05th Aug2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Aug 3rd 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the 100th episode of AEW: Dark. Has it really been 100 weeks since this YouTube show debut? Time has certainly flown by. Anyway, beside a few on-screen graphics this isn’t much of a celebratory episode… It does feature some great matches though!

[NOTE: This review is of the post-edit episode of AEW Dark and not the original live stream of the show… For those unaware, Max Caster may or may not, depending on your personal opinion, have crossed a line with his pre-match rap. Let’s just day that phew, that did NOT go down well on social media!]

Match #1: Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta def. The Wingmen (JD Drake, Cezar Bononi, and Ryan Nemeth)

My Thoughts: AEW open the show with one of my favourite current AEW stars, one Mr. JD Drake. A wrestler who impressed me on his first appearance and one, like Fuego Del Sol and Leyla Hirsch, who I can enjoy watching no matter the match or opponent. Yuta took the brunt of the Wingmen’s offence here but Cassidy and Nememth got a nice exchange towards the end of the match – with Drake missing a moonsault and Yuta get a crucifix roll-up on him for the win.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: PAC def. Jack Evans

My Thoughts: I couldn’t give two-hoots about Jack Evans but he even managed to impress me here, matching PAC – for the most part – giving him some of the best competition he’s had on AEW programming in a while.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #3: Tay Conti def. Kenzie Page

My Thoughts: Damn, Tay Conti worked this one stiff, throwing some hard looking (and probably hard feeling) punches on Kenzie Page. Though to be fair to Page she did get some great offence in early, making the outcome of the match look in doubt. But onc e Conti hit that first hard ounch the match ewas all hers.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Shawn Spears and Wardlow def. Capt. Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol

My Thoughts: I don’t appreciate the superstar that is Fuego Del Sol being used in a match that literally only existed to push the Hager/Wardlow feud further. The man deserves more than that goddamnit. But hey, at least he’s alive after Sammmy Guevara’s vlog :) As usual this gets a higher rating than the typical squash match score just for featuring Fuego.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Hikaru Shida def. Madi Maxx

My Thoughts: Well well, Madi Maxx played the heel tremendously here, trying some sneaky tactics and Rick Flair-ing her way through the match. Shida scored the win here though, adding ANOTHER win to her already tremendous win/loss record.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: Lucha Brothers def. Chaos Project

My Thoughts: Colour me surprised as Serpentico actually went toe-to-toe with Rey Fenix in what I’d consider to be his best appearance for AEW so far – so much so that this match made me feel Serpentico is wasted in the tag team scene… Maybe in a few years he’ll get a solo shot? But even an on-form Serpentico couldnt outshien the Lucha Brothers who, even in “smaller” matches on Dark show just why they’re the best.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #7: Matt Hardy, The Blade, and The Acclaimed def. Varsity Blonds and Sydal Brothers

My Thoughts: The Varsity Blondes/The Acclaimed feud continues in this match, throwing in the HFO and the Sydal’s for good measure. As usual for a mtach involving the HFO, this one had an underhanded finish, with the Blade cracking out the brass knuckles AGAIN, hitting Mike Sydal and allowing Matt Hardy to get the pin.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #8: “Legit” Leyla Hirsch def. Diamante

My Thoughts: It looks like AEW are finally, FINALLY, giving Leyla Hirsch a push. I’ve been a fan since she first appeared on AEW programming and so its great to see the company behind her too – with a definitive win against the hard-hitting Diamante; even if the end of the match had a little interference from the Bunny and Big Swole.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #9: Jon Moxley def. Brick Aldridge

My Thoughts: Brick Aldridge hit Moxley early and continued his assault on the former AEW champ for a LOT of this match, really living up to his name Brick! moxley looked a little gassed TBH but that didn’t stop him getting the submission win.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #10: Penelope Ford def. Reka Tehaka

My Thoughts: This was a strange match, with way too many pauses and moves telegraph from both parties. Don’t know if there was a communication issue or what but this one looked toop forced from the get-go.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #11: Eddie Kingston def. Dante Martin

My Thoughts: An odd pairing of styles but its great to see Kingston in ANY match. You’d have though Kingston would be out-maneuvred here given Martin’s speed and skillset but that wasn’t the case. Shame this one was so short though.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

An inoffensive, well for most people now its been edited, and fun show that, whilst it didn’t have and truly amazing matches, still managed to be incredibly entertaining – with four matches batting OVER average, which is good for AEW: Dark.


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