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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 8.9.22

August 9, 2022 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Dark 8-09-2022 - Kris Statlander vs. Sierra Image Credit: AEW
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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 8.9.22  

We are just one day away from AEWs Quake by the Lake event but before we get there we’ve gotta make a stop for one last episode of AEW Dark. Tonight’s episode is an Orange Cassidy episode which means we’ve got ourselves a little bit of star power. Its also a nice comfy nine match episode which means it should be easily consumable and a good bit of fun. I’ve already mentioned Orange Cassidy but we will also see Private Party, Anna JAS, The Best Friends, Kris Statlander and more!

Isaiah Broner, James Alexander, Brayden Lee, & Sam Moore vs. Private Party, The Butcher, & The Blade

Taz tells Broner that he’s fortunate to have the first R in his last name, he then proclaims that this is the first time there has ever been two Isaiah’s in the same match. Pretty basic showcase match for the signed talent here, each tag team got an opportunity to showcase themselves and look good. Private Party has felt stagnant for a while but a victory here at least gives them hope to keep progressing forward. There were a few brief moments of opportunity for the job squad but it was consistently short lived as the experienced AEW vets made this an easy win after The Butcher and Blade his a combination powerbomb neck breaker before covering for the win.
Rating: **3/4
Review: I am thankful we are in front of a live audience not the typical studio edition of AEW Dark, I just wish there was some effort to focus on Dark and make these ‘special’ shows actually special. Interesting that these two teams are still aligned with no real focus for them. Seems the HFO and AHFO didn’t do a lot for any of the lower guys in the group. Either of these teams could be prominent players if ever needed to be, it’s interesting to see the way they coexist.

Anna Jay A.S. vs. Megan Meyers

Anna Jay might be the one who gains the most from this J.A.S opportunity. The way she’s worked alongside the J.A.S so far has been great. Anna has made a lot of progress over time and she looks pretty smooth in this match. Some stuff is still a bit telegraphed or clunky but this is a good outing for her against a relatively unknown opponent. The finish was solid as Meyers was briefly gaining momentum so Anna just quickly went to the queen slayer for the victory. Post match Anna tosses Meyers to the outside before Garcia bumps her and daps her up for the victory.
Rating: **1/4
Review: This wasn’t quite as good as the opening match but it was solid for what it was, a short squash for Anna. Meyers got a bit of momentum near the end but it was short lived and Anna figured it out for the victory. As a babyface the queenslayer stuff didn’t work too well, this move has been fantastic for her.

Rohit Raju & Ben Jones vs. The Best Friends

The best friends are accompanied by Danhausen, that guy is just friends with everybody. Trent and Rohit kick this off, bit of miscommunication with an odd gutbuster but Trent sticks with it and hits it a second time before prompting a tag from Ren Jones. Rohit runs into a half and half solefood combination and the Best Friends look for a hug but Ren Jones breaks it up with an attack. Combination powerbomb between the Best Friends prompting Danhausen to say it was nice. Danhausen with a nice moment between him and Rohit setting Rohit up for a spear from Trent. Trent with a running knee to Ren right into Strong Zero. Trent covers for the victory. Post match Rohit gets into the face of the Best Friends and Danhausen comes in to curse him, Rohit yells at Danhausen and gets a low blow for it.
Rating: **3/4
Review: Not a bad tag team match but not the best “Best Friends” match and those guys are usually pretty consistent with the quality. It wasn’t ever bad just didn’t really kick into a gear where things were all that great and had enough hiccups to bring it down a bit considering the level of talent involved.

– We get a hype package for Rush/Andrade vs. The Lucha Brothers before Rush and Andrade come out to talk to Tony Schiavone. They talk about how great they are and how Los Ingobernables is the best Faction in all of wrestling. They make a good point. Rush says that he came here to beat up everyone in AEW before correcting himself and says everyone but his brother Andrade. Rush was electric for this promo, really solid stuff even though he dropped his sunglasses he still played it off like a stud.

The Dark Order (Evil Uno & 10) vs. The Wingmen (Peter Avalon & JD Drake)

These two groups have so many unique pairings you can make that despite the fact they’ve faced off probably half a dozen times this is the first time we have seen this one apparently. Really nothing new here from anything we have seen before from these two teams. The Wingmen played solid heel work and had a few moments of offense but it was hardly ever a question who would win this match up. The Dark Order picked up the win after Uno took out Drake and Ten hit the lariat on Avalon for the victory.
Rating: **3/4
Review: Nothing bad and technically sound but we’ve seen variations of this match enough times that I am really confused who this could possibly even be helping. I guess we have to stack wins on the Dark Order going into the six man tournament.

Heather Reckless & Joseline Navarro vs. Marina Shafir & Nyla Rose

Commentary does a good job mentioning how the pairing of Nyla and Shafir might be a bit different but still a solid pairing none the less. Nyla and Shafir waste absolutely no time beating down their opponents before the match even begins. They hit a combination move forcing their opponents to essentially attack each other. Nyla continues her attack on Navarro outside the ring while Shafir takes care of Reckless in the ring. Nyla and Marina with a combination kick into a spinebuster for the victory. Post match Vicky cuts a promo talking about the unique union she, Marina and Nyla will form and says they will be known as the Best of Burdens. Vicky tells them to continue so Marina and Nyla continue their assault on Navarro and Reckless.
Rating: **1/2
Review: It was solid at first despite some level of clunkyness but the finish wasn’t great and this was not exactly a ‘great’ showing. It was a good start though and I think they’ll improve as a unit the more they work together. This is a great team and they could be key factors in the event AEW actually goes forward with a womens tag team division. Nyla and Marina aren’t experienced tag team wrestlers but give them time and this unit will be fun to watch.

Kris Statlander vs. Sierra

I love how much Statlander has caught on recently, the more she’s been given a chance to shine she has. Nice clean chain wrestling early between these two but Statlander’s experience allows her to quickly take the upper hand. Bit of an awkward moment in the corner, they managed to quickly adjust and make the best of it which lead to Sierra getting some offense early but it’s short lived. Statlander with a HUGE big boot for the victory.
Rating: **3/4
Review: This was the best job match we’ve seen tonight, even with the minor hiccup they quickly adjusted and it went fine. I really enjoy Statlander, so while this was short it was good and I enjoyed it for what it was.

Sonny Kiss, Zack Clayton, & Xavier Walker vs. The Trustbusters (Ariya Daivari, Parker Boudreaux, and Slim J)

The Jobbers get an official entrance courtesy of Sonny Kiss being an actual roster member but I can’t imagine that this will last long. Ari and Slim J look pumped up and they should they’ve got the big man Parker Boudreaux backing them up. Sonny kicks this match off and looks GREAT so much awesome improvement for Sonny, but the offense is short as they tag in Zack Clayton who uses his size to toss Slim J around. Not quite the job match I expected as the Jobbers are doing a great job isolating Slim J. Walker lifts him up to toss him out of the ring but he rakes the eyes of Walker. Slim J tags in Daivari and they hit an assisted slice bread before Daivari covers for two. Xavier shoves Daivari off and Boudreaux tags in, Walker actually stands pretty tall and is toe to toe with Parker for a moment before he’s dropped. Clayton into the ring but Slim J takes him out. Slim J up top he takes Clayton out outside the ring. meanwhile Boudreaux with the splash on Xavier in the corner. Sonny meanwhile just sitting in the corner not watching. Daivari tags in and hits the frog splash and covers and Sonny refuses to watch and even smiles a bit at the loss. Post match Sonny and Ari with a bit of a conversation and Sonny smiles as Ari walks away.
Rating: *** 1/4
Review: There wasn’t a single thing wrong with this match and I enjoyed the storyline dynamic with Sonny at the end. I am thrilled if Sonny is getting a story on Dark again especially after what we saw tonight. The Trustbusters stuff is a great change of pace compared to the usual AEW Dark stuff so I’m enjoying it a great bit.

Ruby Soho, Athena & Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb, Leva Bates, & Emi Sakura

Interesting six women tag match as clearly one side is the obvious favorite but Deeb and Emi have great records so it wouldn’t surprise me if they somehow won this here. This has the potential to be match of the night given the level of talent involved. Deeb and Ruby kick this off the crowd pretty firmly behind Ruby. Sweet spot where Ruby tries to roll through to a pin but it’s clunky so Deeb just locks in a submission so it looked smooth. Great work. Shida tags in and im stoked I feel like we havent seen Shida much in a while. Deeb refuses to wrestle Shida and tags in Emi, I love how the crowd was there for that moment but people really tried to give flack for how long the feud was. It worked. Shida and Emi with great back and forth work. Athena tags in and she ends up getting bit by Emi before Leva tags in. Athena’s too strong and nails a stiff back kick to the stomach, poor Leva. Ruby tags in and has the momentum for a moment but Deeb with the outside attack as the referee is distracted allows Leva to take control and work over Ruby’s injured arm. Emi tags in and hits the diving crossbody in the corner before Deeb tags in and works over the injured arm of Ruby. Ruby fights free with the back heel trip and tags Shida in. Shida runs through Leva and Emi. Shida with the classic ten punches in the corner and finishes it with a dropkick, she’s great. Shida up to the middle rope and hits a meteora on Emi, she covers for two but Leva breaks it up. This starts to break down as everyone hits the ring to get their stuff in. Emi and Shida are the final two in the ring, Leva tags in and sets Shida up, Emi with a neckbreaker, Leva covers and Shida kicks out! That felt like the finish. Leva grabs her book, she’s back to her old ways. Leva tries to hit her with the book but Shida blocks it, the referee sees what’s going on and takes the book. Shida with a springboard kick to Leva and the kitana spinning knee for the victory. That was a lot of fun.
Rating: ***3/4
Review: That was a really good six women tag team match between six really good competitors. Leva usually doesn’t get to do a whole lot these days but she was solid here as was everyone else. The experience of all the women involved helped this feel like a real competitive match rather than your typical AEW Dark squash match.

Anthony Henry vs. Orange Cassidy

Excalibur explains that The Workhorsemen are a subsidiary of The Wingmen glad we got that cleared up. Orange Cassidy with a wonderful entrance, I haven’t had a chance to take it in properly since the theme changed up. It’s a positive change, I don’t know it was needed but it’s great. Henry takes control early trying to grapple with OC and keep him grounded and slow. Henry looking really good despite not doing anything too detrimental to OC. Henry with a kick to OC and it wakes Cassidy up nailing Henry with a burst of energy. Cassidy gets mixed up with Drake on the outside as Bryce is distracted, Drake hits his cool rebound forearm on the outside. Henry continues the attack on Cassidy on the inside. Cassidy attempts his patented DDT on Henry but it’s blocked for a brainbuster. Henry up top for a dive on OC but he rolls under the turnbuckle to avoid it. Henry with some more offense but OC with the stundog millionaire to Henry then a dive to Drake outside the ring. OC with the orange punch to Drake then beach break onto Henry for the victory.
Rating: ***3/4
Review: This was a great main event even if it was a bit short. Orange Cassidy has such a great character so him taking all this offense from a guy we aren’t super familiar with in Anthony Henry is fine as he was able to quickly rebound and bounce back for the victory taking out not one but two guys in the process. As much as it’s been great to have super awesome technical main events with PAC the last few weeks this was a great change of pace.

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was an enjoyable episode of Dark particularly the last stretch of matches. The beginning of the show wasn't bad but really nothing too notable or memorable outside of the Nyla/Shafir stuff that wasn't great but was a good start. The main event and the six women tag that preceded it were really strong matches and having this show taped with an actual crowd was a nice change of pace. It was a great change up from our typical AEW Dark formula that I imagine will return in about a week or two.

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AEW Dark, Andrew Cazer