AEW Dark has who on the card?!
The AEW World Champion, JON MOXLEY, appears on Dark for the first time ever! Will the Maniac have his head on a swivel for Jake Hager?
- Sammy Guevara VS Matt Sells; Guevara wins.
- Shawn Spears VS Shawn Dean; Spears wins.
- Darby Allin VS Preston Vance; Allin wins.
- Jon Moxley VS Faboo Andre; Moxley wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody joins Tony Schiavone in the AEW Command Center.
The Americna Nightmare returns to Dark, on a night where they have HUGE news! A new champion will be crowned in AEW! And with a new title! The AEW TNT Championship and subsequent tournament are coming! One half of the eight-man bracket is given to us right here and now! In the first quarterfinal, it will be a long awaited rematch as Cody takes on Shawn Spears! And another great rematch is Darby Allin VS Sammy Guevara! Huge first round matches begin the Road to Vegas and Double or Nothing 2! Cody has faced all the men on his half, who will he face in the semifinals? Plus, be sure to watch AEW Dynamite tomorrow night for the other half of the bracket! But for now, the “bracket guys” will focus on calling tonight’s action!
Sammy Guevara VS Matt Sells!
The Spanish God prepares for the TNT Championship tournament while #SexSells has his second AEW match already. Will Sammy be ready for a high stakes rematch with Darby Allin?
The bell rings and Sammy stops lounging on the top rope to circle with Sells. They go around and approach, but Sammy dodges Sells’ grapple. Sells and Sammy go again, Sammy waistlocks and throws Sells down. Sammy lounges on Sells’ back, then gets up to egg Sells on. Sells rushes Sammy but Sammy jumps over and around him to then dropkick Sells down. Sammy shows off with the kip up and a bow to the cameras. Sammy scoop slams Sells then swaggers his way to a corner. He climbs and takes his time taking aim. Sammy then hops down to SLAP Sells in the face! Sells gets up as Sammy talks smack, and gives a finger point of doom! Sells kicks to snapmare Sammy into a standing headscissors. Sammy gets a taste of Sells’ ego with hip swivels!
Sells then drags Sammy around to then ram Sammy’s head into the mat over and over and over! Then Sells rolls Sammy to a cover, TWO! Sells runs to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, ONE, but Sells throws off his headband. Sells starts to stomp and clap, perhaps a fan of Queen and/or Emi Sakura. Sammy stands and Sells rushes him, but Sammy boots the clothesline away to then boot. Sells blocks that boot and spins Sammy around, but Sammy dragon whip enziguris back! Cover, TWO! Sammy keeps his cool and drags Sells up to put him in a corner. Sammy CHOPS Sells then whips corner to corner. He rams into Sells and throws a kick! Sells staggers and Sammy somersault CUTTERS! Sammy double guns before he covers, but then he lets up on Sells!
Sammy’s ego has him toying with Sells now. He drags Sells up to suplex, and holds him up there for 10, before dropping him down hard. Sammy keeps flexing as he does a Y2J cover, TWO! Sammy keeps on Sells with a chinlock and a knee to the back. Sells endures and fires himself up to pry the hold apart. Sells stands but Sammy clubs him down. Sammy brings Sells up to a fireman’s carry, and does squats. He’s showing off his form, but Sells slips free to throw big forearms! Sells whips but Sammy reverses, and blocks a boot. But Sells knees back! Knee smash to jumping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Sammy survives and checks his chin while Sells pumps and thrusts. Sells kicks but no stunner, and Sammy goes sideways to KNEE! Torture rack to FEAST YOUR EYES! Cover, Sammy wins!
Winner: Sammy Guevara, by pinfall
The Spanish God is cocky as ever, but he still backs it up. “Hello, world. That’s another W for the Best Ever, Sammy Guevara. Ain’t nobody in the back can do what I do.” He is unstoppable! Everything Sammy does around the world, he’s the best! It’s why he’s in the Inner Circle! And if anyone wants to try him, “by all means, try it, baby.” This is the ruler of all wrestlers, and all wrestlers will bow before their Spanish King! But will he be able to use the “Burning GTS” to take Darby down in the opening round?
Shawn Spears VS Shawn Dean!
The #SearchForSpears and tag team #PERFECT10N still hasn’t worked out, though it feels like it’s on Spears. But the Chair Man is going to focus on himself for right now with the AEW TNT Championship Tournament coming. Will Spears be the superior Shawn as “The Captain” makes an AEW debut?
The bell rings and Spears grins as he circles with Dean. Perhaps Spears doesn’t take Dean seriously. They tie up and Spears puts Dean in the corner. Dean tries to power out but Spears pushes him back. Spears backs off at the ref’s count, but is still grinning. They circle and tie up again, and Spears has the wristlock. Spears wrenches but Dean rolls and handsprings and wrenches. Spears spins Dean to snapmare him down, and then talks some trash. Dean keeps his cool as he gets to his feet. The two tie up and Spears gets a waistlock. Dean pries out of the hold to standing switch, but Spears does the same, for a drop toehold. Cover with a forearm to the face, TWO!
Dean and Spears stand up and tie up again. Dean wrenches Spears to a wristlock, but Spears rolls and wrenches back. Spears spins Dean and spins him again for another snapmare. Spears cartwheels and wags a finger, “No no no.” Then Spears gives Dean a dirty bird before laughing and talking to the camera. Dean haymakers and CHOPS and forearms and back kicks! Dean salutes, but runs into a LARIAT! Spears is mad now and he drags Dean back up. Spears puts Dean in a corner to CHOP and CHOP and stomp! He throws hands and grinds his boot in, but the ref counts. Spears lets up at 4 but drags Dean back up and around. Spears hits a big back suplex high and hard! Dean writhes and reaches for a corner, but Spears looms over him. Spears drags Dean up and fireman’s carries, for the C4!! Cover, Spears wins!
Winner: Shawn Spears, by pinfall
The first win for the Chairman comes just in time for a huge opportunity! Cody vows to finally get back at Spears for the chair shot. Will the payback be made sweeter by the American Nightmare denying Spears a golden opportunity?
Darby Allin VS Preston Vance!
Speaking of payback, the Undead Daredevil wants to bring down The Inner Circle, starting with the Spanish God. The AEW TNT Championship Tournament will give him the first step. But can he stay strong against Vanilla Vance?
Before the bell, Vance grabs Darby off the top rope while he poses, for a SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX! Darby gets up as the bell rings but Vance throws him corner to corner! Darby flounders out of the ring but Vance follows. Vance RAMS Darby into railing then rams him into apron! Vance bounces Darby off the apron and then drags him up for clubbing forearms. Darby staggers away and finally gets his jacket off, but Vance back suplexes. Darby slips out, and then baits Vance into the post! The ring count reaches 8 but Darby throws Vance’s hand into the post. Vance gets in the ring but Darby hurries after. Darby climbs up top, leaps, but Vance catches him for a SLAM! Vance covers, TWO! Darby growls while Vance shakes out the hand.
Vance pushes Darby but Darby SLAPS Vance! Darby eggs Vance on and Vance BOOTS him down! Darby sputters but Vance puts him in a corner to CHOP! Vance CHOPS Darby again, then whips him corner to corner. He runs in but Darby boots back! Vance flounders and Darby whips, but Vance blocks. Darby keeps trying but Vance reverses and ROCKS Darby with a right! Vance runs side to side to ROCK Darby again! And then the other side, but Darby dumps Vance out! Vance crashes ‘n’ burns, but Darby DIVES! Low-pe sends them both into railing! Darby puts Vance in, springboards, QUEBRADA! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but slowly rising. Darby dares Vance to swing on him, and Vance does. Darby blocks, counters, throws body shots and the CODE RED! Cover, TWO!!
Vance survives but Darby still has fire. Darby drags Vance up and runs, springboards but the Coffin Drop is caught! Vance wristlock ripcords Darby for a CUTTER! Vance drags Darby up, shoves him to ropes and pops him up for a CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Vance’s shouts of frustration echo out in the empty arena. Vance grits his teeth and drags Darby up, dead lift suplex with a stall! But Darby slips out to go after the bad hand! Vance swings, Darby ducks and gets around Vance, to leap over, THROWBACK STUNNER! But Darby isn’t done there! He goes up top, COFFIN DROP!! Cover, Darby wins!
Winner: Darby Allin, by pinfall
And the left-hand bracket sweeps the night! Darby stays even with Sammy Guevara, but will he get even when it will be the sweetest sweet victory?
Jon Moxley VS Faboo Andre!
The Death Rider made sure The Big Hurt, Jake Hager, understood to keep an eye on every shadow and dark corner from now on. But will Moxley be able to focus on the Fabulous Shooting Star with Hager surely wanting payback?
Turns out, Moxley was behind the long cam the whole time! He heads down through the empty stands to join “The Monarch of Manliness” in the ring for their match. The bell rings and Moxley powers Faboo to a corner. Moxley throws forearms, stomps away then stands on Faboo’s face! The ref counts and Moxley backs off. Moxley drags Faboo up for a suplex, but Faboo counters with an arm-drag! Faboo runs and kicks Moxley, then whips only for Moxley to reverse. Faboo kicks back but Moxley LARIATS! Moxley drags Faboo up, Gotch hold for a PILEDRIVER! Seems the Maniac learned something from his match with Minoru Suzuki. Moxley then gets Faboo in an STF! Faboo flails but taps out, Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by submission
A first-ever match on Dark and a very fast one at that! But Hager attacks in return from Dynamite! Urenage to the arm triangle!! The referee shouts from outside the ring but Hager doesn’t let up until Moxley turns purple! Moxley fades out but Hager taunts him, “Keep fighting! Keep fighting, champ!” Hager finally lets go and gives Moxley a slap! Moxley gasps and sputters as Hager takes his leave. Things are even now between Moxley and Hager, but which way does this go when the two finally face off in a match?
A good episode of Dark for only being half an hour. Obviously the big news for AEW today is the midcard title, the TNT Championship, becoming a thing. It seems AEW had to shift gears from the rumored Trios Championships to fast-tracking a midcard title, but it all makes sense given global circumstances and crackdowns on large gatherings. You can’t keep within the determined limits and have Six Man matches. So a tournament of singles matches works better, and still gives something to fill Dynamite episodes on the way to Double or Nothing 2. But given that we only got half the bracket tonight, and that half was active tonight, it was clear that half was going to sweep the night. Even Cody was strong on commentary, and had his big win on last week’s Dynamite.
I’m a bit disappointed we couldn’t get Sammy VS Darby for semifinals but at least we’re getting that rematch at all. The same goes for Spears VS Cody, that could’ve been great for the semifinals, too. But I feel like the real rematch AEW wants for the TNT Championship is Cody VS MJF. That would be quite the story, with MJF taunting that he could cost Cody yet another championship. If anything, DoN 2, the TNT Championship, in a rematch with MJF, that could be a great moment for Cody that all the fans can get behind. Then, for Moxley’s first Dark match and main event, making quick work of the “Monarch of Manliness” (which is definitely an ironic nickname) works great for him, and for a lead-in into Hager just mauling Mox. Naturally this keeps the two even, and obviously Moxley will respond on tomorrow’s Dynamite.
My Score: 8.1/10