22nd Apr2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Apr 20th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

A lovely, brief, short, swift 88 minute episode of AEW: Dark this week… Yes! Let’s repeat that brevity for this review and get right into it.

Match #1: Joey Janela def. Will Allday

My Thoughts: Well I’ll be damned… Will Allday looked great in this match, landing a fantastic, brutal-looking tope suicida on Janela and really giving Janela some stiff opposition. Literally. A great opener.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #2: SCU def. Ryzin & John Skyler

My Thoughts: Ryzin and John Skyler are thrown together to face the veterans SCU. And you’d think that would be a bad thing for Ryzin and Skyler. It wasn’t. The duo instead made the most of their ‘TV time’ with some great team work and selling. Of course the end result was never in question which kind of ruined the fun… That’s the downside to SCU’s “if we lose we split” challenge – you know they’re never going to lose on anything other than Dark or a PPV.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Big Swole and KiLynn King def. The MK Twins (Ashley & Steff)

My Thoughts: The ever-rotating trio of Big Swole, KiLynn King and Red Velvet have been KILLING it since their debut a few weeks ago and that continued here. Though Tonga duo The MK Twins put up a decent offence, managing to look strong even in defeat. A great women’s match and… hopefully… this trio is a sing that AEW are looking to expand their women’s division to inckude a Tag Team championship too.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: The Butcher and The Blade def. Brick Alridge and Cole Karter

My Thoughts: A squash match for The Butcher and The Blade who mauled their opponents for almost four minutes before finally ending Alridge and Karter’s pain.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Sonny Kiss def. Jake Manning

My Thoughts: Another squash. This time Kiss took less than a minute to put away “man scout” Jake Manning.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #6: Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and 10 def. Jay Lyon, Midas Black and Ken Broadway

My Thoughts: This thing was chaotic. In the best way of course! Broadway threw out some cash mid-way through the match and thing collapsed into hilarity as referee Bryce Remsburg and Dark Order’s -1 spent the rest of the match scooping it up!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Billy Gunn def. Andrew Palace

My Thoughts: Much like his some Austin on Elevation, Billy Gunn left all the laughs behind for this singles match, demolishing Palace with ease.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #8: Dante Martin def. Fuego Del Sol

My Thoughts: A great match between two young wrestlers whose styles were perfectly matched. Fuego hit a fantastic coast to coast but still didn’t get the win. Instead Dante Martin intercepted Fuego’s Tornado DDT attempt (like pretty much every one does… boooo!) and hit a huge 450 splash for the win!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #9: Diamante def. Queen Aminata

My Thoughts: Queen Aminata makes her second appearance on AEW: Dark but her first as a singles competitor and the poor woman had to go head to head with Diamante! Aminata had the size advantage, towering over Diamante but that didn’t stop Diamante busting her lip open with some stiff punches and dominating for most of this match.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #10: Varsity Blonds def. Kit Sackett and Hayden Backlund

My Thoughts: Pillman versus Backlund… what is this, the early 90s in that other promotion? I jest. But Pillman Jr. is slowly but surely building a decent rep in his own right, even moreso in this tag team – a duo that get better each and every match, working together like these guys have been tagging for years

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #11: Max Caster def. Alan “5” Angels

My Thoughts: I’ve yet to see Caster defeat an opponent legitimately – the sign of a truly great heel. The Dark Order’s 5 actually made for a great opponent, both managing to put in some great offence and sell Caster’s moves really well too. I still think Alan “5” Angels deserves to win at least ONE match (and get some respect from his Dark Order stable mates) this year but today was not that day.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #12: Powerhouse Hobbs def. Baron Black

My Thoughts: Baron Black may have started this one off early but there’s no stopping Powerhouse Hobbs who’s been booked in perfect fashion for his moniker. Black got a few offensive moves but couldn’t resist Will Hobbs’ sheer power as this match ended before two minutes were up!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #13: PAC def. Dean Alexander

My Thoughts: PAC destroyed poor Dean Alexander, who had zero chance to so much as punch PAC – who put Alexander out with the Brutalizer in less than a minute.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

An average episode of AEW: Dark that benefitted from a shorter run time and some decent matches that were allowed to go more than a few minutes. Unfortunately ending the show on not one but TWO squash matches was a huge mistake. Even if PAC looked badass in his match!

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