AEW DARK featured a special episode last night as the promotion heads into Week 1 of the much anticipated Fyter Fest. With the event taking place over 2 weeks, fans can expect quite a revamp in the content in the promotion.
Last night's AEW DARK featured two matches that took place outside of the USA, with both the AEW Women's Championship and All-Atlantic Championship being defended in other promotions. On top of that, the show featured one debut and two returning stars.
Continue reading as we break down and grade last night's AEW DARK for your convenience.
AEW DARK Opener: Thunder Rosa vs. Miyu Yamashita
The AEW DARK opener took place a week ago in Japan's TJPW promotion. While the belt was not on the line, Yamashita was competing for a shot at the Women's Championship.
The two athletes began the bout strongly, with the two going back-and-forth before Thunder Rosa briefly gained the upperhand. The stars would then go back and forth again before the champion yet again took charge. Later on, Yamashita would gain the upperhand with a consistent attack before Rosa hit her with a Baseball Slide.
Continuing on in the bout, the TJPW star began to wear La Mera Mera down. The star would begin a flurry of kicks before getting hit with a Death Valley Driver from the champion. Yamashita then escaped a Fire Thunder Driver and hit her with a Skull Kick, getting a near fall. The star then hit a German suplex, gaining another near-fall.
Yamashita finally attempted an Attitude Adjustment before being reversed by the champion. Miyu then reversed Rosa's roll-up into a roll-up of her own, capturing the victory.
Winner: Miyu Yamashita.
Grade: B+, quite an impressive bout to open the show, especially for fans of Japan's unique style of wrestling, Puroresu.
AEW DARK Tag-Team Action: Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) vs. Bear Country (Bear Boulder and Bear Bronson)
Private Party finally returned to AEW DARK in the show's actual opener in the USA. Bear Bronsen and Isaiah Kassidy began the bout, with the far smaller Kassidy trying his best to avoid his opponent's superior strength.
Marq Quen eventually entered the bout and was met by Bear Boulder, who completely dominated the star. Private Party would then use a quick combination of agility and quick thinking to take Bear Bronsen down, moments after he entered the bout.
Later in the match, Bronsen would finally overpower the two stars and get Boulder back into the bout. The Private Party would continue to try and use leaps to regain the upperhand, but the bigger Bear Country member shockingly slammed both stars at the same time.
Bear Country then attempted a Bear Bomb before Isaiah Kassidy pulled off a Diving Cutter out of nowhere. After an impressive Shooting Star Press from Marq Quen, Private Party captured the win.
Winners: Private Party.
Grade: B, the bout reminded fans of Private Party's prowess, with an impressive performance from Bear Country.
"Captain" Shawn Dean vs. Conan Lycan
The AEW DARK debuting Lycan began the bout strongly, initially setting Shawn Dean back. Captain quickly switched things up, hitting the far larger star with some serious quick offense.
However, Conan eventually overpowered Dean, delivering powerful slams to the star. Eventually Shawn Dean regained momentum, hitting a quick Tornado DDT and a running Shoulder Tackle for a near-fall. Lycan would reverse Dean's subsequent attack before failing to deliver what could have been a devastating 450.
The Captain rolled out of the way and ended the match with a high altitude Salute Splash, capturing yet another victory on AEW DARK.
Winner: Captain Shawn Dean.
Grade: B+, quite a good match, building up The Captain as a legitimate competitor.
AEW DARK Tag Team Action: Jericho Appreciation Society (“Daddy Magic” Matt Menard and “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker )vs. Jake St. Patrick and Sage Scott
Menard and Parker began the bout by brutally attacking their opponents right after the bell rang, gaining a massive upperhand. The two would then hit a double DDT against one of their opponents while Matt Menard pinned him. Scoring a victory for The Jericho Appreciation Society on AEW DARK.
Winners: The Jericho Appreciation Society.
Grade: N/A, without any real wrestling it can't be graded, but yet another victory for Menard and Parker, making them seem more legitimate than a year ago.
Willow Nightingale vs Mila Moore
Willow quickly gained the upperhand over debuting Mila Moore after a deep Scoop Slam. Nightingale continued her offense before Moore finally shifted the momentum into her favor. Moore yet again lost the upperhand, as Willow used her strength to overpower the star.
Mila somehow escaped from a finisher attempt and delivered a nasty Back Stabber to Willow, gaining a near-fall. Nightingale then reversed and delivered a Cannon Ball Senton into her signature Doctor Bomb, scoring an indefinite victory for the rising star.
Winner: Willow Nightingale.
Grade: B, a good but brief bout, with an impressive show from the debuting star.
Rohit Raju vs. Baron Black
Raju began the bout strongly, quickly using his experience to overpower Baron Black. However, the much larger Black used his strength to overpower Rohit, gaining the upperhand. The veteran star then eventually regained momentum, using powerful strikes to put Baron Black at a disadvantage.
Later in the bout, Black would escape Raju's offense and briefly lock the veteran in a crossface. After an escape, Rohit would unlease an intense attack on the younger star, indefinitely taking the momentum.
Raju then hit Black with an explosive Diving Stomp, taking him out and scoring a victory on AEW DARK.
Winner: Rohit Raju.
Grade: B, quite an impressive back and forth, the veteran Raju still managed to make Black look good in defeat.
Angelico vs. Logan Laroux
Angelico returned to AEW DARK with a new theme song and quickly used his technical prowess to overpower Laroux. The star would then continue to have a technical clinic against his opponent, employing never-seen-before holds.
The two would then have an interesting exchange of strikes that both would dodge before Laroux hit Angelico with a spear for a two count. Unfortunately, a failed diving attack would result in Laroux being locked in Anglico's finisher. Using the infamous Navarro Death Roll, the star gained a submission victory.
Grade: B, an interesting return for Angelico with quite a show from Laroux.
Dante Martin vs. Nick Comoroto of The Factory
Due to some distraction from QT Marshall, Comoroto would begin the bout by attacking Martin before the match started. However, the smaller star would quickly employ his high flying to briefly shift momentum, before Comorato began manhandling the star.
Later in the match, Dante would shift the momentum, using his unrivaled agility and running attacks to put the star down. Unfortunately, a Death Valley Neckbreaker from Nick Comoroto would lay Dante out.
Winner: Dante Martin.
Grade: B, while Comoroto mainly dominated, the bout showed the pure underdog nature of Martin.
AEW DARK Main Event: PAC (c) vs. Shoto Umino for the All Atlantic Championship
AEW DARK's main event took place in England at the RevProUK promotion last week, on Sunday. PAC began the bout strongly, underestimating the young Umino, who quickly reversed his initial offense.
The B*stard quickly regained momentum, overpowering Shoto before running into the young star's powerslam. Continuing in the match, Umino would lock PAC into a submission, wearing the champion out before they took things outside. The star then gained a near-fall after a massive Fisherman Suplex.
Later in the bout, the champion would attempt his diving finisher, but the NJPW star would evade the move and deliver a series of DDTs, gaining numerous near-falls. The champion would then hit a Pump-Kick out of nowhere, before having to evade Shoto's reversal.
PAC then wrapped Umino in a Crucifix Submission, leaving Shoto no choice but to tap out despite initially fighting back.
Winner: PAC, retains the championship.
Grade: A, quite an impressive first defense for the All Atlantic Champion.