When the card for this week’s episode of AEW Dark was announced, it seemed there was once again ten predictable matches, and while the winners may have been predictable, the show this week was rather enjoyable even with the lack of crowd.

John Silver & Alex Reynolds Vs The Natural Nightmares

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we haven’t seen anything happen with the Natural Nightmares tag team for a while. Well, this week, QT Marshall and Dustin returned to the ring to compete against two Dark Order members, Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Out of the ten matches announced for this episode of Dark, this one was a standout because they are both AEW tag teams. It was refreshing to see a match where either team could believably win. The Dark Order is being pushed at the moment, so the team of Reynolds and Silver did have a chance in this match. The Natural Nightmares were starting to really control this match until Allie came out eating an apple, trying to seduce QT Marshall, who apparently had never seen a woman before and became completely distracted. QT Marshall did manage to focus for a few moments as he hit a Diamond Cutter to win the match for the Natural Nightmares. It was a fine match, the wrestling was not spectacular. It was just ok, but we had some storyline development with Allie, and this could lead to a feud with Butcher and Blade.

Michael Nakazawa Vs Brandon Cutler

The next match also featured two AEW wrestlers, though I was not looking forward to this one at all. I liked Brandon Cutler when the company first started but he is still very green within the ring, and Nakazawa is just a remarkably interesting wrestler with some unique methods. It did not seem like there was a point to this match as neither of these wrestlers has been involved in many matches or storylines within AEW. Nakazawa won the match by count-out, the first-ever count-out within AEW history. This match was very much a filler match, though when your card already has nine other matches you do not need any more fillers. Another ok match, it passed a few minutes, but I was not invested at all and its hard to be when neither of these wrestlers has had any development.

Peter Avalon Vs Jungle Boy (w/ Luchasaurus & Marko Stunt)

Just after Brandon’s match ended, both Librarians came out and challenged Brandon Cutler, so there was at least some storyline development. Avalon got into the ring to compete against Jungle Boy. Three matches in and all so far have included two AEW stars, that was a plus at this point, while there were no stand-out matches, I must give some credit. After Jungle Boy’s sensational match against MJF at Double or Nothing, this match was mainly created to improve Jungle Boy’s win record and reintroduce the Jurassic Express team to the AEW fan base. So, it was no surprised when Jungle Boy picked up the win after beating Avalon with the SGS. This match went much longer than I expected it to and it was one of the better matches on the show. Avalon did get some offence in during this match and it was probably one of the best matches I have seen Avalon in while signed with AEW. That is a good sign he is clearly learning and improving not only with the wrestling but as a heel, as his microphone work seemed a lot cleaner this week.

Serpentico Vs Christopher Daniels

After his impressive match on AEW Dark last week, I was excited to see Serpentico once again within an AEW ring. I just have a real love for the Lucha Libre style. Serpentico was facing off Christopher Daniels who we have not seen a lot of within the AEW ring since he signed with the company, due to an injury. These two competitors seemed to work well together in the ring and they hit some impressive high-flying moves. Both men had a chance to control the match and show their individual ability within the ring. It was a short match but a particularly good match for Dark, Daniels won after hitting Serpentico with the best moonsault ever. I was incredibly happy with this match it really highlighted Christopher Daniels well, which was refreshing to see as we are used to seeing him standing at the side-lines for SCU.

John Skyler & Brady Pierce Vs Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela

The tag team of Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela returned to AEW Dark this week to face off the team of John Skyler and Brady Pierce, who was debuting with AEW. My first thoughts during this match were that it was refreshing to see Sonny Kiss back in the ring as he seems to only appear once in a blue moon. Janela, it seemed, had decided not to brush his hair for a few weeks as there was a huge knotted mess on his head, but I always enjoy him in the ring. Janela just has this weird quality where you just want to see what crazy stuff he is going to do next, it has also been clear that he has been working hard on improving his technical wrestling style recently and that is paying off. This was a fun tag team match, there was nothing I especially hated about, it was just a funny light-hearted match. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss were always going to win this one, but it did not seem to be a squash match as they both worked hard.

Tony Donati & Faboo Andre Vs Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford)

Straight after, AEW treated us to another tag team match where we got to see the team of Havoc & Sabian compete together once again. Although I do not think AEW needs any more tag teams, it is the one division that is certainly not lagging but the team of Havoc and Sabian surprisingly works well. Havoc is the crazy bouncer, Kip Sabian is the high maintenance guy and Penelope Ford is the outside enforcer who focuses on doing what she needs to secure the win. This was another match that should have been a little bit shorter. Nothing was terrible, it just could have been half the length, Havoc and Sabian do not need to take that long to beat their two unknown competitors. There was a point where Donati and Andre even got a long two-count, which was completely unneeded. After this, Havoc and Sabian quickly got it together and won the match.

Mr. Grim Vs Wardlow (w/ MJF)

We have not seen Wardlow much since his debut a few months ago, other than standing in MJF’s corner. This time, MJF was standing in Wardlow’s, mainly playing on his phone, but he was there. Wardlow was facing another big monster this week in Mr. Grim, who we have never seen before and I doubt we will see again. But it was nice to see Wardlow beat someone who is a similar size as it develops Wardlow so effectively. Grim did not get any real offence in as Wardlow seemed to be having fun with his prey before he completely knocked Grim out and won by a knock-out. This match did everything it was meant to, it built Wardlow into more of a beast. It was also good to see even after winning the match Wardlow still was not finished with his prey as he continued to beat him up for good measure.

Lee Johnson Vs Colt Cabana

When we first saw Colt Cabana running down the AEW entrance ramp, I was not expecting to see him halve as much as we have within AEW, but I do not hate that. I am starting to become a Colt Cabana fan, I really appreciate how he uses his years of experience to outsmart his opponents and his matches are always hilarious. Lee Johnson has also looked impressive during some of his recent Dark matches. What made this match good was seeing a veteran against a young gun as they tried to get the one-up on one another and prove themselves the smarter competitor until Colt Cabana won. Lee Johnson Vs Colt Cabana was another good match, it is not going to go down in any history books but it was fun and took me away from the world for a few minutes.

KiLynn King Vs Penelope Ford (w/ Kip Sabian)

Over the last few weeks, Penelope has become better and better as a character and a wrestler. It is at a point now where I am generally excited when I see her name announced on the card. Penelope Ford is a future star, either within AEW or elsewhere, but I am sure she will be a recognisable name within the world of wrestling. When King came out onto the entrance ramp, she looked like she could have potential during this match, she is much taller than Ford and King did have some moments of offence. Another ok match, not my favourite of the night, but there was nothing I didn’t particularly like. Ford and King put on the perfect example that not every match is going to be a 5-star insane brawl, you can simply have a good contest between two competitors. It was good that we saw Penelope Ford take home another win.

Shawn Dean & Alan Angels Vs Best Friends (w/ Orange Cassidy)

This match was worthy of main eventing AEW Dark. If you are a regular viewer of AEW Dark, you would have seen a lot of Shawn Dean and Alan Angels in recent weeks and both seem to be rather impressive athletes. Of course, this match was going to have a predictable ending as we all knew Best Friends was going to win and they did after working together to beat Alan Angels. Losing this match did not make Dean and Angels look any less impressive though, they both had time in the ring to show off their abilities and what they could bring to the company if they do end up getting picked up. This was the best match of the night and could easily have been featured on an episode of Dynamite. AEW clearly have faith with Alan Angels and Shawn Dean as they were allowed to control the match at points and got a few close calls. Therefore I do think we will see these two returning to compete in more matches for AEW. Best Friends had another good match, although it felt like they were the less impressive team of the two, though they didn’t really need to impress anyone. 

This week’s episode of Dark was much better than last week’s, far more enjoyable, and all the matches had their good points. It would, of course, be nice to see five matches on the card between AEW stars, with strong storyline development, but we are slowly getting to a stage where that will return and until then at least we saw some hints of storylines developing on this week’s Dark episode.

All pictures and videos courtesy of All Elite Wrestling 

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