21st Jun2020

‘All Elite Wrestling: Dark’ Review (June 16th 2020)

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s All Elite Wrestling: Dark review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and I’m writing this out of order, so I can say a bit about the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct (to put it very lightly) from wrestlers all over the world. Just because there are a plethora of deviants in wrestling, that doesn’t mean you have to quit wrestling or be ashamed to watch it, but it does mean that it’s gonna leave a bad taste in your mouth for a while. As many pigs as there are in wrestling, it would seem we also have many who are good people as well. Jordan Devlin may be a monster, but Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) seems to be a good man, by and large. Marty Scurll might be a scum-bag, but Jeff Hardy has a great reputation (his drug addiction aside). No one is pure in this life (nobody), but there are a lot of us who don’t go out of our way to hurt others and those are the folks to protect and cherish in life. The bastards can, in many cases, be redeemed, but they have to want it as a matter of conscience, not survival. Don’t fret over the evil of others. Life is too short to let the corruption of the world and society mar your happiness. Okay, I’m made of electro-stick rubber-bands and Dark is shockingly good…play on words…is not what I just did…damn it.

Match #1: Jurassic Express def. Capital Vices & Jon Cruz

My Opinion: 2.7 out of 5 – There’s some nice athleticism from Jungle Boy that just added to his credibility as a top prospect for the main event. Everybody else… Overall, this was not bad and it had lots of quick, fluid wrestling action.

Match #2: SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels) def. Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was good, solid tag action from an expert team and another that is just finding their footing as such. The classic SCU really knocked around ol’ C&A like those old people in “Chariots Of Fire” admonished all the runners the whole time…likely because there’s no running until the last half hour of that damn movie! There’s plenty of good action here and I bet you’ll dig a nearly ten minute match.

Match #3: Big Swole def. Dani Jordyn

My Opinion: 2.6 out of 5 – Big Swole is a big, tough son-of-a-bitch and I like her. This was a solid squash that made Swole look hard-as-a-rock and that’s just what the women’s division needs.

Match #4: Lance Archer def. David Ali

My Opinion: 2.4 out of 5 – Archer smashed Ali in a long squash.

Match #5: Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss def. Musa and Shawn Dean

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – J&S were great here and gave this fine bout some extra juice with a zip and a kick to it. I used all the damn zest words I could while I had them. Musa…musa? MUSA? MUSAAA?!?!? Well, at least Dean was here to… MUSAAA?!?!? This was the Ian Holm of matches.

Match #6: Allie & Brandi Rhodes def. Kenzi Paige & Red Velvet

My Opinion: 1.8 out of 5 – At least Allie did a good job. This wasn’t much for action, but Allie finally got to show her wrestling skills (it shouldn’t have taken this long to even suggest that she has wrestling ability). There’s not much here, but I can say that this match, as insignificant as it was, was not for a lack of trying. I’d rather just see Allie go after the Women’s Title, but this is a start.

Match #7: Shawn Spears def. Lee Johnson

My Opinion: 2.8 out of 5 – There’s nothing bad here, but the match was less than the sum of its parts. Spears did well here as the evil veteran and Lee worked well as the inspiring upstart that almost finished the fight his way. Spears winning was the right call and booking this sucker was just the same.

Match #8: The Dark Order def. Brady Pierce & John Skyler

My Opinion: 2.7 out of 5 – This was just fine, with the right team winning. It was a squash and it gave the losers, Pierce and Skyler, time to get some of their stuff over.

Match #9: Jimmy Havoc def. Griff Garrison

My Opinion: 2.9 out of 5 – Havoc did well here and Griff wasn’t that far behind. It’s weird writing about Havoc with all of the accusations of sexual misconduct against him, but he wrestled here and my job is not to review his behavior right now. Havoc has plenty of wrestling skill, so much so that it’s almost a surprise he seems to prefer Death-Match wrestling (not that much of a surprise). Over-all, this was not bad and was a good use of Havoc.

Match #10: Penelope Ford def. Skyler Moore

My Opinion: 2.3 out of 5 – Ford is no great wrestler yet, but she is getting better. I think Ford’s biggest issue is that she is just too damn slow. Ford could focus on submission moves and forearm attacks to cover-up her weaknesses, until she gets more confident with her speed. Moore did well and gave Ford plenty to work with. It may not have been great, but it went off without a hitch and that’s something to celebrate.

Match #11: (Main Event) Scorpio Sky def. Robert Anthony

My Opinion: 3.4 out of 5 – This was as good as RA’s match from last time with Jon Moxley. Everything had room to breathe and it all felt cohesive. I like it when a match looks like a sports contest and that’s what you’ll get here, thanks to both fighters. You can count on slow, steady technical wrestling to carry this boat out of the harbor and into the sea. I just did a boat reference. This computer doesn’t have a working delete button. I should be more careful with these metaphors. Well, as main events go, this was of satisfactory length and…I just got my bribe. This was the greatest match I’ve ever seen! 5 out of 5!

News Of The Night:

  1. Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon are done teaming together.

Final Verdict: 3.1/5

For a show of squashes and short matches, this was a lot more fun than Dynamite. Dynamite may often be the better show, but I have more fun with this. The score is at 3.1 only because the matches were largely forgettable, not because the show itself was dull. If Tony Khan is getting upset why so many people think Dynamite sucks, it’s because you promised a show like this and gave us Raw-lite instead.


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