By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 82)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed March 30, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur, Taz, and Anthony Ogogo were the commentary team.
1. “Milk Chocolate” Brandon Watts and Randy Summers vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/Matt Hardy, The Bunny). As the bell rang, The Butcher and The Blade attacked and beat down Watts and Summers in the ring. Summers tried going for a dropkick, but Butcher picked up Summers and slammed him down. The Blade then threw strikes to Watts, but Matt Hardy got involved while Watts was on the ropes and planted Watts down on a table. Watts found a breakthrough with a jawbreaker to The Butcher and tagged in Summers. Summers hit a fisherman’s neckbreaker on The Blade. Both Watts and Summers tried suplexing Blade, but instead threw kicks at him. Allie distracted the referee, and The Butcher and The Blade hit the full death on Watts to win the match.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Milk Chocolate via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A simple showcase for The Butcher and The Blade.
2. Jazmin Allure vs. Madi Wrenkowski. Leva Bates was on commentary. Allure hit a small running dropkick to Wrenkowski, but Wrenkowski countered with a back elbow. Wrenkowski planted Allure on the mat with a backdrop. Allure tried turning the tables on Wrenkowski with strikes and an elbow drop. Wrenkowski dropkicked Allure and performed a side slam as well. Wrenkowski eventually finished Allure with the axe kick.
Madi Wrenkowski defeated Jazmin Allure via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: An okay match for the most part. Wrenkowski looked good. Bates didn’t really add anything on commentary other than talking about Wrenkowski, so who knows where that is going?
3. Dean Alexander and Justin Law vs. “Chaos Project” Serpentinco and Luther. Luther threw Serpentinco on top of Alexander and Law to get the match underway. Serpentinco fired away on Law, who came back with an arm drag and hip toss on Serpentinco. Luther hit the Luther Bomb on Law to stop his momentum and planted him down with a scoop slam. Luther then threw Serpentinco into the midsection of Law, who finally tagged in Alexander for the first time. Alexander dropkicked Luther and hit the half nelson slam on Serpentinco. With assistance from Luther, Serpentinco finished off Alexander with Creeping Death.
Chaos Project defeated Dean Alexander and Justin Law via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good match for what it was. Excalibur noted during the broadcast that both Serpentinco and Luther didn’t do as many double team moves throughout the match.
4. Angelico vs. Sonny Kiss. Angelico put Kiss into a side headlock and threw a toe kick to Kiss’s midsection. Kiss executed a deep arm drag n Angelico and planted him down. Angelico, however, put Kiss into a split submission hold. Angelico had Kiss in a single leg crab for a brief period before Angleico broke the hold. Kiss hit a step-up huracanrana on Angelico and followed with a bulldog, which created a two pin in the process for Kiss. Angelico made Kiss tap out to the Navarro Death Roll.
Angelico defeated Sonny Kiss via submission.
Briar’s Take: Angelico and Kiss did their best to put on a solid match. The match started out slow, but picked up near the end. It was unpredictable for the most part, as both wrestlers are AEW regulars.
A Max Caster video was shown with Caster cutting a promo on Alex Reynolds.
5. Vary Morales, Bill Collier, and D3 vs. Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Colt Cabana. Uno planted D3 down with a shoulder tackle and a Manhattan Drop. D3 threw a dropkick and tagged out. Collier knocked Uno into the ropes, which led to Uno tagging in Grayson. Grayson and Collier then threw chops back and forth. Collier hammer tossed Grayson into the corner and then planted him with a vertical suplex. Later, Cabana dropped Morales on the top turnbuckle and then Uno hit the suplex on Morales as well. Cabana body slammed Morales. Grayson tried lifting up Collier for the Nightfall, but Grayson and Uno hit the assisted Flatliner. Cabana put D3 away with the Chicago Skyline for the victory.
Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Colt Cabana defeated Vary Morales, Bill Collier, and D3 via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A very good match from the Dark Order and Morales, Collier, D3 specifically Collier. AEW gave more ring time to Collier then anyone else
6. Adam Priest and KC Navarro vs. Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt. Stunt hit an enziguiri to Priest and a diving elbow to the back. After firing away early, Stunt tagged in Luchasaurus, who performed a double chokeslam on Navarro and Priest to end the match quickly.
Marko Stunt and Luchasaurus defeated Adam Priest and KC Navarro via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A brief match. Short and sweet.
An AEW Double or Nothing Casino Royale Mobile Game ad aired.
7. Vipress vs. Diamante. Vipress quickly hit a Northern lights suplex on Diamante and followed up with a boot to the face. However, Diamante came back with a mule kick and a leaping dropkick to turn the tables. Diamante put Vipress in a body scissors submission hold and Vipress tapped out.
Diamante beat Vipress by submission.
Briar’s Take: Another notch for the win column for Diamante.
8. Jake St. Patrick, Sage Scott, and Chandler Hopkins vs. Will Hobbs, Ricky Starks, and Brian Cage. Late in the match, Starks hit the Roshambo, but Cage tagged in as Starks was hitting his finisher. Cage put Hopkins down with the Drill Claw.
Will Hobbs, Ricky Starks, and Brian Cage defeated Jake St. Patrick, Sage Scott, and Chandler Hopkins via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Probably the most intriguing match of the night. AEW continues to tease a potential breakup of Team Taz with Starks and Cage making inconsistent tags.
9. Big Swole, Red Velvet, and KiLynn King vs. Ashley Vox, Delmi Exo, and Vertvixen. Velvet performed a leg lariat on Exo, who countered back with a gut wrench on the mat. King made the tag as did Vox. King threw a strike to Exo, but Vertvixen was tagged in and both had a series of exchanges of strikes. Swole planted Exo, which sent her out of the ring and then hit a cutter on Vox. A short time later, Vox and Exo hit a jumping sucidia on Velvet and King on the outside. Meanwhile, Vertvixen followed through with a dive on all women. Vox went for a senton, but Velvet got her knees up in time. Eventually, Velvet hit the chef kick to Vertvixen to gain the pinfall.
Big Swole, Red Velvet, and KiLynn King defeated Ashley Vox, Delmi Exo, and Vertvixen via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A competitive match up from both teams, but the most compelling story was Jade Cargill who came out afterward to target Velvet.
10. Mike Magnum vs. Michael Nakazawa. Nakazawa hit a running elbow strike to Magnum and broke his headset. Nakazawa tried using the headset for a submission, but Magnum spiked Nakazawa with a DDT. Magnum followed through with the neckbreaker to Nakazawa. With a ref distraction, Nakazawa hit Magnum with a laptop. Nakazawa put Magnum down with a tombstone to win the match.
Michael Nakazawa defeated Mike Magnum via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: An okay match that was mostly comedy. Magnum looked the most impressive and was great with his move set and skill.
11. Baron Black and John Skyler vs. Miro and Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford). On the outside, Miro beat down Black before the bell rang. Miro and Skyler eventually got in the ring and the bell rang. Miro continued to beat down Skyler with stomps and strikes. Skyler attempted a comeback by kicking Miro, who countered with a backdrop to Skyler. Miro then delivered a leaping thrust kick to Skyler and made Skyler tap out to Game Over.
Miro and Kip Sabian defeated Baron Black and John Skyler via submission.
Briar’s Take: Miro simply dominated this matchup. Sabian stood out on the apron talking to Ford while Black was taken down by Miro even before the match started.
12. Alex Reynolds vs. Max Caster (w/Anthony Bowens). Reynolds threw a dropkick from the floor on the outside to Caster and followed with a diving crossbody block. Reynolds continued with a clothesline to Caster, but caught his left arm, which allowed Caster to capitalize. Caster targeted the arm of Reynolds and hit a backbreaker. Reynolds fired back with a boot to the jaw and a running back elbow to Caster.
Reynolds attempted to tie up Caster with a close pinfall, but Caster kicked out at two. Reynolds then threw a knee at Caster, who was close to being put away until Anthony Bowens put Caster’s leg on the rope to break the count. Caster hit Reynolds with a chain around his fist and hit the Mic Drop to score the victory.
Max Caster defeated Alex Reynolds via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A fun match to close the show. Caster and Reynolds really executed the match well and it was fun to watch.
Overall, Episode 82 of Dark was enjoyable for the most part. The matches were good with few exceptions and the show didn’t drag on. The only storyline takeaway was Team Taz as AEW continues to tease a potential breakup. Ricky Starks and Brian Cage seemed to be on different pages while Will Hobbs did his best to get them to stay focused on the match. It will be intriguing to see where this storyline goes. Alex Reynolds vs. Max Caster was also good and the match felt like it meant something. Episode 82 clocked in at 1 hour, 32 minutes, and 52 seconds. Final Score: 7.9 out of 10.