08th Mar2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Mar 6th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

We’ve got an extra pre-Revolution episode of AEW: Dark this week – ninty minutes of PPV teases and matches that (I suspect) will make no sense follwing the PPV… Anyone else think the same? Everytime there’s a “game-changing” AEW pay per view it seems we get an extra Dark. Now is that as a lead in for the PPV or… as I suspect… are they burning off pre-taped matches that will be effected by the outcome of said PPV? Whatever the case its more AEW in a week and I’m here for it!

Match #1: The Natural Nightmares def. Peter Avalon and Cesar Bononi

Bononi got to showcase his strength in this match, even if it ran a mere (and swift) four plus minutes. Nothing really stood out in this opener making this a very cool start to a Dark that should’ve been hot from the get-go. Could’ve easily gone longer and made more of the size and strength of Bononi against Dustin Rhodes.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Chuck Taylor def. JD Drake

More JD Drake… his third appearance on Dark in as many weeks and yet again Drake’s match is one of the highlights of the show! Chuck Taylor seems to have foregone the fast-paced tag team style in his last couple of matches for a powerhouse performance and it worked here against Drake; Taylor looked stronger than ever against the big man!

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Penta El Zero Miedo def. Azriel

Er… Squash match much? An [even experienced] indie wrestler making his AEW debut against Penta… kind of a no-brainer who was going to win this one, even if Azriel made a decent offence against Penta mid-match.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #4: Lance Archer def. John Skyler

Two squash matches in a row… Like the previous Penta match Archer let Skylar get some offence in, as if he was toying with him, but this was still your standard Archer match. I’ll give to the man, toying with his opponents and letting them get in offence actually makes Archer look even more dangerous and psychopathic – as if he’s having way too much fun get slapped around!

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Brian Cage and Ricky Starks def. Fuego Del Sol and Angel Fashion

Fuego Del Sol is disrepected YET AGAIN! No intro for Fuego and Fashion as they’re essentially jobbed out to Starks and Cage. Thankfully Cage destroyed Fashion and no Fuego… He needs to keep fresh for his forthcoming match against QT Marshall!

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #6: Jack Evans def. Jake St. Patrick

I don’t know what it is but ever since TH2 returned to AEW screens I just cna’t get excited for them at all. Even less so when they’re in singles matches. I don’t know if its their opponents or the duop themselves but there seems to be no charisma and no excitement to their maches these days. Even if those matches, technically and physically, are actually great examples of professional wrestling.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: Austin and Colten Gunn def. D3 and M’Badu

Literally everything I said about the last match can be applied to the Gunns. And as such this match was dull and, I’m not going to lie, it also looked like D3 and M’Badu were less out-classed buy the Gunns and more like totally confused to just what moves the Gunns were actually doing!

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: Thunder Rosa def. Tesha Price

Tesha Price sold VERY well for Thunder Rosa and made Rosa look like a total badass. Meanwhile Thunder Rosa looked like a total badass yet again, as she does each and every match. Price got in a few nice spots of offence (the punch to Rosa’s head on the ropes looked particularly good) but this was a guaranteed win for Thunder Rosa on her way to Revolution.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #9: Bear Country def. Cameron Stewart and Ryzin

I’m going to repeat what I said about this weeks other episode of Dark. Yet another thrown together to face a long-established tag team. Something that happens a LOT on Dark and something that – I think – is becoming detrimental to those wrestlers put together for TV. Either keep them as individual wrestlers or keep the tag teams consistent. Seriously. On the other hand this is a Bear Country match and, like JD Drake’s matches, these are consistently some of the best on AEW: Dark and this was no different.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #10: Dark Order’s Alan “5” Angels and Preston “10” Vance def. Labron Kozone and Vary Morales

Running almost five minutes, this match was all Dark Order; with not only Vance but – for the second time in a row – Angels looking strong once again – in the total antithesis of his “role” on BTE and Sammy Guevara’s vlog. Which I can get behind… It’s about time the Dark Order looked strong on TV again. But still keep the laughs for the vlogs. Really.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match 11: Tay Conti def. Leila Grey

A debuting Leila Grey showed some promise against Tay Conti but this match really belonged to the latter. Con ti looked strong with her combination of wrestling and martial arts moves. She honestly gets better each and every match, hopefully her skills and momentum keep building.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #12: Matt and Mike Sydal def. Chaos Project

Well this was an interesting choice for main event…. Once again Chaos Project was essentially Luther throwing Serpentico around while Serpentico also took all the punishment. On the plus side this was the first win for the Sydal brothers. I’d be interested to see Chaos Project turned into a trios team with someone along the same lines as Serpentico added to the group – let Luther throw TWO people around! I jest, of course, I just think Luther would be better suited to being the more experienced member of a three-man team and spread the violence and the physical toll of a match around.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

News of the Night:

  1. Kip Sabian and Miro attacked Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy after Taylor’s match, putting their PPV mach in question
  2. Swole cut a promo about being underused and looked over for the AEW Women’s Championship. Which is true but just sounded like Swole whining (someone needed to tweak the script a little more IMHO)
  3. Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Lance Archer cut a fantastic promo about ignoring everyone esle and just destroying Cody during their 6-man Ladder match at Revolution.
  4. The Butcher and the Blade continued their streeak of post-match beatdowns of Bear Country. Which, I hope, means good things for Bear Country in future and NOT just for the Casino Tag Team Royale at Revolution.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A decidedly average episode of AEW: Dark, especially for a pre-PPV episode. Saved from being completely terrible by the women’s matches and by JD Drake and Bear Country. Again.

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