Hello, from Boston! This week in Dark Dork Review, we stop off after some delicious seafood to see what happened in the pre-show before the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man took his revenge.
Mark Henry joins Tony and Paul on commentary for Elevation this week, which is a show I love as a three-person booth.
Nyla Rose and Emi Sakura w/ Vickie Guerrero and Lulu Pencil vs Kris Statlander and Ryo Mizunami: Okay, these are just a hell of pair of great tag teams. We start off the match with Ryo and Emi trading chops, and Emi puts Ryo into a surfboard hold before knocking her to the ring. There’s a really cute moment where after a tag, Ryo mimes whipping Kris around with a ring. Impressively, Ryo Mizunami joins the very small ranks of people who have suplexed Nyla Rose with an awesome exploder, but Nyla’s able to hit the Senton and get the pin.
We then get a promo for Jon Moxley’s new book, so I’m going to take a moment to say what Mox means to me. The first time someone said to me “watch this match” was Kenny and Mox’s Lights Out match at Full Gear last year. It was the match that really excited me and got me into both men as performers. I hope Mox is able to get well, and I respect him for his bravery.
Frankie Kazarian vs Victor Benjamin: The Elite Hunter takes on MMA fighter, the “savage gentleman” Victor Benjamin. It’s a pretty solid match, with some back and forth offense, but Frankie gets the win by submission.
Riho vs Kayla Sparks: The former women’s champ takes on Kayla Sparks, and the two show off some great acrobatics, and Riho chains a top-rope stomp with a fisher’s suplex for the pin.
FTR vs Waves and Curls: I have an admission to make. I can never remember which of FTR is which. I have to look them up every time. However, let’s talk about their opponents. Waves and Curls have great energy they bring to the match, and there’s a great spot where Traevon Jordan comes in off the hot tag only to find both members of FTR are lying on the mat. He goes to cover, but…it’s a trap! FTR land the Big Rig and get the win.
Tay Conti vs LMK: Ahead of her title match against Britt Baker, Tay Conti is taking on LMK who has some real colorful tiger stripe ring gear. Tay gets LMK into the corner where she gets three quick running knee strikes and gets the quick win.
The Acclaimed and Serpentico vs Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, and Wheeler Yuta: BEST FRIENDS?! In a 6-man tag that’s not against the Hardy Family Office? Be still, my heart. Serpentico tries to groove with the Acclaimed on their intro, and honestly, I love the little snake boy cutting in on other tag team’s entrances. After Max Caster’s rap, Orange Cassidy takes the mic with a deadpan “Yo. Yo. Okay, listen, word to your mother.” The bell rings and the match starts. Like every match with Serpentico, he’s slammed into members of both teams by both teams. This is a fun chaotic match, and ends with Orange Cassidy landing the Orange Punch on Serpentico for a celebratory Best Friends hug.
Our Dark episode this week starts with a promo from the mountains of North Carolina, where FTR are having a cup of coffee with their AAA belts. They describe themselves as “Living Lucha Legends,” and I vomited a little in my throat. They declare their open challenge for the AAA belts, for any challengers – except the Lucha Bros, because they’ve already beaten them twice. They promise the best of matches. We then return to Universal Studios for the rest of the action.
Santana & Ortiz vs. Joe Coleman & Idris Abraham: Our opening match is a tag team bout, and Santana and Ortiz get to work and they get a strong win, with Ortiz pinning Idris Abraham with his boot.
Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero vs Viva Van: It’s time for – EXCUSE ME. It’s been a while since we had Vickie interrupt Justin Roberts, and she kicks him out of the ring and tells him he sucks. She then introduces Nyla Rose, and demands the audience’s respect for deigning to appear on this show. Viva Van gets some nice kicks in, but she becomes victim to the Beast Bomb and takes the pin.
Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson vs Eli Knight & Malik Bosede: The Nightmare Factory tag team go up against some new tag team opponents, and their quick win shows some pretty solid improvement from both.
Daniel Garcia w/ 2Point0 vs RSP: Red Death returns against Dark veteran RSP, and our Buffalo grappler’s got his two dads with him. Daniel Garcia takes advantage of his greater technical ability very well in this match. RSP’s got the greater strength, and Garcia shows off just why he’s that up-and-comer, at multiple points wrapping all his limbs around RSP and just…hanging off of him. He gets RSP to tap out by transitioning the second into a rear chokehold, in a very inventive finish.
John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. Sean Carr & Marcus Kross: The Dark ORder comes out with their boys for support, including -1. During the match, Taz admits that despite the fact that he hates Hangman, he found the Stay-Puft reveal to be very funny. Marcus Kross (and his amazing hair) returns to Dark here teaming with Sean Carr, and the Dark Order scores a win with a combined DDT from Reynolds and Silver.
The Acclaimed vs. Ishmael Vaughn & Dontate Smiley: Max Caster’s rap this week on Dark is very inoffensive this week, but still ends up pretty funny. The Acclaimed get a strong performance in the win off of the Mic Drop from the top rope from Caster.
The Bunny w/ The Butcher vs Santana Garrett: We get women’s action as the Bunny takes on Santana Garret. The Bunny starts off with commanding control of this match, getting Garrett to her knees and demanding she fights back. Garrett is able to reverse things, getting a big handspring into a splash in the corner. Garrett shows off her acrobatic skills pretty well, but it’s not enough to save her from the Rabbit Hole and the pin.
2point0 w/ Daniel Garcia vs Bison XL and Toa Liona: 2point0 face off against a tag team that is just two incredibly big boys. Bison XL and Toa Liona are able to get Matt in a tough spot before Jeff Parker comes in from the corner and events the odds. Toa Liona shows some great spots here showing off his size and strength, knocking down both of his opponents with a shoulder tackle, and even knocking Daniel Garcia off the ring. However, 2point0 is able to get the win with a 2 for the Show on Bison.
Red Velvet vs Sholance Royal: Ahead of her action on Rampage in the TBS Championship tournament, she faces Sholance Royal. I’m a fan of whenever a new performer comes onto Dark with a gimmick, and Royal’s seems to be trilling some powerful notes upon entrance or doing a big move. I love it, it kept me laughing every time she did it. Velvet gets a very cool move here by doing a step up onto the top rope and doing a great arm drag off of that, some very neat acrobatics. We get a lot of good back and forth action, but it’s the Final Slice that gets the win for Red Velvet. However, after the match, while Red Velvet’s celebrating, the Bunny sneaks up on Velvet and lays out Red with a strike from her brass knuckles to get a little more of an advantage for Rampage.
Bobby Fish vs Ryzin: Ryzin, our favorite evil priest, is against Bobby Fish tonight. Bobby’s entrance music is the most generic possible rock music possible, in a way that I don’t hate. Bobby Fish has a very dominant performance here, doing that knockout kick to get the pin on Ryzin.
Fuego Del Sol vs Tony Nese: It’s Fuego time! He’s in solo action while Tony Nese makes his premiere, with Fuego Dos nowhere to be seen. Taz comments that Nese is the proof that Long Island just makes better athletes, that Nese’s eight pack is a product of the water there. Nese’s style proves to be quite athletic, with Fuego’s fighting spirit keeping him in the match. Fuego is able to toss Nese from the ring and gets a big moonsault off the top rope onto Nese, then signals for the tornado DDt. However, Nese is able to use his power to counter the DDT and powerbomb Fuego into the corner, and gets the win. After the match, Nese flexes and seems to thank his biceps.
Match of the Week – Tiger Ruas vs Pac: Well, Tiger Ruas got his wish for better competition, and gets to face the Bastard Pac. There’s that old saying that styles make fights, and Tiger Ruas’ martial arts background makes him a fun opponent that goes well for an incredibly good pairing with Pac. Pac is able to start leveling the playing field by getting Ruas out of the ring and tossing him into the guard rails. In the end, though, Pac locks in that Brutalizer, and gets the win.
That’s all we’ve got for this week. We’ll be back next week with the coverage from our shows in Missouri, in the prep for Full Gear!