19th Feb2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Feb 16th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW Dark, I’m Nerdly’s Editor Phil and I’m back with another of All Elite Wrestling’s YouTube-based show. This time round we’ve got an even shorter episode than last week, running just over an hour… So, with that, here’s this week results and review!

Jon Moxley def. Jon Cruz

Jon Moxley? On Dark? A rare treat to see the former AEW champ and current IWGP US champ on AEW’s second show. Though to be fair this was less of a tune-up match and more of a squash. Though unlike your usual squash matches (more of which are later in this episode) when Moxley squashes someone, anyone, it always feels like its because he’s a tough bastard and NOT because it was a squash match! That’s certainly the case here as Moxley made quick work of Cruz, choking him out in minutes.

My Opinion: 2 out of 5

Bear Country def. Chaos Project

God I love Bear Country… When they first appeared in AEW I was skeptical of these big men but boy do their matches quash any doubts ANYONE would have. A brilliant mix of big hoss wrestling and high flying, Bear Country have it all. Though there was a slip up or two in this match, it didn’t stop the tag team from looking impressive. Plus I always love to see Chaos Project’s Luther throw his tag team partner Serpentico around the ring like he’s a human dart! At this rate Bear Country could, and should, be in the tag team race on Dynamite!

My Opinion: 3 out of 5

The Butcher & The Blade def. Jake St. Patrick & Sage Scott

Wow. A super-squash. Butcher and Blade didn’t even take of their coats before finishing this match! The first of the many blink-and-you’ll-miss-it matches on Dark this week.

My Opinion: 1 out of 5

Shanna def. Renee Michelle

I’m not going to lie, I had to go back and re-watch this match as it was so un-memorable that I forgot what the hell happened! Lasting longer than 2 our of the 3 proceeding matches this was your typical women’s match, with Shanna picking up the win against the debuting Renee Michelle (aka Drake Maverick’s wife) – who at least got to wrestle here rather than be eye-candy in a crappy storyline!

My Opinion: 2 out of 5

Alex Reynolds & Jon Silver def. Eric James & VSK

I can watch Jon Silver wrestle his way out of a paper bag and STILL be highly entertained… and he didn’t disappoint her, powering round the ring like he’d had one too many Red Bull’s (probably more like too many Bang Energy drinks!) Another quick match, this was memorable because it was fun!

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5

Jurassic Express def. Baron Black & Jon Skyler

Whilst the intros to most of this weeks Dark matches were short, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus got a long intro, with Jungle Boy’s new theme song actually playing out as long as the typical Dynamite intro… Why? Because this was an epically short squash match, with Jurassic Express squashing Black & Skyler in less than a minute. Which by all rights I SHOULD be complaining about. But I’m not, this quick win cements the duos anger and frustration with the situation they’re in with FTR, building the feud between the two teams tremendously.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5

Tay Conti def. Vertvixen

Tay Conti looked like a total badass in this match, really taking it to Vertvixen; and the knee strike she did looked like it could legitimately injure someone. Another quick match, but one that furthered Conti’s climb to the top of AEW’s women’s division – because that’s clearly where she belongs given her recent outings on AEW programming!

My Opinion: 3 out of 5

Eddie Kingston def. Aaron Solow

Ahhhh, Eddie Kingston. The man looks at home in AEW. He also looks like a total machine… yet he never overshadows his opponents completely. Here he let Solow get some good offense in whilst never looking weak – the sign of a truly great wrestler IMHO. This match went over 5 minutes, ending the streak of squash matches on this weeks Dark. Thank god.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5

Ricky Starks def. KC Navarro

What the hell?! Starks goes full Goldberg, spearing KC Navarro and ending the match in seconds. Literally. The literal definition of a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” match!

My Opinion: 1 out of 5

Brandon Cutler def. Misterioso

NJPW’s Misterioso makes his AEW debut in a match that went longer than any other on this weeks Dark (I think). Though that doesn’t mean this was something special, in fact even with the debuting Misterioso this stil felt like a middle of the road, typical Brandon Cutler match. Which is a damn shame.

My Opinion: 2 out of 5

Powerhouse Hobbs def. Ryzin

Team Taz back at it with another squash going less than a HALF a minute! No wonder this episode of Dark is so short! Again, this might have been a crummy squash but at least Hobbs is still looking like a powerhouse – good job too with that name!

My Opinion: 1 out of 5

Nick Comoroto def. Fuego Del Sol

If you haven’t been watching Sammy Guevara’s vlog (if not, why not?) you’ll be missing a huge amount of backstory to this match. Backstory that has nothing to do with Comoroto but rather QT Marshall (Comoroto’s stablemate in the Nightmare Family) and his ongoing feud with Fuego Del Sol… A feud that HAS to eventually give Fuego a match against Marshall AND see the debut of a match-winning Tornado DDT. In the meantime we get to see Comoroto throw Fuego around the ring like a doll. Which will – fingers crossed – make ANY future Fuego win look like a big deal.

My Opinion: 2.5 out of 5

Final Score: 2.5/5

A decidedly average episode of Dark this week, with a number of forgettable matches. I’m guessing the new shorter length is so that Impact and Dark don’t compete anymore? If so I think AEW need to cut down on the number of matches on Dark and given us a LOT fewer squashes. Plus, anyone else think its about time Dark had a least some long-running feuds focusing on that talent that don’t get to appear frequently on Dynamite too?

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