Though AEW Double or Nothing this past Sunday may have had the scope and length of a Kenneth Branagh Shakespeare adaptation, the first episode of “AEW Dark” following the PPV promises to be a brisker, speedier viewing for fans. That doesn’t mean it won’t be packing a punch, though.

As announced by AEW on social media yesterday, “AEW Dark” will feature Ring of Honor Women’s Champion Mercedes Martinez taking on the “Hell Bent Vixen” Viva Van. Though the match isn’t officially listed for the ROH Women’s Title, a live report on the show from Cagematch suggests the championship will be on the line (Warning: the link contains spoilers for tonight’s show).

Trained at the Santino Brothers Academy in Los Angeles, California, theVietnamese-American Van is best known for her appearances in independent promotions DEFY and PCW ULTRA, where she is the current PCW ULTRA Women’s Champion in her second reign. She’s also wrestled for Lucha Libre AAA, both under the promotion’s Promociones EMW umbrella in Tijuana and for AAA proper. Most recently she was part of a three-way mixed tag team match in Tijuana on March 26, which was won by current AAA Mixed Tag Team Champions Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti.

This will be Van’s third “AEW Dark” appearance and her first since November 2021. She had previously wrestled Kris Statlander on the July 6, 2021, episode of “Dark”, and then returned to wrestle Nyla Rose on the November 2 episode.

“This fire can’t be put out,” Van said on Twitter following the announcement. “I was born for this. I’m Hellbent.”

This will be Martinez’s fourth defense of the ROH Women’s Championship, capping off a busy month that saw her unify the championship by defeating Deonna Purrazzo on the May 4 episode of “AEW Dynamite.” Martinez has since successfully defended the title against Trish Adora, Hyan, and Mazerrati, with the latter match airing last night on “AEW Dark: Elevation.”

Four other matches will make up the remainder of “AEW Dark.” The Butcher and the Blade will take on independent tag team The Pillars of Destiny (Hunter Grey and Paul Titan), The Factory’s Anthony Ogogo will face Nightmare Academy graduate Carlie Bravo, a six-man tag will pit Dark Order’s Evil Uno, John Silver and 10 against Serpentico and The Wingmen’s Peter Avalon and Ryan Nemeth, and Jamie Hayter will do battle with DEFY regular Danika Della Rogue.

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