12th Aug2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Aug 10th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, which is a packed show running the ghastly length of 2 hours this week. Which means that if you watch all of AEW’s shows this week you’re into the promotion for over 5 hours a week… That seems a lot but compared that “other” promotion its a drop in the ocean; and it’s more fun to watch!

Match #1: Thunder Rosa def. Zeda Zhang

My Thoughts: Two female wrestlers with MMA backgrounds should have made for an interesting match, instead these two decided to make this match a show of power rather than skill. Yes, they both looked tough (and Zhang even kicked out of a double underhook from Rosa) but they also both looked a little clumsy.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Red Velvet def. Skyler Moore

My Thoughts: On her way to a chmapionship match against Britt Baker, Red Velvet got a warm up against Skyler Moore who’e appeared on AEW programming a few times in the past but not so much as I remembered her wrestling style. Moore actually looked good here – strong and determined, and really taking it to Velvet for a lot of this match.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #3: 2.0 def. Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray

My Thoughts: 2.0, who wrestled in a Trios match last week, make their official tag team debut and… surprisingly, for their debut match, get the win. That doesn’t mean Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray didn’t put up a fight, far from it; in fact these two teams looked well-matched for the most part. Eventually 2.0 upped the aggression to get the win.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Bear Country def. Chaos Project

My Thoughts: Time for more Serpentico missles! This match also saw the in-ring return of Bear Boulder, who has been out with injury. And it was Boulder who got the win here, running wild on Chaos Project – who were until that point in full control – before getting the pin.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Darby Allin def. Invictus Khash

My Thoughts: Invictus Khash makes his AEW debut and, as Excalibur told us, he’s the first Iranian wrestler on the show. Ever. Khash was in control for a lot of this, as is typical for Allin’s matches) but didn’t stop Darby Allin eventually getting the win with the Last Supper.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: QT Marshall def. Alan ‘5’ Angels

My Thoughts: Billed as a student versus teacher match, this turned out to be much more than that. In fact it turned out to be a damn fine, nay EXCELLENT, match! Neither man has, in my opinion, looked better in a match than they did here. And if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while you’ll know that’s huge words from me, given that I’m really not a fan of QT Marshall. An excellent use of over TEN minutes of “TV” time!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #7: Hikuleo def. Thad Brown

My Thoughts: Hikuleo is back on AEW programming, this time in a traditional squash match against the debuting Thad Brown. This thing didn’t even go two minutes. Hikuleo came out of this looking strong though…

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: Nyla Rose def. Valentina Rossi

My Thoughts: Another short squash match. At least Valentina Rossi managed to get in a nice Dragon Sleeper on Nyla Rose. That only seemed to anger the native beast, who hit the Beast Bomb for the win.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Daniel Garcia def. Fuego Del Sol

My Thoughts: After calling him out on Elevation, Daniel Garcia made mincemeat out of Alabama, AND my, favourite luchadore. Fuego hit some offence early on but Garcia just pummelled him, using force to outwit Fuego’s speed and skill (which was definitely on display here). Garcia really lived up to his “Red Death” moniker here even with his submission finish. As usual an extra half a point for ANY match that features Fuego Del Sol…

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #10: Penelope Ford def. Sahara Seven

My Thoughts: This was a typical AEW quasi-squash match, with Ford in control throughout – even if it took a few attempts to put Seven away.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #11: Shawn Spears & Wardlow def. Seth Gargis & Ripper Zbyszko

My Thoughts: AEW are keeping it in the family yet again, with Ripper Zbyszko – the son of Larry Zbyszko – making his AEW debut with this match. Wardlow and Gargis looked pretty evenly matched early on but it was Shawn SPears who won this one, brutalising Zbyszko before hitting the C4 for the win.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #12: TH2 def. Jay Freddie & Marcus Kross

My Thoughts: Meh. A TH2 match. Who cares? Honeslty these guys have done better work in their singles matches in AEW than they have as a tag team. So much so that at one point it looked like Jay Freddie & Marcus Kross were going to get the win! Jack Evans showboated as usual but it was Angelico who got the wi here.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #13: Lucha Brothers def. Cezar Bononi & JD Drake

My Thoughts: The Lucha Brothers are going hard on AEW this week, having already appeared on Elevation inn the main event against Mike and Matt Sydal. Here they take on two of The Wingmen, including another of my favourite wrestlers working in AEW… JD Drake! And Drake saw most of the action here, giving as good as he got against Penta AND Fenix. Though nothing could stop the Lucha Brothers from being victorious.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #14 Tay Conti def. Robyn Renegade

My Thoughts: These two fought hard and with purpose. Renegade looks better and better on “TV” with each and every match. Conti played down the fun and upped the anger here, hitting the DDTay for the win.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #15: Private Party def. Chuck Taylor & Wheeler YUTA

My Thoughts: What’s this? Private Party putting on a clinic INSTEAD of messing around and showboating? Colour me shocked. Still didn’t stop them winning clean though did it? Instead we got interference from TH2 and a dodgy pin from Marc Quen. This was a great match before that though.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #16: Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & Colt Cabana def. Davis Ramos, Jake Manning, & Joey Sweets (AEW trios debut)

My Thoughts: Damn. Like Private Party before them, Dark Order toned down the laughs and insteda when bacl to their more vicious, more determined ways. Grayson mauled Jopey Sweets at the get-go and even Colt cabana showed a masty streak against Jake Manning. A nasty-looking Chicago Skyline allowed Cabana to score the win.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #17: Alex Reynolds, 10, & John Silver def. Dean Alexander, Arjun Singh, & T.I.M.

My Thoughts: Two Dark Order matches back-to-back? I can get behind that, especially with their new, angrier attitude. This one got a bit more time than the previous, which allowed the Dark Order to show off even more of their anger against and unsuspecting trio of opponents. Jon Silver looked like a BEAST in this one!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A decent episode of Dark that, despite the 2hour+ runtime, didn’t feel as long, or dragged out, as other legnthy episodes have. This one had a nice mix of quick matches and some really great match-ups. Surprisingly QT Marshall and Alan Angels had the match of the night… something I never thought I’d write!

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