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AEW Dark Recap (September 20, 2022): Nese & Woods Get Ready For Joe & Wardlow

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Episode 162 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast, click here for the stream. Excalibur and Taz were commenting as usual this week. One of tonight’s featured matches will see Samoa Joe and Wardlow face off at Grand Slam Rampage this week, so let’s get started right away!

Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. Zuka & Alexander Moss

28-9 and 14-12 were Silver and Reynolds respectively. Zuka and Moss had no criminal record as this was their first time working together. Taz pumped up “Grand Slam Dynamite Jones” tomorrow as the match got underway. Reynolds got a count of one on Zuka then knocked him down with a hard clothesline before tapping Silver. Double drop toe grip, double drop kick and Moss ran in to break the double teaming. He was punished for his problems. Silver gave Zuka a flapjack, adjusted his knee pads, and repeatedly kicked Zuka in the chest. Taz: “Shades of Bruce Lee, kinda.” Moss swept the leg from the outside and the distraction allowed Zuka to grab a clothesline and legally tag Moss. They cut off the ring for a brief two-on-one beating until Reynolds got the hot tag and ran them over. Moss ate a double punch on the spine. Zuka broke a suplex and ate a pump kick of silver. The stunner/german/jackknife double team combination got the pin moments later. Here’s a recap courtesy of AEW!

Emi Sakura vs. Avery Breaux

Sakura brought a 19-10 record and her second Baliyan Akki to the ring. Breaux set a record of 0-3 and was rejected when she offered a handshake, so she knocked Sakura down with a drop kick. Sakura responded by hitting Breaux by the hair and then drinking a cup of tea in the ropes. Breaux tried to make a comeback with forearms and Sakura clucked and started biting her. Breaux tried again, ate a pork chop, got a takeover and a cannonball barrel, and Sakura kicked out at two o’clock. Breaux seemed to be going for a vertical suplex, but Sakura went against that and started her “we will rock you” stamp. Crossbody in the corner, butterfly suplex, moonsault, count three. That’s the most Breaux has gotten in a dark match so far. I hope that means they see something in her.

The Trustbusters vs. Marcus Kross, Mike Magnum & GKM

The Trustbusters were coached by Jeeves Kay and Sonny Kiss and had a 3-1 record. Their opponents made their debut in the trio division, although you should know them from other matches in different divisions by now if you follow the Dark shows. Slim J felt himself and ripped off his shirt to celebrate, causing Taz to joke that he had taken his vitamins and said his prayers. Excalibur kept saying GMK instead of GKM. It reminded me of when I was a kid buying a rap magazine with a poster on the inside that said “EMPD” instead of EPMD. Shouldn’t someone have checked that before it was printed? Anyway, Boudreaux was called by Magnum, which went as you would expect, the jobbers tried to pounce on him and ate a double clothesline for their trouble. Daivari and Slim J gave GKM a combined neck buster, Kross ran in and he got a flatliner for +his + problems. Boudreaux picked up Magnum, tried to drive him through the canvas, tapped Daivari, and he hit a frog splash to pick up the scraps.

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Anthony Ogogo vs. Luke Kurtis

Ogogo brought a 20-1 record into the ring. Kurtis had a 0-0 record. Ogogo released him a German suplex before Aubrey Edwards could even call the opening bell. Ogogo wasted little time knocking him out with the pop-up right hook and Edwards canceled the match. Ogogo: “If you want to go home to your wife, stop that. I swear I’ll put you in the ground boy. When I was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck. I was blue. I wasn’t breathing. I fought on the first day of my life and I’ve been fighting ever since.” He went on to list all the British Championships he’d won and the Olympics he won. He railed at fighting “indie bum na indie bum” and “shit bag after shit bag” on Dark, claiming it was because “the top guys” wouldn’t face him. “Big boys, come on, somebody fight the Guv’nor, or I’ll go get a fight somewhere else. “

Zack Clayton vs. Vary Morales

After his win last night, Clayton had a record of 3-4. Morales had a 0-2 record in singles. The Orlando crowd stuns Clayton with a “you tapped out” chant, referring to his match with Hook. Clayton cornered Morales, turned a delayed vertical suplex into a back crush, then pulled him up before the count of three. He threw an uppercut, went outside to argue with a fan in a Bulls jersey, and the fan yelled, “Pull me over! Do it!” This seemed to be a planned spot, so obvious it was a ringside indie wrestler. Morales tried and failed to take advantage, Clayton turned a firefighter into a cutter and he got the pin with ease. Tony Schiavone went to interview him. Clayton: “I know you love me, but shut up while I say this. That was a dose of reality from Zack Clayton, and this company has been in need of a kick in the ass for a while. It takes more than your favorite good wrestler to move the needle. It takes a star, a superstar, to do it and get worldwide attention. Being a star is something none of you here or at home will ever know. None of you will ever be able to match what I am in your pathetic lives, and the reality is I’m just getting started.”

Marina Shafir vs. La Rosa Negra

Shafir was back tonight with a record 18-6 after one of the worst promos on Dark all year. The only good line was “When you hear the violins expect violence” and she even struggled to deliver that. Negra was waiting in the ring with a record of 0-2. Negra got a roll-up for a near fall, a few good shots and a springboard from the ropes for another two seconds. That was the end of her momentum. Shafir knocked her down with an overhand heel and sold a few body shots as Negra tried to get back up. She threw her with some judo moves, kicked her in the back, Negra tried to force a leg and was punched in the face. Shafir locked up her greedy submission on tap. Shafir needed that win to take the stench off Elevation, but looking at the equally fit and athletic Negra made me wonder if the wrong woman got the W here. I wonder how she is on promos.

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Madison Rayne vs. Viva Van

Rayne brought a record of 1-2 in AEW so far. Just like our previous game, opponent Van was waiting in the ring with a 0-2 record. We’re 40 minutes into a map of 11 games and there are only four games after that, which should tell you how fast it went if you didn’t have a chance to see it for yourself.

Rayne sold for Van for a while. Van got her in a tarantula in the ropes and hit a clothesline before a near fall. Van punched her in the back, put her on her shoulders, but Rayne countered in a victory throw for a near fall. This was followed by an enzuiri and some really terrible looking strikes. The Northern Lights suplex for a count of two was fine though. Rayne kicked Van in the back, then hit Cross Rayne three times. That gives her a record of five hundred, but I was more impressed with her opponent. Tony Schiavone went to the ring for another interview and reminded us that she is also a coach. Rayne: “My plate is as full as possible. I’ve worked my entire career to be here with All Elite Wrestling right now. I proved from day one that I am not afraid of a challenge. Whether as a wrestler or as a coach backstage, the queen bee is here to teach this women’s division and turn it upside down.” That verbiage was a little awkward, but at least she didn’t screw up.

KiLynn King vs. Sahara Seven

King brought a 2022 record of 1-3 to Orlando. Seven was waiting for her with a 0-1 record and almost attacked King before the bell rang. King gave her a knee, a kick to the head, a slap on the pump handle, and the quick pin was hers. Taz: “KiLynn King is not playing games here!” She gushed “who’s next” to the camera as we went on.

Tony Nese & Josh Woods vs. Baliyan Akki & Ryan Matthews

Finally we get a team record for Nese and Woods on the chyron. They came to this game 6-1 and were joined by “Smart” Mark Sterling. Akki was back after previously seconding Sakura and working with Matthews for the first time. Excalibur reminded us to watch Rampage on Friday to see Nese & Woods against Samoa Joe and Wardlow. Matthews hit Nese with a shotgun dropkick, Nese escaped a vertical suplex attempt and from there it was all Nese and Woods. They hit the double team neckbreaker and Woods made the pin. Tell me where Sterling buys his suits. If any squash needed a Tony Schiavone interview after it was over tonight, this was it.

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Sonny Kiss vs. Joe Ocasio

Kiss was joined by Jeeves Kay and The Trustbusters, bringing a 2022 record of 6-5 to the game. Ocasio was waiting to make his AEW debut here. For some reason Taz was talking about Boudreaux drinking gallons of tea and milk. Kiss hit the split leg drop for two, punched Ocasio, was picked up for a plane spin, but Slim J distracted Aubrey Edwards to allow for an illegal eye gouge. As Ocasio was blinded by science, a corkscrew kick finished him off. The Trustbusters celebrated the victory together.

Matt Sydal v JD Drake

Drake came out on top for the main event with a 2022 record of 3-18. Sydal set an overall record of 43-33. Drake challenged Sydal to do business with him, while Taz asked Excalibur if he had a problem wishing his son a happy birthday on TV 15 years ago. Sydal hit a mariposa, a forearm, a kick, and was bludgeoned to death with a lasso. Drake kept pouring it elbows and chops on, while Taz said Drake had a plate in the catering that could feed a horse. “Two plates” even. The match flowed out where Sydal ate the rebound clothesline. Drake tried to win by counting down, but Sydal came back in at 8am. Kokeshi headbutts Drake for a near fall. It was a good but not as good as Maki F’n Itoh. Drake got on his head and back and pressed Sydal to the mat. Sydal moved to avoid the counter for a sunset flip, then got a roll-up for two. Sydal fired with kicks for the comeback. Spinning heel kick for two counts. Sydal tried to pin Drake again, but couldn’t stop him. Drake went up the ropes, but Sydal did a swingarm to avoid him, said “I don’t think so” and got off the ropes herself. Drake caught him power slam and nearly fell. Drake missed a cannonball in the corner. Sydal’s roundhouse kick. Lightning Spiral! 1-2-3. Great game from both gentlemen. Anthony Henry hit the ring to help Drake beat Sydal. Nobody saved.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” for Dark is brought to you by “Lightweight.” Even though I mentioned Nese & Woods in the headline, I can’t argue that Drake and Sydal weren’t more competitive and worthy of the main event. Watch both matches along with Sakura vs. Breaux, Clayton vs. Morales and Ogogo vs. Kurtis (usually for the promo). You could skip the rest, but if you’re feeling generous, check out everything +except+ Rayne vs. Van. I never want to see Madison Rayne throw at anyone again.

Cageside comment crew – share your feedback in the comments section below. If you like pro wrestling you can find me on Twitter at. See you next Monday for a new episode of Elevation!

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