We’re back here on Sports Obsessive for my AEW Dark Review: Jan 21. Something appears to be going on with AEW Dark. For the second time in the space of just a few weeks, the show wasn’t the usual 60 or so minutes we’ve become accustomed to, but clocked in at just under half an hour. There’s a very good chance that this has something to do with the show moving onto TNT in the not to distance future. With the inevitable changes that the company wants to implement, such as more backstage and behind the scenes segments, it seems that they’ll need to find room in the running time and at the cost of one match per episode.
I should point out that this is all guesswork on my behalf and it could be that they just cut a fight as they did previously, but it’s the opinion of your friendly neighborhood wrestling writer that there is more to this situation than meets the eye. So with that in mind, and a review to write that will be shorter than usual, let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring.
Big Swole vs Diamante
I haven’t been particularly kind when it comes to the AEW Women’s Division.
I’ve gone on record stating that The Nightmare Collective is the worst idea in pro-wrestling today and that whoever is responsible for running things behind the scenes should be replaced immediately.
But I’m not the kind of bloke who isn’t willing to admit when they’re, kind of, wrong and the wrestling on offer from the ladies branch of AEW definitely seems to be improving.
This is down to one simple fact, that they’re actually letting their female performers go out there and perform, with no interference or any form of shenanigans to take away from the action in the ring.
Both Big Swole and Diamante benefited from this as they were allowed to showcase their talents in a good, solid match.
It wasn’t groundbreaking by any means but it’s a hell of an improvement on the recent going on’s within the division and if this is a sign of how the company is going to treat their talent, then I’m all for it.
Now watch as tomorrow’s AEW Dynamite has The Nightmare Collective show up and ruin every single match on the card.
Winner: Big Swole
6 Man Tag-Team Match: #Stronghearts vs. Jurassic Express
If you had told me a few months ago that a guy dressed as a giant dinosaur, a bloke that thinks he’s from the jungle, and a very tiny person would be the most entertaining tag-team in the business by the start of 2020, then I’d have had you committed.
I never thought in a million years that this gimmick would catch on and nor did I think that they’d ever been able to sway me over to their side, but I’ll be damned if I’m not a believer now.
The Jurassic Express is the prime example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. As single competitors, there’s a very good chance these three men would get lost in the mix but put them together as a tag-team and the pop they get every time they appear is deafening.
Luchasaurus is so agile for a big man that it’s frightening and his kicks and chops are brutal looking, Jungle Boy is high-octane wrestling at it’s finest, but special praise has to go to Marko Stunt.
The amount of punishment he can take is on a par with Mick Foley in his Hardcore heyday, but he’s not just there as a punching bag as his in-ring ability is fantastic to watch and always money in my book.
#Stronghearts put in a decent showing as well and these six men put on a show that wouldn’t have been out of place headlining any card.
With only two matches on the bill, this was always going to be my Fight of the Night but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that these two teams put on a hell of a performance.
Now the quicker they get the belts around the waists of the Jurassic Express, the better.
Winners: Jurassic Express
Even though I’m not a fan of this shorter format, and hope and pray that it’s not something that will become the norm with AEW Dark, overall I liked this episode.
It’s good to see that they’re finally getting to grips with the women’s division and as long as they continue down this path then I expect great things to start happening each and every week, across both AEW Dark and AEW Dynamite.
As for Jurassic Express and #Stronghearts, they easily stole the show and even though I expect the former team to go onto bigger and better things, culminating in a run with the AEW Tag-Team Titles, I also hope that #Stronghearts get a push that their talent so richly deserves.
So far this week, it’s been good to be a wrestling fan. Hell, even RAW was decent enough, and with AEW Dynamite and NXT both on tonight, then in expect the quality to continue, at least for the next 24 hours.