercuts. Forearms in the corner and Garcia stomps a mudhole before getting a boot choke. Hammer Throw and big chop follows. Back body drop, but he keeps wrist control and toys with Lockhart. Lockhart with a big chop and kneelift, but Garcia recovers with a big chop off the ropes. Sharpshooter gets the win at 2:34. I like Garcia, but I don’t see him busting out of the midcard (and no, losing to main eventers doesn’t count) unless he adds some weight. 1/2*
Serpentico (w/Luther) (11-46) vs. Marko Stunt (18-28). One of these days, Serpentico will tell Luther to stay in the back for his own health. Luther must be wondering which one he should throw first. Again, this is the kind of stuff the B shows are for – getting the low carders a chance to prove they’re all right.
They start hot, as Marko ducks a chop and fires off with leg kicks. Running gamengiri and Serpentico bails, so Marko follows with a slingshot plancha. SUPERKICK follows, then Marko throws Serpentico into the guardrail, then another one. Serpentico staggers into a back body drop (.4 Warlord), and back in, Marko with a dropkick off the middle rope. Armdrag is escaped, and Serpentico with a Michinoku Driver to take over. Hammer Throw to Marko as Taz says he knows who Serpentico is under the mask – Bear Bronson.
Back in the ring, Marko and Serpentico slug it out before Serpentico gets another Hammer Throw. Luther demands Serpentico go up top for the FLYING SNAKE, and the crowd approves as Serpentico dives… and misses the headbutt. Stunt with the comeback, getting a Karelin Suplex on Serpentico (!!), then a dropkick to send him out again. Marko with a flying forearm over the bottom rope and Serpentico is stuck against the stage. He recovers and slams Marko on the floor, after which Luther grabs him and tosses him off the stage at Marko… who moves easily. Thanks a LOT, Luther.
Back in, Marko heads up and gets the elbowsmash, then a Clothesline From Purgatory for two. Dudley Dogg try, but Serpentico dumps him on the apron and Luther gets in a cheap shot. Serpentico with SOS to win at 4:47. Excalibur wonders if this is a FIRST (SINGLES) WIN ALERT. Sue me, I like these two. *3/4
Main event: Nick Comoroto (w/QT Marshall and Aaron Solo) (14-8) vs. Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta, and Kris Statlander) (#1 men, 17-1-1). Cassidy will be putting that #1 contendership on the line in the Casino Ladder Match, which has odd rules: it’s a ladder match, but with Royal Rumble entry rules. Also, it can end before everyone’s number is up.
Comoroto offers Orange a free shot, and a smirking Orange basically taps him. Orange is told to try again, and this time Orange basically pats his chest with a “chop”. Now Comoroto is furious and DEMANDS the free shot, so Orange winds up and… it’s HANDS IN POCKETS! Comoroto charges, but Orange ducks the lariat and gets the SHIN KICKS OF DOOM. Orange ducks another lariat and gets a dropkick and kip-up, but finally Comoroto bowls Orange over. Comoroto picks him up by the throat and tosses him into the corner, adding a back elbow and bradley beal. Cassidy falls outside, and Marshall and Solo walk over only for Yuta and Taylor to make sure they don’t get any ideas.
Comoroto shoos the Factory off, saying he has this, and indeed, Comoroto does five reps with Orange before tossing him back in over the middle rope. Back in, he goes HANDS IN POCK… okay, TRUNKS before lifting Orange up to his feet. Orange takes advantage to run and tries a Deep Sea DDT, only for Comoroto to catch is and get a delayed running suplex. Comoroto says it’s over and tries a powerbomb, but Orange slides out the back and sends Comoroto pillar to post with shoves. Comoroto reverses, but a blind charge misses and Orange goes for Beach Break. Comoroto CLUBS out of it, but Orange reverses a powerbomb into headscissors.
Now the Deep Sea DDT connects for… one. The elbowpad’s off and Orange is measuring Comoroto, but he gets caught on the Orange Punch try. Orange trips Comoroto and goes up, but he’s caught and Comoroto with the Oklahoma Stampede for two. Another powerbomb try, but Orange is dead weight. So Comoroto picks him up by the jeans, but Orange hands on the ropes and ducks when Comoroto charges, sending him outside. Orange with a tope suicida right by the Factory, so Yuta makes sure nothing happens. Solo gets in Yuta’s face, so Yuta clocks Solo!
Comoroto takes exception and beats the crap out of Yuta, and this allows Marshall to enter. Statlander gets on the apron and tosses her knee brace at Marshall, who catches it JUST as the ref turns around. The ref orders Marshall out of there and disposes of the knee brace, and in the confusion Orange hits two Orange Punches and a Beach Break to win at 7:27. Perfectly fun RAW-meets-house-show-style match, with the interference keeping everything chaotic but not factoring into the finish. **1/4 And let’s HUG IT OUT to celebrate, although Orange can barely stand.
HOW I’D BOOK DYNAMITE:
- The Elite over Danielson, Christian, Perry, and Luchasaurus when Omega pins Christian.
- Hikaru Shida gets #50 against Serena Deeb, but Deeb is a sore loser and attacks post-match – there’s your Buy-In for Full Gear.
- Sammy Guevara knocks off Bobby Fish to retain the Television Title.
- ADDED MATCH 1: Malakai Black over Shawn Dean; Cody Rhodes challenges for Full Gear in a street fight after the match.
- ADDED MATCH 2: Jade Cargill over Rebel. She continues the beating post-match, demanding Britt Baker come out and give her the title match she deserves.
- The Joker wins the Casino Ladder match. I don’t know if Hangman Page is ready to come back yet, but if he is, it’s him. If not, it’s CM Punk.
BELL-TO-BELL – 56:23 over thirteen matches (average time 4:20, brah)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Kingston vs. Henry.
- Anthony Henry
- Orange Cassidy
- Brian Pillman Jr.
- Skye Blue (first win!)
Who’s ready to go to Philly? (That’s rhetorical, of course; never go to Philly voluntarily.)