AEW gets salty in Utah!
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- Colt Cabana VS Peter Avalon w/ Leva Bates; Cabana wins.
- The Hybrid2 VS Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa; The Hybrid2 wins.
- Penelope Ford w/ Kip Sabian VS Riho; Ford wins.
- Christopher Daniels VS Stu Grayson w/ The Dark Order; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Colt Cabana VS Peter Avalon w/ Leva Bates!
Boom Boom, Colt Cabana was simply minding his own business when The Librarian (Avalon, not Leva) felt the need to talk down to his interests. Will Cabana give Avalon some culture shock in Cabana’s AEW singles debut?
Avalon hushes Salt Lake City as he hushes all cities. Fans even taunt Avalon by shushing each other. “Salt Lake City, Utah.” BOOM BOOM, no talking down this week! Fans cheer as Cabana makes his way out and we have our opening dark match!
Cabana and Avalon circle and tie up. Cabana pushes Avalon to ropes and Avalon puts his hands up for the break. The ref calls for it, too, and Cabana gives Avalon a high-ten. Cabana and Avalon circle again, tie up, and Avalon puts Cabana in the corner. Avalon refuses to give the high-ten back and he hushes Salt Lake. Cabana snatches a book Avalon left on the apron and skims it. Avalon wants Cabana to give him the book back so Cabana tosses it at him, to kick him low! Cabana picks the book back up but Leva gets on the apron. She wants the book back, so Cabana politely hands it to Leva. Avalon runs over but Cabana dodges him and table tops him down!
Cabana whips but Avalon reverses, only for Cabana to go up and under. Avalon turns around into Cabana’s CHOP! Fans want “One More Time!” but Avalon kicks and wrenches back. Cabana wrenches and wrenches but Avalon kicks again. Avalon gets around to try a motorcycle stretch but Cabana turns it around onto him. Cabana brings Avalon back to hold him up with his feet! And then drop him into a body scissor! Avalon fights the hold and pops out on the second effort. Avalon drops an elbow, but into another body scissors! Cabana squeezes Avalon, and has a vibrate function? And then the rolling cradle! Cover, TWO! Avalon flounders about but Cabana has him for a wristlock.
Avalon goes through the ropes and hotshots Cabana! Then dropkicks Cabana all the way out the other end! Fans boo but Avalon grins as he heads over. Avalon stomps Cabana down then drags him up towards the ring. Cabana resists so Avalon clubs him on the back. Avalon CHOPS Cabana but Cabana scowls. Avalon puts Cabana in but fans rally up as Avalon climbs. BIG crossbody! Cover, TWO! Avalon keeps on Cabana with a chinlock and then tries for the arm surfboard. He gets it and fans boo. Leva holds up a “SHHH” sign while fans rally up. Cabana gets up but Avalon brings him back down to his knees. Avalon pulls on the arms but Cabana continues to fight.
Cabana stands, arm-drags free and ROCKS Avalon with a right! Avalon runs into another elbow! Cabana hops up, goes over and cartwheels to CHOP! And CHOP! And JAB, JAB, JAB! Cabana hits the Bionic Elbow! Falling splash for the cover, TWO! Avalon gets to ropes and the apron but Cabana goes out the side. Cabana climbs up but Leva stands in his way. Cabana hops down and Leva jabs him in the chest with her finger. He takes that finger and wernches! Avalon pulls Leva over, and now it’s a tug-o-war! The ref reprimands them all, so Cabana lets go. Leva goes spinning at Avalon, and he ends up giving her a dip! Oh my… Cabana cuts in to give Avalon a kiss on the cheek. Avalon is aghast but Cabana clotheslines him into the ring! SUPERMAN PIN! Cabana wins!
Winner: Colt Cabana, by pinfall
BOOM BOOM, the first singles win for Cabana! Combine this with his win alongside the SCU and Cabana is on a roll! Will he be heading to the top sooner rather than later?
Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzales welcome us back to AEW Dark.
Breath-taking weather for a breath-taking co-host. A lot going on in AEW and the world, but there is a concern about Kenny Omega’s hand. We’ll have to wait and hear from one half of the World Tag Team Champions about that. But now, back to the action!
The Hybrid2 VS Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa!
It has been rough going for the Dungeon Master. He and his usual partner have been so close and yet so far from victory, so Cutler rolls the dice and tries a new teammate! Will Nakazawa be able to help Cutler obtain victory? Or will Jack Evans and Angelico be the first team to head for the AEW World Tag Team Champions?
The tension mounts as the teams are in the ring. Angelico shoves so Cutler shoves back. Evans kicks Cutler down and Angelico ROCKS Nakazawa! The bell rings and Angelico brings Nakazawa up for a waistlock. Angelico shoves Nakazawa into the TH2 corner and Evans tags in. Evans goes corner to corner to back handspring elbow Nakazawa! Angelico brings Nakazawa up and Evans springboards, for a double stomp back suplex! Cover, TWO! Nakazawa finally gets his shirt off but Evans clubs him down. Evans scoops and slams Nakazawa then tags Angelico in. TH2 kick Nakazawa around then Angelico unleashes jabs and kicks.
Angelico trips Nakazawa and rolls him into a Navarro Number 14 leg lock! Then he rolls Nakazawa for Navarro Number 15! Evans tags in and stomps away on Nakazawa! Fans rally for Nakazawa as he endures the mugging! The ref reprimands Evans and Nakazawa is freed. Angelico puts Nakazawa back in the corner for Evans to go after. But Nakazawa hits back with body shots! Nakazawa blocks a kick and flips Evans but Evans lands on his feet! Evans spins for a big roundhouse! Evans drags Nakazawa up but Nakazawa still throws hands! But Evans swings around to get Nakazawa in an Iron Octopus crucifix! Angelico tags in but Nakazawa rams Evans into buckles.
Nakazawa gets free but Angelico knees him low. Angelico wraps Nakazawa up in a modified stretch. Fans rally as Nakazawa endures, and out comes the baby oil! The Turkish Oil Master gets free! But Angelico stomps him down. Tag to Evans and TH2 bring Nakazawa away from Cutler. TH2 brings Nakazawa up but Nakazawa oils up even more! The double suplex slips right off! Nakazawa hurries but Angelico anchors a leg. So Nakazawa adds even MORE oil! Nakazawa slips free and makes the tag to Cutler! Cutler rallies on TH2, careful not to slip in Nakazawa’s oil spill. Evans springboards in but Cutler dodges and then takes him down with double forearms! Fans are fired up for Cutler as he back suplexes Angelico down! Then Cutler slingshots Evans in and Evans ends up giving the senton to Angelico!
Cutler springboards to hit a FLYING FOREARM! Fans fire up more as Cutler swings Evans around for a full nelson SLAM! Cover but Angelico breaks it! Angelico whips but Cutler reverses and trips him up. Cutler spins Angelico around then goes after Evans. Evans ducks a kick but not the enziguri! Cutler goes to the apron to GUILLOTINE LEG DROP Angelico! Then Cutler slingshots in to kick Evans! Cutler hits a LARIAT! Then he DIVES out onto Angelico! Cutler aims at Evans and springboards, for a MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Evans survives the one-man wrecking crew! Nakazawa tags in and Cutler scoop slams Evans down. Nakazawa oils Evans up and runs with Cutler, for a slipping senton and leg drop combo!
Cutler drags Evans up and Nakazawa puts oil in his mouth!? Nakazawa SPRAYS MIST but Evans moves!! Cutler gets blasted in the face!! Angelico dropkicks Nakazawa into Cutler and out Cutler goes! Angelico helps Evans up but Nakazawa runs over. Evans boots Nakazawa then tumbles out, to MOONSAULT onto Cutler! Angelico BOOTS Nakazawa into a corner, but Nakazawa reverses the whip. Angelico dodges Nakazawa and enziguris him into buckles! He puts Nakazawa up top, crucifix and CRUCIFIX BUCKLE BOMB! Evans is up top, for a 630!! Cover, TH2 win!
Winners: The Hybrid2, by pinfall
The Last of the True Hybrids win, which means Cutler has another loss on his record. What will it take for the Dungeon Master to get a critical hit?
Penelope Ford w/ Kip Sabian VS Riho!
A grudge has been growing between the Bad Girl and the Wrestling Idol ever since the Cruise of Jericho’s historic Mixed Tag Match! Will the inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion get back on track at Penelope’s expense?
The bell rings and Riho goes right at Penelope! They both throw forearms, and Riho gets an edge, but Penelope kicks low. Penelope headlocks but Riho powers out, only for Penelope to run her over. Cover, but Riho goes Matrix to slip out! Riho runs and dropkicks Penelope down! Penelope flounders to the corner but Riho runs in to hit a big knee! Riho goes again for another big knee! Salt Lake is fired up as Riho goes for the hat trick. But Penelope distracts the ref as Kip trips Riho up! Riho kicks Kip away and warns him before going after Penelope. Penelope goes Matrix herself! And springs up with a STUNNER! Penelope rains down angry right hands but the ref backs her off. Fans boo as Penelope drags Riho around.
Penelope puts Riho through the ropes to choke her! The ref counts and fans boo but Penelope lets up at 4. Kip comes around to talk trash but Riho scuffs him in the face! Kip complains but Penelope puts Riho in a corner. Penelope whips Riho out then back into the corner hard. Penelope handsprings corner to corner for a big back elbow! Fans boo as Penelope brings Riho out for a stalling suplex! Cover, TWO! Riho still lives and Penelope grows frustrated. Fans rally for Riho as Penelope brings her up. Riho throws body shots but Penelope forearms back. Riho throws a forearm, Penelope forearms back, but Riho gets another flurry going! Fans cheer as Riho runs, but Penelope goes Matrix again. So Riho STOMPS it down!
Penelope goes to the ropes but Riho runs in to 619! Penelope flounders into Riho’s Crucifix DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Penelope survives but Riho keeps her cool. Riho steps on Penelope as she goes to the corner. Riho climbs but Kip shouts at her, “I hate you!” Well Riho hates Kip! They argue and this gives Penelope time to get up! Penelope throws a forearm and rocks Riho! Penelope climbs up to join Riho but Riho throws body shots back! Riho clubs and forearms Penelope down! DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Penelope survives again and Kip thanks God. Riho drags Penelope up but Penelope blocks the Northern Lights to spin Riho for a fireman’s carry. Superbad RIB BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Riho survives again and fans cheer!
Kip argues the count but Penelope drags Riho to a corner. Penelope knees Riho in the back then goes corner to corner again. She mocks Kenny Omega’s BANG, but Riho dodges! Penelope’s Superbad V-Trigger hits buckles! Riho reels Penelope in for the Northern Lights! Bridging cover, TWO!! Riho drags Penelope up and full nelsons, but Penelope hurries to ropes. The ref calls for the break and Riho backs off. Penelope again claims something is wrong and Kip slithers in. Kip full nelsons Riho but Riho standing switches! Riho gives Kip the SNAP DRAGON! Kip bails out and Riho tells Kip that’s what he gets. Penelope shoves the ref at Riho! The ref stops himself from running into Riho, but Penelope handsprings to CUTTER! Penelope brings Riho up and fans boo as she fisherman suplexes! Bridging cover, Penelope wins!!
Winner: Penelope Ford, by pinfall
This is definitely an upset! Mostly because fans are upset by Kip being half the reason Penelope won! Will the Superbad super couple be moving up the ranks together?
Christopher Daniels w/ SoCal Uncensored VS Stu Grayson w/ The Dark Order!
The bell rings and the ref tells the Dark Order and SCU to get off the apron. When they refuse, the ref EJECTS SCU! The Dark Order talks trash about it, but then the ref EJECTS them, too! Now the Dark Order is upset but still head to the back. Daniels and Grayson are all alone now, and Daniels throws heavy hands! He puts Grayson in the corner but Grayson carries Daniels all the way to the other corner! Grayson throws hands but Daniels dodges to throw haymakers and CHOPS! Grayson whips Daniels away but Daniels runs him over! Things speed up and Grayson bails out. Fans boo and Daniels dares Grayson to get back in.
Grayson goes around the outside before getting on the apron. The ref keeps Daniels back but Grayson gets in a cheap shot! Grayson headlocks Daniels while the ref reprimands him. Daniels powers out and things speed up as Daniels hurdles. Grayson bails out again but that won’t slow Daniels down. Daniels wrecks Grayson with a dropkick! Daniels throws big hands and then throws Grayson hard into railing! Fans fire up with Daniels as he drags Grayson back up. Daniels brings Grayson around to whip into more railing! Fans cheer for “SCU! SCU!” as Daniels refreshes the count. Daniels puts Grayson in and goes up top. Grayson staggers into the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO!
Daniels puts Grayson in a corner and throws haymakers. Then another corner for another buckle bump, then a third corner for a third bump! Daniels wants the complete set, and gets it! Grayson flounders about and fans cheer, Daniels covers, ONE! Daniels brings Grayson up to suplex but Grayson slips out. Grayson waistlocks but Daniels elbows out! Grayson swings but Daniels spins him around. Daniels reels Grayson in for a driver but Grayson back drops out! Daniels sunset flips but Grayson slips out to URENAGE Daniels down! Grayson soaks up the heat from Salt Lake as he circles around Daniels. Grayson rains down angry right hands on Daniels but the ref pulls him off.
Daniels crawls and fans rally up. Grayson stalks Daniels and stomps him down. Grayson throws Daniels hard into buckles then CHOPS! Daniels goes along the ropes but Grayson CHOPS him in the next corner. Grayson snapmares Daniels and Penalty Kicks him down! Cover, TWO! Grayson says “I expected better!” as he pushes Daniels around. Grayson whips but Daniels reverses to a backslide! Cover, TWO! Grayson swings into a school boy, TWO! Daniels throws big jab after jab then whips, but Grayson kicks and body checks Daniels down! Fans boo as Grayson covers, TWO! Grayson grows frustrated but he still talks trash. “Is that all you got?!”
Grayson soaks up the heat again as he drags Daniels up. Daniels fights back with back elbows but Grayson shoves and elbows Daniels down. Daniels goes to the apron, Grayson laughs and says, “This is fun!” as he hits an apron senton atomico! Daniels goes back in and Grayson covers, but Grayson is too close to the ropes. Grayson gets upset but he drags Daniels to a drop zone. He goes up top and leaps, but Daniels moves! Grayson rolls through his frog splash and runs back at Daniels, into an overhead suplex! Grayson crashes into buckles! Fans rally for Daniels as he and Grayson are down. Daniels works his way up and over to a corner. Grayson runs corner to corner but Daniels dodges!
Daniels forearms and rallies on Grayson! Daniels whips, Grayson reverses but Daniels kicks him and hits an STO! Fans fire up with Daniels as he whips Grayson for a scooping Blue Thunder Bomb! Cover, TWO!! Daniels almost had Grayson but he keeps his focus. Grayson is in the corner, Daniels runs in but Grayson dodges now. Grayson runs back in but Daniels puts him on the apron. They go side to side, Grayson leaps in for a tornado DDT! And a PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Daniels survives and Grayson can’t believe it! Grayson stalks behind Daniels as fans rally up. Grayson torture racks but Daniels fights out. Daniels goes to clothesline but Grayson Matrix kip-ups! And PELES! Daniels wobbles but still enziguris back! Both men are down again and Salt Lake fires up.
Daniels rises but Grayson follows. Daniels reels Grayson in, underhooks, but Grayson slips out with a twist! Grayson torture racks Daniels for NIGHTFALL!! Cover, TWO!?! Daniels survives Grayson’s best but Grayson tries something more. Grayson drags Daniels back to a drop zone, climbs back up top, and STEALS Best Moonsault Ever! But he FLOPS as Daniels dodges! Daniels kicks Grayson, underhooks, ANGEL’S WINGS!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Grayson saves himself and Daniels can’t believe it! Daniels decides he’ll show Grayson how it’s done. Daniels brings Grayson up but Grayson elbows free. Grayson rams Daniels into the corner then runs back in. Daniels dodges and Grayson hits buckles! Complete Shot to Koji Klutch!!
Grayson endures, grits his teeth, and wait, a new Creeper appears? The ref tells him he needs to leave, the ringside ban went for everyone. Daniels lets Grayson go to ROCK this mystery man! Grayson runs in but Daniels dodges, and Grayson narrowly avoids running into the Creeper. Grayson tells this henchman to leave but Daniels rolls Grayson up! TWO, Daniels SHOTEIS Grayson! SHOTEI for the Creeper! But Grayson torture racks Daniels for- No! Daniels counters Nightfall into a takedown! Cover, Daniels wins!!
Winner: Christopher Daniels, by pinfall
But the Creeper attacks! Grayson pushes him aside to beat up Daniels himself. The Beaver Boys return and the henchmen stomp Daniels, but here come SCU and Cabana! They save Daniels from the Dark Order, and have the new recruit all alone! URENAGE, and BEST MOONSAULT EVER!
The Dark Order is in retreat again but Daniels tells Evil Uno, “One down, one to go. And you know what, I see a lot of the Dark Order, but I don’t see an Exalted One anywhere. Probably because there is no Exalted One!” When these two finally face off, Daniels vows to be rid of the Dark Order once and for all! Will the Dark Order fall to the Fallen Angel and his friends? Or will this Exalted One really make their presence known?
A pretty good AEW Dark here, ahead of AEW’s own first-ever Empty Arena episode of anything this Wednesday. One segment that was naturally missing from this broadcast was listing the tour schedule, because it has already been made very clear that AEW will move many of those shows to later in the year. The only real concern is how AEW will handle a two-hour Empty Arena show compared to what WWE has done with SmackDown and Raw. I don’t think they’ll replay any matches from PPV events, as great as some of those matches are. Though who knows, they might get just as good ratings off of those because fans would love to either relive them or see them for the first time.
As for the matches we got here, Cutler is getting a great push as a single talent despite constantly losing tag matches. I am really waiting for the moment he snaps and turns Heel on someone. Given a Creeper showed up long after the rest of the Dark Order was banned from ringside, I really hope that was Cutler having changed into his Creeper costume. Daniels VS Grayson was a really good match, too, and that new Creeper played a pivotal role. I’m thinking Daniels VS Uno isn’t just interrupted by that Creeper for him to be unmasked as Cutler, but also for the Exalted One to appear. There’s any number of ways the story goes from there, depending on who the Exalted One turns out to be.
Cabana VS Avalon was a lot of fun. Of course Cabana wins to stay strong since he just got here. And the tease of Librarian romance was probably the most fun bit of the whole thing. Penelope VS Riho was pretty decent, and it definitely had a lot of good story elements in it. The attempt at the V-Trigger, the Snap Dragon Suplex to Kip, all good stuff. But Kip does masterfully as a Heel manager and Penelope gets a huge win for her record. While Kenny has to worry about his bad hand and his story within the Elite against the Inner Circle and with the AEW World Tag Team Championships, I would love if we got a rematch from the Cruise of Jericho. Maybe AEW also makes a move for a co-ed tag division?
My Score: 8.4/10