01st Dec2021

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Nov 30th 2021)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW: Dark, which is back in AEW Universal and is so packed with action that intros are kept short and we get right into the action… So let’s get right into this review!

Match #1: Wardlow & Shawn Spears def. Bear Country

My Thoughts: This one was a great opening match and I absolutely LOVED seeing Bronson and Boulder go toe-to-toe with Wardlow, finally giving the big man some challenge. Spears played the heel brilliantly in this one too, which made his ass-kicking at the hands of Boulder even more satisfying. This one actually looked like a real battle, which is not usually the case for matches involving the powerhouse that is Wardlow.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: KiLynn King def. Renee Michelle

My Thoughts: SO SO happy to KiLynn King back on AEW programming. She’s been sorely missed IMHO.This was your typical AEW squash match, with Renee Michelle given just enough leeway to not look like she took a total beating from King – who, as always, looked super-strong.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #3: Santana & Ortiz def. Gus De La Vega & Brandon Gore

My Thoughts: A short and sweet match that repeated what w saw on Elevation this week – Santana & Ortiz showing everyone just how bloody good they are. These guys seem to get better and better every appoearance in AEW. All we need now is them entering the tag title race and hitting that same level of Impact sucess they had.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Skye Blue def. La Rosa Negra

My Thoughts: La Rosa Negra makes her AEW debut in this one, facing Skye Blue – in recent weeks – has appeared more and more on AEW programming (and on sa number of vlogs). She’s a great young wrestler whose athelticism brings a real sense of urgency to her matches, More from Blue please AEW!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Alan ‘5’ Angels def. Mike Reed

My Thoughts: This was a squash match to make Angels look strong heading into his match against Bryan Danielson on Dynamite this week. Once again, its great to see AEW using local talent instead of rotating their in-house performers – even if Reed was essentially here to get squashed. Between Angels recent match against Matt Hardy, this match, and this weeks Road to Dynamite, I’m starting to think Angels might not get his arse handed to him by Danielson on tonight.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: Ryo Mizunami def. Dani Jordyn

My Thoughts: Ryo! Ryo! I honestly can’t get enough of Ryo Mizunami on AEW programming. For me she’s the best of the Jaoanese female wrestlers AEW have brought in. She has the skills but, more importantly, she has the best gimmick and best “performance” of them all. LOVED Dani Jordyn using her Burn Book as a weapon at the start of the match… and unlike it said in Dani’s book, Ryo CAN chop for shit!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: The Butcher def. Michael Martinez

My Thoughts: This was a ridiculously short squash match that did nothing for Martinez but made The Butcher look like a beast… Which is always a good thing.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: Julia Hart def. Nikita Knight

My Thoughts: You know what? Julia Hart really does get better in each and every match. She carried this one, even with THAT terrible move from Knight which landed Hart on her head. I’d be interested to see how Hart would fare in a tag team with someone like Skye Blue – two young hungry talents that can learn from each other and from AEW talents.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #9: Infinito def. Ray Jaz

My Thoughts: Who the hell is Infinito? Many have speculated it’s Bryan Danielson under the mask (given he was at Universal for tapingds) but, to me, it looks very familiar. If the Danielsomn speculation wasn’t out there I would’ve sworn it’s Christopher Daniels doing another character gimmick like he did in TNA/Impact… But whoever it is, this was a decent debut for ANOTHER masked wrestler in AEW.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #10: Leyla Hirsch def. Sahara Seven

My Thoughts: Leyla Hirsch looked like she was in for some trouble in this match, with her opponent Sahara Seven looking more dominant. But that was NOT the case, Hirsch took down Seven with ease; with Seven’s size not helping her against the legit one. Interesting to see Hirsch with kanji(?) text on her ring gear… please let that be a sign that she’s going to team with Ryo Mizunami once again (they’re honestly the best tag team in AEW IMHO)

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #11: Varsity Blondes def. Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto

My Thoughts: This was a great tag team match, with both teams evenly balanced even with Comoroto’s size and strength. Speaking of Comoroto, it’s a shame to see him take another loss but on the other hand it was a double team (and a good one at that) that defeated him. It looks like Varsity Blonds are on another run into the tag title race too.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #12: Tony Nese def. D’Marceo James

My Thoughts: This was your typical AEW quasi=squash match anmd one that was built to show off Tony Nese’s skills in the road to his TNT title match on Dynamite. Kudos to AEW for timing these “showcases” on Dark and Elevation in anticipation of big Dyanamite and Rampage matches – really rewards fasn that watch all AEW programming.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #13: Matt Hardy & Jorah Johl def. Baron Black & Prince Agballah

My Thoughts: Prince Agballah has a good look doesn’t he?And he has the moves to match, he really looked strong in this match, even if he was planted HORRIBLY wrong by Johl mid-match (that looked nastier than Hart’s head bump earlier). Hardy looked like he was struggling to walk in this match for some reason, that didn’t stop him taggin in and stealing the pin from Johl at the end of the match though!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #14: Ethan Page def. Fuego del Sol

My Thoughts: Ethan page is a great heel isn’t he? His inteaction with the crowd, riling them up before the match was great and really got the crowd invested in the match as it went along too (a great example of Page’s indie wreslting experience shining through). Even more invested than just loving Fuego Del Sol matches! This match was given a decent amount of time too; allowing both men to show off their skills equally, which meant for a very competitive match.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #15: Adam Cole def. Anthony Greene

My Thoughts: Anthony Greene called out Adam Cole in his post-match promo on Dark last week and has been given the match. Don’t know why, after his terrible performance last week Greene didn’t look like he deserved a match against Cole. But then what do I know? Having Cole on Dark probably put butts in seats and eyeballs on the show. This match was another long one, going almost ten minutes rather than being the squash it should/could have been. Greene actually looked good here too – perhaps he’s better suited to wrestling performers with more experience?

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3/5

A wide variety of matches – some good, some indifferent, but overall this was a solid episode of Dark and one that helped build to this weeks episode of Dynamite AND build the win-count for a number of wrestlers too. Still felt a little too long though…

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