Welcome one, welcome all to the first-ever AEW Dark review.
If you’re a regular reader of my articles then you’ll know how this works, but for the virgins among you, I’ll explain. I watch the show, tell you what was good, what was bad, and what was ugly while trying to be funny, and usually failing miserably, before deciding if it was worth however much of your existence you’re going to have to sacrifice to the Wrestling Gods.
So far this week, it hasn’t been good. SmackDown was a bust, RAW wound me up, and if it hadn’t been for the stupendous NJPW New Year Dash, I might have been questioning the sanity of my life-choices by the time that AEW Dark rolled around.
But outside of the existential crisis this has all nearly caused, just what did the first AEW Dark of 2020 have to offer? Time to lace up our boots and head to the ring.
Awesome Kong vs. Skyler Moore
After a quick recap of Chris Jericho trying to buy Jon Moxley’s soul, it was time for the first match of the night where a debuting Skyler Moore would face off against Awesome Kong.
When the contest had finished, you could clearly see a gentleman in the front row throw his arms out in exasperation as he turned to the people next to him and said: “That was bad”.
He wasn’t wrong.
This was nothing more than a total squash where Moore got little to bupkis in on the offensive front and just seemed to happen to put over just how much of a monster that Awesome Kong is.
But to what purpose?
It’s not like AEW fans are fresh off the boat. The fact that the company is coming from the land of opportunity that is Indy Wrestling means that at least 98 to 99 percent of them are already aware of what she is capable of, so what was the point here?
Was it to get over just how evil The Nightmare Collective is? Mel did stomp Moore’s face into the mat after the bell but come on; they’re called The Nightmare Collective, it’s not like they’re going to be a sewing circle now, is it?
Someone was trying to convince me the other day that there were some bad elements creeping into AEW programming of late and, being the total mark that I am, I vigorously denied this but on this showing they might have a point.
Winner: Awesome Kong
6 Man Tag Team Match: TH2 & Kip Sabian vs. SCU
Thank the sweet lord for TH2, Kip Sabian and SCU or this episode of AEW Dark would’ve been a flat bust.
This was a fantastic match with all six men as well as a devious Penelope Ford putting in a performance of the highest order.
It was high-octane stuff from the get-go with each wrestler bringing their A-Game and SCU seemingly in control for an easy win, but when Christopher Daniels started second-guessing himself as he went to hit an Arabian Spring, due to his recent botching of the move against Pentagon Jr, TH2 and Kip Sabian got back into the fight.
This is superb storytelling on behalf of AEW. Whereas certain other companies would refuse to acknowledge what happened a few weeks back, before sweeping it under the canvas, AEW chose to not only embrace it but to work it into the narrative of the Fallen Angel.
I fully expect this to become an internal struggle within Daniels now and one he will have to overcome to get his mojo fully back online.
I’d also like to give special praise to Frankie Kazarian for his part in all this. It astounds me just how good he is each and every time I watch him inside the squared circle, and I really believe he doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of respect that he truly deserves. He was the MVP of this bout, pulling off move after move that left your friendly neighborhood wrestling writer’s jaw on the floor and I think that any discussion about the G.O.A.T should always have his name thrown into the mix.
It all ended with the SCU Later, meaning that TH2 and Kip Sabian are now 0-3 as a triplet, but that serves them right. Nobody needs to wear that much florescent green in this day and age.
This was a weird AEW Dark.
First off, it was only 32 minutes long which is significantly shorter than all the episodes that have preceded it and secondly, the Awesome Kong vs. Skyler Moore match really left a bad taste in my mouth.
It was as stupid as it was pointless.
With my hand on heart, I can’t honestly say that I would recommend it to anyone but what I can say is that you really should check out the TH2 and Kip Sabian vs. SCU section of the show, as that and that alone is worthy of your time.
Here’s hoping that NXT and AEW Dynamite can put on a show this evening or else it’s going to be a very long wrestling week.