29th Apr2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Apr 27th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

This weeks AEW Dark: Elevation got a LOT of things right, so lets see if AEW can follow-up one great show with another… Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark!

Match #1: The Acclaimed def. Fuego Del Sol and D3

My Thoughts: No! Not another squash match for poor Fuego Del Sol. He’s got to get a win in someday doesn’t he? Much like their E;levation appearance, this match was pretty much to show how The acclaimed are back together and just as good as before Bowen’s injury. Just a shame Fuego had to be in yet another losing side.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Matt and Mike Sydal def. David Ali and Aaron Frye

My Thoughts: The Sydal’s on ANOTHER episode of Dark; and after Matt appeared on Elevation the night before. I said it my review of that show and I’ll say it again, Matt Sydal is a workhorse. He and his brother are together almost carrying both Dark shows each and every week!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #3: Dante Martin def. Andrew Palace

My Thoughts: Despite being a tag team wrestler, Dante Martin has really shown what he can do in singles competition following his brothers injury. He looked superb in this match, and gets better and better as a singles wrestler every match.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: The Varsity Blonds def. Duke Davis and Ganon Jones

My Thoughts: Duke Davis and Ganon Jones, despiten making their AEW tag debut, have been working together on the indies – for much longer than Pillman and Garrison have been a tag team in AEW. But you wouldn’t know that from this match as The Varsity Blonds looked like the veteran tag team here; with Griff Garrison really shining throughout the match.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Brain Cage def. Marty Casaus

My Thoughts: Marty the Moth makes his AEW debut against former Lucha Underground competitor Brian Cage and this was a fight! Two big guys slugging it out in what many would call a hoss fight. Casaus was given plenty of time to get his offense in against Cage and both men looked tough as old boots throughout. Another match where neither competitor looked weak at the end.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #6: Leyla Hirsch def. Renee Michelle

My Thoughts: Poor Renee Michelle, she stood no chance against Hirsch. But at least Michelle managed to get her personality across in this match. Whereas Hirsch sold her badass wrestling skills… Between her great singles matches and superb tag matches with Ryo Mizunami, Hirsch is becoming the highlight of the AEW womens division.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: Lance Archer def. Jake St. Patrick

My Thoughts: Jake Roberts was on commentary once again for another Lance Archer squash match. Hey, at least Roberts makes these matches sound fun and puts Archer over at every opportunity.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: Diamante def. Raychell Rose

My Thoughts: What a way to make your debut on AEW, getting demolished by Diamante… That’s how Raychelle Rose did it! Diamante looked her usual excellent, mean, self – she just needs more opponents that can match her skillset.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Lee Johnson def. Will Allday

My Thoughts: Well this was a surprising almost-perfect match-up between Johnson and Allday. Both men looked great, with some fast-paced wrestling that made for an exciting match – even if it was a little short. Johnson looked strong in victory, though AEW booking ruined that by having QT Marshall beat him down after the match.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #10: Penelope Ford def. Ashley D’Amboise

My Thoughts: Another great pairing! Ford and D’Amboise were evenly matched for most of this match before Ford turned up her heel persona to 11 and took charge, eventually getting the pin in less than three minutes.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #11: Colt Cabana def. Cole Karter

My Thoughts: Pretty much a throwaway pee-break match. Cole Karter didn’t even get to display some of the fortitude he did in his previous AEW matches.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #12: KiLynn King def. Dani Jordyn

My Thoughts: Well this was interesting… King has, in recent weeks, been displaying a new, match-winning, attitude that has seen her in some of the best matches on AEW’s Dark programming. So I expected something of a squash match between her and Dani Jordyn. But that was not to be, instead King gave Jordyn the space to show what she can do – in a match that was super-aggressive and, IMHO, the best of the night.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #13: SCU def. Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis

My Thoughts: What can you say about SCU matches on ANY Dark programme? You know they’re never going to lose a match on a non-televised show (and probably not on anything other than a PPV to be fair) thanks to their “we lose, we split” stipulation. Which takes any and all excitement out of their matches. Seriously, that stipulation is ruining SCU matches.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #14: Evil Uno, Stu Grayson and Preston “10” Vance def. Private Party and The Blade

My Thoughts: This was a chaotic, fun end to Dark, with Dark Order looking incredibly strong – especially Stu Grayson. Vance got the win, clearly to hype him up for his match against Darby Allin on Daynamite this week. Surprisingly the team of Private Party and The Blade worked well too.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

An average episode of AEW: Dark, with nothing truly memorable here. This show was saved by the re-teaming of Cage and Marty the Moth, the King/Jordyn match and the fun trios main event; everything else was very much your usual Dark programming.

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