By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 87)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed May 4, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to Dark and was joined by Taz on commentary.
1. Brick Aldridge and Aaron Frye vs. Ricky Starks and “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs. Hobbs hit a shoulder tackle to Frye and hit Town Business to quickly win the match.
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Will Hobbs defeated Brick Alridge and Aaron Frye via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Boy, that was quick. I didn’t time it, but I don’t think that match lasted a full minute.
2. Diamante vs. Leyla Hirsch. Hirsch tried attempting a release German suplex, but Diamante countered with a stunner and followed through with the dropkick in the corner. Eventually, Hirsch hit multiple German suplexes after a failed first attempt. Hirsch also hit a double knee strike and a dropkick to Diamante. Hirsch then put Diamante into a cross armbreaker and forced her to tap out.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Diamante via submission.
Briar’s Take: Kind of a surprising finish. Diamante normally wins most of her matches on Dark, but this was a refreshing finish.
3. Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison. Gray and Alanis tried jumping the Blonds to start, but Pillman and Garrison got the advantage with a double suplex to both Gray and Alanis. Garrison then hit a high boot to Alanis, who came back with a sling blade on Pillman. Gray and Alanis hit a neck and backbreaker combination on Pillman. Garrison came back into the match and performed a scoop slam on Alanis followed by a big splash in the corner. Garrison hit a rolling elbow strike on Alanis, then Pillman hitting the flying clothesline to finish them off.
The Varsity Blonds defeated Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A competitive matchup. One has to wonder if the Varsity Blonds will get a tag team title shot in 2021 at some point?
4. Jake St. Patrick and Spencer Slade vs. “SCU” Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Slade hit a belly to belly suplex to Daniels and a running shoulder to the midsection, but Daniels countered with a back heel trip. Kazarian then leapt from the middle rope for a leg drop on Slade. Kazarian and Daniels then hit the Best Moonsault Ever on Slade to win the match.
SCU defeated Jake St. Patrick and Spencer Slade via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: While a predictable outcome, the story of Spencer Slade is inspiring. Slade is a deaf professional wrestler and wears hearing aids during his matches. He looked good here and was cool to see him wrestle SCU.
5. Megan Bayne vs. Big Swole. Bayne threw a leg kick to Swole and covered her for a pinfall attempt, but only got a one count. Swole threw an elbow strike and hit a cutter. However, Bayne slowed Swole’s momentum with a high boot. Swole rolled Bayne over for a cloverleaf for the submission victory.
Big Swole defeated Megan Bayne via submission.
Briar’s Take: This match was okay, but slow in some spots.
6. Kit Sackett and Justin Law vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela. Kiss hit upper elbows and threw a dropkick. Sackett came back with a headbutt and tagged out. Janela hit a release German suplex on Law and a thrust kick. With assistance from Janela, Kiss hit the split combination on Law to win the match.
Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss defeated Kit Sackett and Justin Law via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A very brief match.
7. Julia Hart vs. KiLynn King. King performed a shoulder tackle and a hip toss. King then threw a kick at Hart afterward. Hart looked for a head scissors, but King countered it with multiple clotheslines. King ended up winning with Kingdom Falls.
KiLynn King defeated Julia Hart via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Hart made her AEW debut here and looked solid, but the match ultimately went to King.
8. Serpentinco vs. Pac. Serpentinco jumped to the outside and landed on Pac as the match started. Pac executed a backbreaker to stop Serpentinco in his tracks, then followed up with a snap suplex. Pac performed a tombstone piledriver and made Serpentinco tap out to the Brutalizer.
Pac defeated Serpentinco via submission.
Briar’s Take: An interesting clash of styles. I think I could actually watch Pac and Serpentico wrestle for hours due to their quick in-ring abilities.
9. Leila Grey vs. The Bunny. The Bunny hit multiple stomps to Grey in the corner when the match started. The Bunny then hit a charging clothesline to Grey as a follow up. The Bunny followed through with a high knee lift. Grey rolled up Bunny, but Bunny kicked out. Bunny finished off Grey with the Rabbit Hole.
The Bunny defeated Lelia Grey via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Chalk that up as another victory for The Bunny.
10. David Ali and Vary Morales vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Bowens threw a dropkick to Morales, who tagged out. Caster performed a back body drop on Ali. Bowens threw Ali hard into the corner, however Ali hit a swinging jump from the ropes and landed on Bowens. Quickly thereafter, Caster hit the Claim To Fame on Morales to pick up the victory.
The Acclaimed defeated David Ali and Vary Morales via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Interesting to see the announcers bring up that Bowens was back from injury, which was odd given that he wrestled last week on Elevation and Dark. That said, Caster and Bowens won quickly here.
11. Terrell Hughes and Terrence Hughes vs. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. Sky and Page traded tags multiple times before Page illegally hit Terrence. Sky threw an uppercut at Terrence, but Terrell tagged in and clotheslined Sky. Page lifted up Terrell and hit the knee breaker. Sky locked in the heel hook on Terrell and made him tap out for the win.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky defeated Hughs Brothers via submission.
Briar’s Take: Good work here from Sky and Page who dominated Terrell and Terrence.
12. Ryan Nemeth, JD Drake, and Cezar Bononi vs. Dark Order’s Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Alex Reynolds. Late in the match, Grayson came in with momentum and hit a springboard move on Nemeth before leaping over the top rope to Bononi. Uno made the blind tag and hit the senton atomico on Drake and then flat lined Nemeth. Bononi and Nemeth looked for a Rude Awakening, but Reynolds hit an elevated knee strike on Nemeth while Grayson hit Fatality on Nemeth to score the victory.
Dark Order’s Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Alex Reynolds defeated Ryan Nemeth, JD Drake, and Cezar Bononi via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: An impressive outing for the Dark Order, who continue to be great in the ring week in and week out.
An AEW Casino Royale mobile game ad aired.
13. Danny Limelight vs. Dante Martin. Martin performed an arm drag and a single foot dropkick. Limelight came back with a dropkick of his own. Martin then threw a pair of boots to the side of Limelight’s head. Limelight hit a back elbow to Martin in order to gain momentum. Limelight followed through with a leaping clothesline and a rip cord. Martin then hit a step up enzuigiri on Limelight and a springboard moonsault press. Martin attempted a 450 splash, but Limelight locked in a sleeper submission. Martin fired back with a shotgun dropkick and successfully hit a 450 splash on Limelight to gain the victory.
Dante Martin defeated Danny Limelight via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Probably match of the night here on Dark. Martin and Limelight put on a good and competitive match.
14. Luther vs. Lance Archer. Archer suplexed Luther and then followed up wth a shoulder tackle. Archer hit multiple back elbows to Luther in the corner. Archer quickly finished Luther with his finisher.
Lance Archer defeated Luther via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: An enhancement match for Archer and that was pretty much it. All in all, not a bad episode of Dark. It rolled smoothly and it never felt like the episode dragged. There was a little something for everyone in this episode. From a unique twist of styles to unique matchups and stories like Spencer Slade. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs continue their winning ways and didn’t show any signs of breaking up tonight as they did in past weeks. The match of the night goes to Danny Limelight vs. Dante Martin. Both men produced a hell of a fight and was one of the longer and more competitive matches of the night. Episode 87 clocked in at 1 hour, 28 minutes, and 08 seconds. Final Score: 8.1 out of 10.