By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 156)
Taped August 5, 2022 in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Van Andel Arena
Streamed August 9, 2022 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary…
1. The Butcher, The Blade, and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy vs. Isaiah Broner, James Alexander, Brayden Lee, and Sam Moore. Quen landed a missile dropkick on Alexander. The Butcher and The Blade dropped their finisher on Moore to end the match quickly.
Private Party and The Butcher and The Blade defeated Isaiah Broner, James Alexander, Brayden Lee, and Sam Moore via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: This match was hard to keep up with up. The announcers didn’t a great job describing who the other team was, so I had no idea who was in the ring and who wasn’t.
2. Megan Meyers vs. Anna Jay. Jay dominated Meyers early on with strikes. While Meyers got an elbow strike in, Jay grabbed her in the Queenslayer submission and won the match.
Anna Jay defeated Megan Meyers via submission.
Briar’s Take: So that’s two quick matches in a row on Dark tonight.
3. Rohit Raju and Ren Jones vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta. Trent and Raju locked holds as the match began. Raju hit a toe kick to the midsection of Trent, who lifted up Raju and hit a gut buster multiple times. Trent followed up with a lariat clothesline. Best Friends doubled up on Jones and Raju, who was hit by the Sole Food combination. Jones was dropped by Trent’s sit-out powerbomb. Best Friends struck Jones with a Strong Zero for the victory.
Best Friends defeated Rohit Raju and Ren Jones via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A dominating match by the Best Friends here. I’m not sure if Dark was taped before Battle of the Belts, but so far, the live crowd has been silent for this episode.
Andrade El Idolo and Rush were then interviewed by Tony Schiavone regarding ther match on Wednesday night with the Lucha Brothers.
4. “The Wingmen’s” Peter Avalon and JD Drake vs. “Dark Order’s” Evil Uno and 10. The Wingmen got the jump attack on the Dark Order before the bell rang to gain the early advantage. Avalon went for early pins on Uno but was broken up. Uno attempted to throw forearms to counter Drake’s moves. However, Drake planted Uno with a swinging neckbreaker. Drake missed a cannonball senton in the corner, which allowed Uno to hit a hanging neck breaker on Avalon. 10 tagged in and then planted Avalon with a delayed vertical suplex and followed up with a spinebuster. 10 laid out Avalon and won with a discus lariat.
Dark Order’s Evil Uno and 10 defeated Peter Avalon and JD Drake via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: One of the more competitive and better matches of the night. You had to know with it being an episode of Dark, we were going to get a Dark Order vs. The Wingmen match.
5. Heather Reckless and Joseline Navarro vs. Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose. Rose dominated Reckless right before the bell by hitting a hanging neckbreaker. Shafir dropped Reckless in the middle of the ring and quickly won with a Popup Powerbomb.
Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose defeated Heather Reckless and Joseline Navarro via pinfall.
After the match, Shafir and Rose attacked Reckless and Navarro once more. Rose dropped Reckless with a powerbomb.
Briar’s Take: Shafir and Rose is an intriguing team that should be interesting to follow.
6. Sierra vs. Kris Statlander. Statalnder planted herself on Sierra with a senton and a standing splash combination. Statlander was then thrown into the ropes by Sierra, which allowed her to gain some momentum. However, Statlander got a roundhouse kick to Sierra and a power slam. Shortly thereafter, Statlander rocked Sierra with a big punt kick that laid her out for the win.
Kris Statlander defeated Sierra via pinfall
7. Sonny Kiss, Zack Clayton, and Xavier Walker vs. “The Trustbusters” Ari Daivari, Slim J, and Parker Boudreaux. Slim J popped the knee to the midsection of Kiss, who then hit a spinning back elbow to J in the corner. Clayton tagged in and landed a leaping elbow drop on J and dropped him with a suplex. Walker tagged in to get his shine, but J slipped through and tagged in Daivari for a brief moment. Boudreaux made his presence known with a back lariat to Walker. Boudreaux planted Walker in the middle of the ring. Daivari then came in with a frog splash to end the night.
The Trustbusters defeated Sonny Kiss, Zack Clayton, and Xavier Walker via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: I was wondering why Kiss was just standing there and not doing anything to help his team out. Come to find out, Kiss could be interested in joining The Trustbusters faction.
8. Serena Deeb, Leva Bates, and Emi Sakura vs. Ruby Soho, Athena, and Hikaru Shida. Deeb locked Soho into a head scissors and then followed up with another submission hold. Soho headbutted Deeb and tagged in Shida. With Shida wanting a piece of Deeb, Deeb denied her by tagging out. Sakura entered the match and dropped Shida with a backbreaker. Shida responded with one of her own.
Athena and Soho doubled up on Bates, who slithered out and tagged Sakura back in. Sakura came in with a running crossbody to Soho in the turnbuckle. After being dominated, Soho hit a back heel trip to Deeb and tagged in Shida. Shortly thereafter, everyone their key moves, and we were left with Shida and Bates in the ring. Shida came off the ropes and finished off Bates with a Katana.
Ruby Soho, Athena, and Hikaru Shida defeated Serena Deeb, Leva Bates, and Emi Sakura via pinfall
Briar’s Take: It feels like we’ve seen a mixture of this match occur a lot on Dark Elevation yet it’s resulted in very few matches on Dark. With that said, all the workers were very solid in the ring and this was not a bad match at all. My only gripe (and I know this will never change) is that I’m not a fan of everyone taking turns hitting their finishers in rapid fire order.
9. Anthony Henry (w/JD Drake) vs. Orange Cassidy. Henry put Cassidy in an early waist lock. Cassidy returned the favor with a dropkick and flew to the outside with a jumping sucidia. JD Drake then took advantage by striking Cassidy. Henry hit a tiger driver combination on Cassidy. Henry followed up with a vertical suplex. Cassidy regained his momentum by slamming Henry in the middle of the ring. Drake tried distracting Cassidy again, but Cassidy ended up hitting Henry with a Beach Break for the win.
Orange Cassidy defeated Anthony Henry via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A nice back and forth match between Cassidy and Henry in the main event. It seemed as though this match was taped after Rampage, as there seemed to be more of a crowd compared to the matches that aired earlier on the show (unless those matches were taped before the bulk of the crowd arrived).
Overall, most of the matches were brief and I’m sure some of that was due to having so much to tape in one night along with the live Rampage and the Battle of the Belts special. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cassidy victory was meant to send the crowd home happy. With that said, this episode isn’t a must see and you won’t miss much if you don’t see it. The women’s tag team match gets match of the night honors, and it was great and to see small glimpse of Shida and Deeb in the ring again. Episode 156 clocked in at 1 hour and 04 minutes. Final Score: 6.0 out of 10.