By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 119)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed November 30, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
1. Shawn Spears and Wardlow vs. “Bear Country” Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder. After numerous holds, Bear Bronson took down Spears with a shoulder tackle. Wardlow and Bear Boulder tagged in and attempted lockups themselves. Wardlow swept Boulder off his feet. Spears and Wardlow went to the outside to catch a breather, but Bronson jumped through the middle ropes for a jumping sucidia.
Back in the ring, Wardlow hit a hammer fist on Bronson and fired away with shoulders to the midsection in the corner. Wardlow tried a powerbomb on Bronson, but Bronson countered with a back body drop and sat out on him. Boulder returned and fired shots to Spears to gain momentum for his team. Boulder power slammed Wardlow, but only got a one count in return. Boulder attempted a moonsault, but Wardlow caught him off guard with a clothesline. Bear Country looked for their splash, but Wardlow caught them in midair with the Casualty of War for the victory.
Shawn Spears and Wardlow defeated Bear Country via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Good solid opener between both teams here with a unique finish, with Wardlow catching them in the air for the finish, albeit the match was off to a slow start with lots of standing and stalling.
A Battle for the Belts ad for January 8 aired…
2. Renee Michelle vs. KiLynn King. Michelle hit a kick to King after King missed a roundhouse kick. King capitalized on the momentum by hitting a running elbow strike and a release German suplex. King quickly put Michelle away with the Kingdom Falls.
KiLynn King defeated Renee Michelle via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A showcase victory for King and nothing more.
Alex Marvez interviewed Fuego Del Sol and asked him about his chances against Ethan Page…
3. Gus De La Vega and Brandon Gore vs. Santana and Ortiz. Ortiz hit a fireman’s curry on Gore before tagging out. Santana swept Gore off his feet with a back elbow. Santana followed with the Three Amigos suplexes. La Vega tagged in, but he was dominated by Santana and Ortiz.
Santana and Ortiz defeated Gus De La Vega and Brandon Gore via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A quality outing from Santana and Ortiz, who really dominated the match.
4. La Rosa Negra vs. Skye Blue. Rosa Negra showed some offense early with an inside leg hook and a spinning spinebuster to Blue. However, Blue countered with a kick and huracanrana from the top rope. Blue continued with a roundhouse kick and a diving crossbody landing Negra. Blue won with a flatliner.
Skye Blue defeated La Rosa Negra via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Speaking of people who could have big years in 2022, I see Skye Blue as someone who could make her way to the main roster at some point early next year.
5. Mike Reed vs. Alan “5” Angels. Angels striked early with strikes and a snap suplex to Reed, followed by a low frog splash. Reed looked to counter by rolling up Angels and only getting a two count. Afterward, Angels went to the top rope and hit a crossbody of his own and then would fly through the ropes with a jumping sucidia. Angels finished Reed off with the wing snapper.
Alan Angels defeated Mike Reed via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Angels continues to shine in singles matches and this one was no exception. Great stuff from Angels.
6. Dani Jordyn vs. Ryo Mizunami. Mizunami charged in with chops to Jordyn and landed a standing leg drop. She looked for an exploder suplex, but Jordyn countered with a jawbreaker. Mizunami lifted Jordyn up on her shoulders and scored the victory with a power slam.
Ryo Mizunami defeated Dani Jordyn via pinfall.
7. Michael Martinez vs. The Butcher (w/Hardy Family Office). The Butcher attacked Martinez in the corner before the bell rang. Martinez had some quick flashes of offense, but The Butcher caught him with a short arm clothesline. The Butcher won by with Filet Mignon.
The Butcher defeated Michael Martinez via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A rare singles match from The Butcher.
8. Nikita Knight vs. Julia Hart. Hart used an early shoulder tackle and a thrust kick. Shortly thereafter, Hart hit a standing moonsault. Knight came back with a driver and it appeared as though Hart landed on her head. Hart got back up and hit the running bulldog splits for the victory.
Julia Hart defeated Nikita Knight via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Nasty landing from Hart during the middle portion of the match, but she appeared okay afterward and got the win.
9. Infinito vs. Ray Jaz. Infinito worked the left arm of Jaz, who took Infinito over the top and hit a leg drop on the left bicep. Infinito then performed multiple monkey flips on Jaz and followed with a flying headbutt. Infinito continued with an airplane spin before rolling him up for the pinfall victory.
Infinito defeated Ray Jaz via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Chalk this up as another alter ego character for another wrestler. First, we have Fuego Del Sol 2, who is Cody Rhodes. Now we have Infinito, who appears to be Bryan Danielson. Kudos to both for challenging themselves by changing up their styles.
10. Sahara Seven vs. Leyla Hirsch. Seven attempted a pinfall after planting Hirsch with a side slam but was unsuccessful. Hirsch regained momentum with a running knee strike before making Seven tap out to the cross armbreaker.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Sahara Seven via submission.
Briar’s Take: Sure has been a while since we’ve seen Hirsch on AEW Dark tapings. Last time, she was on Dark was episode 108 in a winning effort against KiLynn King.
11. Aaron Solo and Nick Comorto vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison. Garrison hit a leg drop on Solo and applied in a chin lock. Solo broke the hold with knee strikes, but was once again caught with a back elbow. Pillmam entered the ring and dropkicked Solo. Solo caught Pillman with the snap suplex.
Comoroto tagged in and planted Pillman on his knee. Pillman tagged out. Garrison performed a backbreaker on Solo before landing a flying splash in the corner. Afterward, Comoroto performed a spear and nearly won the match. Pillman threw a rolling elbow strike and then Garrison got the victory with the roll up.
The Varsity Blonds defeated Aaron Solo and Nick Comorto via pinfall.
Tony Schiavone interviewed the Varsity Blonds about their victory and hyped that they could be future tag team champions…
Briar’s Take: Another good, quality match from the Varsity Blonds. One would think that they could have a shot winning the AEW Tag Titles next year.
12. D’Marceo James vs. Tony Nese. Nese performed a splash by using the ropes and went for the cover quickly. Nese then threw James into the turnbuckle with a hard shot. James was able to flash some with a dropkick, but he missed a scissors kick. Nese performed a release German suplex before finishing him off with a running knee strike.
Tony Nese defeated D’Marceo James via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good showcase victory for Nese ahead of his match with Sammy Guevara on Rampage, which should be a barnburner.
13. Baron Black and Prince Agballah vs. Matt Hardy and Jora Johl. Johl performed a belly to belly suplex that on Black that sent him in the corner. Hardy tagged in and hit the flying elbow drop. After briefly being in the ring, Johl hit a massive powerslam. Black rallied with a backstabber and tagged out. Agballah took Johl down with a spinning lariat. Unfortunately for Agballah, Johl hit the high boot and then Hardy planted him with the Twist of Fate.
Matt Hardy and Jora Johl defeated Baron Black and Prince Agballah via pinfall.
14. Ethan Page vs. Fuego Del Sol. Page was right on top of Del Sol early on by planting him on the barricade outside of the ring. They continued to fight outside, as Del Sol launched off the stage and landed on Page. Del Sol continued his momentum by hitting a moonsault from the top rope. Page came back with a backbreaker. The two eventually returned to the ring.
Shortly thereafter, Page lifted Del Sol in the air for a back body drop. Page attempted an Ego’s Edge, but Del Sol took him down with the huracanrana. Del Sol hit a foot stomp on the ropes and almost got the victory. The tide turned with Page hit the Ego’s Edge for the win.
Ethan Page defeated Fuego Del Sol via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A good back and forth match from Page and Del Sol. This is worth going out of your way to see if you didn’t watch the show.
15. Anthony Greene vs. Adam Cole. Greene sent Cole to the outside with a dropkick. Cole got back in the ring and sent Greene to the outside with a kick. Cole performed an exploder suplex. Cole hit a running back elbow to Greene. Greene got momentum back with a hanging neckbreaker, but he was caught with a superkick. Cole went for the Panama Sunrise only to have Greene lay him out with a superkick.
Greene landed the crucifix bomb and applied a single leg crab submission. Greene rolled up Cole and only got the two count. Greene went to the top rope and was caught in the air with the superkick again. Cole connected with a knee to the back of the head and got the pin.
Adam Cole defeated Anthony Greene via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The match got off to a slow start, but it eventually kicked into high gear toward the end. As much hype as there was for this, I thought it was a bit of a letdown. Don’t get me wrong, Cole and Greene are great, but something was kind of missing. Perhaps it’s because this match wasn’t in front of a live crowd and in the studio setting instead. Either way, it was still a good outing from Cole and Greene.
Overall, this was a bit longer show with 15 matches. One week, it’s eight matches, another week it’s 12, and then another week it’s 15. It would be beating a dead horse at this point to suggest making the show shorter, but I wish the company would find a way to be consistent with the show length. This was more of an in the middle episode. The effort was there, but the studio shows don’t do much or me. As for the matches, there isn’t really that stand out as match of the night, as most were just enhancement matches. Episode 119 clocked in at 1 hour, 34 minutes, and 44 seconds. Final Score: 7.7 out of 10.