23rd Sep2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Sept 21st 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, the second episode of the show to eminate from Universal Studios in Orlando. Yes, AEW is bringing studio wrestling to their brand FINALLY making a distinction between AEW’s various programmes.

Match #1: Wardlow def. JDX

My Thoughts: JDX gets in a thrust kick before Wardlow takes over and decimates him with FIVE powerbombs and then his finisher for the win… Squash is too soft a term for this one!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: Big Swole def. Allie Katch

My Thoughts: Allie Katch makes her AEW debut and tried to get the better of Swole. Unfortunately a missed move gives Swole the opening to takeover the match and that’s all she wrote for Katch.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Santana and Ortiz def. Chaos Project

My Thoughts: This was surprisingly better than I expected with Santana and Ortiz making Chaos Project’s usual “Serpentico is a human lawn dart” look good. Proud & Powerful were in control for most of this match, once again showing the newfound determination they debuted on Elevation this week.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #4: Joey Janela def. Dillon McQueen

My Thoughts: Dillon McQueen continues to impress, however this match was all Janela – who didn’t waste and time or effort getting the win. He didn’t even resort to using Kayla Rossi to do his dirty work for him.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #4: Tay Conti def. Marina Tucker

My Thoughts: Another debuting talent in Marina Tucker… who not only had to face Tay Conti but also Anna Jay AND -1, who were both in Conti’s corner for this one. This one played out like a typical Thunder Rosa match – insomuch that Conti allowed Tucker to shine early going, getting in some great offense. That’s until Conti starting throwing the hard hits and not one but THREE pump kicks! The DDTaygot the win as usual.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson def. Luke Curtis & Cameron Stewart

My Thoughts: Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson make a great tag team don’t they. They both bring a different aspect to the match and complimant each other superbly. Here Brock Anderson got the spotlight, showing the kind of strength and sheer ass-kickery than his dad Arn was known for back in the day.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: FTR def. Stallion Rogers & Anthony Greene

My Thoughts: Former 205 Live wrestlers August Grey and Curt Stallion make their AEW debuts in this one and look strong doing it. There’s no way FTR were losing this one but Stallion Rogers & Anthony Greene looked like actual decent opponents for FTR – no messing around just solid, VERY GOOD, tag team wrestling. Rogers and Greene would definitely be a welcome addition to AEW tag team division goign forward… if there’s room on the roster!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #7: The Bunny def. Xtina Kay

My Thoughts: ANOTHER debuting wrestling on this episode of AEW: Dark, Xtina Kay didn’t stand a chance against The Bunny – she started out viciously and didn’t let up, squashing Kay in swift fashion.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #8: Lance Archer def. Marcus Kross

My Thoughts: Speaking of squash matches… I was surprised to see Mr. Dragonball himself Marcus Kross manage to NOT get demolished in under a minute by Lance Archer. hell, Archer didn’t even throw Kross into the ring like he typically does with his Dark & Elevation opponents. A huge punch to a flying Kross marked the beginning of the end for this match.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Dark Order’s John Silver & Alex Reynolds def. The Wingmen’s Ryan Nemeth & Pretty Peter Avalon

My Thoughts: This was pretty evenly matched, until Silver and Reynolds stepped up a gear and showed why they are such a great tag team – seemingly reading each others minds and being so in sync that The Wingmen stood not chance. LOVED Peter Avalon’s facial expressions in this one though!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #10: Daniel Garcia def. Alan “5” Angels

My Thoughts: Damn this was good. The one good thing to come out of the breakdown of the Dark Order is that Alan Angels has been given a chance to really shine. Especially this week – first on Elevation against Evil Uno and now here against Daniel Garcia. This one was a close call with both men getting the upper hand at times; with Angels cracking out some fantastic submission moves on the alwayds bad-ass Garcia. Eventually it took interference from 2point0 to give Garcia the advantage and the win.

My Score: 4 out of 5

Match #11: The Factory def. Darian Bengston, Cole Carter, and Sean Maluta

My Thoughts: Despite QT Marshall getting the pin on Sean Maluta this match was all everyone BUT Marshall. As usual. Solow put in the hard work early doors taking out Bengston (who’s channeling the look of Raven/The Headbangers) before Comoroto tagged in and destroyed Cole Carter and Sean Maluta.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #12: Colt Cabana def. JD Drake

My Thoughts: What’s that? JD Drake in ANOTHER great AEW match? The man can do no wrong. Except for hanging out with The Wingmen perhaps! This was a superb match between two evenly matched competitors who both looked like they were pulling out all the stops to get the win. Some shenanigans from both Dark Order’s -1 and Evil Uno and the rest of The Wingmen couldn’t even detract from the fantastic in-ring action.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #13: Eddie Kingston def. Bear Bronson

My Thoughts: Good god, these two basically pummeled each other for eight minutes. This was hard-hitting, strong stuff from Kingston and Bronson. Punches and chops were the order of the day and those chops sounded HARD! Bronson hit a huge clothesline on Kingston that saw Eddie folded in half. But that wasn’t enough to to get with win, with Kingston hitting two back fists to eventually get the win.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3.75/5

Yes, this episode was so god I’ve cracked out a quarter score for the final verdict. A few lower tier matches early on took the overall score down but don’t get me wrong this was one of the best episode of AEW: Dark in quite some time. Really. Eight matches scoring 2.5 or higher is a real change of pace, with less squash matches than usual for such a long show; and this was all about the in-ring action too, with all the matches telling great stories rather than relying on promos.


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