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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 1.17.23

January 17, 2023 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Dark - Wheeler Yuta Claudio Castagnoli Image Credit: AEW
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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 1.17.23  

Welcome back to another recap of AEW Dark! Last week we had one of the best episodes of Dark of all time if you ask me, can they follow it up with something just as good? We have Hobbs, the BCC, Kiera Hogan, the JAS and more announced for the card so it’s not lacking talent that’s for sure. If they give these talent time to work we could have a very entertaining show ahead of us.

Danika Della Rouge vs. Kiera Hogan

Interesting choice for our opening contest tonight. Hogan with an armdrag sending Danika into the ropes a little weak. Kiera up top with a diving rana and follows up with forearms to the face. Kiera off the ropes right into a flapjack from Danika. Danika charges Hogan and runs right into an elbow strike and a drop toe hold followed by a hip attack to Danika. Hogan with a splash in the corner and runs around the ring before nailing her with a sliding dropkick. Kiera with a pretty weak step up leg drop and covers for two. Hogan with a roundhouse kick and inside out suplex leaving Danika flattened as Kiera covers for the victory.
Rating: **1/4
Review: This wasn’t bad a little sluggish at points, I’m a big fan of Kiera so it’s always nice to see her involved. Danika was fine but definitely a little green.

Brian Cage vs. Carl Randers

Randers runs right into Cage slamming him on the mat and hitting him with a thrust kick early. Cage lifts Randers a few times while sniffing his bum before realizing that looks weird and tosses him behind him. Randers with a series of weak superkicks. Randers with a springboard but Cage just catches him, Randers escapes and attempts a Rana so Cage just powerbombs the life out of him then powerbombs him onto his knee, finally a powerbomb into the corner and discuss lariat to end the match.
Rating: N/A
Review: Dominant squash match from Cage, if it stands alone as the only squash it’ll be for the best. This was solid Cage is great at killing opponents and making it look fantastic.

Brian Cook & Deimos vs. JAS’ Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia

Guevara says he’ll start but then decides against it and tags Garcia in. Garcia drops Deimos and Cook makes the blind tag. Guevara demands the tag from Garcia, he showboats for a moment before hopping into the ring and working over Cook. Garcia with a dropkick sends Cook outside and tags in Garcia. Guevara teases a dive but hits a chop instead. Garcia teases a dive but Deimos cuts it off. Garcia drops Deimos and then hits the ropes before hitting Cook with a chop. Garcia with an elevated lungblower to Cook and Guevara asks for a tag. Guevara with the GTH and he covers for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: This was short but it was fine. I like where Guevara and Garcia is going even if it’s really similar to the story they’re telling with Ethan Page and Matt Hardy.

Ari Daivari vs. Action Andretti

Pre match Daivari offers to watch Andretti’s back with the Trustbusters if he lays down and lets him win. Andretti says Daivari is right, its been stressful for him and maybe joining the trustbusters is what he needs to do. Andretti lays down and Daivari goes for the pin but Andretti with a roll up instead for two. Andretti with some high paced action early a torneo off the bottom rope and covers for two. Daivari in the corner as Andretti lays into him with a series of chops. Andretti up top but Daivari knocks him off the top and he falls onto his groin. Daivari and Aubrey start arguing. Andretti with a roll up for two, Daivari send outside with an enziguri but Daivari cuts him off from hitting a dive. Andretti swings for Daivari but he cant see because his eye is messed up. Andretti drops Daivari with a series of strikes and a modified neck breaker sending Daivari outside and taking him out with a huge tope. Daivari sent back inside and Andretti hits a clean split legged moonsault covering for two. Andretti continues to sell his messed up eye. Daivari rakes the eye of Andretti and chops him in the corner. Andretti fights back and hits a torneo off top and a running shooting star onto Daivari before covering for the victory.
Rating: ***
Review: This was a decent singles match, I will like Andretti more when he isn’t selling this weird eye injury. In some ways it works but it’s also just kind of goofy. This was actually a decent win for Andretti and I’m unsure who will win when he faces Garcia Friday.

Jaiden vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Huge pop for Jaiden, a superhero like superstar making his debut. The Portland crowd loves him. Jaiden taunts Hobbs and gets his face kicked in. Hobbs sends him into the ropes and nails him with a huge spinebuster and then a torture rack. Hobbs plants Jaiden and covers him for the easy victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: Welp, this blows the Brian Cage squash out of the water. Both superstars were very entertaining here. I hope we see Jaiden again that was a lot of fun.

JAS’ Matt Menard and Angelo Parker vs. Eddie Pearl and Ricky Gibson

The JAS attack Pearl and Gibson early and continue the assault as the bell rings. Menard lays into Pearl in the corner before tagging in Parker. They toss Pearl into the corner allowing him to make the tag and working over Gibson after. Double DDT and Parker covers for the quick victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: This wasn’t quite as fun as the last match but the JAS do look pretty strong with this dominant victory.

Wheeler Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli vs. The Butcher and The Blade

Butcher and Blade attack before Claudio and Yuta can even make it to the ring. Claudio and Yuta gain control relatively quick as the brawl continues outside the ring. The Butcher gets the best of Yuta and chokes him outside before helping The Blade with Claudio. They lay Claudio out and focus back on Yuta. They drop Yuta and head back for Claudio but he attempts to fight back before they take control and send Claudio into the ring officially starting the match. The Butcher with a gutwrench and the Blade with a combination dropkick at the same time as they continue working over Claudio. Blade chokes Claudio into he ropes until the referee breaks it up. The Bunny chokes Claudio as the referee is distracted. The Butcher with the tag and he lays into Claudio until he fights back and they exchange strikes. Blade tags in and knocks Yuta off the apron and locks a sleeper in on Claudio. Claudio fights free and hits a suplex on Blade. Butcher tags in but Yuta is not there for the tag from Claudio. Butcher works over Claudio dropping him for a two count before tagging in the Blade. Claudio fights free of The Blade and lays into him with a series of uppercuts. Blade backs Claudio into the corner and Butcher joins in on attacking him. Claudio and Blade exchange strikes, weird cut as Claudio scoops up the Blade but he locks in a sleeper. Claudio with a jawbreaker but somehow Yuta is still down and can’t make a tag, pathetic. Butcher tags in and they drop Claudio as Butcher covers for two. Butcher with a series of strikes to Claudio as he fights to make a tag but Yuta isn’t even there. Butcher with clubs to the back of Claudio and he backs into the corner but runs into a boot from Claudio. Claudio with the enziguri to the butcher and finally Yuta heads up to the apron. Butcher prevents the tag but Claudio sidesteps a splash sending Butcher chest first into the turnbuckle. Claudio finally makes the tag as Blade does as well. Yuta sends Butcher to the outside with a dropkick and lays into Blade with a series of Strikes. Yuta up top and nails a big elbow strike to Blade. Blade counters a german and nails Yuta with a knee to the face but he rolls through and into a German but Butcher breaks up the pinfall attempt. Claudio sets Yuta up for a tornado DDT onto Butcher. Claudio with an uppercut to Blade. Claudio with rocket launcher jones to Blade and Yuta covers for the victory.
Rating: ***1/2
Review: This was a lot of fun but I really can’t stand how long Yuta sat on the outside. Sometimes we have to suspend our disbelief and sometimes they just treat us like we are dumb. Outside of that this was a lot of fun and entertaining.

The final score: review Good
The 411
This week wasn't quite as fun as last week but it was still a solid episode. I get why every episode of Dark can't be taped in front of a live audience but it would be a much more entertaining 'developmental' program if they built up to these events because its just so much better. I enjoyed tonight's show but not a lot really stood out as must see. The main event was a little annoying but overall pretty good, outside of that the rest of the show was good and the Garcia/Guevara stuff was interesting even if it felt a little too similar to the Hardy/Page stuff we have seen in recent weeks.

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AEW Dark, Andrew Cazer