11th Mar2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Mar 9th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks AEW: Dark review, which comes hot on the heels of the Revolution pay per view and – as I’m in the UK – after the news that AEW and Impact are teaming up for a Champ vs. Champ title match next month!

Match #1: Powerhouse Hobbs def. Angel Fashion

Powerhouse Hobbs opened Dark with a match against Angel Fashion who, given that he lost in a tag team match against Team Taz’s Ricky Starks and Brian Cage last week, seems to be a human punching bag for the oragen and black mean machine crew. Oh, and this was a squash… As if you coudln’t guess given the size difference between these two men.

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: SCU def. Azriel & Danny Limelight

Azriel and Limelight were thrown together in a tag match against SCU, who were fresh off their LOSS at Revolution in the Casino Tag Team Royale. Though you wouldn’t know they’d lost a match given the lower third 5-0 win stat AND the fact they hadn’t split us as promised by Kazarian a while ago… No matter, Limelight once again almost stole the *cough* limelight from Kaz and Daniels, his team mate Azriel also performing well and they looked fluid – it looked liked the two had experience working together before (even if they haven’t).

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi & Ryan Nemeth def. Aaron Solow, Brick Aldridge & Dean Alexander

Veteran Aaron Solow teamed with two guys from the Nightmare Factory against the more experienced trio of Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi & Ryan Nemeth and, honestly, it looked quite the opposite. Solow and co. looked great together, with Brick Alridge LITERALLY living up to his name! Bononi looked clumsy here – maybe it was his height versus smaller men, whatever… but Bononi did do the heavy lifting for his team and got a broken nose (at least it looked like its broken) for his trouble.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #4: Lee Johnson def. Baron Black

Baron Black is a Dark mainstay these days and with good reason. He’s a bloody good wrestler. Even against Johnson who, if we’re honest, is somewhat of a poster boy for the Nightmare Family/Factory, Black showed just how good he is. He may have lost, taking the Blue Thunder Bomb from Johnson, but he looked superb doing so!

My score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #5: Dark Order’s Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & Alex Reynolds def. Aaron Frye, D3, Jon Cruz, & Varly Morales

An 8-man tag match could have looked a mess but this was the Dark Order. A team that look so well put-together, so fluid, so at ease as a team no matter the size that they make ALL their matches look good these days. And they even make their opponents look good too, no matter their skills or experience; or if the win or lose – everyone loks good in a Dark Order match.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #6: Varsity Blonds def. Cameron Stewart & Ryzin

Good god Griff Garrison looks better and better each and every week… The sheer height he gets on his leaping clothesline is tremendous. And teaming with Brian Pillman Jr. is probably the best thing for both guys – the duo have a fantastic throwback appeal with their blond locks and rock star attitude (and entrance theme), making them look like a modern day Freebirds. And its paying off, the Varsity Blonds are making a great name for themselves on dark AND Dynamite, they just need more main event opponents now.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Diamante def. Savannah Thorne

Making her wrestling debut (but not AEW debut) Savannah Thorne looked like she might have a chance against Diamante, toying with her in the early stages. However Diamante, as usual, kicked it into high gear and demolished Thorne swiftly once she’d hit her with a flurry of short arm clothesline; eventually hitting the Code Red for the win.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #8: Q.T. Matshall def. Fuego del Sol

My god it pained me to type that result above. I really, REALLY, wanted Fuego Del Sol to get his first win here… But in a way I’m glad he didn’t. Fuego DID hit the Tornado DTT on Marshall, finally making good of his promise but Marshall still got the win. Please AEW. Please keep this fued going. I want to see Fuego and Marshall go at it on Dynamite, with a huge crowd really behind Fuego like the [smaller] crowd were here. He deserves it given everything he’s done to make this fued/storyline work on Sammy Guevara’s vlog; and we NEED that fairytale ending for Fuego too!

My score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #9: Kip Sabian def. Carlie Bravo

Coming out with his tag team partner “The Captain” Shawn Dean, this was a rare singles match for Bravo. However this match was really all Kip Sabian who, after letting Bravo get some offence in, totaly demolished the up and coming wrestler, displaying that same fast-paced mean streak we know and love.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #10: Abadon def. Katalina Perez

A bad ass Abadon kicked the ass of a terrified looking Katalina Perez in what technically was an etended squash match. As I keep saying, I have no idea how AEW can keep booking Abadon like a killing machine without running out of opponents for her and without feeding the rest of the womens roster, including the Dynamite main eventers, to her.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #11: Santana & Ortiz def. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela

Santana & Ortiz getting to main event? OK, so this is only Dark but still it made a nice change for the duo, who made such a name for themselves on Impact that I thought they’d be hot property in AEW, to be main eventing anything. The sooner these guys get out from under the shadow of Jericho and the Inner Circle “name” the better. Meanwhile Joey Janela was Joey Janela, delivering chaos whilst doing his best to make everyone look good, selling as crazily as his moves!

My score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3/5

A great episode of AEW: Dark that didn’t rely on multi-man matches or squash matches as previous weeks and was all the better for it. Plus we had one of the best feuds in ages continue on Dark rather than on a vlog. What’s not to love?

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