04th Mar2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Mar 2nd 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, which is the lead-in for this weeks huge “Crossroads” episode of Dynamite… Let’s get right to it!

Lee Johnson and Aaron Solow def. Louie Valle and Chris Peaks

Lee Johnson and Aaron Solow, members of the Nightmare Family are led out to the ring by Arn Anderson cementing them as THE tag team to beat… Which meant that the outcome of this match was inevitable, though that doesn’t mean this disappointed. In fact anything but. Solow and Johnson worked great together, flowing smoothly as a tag team and whilst they lost, Peaks and Valle put up some great offense – when they weren’t telegraphing moves!

My score: 2 out of 5

Red Velvet and KiLynn King def. Ivelisse and Diamante

So someone decided to put Red Velvet in a tag team with KiLynn King the night before her big match against Shaq and Jade Vargill. Not great planning IMHO but… turns out this match was a great way to show of Velvet’s skills against two women with tons of attitude and hard-hitting style. And Velvet held her own, going toe-to-toe with Ivelisse and Diamante; and getting the win by pinning the “doesn’t typically lose” Ivelisse bodes well for her match on Dynamite.

My score: 3 out of 5

Top Flight def. Fuego Del Sol and Jon Cruz

Yet again AEW management try to bury Fuego Del Sol, this time throwing him into a tag team match with Jon Cruz – their first time together – against the well-oiled machine that is Top Flight. Talk about a travesty. Thankfully Fuego and Cruz mamaged to stand their ground for some time before Fuego got hit with the double-team and the pin. No worries though – Fuego is FINALLY getting his match against QT Marshall (on March 9th) where he’ll obviously show everyone what he’s made of… the Tornado DDT!!

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Gunn Club def. Tony Vega, Aaron Frye, and Angel Fashion

Yet another inexperienced team – this time Vega, Frye and Fashion making their trios debut – going up against a more experienced, more tightly-knit team and losing. Nothing unexpected there then. Worth watching only to hear Taz talk trash about the Gunns as usual!

My score: 2 out of 5

Abadon def. Renee Michelle

Squash!!!! There’s no way Abadon would lose against Renee Michelle. In fact I don’t think there’s any way she’ll lose to ANYONE apart from the top-talent of the AEW womens division… And that should be the case. Abadon looks like a badass killing machine so keep booking her like one!

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Stu Grayson def. JD Drake

Drake, who debuted against Eddie Kingston last week in a great hard-hitting match, came out and once again put on a great showcase of his skills against the Dark Order’s Stu Grayson. Yet again we got a brawl, leaving both men looking red and sore by the time Grayson got the win. AEW definitely need to give Drake more TV time going forward. And a contract.

My score: 3 out of 5

Bear Country def. M’Badu and Baron Black

I’m going to sound like a broken record but here we go again… two guys thrown together as a tag team – even if it is the ever-awesome Baron Black and the beast that is M’Badu – against a more experienced duo. Though to be fair to ANYONE, I wouldn’t want to go up against the superb Bear Country no matter how much tag team experience I had!

My score: 3 out of 5

Evil Uno, 5, and Colt Cabana def. Levy Shapiro, John Skyler, and Ryzin

Another trios match on Dark, In fact this followed a LOT of multi-man matches on this weeks show! The Dark Order really gelled well (as usual), showing that experience, both in ring and working together outside the ring, pays off. Hopefully some of the teams AEW put together for this episode of Dark can stay together and get just as solid, fluid and fantastic as the Dark Order were here. Plus Alan “5” Angels actually got to show what he can do as a WRESTLER(!) rather than be the laughing stock of the Dark Order that he tends to be on BTE & Sammy Guevara’s vlog.

My score: 3 out of 5

Max Caster def. JJ Garrett

JJ Garrett came back for his second match on Dark and to take a verbal beating from Caster! Though Caster compared Garrett to Brian Pillman Jr. rather than one of the Steiners (who, it seems, EVERYONE compares his looks to)… In terms of the match this was just a showcase for Caster’s arrogance – though Garrett wasn’t too shabby either, giving some fantastic offense (he’s actually got a great moveset) and making Caster look good in the process too!

My score: 2.5 out of 5

TH2 def. Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo

Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo, who worked so well together against the Varsity Blonds last week, are back together for this match against the more experienced TH2 and that difference in experience showed here. TH2 looked smoother and more fluid than Dean and Bravo – though its hard to believe Bravo has only been wrestling for four months (at least according to commentary)!

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Orange Cassidy def. Steve Stetson

Orange Cassidy in a squash match? Well wouldn’t you want to squash Steve Stetson? Cassidy essentially toyed with Stetson for a couple of minutes before getting the pin with the Beach Break.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

Chuck Taylor def. VSK

Pretty much another squash match, elongated as it was. Though ChuckieT made it look a lot harder than it need to be to get the pin – giving VSK a couple of minutes to get in some offense before hitting the Falcon Arrow and a couple of piledrivers to get the win.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

10 def. Daniel Joseph

Dark Order’s -1 joined the commentary team for the whole 2 minutes it took 10 (Preston Vance) to get the win and spent most of the time telling Excalibur to shut up, distracting everyone from the match at hand.

My score: 1.5 out of 5

SCU def. Matt and Mike Sydal

Last week Dark ended with a tag team three-way between SCU, Matt and Mike Sydal, and TH2… and this week its SCU again, just going up again the Sydal’s this time – in a match that was no less exciting, and no less a great display of superb wrestling. Going almost 10 minutes this was another brillian closer for Dark and showed BOTH teams in a great light. No matter the actual outcome both teams won this episode of AEW: Dark.

My score: 4 out of 5

News of the Night:

  1. The Acclaimed ran their mouths in a promo on Dark Order’s 10 as a biuld-up to Caster’s match against him on Dynamite
  2. Butcher and the Blade came out and beat-down Bear Country after their tag match, hopefully setting up a feud which I think is REALLY exciting. More Bear Country… Yes!

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Like last week, Dark was up to a decent two-hour length. However unlike last week we didn’t get a bunch of squash matches so the entire affair felt more substantial. Testing the water with new tag teams – be they duos or trios – really worked. I just hope some of these guys get to stick together as teams in future.

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