By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 122)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed December 21, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
1. Colten Gunn and Austin Gunn vs. Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson. The Gunns used cohesive tag team work and kept Johnson from tagging in Brock. Eventually, Johnson found a breakthrough by throwing right hands to Austin and tagged out. Anderson drove shoulders to the midsection of Austin and Colten. Anderson planted both members of the Gunn Club with a double DDT and nearly got the win. Colten, however, got a blind side shot to Anderson and then Austin rolled him up for the win.
Gunn Club defeated Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Despite the distraction at the end, this was a competitive match to open up the show between the two teams. The match was also unpredictable for the most part, but one had to assume the Gunn Club was going to grab a victory anyway they could.
2. Charlette Renegade vs. Abadon. Renegade tried lifting up Abadon into the fireman carry, but Abadon slipped her way out the hold. Abadon planted Renegade with a running senton and drove her down into the mat for the victory.
Abadon defeated Charlette Renegade via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: As in most of Abadon’s matches, they are quick, painless, and barely lasts a minute.
An ad aired for Dynamite’s TBS debut on January 5…
3. Colin Delaney vs. Eddie Kingston. Kingston planted Delaney with the side headlock before the two got back to their feet. Kingston then began throwing heavy strikes to Delaney multiple times. Delaney attempted to gain momentum with stomps in the corner to Kingston, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Despite that, Delaney came off the ropes with the stunner. Kingston fought back with a DDT and won the match.
Eddie Kingston defeated Colin Delaney via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: While this match was predictable, Kingston and Delaney went back and forth throughout the match and ended up being enjoyable to watch.
Afterward, an ad aired for Battle of the Belts on January 8.
4. Willow Nightingale vs. Penelope Ford. Nightingale charged in with a shoulder tackle, but Ford returned the favor by driving Nightingale’s face into the ropes. Ford also hit a punt kick in the corner before landing a release German suplex. Nightingale turned Ford inside out with a clothesline and shoved her in midair. Nightingale looked for the moonsault press, but missed the move and then Ford made Nightingale tap out to the bridge submission.
Penelope Ford defeated Willow Nightingale via submission.
Briar’s Take: Ford gained a bounce back victory following her loss against Tay Conti on Rampage last Friday. However, Nightingale had some great moments herself, especially by shoving Ford in midair. For those who don’t know, Nightingale has been competing in MLW and ROH.
Tony Schiavone interviewed Sonny Kiss and asked about the match with Joey Janela next week on Dark. Kiss said the last time they wrestled each other, Kiss won the match against Janela and next week won’t be any different. Janela interrupted and said you’ll have to fight to survive with no DQ and no rules.
5. Robyn Renegade vs. Brandi Rhodes. Renegade grabbed Rhodes’ shoulder and drove it into the turn post. Robyn then suplexed Rhodes once the two got back in the ring. Rhodes then landed a thrust kick to Robyn to get momentum back. Rhodes would hit the enzuiguiri on Renegade and popped her up with the elbow strike. Renegade came back with a frog splash from the top rope and nearly got the upset victory. Rhodes locked in the Stretch Mark submission and made Renegade tap out for the win.
Brandi Rhodes defeated Robyn Renegade via submission.
Briar’s Take: After Charlette got ejected by Arn Anderson, the match was easy to follow without much distraction from the other Renegade. With that said, Rhodes had a solid outing for the second week in a row.
6. Julius Coleman vs. Jora Johl. Johl hit a belly to belly suplex to Coleman to gain the upperhand. Johl continued his dominance with a clothesline, but Coleman hit back with an enzuigiri. Coleman’s night was short lived after Johl hit a running boot across the jaw for the win.
Jora Johl defeated Julius Coleman via pinfall.
A Wingmen video promo was shown. They talked about their match next week with Orange Cassidy and Wheeler Yuta on Dark…
7. Carlie Bravo vs. Isiah Kassidy. Bravo sent Kassidy over the top after Kassidy missed a move. Kassidy returned to the ring with a stunner off the ropes to Bravo. Kassidy continued with a leaping moonsault over the top. Both Bravo and Kassidy fought on the outside briefly and drove Bravo into the stage. Johl tried attacking Bravo, but Bravo escaped and got Kassidy with a running strike in the corner. Bravo followed through with a scissors kick and only got a two count. Kassidy threw a corkscrew kick before taking out Bravo for the win.
Isiah Kassidy defeated Carlie Bravo via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The Hardy Family Office goes two for two for the night. This match was the better of the two.
8. Shalonce Royal vs. Kiera Hogan. Hogan hit early with strikes and kicks, but Royal planted Hogan from the top rope with a modified DDT. Hogan hit back with a dropkick from the top rope. Hogan continued with a kick to the face, which stopped Royal’s singing. Hogan ended Royal’s night with a high roundhouse kick.
Kiera Hogan defeated Shalonce Royal via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Well that was sure something. Hogan is a great wrestler and I enjoyed her Impact run, but Royal wrestling and singing during the match is something else.
9. Zack Clayton and Mike Orlando vs. “Bear Country” Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder. Boulder dominated Clayton early, but quickly tagged in Bronson as Orlando tagged in as well. Bronson began throwing strikes and multiple quick clotheslines to Orlando. Bronson lifted up Orlando and tossed him with a suplex. Orlando struck with a clothesline of his own to Bronson and then tagged in Clayton. Clayton landed a dropkick. Bronson hit a crossbody from the ropes to both Clayton and Orlando. Boulder came in and hit a scoop slam on both members as well. Boulder hit a DDT/Samoan drop combination on Orlando and Clayton. Bronson landed the Bear Bomb on Orlando to win the match.
Bear Country defeated Zack Clayton and Mike Orlando via pinfall.
Schiavone interviewed Bear Country about their victory. Bear Country said they’re ready to face anyone in AEW. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens interrupted them and told them all the top teams are scared to face them. Max Caster threw out the challenge to Bear Country to face them next week on Dark.
Briar’s Take: A solid enhancement match victory for Bear Country.
10. Leroy Patterson vs. Dark Order’s 10. Vance hit a big shoulder tackle on Patterson after the bell rang and continued to dominate him with a punt kick in the corner. Vance quickly locked in a full nelson submission and made Patterson tap out.
Dark Order’s 10 defeated Leroy Patterson via submission.
Briar’s Take: No disrespect to Patterson, but I’m not even sure what I just watched.
11. La Rosa Negra vs. Red Velvet. Velvet hit a leg lariat to Negra, who then planted Velvet into the top turnbuckle. Negra suplexed Velvet. Negra continued with a back elbow to the jaw of Velvet, however Velvet planted Negra with a bulldog. Velvet hit the double knees across the shoulders and eventually the Final Slice to put Negra away.
Red Velvet defeated La Rosa Negra via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A dominating victory for Velvet and nothing more.
12. Lucas Chase vs. Shawn Dean. Dean performed a hip toss and an arm drag that started the match. Chase drove his knee into the midsection and looked for a powerslam, but Dean hit back with a clothesline and planted him with a DDT. Dean followed through with a clothesline in the corner and won with a flying splash.
Shawn Dean defeated Lucas Chase via pinfall.
13. Serpentinco (w/Luther) vs. Matt Sydal. At one point, Serpentinco tried forwarding his momentum with a sucidia, but accidentally landed on Luther instead. After being dominated by Serpentinco, Sydal threw tons of kicks and a flying knee strike. Shortly thereafter, Sydal hit a meteoroa on Serpentinco from the top rope. Serpentinco missed the diving stomps and was caught with the roundhouse kick from Sydal, who won with the Lightning Spiral.
Matt Sydal defeated Serpentinco via submission.
Briar’s Take: A strange match to end an episode of Dark, but it was solid nonetheless. Overall, while this show featured 13 matches, it was a standard episode of Dark that featured more single matches and fewer tag matches than we’ve had during the past couple of weeks. This episode also had a lot of standard matches and your typical enhancement wins that you normally see on Dark. The match of the night goes to the main event with Matt Sydal vs. Serpentinco, and Carlie Bravo vs. Isiah Kassidy as a sleeper. Episode 122 clocked in at 1 hour, 15 minutes 06 seconds. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a great holiday season.