13th May2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (May 11th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

This weeks Elevation was a solid, if average, affair so lets see what Dark has for us… I’m Phil, this is Nerdly, and our AEW: Dark review starts now!

Match #1: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston def. Milk Chocolate

My Thoughts: This one was over before it began. Moxely and Kingston got the jump on Milk Chocolate before Justin Roberts had even finished their introduction and the match was over in just over 30 seconds.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: Evil Uno, Alan “5” Angels & Colt Cabana def. Andrew Palace, Spencer Slade & Cole Karter

My Thoughts: Another great trios match from the Dark Order. Whilst Evil Uno and Colt Cabana are the names in this match is was Alan “5” Angels that stole this one – dominating their opponents and looking damn tough doing it!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Lance Archer def. Angel Fashion

My Thoughts: Jesus… What an entrance for Archer! A cannonball onto Fashion tht looked like it could’ve hurt both men equally opened this match and Archer never let up. Fashion got a few punches in but this was all Archer – who seemed to be having fun torturing Fashion for all three minutes of this match!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #4: QT Marshall, Aaron Solow & Nick Comoroto def. Jake Logan, Ryzin & Rick Recon

My Thoughts: A squash match byt any other name, this one was all Comoroto… until, of course, QT Marshall finally got off his arse (the steel step throne he’s been using for the past few weeks) and hit the diamond cutter on Ryzin for the win.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Varsity Blonds def. Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan

My Thoughts: Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan were making their AEW tag team debut against the Varsity Blondes who were also making their debut… sort of. The duo were debuting their newest teammate Julia Hart, who’s been working on both Dark shows in recent weeks, who looks to be the Blondes cheerleader. WHich is apt. Once again Pillman and Garrison dominated in clean fashion, with Pillman Jr. in particular looking on fire!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #6: Diamante def. Willow Nightingale

My Thoughts: Poor Willow Nightingale, her second match in AEW and its against Diamante. Though surprisingly Nightgale held her own here, showing some real potential… and strength. Though it seems not many of the women in AEW can stop a p*ssed off Diamante!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: Dante Martin def. Aaron Frye

My Thoughts: Dante Martin has been doing some great work as a singles competitor whilst his brother is out with injury and that continued here. Frye was a great foil for the young Martin, matching Martin’s fast pace with ease and matching his mix of holds and high-flying action too. Matches like these will only make Martin even better – I can’t wait to see what he can do with a few more years experience under his belt!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #8: Nyla Rose def. Ashley D’Amboise

My Thoughts: Another new talent appearing in her second match in AEW, Ashley D’Amboise stood no chance against Nyla Rose… there’s a reason Rose is called the native beast, she devours her opponents with ease! Which menat this was another AEW trademark quasi-squash.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Ryan Nemeth & Cezar Bononi def. Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis

My Thoughts: I’ve got to admit, now Nemeth is teamed with Bononi, JD Drake and Pretty Peter Avalon he’s a lot more palatable. In fact the quartet are actually becoming the comedy highlight of Dark programming. In terms of wrestling this match was actually a well-matched affair. Gray and Nemeth made for a great match-up early on, with Bononi stepping in as the heavy of the match. Even Adrian Alanis got in some decent, if brief, offence.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #10: Kris Statlander def. Julia Hart

My Thoughts: What’s that? The Varsity Blonds couldn’t come out to support their new teammate? Statlander got the Best Friends and the Orange one in her corner whereas Hart had to cheer for herself! Whilst this was another AEW quasi-squash (I should really trademark that phrase) it at least made for a fun watch.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #11: Jungle Boy def. Marty Casaus

My Thoughts: I don’t know what was better here – the match or Taz singing Jungle Boy’s theme song! Seriously though, this was a great hard-hitting match, So hard that Casaus got busted open – which made for a fab visual in the finish as Jungle Boy got Casaus in the snare trap for the win!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #12: Big Swole & Red Velvet def. MK Twins

My Thoughts: The MK Twins are back on AEW programming and facin Big Swole yet again. Last time it was Swole and KiLynn King, this time its Swole and Red Velvet. No matter the combination, no matter their opponents, the trios team of Swole, Velvet and King are a joy to watch.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #13: 10 def. JD Drake

My Thoughts: I’ve alway sung the praises of JD Drake and we all know how good Preston “10” Vance is, so this was a perfect storm of a match. Another perfect pairing that led to a damn fine wrestling match!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #14: The Acclaimed def. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela

My Thoughts: Who knew that this pairing would lead to such a great match, like really great. Caster started the match off with one of his best raps and things got better and better from there. Janela sold an injury to his knee, allowing The Acclaimed to snag the victory without Janela and Kiss looking too bad in defeat.

My Score: 4 out of 5

Match #15: Brian Cage def. Bear Bronson

My Thoughts: Apparently Bear Boulder is injured and out of action so Bear Bronson had to go it alone in his first solo match on AEW… against the machine Brian Cage! But this was no walkover for Cage, as Bronson actually put up some decent opposition getting some brilliant near-falls on the Team Taz member. Even Taz sounded worried Cage was going to lose this one!

My Score: 4 out of 5

Match #16: Powerhouse Hobbs def. Mike Sydal

My Thoughts: The other Sydal brother takes on the other Team taz member Powerhouse Hobbs, who once again lived up to his name! Hobbs played the cocky big man role with aplomb whilst Sydal used his speed and agility in a perfect antithesis. Once Hobbs hit a HUGE cross body the match was all his, teasing Sydal for the rest of the match before finishing it in just over three minutes. Still a weak finish for Dark though – I would’ve switched the two Team Taz matches if I was booking the show. Though having this last does continue the trend of the Sydal’s closing the show.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Well I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the best episode of AEW: Dark we’ve had in some time. A solid selection of matches with some definite TV-worthy stuff… available for free on YouTube! The Acclaimed/Kiss & Janela match was a true highlight, with the Cage/Bear Bronson match really surprising. All in all this is a must-watch!

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