02nd Feb2023

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Jan 31st 2023)

by Phil Wheat

Another week, another episode of AEW: Dark which this week features nine matches and is once again filmed at the Dark studios in Orlando, Florida rather than coming from on the road… Anyway, on with the review.

Match #1: AR Fox & Top Flight def. The Wingmen

My Thoughts: What’s this? The Wingmen in a decent match shocker! I know that’s hard to believe given how they’ve been booked in forever… but it looks like the were given a chance to shine against Top Flight and AR Fox, who also managed to draw out decent wrestling from the normally-comedic team. Surprising but superb start to this week’s show.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #2: Red Velvet def. Sofia Castillo

My Thoughts: What went on here then? Red Velvet has a good match on Elevation then we get this on Dark. In one match she looks strong and a worthy competitor for Jade Cargill’s title and then this match feels like she’s forgotten half of what she showed on Elevation!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Zack Clayton def. Fulton

My Thoughts: This was an average match from average performers. But then, as I always say, Dark and Elevation are supposed to be training grounds for new and up and coming wrestlers on AEW’s roster. And that’s certainly what this match was.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #4: Brock Anderson & Brian Pillman Jr. def. Rosario Grillo & Dean Alexander

My Thoughts: Much like Red Velvet’s match, this one felt odd coming after Brian Pillman’s hard-hitting match on Elevation this week. Like Velvet’s match this was a step back for Pillman who here was most definitely back to his average tag team self.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Skye Blue def. Renee Michelle

My Thoughts: This was another average match on Dark this week. I like Skye Blue but given what she’s been doing on AEW’s shows recently this match felt, shockingly, beneath her. Still, this was probably a good tune-up match for her.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #6: Shane Taylor Promotions def. Dante Casanova & Mr. G

My Thoughts: Shane Taylor Promotions made swift work of Dante Casanova and Mr. G but did it in such style and with such authority that it was fun, lots of fun, to watch. These are the kinds of quasi-squash matches I can get behind!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Yuka Sakazaki def. Avery Breaux

My Thoughts: Speaking of fun, this was a great comedy match that, unlike the kinds of stuff The Wingmen do for example, really worked to elevate this match, especially given that it followed a number of average matches on this show. Plus we got good wrestling too.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #8: The Workhorsemen def. Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray

My Thoughts: This was another squash match but one that was booked well – basically making JD Drake look like a total badass against Adrian Alanis and Liam Gray. Something I can wholeheartedly get behind!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Konosuke Takeshita def. Angelico

My Thoughts: On paper this looked like it was going to be the proverbial banger. However this one, whilst it did feature some great wrestling – pretty much guaranteed when Takeshits is involved – the match was spoilt by the shenanigans from Serpentico and Luther, who f*cked this match up royally. One of the worst instances of outside interference I’ve seen in AEW in a looooong time!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5


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