<b>By Briar Starr</b>, ProWrestling.net Contributor (<a href=”https://twitter.com/briarstarrtv” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>@briarstarrtv</a>)
<b>AEW Dark (Episode 139)
Taped in Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Streamed April 19, 2022 on the <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFN4JkGP_bVhAdBsoV9xftA”>AEW YouTube Page</a></b>
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary…
<b>1. Gigi Rey vs. Toni Storm.</b> Jamie Hayter sat in on commentary. Storm hit the mat return once the bell rang on Rey and rolled her up early, but Rey kicked out at two. Storm followed with the low hanging dropkick following the kick out. Rey attempted to turn things around with a sliding elbow strike to Storm and continued with more strikes. Rey missed the enzuigiri, which allowed Storm to strike with the release German suplex and a hip attack in the corner. Storm would quickly win the match with the Storm zero on Rey.
<i>Toni Storm defeated Gigi Rey via pinfall.</i>
<b><u>Briar’s Take:</u> </b> A solid, quality matchup and great commentary from Hayter, who will face Storm in the Owen Hart tournament. Rey had some solid flashes, but was dominated by Storm in the end.
<b>2. Rache Chanel vs. Danielle Kamela.</b> Eddie Kingston sat in on commentary. Kamela struck Chanel with multiple deep arm drags and planted her down on the mat. Chanel came firing in with an elbow strike in the corner and threw a sidekick at Kamela as well. Kamela regained momentum and ended Chanel’s night with the swinging neckbreaker.
<i>Danielle Kamela defeated Rache Chanel via pinfall.</i>
<b><u>Briar’s Take:</u> </b> This match felt like it could have gone either way as the two women are not featured on Dynamite regularly or even on Dark for that matter. With the Owen Hart tournament around the corner, Kamela gained momentum heading into her qualifying match against Britt Baker on Wednesday.
<b>3. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson.</b> Starks and Uno hit both shoulder blocks before Starks got the better of Uno with the leapfrog over the arm drag. Both men tagged out. Grayson dropkicked Hobbs, but Hobbs was too powerful and hit back with a big shoulder tackle. Hobbs continued with a double lay suplex on Grayson before tagging in Starks.
Uno planted Starks with a backbreaker, while Grayson came over the top on the outside landing on Starks. Hobbs swept Grayson off the apron. Grayson back flipped onto Hobbs and Starks, and Uno hit the big boot on Starks. Uno was on fire and dropped Starks with Something Evil and got a two count. Hobbs put Uno down with a spinebuster, while Starks came off the ropes and speared Grayson for the victory.
<i>Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Evil Uno and Stu Grayson via pinfall.</i>
<b><u>Briar’s Take:</u> </b> Most likely match of the night, holy moly. Speaking of ones that could’ve gone either way, this one felt that way. Great stuff.
<b>4. JD Griffey vs. Tony Nese (w/”Smart” Mark Sterling).</b> Griffey struck with an elbow strike to Nese, but Nese dropped Griffey with a pump handle slam that saw Griffey land on his head. Shortly thereafter, Nese won with a knee strike in the corner that led to the pin.
<i>Tony Nese defeated JD Griffey via pinfall.</i>
<b><u>Briar’s Take:</u> </b> That was a nasty landing by Griffey, who made his AEW debut. It was also the first time that Nese partnered with Mark Sterling.
<b>5. Alejandra Lion vs. Marina Shafir.</b> Lion attempted to gain momentum early with a knee to the head of Shafir, but Shafir locked in the straight jacket submission briefly. Shafir hit the back of Lion with a kick. Shafir locked Lion into the leg trap submission for the victory.
<i>Marina Shafir defeated Alejandra Lion via pinfall.</i>
<b><u>Briar’s Take:</u> </b> With AEW high on Shafir lately, there was no question that she would walk away with this victory. Her TBS Title match with Jade Cargill on Friday should be great.
<b>6. “The Factory” Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto vs. Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee.</b> Late in the match, Lee hit clotheslines on Comoroto and Solo in the corner. Lee threw Solo into his partner. Shortly thereafter, Comoroto laid out Lee with a spear and Solo flew off the top rope with a diving splash on Lee for a near fall. Strickland came back with a Flatliner on Comoroto. Strickland and Lee won the match with an assisted powerbomb on Solo.
<i>Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee defeated Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto via pinfall.</i>
<b><u>Briar’s Take:</u> </b> Another quality back and forth tag team match. Lee continues to be over with the fans and hopefully it’s only a matter of time before he gets a title shot.
Overall, a solid episode of Dark, which was back in front of a an arena crowd! The show did a great job of showcasing Toni Storm and Danielle Kamela’s movesets ahead of their Owen Hart women’s tournament qualifying matches. As for the rest of the night, the Starks and Hobbs vs. Uno and Grayson match was very back and forth and was the match of the night. This was a much better episode of Dark compared to the last few weeks. I hope Dark gets back in front of arena crowds more often. Episode 139 clocked in at 43 minutes and 07 seconds. Final Score: 8.0 out of 10.