AEW Dark recap (Jan. 25, 2022): Penta vs. YUTA

Episode 127 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream from YouTube. Your commentary team this week was Excalibur, Mark Henry and Taz. AEW’s social media was as hyped about one of these matches as I was!

The Bunny (w/ The Blade) vs. Erica Leigh

The Bunny brought a record of 29-19 to the ring. Leigh was waiting for her with a record of 0-1. The announcer team tried to explain the recent merger between Andrade and the Hardy Family Office to go along with the AHFO logo on the big screen accompany Bunny’s entrance. This was also mentioned heavily on Elevation last night but I digress. Bunny hit Leigh with a knee to the face and went Down the Rabbit Hole for a short, strong squash. Taz: “That young lady Erica never had a chance at all because right out of the gate The Bunny took advantage.” Well said Taz.

2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee) & Daniel Garcia vs. Kekoa, Pat Brink & Rayo

2point0 were 12-8 and Garcia was 14-13 coming out for this match. Kekoa, Brink and Rayo waited for their arrival with no prior record as a trio, and got jumped just as Justin Roberts said their names and well before the timekeeper could ring the bell. Rayo ate 2 for the Show and Garcia applied the Scorpion Deathlock and wrenched back for the submission. Another lightning fast one sided match. The winners had more to say afterward and claimed that Santana, Ortiz and Jericho were not on the same page. “The Inner Circle is over! No doubt about it!” We’ll find out on Dynamite this week.

Lance Archer vs. Joe Keys

Archer quickly made his way to the ring with a record of 42-9. Joe Keys didn’t even get an introduction or his W/L record on the screen, but at least he was smart enough to duck the first blow Archer threw before the bell. He tried to politic with Archer, but the Murderhawk was having none of it and blasted him with a clothesline. Archer took one uppercut from Keys and then booted him straight out of the ring. He teased a suicide dive then pulled up short and stepped over the ropes to anger the crowd, saying to the camera “I do what I want to do when I want to do it!” He choked Keys out with the barricade then yelled at a little girl sitting at ringside. Keys tried to attack the knee and throw a chop as Archer was coming back in, and Archer knocked him down with an elbow and gave him a gigantic chop in return. He teased another and pulled up short again to rile up the audience even more. Black Hole Slam, chop, slap to the mush, and the Blackout for the pin. The longest match of Dark to this point but no less one-sided or decisive.

Leyla Hirsch vs. Janai Kai

Hirsch entered with a singles record of 28-12 following her win on Elevation last night. Speaking of Elevation we also saw Kai last night, so she now has a record of 0-1. Hirsch applied the Legit Lock in what had to be 30 seconds or less. Taz: “You don’t have to overstay your welcome!” She certainly did not.

The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & The Gunn Club (Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn) (w/ Billy Gunn) vs. The Dark Order (Alan Angels, Alex Reynolds, Evil Uno & Ten) (w/ John Silver)

Believe it or not The Dark Order were according to the on screen graphic “making their eight man tag team debut.” Well in that case we can say the same thing about the Gunn Club and The Acclaimed teaming up. Max Caster: “Yo, yo, listen, yo, yo, yo listen. Ay. The Acclaimed about to beat y’all asses, because y’all watch porn on your VR glasses. I wish you were a secret society, it’s all the same people you need some variety. And you can all wear a mask boys, ’bout to get smashed by Acclaimed and the Ass Boys.”

After Billy Gunn decided to show The Acclaimed how an intro is properly done, the match finally got underway. Reynolds nearly took Bowens out with a right hook. Bowens got his revenge by picking him up from beneath while was on the apron then smashing his face into it. Taz: “I saw a guy lose two teeth that way.” Reynolds took a beating as the heels cut off the ring and the fans chanted “Ass Boys.” Reynolds finally tagged out to Vance and he proceeded to clean house in all four corners on all four men. Reynolds did a suicide dive to take out The Acclaimed and Austin Gunn ate a spinebuster. He gave Billy Gunn a “suck it” crotch chop for good measure. Angels tagged in and hit a frog splash but only got a two count. Colten gave him a sucker punch from the outside and the Ass Boys did their combination neckbreaker to pick up the win. There are too many bodies in an eight man match most of the time, but this was okay as eight mans go.

Penta El Zero Miedo (w/ Alex Abrahantes) vs. Wheeler YUTA (w/ Chuck Taylor & Kris Statlander)

YUTA entered first with a singles record of 17-13, with Chuck Taylor and Kris Statlander cheering him on as he made his way to the ring. Penta brought a 56-28 record and Alex Abrahantes to play cheerleader as his pyro was going off. Taz wished Rey Fenix ​​well in healing up and noted how great the Lucha Bros. are as a team. The crowd chanted “Zero Miedo” for Penta, he offered YUTA a handshake, and YUTA didn’t want to accept. Penta begged him to and he finally did, and Penta immediately gave him an arm wringer. Penta decided to be a gentleman and let YUTA get back to his feet, and YUTA took him down and applied a bow and arrow putting Penta’s shoulders on the mat for a near fall.

Now that each man had shown they could outsmart the other, the match turned into a battle of holds, sweeps, reversals, and a double kip up to a round of crowd applause. Penta made a big show of taking off his right glove, YUTA blocked the hand, hit a dropkick and went for a suicide dive before Penta kicked him in the head. He recovered and got a second chance though, knocking Penta into the barricade and giving him a chop before throwing him back in. Penta avoided a charge in the corner, laid in some right hands, but missed with a double foot stomp. YUTA did a flying crossbody for a near fall. Taylor and Statlander pounded on the apron to cheer their man on.

YUTA got kicked in the face and hit with a backstabber for two. The “Zero Miedo” chants rang out again. Penta called for silence and unloaded a chop, then cupped his ear Hulk Hogan style. YUTA escaped Fear Factor and hit a German suplex for another near fall, keeping a waist lock cinched up. We had a fast series of counters and reversals before Penta hit Made In Japan for another near fall, which got the crowd to chant “AE-Dubya.” Taz: “It’s not even our main event!” Well take notes Mr. Khan, it should have been. YUTA went top rope for a splash and Penta kicked out at 2.9. Taz: “This thing has become a toss up in my opinion.” Penta gave YUTA a DDT from the apron to the floor and threw him back in, and this time he was able to get Fear Factor for the pin. Fantastic match! Watch it twice.

Jungle Boy (w/ Luchasaurus) vs. Nick Comoroto (w/ Aaron Solo & QT Marshall)

QT Marshall interrupted Justin Roberts before he could do the main event ring introductions. The crowd chanted “QT sucks” and he said “I’ll go right back there and not come out again” and they cheered loudly. Marshall was complaining about the lack of respect his man Aaron Solo got from the crowd. “I have a problem not just with you but with our world tag team champions Jurassic Express, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. A couple of weeks ago we had our opportunity in the eliminator match and we got screwed. Right Justin? Answer the question moron. So tonight, for each and every one of you as much as I hate all of your guts, the…” and Jungle Boy’s music interrupted.

QT’s crew kept trying to interfere throughout the match, but the big Luchasaurus was more than happy to help even the odds, and the crowd happily chanted “Jungle Boy” for their man. Comoroto caught him for a power slam and a near fall and Mr. Perry sold like he was dead, but he woke up in time to leapfrog Comoroto and pick him up for a brainbuster and a near fall. A series of kicks to the face and an elbow from behind got a near fall before Perry went for the Bear Trap, and after softening Comoroto up a bit more, he applied it for the submission win. The whole crowd waved their arms in the air to celebrate his win! Solo tried to run in during the celebration and got taken out by the tag champions for his trouble.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Zero Miedo.” I’m not kidding when I say you should watch Penta vs. YUTA twice. I intend to because there were so many back to back reversals and counters that it was genuinely hard to keep up. Each man was teasing the idea that they had scouted their opponent and knew all their moves, and in a worked sport that kind of believable action is key to an enjoyable match. Save for the eight man tag the rest of this show was quick squashes you could go either way on — so quick you could skip them and miss nothing, but so fast it would be almost impossible to take offense to them. On an episode of Dark this short (under 60 minutes) just go ahead and watch ’em.

Cageside commentary crew! I welcome your feedback in the comments section below. I’m also on Twitter if you want to hit me up there. See you next Monday night for Elevation!

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