Manolo Has Pizzazz
Episode 75 of AEW Dark featured Jon Moxley choking a man unconscious and Team Taz running roughshod through the competition.
Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Jon Moxley vs. Jon Cruz (okay)
- Bear Country vs. Chaos Project (okay)
- Butcher & Blade vs. Jake St. Patrick & Sage Scott (okay)
- Shanna vs. Renee Michelle (okay)
- Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs. Eric James & VSK (okay)
- Jurassic Express vs. Baron Black & John Skyler (okay)
- Tay Conti vs. Vertvixen (okay)
- Eddie Kingston vs. Aaron Solow (solid)
- Ricky Starks vs. KC Navarro (okay)
- Brandon Cutler vs. Misterioso (solid)
- Will Hobbs vs. Ryzin (okay)
- Fuego del Sol vs. Nick Coromoto (okay)
This episode squeezed 12 matches into 66 minutes. The math will tell you that most of the matches were quick. Kingston versus Solow and Cutler versus Misterioso were the only competitive contests, and thus the best of the bunch. Moxley was badass in victory. Butcher & Blade displayed impressive demolition skills.
Watch the show here.
Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Anthony Ogogo and Ricky Starks stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Jon Moxley defeated Jon Cruz. Moxley brought the IWGP United States Championship with him to the ring. Cruz went on the attack as soon as the bell sounded, but it didn’t take long for Moxley to weather the storm. Mox pummeled Cruz with suplexes, knees, forearm smashes, raking the back, and a rolling elbow strike. Cruz ran the ropes for a crossbody attempt, however, Moxley caught his opponent and put him to sleep in a standing guillotine choke.
Bear Country defeated Chaos Project. Bear Boulder had a strong Samoan drop and DDT combo to Chaos Project. Luther and Serpentico were able fend off failure for a little while, then Bear Bronson crushed them by piledriving Serpentico on top of Luther. A totem pole splash down onto Serpentico was the finisher.
Butcher & Blade defeated Jake St. Patrick & Sage Scott. Bunny was ringside. Butcher and Blade attacked before the bell. This contest was an absolute mauling. The meat men carved up their foes. A neckbreaker powerbomb combo won the bout as Butcher pinned St. Patrick.
Shanna defeated Renee Michelle. Shanna wore new blue and white gear. Michelle was making her AEW debut. If the name sounds familiar, it may be as the wife of Drake Maverick. Michelle was aggressive early, but Shanna put her down by countering a headscissors into a side slam. Shanna kept on the pressure with a double underhook slam, a stunner, and a release tiger suplex for victory.
Alex Reynolds & John Silver defeated Eric James & VSK. Reynolds roared on the hot tag to beat up VSK. Silver was tagged back in to join Reynolds on a double flipping destroyer maneuver. Silver covered VSK for the three count.
Jurassic Express defeated Baron Black & John Skyler. Marko Stunt ringside. This was a surprising squash match. Jurassic Express was riled up with rage to send a message to FTR. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus blitzed their their opponents to win with a teamwork powerbomb to Black.
Tay Conti defeated Vertvixen. Anna Jay was ringside. Vertvixen scored mild offense, but Conti quickly overcame to crush with an octopus choke.
Eddie Kingston defeated Aaron Solow. Kingston had to make the fight ugly to neutralize Solow’s speed advantage. Kingston hit a double underhook suplex. A dropkick from Solow put Kingston on skates. Solow knocked Kingston down with a corkscrew kick. Solow connected on a flying double stomp. Kingston kicked out of the cover to stay alive. Solow ran the ropes, and Kingston met him with a knee to the midsection. Kingston detonated a spinning backfist to flatten Solow.
Ricky Starks defeated KC Navarro. Hook was ringside. As Navarro jumped the ropes into the ring, Starks exploded for a spear to win in about 5 seconds.
Brandon Cutler defeated Misterioso. The luchador was making his AEW debut. Misterioso had early control on a tope con hilo and stalling senton. Cutler rallied with a springboard crossbody and springboard senton. Cutler wore down the masked man with a variety of crossbodies. The BTE cameraman countered a superplex to slam Misterioso down to the mat. A springboard elbow drop booked Cutler a trip to the pay window.
Will Hobbs defeated Ryzin. Hook was ringside. Hobbs charged to smash Ryzin in the corner. A powerslam variation ended Ryzin’s night in short order.
Nick Coromoto defeated Fuego del Sol. Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall were ringside to support Comoroto. Speed versus power matchup. Fuego could only evade the inevitable for so long before Comoroto put in work. A backbreaker led to tossing Fuego across the ring. Fuego thought he could score with a tornado DDT. He was wrong. Comoroto blocked the maneuver to pop up Fuego for a powerslam.
Damn, Jon Moxley is a killer. His no-nonsense attitude to destroy Jon Cruz was ruthless. That’s how it is done to make a standout showing in a squash match. If this had been unsanctioned combat, I don’t think Moxley would have cared if he ended Cruz’s life. Moxley is ready to do the same to KENTA on February 26.
Team Taz was on fire. Ricky Starks might have scored the quickest win in AEW history. Powerhouse Hobbs wasn’t far behind on the stopwatch. Taz mumbling the singalong to Jungle Boy’s theme song will never get old.
Misterioso caught me eye on the enhancement side with some flashy lucha libre action. I’d like to see him return on Dark. Anthony Ogogo provided astute analysis in comparing Eddie Kingston’s spinning backfist to a ball-and-chain weapon. My weekend quest will be to find one of those and buy some watermelons.
Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 75? Which was your favorite match?