By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 109)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed September 21, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Dark opened up with a video package from Wardlow, who reminded everyone why tonight is Wardlow’s world…
Excalibur then welcomed us to Dark and was joined by Taz on commentary…
1. JDX vs. Wardlow. JDX fired shots early and threw a thrust kick, but Wardlow fought back with a punt kick. Wardlow powerbombed JDX five times in a row. Wardlow knocked out JDX with the Casualty of War.
Wardlow defeated JDX via knockout.
Briar’s Take: As expected, a dominating performance from Wardlow.
2. Allie Katch vs. Big Swole. Katch, who made her AEW debut, locked in a submission maneuver after the bell rang. Swole came back with chops and landed the rolling elbow strike to pick up the quick victory.
Big Swole defeated Allie Katch via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A brief match and nothing more. Swole may be in a holding pattern for now following her feud with Diamante, so it could be a while before AEW circles back around to that.
3. Santana and Ortiz vs. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico. Despite being dominated early, Chaos Project had their turn with Ortiz. Serpentinco went for a cover, but Ortiz kicked out. Santana hit the thrust kick on Luther and followed with a suplex to Serpentinco. Santana followed with the Three Amigos, but missed a frog splash. Serpentinco was thrown off the top rope by Luther and landed on Santana. Santana and Ortiz landed a double tag team combo to Serpentinco to gain the win.
Santana and Ortiz defeated Chaos Project via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A hell of a tag team match with Santana and Ortiz and Chaos Project. Back and forth and definitely one to go out of your way to see.
4. Dillon McQueen vs. Joey Janela (w/Kayla Rossi). McQueen hit a running shot to Janela off the ropes, but was sent outside by Janela. Rossi planted McQueen on the barricade. Back in the ring, McQueen was hit with a Death Valley Driver for the victory.
Joey Janela defeated Dillon McQueen via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: So, we finally have a name now for the woman with Janela. Otherwise, this was a typical Janela match on Dark.
An All Elite General Manager game ad was shown.
5. Marina Tucker vs. Tay Conti (w/Anna Jay, -1). Tucker looked for a powerslam, but Conti slipped out of the move. Conti would drop Tucker with multiple round kicks to Tucker. However, Tucker slowed Conti’s momentum with a kick to the midsection and hit a sliding clothesline. Conti though flattened Tucker and hit the corner bicycle kick. Conti then finished Tucker off with the Tay-KO and DD-Tay.
Tay Conti defeated Marina Tucker via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Another dominating performance by Tay Conti, who picks up her 34th win of the year.
6. Luke Curtis and Cameron Stewart vs. Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson. Johnson hit a backward moonsault to Curtis in the middle of the ring and fired with the dropkick as well. Johnson found himself in trouble after being hit with a double hip toss from Curtis and Stewart. Johnson regained momentum with a knife edge backdrop to Curtis and tagged Anderson back in. Anderson then hit multiple shoulders to the midsection of Curtis. Johnson won the match for the team with the frog splash from the top rope.
Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson defeated Luke Curtis and Cameron Stewart via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Good tag team showing here from Johnson and Anderson. We don’t get to see much from Anderson, but he improves every time in the ring. Good stuff.
7. Stallion Rogers and Anthony Greene vs. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler. Hardwood brought Greene down with the side headlock takeover and hit multiple shoulder blocks. Greene had some brief offense with arm drags before Hardwood tagged out. Wheeler power slammed Rogers until tagging in Hardwood again. Rogers took down FTR with clotheslines and tagged in Greene. Wheeler came over the top rope with a stomp to Rogers and hit a diving back elbow to the corner.
Wheeler missed a diving elbow to Rogers, but retagged in Hardwood. Hardwood and Rogers both bodies then collided with each other. Greene would hit a hanging neckbreaker on Wheeler and a running bulldog to Hardwood. Greene continued his momentum with a backward moonsault. Hardwood went for a powerbomb, but Rogers rolled him through with a pinfall and almost picked up the victory. Wheeler hit a backbreaker combination to gain the victory.
FTR defeated Stallion Rogers and Anthony Grenne via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This looked like a standard tag team match on Dark early on, but the two teams really got into high gear toward the end and the match turned into a great one. Rogers worked Curt Stallion in NXT, while Green went by the name of August Grey in NXT.
8 XTina Kay vs. The Bunny. The Bunny was dominant early. The Bunny then hit a running knee lift that sent Kay down. Eventually, The Bunny laid Kay out with the Rabbit Hole.
The Bunny defeated XTina Kay via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A bounce back win for The Bunny after she lost to Anna Jay on Rampage. XTina Kay also made her debut here as well.
9. Marcus Kross vs. Lance Archer. Archer looked for a chokeslam, but Kross got out of it and hit a single leg dropkick. Archer hit a massive shoulder tackle to Kross. Despite a first missed chokeslam, Archer was able to perform the move and landed the Blackout to put Kross away.
Lance Archer defeated Marcus Kross via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Archer picks up his 29th win of the year.
10. Peter Avalon and Ryan Nemeth vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Late in the match, Reynolds hit a rolling elbow to Nemeth and a rising knee strike to Avalon. Nemeth powered back with the DDT to Reynolds. Avalon returned to the ring and hit multiple clotheslines, but Reynolds and Silver hit a jackknife on Avalon and won the match.
Alex Reynolds and John Silver defeated Peter Avalon and Ryan Nemeth via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Good tag team cohesion from Reynolds and Silver. Avalon and Nemeth also had some brief flashes here too.
11. Alan “5” Angels vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Matt Lee, Chase Parker). Garcia planted Angels with a mat lock takedown before moving Angels to the corner. As the two got out of the corner, Garcia hit multiple side headlocks to Angels. Garcia and Angels then threw back and forth chops to each other, before Angels landed the dropkick. The two fought on the outside briefly as Garcia ran Angels into the apron of the ring, but Angels countered back with a suplex. He then dived onto members of 2point0 from the ring ramp.
Afterward, Garcia hit a dropkick to the back of the head of Angels. Both men then collided with each other with a double crossbody. Angels followed up with a short arm clothesline and a drop step enzurigi to Garcia. Angels flat lined Garcia and locked in a submission move, but Garcia struck with a boot to the side of the head while Garcia made Angels tap out with the scorpion deathlock.
Daniel Garcia defeated Alan “5” Angels via submission.
Briar’s Take: A tremendous match between Angles and Garcia. I would have called this an upset for Garcia, but it’s apparent the company is high on him. This felt like a big win for Garcia. Great match
12. Cole Karter, Darien Bengston and Sean Maluta vs. Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto and Q.T. Marshall. Karter hit a running knee strike to Comoroto, but Comoroto plowed him over with a clothesline. Comoroto tagged in Marshall and Marshall hit multiple stomps to Karter in the corner. Comoroto returned to the match and planted Karter on the knee. Maluta tagged in and threw a thrust kick to Comoroto, but Comoroto proved too powerful as he planted Maluta with the chokeslam. Marshall won the match by hitting a Diamond Cutter on Maluta.
Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto, and Q.T. Marshall defeated Cole Karter, Darien Bengston, and Sean Maluta via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A solid outing by Solow, Comoroto, and Marshall. Comoroto dominated the match mainly, but Marshall wound up taking the victory for the team.
13. JD Drake vs. Colt Cabana. Drake hit the Manhattan Drop and followed up with the scoop slam to Cabana. Drake then hit the belly to belly suplex and almost got the win. Drake and Cabana traded chops and strikes before Cabana planted Drake with the shoulder tackle. Cabana hit three right elbows in order to take Drake down. Cabana performed a scoop slam. Cabana looked for the Chicago Skyline, but Drake fired off the top rope with a dropkick. Cabana finally got the victory with a backward moonsault.
Colt Cabana defeated JD Drake via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I thought this was going to be one of those matches where Cabana puts Drake away early, but the match proved to be alright.
14. Bear Bronson vs. Eddie Kingston. Bronson hit a jumping sucidia to Kingston on the outside. Eventually, both Bronson and Kingston got back in the ring and Kingston hit some chops though Bronson flattened Kingston with a senton. As Bronson was trying to stay on top of Kingston, Kingston planted Bronson with a sweep. Kingston hit a leaping enzuigiri and a high boot to Bronson, but Bronson countered with a slam to Kingston. Bronson would hit the running senton to Kingston in the corner and hit a big time clothesline as a follow up. Kingston then put Bronson away with the spinning backfist for the victory.
Eddie Kingston defeated Bear Bronson via pinfall.
Afterward, Kingston thanked the Orlando crowd for being there and hyped the Lance Archer and Suzuki match. Archer interrupted Kingston’s match by attacking him from behind and the show went off the air with the two fighting to the backstage area…
Briar’s Take: A great back and forth match with Bronson and Kingston, albeit a little long. Overall, this episode of Dark had a little something for everyone this week. While 14 matches may seem a little long, the show was straightforward and easy to follow. There were more tag team matches on this show than singles matches and most of the tag matches were great, especially FTR vs. Rogers and Grenne, and Chaos Project vs. Santana and Ortiz. Match of the night goes to Alan Angels vs. Daniel Garcia. Cabana and Drake had the sleeper match. Excalibur and Taz spent a lot of time hyping Grand Slam week with four plus hours of AEW television this week. If you count Dark Elevation and this episode of Dark, that’s more than six hours of programming from AEW. Episode 109 clocked in at 1 hour, 47 minutes, and 05 seconds. Final Score: 7.5 out of 10.