By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 106)
Taped September 3, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois at NOW Arena
Streamed September 4, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur welcomed us to a special episode of Dark and was joined by on commentary by Taz and FTW Champion Ricky Starks…
1. Roario Grillo and Hunter Knott vs. “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker. Lee and Parker dominated Knott early on in the going. They then hit the Sweet Taste on Knott from the top rope. Eventually, Lee and Parker laid out Knott with the Two For The Show.
“2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker defeated Rosario Grillo and Hunter Knott via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: It’s apparent AEW continues to be high on 2point0 as they continue to rack up victories week after week.
Backstage Vickie Guerrero hyped that Nyla Rose would win the Casino Battle Royale again.
2. Baron Black vs. Wheeler Yuta. Yuta hit a back elbow and then threw a failed dropkick from the top rope. Black followed up with an exploder suplex. Yuta fired back with the shotgun dropkick from the top rope instead. Yuta rolled over Black into the seatbelt pin and picked up the pinfall victory.
Wheeler Yuta defeated Baron Black via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Somewhat of a surprising finish here. I expected Black to win just because he has been in AEW longer than Yuta, but Yuta gets the victory here and continues his momentum.
A CM Punk vs. Darby Allin ad was shown…
3. Heather Reckless vs. Julia Hart. Hart performed a hip toss and then Reckless used up kicks to send Hart back down. Hart threw a kick across the spine and a followed up with a standing moonsault. Hart fired away with multiple clotheslines and landed a rounding splash on Reckless. Hart finished Reckless with a running bulldog.
Julia Hart defeated Heather Reckless via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This was basically a momentum match for Hart heading into the Casino Battle Royale. Excalibur hyped that Hart could jump the line and become the No. 1 contender by winning the match. Other than that, it sadly was not much of a match.
The full press conference for the Jon Moxley and Satoshi Kojima match was shown…
Backstage, Julia Hart was shown hyping the Casino Battle Royale when she was attacked by Nyla Rose and Jade Cargill (Hart was later pulled from the match)…
4. Missa Kate vs. Hikaru Shida. Shida dropkicked Kate once the bell rang. Kate fired back with a punt kick. The two fought on the outside briefly and Shida threw Kate into the barricade. Shida jumped off the top rope and threw a missile dropkick at Kate. Shida followed with a boot, but it was caught by Kate, who threw Shida into the turnbuckle. Shortly thereafter, Shida planted Kate with the Falcon Arrow to win the match.
Hikaru Shida defeated Missa Kate via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Good solid outing here from Shida, who has not been featured on Dynamite since her title loss against Britt Baker, but she has been gaining momentum by winning matches on Elevation and Dark. I don’t see Shida winning the battle royale though, because I think it’s too soon for Shida to win back the title after losing it to Baker back in May.
5. Skye Blue vs. Red Velvet. Velvet and Blue performed arm drags to begin the match. Velvet hit a leg lariat. Blue came back with a crossbody block on Velvet and only got a one count. Velvet hit the double knees to the back of Blue and nearly won with a moonsault. Blue used a thrust kick and a DDT and nearly got the upset win. Velvet used the Final Slice on Blue to put her away.
Red Velvet defeated Skye Blue via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A back and forth match with close near falls. It was interesting to hear the crowd cheering for Blue over Velvet. Great stuff.
Backstage, The Bunny and Penelope Ford were shown talking about the Casino Battle Royale…
Tony Khan asked Skye Blue if she wanted to be in the Casino Battle Royale on Sunday…
5. Brandon Gore and JDX vs. Wardlow and Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). Spears threw Gore out of the ring after hitting a left hand. On the outside, Blanchard hit a running knee strike on Gore. Wardlow powerbombed Gore did the same to JDX. Wardlow hit the Casualty of War, but it was Spears who covered Gore for the win.
Shawn Spears and Wardlow defeated Brandon Gore and JDX via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A dominating win by Spears and Wardlow, but it was really strange to see Spears wanting to tag in to take the pin after Wardlow had finished off Gore.
An AEW Elite General Manager game ad was shown…
6. Zachariah and Ren Jones vs. John Silver and Preston Vance. Silver picked up Zachariah and Jones on his shoulders and planted both of them down on the mat. Vance performed a spinebuster on Zachariah, as Silver hit the spin doctor on Zachariah. Vance put Zachariah to sleep with the Full Nelson.
John Silver and Preston Vance defeated Zachariah and Ren Jones via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another match, another victory for Silver and Vance.
7. Queen Aminata vs. Penelope Ford. Aminata attempted the flying hip attack, but Ford moved at the last minute. Ford threw a running boot in the corner and launched into Aminata with the dropkick. Ford made Aminata tap out with the Indian Deathlock for the victory.
Penelope Ford defeated Queen Aminata via submission.
Briar’s Take: This was too short to really gauge anything off it.
Mark Sterling hyped that Jade Cargill would win the Casino Battle Royale…
8. Dean Alexander vs. Frankie Kazarian. Alexander threw a high boot to drop Kazarian, but Kazarian fought back with the leaping forearm and a leg lariat. Kazarian quickly locked in the crossface chicken wing to win the match.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Dean Alexander via submission.
Briar’s Take: Hopefully, at some point later this year, Kazarian can get back on the main scene and challenge for the TNT Title. Kazarian is so good and he strikes me as a good candidate for a short tile reign at some point. This was the 25th victory of 2021 for Kazarian.
9. Blair Onyx vs. Jade Cargill. Cargill hit Jaded shortly after the bell rang and then won the match.
Jade Cargill defeated Blair Onyx via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This was too brief of a match for me to really add anything of note.
Thunder Rosa was shown hyping herself up to win the Casino Battle Royale…
10. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy came off the ropes with a dropkick that took Luther down. Serpentinco caused a distraction that allowed Luther to take advantage with a snap suplex on Jungle Boy. After tagging himself in, Serpentinco was thrown by his partner onto Jungle Boy. Serpentinco followed with a Flatliner. Jungle Boy found a breakthrough and tagged out. Luchasaurus began dominating Chaos Project and landed a backward press to Serpentinco. Luchasaurus threw a roundhouse kick at Luther, before Jungle Boy ended up pinning Serpentinco.
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus defeated Chaos Project via pinfall.
After the match, CM Punk came out while Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus were still in the ring. Punk thanked the crowd for being into the show. Punk said he was tasked to send the crowd home happy. Punk thanked Jurassic Express and the crowd. Punk started singing “The Golden Girls” theme. Punk said he know the fans were tired after seeing Darby Allin, but they would see him on Sunday and they better be louder than this…
Briar’s Take: The main event was your standard tag team match to close this episode of Dark. Overall, this seemed to be a “last minute episode of Dark” prior to the All Out PPV. I know AEW normally has episodes of Dark prior to the PPV, but I didn’t even know there was going to be a show until I saw the episode hyped on social media. The company needs to do a better job hyping these shows for everyone to see. Why not use Rampage on Friday night to hype a special episode of Dark? Anyway, that’s my only gripe from this episode. As for the show itself, AEW used it to mainly hype the Casino Battle Royale by having a lot of women’s matches on this card. That’s mainly what the episode was all about along with additional final hype for All Out as well. Nothing from this episode really stood out aside from the CM Punk appearance at the end. A very standard edition of Dark. Episode 106 clocked in at 1 hour, 14 minutes, and 09 seconds. Final Score: 6.0 out of 10.