10th Jun2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Jun 8th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks episode of AEW: Dark, I’m editor Phil and let’s not mess around with extraneous introductory waffle and let’s just jump straight into this!

Match #1: Lance Archer def. Zicky Dice

My Thoughts: Zicky Dice, formerly of NWA (and a one-time NWA TV Champion), makes he AEW debut getting completely destroyed by Lance Archer. Like TOTALLY destroyed… Throw in the ring, around the ring, and in the air. Dice never stood a chance.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: Abadon def. Willow Nightingale

My Thoughts: Between Ricky Starks’ reaction on commentary and Willow’s reaction in ring, this match made Abadon look even more freakish that usual. Willow Nightingale has been doing great work on AEW (and ROH) and it will be interesting to see her career trajectory in a few years time. Meanwhile Abadon… well sh was Abadon – badass and brutal as usual!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #3: Cezar Bononi def. Cyrus

My Thoughts: Bononi actually had some competition in Cyrus as the two big men went toe-to-toe. There was a nice spot with Nemeth getting floored by trying to floor Cyrus and for a second it did look like Cyrus could’ve scored the win but it was not to be, as Cyrus’ failed moonsault cost him the win.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #4: Angelico def. Matthew Justice

My Thoughts: A debuting Matthew Justice was impressive against TH2’s Angelico, though his splash onto the gaurd rail put a stop to ALL his momentum early doors… The rest of this was pretty much all Angelico’s.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Tay Conti def. Natalia Markova

My Thoughts: The veteran Natalia Markova took the p*ss out of Conti then took some hard-hitting shots at her too. But none of it was enough to stop the on-fire Conti, who’s winning streak continued this week. Nice appearance by -1 in Conti’s corner this week too.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: Chaos Project def. JP & Tommy Daily

My Thoughts: This one went on for a lot longer than I expected as JP & Tommy Daily gave Chaos Project a hard time in this one, with experience eventually out-matching speed. Nice to see Chaos Project get some decent TV time…

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Marko Stunt def. Ariel Dominguez

My Thoughts: What’s this? Marko Stunt getting to pick on someone his own size for once?! I think is the most Marko has wrestled all year isn’t it?

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #8: Aaron Solow def. Sonny Kiss

My Thoughts: I’m getting confused with all the Kiss/Janela stuff – on Dynamite it looks like everyhing is hunky-dory but on Dark programming there’s obviously a rift growing between the two as Janela finally starts to turn heel (again). Kiss did Kiss, while Solow was his typical self as usual. Nothing spectacular here, even QT Marshall looked more bored than usual.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Nyla Rose def. Missa Kate

My Thoughts: Missa Kate, missa going to get my ass kicked by Nyla Rose, missa sells it well though! Squash!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #10: QT Marshall def. Bear Bronson

My Thoughts: Bear Bronson, despite being the “rookie” here, outshone Marshall for most of this match. QT, as usual, looked like he was going through the motions… no disrespect to the man ’cause he can wrestle but he seriously needs to work on his charisma and presence. Bronson threw himself round the ring like a lunatic in the antithesis of your typical “big man” wrestler – here’s hoping the Bear Country get a chance to work their way up the tag team card once Boulder comes back to AEW (Bear Boulder is currently out with injury).

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #11: Thunder Rosa def. Megan Bayne

My Thoughts: Thunder Rosa did her usual thing, allowed Megan Bayne to shine a little before destroying her with her patented submission finisher(s). You’ve got to appreciate Rosa for letting her opponents get a moment in the spotlight, pushing women’s wrestling forward as always,

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #12: 10, Stu Grayson & Colt Cabana def. Justin Law, Dan Barry & Kit Sackett

My Thoughts: The Dark Order are awesome on TV and on BTE etc, I’m glad they’re getting some wins under their belts now and Stu Grayson always looks like a badass when he pulls off his finisher Nightfall – which he did here for the win.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #13: Big Swole & KiLynn King def. Sea Stars

My Thoughts: The team of Big Swole, KiLynn King and Red Velvet continue their dominant tag team streak here against the duo of the Sea Stars, a team that deserve to be “All Elite” in the near future – they’d certainly make a great addition to the AEW women’s tag team division. If only there was a belt to fight for too?!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #14: Matt Sydal def. Dante Martin

My Thoughts: Wow. Just wow. This was a main-event worthy match on ANY wrestling show. I don’t think I’ve seen two guys more in sync, more well-matched than in this match. The storytelling was on point two: the wily veteran managing to just overcome the hungry rookie. Everything here just worked. And worked VERY well. If Dante Martin is this good now, just think how awesome he’ll bee with a year or two of more TV exposure and experience?!!

My Score: 4.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

Despite the proliferation of AEW’s usual quasi-squash matches making this an average week for AEW: Dark, the main event between Dante Martin and Matt Sydal was one of the best in recent memory, ending this weeks show on a huge high note!

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