02nd Mar2022

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Mar 1st 2022)

by Phil Wheat

It’s time for this week’s review of AEW: Dark, which once again comes from AEW: Universal. I’m always surprised by how much difference there is between AEW’s smaller Universal Studios audience and Impact’s small weekly audience. AEW still seem to make it sound like the crowd is into the action even when they’re quiet.

Match #1: Lee Johnson vs. Darian Bengston

My Thoughts: This was decidedly average. The only thing that stood out about this match was the fact the crowd were behind Darian Bengston more than they were Lee Johnson. Maybe Big Shotty needs a reboot to get over with the fans?

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Sonny Kiss def. Ashton Starr

My Thoughts: This was an example of the AEW quasi-squash match, with Starr given just enough offence to not make this a complete squash match for Sonny Kiss. Speaking of which, I think Kiss needs another really good feud to take their AEW career to the next level – the Janela feud was good but it never quite hit a real high note for Kiss after it was over… though their matches were all great.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: The Acclaimed def. B. Jack & Donovan Izzolena

My Thoughts: Who doesn’t love seeing The Acclaimed squash their opponents? Squash matches can be lazy and boring but when you’ve got Caster and Bowens just having fun you can’t help but enjoy it too. FYI, I loved B.Jack’s look, flannel for the win!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #4: Marina Shafir def. Danielle Kamela

My Thoughts: Well, well. We’ve got 2 former WWE superstars working an episode of Dark. Marina Shafir, formerly of the MMA four horsewomen has made a few appearances for AEW so far but this match marks the AEW debut of Danielle Kamela (aka Vanessa Bourne in WWE) and both of them worked well together. Being on Dark and learning “on the job” as it were will only improve both women as well.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Dante Martin def. Jack Evans

My Thoughts: Two high flyers going at it. What’s not to love? It wasn’t the best example of fast-paced, high-flying wrestling we’ve seen from these two guys but a lesser match from both Martin and Evans is still better than a LOT of the output of other wrestling promotions. There was also a surprising amount of actual wrestling here too!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: Abadon def. Sahara Seven

My Thoughts: Much like The Acclaimed’s squash match, watching Abadon beat up her opponents is always, ALWAYS, a lot of fun. Three curbs stomps before her finisher just made Abadon look like an evil b*stard, which I guess is the point. When are we gonna get Abadon on the main shows and in either Women’s Championship race?

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #7: Diamante def. Vipress

My Thoughts: A short and sweet squash match from Diamante.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: Kiera Hogan vs. Kelsey Raegan

My Thoughts: …and the same from Kiera Hogan, who hit what looked like a devastating roundhouse kick on Raegan for the win.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Daniel Garcia vs. Josh Woods

My Thoughts: This one, on paper, looked like it was going to be a banger and it did NOT disappoint. Josh Woods was surprisingly in control of most of this match, with Garcia working the underdog position – which is a complete change for him. Even with 2point0 in his corner, it looked like Garcia was headed for another defeat after losing to Bryan Danielson last week but no, he recovered – hitting Woods with the Gotch Style piledriver for the win. Nice “respectful” handshake between the two post-match too.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #10: Capt. Shawn Dean vs. Will Austin

My Thoughts: This was a quick squash match which, thankfully, Shawn Dean won. It’s about time – and I’ve said this a myriad of times before – that Dean got more wins and more importantly, more matches in AEW.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #11: Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto vs. Wheeler Yuta & Orange Cassidy

My Thoughts: This was disappointing… Which I did not expect to say. Everyone involved looked like they were just going through the motions and apart from Wheeler Yuta trying to show off I’d be hard-pressed to think anyone wanted to be here this week. Solo botched, Comoroto looked weak, Cassidy did Cassidy… Meh.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A good, but not outstanding, episode of AEW: Dark this week. Too many squash matches spoilt this one for me. Nice to see so many women’s matches on the show this week though.


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