15th Dec2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Dec 14th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, which once again comes from AEW Universal and features the AEW debut of Marina Shafir, another of the recently cut WWE roster and a member of Ronda Rousey’s four horsewomen MMA stable.

Match #1: Kris Statlander def. Marina Shafir

My Thoughts: Despite losing the match, Marina Shafir made a super-solid debut, really looking like her wrestling training on top of her MMA background has really stood her in good stead for a long wrestling career. She’d definitely be a good addition to the AEW womens roster that’s for sure. Superb opening match.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: Nick Comoroto def. Dean Fleming

My Thoughts: Anyone else only just notice that there’s a Dalek-esque soundbite at the start of Comoroto’s entrance music? This was another sqush match for Comoroto, who made mincemeat of Fleming AND stole his neck tie!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #3: Riho & Ryo Mizunami def. Emi Sakura & Mei Suruga

My Thoughts: Yes, just yes. This was a fantastic womens tag match. I love EVERYTHING Ryo Mizunami does but this match was all about Mei Suruga, who was a great foil for Riho and a great punching bag for Ryo. And Suruga’s manic style, the high-flying “crazy cat lady” of AEW if you will, was brilliant to see in action. This was probably one of the best outings for all four of these women in AEW so far… Though I still love me some Ryo & Leyla tag action!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #4: Jade Cargill def. Valentina Rossi

My Thoughts: Jade does what Jade does it seems. Another quick squash match for AEW’s apparent golden girl, with another pump kick for the win. Honestly, Cargill really needs more moves in her wrestling arsenal IMHO.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #5: Angelico def. Invictus Khash

My Thoughts: This was a decent example of actual technical wrestling, with both men display obvious mat wrestling skills snd working each other over limb by limb. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Angelico on AEW programming so you often forget he’s more than just that daft dancing he does – plus he had a great opponent in Khash too!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: Tay Conti def. Heather Monroe

My Thoughts: I was expecting a squash from Conti but that’s not what we got here, in fact Heather Monroe held her own for a short while, working well as a hell for Conti. Of course this being an AEW quasi-squash match, Conti got control of this one with her usual flurry of kicks to get the win.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson def. Faboo Andre & Tony Donati

My Thoughts: This was a quick match that saw Lee Johnson in control for most of the time before Brock Anderson and Faboo Andre took the match home, with Andre basically taking a beating from Brock before hitting a gord buster on Donati for a win in less than three minutes!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #8: Chuck Taylor def. Ryan Nemeth

My Thoughts: This was your typical AEW midcard match, though given the Best Friends are feuding with the Elite on Dynamite & Rampage why are they in a midcard feud with the Wingman too? The Wingmen do need a decent feud though as they seem to have gone quiet post-pandemic AEW. I think I’ve seen more of Peter Avalon on peoples vlogs than in the ring recently.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #9: Shawn Spears def. Josh Woods

My Thoughts: Ring of Honor’s Josh Woods, the companies last ROH Pure champion in fact, makes his debut for AEW and should, I say SHOULD, have kicked Shawn Spears’ arse. He didn’t and its a shame. It’s also a shame that Excalibur and Taz didn’t mention his championship calibre either. Still,Woods gave Spears his best match in a looong time in AEW.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #10: Nyla Rose def. Zeda Zhang

My Thoughts: This was another in the long series of “Nyla demolishes her opponent” squash matches we’ve come to expect. Nothing of note really.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #11: Arjun Singh def. Tony Vincita

My Thoughts: Well this was interesting. Two guys who are, or are used as, “enhancement” talent in a match with Singh, who’s on a three-match losing streak getting a win. Is he set for a run in AEW or was this a time filler? We’ll have to wait and see I guess.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #12: 2point0 & Daniel Garcia def. Dark Order’s Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds & Colt Cabana

My Thoughts: This was a FANTASTIC six-man tag match, with everyone seemingly on point. The match was at once manic and calculating, with everyone getting a spotlight during the match. And everyones styles seemed to gel too. The big surprise was 2point0 and Garcia getting the win. It would seem that Dark Order’s winning momentum is clearly over between their loses on AEW YouTube shows AND on Dynamite/Rampage. Which is a real shame.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

News of the Night:

  1. Sonny Kiss is set for a no DQ match against Joey Janela in two weeks.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

Another average episode of AEW: Dark, one the could have been great if not for the squash matches and the average mid-point matches. This episode opened strong and closed stronger but that was not enough for me to give this one a higher score unfortunately.


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