By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 162)
Taped August 21, 2022 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed September 20, 2022 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary… A Full Gear 2022 ad was shown to start the show…
1. Alexander Moss and Zuka King vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver. King and Reynolds began the match respectively for their teams. Reynolds was tagged in and both he and Reynolds hit a pancake combination on Moss. Reynolds planted King with a flapjack. King tagged out after Moss distracted Silver by sweeping his leg. Moss hit multiple bodyslams on Silver and covered him at one point. King tagged back in and suplexed Silver. Reynolds got back in the ring and hit a running back elbow on Moss and a rolling elbow strike on King. Dark Order hit a combination of moves on Moss and won the match.
Alex Reynolds and John Silver defeated Alexander Moss and Zuka King via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A nice match from the Dark Order, who dominated both Moss and King.
2. Avery Breaux vs. Emi Sakura (w/Baliyan Akki). Sakura threw Breaux across the ring after the match started. After the brief chop exchange, Breaux hit a running cannonball on Sakura in the corner. Sakura regained momentum by flattening Breaux with a butterfly suplex and finished her off with a moonsault for the victory.
Emi Sakura defeated Avery Breaux via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: Typical Sakura match who got all of her moves in. Breaux had some upside, but that was about it.
3. GKM, Marcus Kross, and Mike Magnum vs. “The Trustbusters” Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux, and Slim J (w/Sonny Kiss). Kross was caught with a powerful clothesline by Slim J after attempting one of his own. Daivari was tagged in and hit a double suplex combination. Kross turned things around and tagged out. GMK threw a dropkick at Daivari and covered him for a one count. Staying in the ring briefly, GMK made another tag to Magnum, who called Boudreaux.
Boudreaux tagged in sought to drop Magnum with a back body drop but was denied by the trio’s team. Slim J and Daivari landed a neckbreaker combination on GMK. Eventually, all three members of the Trustbusters landed their finishers on Magnum with Daivari getting the win for his team after hitting a frog splash.
“The Trustbusters” Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux, and Slim J defeated GKM, Marcus Kross, and Mike Magnum via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: What you would expect with the Trustbusters in a quick match.
4. Luke Curtis vs. Anthony Ogogo. Curtis turned his back on Ogogo and Ogogo struck right away with a release German suplex. Quickly, Ogogo popped up Curtis and knocked him out for the win
Anthony Ogogo defeated Luke Curtis via knockout.
Briar’s Take: Ogogo keeps racking up victories on Dark. I don’t think he’s lost a match since his return. It would be great to see him back on regular AEW programming again. The only other thing to note here is Curtis made his AEW debut in this match.
5. Vary Morales vs. “The Reality” Zack Clayton. A “You Tapped Out’ chant broke out before the match in reference to Clayton’s loss to Hook. Morales threw a dropkick at Clayton, who turned the tables with kicks in the corner. Clayton planted Morales on his knee. Clayton turned Morales inside out for the win.
Zack Clayton defeated Vary Morales via pinfall.
Clayton cut a promo after his match and said that AEW needs more of him.
Briar’s Take: This match could’ve been drawn out just a tad more. It’s clear AEW is high on Clayton, so we shall see what they have in mind for him in the future. I assume we’ll see him on Dark in the tapings to come.
6. La Rosa Negra vs. “The Problem” Marina Shafir. Shafir hoisted up Negra and dropped her in the middle of the ring. Negra tried getting a quick victory out of Shafir, who kicked out at two. Shafir hit an overhand chop on Negra to regain momentum. Eventually, Shafir locked in the right arm and made Rosa Negra tap out for the submission victory.
Marina Shafir defeated La Rosa Negra via submission.
7. Viva Van vs. Madison Rayne. Van hit a knee lift to Rayne that sent her to the outside. Rayne locked in the tarantula submission hold on the ropes. Rayne continued with a step-up enzuirgiri and followed up with a northern lights suplex. Van was planted with a CrossRayne by Rayne, who picked up the pinfall win.
Madison Rayne defeated Viva Van via pinfall.
Rayne was interviewed by Tony Schiavone and she said that she’s here to turn the women’s upside down.
Briar’s Take: Rayne and Van were a bit more competitive and went longer than the previous matches. This match also marked Rayne’s debut on Dark.
8. Sahara Seven vs. KiLynn King. King threw multiple chops to Seven as the bell rang. King then hit a knee strike and landed a pump-handle slam on Seven to win the match.
KiLynn King defeated Sahara Seven via pinfall.
9. Baliyan Akki and Ryan Matthews vs. Josh Woods and Tony Nese (w/Mark Sterling). Akki and Woods threw strikes back and forth but Akki was caught in midair by a flying knee strike from Woods. Nese tagged himself in and hit a dropkick that sent Akki down. Shortly thereafter, Nese planted Akki with a scoop slam. Matthews hit a shotgun dropkick Nese. However, Nese threw a kick to the face of Matthews. Woods and Nese hit a neck breaker combination on Matthews to score the victory.
<>Josh Woods and Tony Nese defeated Baliyan Akki and Ryan Matthews via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: It took me a few weeks, but Woods and Nese are starting to grow on me as a tag team.
10. Joe Ocasio vs. Sonny Kiss (w/Ari Daivari, Jeeves Kay, Parker Boudreaux, and Slim J). Ocasio had some quick moves to start the match. Kiss tried ending the match early by using a standing splits. Slim J distracted the ref and then Kiss raked the eyes of Ocasio, which allowed him to hit a corkscrew enzuigiri kick.
Sonny Kiss defeated Joe Ocasio via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: The only thing that’s really noticeable here is that I heard The Trustbusters theme twice tonight and now I have the song stuck in my head.
11. JD Drake (w/Anthony Henry) vs. Matt Sydal. Sydal hit multiple arm drags to Drake and followed through with a standing moonsault. Following the moves, Sydal hit a step-up huracanrana. Drake quickly shut down Sydal with a lariat. Drake threw a chop at Sydal in the corner. Sydal thrw a dropkick with assistance from the ropes that sent Drake to the outside. The two fought at ringside and Drake threw a clothesline to Sydal off the ropes.
Back in the ring, Drake hit a foot to stomp Sydal’s head in the middle of the ring. Drake used his weight to crash down on Sydal with a senton. Drake missed a Vader Bomb from the top rope, as Sydal rolled out at the last minute. Sydal regained momentum with kicks to the legs of Drake. Sydal threw a roundhouse kick and planted Drake with a Lightning Spiral for the victory.
Matt Sydal defeated JD Drake via pinfall.
After the match, Henry jumped Sydal and hit him with a double knee strike. Henry followed with a cannonball senton on Sydal to close the show.
Briar’s Take: A fun back-and-forth match to close the show. It was your typical technical wrestler vs. big man wrestler. The match started out fast-paced, slowed down a little in the middle, and then picked up near the end. Given how brief the other matches were, this has to be the match of the night, no contest.
All in all, an okay episode of Dark this week. The show was nothing to write home about and was taped last month and the company decided to show it tonight. All the matches were very brief and didn’t amount to much. The main event felt like the best match of the night by default. Episode 162 clocked in at 1 hour, 07 minutes, and 02 seconds. Final Score: 5.0 out of 10.