By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 84)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed April 13, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to Dark and was joined by Taz on commentary…
1. Jay Lyon and Midas Black vs. “SCU” Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Kazarian hit a mat return on Black as the bell rang. He followed up with a hip toss before tagging out. Daniels hit a release gut wrench on Black. Lyons made the tag and scoop slammed Daniels. Midas held up a hula hoop for Lyon, who performed a crossbody block. Kazarian and Daniels hit a powerbomb neckbreaker combination on Midas before putting away Lyon with the Best Meltzer Ever.
SCU defeated Jay Lyon and Midas Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Really predictable finish. The match was brief, but the pinfall victory kept SCU’s winning streak alive.
2. Luther vs. Matt Sydal. Sydal threw kicks and hit a standing moonsault press on Luther. Sydal attempted a roll through pin, but Luther kicked out at two. Sydal locked Luther into a neckbreaker submission. Luther was able to escape the submission hold. Sydal threw a leg lariat that sent Luther down to the mat. Sydal threw round kicks to continue his momentum. The two then went to the outside, where Luther sent Sydal into the barricade. Sydal and Luther returned to the ring and Luther hit a release German suplex. Sydal won with the double lightning spiral on Luther…
Matt Sydal defeated Luther via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good match from the two AEW regulars. It felt like it could have gone either way since both Sydal and Luther are featured weekly.
3. Kit Sackett and Hayden Backlund vs. Dark Order’s “5” Alan Angels and “10” Preston Vance. Angels hit a leaping dropkick on Sackett after being tagged in from Vance. Angels fired away with strikes and kicks. Backlund tagged in and accidentally hit a small spear on his partner. Angels followed through with a back suplex on Backlund. Sackett made a blind tag to get an advantage, but Vance hit powerful clotheslines and a punt kick to Sackett. Vance performed a spinebuster on Sackett. Vance locked in the Full Nelson submission on Sackett for the tap out victory.
“5” ALan Angels and “10” Preston Vance defeated Kit Sackett and Hayden Backlund via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Angels and Vance looked good here as they normally do. Chalk it up as another victory for the Dark Order crew.
4. Jake Manning vs. Colt Cabana. Cabana scoop slammed Manning to start the match. Cabana rolled up Manning for a quick fall, but Manning kicked out at two. Manning performed a sunset flip that sent Cabana on the turnbuckles. Cabana hit the flying apple on Manning and followed with a splash. Manning executed a backbreaker and Flatliner combination on Cabana to get a two count. Eventually, Cabana forced Manning to tap out to the cloverleaf.
Colt Cabana defeated Jake Manning via submission.
Briar’s Take: This was the first time in quite some time that Cabana was in singles action. His last singles match was against Bshp King on the episode 57 of Dark.
5. Amber Nova and Queen Aminata vs. Red Velvet and Big Swole. Swole threw a dropkick to the side Aminata’s head. Nova performed a shoulder block on Velvet, but Velvet quickly countered with the leg lariat. Aminata fired back with the Northern Lights suplex pinfall attempt on Velvet. Aminata delivered a punt kick to Velvet after being tagged in. Swole hit the back elbow to Aminata and a head butt as well. Swole spared Aminata, but Nova saved the pin. Velvet hit a kick across the jaw to Nova to finish the match.
Red Velvet and Big Swole defeated Amber Nova and Queen Aminata via pinfall.
Afterward, Jade Cargill tried to attack Velvet from behind. Cargill and Velvet hit each other a couple of times, but ultimately Cargill got the upper hand heading into their match on Dynamite.
Briar’s Take: A competitive matchup. Nova and Aminata showed some fierce offense before being put away.
6. Fuego Del Sol vs. Aaron Solow. Solow planted Del Sol on the mat and hit the diving knee strike. Solow then hit the suplex on Del Sol that sent Del Sol to the middle of the ring. Del Sol hit a step up enzuigiri and a running uppercut in the corner to Solow. Del Sol followed up with the fisherman’s suplex. Solow hit the corkscrew high kick after a failed move from Del Sol. Solow spiked Del Sol on the ground and won the match.
Aaron Solow defeated Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not much to say here other than Del Sol continues to be winless.
A Ryan Nemeth video package was shown with Nemeth talking about Alex Reynolds and Dark Order.
7. Andrew Pallace, Stone Rockwell, and Mike Magnum vs. Gunn Club” Billy, Austin, and Colten Gunn. Austin hit a facebuster on Pallace while Billy threw a boot to the side of his head. Billy then vertical suplexed Magnum. Colten hit a double underhook neckbreaker on Magnum that ended the match quickly.
Gunn Club defeated Andrew Pallace, Stone Rockwell, and Mike Magnum via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another quick pace outing from the Gunn Club.
A Double or Nothing Casino mobile game ad aired.
8. KiLynn King vs. Madi Wrenkowski. Both King and Wrenkowski fought on the outside with both women sending each other into the barricade. Wrenkowski performed an X Factor. King fired back with a release German suplex and a shotgun dropkick that sent Wrenkowski to the corner. King hit the Kingdom Falls on Wrenkowski to pick up the win.
KiLynn King defeated Madi Wrenkowski via pinfall.
Afterward, Alex Reynolds cut a promo on Ryan Nemeth.
Briar’s Take: Short and sweet. Despite losing the match, Wrenkowski continues to improve every week.
9. Ken Broadway vs. Matt Hardy. Hardy dropped Broadway with the hot shot on the top rope. Broadway attempted a moonsault from the top rope, but Hardy moved and hit the Side Effect. Hardy followed up with a Twist of Fate. Hardy made Broadway tap out to The Leach submission move after telling Darby Allin, who was watching from the stands, that he would meet the same fate on Wednesday night. Hardy cut a promo on Allin afterward.
Matt Hardy defeated Ken Broadway via submission.
Briar’s Take: A momentum building victory for Hardy ahead of his match with Darby Allin on Dynamite.
10. Vary Morales and Spencer Slade vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson. Morales went for the crossbody, but Grayson caught him and tagged in Uno. Uno hit the high boot to Morales before Slade tagged in. Uno hit a right hand to the jaw of Slade while Grayson hit a flying elbow on Slade. With assistance from Grayson, Uno hit a Popup Powerbomb combination on Morales. Grayson and Uno hit Fatality on Slade to win the match.
Evil Uno and Stu Grayson defeated Vary Morales and Spencer Slade via pinfall
Briar’s Take: Standard tag team match with Dark Order gaining the victory. Morales and Slade never really had a chance.
11. Shawna Reed vs. Britt Baker. Baker ran through Reed with double underhook as the bell rang. Baker then hit the sling blade, but Reed rolled Baker up with a school girl. Baker got her momentum back with the swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker on Reed. Baker made Reed tap out to the Lockjaw.
Britt Baker defeated Shawna Reed via submission.
Briar’s Take: Brief match from both women. Baker continues to rack up victories.
12. Carlie Bravo and Dean Alexander vs. Brian Cage and Ricky Starks (w/Hook, Powerhouse Hobbs). Bravo got blindsided on the outside by Hook and Hobbs. Cage did curls on Bravo while he hit a powerbomb on Alexander. Cage brought Bravo over the ropes with a suplex. Cage performed a Drill Claw that spiked Bravo in the middle of the ring to win the match.
Brian Cage and Ricky Starks defeated Carlie Bravo and Dean Alexander via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: More interesting developments on Cage and Starks. Starks helped out Cage by putting their opponents in Cage’s hands. Taz made the note during the broadcast that Starks was “micromanaging Cage.”
13. Leila Grey vs. Nyla Rose. Rose powerslammed Grey. Grey tried her best to take Rose down with a dropkick. Rose threw Grey across the ring and speared her. Eventually, Rose hit the Beast Bomb and scored the victory.
Nyla Rose defeated Leila Grey via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Short and sweet. Rose continues to be powerful in the ring.
14. Prince Kai and Will Allday vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison. Garrison hit the leaping leg drop on Allday as Pillman was tagged in thereafter. Allday threw a high forearm at Pillman to try and gain momentum. Kai tagged in and performed a swinging neckbreaker on Pillman. Garrison returned to the ring and splashed both Kai and Allday in the corner. Kai threw a back elbow strike, but Pillman came through with a flying clothesline on Kai to gain the victory.
The Varsity Blonds defeated Prince Kai and Will Allday via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Predictable outcome. That said, Pillman and Garrison continue to shine in the ring.
15. Colt Karter vs. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts). Archer performed a short arm clothesline to Karter. Karter tried to throw strikes to Archer, but Archer quickly chokeslammed him and then followed up with the Ripcord to win the match.
Lance Archer defeated Colt Karter via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A showcase match for Archer and nothing more.
16. Ryan Nemeth vs. Alex Reynolds. Nemeth back suplexed Reynolds and only got a one count. Nemeth and Reynolds went to the outside just briefly before returning to the ring. Reynolds threw an uppercut at Nemeth and applied a submission hold, but Nemeth reached the ropes to break it. Nemeth came back with a dropkick. Reynolds threw a back elbow and a dropkick at Nemeth while laying him out with a leg drop. Reynolds put Nemeth away moments later.
Alex Reynolds defeated Ryan Nemeth via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good match up for what it was. Reynolds and Nemeth really shined here. Unfortunately, and probably rightfully so, this match was more about State Farm, who sponsored the “main event” and were talked about more than the match.
Overall, a straightforward episode of Dark with 16 matches. There were no matches that really stood out other than Matt Hardy making a rare appearance on Dark and building momentum going into his match with Darby Allin on Wednesday night. SCU continued their winning ways to keep their tag team alive. Team Taz with Cage and Starks had some interesting moments during their match with Starks helping Cage run through his opponents. The main event with Reynolds and Nemeth was the standout of the night despite it feeling like it was more about the match’s sponsor. Episode 84 clocked in at 1 hour, 35 minutes, and 17 seconds. Final Score: 7.2 out of 10.