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AEW Dark recap (May 3, 2022): Who’s going to stop Tony Nese or Toni Storm?

Episode 140 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream via YouTube. Your commentary team this week was Excalibur and Taz. Let’s get right into the action!

John Silver (w/ -1 & Dark Order) vs. Ryan Nemeth (w/ Peter Avalon)

Nemeth brought a 2022 record of 1-0 to the ring. Silver brought a record of 48-27 overall in AEW. I’m not sure what Nemeth did to his hair or why but Excalibur claimed he was trying to join Jade Cargill’s crew of baddies. -1 didn’t seem too impressed with it either. Silver tried to grab a handful of the hair to pull Nemeth back into the ring, but Nemeth pulled him into the apron and pounded on him instead. Back in the ring Nemeth put knees to the body and then stood on him using the ropes. Nemeth did a takedown and tried to claim he should get “four points” for it. Taz berated his “folk style wrestling” scoring system for being all wrong. Nemeth gyrated his hips and speared Silver in the corner for a near fall. Ground and pound followed. Silver got back to his knees and got hit with a forearm, but he eventually overcame the blows and went running with a series of lariats before doing his own dance. Sit out powerbomb by Silver for two. Silver hit an enzuigiri and a lariat for another near fall. Nemeth hit a pendulum DDT for his own near fall. Silver avoided a neckbreaker and hit a European uppercut. He went to the top rope for a ‘rana, picked up Nemeth for the Spin Doctor, and brought this (long) opening match to an end. -1 hit the ring to celebrate.

Tony Schiavone was backstage to interview Toni Storm about teaming with Ruby Soho to face Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter this Friday. “The truth is Britt Baker thought she had me outnumbered. I see your Jamie Hayter and I raise you a Ruby Soho. I know my stuff, I’m really good at winning matches, and you’ll see that tonight against Diamante.”

Varsity Blonds (w/ Julia Hart) vs. The Workhorsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry)

The Workhorsemen brought a record of 0-2 to the ring. The Blonds brought a record of 27-14. Drake and Henry jumped them right at the opening bell. I prefer Henry’s green hair to Nemeth’s. Drake threw Pillman out to the floor and Henry wiped him out on the barricade before throwing him back in. Drake hit a slam and a headbutt but Pillman kicked out before one. Drake smacked him with a forearm and tagged Henry in. Henry gave him a snapmare takeover and a kick to the back, wrenched the arm, then did it again for good measure. Drake tagged back in again and went to the second rope for “Vader Time” but Pillman rolled out of the way. Henry and Drake tried to double team pillman but after a noggin knocker Garrison got the hot tag. He cleaned house with splashes and lariats, then dropped Drake with a kick before doing a suicide dive onto both men on the outside. Henry was thrown back in for a crossbody. Henry responded with a German suplex, Garrison hit a big elbow, and Drake broke up the tag. Henry tried a reversal for a pin and an airplane spin. Shining Wizard from Drake to assist Henry, but Pillman dived in to break up the pin. Cannonball in the corner by Drake. Diving foot stomp by Henry. Drake missed on the moonsault. Garrison slammed Henry right on his face after a superkick by Pillman to pick up the win.

After the match the Pillman cut a promo on the House of Black and what Malakai did to Julia Hart. “This Wednesday we’re going to be at Dynamite and so will the House of Black, so if you want Julia, COME AND GET HER!”

Shawn Spears vs. Lord Crewe

“The Chairman” Mr. Spears brought a singles record of 42-19 and a steel chair to the ring. His opponent Mr. Crewe was waiting for him there with a record of 0-1. Meanwhile Excalibur was trying to pretend he didn’t know who MJF was bringing to Dynamite tomorrow that was “seven feet tall.” Taz said he knew who MJF had in mind for Wardlow. I think everybody knows because when you’re seven foot tall, “you can’t teach that.” Crew got on offense and hit Spears with a running knee and a diving elbow, forcing him to roll out to recover. Crew went for a suicide dive but Spears cut him off mid move and slammed him on the apron for good measure. Spears did some ground and pound and hit a boot to the jaw as well. Chops in the corner before getting agitated that somebody in the crowd yelled “Warlow” at him. Spears worked over the left knee of Crewe, then picked him up for a C4 and slowly crawled on top to make the pin. More or less a squash but what little offense Crewe had looked fine.

Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Terry Yaki & Jay Lucas

Starks & Hobbs came out first with records of 45-9 and 46-19 respectively. Their opponents Yaki & Lucas were waiting in the ring for them to make their tag team debut for AEW. Taz: “Terry Yaki. It took me a while, but I just got it. That might be the greatest name in the history of pro wrestling. You understand, that’s a Japanese delicacy. Hobbs doesn’t eat that. Too much sugar.” Yaki fought off being double teamed and gave Lucas the hot tag, who tried and failed to take Hobbs off his feet with a dropkick. Hobbs threw him into the corner, Yaki tried to make the save, and they both got stacked up in the corner like cordwood. Starks tagged in and hit a spear with an assist from Hobbs, and that was all she wrote.

Julia Hart vs. Jacey Love

Hart came out on her own with a 2022 singles record of 4-3. Love was waiting for her in the ring with a record of 0-0 in AEW. She rammed Love’s spine into the ring on the outside, Love gave her a jawbreaker and some forearms back on the inside, Hart whipped her into the corner for a cartwheel lariat and a running back elbow. She threw Love down like a rag doll and submitted her with a triangle choke. Excalibur: “That might be the first time we’ve seen a grin on Hart’s face in months.”

Backstage Tony Schiavone was with QT Marshall and The Factory. “I’m sick and tired of hearing about the LA Dojo. In the Windy City we beat the LA Dojo. Who has the LA Dojo produced? Nobody. Don’t even think about it. The Factory has been producing wrestlers since its inception. Next week, Solo, Comoroto, they are taking the LA Dojo and we are proving why The Factory is the greatest dojo in the history of professional wrestling.”

Tony Nese (w/ “Smart” Mark Sterling) vs. Leon Ruffin

Nese brought a record of 14-2 to the ring. Ruffin was making his AEW debut here but you may know him as a former NXT North American champion. Nese put the boots to him in the corner and was admonished by the referee. Hard chop to the sternum. Whip to the corner but Ruffin flipped over the ropes and landed on his feet, did a springboard from one corner to the other to avoid a charge, had a little bit of shine until Nese recovered and whipped him hard into turnbuckles on opposite sides. Sterling hit a thumb to the eye from the outside while the ref wasn’t looking. Ruffin avoided a chop and hit a jawbreaker but got put down with a punch. Nese ran and jumped over the ropes to snap his neck off the top, but he missed a dive onto Ruffin coming back in. Ruffin hit him with a forearm and some rights before a pair of flying elbows. Boot to the jaw, sunset flip, but back kick to the face from Nese. Nese dragged his carcass to the corner and finished him with Running Nese. I didn’t expect Ruffin to win but I was happy that Nese (and AEW) gave him as much as they did.

Angelico vs. Yuya Uemura

Angelico came out representing the Andrade Family Office with a record of 27-42. Yuya Uemura came out representing NJPW’s LA Dojo and was making his AEW debut right here.

Uemura turned it into a grappling clinic, forcing Angelico to go hold for hold with him on the mat, giving me the feeling of a Zack Sabre Jr. match (which is never a bad thing). This was all about go behinds, headlocks, arm drags and upkicks. Angelico got so frustrated he threw off his gloves and offered Uemura a handshake. Uemura accepted and Angelico immediately twisted the arm., forcing him into the ropes where Aubrey Edwards called for a clean break. Uemura gave him a huge chop in response and Angelico fell to his knees begging for a time out. He got under the ropes to make Uemura back off and then gave him a dropkick to the knees, and we went right back to the mat work. Angelico tried to twist the left knee but Uemura got a rope break. Angelico took him down and kicked the left leg repeatedly. Uemura finally kicked him off and hit a dropkick for a double down. He got up first throwing forearms and hit a splash in the corner. Chop, back drop, two count. Uemura got up screaming but Angelico swept the legs. Uemura turned it into an inside cradle for two and hit a big arm drag. Angelico grabbed a handful of hair and swept the leg again. Angelico hit the Navarro Death Roll and Uemura tapped out. Angelico ripped off his arm sleeves afterward. I get that you don’t give Uemura the win in his debut... but I would’ve.

Dante Martin vs. Invictus Khash

Martin brought a record of 48-24 to the ring. Khash was waiting for him with a record of 0-4 so far in the promotion. Given that this isn’t Khash’s first rodeo in AEW (or in general) he got a little bit of offense in this match and even got to work over Martin’s left arm. He even hit a shoulder breaker for a near fall. Martin hit an elbow suicide dive and threw Khash back in the ring to hit a Nose Dive for the win.

Schiavone hit the ring to interview Martin afterward about his Owen Hart Cup qualifier against Rey Fenix on Dynamite. “We got guys like Samoa Joe, Darby Allin, so not only is it an honor to be in the tournament, but to be Rey Fenix’s first opponent back. This is my dream match but it seems to be for some of you guys. So Fenix I’m not going to hold anything back because I’m not letting anything stop me from advancing in this tournament.”

Toni Storm vs. Diamante

Diamante brought a record of 40-21 to the ring for the main event. Storm brought a record of 2-0. The Orlando crowd was chanting “To-ni” before the match even began. Not surprisingly Diamante worked Storm over to get the heat and put a boot to her throat in the corner to make her scream. They kept applauding and encouraging Storm to fight back even as she took a trio of German suplexes from Diamante for a near fall. Storm made a comeback with a hip attack and a DDT for two. Rolling near falls back and forth. Back slide attempt by Storm. Reversal into a roll up for Diamante. Storm fell out of the ring to the floor and Diamante went out to take advantage but got thrown into the apron. Storm hit her with a DDT on the pretty black mats before throwing her back in. Fisherwoman suplex, near fall. Diamante held the ropes to block Storm and threw a reverse elbow, then hit a sliced bread for 2.999. Diamante slashed her throat to signal it was over and went for the Code Red. Storm countered it into Storm Zero to pick up the win. Excellent match!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “The Premier Athlete” Tony Nese. His match with Leon Ruffin is a must watch, so was Uemura vs. Angelico, and you should go out of your way to see the main event too. Skip Hart vs. Love, skip the Blonds vs. Workhorsemen (it was okay but not great) and everything else falls solidly in the middle.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below. If the sale of the platform hasn’t made you shun it you can find me on Twitter too. See you next Monday for Elevation!