08th Apr2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Apr 6th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark which, like its namesake Elevation, is a shorter show this week. Thank god. Like the show, let’s keep this review short and sweet too – let’s go!

Match #1: Dark Order def. Jake St. Patrick, Sage Scott, & Chandler Hopkins

My Thoughts: Godammit, Evil Uno and Stu Grayson are good, aren’t they? They made this look easy, ebbig and flowing, tagging in and out, destroying the team of St. Patrick, Scott and Hopkins. Throw Reynolds in the mix and you have. tremendous trios team! Hell, throw ANY Drak Order member in with Uno and Grayson and you have a damn good Trios team! Short and sweet.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: Team Taz def. Brick Aldridge, Justin Law, & Hayden Backlund

My Thoughts: A Backlund… on AEW? OK, so Hayden might only be a distant relation of the legendary Bob Backlund but still. Anyway, I expected this match to be something of a two-minute squash match – especially with Cage AND Hobbs tagging here. But it wasn’t. Brick Alridge actually managed to get some decent offence on Brian Cage and Backlund looked to be getting one over Ricky Starks but alas it was not to be… What this DID do however, was subtly further the growing divisions in Team Taz.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Jurassic Express def. Dean Alexander & Rex Lawless

My Thoughts: Jurassic Express? More like Jurassic Ex-SQUASH! Rex Lawless might be a hoss of a man but even this big guy could stand up to Luchasaurus, who looked like an absolute monster – literally and figuratively – in what was essentially a showcase for Jurassic Express pre-their match against Bear Country on Dynamite.

My score: 1.5 out of 5 (for how many minutes this match ran)

Match #4: Ryan Nemeth def. Fuego Del Sol

My Thoughts: In the real world there’s no way Nemeth would ever beat Fuego Del Sol. Never. That shows you how scripted wrestling really is! I joke but honestly I thought this one was going to be Fuego’s – after all he put in work here. Well until he got caught, literally, by Nemeth when trying to do his patented Torando DDT… and Nemeth proceeded to throw him out of the ring to the floor! From then on this match was all Nemeth’s.

My score: 3 out of 5

Match #5: The Butcher def. Jon Cruz

My Thoughts: Wow. The intro for the Butcher felt longer than the actual match! THIS was a true squash.

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #6: Sea Stars def. Jazmin Allure & Vertvixen

My Thoughts: After tagging together as part of a Trios team in a match last week, the Seas Stars “debut” on AEW under their actual Seas Stars moniker and in a match that showed off not only their skills as a tag team but also that of Vertvixen and Jazmin Allure. Seriously, no one came out of this match looking bad.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Red Velvet & KiLynn King def. Madi Wrenkowski & Vipress

My Thoughts: In a follow-up to their Trios match, teaming with Big Swole; Red Velvet and KiLynn King team again against the first-time team of Vipress and Wrenkowski. And they looked superb as a duo. Though to be fair, Maddie Wrenkowski did a great job too, seemingly taking a further heel turn and looking all the better for it – she was more aggresive, more powerful, more everything! Though once again the match was KiLynn King’s… I don’t know what’s lit a fire under King but she has looked like an absolute powerhouse in recent weeks, light years away from her AEW debut!

My score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #8: JD Drake def. Baron Black

My Thoughts: As if to make up for his squash at the hands of Lance Archer on Elevation, Baron Black got to shine in this match against the OTHER unsung hero of Dark programming, JD Drake. Two guys who, in the short time they’ve been on AEW television, have elevated their matches to TNT television/AEW Dynamite levels – and nowhere is that more apparent than here. The guys went at it like two unstoppable machines – just look at Drake’s chest post-match to see that! IMHO this is one of the best Dark matches of the year… so far.

My score: 4 out of 5

Match #9: Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela def. Aaron Frye & KC Navarro

My Thoughts: Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela looked like a well-oiled machine here, their two styles gelling in this match unlike some of their previous. A short, sharp shock of a match that brought Kiss and Janela back into the tag team scene proper – I don’t know about you but I always felt the two were never really destined to make a mark on the tag division but this match might have changed my mind.

My score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #10: Matt Sydal def. Mike Magnum

My Thoughts: Wow. ANOTHER squash on AEW Dark. This one of the sub-one minute variety. What else can you say apart from poor Mike Magnum… Made the guy look like a joke TBH.

My score: 0.5 out of 5 (again to match the length of the match)

Match #11: Matt Hardy def. Vary Morales

My Thoughts: I’m sorry but I don’t know what the hell’s happened to Matt Hardy since getting to AEW… I just cringe every time he’s on screen, be it in a match, a promo or even on Being the Elite or Sammy Guevara’s vlog. For me he’s currently channeling the worst version of Matt Hardy, whichever version that may be. Hey, at least Vary Morales managed to escape one pin… That’s something I guess.

My score: 1 out of 5

Match #12: Bear Country def. The Hybrid-2

My Thoughts: Would you believe it? A TH-2 match that I actually enjoyed! The clash of styles here really worked plus Bear Country have yet to disappoint on AEW – everything they’ve done so far has been fantastic and this is not exception. Kudos to the duo for making even TH-2 look good (something which I’ve yet to see on AEW to be honest)

My score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A shorter show and a faster pace, just like Elevation. AEW need to keep this up going forward! Though they still need to lighten up on the squash matches…


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