07th Oct2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Oct 5th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, which once again comes from the All Elite Zone (or whatever they’re calling it this week) in Orlando, Florida. Given this is pre-taped stuff I don’t expect we’ll see anything relating to AEW’s anniversary celebrations taking place this week, but what we might see is some actual wrestling? Let’s see!

Match #1: FTR, Wardlow & Shawn Spears def. Baron Black, Austin Green, Aaron Frye & Dean Alexander

My Thoughts: I’ll be honest, I was expecting a major squash match here for this 8-man tag team opener and that’s initially what I thought we’d got. Until Austin Green stepped in the ring. The man went toe-to-toe with the behemoth that is Wardlow and this one turned into an actual match. Even Baron Black managed to get in some decent offense in this match too! Of course eventually Wardlow overcame his opponents (plural, given he was carrying this match for the Pinnacle) and then Spear hit a C4 for the win.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #2: Abadon def. Valentina Rossi

My Thoughts: Abadon used this match to add yet another win to her massive win/loss record (she’s only lost 2 matches). Yet she’s never talked about in the title picture? Maybe AEW have no idea how they’d use such a strong, undefeatable character as a champion? Here Abadon squashed Rossi in less than two minutes, continuing her dominance of the women’s division.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #3: The Acclaimed def. Michael Martinez & Vary Morales

My Thoughts: Wow. The only thing that stands out about this match was the botch by Max Caster, who slipped on the ropes and smashed his yambag (thanks for that vernacular Taz) into the ropes. Otherwise this was an unmemorable squash match for The Acclaimed. Even Caster rap was forgettable. That’s how bad this one was.

My Score: 0.5 out of 5

Match #4: Sonny Kiss def. Kal Herro

My Thoughts: Damn, yes this was a squash match but Kiss really needed this one. Kiss looked strong AND determined in this match, something that will no doubt carry across into the feud with Joey Janela. Hopefully.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Kris Statlander def. Zada Zhang

My Thoughts: This was a weird one. The wrestling on display was great and the pair looked well-matched. The only problem was that good wrestling does not an exciting match make, unfortunately. Which meant this match really looked just like both wrestlers were going through the motions. Nice finisher from Statlander though.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: Skye Blue def. Madi Wrenkowski

My Thoughts: This was a decent match between AEW’s younger talent. This is what Dark and Elevation are for – giving new, upcoming talent, “TV time”, allowing them to get a feel for wrestling on TV and for developing their skills. It just happens that it also lead to a great match between these two as well! Skye Blue is remarkably likeable, generating empathy with the crowd AND the audience at home too!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: Eddie Kingston def. Anthony Henry

My Thoughts: Well, well. Asher Hale makes his AEW debut. Yes, another recently-released WWE talent crosses over to AEW (permanently or not it doesn’t matter) and ends up having a banger of a match against one of AEW’s best, Eddie Kingston. Henry was in charge of this match for most of its duration, really giving it to Kingston, who sold remarkably well. Kingston eventually hit a DDT for the win but Anthony Henry came out of this one as the real winner. I read that Henry was thinking of hanging up his boots after leaving that other promotion, but judging by this one that would have been a MASSIVE loss for professional wrestling.

My Score: 4 out of 5

Match #8: Gunn Club def. Hunter Knott, Rosario Grillo & Cameron Stewart

My Thoughts: Heel or babyface’s, I just cannot get behind the Gunn Club. I don’t know what it is. Yes, Austin and Colten make for great AEW reps on social media (they’re great on AEW’s instagram for example) but in the ring they seem to lose all of their charisma. Might just be me, and I can accept that. Problem is it makes me tune out for their matches!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Diamante def. Santana Garrett

My Thoughts: This one followed the promos both women cut on Dark last week and ended up being something of a barn-stormer. For the most part. Towards the end it looked like either something went wrong and their was an injury/accident of some kind (not a major one) or BOTH women were totally gassed. But otherwise this was another great AEW women’s match and a feud I’d like to see continue down the line.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #10: Varsity Blonds def. Pretty Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth

My Thoughts: Another unremarkable match on this weeks Dark. This one was really saved by Taz and Excalibur on commentary. The in-ring stuff was forgettable unfortunately. Just give me more JD Dark AEW, please!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #11: Daniel Garcia def. Erik Lockhart

My Thoughts: Much like Sonny Kiss’ match earlier this was a squash match but one that made Garcia look strong. Like really strong. So strong I think he’s ready to take out the entire top tier men’s roster and legitimately win everything. The man is a literal wrestling machine. Give me Garcia vs. Danielson ASAP. So, SO, looking forward to seeing what he does against CM Punk on Rampage!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #12: Serpentico def. Marko Stunt

My Thoughts: Can we get Serpentico away from Luther during his singles matches? The dude has obvious skills but every time Luther gets involved he just ends up making Serpentico looking like a chump – just look at the throw off the stage in this match, WTF was that?! Even here, getting the win, Serpentico ultimately looked weak.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #13: Orange Cassidy def. Nick Comoroto

My Thoughts: Orange Cassidy did his sloth shtick; Comoroto did his man-mountain shtick. Comoroto looked like he was getting the upper hand thanks to his sheer strength but than the rest of the Factory got involved and cost him the match. The beach break by Cassidy, win got him the win, looked impressive given the size of Comoroto.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2/5

This was a seriously mixed bag. Though the bad, no not bad, DULL matches outweighed the rest on this card. It’s bad when 2 matches are so boring they become forgettable. I know this is “developmental” on TV (well, the internet) but thi one – apart from a few matches – really looked like that was the case too. This episode of Dark really gave me WWE vibes – the exact opposite of how AEW’s main programming, Dynamite and Rampage, have had me feeling in recent weeks. Are we getting to one show too many now for AEW? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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