By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 89)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed May 18, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to Dark and was joined by Taz on commentary…
1. Dean Alexander vs. Powerhouse Hobbs. Hobbs jumped Alexander just as soon as Roberts was announcing his name, Hobbs quickly ended the match with a spinebuster.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Dean Alexander via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another dominating victory by Hobbs. Hobbs was announced as a participant for the Casino Battle Royale
2. Falco vs. Dante Martin. Dante came off the bottom rope with a dropkick that sent Falco to the outside of the ring. Dante followed through over the top. Falco hit a backbreaker that slowed Dante’s momentum and locked in a brief submission. Dante fired back with a lariat and dropkick to Falco. Dante eventually hit the 450 splash to gain the win.
Dante Martin defeated Falco via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Martin continues his streak of winning by winning over Falco. Nothing more to this match, other than the stuff you see every week from Dante.
A Matt Hardy video segment was shown with Hardy talking about Private Party defeating Dark Order on Elevation. Hardy then continued to talk about winning the Casino Battle Royale.
3. Ryzin vs. Preston “10” Vance. Vance hit a big shoulder tackle to Ryzin and a release German suplex. Ryzin hit a leg lariat of his own and covered 10 quickly, but 10 kicked out. 10 hit the punt kick to Ryzin and planted him down with the spinebuster. Ryzin missed a senton attempt, which allowed 10 to tap him out with the full nelson.
Preston “10” Vance defeated Ryzin via submission.
Briar’s Take: Ryzin missing the senton really put the match away and allowed 10 to capitalize.
4. Aaron Rourke vs. Chuck Taylor. Taylor hit the back drop that sent Rourke on the mat. Rourke countered with an enzuigiri, which saw Taylor rolled out to the outside. While on the outside, Taylor threw a leg kick to Rourke and rolled him back into the ring. Taylor then hit the Awful Waffle to win the match.
Chuck Taylor defeated Aaron Rourke via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A rief match here with Taylor hitting his normal moves.
A Lance Archer video package was shown with Archer talking about becoming the TNT Champion at Double or Nothing.
5. Fuego Del Sol vs. Lee Johnson. Del Sol hit a step up huracanrana, but Johnson sent Del Sol down with a dropkick. Johnson then hit a standing moonsault press on Del Sol, who turned Johnson upside down with a stunner. Del Sol moonsaulted from the ropes to the outside on Johnson. Eventually, Johnson ended the match with a Blue Thunder Bomb.
Lee Johnson defeated Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Every week, Del Sol gets closer to an upset or his first victory. You have to wonder if one of these days he’ll end his losing streak?
The Acclaimed – All Talk music video was shown with The Acclaimed rapping about Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley.
6. Tamllian Vineesh and Duncan Mitchell vs. Evil Uno and Colt Cabana. Cabana hit a scoop slam on Vineesh before tagging out. Uno followed with a hanging neckbreaker to Mitchell. Uno and Cabana stayed on top with a Manhattan Drop combination. Vineesh hit a Russian leg sweep to slow Cabana. Uno came back with a neckbreaker and DDT combination on both Vineesh and Mitchell. Uno hit a senton atomico and then Cabana made Mitchell tap out for the victory.
Evil Uno and Colt Cabana defeated Tamllian Vineesh and Duncan Mitchelll via submission.
Briar’s Take: As Excalibur noted, I think this was the first time Uno and Cabana teamed up together. With that said, the two didn’t miss a beat.
7. Cezar Bononi vs. Marko Stunt. Stunt tried throwing kicks, but Bononi sent Stunt to the turnbuckle. Bononi would throw Stunt across the ring. Stunt came through with a diving elbow drop and planted Bononi in the middle of the ring. Bononi would plant Stunt himself and gain the pinfall.
Cezar Bononi defeated Marko Stunt via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A rare victories for Bononi. Meanwhile, Stunt never really had a chance, as he was tossed around like nothing.
8. Adrian Alanis vs. Nick Comoroto. Comoroto caught Alanis and hit a running powerslam. Comoroto then suplexed Alanis in the middle of the ring. Comoroto lifted up Alanis and slammed him down with a powerbomb to win the match.
Nick Comoroto defeated Adrian Alanis via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Like the previous match with Bononi, Comoroto dominated Alanis and gave him little offense.
9. Serpentico vs. Sonny Kiss. Luther distracted Kiss as the match began, which allowed Serpentinco to gain the early momentum. Kiss came back with an arm drag.. Serpentinco threw Kiss to the outside, but with the help of Janela stopping Luther, Kiss was able to get back inside the ring with a sunset flip on Serpentinco, who came back with a clothesline. Kiss attempted a Rapid Kiss Dismissal, but Serpentinco countered with a low hanging DDT. With the ref distracted, Luther entered the ring and hit a punt kick on Kiss. Serpentinco then rolled up Kiss for the win.
Serpentinco defeated Sonny Kiss via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Somewhat of an upset victory for Serpentinco, albeit with a ref distraction. It will be interesting to see where this goes since Janela somewhat cost Kiss the match.
10. Vertvixen and Jazmin Allure vs. Big Swole and Red Velvet. Swole threw a kick to the spine and an uppercut on Vertvixen. Velvet and Swole hit a Flatliner combination on Vertvixen and attempted a cover, but Vertvixen kicked out at two. Swole tagged in and entered with tons of momentum. Swole hit a driving knee strike on Allure, but Vertvixen broke the pin. Swole eventually hit the Dirty Dancing to Vertvixen and got the win.
Big Swole and Red Velvet defeated Vertvixen and Jazmin Allure via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This match mainly gave Swole momentum ahead of her match with the NWA champion Serena Deeb on AEW Dynamite.
A Red Velvet video package was shown.
11. Deonn Rusman vs. Griff Garrison. Rusman locked in an abominable stretch, but Garrison maneuvered his way out of the submission. Rusman hit a powerslam and a leaping splash. Garrison performed a big splash in the corner and follow through with the falcon arrow. He went for a pin, but Rusman kicked out at two. Garrison finished him off with the rolling elbow.
Griff Garrison defeated Deonn Rusman via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: One of the better matches of the night, as Garrison and Rusman were competitive and went back and forth.
12. Marty Casaus vs. Matt Sydal. Casaus and Sydal threw back and forth shots early before Sydal got the momentum with a drop toe hold. Sydal ran into the corner with a flying senton to Casaus. Sydal continued with multiple kicks to Casaus and a standing moonsault press. Sydal hit the Lightning Spiral to get the win.
Matt Sydal defeated Marty Casaus via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Predictable outcome. However, Casaus showed some brief flashes of moves.
13. Diamante vs. Kris Statlander. Statlander missed a senton early, which led to Diamante rolling through for a quick pinfall attempt. Statlander delivered a shoulder block and then powerslam. With Diamante on the outside, Statlander threw a baseball slide dropkick. Back in the ring, Diamante performed a Russian leg sweep on Statlander. Diamante continued her momentum with a low dropkick in the corner. Eventually, Statlander landed the Big Bang Theory to put Diamante away.
Kris Statlander defeated Diamante via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A great match from Statlander and Diamante. This is probably one of the few matches from this show that would not have been out of place on Dynamite.
14. Reka Tehaka vs. Nyla Rose. Rose planted Tehaka with the gutwrench and landed the leg drop. Rose would follow with a cannonball senton and hit the Beast Bomb for the quick victory.
Nyla Rose defeated Reka Tehaka via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another week, another win for Rose.
15. Vary Morales vs. Angelico. The wrestlers fought on the outside briefly before returning to the ring. Angelico locked in a half crab submission, but Morales reached the ropes to break the submission. Morales flew to the outside with a diving crossbody to Angelico. Morales tried jumping from the top rope, but Angelico countered the move with Navarro Death Roll to score the win.
Angelico defeated Vary Morales via submission.
Briar’s Take: A unique matchup with an interesting clash of styles. That said, this match was kind of just there.
16. Luther vs. Brian Pillman Jr. Luther hit a release German suplex on Pillman that sent him to the outside. While on the outside, Luther hammer tossed Pillman into the barricade. Pillman came back with a bodyslam in the inside, but Luther kicked out at two. Pillman leapt off the ropes for a crossbody to Luther. Pillman ended up winning the match with the leaping clothesline to Luther.
Brian Pillman Jr. defeated Luther via pinfall.
Afterward, Serpentinco tried attacking Pillman, but Griff Garrison ran to the ring to break the attack up.
Briar’s Take: An okay match for what it was. Overall, this episode of Dark was okay as we once again saw sixteen matches. There were some refreshing video packages that were shown, which was great to see instead of having match after match after match. Most of the matches were random, but Diamante vs. Kris Statlander stood out and was the match of the night. Both wrestlers had a tremendous outing and that’s the one match I would most likely watch again. Episode 89 clocked in at 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 29 seconds. Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.