08th Dec2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Dec 7th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, which is back in AEW Universal and is so packed with action that intros are kept short and we get right into the action… So let’s get right into this review!

Match #1: Lee Moriarty def. Mysterioso

My Thoughts: Fresh of his fantastic match against CM Punk, Lee Moriarty is back on AEW programing in another great match, this time against Mysterioso – who looked good in defeat, delivering some great offense on Moriarty and some near-falls. Both men worked well together, Taiga-style seemingly well-matched by Lucha Libre wrestling. Eventually Moriarty hit a flatliner DDT on Mysterioso for the win.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #2: Lio Rush def. Rayo

My Thoughts: This match was all about showing off Lio Rush’s skills to the AEW audience ahead of tonight’s Battle Royale. Rayo got some decent hits in and even a pinfall attempt but in the end this match was all Rush. He moved around the ring like a comet, using his super-fast speed to take down Rayo quickly. A perfect example of a AEW quasi-squash match!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #3: Brandi Rhodes def. Angelica Risk

My Thoughts: Brandi Rhodes returns to in-ring competition after her appearance on Dynamiote last week, taking on Angelica Risk – who makes her second appearance for AEW in the space of a week. Risk delviered a great match against Riho on Elevation and she repeats that here, with both women deliveriung a solid match.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Emi Sakura def. Ryo Mizunami

My Thoughts: Man this was a “strong-style” womens match compared to what we’ve seen in AEW before. Both women pounded the crap out of each other in a well-balanced match. Well I say well-balanced but Mei Suruga, in Sakura’s corner, was the decider here – hitting Mizumanmi with her wand setting her up for Sakura to get the pin. At the end of this one Emi Sakura and Mei Suruga beat down Ryo Mizunami until Riho came in for the save… Please tell me we’re getting these four in a feud!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #5: Anthony Ogogo def. Baron Black

My Thoughts: After appearing on Elevationj as part of the Nightmare Factory tag match, Anthony Ogogo returns in a singles match against poor Baron Black – who should have really wiped the floor with Ogogo; and he very nearly did, getting in a LOT of offense on the British boxer (who’s clearly had more wrestling training in his time off). It took a distraction from QT Marshall for Ogogo to get the win. Perfect heel work IMHO.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: Shawn Spears & Wardlow def. Jay Marte & Richard King

My Thoughts: This was a Wardlow squash match as he demolished the competition of Jay Marte & Richard King (though King got in some good offense thanks to his speed and size) before Shawn Spears tagged himself in and stole the win from his tag partner… There’s some real long-term storytelling going on with Wardlow. He’s been seemingly side-lined by MJF, who put Spears with him as his accountability buddy; and now Spears is screwing Warlow over in various ways, in pretty much every match. Babyface Wardlow incoming? I hope so. Wopuld love to see the big man take on the Pinnacle!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #7: Fuego Del Sol def. Luke Sampson

My Thoughts: Even though Fuego is now the signed AEW star, he still worked this match – against a debuting Luke Sampson – as the underdog. Which worked given Sampson’s size, in fact Sampson looked like he had the upper hand at times but in the end Fuego hit a double-stomp finish on Sampson that looked like it ould hurt!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #8: Team Taz (Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs & Dante Martin) def. JT Dunn, Omkar, Kekoa

My Thoughts: Squash-tastic! Powerhouse Hobbs mauled Omkar in the opening before Starks went to town on him too! Eventually Omkar tagged in Kekoa, followed by Dunn and all three opponents get hit by Martin with a huge dive to all three men on the outside. Martin ultimately pinned Kekoa after a moonsault in a mere FOUR minutes!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #9: Thunder Rosa def. Sofia Castillo

My Thoughts: This was another match that saw Thunder Rosa give her opponent some room to breathe and show her skills before Rosa took control and ended it with a Peruvian neck tie. This match eseentially set up the Cargill/Rosa promo post-match, with mark Sterling distracting Riosa so Cargill could beat her down before their TBS tournament clash.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #10: Jon Silver def. Aaron Solo

My Thoughts: Another match to build up someone prior to their Dynamite match. In this case its Jon Silver, who faces Bryan Danielson tonight but first he had to power through Aaron Solo. and power through him he hid. Whilst Solo did get some offense in, Silver threw him around and beat the crap out of Solo too! This was a solid match with both men working well together and Silver’s performance really peaked my interest in seeing how he tackles Danielson. If it’s half as good as Alan Angels match last week AEW will have another winner on their hands!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A strong episode of Dark that delivered good matches and was helped tremendously by the shorter run time. At just over an hour this didn’t outstay its welcome AND it wasn’t stacked with squah matches either. A double-win for AEW this week!

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