By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 83)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed April 6, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to Dark and was joined on commentary by Taz…
1. Jake St. Patrick, Sage Scott, and Chandler Hopkins vs. Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, and Alex Reynolds. All members of each team fired away at each other before Dark Order trio got the best of St. Patrick, Scott, and Hopkins. Reynolds and Hopkins threw strikes between the two, but Reynolds would plant Hopkins down. Uno hit a drop toe hold and Reynolds with a side kick to the head of Hopkins before Grayson was tagged in.
St. Patrick hit a back elbow to Grayson and attempted a cover but only got a two count. Grayson then lifted up St. Patrick and spiked him down on the mat. Uno hit a dropkick combination on St. Patrick and flatlined Hopkins. With the help from Uno, Reynolds hit the knee strike and won the match with the fisherman’s suplex.
Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, and Alex Reynolds defeated Jake St. Patrick, Sage Scott, and Chandler Hopkins via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Dark Order matches are decently good, but a standard tag team match that we’ve seen before on Dark.
2. Brick Aldridge, Justin Law, and Hayden Backlund vs. Ricky Starks, Will Hobbs, and Brian Cage. Cage hit a snap suplex to Alridge before hitting a short leg drop. Starks put his hand out as did Hobbs, but Cage tagged in Hobbs, who threw strikes at Alrdige and attempted a shoulder tackle before performing a spinebuster.
Starks entered the match and Backlund saw his first outing. Backlund hit a clothesline that knocked Starks down. Backlund attempted a diving crossbody on Starks, who caught him in mid air and hit the Roshambo. Cage then finished off Backlund with the Drill Claw.
Team Taz defeated Brick Alridge, Justin Law, and Hayden Backlund via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Team Taz keeps on rolling with victories despite some intense situations between Cage and Starks.
3. Rex Lawless and Dean Alexander vs. “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus and Lawless threw chops to each other as the bell rang. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Lawless. Moments later, Jungle Boy hit an elbow to the back of the head of Lawless and then pinned him to win the match quickly.
Jurassic Express defeated Rex Lawless and Dean Alexander via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Short and sweet.
4. Fuego Del Sol vs. Ryan Nemeth. Del Sol rolled Nemeth into a stretch submission before attempting a pin, but Nemeth kicked out at one. Del Sol tried a tornado DDT, but Nemeth caught Del Sol and threw him to the outside of the ring. Nemeth backdropped Del Sol once the two returned to the ring. Nemeth performed a Rude Awakening on Del Sol and then pinned him to win the match.
Ryan Nemeth defeated Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Nemeth continues to look good week in and week out.
An Outside The Ring ad aired. It will premiere on Friday at 4ET on the AEW YouTube Page.
5. Jon Cruz vs. The Butcher. The Butcher fired away on Cruz once the match started. Butcher hit a cross body block on Cruz and planted him down on the mat to win the match.
The Butcher defeated Jon Cruz via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Poor Cruz, he barely got any offense in at all.
6. “Sea Stars” Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo vs. Vertvixen and Jasmin Allure. Exo covered Allure briefly and only got a one count early in the match. Exo delivered a boot to the midsection of Vertvixen, who countered with a stomp to the chest of Exo. Allure hit an over the hand shot to Exo and spiked her on the ground, which led to a two count.
Vertvixen drove Exo onto the ground. Exo got her momentum back with a falling neckbreaker on Vertvixen and tagged in Vox, who clotheslined both opponents. Vox hit an assisted senton with the help from Exo to get the victory…
Sea Stars defeated Vertvixen and Delmi Exo via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: An unpredictable match that could have gone either way.
An AEW Casino Mobile Game ad aired… A Max Caster rap video was shown with him cutting a promo on “Hangman” Adam Page…
7. Madi Wrenkowski and Vipress vs. Red Velvet and KiLynn King. King and Velvet made quick tags to double team on Vipress. Velvet hit a leg lariat on Vipress and got a two count. Velvet then used the ropes for a springboard crossbody and a standing moonsault press. Vipress got the advantage on Velvet when the ref’s back was turned and then tagged in Wreknowski.
Wrenkowski hit a facebuster on Velvet that led to another two count. Wrenkowski followed with a double leg drop. King tagged in and executed a release German suplex on Wrenkowski. Velvet hit the Chef’s Kis on Vipress to gain the win.
Red Velvet and KiLynn King defeated Madi Wrenkowski and Vipress via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: There were some good tag team cohesion from both teams.
8. Baron Black vs. JD Drake. Drake sent Black over the top and the two fought outside briefly. Drake then performed a splash in the corner followed by a Vader Bomb. Black came back with a couple of strikes, a Manhattan Drop, and a low German suplex. Black attempted a Texas cloverleaf, but was unsuccessful in doing so as Drake threw a boot across his jaw. Drake finished the match off quickly with the high boot.
JD Drake defeated Baron Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Black had some flashy moves, but it’s apparent that AEW continues to be high on Drake with him picking up victories heading into his TNT Title match on Wednesday’s Dynamite.
9. KC Navarro and Aaron Frye vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela. Kiss threw a kick and a double dropkick to Navarro. Janela was tagged in and hit the assisted powerbomb on Navarro. Janela splashed Frye as did Kiss. Janela performed a Death Valley Driver on Navarro, but Frye hit the bicycle knee strike to Janela after being tagged in. Kiss hit a stunner on Frye, and Janela performed a diving elbow drop to win the match.
Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela defeated KC Navarro and Aaron Frye via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The New Jersey Connection duo continues to pick up victories whenever featured on Dark.
10. Mike Magnum vs. Matt Sydal (w/Mike Sydal). Sydal threw leg strikes to Magnum and then hit the lightning spiral on Magnum to win the match quickly.
Matt Sydal defeated Mike Magnum via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Holy moly. Sydal put away Magnum quickly. I don’t even know if that match lasted a minute.
11. Vary Morales vs. Matt Hardy. Hardy hit the running clothesline that sent Morales down. Morales hit a dropkick to Hardy as a counter. Hardy then performed a Side Effect on Morales and covered him for a two count. Hardy locked in The Leach and made Morales tap out for the submission win.
Matt Hardy defeated Vary Morales via submission.
Briar’s Take: While this match was brief, it featured an intriguing clash of styles. I would have enjoyed it had the match went a little longer.
Afterward, Matt Hardy cut a promo to Darby Allin, who was watching in the corner. Hardy told Allin that when he gets a chance, Allin will “see how extreme I still am.”
12. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico vs. “Bear Country” Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder. Bronson hit a shoulder clothesline to Angelico. Evans tagged in. Evans told Bronson he wanted the big man, and then Boulder was tagged in. Boulder threw Evans to the outside and allowed him to return the ring. Evans threw a couple of dropkicks until Boulder turned Evans inside out.
Evans was elevated by Boulder and Bronson. Evans found an escape and tagged Angelico, who was powerslammed by Boulder. Evans returned to the ring and hit a leaping kick on Bronson, who came back with a suplex. Boulder hit a Samoan Drop combo on both Angelico and Evans. With an assist from Boulder, Bronson hit the Bear Bomb to score the victory.
Bear Country defeated TH2 via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A momentum win for Bear Country ahead of their tag match on Dynamite. All in all, a fast paced edition of Dark, as the matches were kept brief. With that said, there were some intriguing matches, including Team Taz vs. Brick Alridge, Justin Law, and Hayden Backlund. AEW continues to build around a potential breakup with Team Taz, as Cage and Starks have moments when making tags.
Matt Hardy vs. Vary Morales was also intriguing. I believe this was Hardy’s first appearance on Dark, so it was a real treat to those who watch every week. Morales and Hardy had a variety of different styles in their match. This week’s show was easy to follow and didn’t drag as much some others. Episode 82 clocked in at 1 hour, 16 minutes, and 58 seconds. Final Score: 8.0 out of 10.