Episode 148 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream via YouTube. Your commentary team was (as usual) Excalibur and Taz. Join me below for another Dark night of All Elite action… but first please go follow Max the Impaler on social media. More on the reason why will be at the end of this report.
Alan “5” Angels vs. QT Marshall
Marshall came out 43-41 and Angels came out 9-10. Commentary reminded us that Angels got his start under Marshall at The Factory. Marshall gave Angels a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to a chorus of boos and laid the boots to him. He cupped his ear to play it up and Angels responded with an elbow to the face and a kick to the nose. Aaron Solo took exception to this and ran to sweep his legs off the apron, so Alex Reynolds and Preston Vance ran out from the back and chased Solo all the way to the back. Angels landed a series of punches and kicks, a dropkick to the face, a standing sliced bread and got a near fall. Angels went to the top rope but Marshal got out of the way, so he “changed direction mid-air” according to Excalibur to roll to his feet. Angels went for it a second time after a reverse ‘rana and got a near fall as the crowd chanted “that was three.” Marshall hit an elbow to the face and a diamond cutter and picked up the pin. Taz: “Like him or not that was a good win.”
Bobby Fish vs. Brock Anderson
Fish came out first with a record of 13-9. Anderson brought a record of 13-10. Taz: “Awesome opportunity for Brock for sure. He’s just got to keep his poise, not rush into anything.” Anderson sold for Fish for quite a lot of this match, as befits the story that Fish was the seasoned veteran and Anderson the relative rookie by comparison. Eventually he fired up for a back bodydrop, a back elbow, and a spine buster for a near fall. Taz: “Don’t get frustrated. Stay on your opponent.” Anderson hit a DDT but Fish put a boot on the ropes. Fish went for a rear naked choke and Anderson fought out. Fish hit a dragon screw in response. Anderson tried a roll up and Fish countered into a knee bar. Anderson reached for the ropes but couldn’t quite get there and had to tap out. Fish didn’t let go of the hold after the bell so Darby Allin ran out to make the save. Excalibur: “Almost like Rousimar Palhares, but instead Darby Allin runs in to save Brock Anderson. Excalibur might be the only person in pro wrestling to make a Rousimar Palhares reference. Allin gave his skateboard to a young fan in the crowd and helped Anderson to the back.
Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard & Angelo Parker vs. Jack Banning, Sinn Bodhi & Ray Rosas
Menard & Parker were billed 11-3 while Garcia was billed 23-17, and Ricky Starks joined Taz and Excalibur on commentary. It was a little strange to me to see Sinn Bodhi/Kizarny as just a random guy in a trios match. Garcia left his leather Kangol on for the entire match, including when he put the sharpshooter on Ray Rosas for the tap. He too refused to let go of the hold until Aubrey Edwards physically pulled him off. This was a glorified squash and went so short there was time for a post-match promo. AEW Galaxy. Appreciate us! Real quick! Daddy Magic’s got something to say! June 29th, Detroit, Michigan. Blood & Guts, no problem! You want some? Come get it!”
Anna Jay, Ruby Soho & Kris Statlander vs. Nyla Rose, Emi Sakura & Diamante
Mark Henry joined commentary for this one. 70-28, 40-23 and 30-26 were Rose, Diamante and Sakura respectively. Jay came out first for the babyface side with a record of 38-12. “Destination Unknown” hit and Soho came out 32-5. Statlander arrived last sporting a record of 46-18. Henry declared her the strongest woman on the team and Taz concurred. Most of the six woman matches on the Dark shows are a mess, but this one was among the better that I’ve seen. Sakura hit Jay with a backbreaker and cackled like a villain. Rose tagged in to club away at Jay with strikes before fish-hooking her nose. She stomped on the back for good measure. Jay tried to hit the ropes and ate another backbreaker for her trouble. Rose stood on her back for a bit before tagging Diamante in, and she gave Jay a dropkick off the apron to the floor. The heels beat Jay down while the ref was distracted and fed her back into the ring. Soho tried to tag in but Bryce Remsburg disallowed it because he didn’t see it, so Jay’s beating at the hands of the tagged in Nyla Rose continued. She finally escaped and Soho hit the ring to give Rose a series of kicks and scream out loud. Statlander blind tagged and went to the top rope for a crossbody and a near fall. Rose hit a choke slam and Statlander kicked out. Sakura tagged in for a forearm but has also tagged Diamante, who hit a sunset flip for a near fall. Statlander bridged Diamante for a near fall, then hit the Big Bang Theory. Henry: “You can count to a thousand.”
Anthony Ogogo vs. Anthony Ogogo Nick Ruiz
Ogogo brought a singles record of 16-1 to this contest. Ruiz was waiting in the ring to make his debut. Against Ogogo? That wasn’t going to go well. They’re always promoting their official sports partner on these broadcasts, so I wonder what the odds were on this match lasting more than a minute. If you took the under you’d have lost, but it wasn’t that much over. Ogogo took off his hand wraps, threw Ruiz high in the air, and hit the right hand. The ref gave Ruiz the ten count as Ogogo climbed the ropes to wave the flag. Usually he drapes it over the opponent’s lifeless body, so that was at least something new.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Nick Comoroto
Comoroto came out 21-33 and took a fist bump from Aaron Solo before running down to the ring. He looked fired up for this match. Takeshita got a strong pop as he hit the entrance ramp, sporting a singles record of 5-3, and Excalibur made a note of how quickly he’s been catching on with the fans. There’s a good reason for that — as Taz said “he can go in the ring” and people are taking notice, especially after his recent bout with Hangman Page. Comoroto was not impressed by any of that though. He knocked him down with a shoulder tackle, and was able to skin the cat when Takeshita tried to throw him out. Takeshita got it the second time on a dropkick but Comoroto ran away before he could hit a suicide dive. Takeshita got out of the ring and got pulled into the turnbuckle and dropped face first on the ring apron for his trouble before being thrown back in.
Comoroto immediately hooked the leg back in the ring for a near fall. Comoroto whipped Takeshita into the turnbuckle hard and the crowd started yelling “hooo” as they apparently think he looks like Hacksaw Jim Duggan. I think he looks more like Bruiser Brody myself but I digress. Comoroto tried to stretch Takeshita out from behind, but he fought to his feet and landed a couple of elbows. Comoroto flipped him in the air and Takeshita landed on his feet. Both men decided to lariat each other as hard as they could. Takeshita ducked, hit the ropes, took Comoroto off his feet with one and did a dive over the ropes to wipe him out. He fed Comoroto back in and hit a huge frog splash for a near fall!
I’m surprised Taz didn’t mention Rob Van Dam om that one. Comoroto hits an uppercut but ate a German suplex in return. Takeshita went for the jumping knee but was countered into a backbreaker for two. Taz: “These guys are having a battle here!” Indeed. The crowd started chanting “hooo” again. Comoroto hit a crotch chop to the throat but Takeshita hit a jumping knee for three. FANTASTIC match. Give credit to Comoroto as much as Takeshita because it takes two to dance and you can’t do it all yourself, but clearly the right man won here.
Matt Sydal vs. Taylor Rust
Sydal vs. Rust was our co-main event for this episode. Sydal brought a record of 37-32 to the ring along with a sparkly jacket that Chris Jericho would approve of. Rust was waiting for him in the ring with a record of 0-1 so far in AEW. Rust knocked him down with a kick but ate a leg lariat from Sydal for a near fall, followed by a standing Mariposa for another near fall. Roll ups back and forth for a near fall. Rust turned Sydal inside out with a flipping cravate neckbreaker and Taz was incredibly impressed. Sydal hit a roundhouse kick and a flying knee before finally finishing Rust with a Lightning Spiral. Excalibur: “Man that was a physical battle!” Absolutely. They got a lot of shit in for the few minutes of time that they had.
Ethan Page vs. Frankie Kazarian
Page came out first accompanied by Dan Lambert and sporting a record of 8-26. Taz: “I like this guy. I like Dan Lambert too. Most people hate his guts!” What’s funny is that I like Lambert +because+ most people hate his guts. Good heels always make pro wrestling more fun. Kazarian came out to a strong pop from Ontario, CA with a record of 72-31. Taz took offense to his “So-Cal vs. everyone” t-shirt. Page tried to cover his ears so he couldn’t hear the SCU chant. Lambert and Page tried to take a powder mid match and Kazarian ran out to give Page chops on the ramp and drag him back down to the ring. Page hit him with a big boot as he tried to come back in the ring and gave Lambert a happy fist bump.
Page took over the match from there and worked on Kazarian’s body as the crowd tried to fire him up for a comeback. Kazarian hit a swinging neckbreaker but both men were down afterward, with Starks saying that the “dry heat” in California might be affecting them both. Kazarian got up to throw strikes and a flying forearm while commentary argued about Cali geography. Kazarian got a near fall off a lariat and pounded on the mat. He went for a crossface chicken wing but Page backed him up into the turnbuckle, then hit a shoulder tackle for a two count. Page went for Ego’s Edge but Kazarian slipped out, hit an elbow to the jaw and a shoulder to the gut, then a DDT for the pin until Lambert ran over and put Page’s boot on the ropes. Kazarian tried to attack Lambert and Page used the distraction to get a roll up for the win. Kazarian threw him out after the bell and put Lambert in the chicken wing as the crowd roared. He begged Scorpio Sky to hit the ring too, and Page used the distraction to beat him down. This brought out Christopher Daniels with a chair to make the save. Sky and Page took a powder as Taz sang LL’s “Going Back to Cali.”
Page: “You’ve got two of you and there’s two of us. You’re thinking tag match. Well let me remind you SoCal scumbags that you two can never tag here, AGAIN.” Daniels: “Hey Ethan you’re right about one thing. Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels can never tag in an AEW ring again. But there’s nothing stopping the Fallen Angel from stomping a hole in your Canadian ass Ethan! So if you ever find a sack in those tights, maybe we can do a dance in this ring kid.” Kazarian: “Scorp I have all the respect for you in the world kid, but remember this — I helped make you, and I can break you. And on that note it’s been a while but since we are here in Southern California, since we have finally come back to Southern California, Gutter Candy in the house right there, how about on the count of three proud we do a loud and a SCU . One, two, three.” The crowd obliged and that was all for Dark!
What to watch/skip
Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” for AEW Dark is brought to you by “Holy Diver.” I’m still partial to Dio’s original version, but the Killswitch Engage cover kicks major ass, and (like many of you I’m sure) I have Phil Brooks to thank for introducing me to that band. Anyway I’d like to apologize to Max the Impaler for not using their preferred pronouns in my initial Elevation report yesterday, and to assure our readers it’s always right to tell me when I get something like that wrong. I hope that they have nothing but a bright future ahead in pro wrestling. My “must see” matches are Sydal vs. Rust (quick but exciting), Takeshita vs. Comoroto (great storytelling and great finish), Fish vs. Anderson (solid technical work) and the main event. You can skip the rest if you like but nothing was so bad you’d be pissed off watching it.
Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback in the comments section below. If you love pro wrestling you can find me on Twitter too. See you Monday for Elevation!