By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 100)
Taped July 28, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bojangles Coliseum
Streamed August 3, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to Dark and was joined on commentary by Taz…
1. Cezar Bononi, JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth vs. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta. Drake took down Taylor with the shoulder tackle and followed up with the deep arm drag. Taylor fired back with multiple arm drags of his own. Yuta and Nemeth tagged in. Yuta knocked Nemeth down with a dropkick. Yuta was dominated by Bononi, who threw into the corner with the toss. Drake and Bononi hit a Manhattan drop combination.
Yuta found an opening with the enzuigiri and tagged out. Taylor hit Nemeth with clotheslines and then went over the top with the moonsault on Drake and Bononi on the outside. Yuta hit a flying crossbody and Cassidy fell down on Nemeth to attempt a pinfall, but Bononi broke the count. Drake went for the moonsault press on Yuta, but Yuta avoided the maneuver and went for the crucifix pin to get the victory.
Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta defeated Cezar Bononi, JD Drake, and Ryan Nemeth via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good back and forth match between these two tag teams. Orange Cassidy continues to get the most cheers out of anyone from the crowd. Meanwhile, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but The Wingmen’s theme song is slowly but surely catching on to me as one of my favorite songs. Also of note, Best Friends were on the very first episode of Dark as well.
Afterward, a Jack Evans backstage pre-match promo was shown discussing his match with Pac… An AEW Rampage video was shown.
2. Pac vs. Jack Evans. Evans sent PAC to the outside and attempted an over the top move, but Pac swept the leg out from under him. Pac and Evans then fought on the outside for a brief while. The two returned to the ring and fought momentarily on the top rope. Pac fell from the top rope to the outside, which then saw Evans do a flying moonsault onto Pac. Evans then hit a flipping neckbreaker on Pac in the inside of the ring. Pac hit back with the lager bomb on Evans. Evans performed reverse huracanrana and attempt a pinfall with the bridge. Pack performed a falling neckbreaker on Evans and made him submit to the Brutalizer.
PAC defeated Jack Evans via submission.
Following the match, Andrade and Chavo came down to the ring wanting to fight the Death Triangle, but Chavo told Andrade not right now…
Briar’s Take: Great match from Evans and Pac following a slow start. It eventually gained momentum toward the end. This definitely could have been a match featured on Dynamite.
A Red Velvet promo was shown wanting..
3. Kenzie Paige vs. Tay Conti. Paige threw a crosskick early. Conti and Paige fired back and forth with the elbow shots. Conti threw a boot to Paige in the corner multiple times. Conti lifted up Paige and followed with a gut buster. Eventually, Conti hit the DDTay to win the match.
Tay Conti defeated Kenzie Paige via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another enhancement victory for Conti.
4. Captain Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol vs. Shawn Spears and Wardlow. Dean and Del Sol sent Wardlow to the outside and both attempted to land on Spears and Wardlow, but both wrestlers moved at the last second. Shortly thereafter, Spears and Del Sol returned and then Spears hit the C4 on Del Sol inside the ring, while Wardlow hit the F10 on Del Sol to score the victory.
Shawn Spears and Wardlow defeated Capt. Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A quick victory for Spears and Wardlow and nothing more.
5. Madi Maxx vs. Hikaru Shida. Maxx faked an injury in the corner to catch Shida off guard. However, Shida rebounded with the scoop slam. Shida then charged in the corner with the knee strike to Maxx and hit the suplex as well. Maxx went for the upset victory with the roll up, but Shida kicked out. Eventually, Shida put Maxx away with the rolling knee strike to pick up the victory.
Hikaru Shida defeated Madi Maxx via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: While Shida dominated the match, Maxx showed some flashy moves and had some offense but it wasn’t enough to put Shida down.
6. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico vs. “The Lucha Brothers” Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix. Serpentinco was caught in mid-air by Penta, who went for the press slam, but Luther saved Serpentinco with a boot. With assistance from Luther, Serpentinco was thrown into Fenix. Penta flew from the top rope onto Chaos Project and followed through with the swing blade to both Luther and Serpentinco. The Lucha Brothers ended up pinning Serpentinco with the Fear Factor combination.
The Lucha Brothers defeated Chaos Project via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Your typical tag team match with The Lucha Brothers along with the expected tag team maneuvers from Chaos Project.
7. Matt Sydal, Mike Sydal, and “Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison vs. Matt Hardy, The Blade, and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Caster was dominated early by Varsity Blonds after the bell rang. Mike Sydal tagged in and threw punches to Caster, but while the ref was distracted, The Acclaimed attempted to double up on Mike. However, the Sydal brothers hit a standing moonsault press on Caster and Bowens. Garrison tagged in and took down everyone in the ring. Garrison planted Bowens with a falcon arrow and nearly got the victory, but Bowens kicked out at two.
The Sydals hit a double tag team move from the top rope on Bowens. Hardy performed a Side Effect on the Sydal brothers. Pillman executed a high cross body block on The Acclaimed. Hardy went for the Twist of Fate on Mike, but Mike countered with a thrust kick. The Blade hit Mike with brass knucks on, which allowed Hardy to take advantage to get the victory.
Matt Hardy, The Blade, and The Acclaimed defeated Varsity Blond and The Sydal Brothers via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A solid eight-man tag team match. It seems as though we are continuing the Varsity Blonds and The Acclaimed rivalry, which is great as it gives two teams a storyline.
8. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch vs. Diamante. Diamante landed a splash after a right elbow to Hirsch in the middle of the ring. Diamante went for the dropkick in the corner but Hirsch moved. Hirsch hit multiple gut wrench suplexes on Diamante. Hirsch performed a springboard moonsault on Diamante and almost go the victory. The Bunny came to the ring with a chair. Diamante tried to use the chair, but Big Swole swiped it away from her and threw it to the outside. Hirsch made Diamante tap out to an arm bar.
“Legit” Leyla Hirsch defeated Diamante via submission.
Afterward, Swole and Diamante fought their way to the back.
Briar’s Take: Despite the distraction, Hirsch and Diamante were great here.
9. Brick Alridge vs. Jon Moxley. Moxley superplexed Alridge off the top rope and made him tap out to a sleeper.
Jon Moxley defeated Brick Alridge via submission.
Briar’s Take: It’s a rarity that we see Moxley featured on Dark and when we do, his matches are brief and kept short. That’s what we had here, a quick match from Moxley.
10. Reka Tehaka vs. Penelope Ford. Ford threw boots to the back of Tehaka, who was on the ropes. Ford followed up with a back spring hand elbow and the German suplex. Ford made Tehaka tap out to the Muta Lock for the win.
Penelope Ford defeated Reka Tehaka via submission.
Briar’s Take: Another brief outing from Ford here as well. She picks up another fast victory.
An AEW General Manager Elite mobile game ad was shown… Following the advertisements, Jade Cargill made her entrance. Mark Sterling then announced Nocking Point Winery joined forces with The Jade Brand…
11. Dante Martin vs. Eddie Kingston. Martin leaped over the top rope and hit the springboard dropkick on Kingston. Martin followed up with a springboard moonsault on Kingston and almost got the victory. Kingston hit back with a half and half suplex Martin. Shortly thereafter, Kingston finished Martin with a Blkout lariat.
Eddie Kingston defeated Dante Martin via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Certainly a strange and unique clash of styles to close out the 100th episode of Dark. Kingston and Martin did their best. Well folks, through trial and adversity, we made it through 100 episodes of AEW Dark. I watched every episode when the show premiered a couple of years ago. There were certainly some strange times when COVID hit last year. For a few weeks, we only saw the show have one match and lasting not even 15 minutes for an episode as the environment back then was a lot more strict. We eventually went through the long stretch of having shows that were two hours in length with up to eighteen matches, which I thought was a little much. One show even lasted nearly two and a half hours. Lately though, Dark seems to be getting consistent with match count and show length.
All in all, episode 100 was a fine show that featured a lot of action. I think there is a little bit of everything here for everyone. The opening bout with The Wingmen and Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, and Wheeler Yuta was great, as was the eight-man tag. Hirsch and Diamante was a sleeper of a match and definitely a good one to go back and watch. With 100 episodes in the books, I wonder how the show will go moving forward with AEW Rampage debuting in a couple of weeks? Will it be lighter in length with fewer matches or potentially get lost in the shuffle with all the other AEW shows? There’s certainly a lot to keep up with as a wrestling fan. Episode 100 clocked in at 1 hour, 31 minutes, 58 seconds. Final Score: 8.0 out of 10.