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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 1.25.22

January 25, 2022 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Dark - Jungle Boy vs. Nick Comoroto Image Credit: AEW
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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 1.25.22  

It’s Tuesday night and you know what that means! It’s time for us to review another episode of AEW Dark. This week it looks like we have a super comfy show on tap with only seven matches on the card. We’ve also got quite a few familiar faces that i’m excited to watch. Big names like Jungle Boy, Lance Archer, Penta El Zero Miedo, The Bunny, The Acclaimed, The Dark Order and The Gunn Club among others. We’ve also got plenty of young newer talent like Daniel Garcia, Janai Kai, Wheeler Yuta and Comoroto who’s not very new but still someone I enjoy.

I’ve been really enjoying Dark but these shorter shows seem to hit really well and if they close with Jungle Boy vs. Nick we might have a really good show on our hands. Let’s get to the action.

Mark Henry joining Taz and Excalibur on commentary this week I wonder if that means it’ll be more wacky or more professional. This is also a pre-tape before Dynamite not an Orlando episode so the bigger crowd will make this more interesting.

The Bunny (29-19) vs. Erica Leigh (0-1)

Erica’s got to be from the area as she got a decent response early but The Bunny wastes no time to lay into her. Erica gets some offense in and shows some crazy mannerisms that i’m not sure work for me. Nice Erica chant for the local superstar who has been working since 2018 based on my short research. The Bunny with the Rabbit Hole for the victory in 2:16.
Rating: N/A
Review: Like Mark Henry said Erica never had a chance. She wasn’t bad but she still seemed pretty green which is what prompted me to see how much she’s worked. She’s not bad just needs to work on a lot more of the fundamentals before focusing on stuff like the wacky crazy girl gimmick. The end was a bit awkward as The Bunny tried to pull her back for the Rabbit Hole but she wasn’t positioning herself right but The Bunny got the victory in a decent squash.


2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee) (12-8) & Daniel Garcia (14-13) vs. Kekoa, Pat Brink & Rayo (0-0)

2.0 and Garcia jump the other team before the match can begin and referee Paul Turner just says to hell with it and rings the bell before clearing everyone. Finally Garcia and Matt exit the ring, I just prefer some semblance of rule enforcement but hey that’s why they’re heels right. Garcia tags in locks in the Scorpion Death Lock and picks up the win for his team in :59. Garcia refuses to release the hold after the finish but finally complies.
Rating: N/A
Review: This was good heel work because I definitely got a bit irritated by them jumping and the ref just calling for the bell but that may have more to do with me wanting some consistency with the AEW refs but oh well. Post match Mark Henry says Garcia is on his personal top ten. Love to hear it.
Post match: 2.0 Get the mic and tell the crowd that their opponents just got a taste! They say Jericho, Santana and Ortiz have got a bit of a problem but in Cleveland the Inner Circle is over. Garcia gets into the camera and reminds Jericho if you hang with a rat you a rat and says they’re coming for them. I love this trio so much and Garcia not speaking but talking shit into the camera is probably for the best.


Lance Archer (42-9) vs Joe Keys

This isn’t gonna be long. Might as well have called it 6.1 matches. Archer goes for Keys early but Keys ducks it well color me shocked we got a guy who watches the product. Key tries to raise Archer’s hand for the victory but Archer drops him and sends him into the corner for a series of splashes. Taz and Mark Henry discuss Archer’s history in college football which I had no idea about. They compare him to Cam Newton. Archer with a big boot and sends Keys out of the ring by way of the bottom rope. Archer teases a big dive and as a heel tricks them and says he does what he wants to do when he wants to do it. Archer’s doing really well on his own with no Jake Roberts by his side. Excalibur explains to us that Roberts and Dan Lambert came to a financial agreement. I guess that makes sense but wasn’t Archer just beefing with Lambert a few weeks ago? Archer screams at a little girl in the front row and Mark Henry’s fake sympathy is hilarious. Archer again fakes a big chop and sends Keys into the opposite corner instead. This heel work is really good. Archer with a ripcord black hole slam variation. Archer chases Keys in the corner but Keys gets the legs up. Archer sells it briefly then slaps Keys into next week before hitting him with the Blackout for the victory in 4:10.
Rating: ***
Review: I think it was too short to go anymore than 4 minutes but Archer was wonderful in this and his opponent Joe Keys was a really good babyface in peril throughout. The little girl being afraid of Archer helped emphasize he’s a guy you’ve gotta hate. I don’t know if it was working with Jake or if Archer’s always been this solid of a heel but he’s doing great. I still don’t buy him beating Hangman BUT he’s definitely looking more intimidating as an opponent and thus will be more significant of a victory for Hangman in the long run.
Post Match: Archer drops his opponent one more time and Taz points out that Archer blew his boot out beating Joe so badly. Haha.


Leyla Hirsch (28-12) vs. Janai Kai (0-1)

Janai has been very impressive on the independent scene throughout the last year or so and continues to impress. This is also a pretty cool matchup. Unfortunately we don’t get to see these two really duke it out as Leyla locks in an armbar within a minute and picks up the win in :54.
Rating: N/A
Review: I get that they want to make Leyla look great going into tomorrow but this could’ve been a banger match and I hope one day down the road we get that.


The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & The Gunn Club (Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn) (w/ Billy Gunn) vs. The Dark Order (Alan Angels, Alex Reynolds, Evil Uno & Ten) (w/ John Silver)

Max Caster with a hell of a rap for their intro and Billy Gunn offers to do his introduction but his sons cut him off before he can call them the ass boys. I’m not usually a big fan of these eight man tag matches but they are typically a bit of a toss up and i’m really not sure who’s winning this one. Uno tosses Caster face first into all three dark order boots in the corner before tagging in Reynolds. Austin is begging for the tag but Max keeps avoiding him before finally dragging Reynolds to the corner and making the tag. Tazz drops some Opera singing “Sons of the Ass” and Mark Henry says this is off the rails. Tazz tells him this is dark bro that’s how we roll. I love this dynamic. The Acclaimed are watching Austin go a bit crazy and he gets ahead of himself on the apron this is a fun little tag with some interesting stuff going on in it. Ten with the crotch chop and the suck it to Billy Gunn that was pretty awesome. Alan makes the tag hits the frog splash and covers Austin nearly picks up the victory there that would’ve been interesting. Billy Gun with the outside interference on Ten but Uno makes the save. Colten catches Austin with a hip toss assisted neck breaker on Alan Angels and Austin covers for the victory in 6:15.
Rating: ***
Review: This was a good little eight man that had signs of either team winning and even some interesting interactions between the Gunn Club and the Acclaimed, not exactly tension but just fun to watch the difference in the two teams and the Acclaimed sort of silently judge from the sidelines. This was a good match. Post match the Gunn Club leave their dad behind like they’re embarrassed by him and he’s confused. Fun stuff.


Wheeler Yuta (17-13) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (56-28)

Penta offers a handshake to start but Wheelers hesitant, he finally shakes Penta’s hand but he was right it was a trick and Penta takes control early before letting Wheeler up. Mark Henry tells us that this arena does not sell any Popcorn, pretty odd fact and comes completely out of nowhere. This is going to be the weekly match where the wrestling is great but the commentary takes me out of it a bit I think. Fun chain wrestling here and Penta with a nod of respect before mushing the zero miedo into Wheeler’s face. Penta does the classic glove removal and toss to Alex, Alex with a beautiful catch I feel like I haven’t seen that spot in a bit. It sucks Fenix is out with an injury but it’s really great to finally see Penta get a couple singles matches. I wanted to see him get a decent run vs. Cody but I think something sidelined him during that and then it ended quick. I think the crowd was chanting something at Yuta and he blew a kiss at them, interesting to see him kind of lean into the heel role the crowd is putting him into here. He goes for a pin and Penta kicks out, Yuta immediately had a look of anger, I wonder if he was told to lean into the heel role in this one or has just made the audibly to do so. Yuta is really good, and I knew that but man if he got more opportunities like this he might get looked at a little bit better. The crowd is loving this and so am I this is a really solid match for Dark. Yuta with the Olympic slam and nearly steals it but only a portion of the crowd bites on the near fall. Yuta with a big splash and again nearly wins but felt like there were even less who bought it there. Yuta takes a DDT on the floor and Mark Henry is cancelling Christmas eleven months in advance. Penta with the Fear Factor (package piledriver) on Yuta and covers for the victory in 9:46.
Rating: ***3/4
Review: This was probably one of the best matches i’ve watched on Dark in the last few weeks at least. Yuta got a lot of opportunity to look great and Penta’s always awesome. I hope he gets some more singles opportunities in the coming weeks while Fenix is out. It’d be awesome if they had him vs. Moriarty next week and continued that trend. Yuta should get more chances like this, he wasn’t playing a full heel but there were a few moments I felt he was definitely leaning into it. I’m not pushing for a turn but I think he could be a cool heel. 
Post match: Penta tells the referee and Chuck to stay back and raises Yuta’s hand as an awesome sign of respect. This match should happen on Dynamite in the next few weeks, run it back it was that good.


Jungle Boy (w/ Luchasaurus) (72-35-1) vs. Nick Comoroto (w/ Aaron Solo & QT Marshall)

QT cuts a promo about Aaron Solo winning and getting no respect, this must be about a match from last night on Dark Elevation. Mark Henry says a fan is confused and so am I. QT says something about them being screwed out of the title eliminator but thank goodness Jungle Boy is here to cut him off. Remix Jones shows up just in time at the end of the show. Comoroto has the size advantage but I don’t think you can sell me on Jungle Boy possibly losing when the last Comoroto singles match I remember was him losing to our guy Lee Moriarty who may be smaller than JB. Jungle Boy shoves QT on the outside as Mark Henry compliments the new gear of Comoroto he does look much more legit with the new gear. QT distracts JB to get Comoroto on the offensive. Mark Henry tells us this isn’t going to work out for QT even though Comoroto is completely in control. Weird. Mark Henry says Jungle Boy could be a champ any day and Excalibur reminds us that he’s a champ already. Jungle Boy gets the snare trap locked in but Solo distracts him. Fortunately Luchasaurus is there to take him out. Comoroto goes for the corner spear but Jungle Boy leapfrogs him. Jungle Boy lifts Comoroto up and drops him with a brainbuster nice show of strength there. Mark Henry says he’s gonna have to choke Comoroto cuz hitting him in the head might not work. Jungle Boy rolls through and tries to lock in the snare trap but Comoroto breaks it. Jungle Boy finally locks in the snare trap for the victory in 6:49. Looks like Mark Henry was right he had to choke him. Not the best foreshadowing haha.
Rating: **1/2
Review: I think I expected more from this because Comoroto can have some pretty awesome matches from time to time but he can also have some just ok matches and that’s what this was. They didn’t do anything wrong I just couldn’t get into it because I can’t buy Jungle Boy losing to Nick even on Dark. Mark Henry didn’t do this match any favors as he seemed to really show his inexperience as a commentator on this one. I feel like him being on Dark could be a good chance to grow but it might be hard to do in the joke filled environment we get every week but this week was pretty tame. Overall not a bad match but too much outside interference and shenanigans for me to rate it much higher.
Post match: Jurassic Express hit Solo with their finish after the match to send the crowd home extra happy.

Top 3 names to watch following Dark:

Wheeler Yuta – He had one of his most impressive showings on this episode. He had one of the best matches not just tonight but in weeks and while his opponent is good even Penta showed respect for Yuta’s work after their match. I hope Yuta can get more singles opportunities, he should get a match like this every few weeks at least but I understand why we don’t I guess. 

Lance Archer – He could probably be number one but I really liked Yuta’s match. He had an awesome showcase where he just beat down his opponent and showed some awesome heel work. He’s looking to challenge Hangman and at first I wasn’t big on that feud however Archer’s work the last few weeks has me excited to see where that goes. 

The Gunn Club – They sealed the victory for their team tonight and seem to be on a quest for a tag team championship match. I expect that match to come in the next few weeks and similar to Archer while I don’t believe they’ll win I think they’ve done a good job building them up to be viable opponents for the current champions. I think we’re just seeing these two get started and they could get a real push by the end of the year if they can continue to improve as they have. 

Jobber of the week: Joe Keys – Keys was great in his position against Archer. He sold great and helped make that match fun and interesting. It wasn’t a blow away classic but in squash matches sometimes the opponent just brings the quality down but for the entire five minutes or so that he faced Archer I really think he brought something to that match that improved the overall quality and I’d like to see him get another match or two and see what he does. 

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was a really fun episode of Dark with a couple of really good matches. I think this episode may have shown me i've overrated past episodes as i'm really not comfortable giving this more than a 7.5 but it was better than most episodes of Dark and I typically give them a 7-7.5. This episode just missed a match that I could get invested in, while Yuta vs. Penta is a great match I didn't really believe Yuta could win. That said I don't need that every week and we've gotten some upsets and storyline finishing matches in recent weeks so i'm by no means disappointed I just think that's what this needed to really make the show stand out. I really wish Janai vs. Leyla could've gotten some time as that would've been a great match but Leyla has a big match on the horizon so I get it. There wasn't a bad match on the card and it was very easy to consume running barely an hour. Overall i'd say check this one out if you haven't yet!

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AEW Dark, Andrew Cazer