The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark (Special) – 02.10.22
By Scott Keith on 11th February 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark Special – 02.10.22
Goddamn Disqus. Now I’m getting malicious pop-ups from them on my phone when I load up my Disqus notifications page. Which, in case you’re getting them, is 100% nothing to do with the blog and is completely from Disqus and out of my control. Even more ludicrous because I pay these bozos $12 a month to specifically NOT HAVE ADS RUNNING. And good luck ever trying to find someone to provide support. I swear if there was any other decent alternative I’d drop them in a heartbeat.
Taped from Washington, DC. I’m not even sure what the point of this extra show is, or if they had extra matches from the Washington taping last month or what. But it’s 4 matches, so we’ll give it a review while waiting for Rampage.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tazz & Mark Henry
Aaron Solo v. Sonny Kiss
Solo Bails and stalls for a bit and then grabs a headlock in the ring, but Sonny gets a sunset flip for two. Solo beats him down and gets an elbow, but Kiss comes back with a rana and a handspring elbow in the corner. Springboard crossbody gets two and Kiss goes to an armbar to control him. Finally QT trips Kiss up and Solo goes to work on the floor and then drops some elbows in the ring for two. Sonny rolls him up for two, but Solo gets a backbreaker for two. Kiss goes for a springboard, but Solo yanks him down and Kiss lands in a splits in a neat spot, and does his splits legdrop for two. Kiss with a very overdone stunner variation for two, but the overblown mannerisms suit him, I guess. Kiss goes up and misses a moonsault, and Solo hits some kind of double underhook facebuster which looks very familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. That’s enough to finishhh at 6:52. A decent match, and it’s good to know that Sonny wasn’t murdered by Joey Janela and left in a dumpster somewhere when they broke up. 1 for 1.
Abadon v. Gia Scott
Abadon runs Gia’s head into the mat a bunch of times and beats on her in the corner, then brings her out with a rana. Gia hits her with a samoan drop, but Abadon does the zombie situp and hits a stone dead stunner and then a leg-assisted DDT for the pin at 1:52. Abadon is fine in small doses but this was just a quick squash. 1 for 2.
Meanwhile, Lee Johnson talks about his track on the AEW album.
Powerhouse Hobbs v. Lee Johnson
Johnson tries attacking before the bell and throws chops around the ring, and then dropkicks Hobbs to the floor. But that goes badly, as Hobbs takes him to the ringpost in a fireman’s carry. Back in, that gets two, and Hobbs hits him with a knee strike and chokes away on the mat. Hobbs whips him into the corner. Hobbs with a back elbow for two and he goes to the nerve pinch and gets a body block for two. The crowd is comatose for this one. Johnson fights off a bearhug and reverses into a suplex, but he walks into the spinebuster and that gets two. Johnson slips out of a torture rack, but Hobbs lays him out with a clothesline and a second torture rack finishes at 7:15. Mostly a long, dull squash for Hobbs. 1 for 3.
The Blade & Private Party v. Matt Sydal, Dante Martin & Lee Moriarty
So are Darius Martin and Mike Sydal going to end up as a tag team if they ever come back? Sydal takes Blade down with armdrags while Henry marvels that the babyface team is a combined 530 pounds, which he almost weighed by himself at one point. OK, I laughed at that one. Dante comes in and trades takedowns with Kassidy while Taz spits out “legalese” via his law firm of Dewey Cheatum & Howe out of Red Hook. Moriarty and Quen come in and trade kicks, which sets up a triple abdominal stretch spot from the babyfaces. Taz calls SHENANIGANS at this, which deeply offends Mark Henry. Matt drags Sydal out of the ring and gets some cheapshots on him (while Jose the assistant takes notes and pleads with Matt not to do anything) and Sydal gets double-teamed by Private Party in the ring. Kassidy with a back suplex for two and he goes to a chinlock on Sydal while the announcers are OUTRAGED by the weak-ass wifi in the building. Henry: “Taz is clearly using his data, brother.” Taz: “I’ve got 6G!” Man, we don’t even have 5G in Saskatchewan yet, I’m jealous! Sydal escapes a double suplex from Private Party, but Hardy tripes him up again. Sydal escapes Gin & Juice, however, and makes the hot tag to Moriarty. Lee runs wild with kicks on Blade and Dante comes in with a double-team powerbomb for two. The heels bail to the ramp and the faces send Dante out with a crazy dive, and he finishes Blade with the double moonsault at 9:06. Interesting how they spent months beating Dante in bigger and bigger situations until people really wanted him to win, and then once it was time, they completely shifted the narrative and now he wins all the time and is extremely protected, making him look like the featured star whenever he wrestles. That was actually a masterful bit of long-term booking by AEW. 2 for 4.
I’d say the six-man is worth watching (and listening to the wacky commentary) but otherwise this is pretty much a time-filler episode of Dark.