02nd Sep2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Aug 31st 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this week review of AEW: Dark, which continues the build to the AEW pay per view All Out, which takes place in Chicago this Sunday.

Match #1: Kris Statlander def. Selene Grey

My Thoughts: Selene Grey makes her AEW debut her in a match where she had ZERO chance of getting in any offense or getting the win. This was Statlander’s to win on her way to the Championship match against Britt Baker this weekend… Statlander looked remarkably more vicious here than normal, which is hopefully a good sign for the PPV. This was still a squash though.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: Joey Janela def. Robert Anthony

My Thoughts: The only interesting and stand out thing about this typicval Joey Janela match was the appearance of Kayla Rossi after Janela got the win – as she proceeded to slam Robert Anthony into the canvas with some REAL force!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Emi Sakura def. Laynie Luck

My Thoughts: Luck continues her AEW losing streak getting squashed by Emi Sakura in a match that Sakura controlled from start to finish.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #4: “Men of the Year” Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky def. GPA & Mat Fitchett

My Thoughts: Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky are just a joy to watch, no matter the style of match. They’ve gelled so quickly and now they have the “better than you” attitude backed up by American Top Team’s Dan lambert which makes them uber-heels. Still root for them in most of their matches though!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Frankie Kazarian def. Serpentico

My Thoughts: You can’t argue that Frankie Kazarian isn’t one of the best wrestlers on the AEW roster but he’s being wasted in mid-to-low card matches IMHO. And there’s no better example than this match. Kazarian still kicked ass here though!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: “Legit” Leyla Hirsch def. Blair Onyx

My Thoughts: Hirsch thoroughly demolished the debuting Blair Onyx here. Nice use of the spider-walk by Onyx though… Having seen Hirsch’s match against Kamille during the NWA Empowerrr PPV I’ve decided I want more David vs Goliath matches for Hirsch. Give here stronger, taller, and more “built” opponents AEW, let her show that real underdog spirit. She’ll convert non-fans in no time (because us Hirsch fans already know how good she is!)

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: 2point0 def. Jason Hotch & Travis Titan

My Thoughts: Jason Hotch & Travis Titan got a good start but in the end this was all 2point0. This one unfortunately seemed like one of AEW’s stat-building fights rather than an actual wrestling match.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: The Bunny def. Sierra

My Thoughts: WTF is going on with AEW: Dark tonight? Tons of womens matches but every one (so far) has been some sort of squash match. Can’t the women actually wrestle? With a decent mount of time to show their skills? Sort it out AEW.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Tay Conti def. Heather Reckless

My Thoughts: Heather Reckless took advantage with an early pre-bell attack but all that did was get Tay Conti angry and thus SQUASH her opponent with some vicious looking moves, eventually hitting a hard DDTay on Reckless for the win.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #10: QT Marshall def. Evil Uno

My Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this one. As it began I thought this was going to be more about the rift in the Dark Order rather than an actual match. Yes, Uno coming out alone was clearly that, but the match itself was a thoroughly decent competition between the two men. And I say that as someone who isn’t a big fan of QT Marshall!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #11: PAC def. Matt Sydal

My Thoughts: Andrade came out to sit on commentary to a HUGE pop from the crowd. Like massive. Then PAC got an even bigger pop! The match itself was a brilliant display of wrestling between two veterans whose styles were perfect for each other; really showing how athletic these two guys are. Andrade kept trying to interfere but it was for nought. PAC got the win, seeminly taking out his frustration on Sydal to win the match.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2/5

Apart from a few matches this was a disappointing episode of Dark, feeling like the show was treading water until the storyline “reset” afforded by this weekends All Out pay per view. And what’s with all the womens squash matches this week? Seriously, AEW really needs to take a look at what they did in this episode and NEVER repeat that again!

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