By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 108)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed September 14, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Alex Marvez opened the show interviewing Leyla Hirsch and Jade Cargill for Wednesday’s night Dynamite. Hirsch said she knows she can beat her and that she will be throwing her around Wednesday… Tony Schiavone and Taz were on commentary…
1. Hunter Knott and Rosario Grillo vs. The Butcher and The Blade. After the bell rang, The Butcher and The Blade doubled up on Knott and Grillo. The Butcher and Grillo then began the match. The Blade and The Butcher landed a double suplex on Knott to win the match.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Hunter Knott and Rosario Grillo via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Not much to say other than to address the new studio home. Schiavone said this would be the new home for AEW Dark from now on, which is quite interesting. Tony being on Dark threw me off a little bit as I’m used to Excalibur being on Dark for the longest time. However, Tony later in the show said Excalibur was on his honeymoon and he would be back for future tapings.
An AEW Dynamite ad for December 8 was shown…
2. Ashley D’ Amboise vs. Anna Jay. Jay threw Amboise with a release German suplex shortly after the bell rang. Jay continued with a leg lariat in the corner to Amboise and submitted Amboise with the Queen Slayer.
Anna Jay defeated Ashley D’ Amboise via submission.
Briar’s Take: Following the match, The Bunny attacked Jay from behind before Tay Conti came to Jay’s rescue.
3. Erik Lockhart and Andrew Lockhart vs. “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker (w/Daniel Garcia). Lee powered through Lockhart with a suplex. Parker was tagged in and began his beat down with a backbreaker on Lockhart. One of the Lockhart brothers hit a dropkick, but their momentum was eventually slowed before 2point0 hit the Two For The Show to pick up the win.
2point0 defeated Erik and Andrew Lockhart via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: AEW continues to be high on 2point0 with the team gaining another victory and being dominant. Tony is good, but through the first few matches, he hasn’t really identified who the other team(s) are. In this match, he didn’t identify who Erik or Andrew was. Just something I’ve noticed through the first couple of matches.
4. Angelica Risk vs. Jade Cargill. Risk hit a back elbow and attempted a crossbody from the top rope, but Cargill caught her and hit the throwaway slam to Risk. Cargill brought the fire witha punt kick and then planted Risk with Jaded for the win.
Jade Cargill defeated Angelia Risk via pinfall
Afterward, “Smart” Mark Sterling got on the mic and said in New Jersey they will eliminate Hirsch like the New Jersey trash she is.
Briar’s Take: Cargill picked up momentum ahead of her match with Leyla Hirsch on Dynamite. This win is Cargill’s 15th win in AEW.
A Diamante and Big Swole video package was shown with video highlights from the Three Strikes match last week on Dark. Diamante said this feud is never going to end between them…
Briar’s Take: Well, I thought for sure their feud was blown off last week with their three strikes match but apparently not. Will it ever end?
5. Mysterious Movado vs. Fuego Del Sol. As Del Sol entered the ring, Movado immediately attacked Del Sol and took advantage. Del Sol fought back with a shoulder tackle, but Movado hit back with a flying forearm. Movado then hit power slammed Del Sol and hit the headbutt as well. Movado continued his momentum by locking an arm stretch submission. However, Del Sol hit a leg lariat after breaking the submission and a leaping moonsault from the middle rope. Del Sol got the victory with a Tornado DDT from the top rope onto Movado.
Fuego Del Sol defeated Mysterious Movado via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A rare victory for Del Sol here. You never really know where the company is going to go with him, which is why the match was somewhat unpredictable. However, Taz and Schiavone focused on Taz’s storyline with CM Punk here instead of focusing on the match itself.
An Elite General Manager game ad was shown…
6. Khash vs. Shawn Spears. Spears and Khash locked up shortly after the match started. The two would then lock each other’s arm in arm locks before Khash locked in the hammer lock. Khash continued with a European uppercut, but Spears threw Khash outside. Spears hit a back suplex on the apron until the two returned the ring. Spears said Darby Allin, Wednesday this is for you and planted Khash with the C4.
Shawn Spears defeated Khash via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: One of the better matches of the night with Spears rightfully getting the victory. Obviously, the story was focused with Spears vs. Allin happening Wednesday night.
A Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss video package was shown.
7. Jora Johl and “TH2” Jack Evans and Angelico vs. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta. Yuta and Angelico started the match respectively for each other’s teams. Yuta threw dropkick and went for the quick pin, but Angelico kicked out. Taylor was tagged in and then he and Yuta performed a double vertical suplex. Angelico found a breakthrough and tagged in Evans, who dominated Cassidy with a back elbow in the corner and tagged out.
Johl entered the ring and hit a delayed vertical suplex on Cassidy. Evans returned to the ring and used the back leg for a leg lariat and landed a standing sky twister. Cassidy tagged in Yuta, who performed a crossbody block on Angelico and hit Johl with the crucifix. Yuta nearly got the win on Angelico with a back suplex. Johl turned his back on Cassidy, which allowed Cassidy to get the win with the Orange Punch.
Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta defeated Jora Johl and TH2 via pinfall
Briar’s Take: Great back and forth tag team match. Both teams were great and it felt like the match could have gone either way here. Fans who were in attendance were treated to seeing Best Friends. I’m surprised this match wasn’t the “main event” for this show.
8. KiLynn King vs. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch. King planted Hirsch with the headlock takedown. King carried on with more side headlocks, but Hirsch attempted a front head scissors to King. Hirsch dropped King once more with a side headlock takedown of her own. Hirsch attempted a diving crossbody to the outside, however King stopped her with an elbow strike. King got back in the ring and suplexed Hirsch. King then hit a big punt kick. Hirsch rallied with a release German suplex. Hirsch hit the double knees on King in the corner and then landed on King on the outside. Back in the ring, King picked up Hirsch for a powerbomb, but Hirsch countered King with a knee strike for the pinfall victory.
“Legit” Leyla Hirsch defeated KiLynn King via pinfall.
Afterward, Cargill came to the ring and attacked Hirsch briefly before the referees broke up the fight.
Briar’s Take: King had the size advantage here and had several near falls. Both women had a tremendous outing. Definitely a match to go out of your way to watch. All in all, an okay episode of Dark. Obviously, this was the debut of the new soundstage and new home of AEW Dark. The setup is a different look from the past shows when Dark was filmed at the venue where Dynamite was held. This new format may give inexperienced wrestlers some more time since they won’t be on such a strict time limit. Some may remember the soundstage from the TNA and even the WCW Worldwide days. Despite the new soundstage, it was the mostly the same old Dark with brief matches that featured wrestlers picking up victories over enhancement talent. We powered through the first couple of matches very quickly until we got to some tag team matches. There were some video packages shown which was a nice addition. Schiavone was okay on commentary while filling in for Excalibur. Schiavone barely acknowledged the enhancement wrestlers. As for match of the night, it goes to Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta vs. TH2, and Jora Johl with Leyla Hirsch vs. KiLynn King being a close runner up. Final Score: 8.0 out of 10. Episode 108 clocked in at 54:08.