23rd Feb2023

‘AEW: Dark’ Review (Feb 21st 2023)

by Phil Wheat

Another week, another episode of AEW: Dark which this week features thirteen(!) matches which -like last week – immediately fills me with dread… Anyway, on with the review.

Match #1: Matt Sydal def. Slim J

My Thoughts: So we’re getting Matt Sydal back with Top Flight AND adding AR Fox to the mix as well? That would certainly seem the case after the end of this match. I hope this “feud” with the Trustbusters doesn’t drag out too long. Mainly because Trustbusters are a waste of time IMHO. Still, you have to appreciate how good this match was!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: Julia Hart def. Devlyn Macabre

My Thoughts: Evil Julia Hart does bad things… In a squash match once again., which will come as no surprise to anyone – especially given the House of Black’s dominance in AEW.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #3: The Workhorsemen def. Oliver Sawyer & Jay Malachi

My Thoughts: Not going to lie, I love The Workhorsemen so I always enjoy seeing them in action. Speaking of which, I would have loved to have seen this one go on for longer, maybe in lieu of the large number of squash matches on this show!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: The Renegades def. Lizzy & Payton Blair

My Thoughts: So we get sisters fighting sisters and the long-running stalwarts of AEW’s women’s scene, The Renegades, get the win. Seems fair. In fact it’s nice to see them pick up a win for a change TBH, even in a squash match.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #5: Preston Vance def. Blanco Loco

My Thoughts: Preston Vance in yet another squash match AND he rips off his opponent’s mask once again. Cool gimmick but I hope it doesn’t go on as long as say, for example, Powerhouse Hobbs recent streak of squashes.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #6: Tony Deppen def. Caleb Konley

My Thoughts: What is this ROH? This felt like a preview of things to come in ROH rather than an AEW match IMHO. But that’s not a bad thing, as this match sets a brilliant example for things to come if it were to be the case!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Iron Savages def. Chris Sandson & Terry Kid

My Thoughts: Another squash match, not only for this particular episode of Dark but also for the Iron Savages. Love the duo but I still wish they’d kept the Bear Country gimmick instead of the “Bear Country wearing mask” gimmick that the Iron Savages really is.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #8: Jora Johl & Rohit Raju def. Dale Springs & Bryce Cannon

My Thoughts: The team of Jora Johl & Rohit Raju makes sense – both guys need new gimmicks AND some momentum to stop them from languishing in what was essentially jobber territory in AEW. I know this was essentially a squash match but it was THE best way to kick off this new team’s journey.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Emi Sakura def. Billie Starkz

My Thoughts: This was yet another great match from Billie Starkz, against an opponent who was brilliantly positioned as a real trial for Starkz. Emi Sakura, who really is the backbone of the AEW women’s division, once again delivered – as she ALWAYS does – in a match that saw Starkz bust open Sakura’s nose no less! Match of the night so far!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Match #10: Brady Booker def. Dak Draper

My Thoughts: No idea what this was if I’m honest. I’m guessing by Booker being booked (pun intended) in a squash match and picking up the win, he’s one of AEW’s new talents?!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #11: The Wingmen def. Jay Marte, Jarett Diaz, & Rich Adonis

My Thoughts: I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, but I don’t give two cents about The Wingmen and that’s putting it politely! So to have them beat enhancement talent in a squash match just felt like a complete and utter waste of time.

My Score: 0 out of 5

Match #12: Jeff Jarrett & Satnam Singh def. The Boys

My Thoughts: A rare outing, in AEW at least, for The Boys without Dalton Castle in what was another squash match against Jeff and the giant (that SHOULD be the name for these two as a tag team). and it the giant, aka Satnam Singh, that was actually the game changer in this match!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #13: Trent Beretta def. Tony Nese

My Thoughts: Trent Beretta manages to get a really good match out of Tony Nese! That’s the real news coming out of this episode of Dark. Nese has, for me, never lived up to the potential he showed before coming to AEW actually in AEW. But here was a different story, with a match that could easily have taken place on Dynamite or Rampage and potentially stole the show!

My Score: 4 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3/5


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