Evil Uno and Stu Grayson kicked off the latest AEW Dark with a backstage promo about their upcoming five-on-five elimination match. The Dark Order members were also slated to compete tonight in what looked like a stacked lineup.
Taz and Excalibur welcomed the fans and hyped up the card before we went to the first match of the evening.
Red Velvet vs. Alejandra Lion (AEW Debut) on AEW Dark
The women got the in-ring proceedings underway with a typical collar and elbow tie-up, and Red Velvet easily won the early exchanges.
The AEW debutant got into a waist lock position but was forced to break the hold. Alejandra Lion then slapped Velvet across the face before kicking her in the gut. The rookie drove her knees into Red Velvet's face after trapping her in a standing necktie.
Alejandra was a little hasty as Red Velvet kicked out of the pinfall. The latter fought out of a chin lock but couldn't evade Alejandra's claws.
Lion missed a double knee strike in the corner as Velvet moved out and rocked her with two clotheslines. She sent Alejandra into the ropes, followed by the running double knee strike and a moonsault.
Velvet set Alejandra up for her new finisher, 'The Final Slice' (swing through leg scissors).
Result: Red Velvet def. Alejandra Lion
Red Velvet needed a new finisher, and 'The Final Slice' looks like a solid pick!
Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela were involved in a backstage segment up next, and The Bad Boy seemed to be back to his usual self as he put The Young Bucks on notice. Concrete Rose is coming for the AEW World Tag Team titles.
Abadon vs. Killa Kate (AEW Debut) on AEW Dark
Killa Kate looked fearful of Abadon as AEW's "Living Dead Girl" stalked her prey in the match's opening moments.
Abadon found it tough to deal with Kate's evasive tactics until she landed a big knee. The former AEW Women's title contender sent Kate across the ring with a hair pull before dumping her out with another rising knee strike.
Abadon unleashed some ground and pound on the outside before rolling the AEW debutant back into the ring. The intimidating star crawled towards her opponent but got caught in a triangle sleeper.
Abadon broke free and came in hot with an uppercut. She landed repeated elbows in the corner but missed her running strike, crashing face-first into the turnbuckle.
Abadon quickly recuperated and stunned Kate with a stiff backhand shot. Killa Kate tried to fight back with a few strikes as the crowd chanted - 'eat her soul.' Abadon no-sold the punches and delivered a big pop-up powerbomb. The Living Dead Girl softened Kate up with a headbutt before executing her leg-scissor DDT finisher.
Result: Abadon def. Killa Kate on AEW Dark
Diamante vs. Big Swole on AEW Dark
A recap of last week's AEW Dark: Elevation aired before the grudge match. Big Swole got a great reception from the crowd in Garland, Texas.
Diamante looked unfazed by the challenge ahead of her as Swole started with a running knee strike; Diamante rolled out of the ring and took her time to get into her groove in the AEW Dark match.
Both stars exchanged arm drags and reversed several holds. The sequence was fast-paced as Big Swole laid out her opponent with a pump kick for a one-count.
Swole locked in the body scissors, and the crowd chanted for both competitors. Diamante used her positioning to break out of the hold before sending Swole into the corner. She ripped Swole with a running chop followed by a few big-time strikes.
Diamante dragged her opponent's face across the top rope, but the babyface returned with a few jabs.
She knocked Swole down with a clothesline to the back. Diamante taunted her and got a few boos from the crowd. She continued to pour the pressure on Swole with a methodical onslaught of kicks.
Swole had some life in her as she tried to punch her way out of a tricky situation. However, Diamante got a strong two-count after a running basement dropkick in the corner.
She focussed on Swole's right hand before targeting the upper chest with forearm shots. Diamante got in a tight chink lock as her opponent found it challenging to get to a vertical base.
Swole finally got to her feet only to be greeted with a sledgehammer shot. The star did land a few strikes before delivering a clutch headbutt.
Swole then attempted a sunset flip from the apron, but Diamante held on, smartly sat on her opponent, and grabbed the ropes for the three-count on AEW Dark. Diamante stole one over Big Swole!
Result: Diamante def. Big Swole on AEW Dark
The storyline between Swole and Diamante is just getting started!
AEW Dark Co-Main Event: Dark Order's Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Zach Mason & Warren Johnson (AEW Tag Team Debut)
The Dark Order received one of the loudest pops of the night, and it wasn't a surprising sight to see the group get a hero's welcome in Texas.
Warren Johnson and Stu Grayson got the penultimate match of the show underway with a sequence of kicks and reversals.
Grayson pushed Johnson towards his team's corner and tagged Evil Uno, who came with an assisted high boot.
The veteran Dark Order member knocked Zach Mason off the apron with a forearm shimmer. He switched his attention on Warren, but a brief distraction enabled Mason to knock Evil Uno down from the apron.
Zach entered the match and isolated Uno in the heels' corner. He then smashed Uno with a variety of strikes before tagging Johnson back in. The debutants made multiple tags and executed a splash-lariat combo on Uno for a two-count.
Mason slowed down the pace of the contest with a chin lock. The crowd got behind Uno, who was unable to tag himself to safety.
Uno finally created some separation with a suplex before making the hot tag to Stu Grayson. The energetic Dark Order member ran over Johnson and executed a release belly-to-belly suplex followed by a uranage. Johnson and Mason both landed hard on the outside before Grayson followed them with an over-the-top dive, aka the tope con Hilo. Fans loved that as Grayson headbanged on the apron.
He rolled Johnson back into the ropes and Uno got the blind tag. Evil Uno laid out Warren with a stalling German suplex.
Mason got into the ring and ate a high boot, followed by the Pele kick. Uno dropped him down again with a sidewalk suplex.
The Dark Order then set the stage for the finisher. Grayson smacked Johnson with a vicious running strike before Uno swiftly transitioned to the piledriver for the pinfall victory on AEW Dark. Tandem offense at its finest!
Result: Dark Order's Evil Uno & Stu Grayson def. Zach Mason & Warren Johnson on AEW Dark
The crowd seemed firmly invested in the solid AEW Dark match and were on their feet by the end.
AEW Dark Main Event: Varsity Blonds & Dante Martin (w/ Julia Hart) vs. Ryan Nemeth & The Acclaimed
A video highlight package of The Acclaimed's AEW storyline with the Varsity Blonds aired before this week's AEW Dark main event, which looked like a show-stealer on paper.
Top Flight's Dante Martin approached the ring first for the trios tag team match, followed by the Varsity Blonds and Julia Hart. The audience showered their love for the team as Ryan Nemeth came out next to a few boos from the AEW crowd.
The Acclaimed got the biggest pop of the night, proving that Max Caster and Anthony Bowens are top stars in the making! Platinum Max had some bars as usual, with his shot at Julia Hart being a prominent feature of his latest diss verse.
Bowens used his strength advantage to overwhelm Dante Martin in the early stages. Martin got back with some crafty work on his feet as he utilized his quickness to stun Anthony. The Top Flight member effortlessly leapfrogged over Martin, bounced off the ropes, and dropped his rival with a shotgun dropkick.
Ryan Nemeth came in for the heels as Garrison and Pillman peppered the Hollywood Hunk with some combination moves, including a dropkick-spinebuster variation.
Nemeth turned the referee's attention away as Bowens and Caster unloaded on Pillman after a cheap shot. Ryan and his partners were now in control as the tags started to increase in frequency.
Pillman was a fighter, however, and he swung his hands and connected with a few solid punches. The Varsity Blond got laid out with a release northern lights suplex, and Bowens quickly went for the cover. Taz called it wise wrestling on Bowens' part to not give his opponent any breathing room in the AEW Dark match.
Nemeth got a piece of the action in the bout with a running spear in the corner. Brian Pillman popped the AEW crowd and knocked down Nemeth and Bowens with a high crossbody from the top turnbuckle.
Brian tried to tag Dante Martin, who got swept off the apron by Nemeth. Garrison received the hot tag, and he attacked every opponent in plain sight with a series of clotheslines. He sent Nemeth outside before giving Bowens a taste of his boot.
Griff Garrison smashed Caster in the corner with a running splash before sending him across to the other end into his partner. Garrison then came running through for a double splash on both members of The Acclaimed.
Garrison executed a flapjack for a near fall as Caster was able to kick out. Max blocked a side suplex with a few elbows, but Garrison returned with a rolling elbow strike in the engaging AEW Dark bout.
Brian made the blind tag and missed his Air Pillman finisher as Bowens caught him and turned him inside-out with a side slam variation. He dropped Garrison with a thrust kick but couldn't evade Dante Martin's incredible moonsault off the ropes. Martin walked on top of the rope before executing the moonsault, and fans deservedly clapped for the star.
Max Caster missed the mic drop on Pillman, who moved out of the way and got a near fall with a roll-up. Dante got the tag, and he went to the top for a shotgun dropkick. The elevation on the move was insane!
Martin had his hands full with Nemeth, who ate a few elbow shots before going down with a dropkick. The Top Flight high-flyer showed glimpses of his mercurial talent as he almost landed on his feet after the dropkick.
Ryan reversed a hammer throw and sent Martin into the corner. Any other wrestler would have crashed into the turnbuckle, but not Dante!
The 20-year-old AEW star continued running and executed a somersault over the ring post onto the remaining members of the match. That was a legitimate holy sh** moment! Fans predictably gave props to Martin for the move as he looked to finish things up with Nemeth.
Dante Martin hit the Front-Flip Stunner but seemed to have partially botched up the finisher. Ryan Nemeth still sold it like a pro and couldn't kick out of the subsequent three-count.
Result: Varsity Blonds & Dante Martin def. Ryan Nemeth & The Acclaimed in the AEW Dark main event
The AEW Dark main event also featured a post-match segment as Brian Pillman grabbed the microphone for a promo directed towards The Acclaimed.
It was the Varisty Blonds' time for retribution as Pillman accused Caster and Bowens of being mere talkers. He declared that the Blonds were the top-ranked tag team in the No. 1 company in the world.
The latest AEW Dark episode came to a close with The Varsity Blonds, Julia Hart, and Dante Martin celebrating in front of fans, as the heels looked on from the ramp.
You can check out the latest AEW Dark episode above, and feel free to share your grades and reviews in the comments section below.
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