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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 6.21.22

June 21, 2022 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Dark - Kris Statlander 6-21-22 Image Credit: AEW
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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 6.21.22  

It’s Tuesday Night so you know what that means! It’s time for another episode of AEW Dark. Tonight’s episode has 9 matches and if you follow along with my reviews i’m a stickler for show length when it comes to Dark. This is a decent length especially given the quality of talent we have on tap for tonight. Could be shorter with bigger stars but this is cool. We have Caster, Statlander, Diamante, Nese, Mercedes, Deeb, and other really strong talent on tap for tonight with Jay Lethal and Blake Christian set to main event. They should push the ‘main event’ match for Dark more on Social Media, make it feel special to given the focused talent a legit must watch feel. This match is must watch to me so that’s why I say that. Let’s get to the show.

Max Caster (w/ Anthony Bowens) vs. Trever Aeon

Deep cuts from Caster for Aeon’s Perm and he’s not a fan. Aeon is a demonic type character pretty interesting and hard to get past Caster calling him a wanna be Kat Williams. Caster with a weak pull of the hair to slam Aeon to the mat. Aeon getting a bit of offense in and showcasing his demonic character but it’s not doing a whole lot for the live crowd. He’s moving slowly and has demonic movements but it’s missing something. Caster back in control and nails a back body drop, we get a good shot of Bowens as Caster heads to the top and his an elbow drop for the victory.
Rating: **
Review: This wasn’t bad but pretty typical for your average AEW squash, Aeon wasn’t bad but he was lacking a bit here and there, i’d like to see him get another match or two and see if he can flesh out his character a bit.

We get the Bowens hype promo again, it’s nice to see him getting recognized while on the shelf, he’s been a focal AEW talent for a while so this hype package doesn’t feel as odd to me as some of the others. I am all for pride representation but I do wish someone like Sonny Kiss would be featured more in general so with Bowens it does feel more natural rather than just something to do because it’s June. I don’t think AEW does that intentionally but it can feel that way at times.

Serpentico vs. Vary Morales

Looks like Serpentico will be padding a win to set himself up for a singles squash in the future. Typical AEW booking but hey maybe Vary will steal one. Vary has worked the indies a few times and played around with the idea that he looks a lot like Juventud Guerrero. Fast paced action early, this match is interesting because either guy could win and it’s a bit different from your typical AEW Dark match featuring two solid lightweight superstars. Serpentico takes control with a tossing suplex and commentary plays into the fact that there’s a very small size advantage for Serpentico. He heads up top and goes for the double stomp but Vary moves and fights out hammering Serpentico with forearms, but Serpentico rolls through hits Vary with a kick and then finishes him with a gotch style piledriver.
Rating: **3/4
Review: This was a short fast paced match featuring two solid superstars. I expected Serpentico to win and he did but it was a decent back and forth match. It’s much more understanding when someone like Serpentico is giving up that much offense to someone like Vary than other matches we’ve seen that are more 50/50 60/40.

Blake Christian cuts a promo backstage to hype up his main event match with Jay Lethal tonight. He says he will show Jay Lethal and everyone watching why he is All Heart. Hoping Blake can steal a win here or at least set up a bit of a feud with Jay on Dark. This promo helps add some thought that Jay could potentially lose.

Kris Statlander vs. Ava Everett

Everett is making her AEW debut she has a unique look. I have seen Stat a few times since changing her look but I really do appreciate it she’s taken a big step forward. Statlander making quick work of Ava dropping her with a reverse body slam and into an inside hook suplex onto Ava and covers for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: A nice quick squash. Ava has an interesting look so i’d like to see her come back in the future and get one of those back and forth squash matches we always see. That said Statlander winning quickly to continue building towards a match with Jade is perfect.

Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) (w/ Evil Uno & Ten) vs. The Wingmen (Cezar Bononi & Peter Avalon) (w/ JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth)

These teams have been focal points for AEW Dark for a while. Both teams have been shaken up at times but now we’re back to a match we’ve maybe seen in the past if not like I said both are focal teams for Dark. Avalon gets taken to task by Reynolds and Silver before making a tag to Cezar. Bononi and Silver exchange holds for a moment before Bononi drops him with a suplex. Avalon tags in and Silver attempts a suplex but Bononi prevents it from the outside and makes a tag. Bononi taking Silver apart in the corner. Tough for The Dark Order, they feel like the bigger team but I wouldn’t even be too shocked if Bononi took the win here for his team. Reynolds tags in and covers Avalon for two but after hitting a knee to the face Bononi breaks up the pin. Silver finally hits the suplex on Bononi to a decent pop. Avalon tries to roll up Reynolds but he counters and gets the roll up victory instead. Post match Ryan Nemeth and JD Drake attack Reynolds and Silver from behind until the rest of the Dark Order make the save.
Rating: **3/4
Review: This was a decent tag match between two focal teams for AEW Dark, it looks like they’re about to embark on a feud which makes sense as I suppose neither team has really crossed paths but really I think at this point these teams should just be working to elevate another tag team but I suppose this works for a short feud to get the Dark Order some more wins.

Jay Lethal is backstage with Satnam and Sonjay and they cut a promo on Blake Christian, Sonjay says Blake may be all heart but they’re going to take his heart and crush it.

The Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) & Brock Anderson vs. Larry Lazaro, Terry Yaki, & Jay Lucas

Trios Jones! Over/Under on Brock Anderson making a hot tag, hitting a corner spear spine buster and pin for the victory? Varsity Blonds are another team that has lost quite a bit of steam lately. They could benefit from an ROH return and ROH run or an indie run to get some interest in them. Pillman and Garrison in early before Brock tags in and he proves me wrong quick. No spear or spinebuster yet. He takes the beating from the jobbers before making a sweet diving tag to Griff. Griff gets a nice bit of offense in, and he really should get a run doing anything else because he’s underrated. SPINEBUSTER FROM BROCK! Griff and Pillman with the combination rolling elbow, superkick pendulum face buster for the victory. Nice bit of offense here to close out the match.
Rating: **1/2
Review: It’s another short squash but the Blonds and Brock actually impressed me, Brock by doing literally anything else, and the Blonds with the sweet closing sequence. I expect this could be a match for them to lose in the future on Dynamite but it was a decent squash either way.

Diamante vs. Devlyn Macabre

Diamante is solid but has never really felt like a real competitor in AEW’s womens division despite consistently racking up wins on Dark. Devlyn with a short bit of offense before Diamante kicks it into high gear and lays into Devlyn multiple times having to have the referee to separate them. Taz calls Bryce drunk with power and i’d have to agree. Sweet exchange of strikes Devlyn with a tripping kick to Diamante and lays into her with strikes in the corner. Diamante with a series of German suplexes and locks in a straightjacket crossface submission finish.
Rating: **1/2
Review: This was really good for what it was but it was too short to give it too much. I wouldn’t mind these two getting a six or seven minute match to show what they can do. This was much shorter than that and still fun. I haven’t heard much of Devlyn but she was good here.

Tony Nese vs. JDX

Nese quickly takes control, but JDX forces Nese into the ropes and this is a pure rules match so one rope break for Nese. Nese is mad that it counts as he was pushed into the ropes. Nese with control early but after exchanging strikes JDX takes control he drops Nese with a kick to the shin and a springboard legdrop and covers for two. Nese with a back elbow, Nese with a running Nese then a sitout piledriver for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: I pretty much expected Nese to pick up the win here, it was a pure rules match obviously setting up a Pure Championship match down the line. If that’s the case which the post match indicates then he really should’ve done a bit more to sell his ability in the pure rules style match, Nese should’ve forced JDX to take a ropebreak etc stuff to make me feel Wheeler is in trouble as a champion. Instead it makes sense that Yuta should have a strong advantage over Nese as it is.
Post match: Smart Mark sterling calls out Wheeler for the championship match just one week before Blood and Guts. That’s a pretty good match for AEW Dark and one I am interested in. It’s smart to set up Yuta to look good ahead of Blood and Guts as he’s been gone for a bit.

– Deeb and Mercedes are backstage, Deeb says she doesn’t need a partner but she’s fine with being a partner with Mercedes. She tells Mercedes she can learn a thing or two. Mercedes say she’s fine with being her partner and she might learn something but she’s on top right now so Deeb better not cross her. This was a pretty good promo from both Deeb and Mercedes. This weeks Dark has actually felt like a good ROH build and if that’s what Dark becomes while we wait for ROH to get tv i’m all for it.

Mercedes Martinez & Serena Deeb vs. Yade & Anna Diaz

Deeb wastes no time knocking Yade off the apron then hitting Diaz with a neck breaker into the ropes. Yade tries to break up a submission so Deeb hits a submission on Diaz and a suplex on Yade. Mercedes wants some and tags in, she hits Yade with a suplex and then lifts Diaz up dropping her on the top rope. Yade tries to knock Deeb off the apron but she takes a forearm. Mercedes locks in a submission, Deeb does as well and they both force the submission victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: This was a solid squash with Mercedes and Deeb trying to one up each other likely setting a match down the line. I’m all for it.

– Yuta is backstage and he says noone can beat him in Pure Rules and he’s going to beat Nese and go into Blood and Guts with all the momentum. I take back wanting Nese to show some strengths in Pure rules, I appreciate what they did as it sets up Yuta to look like a specialist so if/when he loses it’ll be special and interesting.

Jay Lethal (w/ Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt) vs. Blake Christian

In the words of Mark Henry it’s time for the main event. It looks like Blake has a lot ahead of him. Something about this feels like a set up for Blake vs. Satnam down the line but I might be wrong. Blake gets a decent pop, Jay backs him into the corner stomps him out and then mocks the crowd. Blake fights back he drops Jay into the bottom rope and hits a bottom rope 619. Jay regains control but Blake with a rolling headlock into a splash and covers for two. Blake with a handspring into a corkscrew kick. Blake teases a dive but Sanjay breaks it up with a distraction. Satnam on the other side to prevent the dive. Jay Lethal from behind and he sends Blake into Satnam who nearly attacks Blake for a dq. Jay outside to grab Blake and regains control. Jay with a scoop slam and lays into Blake with strikes. Blake fights back but Jay sends him into the mat shoulder first. Jay with a suplex and covers for two then immediately follows with a dropkick to the back of the head. Jay’s a great opponent to help get Blake over even in defeat. Jay and Sanjay are fantastic both reacting so well to everything. Blake tries to fight back but Jay with a backdrop and cover for two. Jay with an uppercut and he hurts his own arm, he goes for another and Blake with the roll up for two, another, Jay with a right hand/slap to Blake to separate himself. Both men exchange strikes, Blake with a series fo strikes and a standing sliced bread for two. I like how Blake does that. Jay fights back and hits an enziguri he goes for the Lethal Injection and Blake blocks it! Cody Rhodes said that always hits. Blake up top with a double stomp but Jay counters, Blake with a superkick it sends Jay to the outside. Blake again stopped by Sanjay but Blake with a springboard kick, Satnam to the other side but Blakes outside and hits a reverse DDT to the outside on Jay. Blake goes for a springboard 450 but Jay puts the knees up. Jay with a stunner, then a sit-out face buster. Jay up top and goes for the elbow drop. Jay covers and picks up the victory.
Rating: ***1/2
Review: Not to be that guy but did we really need two elbow drop finishes to end matches tonight? Outside of that the critque for this is pretty few and far between. Jay is good and Blake is awesome so this was a lot of fun. It’s nice to see someone like Blake who had a short uneventful NXT run slowly slot into a potential AEW spot. I would enjoy him in ROH and do expect that to be the case in the future. This was a good main event match and I wish Dark focused more on this type of close to the show more often. Blake feels like a bigger deal and Jay got a solid win.

The final score: review Good
The 411
This weeks episode was actually really enjoyable, maybe I just viewed it in this way but it felt pretty ROH centric. Not from top to bottom but it had a lot of ROH stuff throughout and that's likely the best way to do Dark at least for now. I get wanting to separate the two but with no tv for ROH it's probably Tony's best bet. The squash matches were what they were but the rest of the show was solid. The main event was actually really great and I wish so bad Dark had a format like this weekly where we got one nicely built main event match, maybe even as I suggested pushing it as such on social media to give the final match on Dark an important feel.

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AEW Dark, Andrew Cazer