AEW Dark recap: Hart of Darkness



Episode 187 of AEW Dark is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the stream via Cageside Seats. Excalibur and Taz called the action as usual. Let’s get to it!

Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. The Outrunners (Turbo Floyd & Truth Magnum)

The Outrunners brought an AEW Dark record of 1-0 to the match. Floyd and Magnum were in matching pink trunks. Dark Order had on nothing but black and their Dark record was 15-4 as a team.

Both teams decided to stall at the beginning with a posedown. I honestly wouldn’t try to out pose Johnny Hungee and his biceps. The heels tried to double team him when that backfired and ate a double shoulder tackle. Silver and Reynolds took turns punching and kicking Magnum until Silver got low bridged to the outside behind referee Aubrey Edwards back. Reynolds took over and gave Silver time to recover on the apron but he got hit with a cheap shot, and he came back in illegally to hit an uppercut in return. Once he got the legal tag they did a double team foot stomp/DDT combo to get the pin. They painted within the numbers but it was a good picture.

Riho vs. Diamante

Diamante entered first with a 2023 record of 1-0 on Dark. Riho’s overall record from 2023 was 3-0. Taz: “She’s all happy now but she’ll get in the ring and tear your eyes out. She’s mean. She yelled at me in catering earlier. She cut a promo on me bro — in English.”

Diamante hit a shoulder tackle and went for the first cover. Riho knocked her backward with a dropkick, whipped her into the corner, hit a running knee and a snap suplex for a two count. Diamante knocked her off the apron to the floor, but threw her back in for a near fall instead of beating her up out there. Boots to Riho in the corner until she heeded the ref’s warning. Snapmare, two forearms to the face, two count. Diamante slapped her around and Riho got up pissed off. Diamante cut her off with a knee to the body. Riho hit a tilt-a-wirl and a drop toehold then gave Diamante the 6-1-9. Top rope crossbody. Two count. Diamante immediately planted her into the canvas for another near fall, then threw her across the ring by her hair. Diving strike to the spine from behind. Back elbows from Riho. Back elbow from Diamante. Flying knee from Riho. Diamante with a German suplex. Riho with a stomp. Both women down. Northern lights suplex from Riho for two. Riho to the top rope. Double foot stomp! Diamante kicked out at 2.9. Riho went for the running knee and Diamante dodged it. She hit a lariat for a near fall. Diamante’s brain buster was blocked. Dragon suplex by Riho. Double knees to the face! That finally finished off the win and pin for Riho. Fantastic!

Sonny Kiss (w/ Slim J & Jeeves Kay) vs. Terry Kid

This was the first singles match of 2023 for Kiss, while Kid brought a prior record of 0-1. Even without The Trustbusters creating a numbers advantage it’s fair to say Kid would soon be 0-2.

Excalibur plugged upcoming Dynamite tapings in Missouri while J and Kay lent a hand beating up Kid. Kid came off the ropes with a knee and some punches, hit a suplex and pulled down the straps. He should pull them back up. Kiss feigned an injury and Aubrey Edwards monetarily stopped the match. Kiss raked the eyed, hit a corkscrew kick, and Edwards turned right around to count the pin. I realize this wasn’t the right opponent for Kiss to enjoy a long quality match with but it still felt like a letdown in execution.

Julia Hart vs. Zoey Lynn

Hart’s record for 2023 was 2-0. She now lip syncs every word of her ominous theme song, even while entering the ring, and I’m here for it. Lynn was making her AEW debut in this contest.

Taz: “Here’s a prediction. The winner of this match will be a blonde.” Hart dropped Lynn and put a boot to her throat, then raked her eyes along the top rope. Hart threw more strikes to the throat, but Lynn tripped her and hit a dropkick. She avoided a cartwheel and tried a roll up. Hart hit a thrust kick and a standing moonsault, pulling Lynn up before the pinfall, doing this multiple times to the consternation of the ref, before finally applying the Hartless Lock for the tap.

Action Andretti vs. Lee Johnson (w/ Cole Karter)

Johnson was taking his first Dark match of 2023 in the main event. Andretti brought a 2023 record of 3-0 on Dark. Aubrey Edwards was in charge for our final bout tonight.

Taz was super focused on the storyline of Wardlow having his car broken into, while Johnson was so in control of the match he decided to do push-ups in the middle of the ring. Suplex. Two count. Chinlock applied. Andretti flipped over Johnson, ate a back elbow, and Johnson’s face met a dropkick in return for a double down. Edwards got to seven on the ten count. Both men swung away with strikes until Andretti got control and used it for a backbreaker and neckbreaker combination. Johnson raked the eyes but Andretti hit a spinning DDT and covered for a very near fall. Fireman’s carry by Andretti. Johnson escaped. A pair of standing switches. Moonsault into a neckbreaker off the ropes for Johnson. “Let’s go Action” chant for Andretti. “Boo/yay” punches. The camera person kept cutting to Cole Karter for unnecessary reaction shots. Near fall and another double down spot, even though Edwards didn’t start a count this time. Punches and kicks by Andretti. Blue thunder bomb by Johnson for 2.999. Johnson went outside and scaled the ropes. Andretti cut him off and after being knocked away the first time ran up for a superplex the second time. Johnson rolled out to recover and Andretti hit a suicide dive. Karter came over and ate a superkick. Back flip off the apron to wipe Johnson out before throwing him back in. Split legged moonsault missed. Thrust kicks both ways. Johnson leapt, Andretti caught him, hanging neckbreaker for three!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Heart of Darkness.” Positives — AEW figured out their issues after yesterday’s debacle and this show aired on time. This was a very short episode of Dark as well. Perhaps too short? I’ll take a 40 minute edition over a 90 minute one, but I could also settle for a nice number about halfway between the two. It’s all a “watch” except unfortunately for Sonny Kiss, a rare “skip” for such a talented wrestler.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback below in the comments section. See you next week for new episodes of Elevation and Dark!

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