09th Sep2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Sept 7th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, a shorter show this week but one that features the highly anticipated Three Strikes match between Big Swole and Diamante… Though if you read the dirtsheets, that match might not be the big hurrah people expected it to be. Let’s see for ourselves!

Match #1: Lance Archer def. Jason Hotch

My Thoughts: Really? Again? Seriously it was bad enough getting this shtick on Elevation but to have the same thing occur on Dark seems a) a total waste of Lance Archer talents and b) a total waste of time. Can we stop with the “Archer throws his opponent in and around the ring” stuff now and get Archer some actual matches?

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: The Bunny def. Laynie Luck

My Thoughts: Laynie Luck gets another outing on AEW programming, this time against a particularly aggressive Bunny, who had help from Penelope Ford. Luck managed to get in some offense before the Bunny hit her finisher for the win in just over 2 minutes.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Evil Uno def. Alan “5” Angels

My Thoughts: This match made me sad. Dark Order in-fighting is not the kind of storyline I want to see. I’m guessing there are big plans for this potential “break-up” of the Dark Order. Had to agree the crowd here, who chanted “Please don’t fight!” I don’t think this, despite the skills of both wrestlers, actually worked from a story standpoint. NO ONE wants to see Dark Order conflict play out in the ring. In fact no one wants to see conflict in the group at all.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: The Acclaimed def. Shawn Dean & Robert Anthony

My Thoughts: After coming out to help Anthony Bowen on Elevation, Max Caster returns to in-ring competition and jokes about the controversy around his pre-match raps but then goes off on one about Shawn Dean anyway! This one didn’t even go a minute. A minute.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #5: Joey Janela def. Lee Moriarty

My Thoughts: Wow this was good. And yes, that’s coming from someone who doesn’t typically appreciate Joey Janela’s matches. Moriarty made Janela look good and vice versa. Near falls kept the anticipation going and even some shenanigans from Janela’s new “assistant” (actually body builder Kayla Rossi) couldn’t slow the momentum of this match. This is the kind of match, for indie talent, that gets you noticed in the back. Basically what I’m saying is, AEW give Lee Moriarty a contract!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #6: Colt Cabana & Stu Grayson def. Travis Titan & RSP

My Thoughts: Cabana wrestling in front of a Chicago crowd guaranteed that the Dark Order was going to get the win but they also did so in the typical AEW quasi-squash match style.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #7: Big Swole def. Diamante – Three Strikes Match

My Thoughts: A bit of an odd one here. Clearly this was one of the first “gimmick” matches on Dark but it felt like the gimmick wasn’t as well thought out as it could’ve been. Still these two at least looked like they really hated each other throughout the match, with this feeling more like a uncontrolled brawl at times rather than wrestling match. The fact it felt like brawl also meant some of this looked a little clumsy too.

My Score: 2 out of 5

News of the Night:

  1. Sonny Kiss ran in after Janela’s match to give him a beatdown.

Final Verdict: 2/5

A decidedly average episode of AEW: Dark. Too many squashes/quasi-squashes for my liking, with the only highlights being the first Dark Order and Janela/Moriarty matches. The Three Strikes match fell a little flat and didn’t really feel like a satisfying end to the Diamante/Big Swole feud.

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