15th Apr2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Apr 13th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark which, after a ridiculously long Elevation this week, is a breezy 90 minute show. Thank god. Like the show, let’s keep this review short and sweet too and get straight to it!

Match #1: SCU def. Jay Lyon & Midas Black

My thoughts: Lyon and Black got destroyed by FTR on Elevation and now get destroyed by SCU on Dark… Though they did get some weird circus-esque manoeuvres in on Kazarian and Daniels. Though WTF that move was I have no idea.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Matt Sydal vs. Luther

My thoughts: Luther and his third eye versus Matt Sydal and his third eye. Seems like a match made in heaven… Though I really did miss Kuther throwing Serpentico around the ring like a lawn dart. Ultimately this was a pretty decent match, even if Luther constantly looked gassed.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Dark Order’s 5 & 10 def. Kit Sackett & Hayden Backlund

My thoughts: Beardos versus weirdos… Kit Sackett & Hayden Backlund (who’s fulfilling the “jobber” role with aplomb) looked like two guys off the street thrown together as a makeshift tag team to face Dark Order’s 5 & 10; in a match that also felt like something put together at the last minute to fill time. It’s a credit to 5 and 10 that they, no matter the match, always look and work like a road-worn tag team, thoroughly outshining poor Sacket and Backlund.

My score: 2 out of 5

Match #4: Colt Cabana def. Jake Manning

My thoughts: Jake Manning makes his AEW debut with a ridiculous “man scout” gimmick, facing long-time collaborator Colt Cabana in a match that was a stupid as Manning’s gimmick sounds. This went on too long to stay interesting and instead descended into farce.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Red Velvet & Big Swole def. Amber Nova & Queen Aminata

My thoughts: Red Velvet and Big Swole continue their trios/tag journey that began a few weeks ago. This time they faced the debuting tag team of Amber Nova & Queen Aminata, who actually surprised me and sold themselves well in a match against a super-charismatic team.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: Aaron Solow def. Fuego Del Sol

My thoughts: Fuego! Fuego! Fuego! Fuego! Fuego! Damn it… He lost again. This time to QT Marshall new stable mate Aaron Solow. I’m still holding out hope for a win Feugo, though he did put in a great showing here – with both man getting in decent offence against the other. Fuego still lost though… For shame.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Gunn Club def. Andrew Palace, Stone Rockwell, & Mike Magnum

My thoughts: The Gunn Club do their usual schtick, with Billy Gunn getting gassed in a match that didn’t even go 4 minutes… Meh.

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: KiLynn King def. Madi Wrenkowski

My thoughts: Wrenkowski and King both continue their respective streaks on AEW’s Youtube programming – Madi Wrenkowski perfecting her heel persona and KiLynn King once again looking like a total badass, really showing off her power as she’s done in recent weeks. Great match between these two. More please.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #9: Matt Hardy def. Ken Broadway

My thoughts: Oh do p*ss off Matt Hardy. Stick to Dynamite and don’t infect Dark and Elevation with your mediocre old-man wrestling. Please. I feel sorry for Ken Broadway if I’m honest – especially as he looked better than Hardy throughout the match.

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #10: Evil Uno & Stu Grayson def. Vary Morales & Spencer Slade

My thoughts: Evil Uno & Stu Grayson put on a [quick] clinic, destroying Morales and Slade in under two minutes. Technically a squash yes, but Evil Uno & Stu Grayson make it look good!

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #11: Britt Baker def. Shawna Reed

My thoughts: Reed looked clumsy against Baker who won this squash match with vicious aggression and speed.

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #12: Brian Cage & Ricky Starks def. Carlie Bravo & Dean Alexander

My thoughts: Carlie Bravo & Dean Alexander are back for their third match on Dark/Elevation programming, this time being fed to Starks and Cage in a match that was only really a story beat for the divisions appearing in Team Taz.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #13: Nyla Rose def. Leila Grey

My thoughts: Another squash… This one didn’t even feel like the match even started before it was over. Pish.

My score: 0.5 out of 5

Match #14: Varsity Blonds def. Prince Kai & Will Allday

My thoughts: Pillman and Garrison put on a terrific display of traditional tag team wrestling here – the kind of which should please FTR at least. Unfortunately there were a few cases of missed cues and telegraphing that marred an otherwise great tag team match.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #15: Lance Archer def. Cole Karter

My thoughts: Archer squashed Cole Karter before he even finished getting in the bloody ring! Archer then dragged out Karter’s punishment for a while, toying with him for three brutal minutes.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #16: Alex Reynolds def. Ryan Nemeth

My thoughts: Who is Nemeth paying off to get two main event matches on two AEW programmes? Nomatter. Here we got John Silver on commentary which was worth the pain of watching Nemeth in another main event. Thankfully Reynolds made light work of this one.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2/5

Why the sudden run a squash and quasi-squash matches towards the end of Dark eh, AEW? Seriously, cut the squashes from Elevation and Dark and spread the remaining matches across both shows and voila! Better product for all. As it is this was a decent episode of Dark that fell apart in the second half thanks to the aforementioned run of squash matches. Average. Again.


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