AEW Dark Recap (Mar. 9, 2021): Santana & Ortiz Unleash Aggression (

Manolo Has Pizzazz

Episode 79 of AEW Dark featured a special showdown between Fuego del Sol and QT Marshall, Santana & Ortiz turning up the heat, as well as Lee Johnson and Baron Black stealing the show.

Here’s the Dark lineup with ratings (watch, solid, okay, pass) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:

  • Angel Fashion vs. Will Hobbs (okay)
  • SCU vs. Azriel & Danny Limelight (okay)
  • Peter Avalon, Cezar Bononi, & Ryan Nemeth vs. Aaron Solow, Brick Aldridge, & Dean Alexander (okay)
  • Baron Black vs. Lee Johnson (solid)
  • Aaron Frye, D3, Jon Cruz, & Vary Morales vs. Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & Alex Reynolds (okay)
  • Cameron Stewart & Ryzin vs. Varsity Blonds (okay)
  • Diamante vs. Savannah Thorne (okay)
  • Fuego Del Sol vs. QT Marshall (okay)
  • Kip Sabian vs. Carlie Bravo (okay)
  • Abadon vs. Katalina Perez (okay)
  • Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela vs. Santana & Ortiz (solid)

The main event had top action with the top names on this card, but Lee Johnson versus Baron Black was the show-stealer. Fuego and QT will be worth watching for those that are invested in the stories from Sammy Guevara’s vlog. Diamante had an interesting outing with tremendous aggression.

Watch the show here.

Excalibur teamed with Taz to call the action. Anthony Ogogo stopped by to join commentary. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Will Hobbs defeated Angel Fashion. Hook was ringside. Powerful squash ending with a powerhouse slam.

SCU defeated Azriel & Danny Limelight. Hot tag to Frankie Kazarian to clean house and take control. SCU used teamwork maneuvers to clear out Limelight, then Christopher Daniels finished Azriel with the Celebrity Rehab gutbuster.

Peter Avalon, Cezar Bononi, & Ryan Nemeth defeated Aaron Solow, Brick Aldridge, & Dean Alexander. Solow had a hot flurry taking out the hunks. Bononi stifled Solow’s flow by catching him for a suplex. A multi-man skirmish ensued with Nemeth pinning Alexander on a pelvic swirl neckbreaker.

Lee Johnson defeated Baron Black. Johnson was in control early until Black countered a slingshot plancha into a suplex on the floor.

Johnson picked up momentum again for a string of offense culminating with a thrust kick and DVD. Black was able to kick out on the cover though. Johnson took too long for his next move, and that allowed Black time to recover. The match continued back and forth. Black had the upper hand after a release German suplex sent Johnson into the corner. Black charged forward, but Johnson met him with a blue thunder bomb for victory.

Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & Alex Reynolds defeated Aaron Frye, D3, Jon Cruz, & Vary Morales. -1 was ringside. Hot tag to Colt Cabana for the close. He had Cruz on his shoulders for a Chicago Skyline. Cruz’s teammates ran in one at a time to break it up, so each of the Dark Order hit their finishers to open space for Cabana’s Chicago Skyline and the win.

Varsity Blonds defeated Cameron Stewart & Ryzin. Brian Pillman Jr. was on a roll until Ryzin took advantage on a referee distraction. A hot tag to Griff Garrison led to a rolling forearm blast to knock Stewart out for the three count.

Diamante defeated Savannah Thorne. Diamante was extremely aggressive and finished her opponent with a stunner then Code Red.

QT Marshall defeated Fuego Del Sol. Nick Comoroto was ringside. This match came from a rivalry playing out on Sammy Guevara’s vlog. The big question was if Fuego could finally hit the tornado DDT. He tried early, but QT shed it off and powerslammed the masked man. Later, Fuego finally achieved success on the tornado DDT.

The momentum of motion and QT’s ring awareness allowed him to roll out of the ring. After Fuego rolled the big lug back into the ring, he took flight for another tornado DDT. QT was able to counter that one with a cutter. A second cutter put out Fuego’s fire.

Kip Sabian defeated Carlie Bravo. Penelope Ford and Shawn Dean were ringside. Sabian used his footy offense often. Bravo rallied, but Sabian escaped sliced bread for a big knee strike. A fireman’s carry gutbuster and rope-hung corkscrew suplex gave Sabian the W.

Abadon defeated Katalina Perez. The living dead girl absorbed Perez’s attacks. Abadon bashed Perez with suplexes and a Gory neckbreaker to win.

Santana & Ortiz defeated Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela. The Jersey boys wore matching gear. Santana and Ortiz aggressively attacked as the bell rang. Santana pummeled Janela ringside and tossed him over the barricade. Proud and Powerful took turns tenderizing Kiss with vicious intent.

Janela took a long time to recover and missed a few tag moments from a reeling Kiss. Sonny rallied solo, and Janela was finally on the apron to receive the tag. Janela ran wild with a suicide dive for Santana and a flying DDT for Ortiz on the stage. Janela rolled Ortiz into the ring, but Ortiz was able to reach the ropes on the pinfall. Ortiz was then victim to a teamwork splits leg drop and reverse DDT. Santana ran in for the break up on the cover.

The two teams scuffled for a bit with Santana and Ortiz coming out on top. Santana picked up Kiss in a fireman’s carry position and used Kiss’ feet to knock Janela off the apron. The Inner Circle duo found success with a DVD and neckbreaker combo to pin Kiss.

With the Inner Circle’s War Council on the horizon for Dynamite, Santana and Ortiz used physicality to state their case for being reinstated as the Inner Circle’s tag team representatives. Santana and Ortiz always entertain when they bring fire and fury. I’m looking forward to their next feud. It may even be a rematch with the Young Bucks. Santana and Ortiz lost their title shot a few weeks ago, but there is meat on that bone after the Bucks put them through tables prior to Revolution.

Lee Johnson and Baron Black put on a dandy of a contest. Johnson previously displayed that type of skill in a barn-burner with Ben Carter, but he promptly went back to jabrone status. Now, it is nice to see AEW giving him more opportunity to showcase his ability. Johnson has been picking up momentum and big things could be in his future a few years down the line.

Diamante kicked butt. That’s the kind of intensity that sets her apart from the pack. It was impressive enough to make me want to see her get promoted to Dynamite more frequently than her sporadic appearances.

Share your thoughts on Dark. Who stood out most for episode 79? Which was your favorite match?