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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 11.23.21

November 23, 2021 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Dark Joey Janela vs. Zack Clayton 11-23-21
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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 11.23.21  

AEW Dark
Orlando Florida
Commentary: Excalibur & Tazz

It’s Tuesday Night and you know what that means! New Guy Jones is back in the house for another episode of AEW Dark. Someone must’ve called up Tony Khan himself and let him know i’ve taken over the AEW Dark coverage here on 411mania because BOY is this a card built for me. We’ve got Daniel Garcia teaming with 2.0, we’ve got Joey Janela in singles action, Riho, Nick Comoroto, Lee Moriarty and so many more awesome talent set for this show. As always I appreciate y’all for joining me and hope you enjoy tonight’s show let’s get to the action!

We get no intro just jump right to the action and Excalibur even feels a bit weird about it.

The Infantry, The Captain Shawn Dean & Carlie Bravo (0-3) vs. The Dark Order, John Silver & Alex Reynolds (6-0)

-1 Joins the Dark Order for this one, always great to see the young lad with The Dark Order. Silver starts off with the advantage dropping Carlie and taking control with a waist lock. Carlie to his feet and Silver drops him with a firemans carry. Silver has wrist control and eats a slap from Carlie. Silver off the ropes and drops Carlie with a running uppercut. Silver tags Reynolds in and we get some tag team action on Carlie. Silver exits momentarily and tags right back in. Reynolds holds Carlie and Silver hits him with a kick to the chest. Silver hits another kick and goes for a third but Bravo catches it and hits Silver with an elbow. Carlie off the ropes and Silver gets the waist lock and drops Carlie to the mat. Silver back to his feet he tosses Carlie into the ropes and Sean Dean gets the blind tag. We get some tag team offence from The Infantry and Dean goes for a cover he gets a two count before tagging Bravo back into the match. They go for a double suplex, Silver dodges and goes for one of his own but they block it. Some combination kicks from the infantry off Silver and Bravo gets a cover for two before Silver gets the ropes. Bravo tags Dean back into the ring. Dean tosses Silver into the corner and chases him but eats an elbow. Silver with a sliced bread on Dean. Reynolds tags in drops Bravo off the apron and drops Dean with an uppercut. Dean back to his feet and Reynolds hits a nice forearm followed by a cravat neckbreaker. Reynolds covers for a two count before Dean gets to his feet. Reynolds goes for an elbow but Dean hits Reynolds with the deal and goes for the cover. Silver breaks up the pin and says NO DEAL. Bravo sends Silver out of the ring and tags in. Bravo and Dean look for a tag team move but Reynolds reverses out. Silver gets involved and they drop Bravo with a combination uppercut german suplex into a pinfall for Reynolds. Reynolds pins Bravo in 5:12.
Rating: **1/2
Review: This was a solid opener, Dean and Bravo are a good team and The Dark Order looked pretty great as always. 

Riho (10-2) vs. Karma Dean (0-0)

Lockup to start the match and Karma gets the wrist lock. Riho rolls through and takes a wristlock of her own. Karma fights out and locks in a headlock, Riho tries to fight out with some weak elbows. Karma off the ropes and drops Riho with a running shoulder block. Karma lets Riho get up and we get a lock up. Karma pulls Rihos hair and the ref forces a break in the corner. Riho gets pissed and sends Karma into the corner and hits her with some forearms but Karma fights out. Karma starts using the top rope to choke Riho and then sends her into the ropes. Karma drops Riho with a back elbow. Karma lifts Riho to her feet by her hair but Riho fights out with shots to the midsection. Riho tosses Karma into the corner but Karma reverses out and sends Riho into the opposite corner. Karma runs into two big boots from Riho. Riho tosses Karma into the ropes but Karma reverses. Riho stops herself and Karma chases, Riho drops her into the ropes and this the 404 area code shot. Riho with a northern lights suplex to Karma and we get a two count. Riho pulls Karma to the corner she hits the diving foot stomps on Karma Dean and picks up the victory in 3:21
Rating: **
Review: This was a pretty simple singles squash for Riho. Wins with the double stomp jones. I’ve loved Riho in some matches but this was just ok Karma was alright but was kind of shadowing what we could see next and not in a great way.

2.0 (7-3) & Daniel Garcia(7-6) vs. Gabriel Hodder, Adrien Soriano, & Matthew Omen (0-0)

Garcia and 2.0 have matching gear, love to see it. Garcia starts this off with Omen. He hits him with a knee strike and takes control tags in in Matt Lee and we get a triple team on Omen. Hodder tags in and eats a clothesline from Matt Lee. Lee tags in Garcia who tags in parker. We get more triple team action on Hodder. He wants a taste. Jeff kicks Hodder in the backside and he tags in Soriano. Soriano takes control with some strikes but Jeff gets the tag just in time. They hang Soriano up on the top rope. Garcia tags in and locks in the scorpion death lock on Adrien Soriano. Soriano taps out and the match ends in 2:00. Garcia refuses to let go of the submission. 2.0 finally calm Garcia down by putting the towel around his neck. Love to see the young guy get a decisive victory ahead of his huge match.
Rating: **1/4
Review: This was short and sweet and to the point but 2.0 and Garcia both look like legit talent within AEW and they made that clear with their post match promo as well. 
Post match: Garcia and 2.0 get a little mic time and say they’re not new here anymore. They’re not new to this they’re true to this. 2.0 says it doesn’t matter who it is and runs down their victims, Matt Lee says everybody gets a taste. Jeff signals for a title and they all walk away. Garcia wipes a little smoot off the coat of Schiavone

Kiera Hogan (2-4) vs. Notorious Mimi (0-1)

Lockup to start and Kiera takes control with a wristlock but Mimi fights out. Kiera with a side headlock take down but Mimi fights to her feet and drops Kiera with a hair pull. Kiera drops Mimi with a hair pull of her own. Mimi in the corner and Kiera runs at her but nobodies home. Mimi with a sideslam onto Kiera and goes for a cover but Kiiera kicks out at two. Mimi with a sleeper locked in but Kiera fights to her feet with shots to the midsection. Kiera drops Mimi face first on the mat and drops her with a leg drop. Mimi in the corner and Hogan hits her with a drop kick in the corner. Kiera with a boot to the jaw in the corner before lifting Mimi to her feet. Kiera with a roundhouse kick and covers Mimi for the three count in 2:13.
Rating: **
Review: This was just a simple squash nothing wrong with it but really nothing memorable.

Bear Country (9-2) vs. Chad Lennex & Caine Carter (0-0)

Lennex kicks this one off going after Bear Boulder but he eats a big boot from Boulder. Boulder lifts Lennex up and drops him flat on the mat after holding him for a minute. Bronson tags in and he hammers away at Lennex’ back he lifts Lennex up but he fights out and goes for a sunset flip but Bronson stays on his feet. Carter gets in the ring and tries to force the pinfall but instead gets dropped on his partners chest. Boulder tags in and lifts both guys up and puts both guys down with a double body slam. Bronson tags in and gets on his brothers shoulders. Big splash onto both and Bronson covers both men for the victory in 2:07
Rating: **1/2
Review: This was a solid squash. I didn’t think much of Bear Country when I first saw them but now I really like them and the intensity they have. I think they’ve got some confidence to them or something because they really look like they belong. 

Anthony Greene (0-2) vs. Jameson Ryan

Headband jones vs. Muscled up jones. Tie up and Jameson backs Greene into the corner then poses. Greene grabs a headlock and goes for a shoulderblock but Ryan eats it and poses again. Ryan with a rough arm drag but Anthony Greene covers anyway for 2. Greene with a headlock but Ryan slams Green and poses again. Both men off the ropes and Greene quits messing around and hits a forearm to Ryan. Greene with a suplex on Ryan and catches him in the corner with a running chop. Greene sends Ryan into the corner and hits Ryan with a backdrop and drops Ryan onto his head. Ryan gets to his feet and eats a springboard crossbody from Greene. Greene with a crucifix driver on Ryan for the victory in 1:51.
Rating: *
Review: This was short and full of mistakes and a potentially really rough injury and rather than take time to check on his opponent Greene just kept it movin. Never really been sold on Greene and this really didn’t make me want to see him over a number of available free agents. I was supposed to complain about Jameson’s taunting but instead he almost got hurt and that just made things ten times worse. 
Post match: Greene cuts a promo and says he loves AEW. Schiavone says Greene is booked to face Adam Cole next week on Dark, that should be significantly better but still I just hope Jameson is ok after that bump.

Joey Janela (10-4) vs. Zack Clayton (0-2)

Joey in control to begin this one but Clayton gets a wristlock of his own. Janela lookin pretty great. We get a wristlock break after Janela takes the ropes. Someone says they want Sonny and Joey says Sonny’s dead. Clayton with the hammerlock on Joey but Joey with an elbow to the face. Joey hits a hammerlock ddt on Clayton and then poses. Joey to his feet but eats a big clothesline from Clayton. Clayton with a dropkick to Joey but Rossi gets onto the apron. Joey uses the distraction to roll up Clayton for a two count. Clayton lifts Joey and hits him with a delayed suplex. Clayton off the ropes but Rossi grabs his boot. Clayton is distracted and turns around into an uppercut from Joey. Clayton gets sent throat first into the center rope and then eats a right from Joey. Janela gets Clayton into the corner and chops the lift out of him. Joey sends Clayton into the opposite corner and hits him with a running elbow. Janela fakes like he’s going to run off the ropes and then climbs to the top rope instead. Joey drops down and runs across the apron and locks in a sleeper hold. Joey says don’t ever fall in love at the jersey shore. He’s not wrong. Clayton with some strikes but Joey rakes his eyes and drops Clayton with a backdrop. Joey to the top rope he goes for the elbow but Clayton moves, Joey rolls through and Clayton with a powerslam to Janela. He follows it with a clothesline and a running back elbow in the corner. Clayton with an uppercut, Janela to his feet but he drops Clayton with a superkick. Joey covers Clayton for a two count and now he’s mad he cant finish it and leaves the ring. Joey goes to get the ring bell and the ref is distracted. Kayla gets in the ring and hits a moonsault onto Clayton. Joey gives up on the ring bell and jumps onto the top rope. Joey hits an elbow drop on Clayton and covers for the three count in 5:31.
Rating: *1/2
Review: I am one of the biggest Janela guys you’ll find, but man this was not great. Kayla Rossi can’t hit that moonsault to save her life, and so it just doesn’t look too devastating, Joey looks great physically but still it’s so crazy to me that he can naturally feel like a guy in GCW but in AEW just feels goofy and out of place.

– Bear Country get some interview time. They say what you see is what they’re all about. They want us to feel it there’s no team bigger or hungrier than they are. They say they won’t be satisfied until they take out the baddest teams in AEW. Bronson says they’ll snap the climbs of the best wrestlers. They say they’re the best big man tag team on the planet, they want blood, and they want championships. AEW is Bear Country. Wow they looked great this week.

Emi Sakura (8-2) vs. Valentina Rossi (0-4)

We LOVE Lulu. Rossi gets a nice reaction and Emi is annoyed. Emi slaps the hand of Rossi and we get a lockup followed by a wristlock as Emi takes control. Emi with a chop to Rossi and tosses her out of the corner with a hair toss. Emi sings and the crowd sings back as she beats up Rossi. Emi locks in the Romero special and sings some more. Emi with a kick to the spine of Rossi. Emi with the double under hook but Rossi blocks it so she gets scratched by Emi. Rossi back to her feet and hits Emi with some right hands but she eats a chop from Emi. Emi goes for a suplex but Rossi blocks it and hits one of her own. Rossi with a taunt and hits a splash on Emi in the corner. Rossi hits Emi with a modified neck breaker for a two count and Lulu is in shock. Rossi lifts Emi up and goes for a reverse DDT but Emi rakes Rossi’s eyes. Emi does the we will rock you chant and hits the running cross body in the corner. Emi and Lulu celebrate before Emi hits a spinning elbow onto Rossi. Emi covers for a two count but breaks it up herself. Emi hits the queens gambit on Rossi and covers for the three count in 4:17.
Rating: **
Review: This match was ok, Valentina Rossi (probably not related to Kayla but what do I know) is definitely over with this local Orlando crowd, outside of that she’s prety green and you could tell from the camera cuts that she’s got some growth to do with strikes in particular. This was not bad by any means but really just an average squash. Lulu was great.

Matt Hardy (20-10) vs. Brick Aldridge (0-1)

Matt starts this match by telling Brick he will learn to say his name with reverence. Brick gets Matt into the corner but Matt hits him with some stiff chops and gets Brick into the corner but Brick fights out and nails Matt with some nice kicks to the midsection. Brick tosses Matt across the ring but Brick gets tossed to the outside by Matt. Jorah Johl sends Brick into the ring post while the referee is distracted. Matt uses this to take control of the match and hits Brick with an elbow to the face. Matt back in the ring and hits Brick with a neck breaker on Brick. He hits another one and tells everyone to say his name with reverence. Brick to his feet and he fights back with some shots to the midsection. Matt locks Brick in a sleeper hold but the crowd wills Brick back to his feet and Brick slams Matt into the corner to break the hold. Brick goes for an uppercut but Matt moves. Matt goes for a shot of his own but Brick drops him and heads to the top rope. Matt catches Brick with some strikes to the face and goes for a superplex. Brick fights back with shots to the midsection sending Matt to the ring. Brick with a nice diving head but to Matt. Brick with the cover but Matt kicks out at two. Both men to their feet, Matt goes for side effect but Brick fights out and hits Matt with a shoulder breaker. Jorah Johl distracts Brick. Brick goes for a freakin lionsault but Matt moves out of the way. Brick to his feet and eats a side effect from Matt. Matt calls for it and hits Brick with a twist of fate. Matt covers Brick and gets the victory in 4:58.
Rating: **3/4
Review: This was an awesome short squash. Brick looked like a viable opponent and i’ll be a bit surprised if he doesn’t continue to show up for a while. I don’t know much about him but he looked like a decent big dude in this match with Matt. 

Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson (4-1) vs. The Acclaimed (19-5)

The acclaimed with a hug before this kicks off. Lockup and Brock takes control with a wristlock before sending caster to the mat and standing on his arm. Anderson continues to work over the arm before covering Caster for one. Caster fights out and looks for a splash but Brock moves and hits Max with shots to the midsection. Brock with a backdrop to Max and pulls him to his corner to tag in Lee. Bowens tags in and gets hit with an arm drag from Lee. Bowens fights back and chops Lee in the chest and looks for a dropkick but Lee holds onto the ropes and hits Bowens with a dropkick of his own. Lee gets Bowens in the corner and chops him before tagging in Brock. Double team back elbow to Bowens and Brock covers for a one count. Bowens rakes Brocks eyes and sends him to the outside but Brock hangs on and hits Bowens with a shoulder to the midsection. Bowens drops Brock off the apron with a dropkick and Max spears Brock into the apron. Bowens pulls Brock back into the ring and hits him with an elbow strike to the kidneys. Bowens with an angle slam to Brock and covers for a two count. Bowens chops Brock and talks smack to Arn. Max tags in and hits Brock with some nice kicks to thee chest. Caster lays Brock down and covers him for a two count. Brock with a backdrop to Brock and tags Bowens in. Bowens with a kick to the back of Brock and then locks in a reverse chin lock. Brock fights out with shots to the midsection shoutout to segway jones. Bowens goes for Brock but is dropped to the outside. Brock looks for a tag but the referee is distracted and Caster prevents the tag. Bowens and Caster take shots at Brock before sending him into the corner and Caster tags in. Quick tags and Bowens tags back in. Brock fights out and Arn yells you gotta make that tag Brock and he does not. Caster tags in and breaks up the tag. Brock with a spine buster onto Caster. Brock is right there and FINALLY makes the tag. Lee tags in and drops Caster with some clotheslines and a neck breaker. Bowens gets involved but Lee fights him off sending him to the outside with an enziguri. Caster catches Lee off guard with a clothesline and a running forearm shot. Lee to his feet and hits an enziguri on Caster. Lee with a fireman’s carry and Brock tags in but he gets back out and Lee with a frog splash for a two count. Looked like Brock tagged in and Taz confused me but alas. Finally Brock tags in and he drops Caster with two clotheslines. Brock gets Caster in the corner with some shots to the midsection. Bowens goes for the chain shot but Brock ducks it so Bowens tosses it to Caster. The ref is distracted and Caster drops Brock with a shot from the chain and covers for the victory in 8:43.
Review: Decent tag match, but Brock still has a lot of room to grow. The last four minutes or so where he just kept trying to tag in at the wrong time and kind of ran out of things to do really brought down the first half where Brock looked quite good. The acclaimed are cool and I think Brock and Lee looked great early but this had its hiccups.

Wardlow (21-3) vs. Rolando Perez (0-0)

Rolando is barely taller than the top ropes. He says come on vato and runs at Wardlow with a some of forearms but none of them phase Wardlow. Rolando realizes he done goofed and begs Wardlow for forgiveness. Rolando kisses the feet of Wardlow and Wardlow has had enough and rops Rolando with a HUGE powerbomb. The crowd calls for one more and Wardlow hits Rolando with three more NASTY powerbombs. Wardlow lifts Rolando up with one hand. He drops Rolando and hits him with the casualty of war and wins the match by TKO in 1:29.
Rating: *********
Review: My word. I can’t really rate a match that was shorter than two minutes but Wardlow destroyed this dude. Those powerbombs were wicked then he just LAUNCHED him after the match. Rolando was a great job guy and I really hope we see him more. I’d love to see this exact match on an episode of Dynamite. 
Post match: Wardlow hits the F-10 or whatever they call it on Rolando and he almost flies to outer space. Nasa Jones. Wardlow does another one and throws Perez like fifty feet in the air.

Lee Moriarty (1-6) vs. Nick Comoroto (14-12)

I love this main event because i’ve written about both guys. Both super talents. Lee looks for a leg takedown but Comoroto blocks it. Lee with a go behind but Nick goes behind and drops Lee with ease. Both men to their feet and Lee changes it up looking for the leg strikes. Lee with more round kicks and then tries to send Comoroto into the ropes and the crowd audibly laughs. Comoroto fights out and sends Lee into the corner and smashes him with the shoulder block in the corner. Comoroto Sends Lee into the other corner. Lee looks for an armbar but Lee fights out. Lee sent into the ropes but he once again fights through looking for the armbar. He can’t get it because Nick’s too strong. Nick with a backbreaker to Lee. Lee gets slammed into the corner and walks into another backbreaker. Nick covers for a two count but Lee kicks out at two. Comoroto tosses lee to the outside and Aaron Solo gets his shots in. Solo tosses Lee back into the ring and Nick stomps on Lee’s head. Lee gets to his feet and looks for the armbar again but Nick hits him with a straight right hand that drops Lee. Comoroto lifts Lee up and presses him a few times before dropping him on the mat. Nick covers for a two count. Lee gets smacked in the back of his head as he’s getting to his feet but Lee again looks for the armbar but gets dropped with a powerslam. Comoroto then twisted the neck of Lee. Nick lifts Lee up and goes for a powerbomb but Lee blocks it. Nick goes for a suplex instead and covers for two. Lee with a kick to the face of Nick and tries to get to his feet. Lee with a chop to Nick’s chest and Lee gets sent face first into the ropes. Nick chokes away at Lee on the middle of the rope and Solo with a forearm to Lee as the ref is distracted. Comoroto lifts Lee up for a vertical suplex but Lee fights out and hits a pele to the left elbow of Comoroto. Lee fights back and hits three clotheslines on Comoroto but he’s doesn’t fall. Lee with an uppercut that knocks Comoroto to the outside. Nick tries to get back into the ring but eats a pump kick from Lee. Lee hits a shot to Nicks arm on the outside and follows with an uppercut on the elbow. Nick tries to send Lee into the guardrail but Lee fights out and sends Nick shoulder first into the ring post. Lee uses the post to wrench Nick’s arm before hitting a kick to the shoulder on the apron. Lee to the middle rope but Comoroto catches him. Lee does a DDT shoulder breaker and covers for a two count. Lee locks in a double wristlock and Comoroto struggles to fight out of hit finally he gets to his feet and hits a powerslam on Lee and covers for a two count. Comoroto tries to lift Lee up but his shoulder is bothering him. Lee rolls through and kicks Nick in the arm fighting out. Comoroto fights out and hits Lee with a right hand. Comoroto uses one arm to lift Lee but Lee fights out and rolls into an armbar. Lee rolls into an pinfall and rolls up Comoroto for the three count. Lee Moriarty scores the upset in 9:32.
Rating: ***
Review: This was a great match for Dark. They started it off completely different than most matches during the show tonight and worked a completely different match than we saw all night. I thought for sure Nick was winning but the longer it went and the more Lee got in the more I felt he could steal one. It still was a complete shock he won even though it makes a lot of sense in hindsight. I love both of these guys and think they both did a really great job here on Dark. 
Post match: Lee gets some mic time and says since joining AEW he’s faced every style of wrestling you could think of. He says after every single fight he’s adapted, he’s learned and he’s evolved. He says tonight he overcame a massive obstacle and says the next step is to continue this momentum and show why TAIGASTYLE is the style.

Top three names to watch following this week’s show.
1. Lee MoriartyMassive victory and solid promo. Lee’s an incredibly talented dude and well deserving. It looks like he’s going to start transitioning into a guy who can get some real wins. 2022 could be big for him.

2. Bear CountryThese two really showed something this week. I have only seen them in spurts but this week was fantastic and the first time I felt they could be true players outside of sporadic job guys.

3. WardlowWardlow looks so awesome on these episodes of Dark, and it’s cool because it feels like a secret because he doesn’t wrestle much on Dynamite and so we’re exposed to these awesome squash matches where he just tears through his opponent.

Jobber of the night: Rolando Perez – Please bring this guy back more he was very entertaining in defeat.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Wow what a great episode of Dark. Some matches had their flaws but overall this was short sweet and had some greatness throughout. Not only did I see a lot of talent I already enjoy I became a fan of Bear Country and overall had a fun time watching this show. Dark can be hit or miss but this might be one of the better episodes i've ever sat down and watched top to bottom. I'm also a huge Lee Moriarty fan so I could be a bit bias but this was a fun set of squashes with some competitive final matches.

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AEW Dark, Andrew Cazer