11th Feb2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Feb 9th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW Dark, I’m Nerdly’s Editor Phil and I’m going to TRY and cover All Elite Wrestling’s YouTube-based show each week. Emphasis on the try… So, with that, here’s this week results and review!

Natural Nightmares & Nick Comoroto def. Vary Morales & Jersey Muscle Society

Fresh off the announcement he’d joined the Nightmare Family Nick Comoroto got to take part in a Trios match with the Natural Nightmares and – unsurprisingly – stole the show. Comoroto is a beast of a man and he’s slowly but surely becoming one of the standout wrestlers. So much so I look forward to seeing what surprise show of strength (and skill) he pulls out of the hat each and every week. At this rate he’ll be taking on AEW’s main-venters, on Dynamite rather than Dark, in no time.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5

SCU (Daniels & Kazarian) def. Lee Johnson & Aaron Solow

Another new member of the Nightmare Family, Aaron Solow, teamed once again with his now-stablemate Lee Johnson against the veterans of AEW, Daniels & Kazarian. The only issue here? Whilst everyone, and I do mean everyone, put on a superb display of wrestling – going over 10 minutes (this was no squash) – you KNOW Daniels & Kazarian will win. It’s the downside of the ridiculous stipulation that if they lose a match they’ll split up, That’s not going to happen anytime soon so there’s an obvious ending to all their current matches.

My Opinion: 3½ out of 5

Brian Cage def. Jake St. Patrick

Squash!! Yes, Cage squashed yet another unsigned talent. Hopefully Cage will get another chance at the main event soon, though I’d love to see him and Comoroto in a long-term program… Two beasts battling it out week after week for supremacy? Yes please!

My Opinion: 0.5 out of 5

Nyla Rose def. Miranda Alize

Oh look, another squash match. But now that Nyla Rose isn’t in the championship race that seems to be her defacto match these days. Surely with Vickie Guerrero as her mouthpiece there should be more for Nyla Rose? Maybe it’s time she took the Wardlow route and became the heavy in a new stable with Guerrero as manager? For know its squash after squash, with Rose milking the time and dragging out squash matches longer than the 30 seconds the really deserve!

My Opinion: 0.5 out of 5

PAC def. VSK

PAC on Dark? It looks, to this layman, that some of AEW’s more experienced wrestlers are using Dark as an arena to tune up their skills and try new things… At least that’s what I expect from the likes of Ray Fenix and PAC appearing on AEW’s “second” show. Whatever the reason this match of the three-initial men was a lot better than I expected from a Pac vs Jobber match… Good on VSK for putting on a decent display against wrestling’s bastard!

My Opinion: 2½ out of 5

Sonny Kiss def. KC Navarro

A brilliantly balanced match-up of two wrestlers with similar speed and skillsets made for a great watch. Despite Navarro clearly being set-up as a jobber to Kiss he still managed to shine, with a superb DDT on Kiss part-way through the match that – had Navarro been further up the card – would had scored the win.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5

Tay Conti def. Alex Gracia

As I’ve said earlier, I’m sure Dark is being used to tune-up experienced wrestlers but it’s also undoubtedly being used to allow less experienced performers to gain experience and shine in there own way outside of the pressures of mainstream TV. Case in point: Tay Conti… Conti has made leaps and bounds in terms of skill and performance throughout her appearances on Dark – and here she really shines! Her moves look brutal (just check out the DDT in this match!) and that brutality cements her “martial arts” background as something that will make her dangerous in the future. Plus teaming with Anna Jay seems to have given Conti confidence too, really rounding out her skills. Gracia, who’s relatively fresh to AEW, not that bad either… And like Conti, she’s growing too. Both are welcome additions to AEW’s female roster. Now if only we could get more actual TV time for them too.

My Opinion: 3½ out of 5

Ryan Nemeth def. Marko Stunt

So it turns out Hollywood Hunk Ryan Nemeth is just as much of an arsehole as his more-famous brother… and seems to be on his way to stealing his gimmick too! Nemeth only got the win thanks to FTR’s music playing and distracting Stunt, who – in my opinion – deserved to pummel Nemeth rather than take another beating at the hands of someone who is CLEARLY more of a jobber!

My Opinion: 1 out of 5

Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi def. Shawn Dean & Carlie Bravo

Two tag teams who, on paper, have seemingly been thrown together in recent weeks. Two tag teams who actually look and wrestle like tag teams. I know Avalon & Bononi have a match on Dynamite so they were clearly headed for the win to cement them as ones to watch but “The Captain” Shawn Dean deserves to start winning matches. A lot of matches. Of all the guys who I’ve ‘discovered’ on AEW, Dean seems clearly destined for greatness and it showed here like it does in ALL of his matches.

My Opinion: 3½ out of 5

Dark Order’s 10 def. Baron Black

Since Brodie Lee’s passing Dark Order’s 10 (Preston Vance) has seemingly taken the spotlight, finally getting a chance to show what he can do on a more regular basis. And here he had great competition in Baron Black who, whilst tends to lose his matches, really displays a skillset that will make him a standout in AEW’s future. Plus these guys got to go almost 10 minutes on Dark… A feat in itself given how packed this show is!

My Opinion: 3 out of 5

Red Velvet def. Diamante

Wow. What a surprise. Velvet, who’s teaming with Cody Rhodes in place of a now-pregnant Brandi against Jade Cargill and Shaq (?!?) at Revolution managed to get the win here against Diamante – something I would NEVER expect to see. Velvet took all of the beating Diamante dished out; and it was a beating (as usual), before drop-kicking Diamante’s head(!) for the shocking win.

My Opinion: 2½ out of 5

Jack Evans vs. Joey Janela

Damn! From the get-go this was a fight. Not a wrestling match – though there was plenty of wrestling on display – but a battle between two guys who looked, on screen, like they really hated each other guts. Evans and Janela threw themselves and each other around the ring, diving, splashing and generally putting on one hell of a display of fantastic wrestling. Definitely main-event worthy. Even on TNT!

My Opinion: 4 out of 5

Final Score: 3/5

With very little time wasted on entrances or promos (though why the hell did AEW let Nemeth cut a promo? A bad one at that) and a brilliant parody of the MJF/Jericho song and dance routine from The Acclaimed – more of these piss-taking videos please – AEW Dark was a tighter, fast-paced show than normal and breezed along with much dead weight, feeling – for once – like the show was over before it began! And the main event was one of the best in a LONG time for Dark!

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