30th Sep2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Sept 28th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark which, once again sees some former WWE/NXT stars making an appearance in AEW – all inside the All Elite Zone (or AEW Universal as Excalibur called it) in Orlando, Florida.

Match #1: Thunder Rosa def. Nikita Knight

My Thoughts: Thunder Rosa keeps building that win record with another of her usual AEW-style matches (opponent gets a few hits in before being squashed). The record is the same but this is just a different track. At least AEW champ wannabe Rosa’s getting airtime, unlike Hikaru Shida!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Private Party def. JDX and Carlie Bravo

My Thoughts: Private Party aren’t messing around with this one. I do like it when PP come out without any of the HFO posse/shenanigans – they feel more like one of AEW’s better tag teams that way. Though kudos must also go to JDX and Carlie Bravo who showed some great teamwork here (both of these guys are doing stellar work on Dark programming FYI).

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Kiera Hogan def. Leila Grey

My Thoughts: Apparently Kiera Hogan is All Elite? According to the commenary team she’s now officially signerd with AEW so we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in future – here’s hoping she has as much success (or more) here in AEW as she did in Impact. Hogan got more and more aggressive as the match went on, eventually picking up the win with a roundhouse kick.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #4: 10 def. Brandon Gore

My Thoughts: Now this was a squash. 10 basically played games with Gore, hitting him with everything he had, including his trademark spinebuster and ending it quicklyt with his Full Nelson finisher. -1, who accompanied 10 to the ring with some of the Dark Order, kicked Gore out the ring before the post match celebrations!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Adrian Jaoude and Cezar Bononi def. Ryzin and Jake St. Patrick

My Thoughts: I swear I’ve seen Adrian Jaoude somewhere before… Oh yeah. It’s Arturo Ruas by any other name! Jaoude and Bononi actually made for a really great team, working cohesively to take down Ryzin and Jake St. Patrick with ease. More of these two please AEW!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: Lance Archer def. Arjun Singh

My Thoughts: Lance Archer’s back to his usual shenanigans, dragging Arjun Singh out through the entrance and into the ring, where he demolished him with purpose. Pounding on Singh for ages BEFORE the bell was even rung! And when it was? Archer ended it mere seconds later with a Blackout! This was a squash but it was a FUN squash. Really fun.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: Ricky Starks def. Darius Lockhart

My Thoughts: Wow. This was good. Really good. Starks actually had a wrestling match, no gimmicks, no interference, just a one-on-one against the debuting Darius Lockhart. I saw people saw look out for Lockhart on Dark and boy where those people right. Darius Lockhart needs to become All Elite sooner rather than later if this one is anything to go buy!

My Score: 4 out of 5

Match #8: Evil Uno and Stu Grayson def. Adrian Alanis and Liam Gray

My Thoughts: This was a tag team version of the typical AEW quasi-squash. Adrian Alanis and Liam Gray got some offense in before Stu Grayson went off on the pair and then it was all the Dark Order.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Julia Hart def. Reka Tehaka

My Thoughts: Julia Hart is racking up the wins these days, so much so that she’s now at 6-8 for the year. That doesn’t mean this one was a certainty (which is nice to see, too many matches have obviosu outcomes), even morseo when Reka Tehaka really upped the intensity here. B ut Hart got the win and the crowd were definitely behind her all the way.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #10: Bear Country def. Jameson Ryan and Brick Aldridge

My Thoughts: Apparently this is what you’d call a HOSS FIGHT! This was a battle of the big men as the impressive and intimidating Bear Country met their match in Jameson Ryan and Brick Aldridge. This one was all about the brawling, with both teams cracking out the big power moves. Bear Country eventually got the upperhand with their raw power winning the match.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #11: Matt Sydal and Dante Martin def. QT Marshall and Aaron Solo

My Thoughts: While his brother is out with injury I think Dante Martin has found the perfect tag partner in Matt Sydal. Sydal pioneered the kind of moveset that Martin has perfected and excelled at and to see them together is joyous. Seriously. Moonsaults galore, QT and Solo stood no chance.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A decidely average episode of AEW: Dark that was lifted by a fantastic main event and an even better mens match between Ricky Starks and Darius Lockhart.


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