By Briar Starr, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@briarstarrtv)
AEW Dark (Episode 187)
Taped in March 3, 2023 in San Francisco, California at the Cow Palace
Streamed March 4, 2023 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur and Taz were on commentary…
1. “The Work Horsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens (w/Billy). Drake power slammed Caster and went for the early cover. Bowens returned and struck Drake by suplexing Henry. Toward the end of the match, Drake missed a moonsault and then Bowens hit the Scissor Me Timbers finisher.
“The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens defeated “The Work Horsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: A typical babyface and heel matchup with the Acclaimed going over after getting some reps before Sunday’s match.
2. Aaron Solo vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Sammy Guevara). Solo and Garcia were on their game as they traded moves back and forth. The two fought on the outside with Garcia driving Solo into the stair steps. Solo returned with a hanging neck breaker to Garcia. Solo came off the top rope with a foot stomp on Garcia. Toward the end of the match, Guevara tossed Solo off the top rope, which allowed Garcia to win with a face plant.
Daniel Garcia defeated Aaron Solo via pinfall.
After the match, Guevara gave Garcia a shirt that had both of them on it. Garcia was hesitant to accept the shirt but eventually gave in.
Briar’s Take: A very good match between Garcia and Solo, and most likely, the best match on the card. If you can get past Garcia stalling a bit by showboating a lot, this was a Rampage-worthy match. What’s really interesting is Guevara nearly cost Garcia the match by serving as a distraction.
3. FTW Champion Hook vs. Peter Avalon. Hook locked in the Redrum submission and made Avalon tap out quickly.
FTW Champion Hook defeated Peter Avalon via submission.
4. Lee Moriarty, Matt Hardy, and Isiah Kassidy vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Mark Briscoe. Fenix hit a roundhouse kick on Kassidy after the bell rang and followed up with a dropkick. Hardy tagged in and threw himself into the midsection of Penta. Hardy dropped an elbow on Penta’s back with Moriarty’s assistance. Briscoe tagged into an excellent reaction from the fans and had a high boot to Moriarty’s jaw. As one would expect in a six-man tag team match, all members landed their finishers on each other until the Lucha Brothers planted Kassidy with Fear Factor. The brothers let Briscoe have his moment by pointing to the sky and dropping an elbow for the victory
Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Mark Briscoe defeated Lee Moriarty, Matt Hardy, and Mark Briscoe via pinfall.
Briar’s Take: There was no question that the Lucha Brothers would win this match, especially since they’re competing in the trios match on Zero Hero pay-per-view pre-show. One of my pet peeves is when everyone uses their finisher on each other in multi-man matches. It’s just overused. Granted, I know it was more for the crowd that was there, but at least for the diehards, we’ve all seen their finishers. Either way, a good match to close the show and I assume this was one of those matches that sent the crowd home happy. A nice gesture by Penta allowing Briscoe to have a good moment in the end.
If you have 30 minutes to spare on top of all the other wrestling out there, this was surprisingly a good show. We could’ve done without the Hook vs. Avalon match, which felt like it was over before it started. The best match on the card was probably Garcia vs. Solo. Finally, if you’re going to have a special edition of Dark on a PPV weekend, let the audience know on Rampage and/or Dynamite instead of throwing the surprise on social media. Episode 187 clocked in at 38 minutes and 32 seconds. Final Score: 7.0 out of 10.