And we’re back here on Sports Obsessive with my AEW Dark Review: Feb 4th Come on AEW Dark, make your goddamn mind up.
The last two episodes of the YouTube show have both clocked in at around the 30-minute mark, which I had just assumed was going to be the format from here on out due to its imminent move to TNT.
With the company wanting to put more interviews and backstage segments in AEW Dark, it made sense that they’d need to save some time in an hour-long episode.
So imagine my surprise when I logged into YouTube this morning and saw that the brand new, sparkly show clocked in at an hour and twenty.
Not that I’m complaining too loudly mind you, after the horror that was this week’s RAW, I needed something to remind me that wrestling doesn’t begin and end with a senile old bastard in Stamford, and even though it wasn’t perfect, there was enough on offer to reaffirm my faith.
So with all that said, it’s time to lace up our boots and head to the ring for this week’s AEW Dark Review.
Tag-Team Match: Sonny Kiss And Brandon Cutler vs. Jurassic Express
It’s no secret that I am all in when it comes to Jurassic Express.
I think they’re one of the best teams in wrestling today and could become the jewel in AEW‘s crown if they’re handled properly, which means that they need to get pushed in and around the title picture, sooner rather than later.
It doesn’t matter which combination they send out to the ring either, as each of the three members brings their unique style to the table and complements each other perfectly.
I’m also warming to Sonny Kiss as well.
I like his character and he has a move-set that stands out, which sets him apart in the world of wrestling and that’s always the best way to get yourself noticed.
What I don’t understand, however, is why he’s started teaming with Brandon Cutler?
Last week Cutler pretty much threw him to the wolves and let the Dark Order batter him from pillar to post without so much as lifting a finger to help his friend. Surely this must’ve been grounds enough for Kiss to flip him off when it came to getting involved in another tag-team bout.
Also, up until he started working with Cutler he had a 2-2 record in AEW, this has now slipped to 2-4 as his partner of choice couldn’t win an arse-kicking contest against a one-legged man and currently holds the unenviable record of 0-8.
Wrestling logic just doesn’t make any sense.
The match itself was a pretty decent way to kick off AEW Dark.
It had just the right amount of action and humor to keep me entertained and not feel as if they were just putting on a comedy fight and it allowed everyone involved to show off their skills to good effect, even Brandon “Worst Record In Pro-Wrestling” Cutler.
He’d end up eating the pin, leaving me to believe that he’s never getting a win until he joins the Dark Order, and in doing so just added fuel to the ever-growing fire that is Jurassic Express for the tag-team titles.
Winners: Jurassic Express
Hikaru Shida vs Mel
It seems as if each week I find a reason to complain about AEW Women’s Division and, sadly, this week is no different.
To start with, how are we supposed to take their division seriously when I couldn’t even find a poster for this match and had to use a random picture of Hikaru to proceed this entry?
It isn’t an earth-shattering complaint by any stretch of the imagination, but if your art department can’t be bothered to do anything to help advertise these matches then how do you expect the wrestling public to give a damn?
Then there’s Luther.
My God, I hate this bloke.
In what reality did it seem like a good idea to have an all-women stable, no matter how annoying, suddenly decide they needed the help of a Gangrel knock-off?
All he does is stick his goddamn tongue out and point at his head. That’s it. That’s his entire schtick and he does it over and over and over…
If that’s all he’s going to offer to the group they’d be better off replacing him with a dehydrated puppy with fleas, at least that’d look cute.
Outside of those two annoyances, this was a pretty good match but one that was only ever going to end with Shida picking up the win, which leaves Mel at 0-2, but it’s what happened after that’s filled me with a flickering hope that AEW‘s Women’s Division might just be on the verge of salvation.
The Nightmare Collective seems to be imploding.
After the bell, Awesome Kong started slapping Mel around to which she, eventually, took exception to, as you would, and fought back.
Just when it looked as if she’d made the biggest mistake of her life because Awesome Kong could kill you with just a thought, Luther grabbed Kong so Mel could lay a serious beating on her.
Now, this has all been done so she can go film the final season of the brilliant GLOW for Netflix, but it also allows Mel to step out of her shadow, and that of Brandi Rhodes (hopefully), which should mean a more upward trajectory for her.
And if the Nightmare Collective truly is dead, then that can only benefit everyone involved in AEW‘s Women’s Division.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Mixed Tag-Team Match: Kip Sabian And Penelope Ford vs. Kenny Omega And Riho
One of the main reasons that fans got so het-up about AEW when it was first announced was because they wanted to see innovation in their wrestling.
For far too long we’d grown accustomed to what that senile old bastard in Stamford had wanted to force-feed us, but the promise of a new promotion came laced with endless possibilities.
Let’s be honest here folks, it hasn’t fully delivered in that department.
Wins and losses don’t seem to matter and even though it’s leaps and bounds ahead of most of the competition out there, such as Impact and ROH, it still falls short of the WWE and NJPW.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an AEW fan but I’m also not so blinded by my love of the company that I don’t see that they’ve pulled the kind of pre-election promises vanishing act that any politician would be proud of.
Yet, on AEW Dark we finally got something that could very well be the thing that makes the company stand out.
It might’ve been called a Mixed Tag-Team Match but this was a full-on Inter-Gender war, with all competitors getting their hands on each other and putting on a hell of a show.
I’ve banged on in recent reviews about how impressed I’ve been with Sabian and Ford as a duo, but this is the first real-time we’ve gotten to see the former Miss Janela in action, and damn, that girl can go.
She threw down with Kenny Omega to start this off and put in the kind of performance throughout that makes me hope they find a way to keep her with Kip and have her take a run at the women’s title as well.
I hope that Omega gets his wish and that AEW makes Inter-Gender wrestling a valid title within the company and if they do this has to be seen as ground zero for a revolution that I didn’t know the wrestling world needed until I saw it happen.
Winners: Kenny Omega And Riho
Tag-Team Match: Best Friends vs. Shaun Spears And Mystery Partner
Yet another match the art department couldn’t have given two shits about and one that I struggled to get into after the brilliance of the previous bout.
It turns out that Spears’s mystery partner was none other than Colin Delaney.
That’s right kids, the Colin Delaney.
Don’t feel bad, I had to Google him too.
I’m not sure what the point was here, logically it would’ve made more sense to have this go on second last and shine a huge light on the Mixed Tag Match as the Main Event.
Anyway, it was alright, probably better than I’m giving it credit for, but having to follow the show-stealer that had gone before it was always going to be too big of a task.
Winners: Best Friends
That was a pleasant surprise.
It was good to have AEW Dark back to more than 30 minutes, as that format was starting to bore me, especially as a writer, and there was enough on offer to make me sit back afterward and feel like I’d watched a proper wrestling show and not just an internet filler.
I like the fact that The Nightmare Collective might be disbanding and hope that free’s up the Women’s Division to finally be able to cut loose.
But the true show-stopper was the Mixed Tag-Team Match.
They are onto a winner here and need to through their considerable weight behind this idea as it will help them draw more eyes to the product and will show that there is no need for any form of a gender gap to exist within the world of pro-wrestling.
And besides, after that performance, I want to see Omega vs. Ford headline the next AEW PPV.