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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 5.10.22

May 11, 2022 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Dark Image Credit: AEW
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Cazer’s AEW Dark Review 5.10.22  

It’s Wednesday Morning and you know what that means! It means we’re a bit late for our AEW Dark review. Apologies for any inconvenience but I was traveling yesterday and encountered a slew of problems but eventually made it home, rested for a bit and am ready to catch up on what we missed.

Jumping right into Dark I have to say i’m starting to get a tad frustrated as a consumer. I understand most who are still engaged at this point don’t really care because we’ve been through it for a while now but why can’t they maintain some consistency? This week we have 11 matches, last week 9, and previously 6 for a few weeks. I liked the 9 match show we got last week but I just find it annoying as a consumer that there’s no consistency week to week with the product. Again if you’re a fan of Dark you likely don’t care at this point but I think it would fare better with a consistent week to week format.

We have Jay Lethal, The Dark Order, Abadon, Keira Hogan, The Gunn Club & Skye Blue confirmed for tonight’s card by way of the YouTube title. Not the strongest lineup but I do appreciate highlighting the upcoming women like Abadon, Skye and Keira. Enough from Broken Car Jones let’s get into the show.

– Double or Nothing promo to open the show rather than a traditional AEW Dark video.

Jay Lethal w/ Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt vs. Jake Something

Jake Something recently left Impact Wrestling and unfortunately has not changed up his name. It’s his thing but I don’t care for it much. The match they had was your typical showcase on AEW Dark for a superstar you know they want to bring in but still use as a stepping stone. Jake got plenty of offense in but wasn’t able to withstand Jay Lethal. Early on Lethal drops Jake with a suplex and Jake no sells and quickly gains the upper hand, it shows the strength of Jake but I was surprised to see the light reaction to this from the crowd. Jake caught Lethal in the corner with a spear and covered for two at one point again to a relatively light pop. Lethal picks up the victory after hitting not one but two elbow drops onto Jake, Sonjay pushed for Jay to hit a second elbow, after the elbows Lethal hit the Lethal injection and picked up the win.
Rating: **3/4
Review: This was a decent opening match and I was surprised to see it slotted into that position. Just off name value and the title of this episode i’d have to say he’s the biggest person advertised so it’s surprising to see him not in the main event. Jake was fine in this showing but I was surprised to see the lack of crowd reaction for him as he was just gaining steam in Impact and usually the AEW Dark crowd reacts well to known indy talent. Midmatch we got a Jake/Satnam stare down I actually would love to see that match Jake could make Satnam look REALLY good.
Post match: Lethal talks trash to Samoa Joe as Satnam attacks Jake Something post match dropping him with a chokeslam as they stand over his fallen body calling out Joe.

Jake Manning vs. Alex Reynolds

I vaguely remember Manning and he was really fun to watch. He’s in the ring reviewing the scoutmasters manual ahead of the match, he makes the best of his jobber entrance and I love it. Manning uses the book to distract Reynolds but its short lived and Reynolds steals the book and reads it for a moment. Reynolds dropped from the top to the outside in a spot that looked like it hurt pretty bad. Manning getting plenty of offense in during this match but its short lived once Reynolds gets going. Manning attempted to use the book as a weapon Reynolds ducks and drops Manning with a right hand, Manning tosses the book into the air upon impact. Reynolds catches the book and reads it while he picks up the pinfall victory over Manning.
Rating: **1/2
Review: This was short and simple, just a typical throw away comedy match. I really enjoy Manning and i’m glad he got as much offense in as he did even if it surprises me. Reynolds hasn’t really done much for me one way or the other as a singles competitor but he got to show a bit of personality through this match by way of simple comedy spots that i enjoyed.
Post match: Cezar Bononi and Tiger Ruas attacked Uno & Ten of The Dark Order. It’s incredible how far this group has fallen in terms of momentum.

– They show a preview for HEY (EW) their new youtube series that is actually really funny. They should utilize Dark for more commercials like this to promote the other YouTube series that AEW Stars are doing to add some time between matches.

– Jora Johl is backstage and cuts a bi-lingual promo speaking on Matt Hardy not seeing the potential in him saying he now works for Andrade. He hopes Andrade will see the potential in him that Matt overlooked. Johl is decent in the ring but he’s had enough mistakes during matches that have slightly turned me off of him since his debut.

The Gunn Club vs. Fly Def

The Gunn Club and the Acclaimed are looking to form an alliance but we’re awaiting Billy Gunn’s approval for that to occur. C’mon Ass Man. Austin and Colten do a great job heeling it up and acting like completely obnoxious douchebags. It helps that Danhausen assisted them with a nickname the crowd can chant and they get heated at. Zack tags in after Warren takes a beating, he runs through The Gunn Club momentarily before tagging Warren back in. Warren covers Austin for a two count but their offense is short lived, Zack is tossed to the outside and Warren is hit with the quick draw as Austin Gunn covers for the victory.
Rating: **1/2
Review: I enjoyed this match for what it was, a traditional squash where the jobbers had a brief moment of offense that looked like they could win. I actually anticipated a complete squash so their brief offense was nice. It was also cool to see the psychology of working a match like this by allowing Zack to look strong but getting him out of there to prevent him breaking the pin. It was just smart booking for a short match.

Serpentico vs. Captain Shawn Dean

This is an AEW Dark match if we’ve ever seen one. Serpentico and Shawn have been featured on Dark plenty. I expect Dean to win but Serpentico does have a decent record on Dark so there’s always a chance. Luther is back to do his typical Luther schtick you either hate it or love it, I tend to flip week to week. Dean controls a majority of the match until Luther gets involved and sends Dean into the post groin first. Serpentico only takes advantage for a short time before Dean regains control. Serpentico hits a leaping flatliner and nearly picks up the win but Luther’s screaming at him distracts him too long allowing Dean to recover. Serpentico drops Luther off the apron, Dean hits Serpentico with the Deal and picks up the win.
Rating: **1/2
Review: Another decent squash match that was basically expected. Dean’s ‘push’ has been rather interesting because in other companies I feel it would be heavily critiqued. He’s beaten one of the biggest stars in the company twice by outside involvement and can hardly put away Serpentico. It’s a push from where he was but he hardly feels like a credible threat.

Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson vs. Brick City Boyz

Lee with a weight belt feeling a lot like the lasting piece of the Nightmare Family. Surprised to see Brock take the beat down in this one and Lee to make the hot tag but it does feel like a lot more can get done than Brock’s spinebuster. Brock tags in and hits the gordbuster for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: This was really short but I think they’ve gotten a good formula for these two. Lee feels so much more confident and like he’s morphing into a Mini Cody. It’s an interesting route to go but I love it and of course he still has elements of his own style. Letting Brock take the heat before Lee makes the hot tag is the way to go as Lee can do so much more than Brock, whereas Brock will typically hit some spinebusters, corner spears and his finish.

Abadon vs. Vicky Dreamboat

Dreamboat with some awkward crossbody’s on Abadon early but Abadon’s unphased. Abadon with the double knees in the corner then an axe kick. Abadon with a senton and the Black Dahlia for the win.
Rating: N/A
Review: Everything about Abadon is SO SO much better than it was in the past and that’s not to say she was ever ‘bad’ but the growth is undeniable it’s crazy what working with Dustin Rhodes will do huh? I would like to see the character expanded on a bit or explained, and I also wonder what the TV Audience will think of Abadon when she gets back on there but this was great for what it was.

Trip Jordy vs. Jora Johl

I’m always open to giving Jora another chance but in most of his matches i’ve been rather unimpressed. Trip is someone i’m unfamiliar with but he’s a decent baby face for Jora to beat down. Jordy tries to play around with Johl and this allows Jora to just beat him down. Jordy with a flurry of forearms and a pretty ugly dropkick that doesn’t affect Johl. Johl catches Jordy as he goes for a crossbody, and slams him to the mat. Jora with the pump kick for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: This was one of Johl’s better matches as Trip was a decent babyface in peril. His schtick at the begging felt a bit goofy but I think that’s the purpose for him to be a fun charismatic babyface who gets beat up. If not that’s what I got from him. Johl was solid in the ring here and left me with nothing to complain about. Jordy’s dropkick wasn’t the reflection of perfection and could use some work but he could be a fun regular squash guy.

Kiera Hogan vs. Skye Blue

I wasn’t expecting this to be the matchup when both were announced I have no idea who is going to win even though I know who I think should win. Both women sporting relatively weak 2022 records. They kick this one off quickly as Skye quickly unleashes her offense on Kiera. Hogan to the outside to regroup and it works as she takes the upperhand over Skye upon returning to the ring. Skye with a dive into a superkick and it might be the WORST version of that spot ever. Kiera distracts the ref allowing Red Velvet to hit Skye, Hogan with a roundhouse kick and cover for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: This match started off really solid and overall was a good match but sometimes wrestlers try stuff that is well known and it isn’t executed effectively. Skye’s dive into the superkick flat out was not good, it’s a cool spot so no matter what it looks neat but in comparison to the countless times that’s been done it was not very good. Everything else was solid and the right person won.

Kevin Knight & The DKC vs. Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo

Knight and DKC represent NJPW’s LA dojo so it makes sense to pair them up against the factory. Last weeks LA Dojo representatives were great so hopefully these two can do well for themselves as well. Knight and DKC got plenty of time to showcase themselves in this one but also did a great job at giving Solo and Comoroto one of their best matches yet. I am completely unfamiliar with the LA Dojo competitors but they impressed me no doubt which is expected but hey anything could happen. It’s also interesting how they have no gimmick as is traditional with youngboys yet somehow still feel like more of a traditional team than Solo and Comoroto something about them just always feels like an unnatural team. Comoroto with the spear on Knight allows the factory to pick up the win.
Rating: ***
Review: This was the best match on Dark so far tonight as both teams delivered. I enjoy this partnership between AEW and the LA Dojo allowing for matches like this and showcase superstars very early in their career. The skies the limit for all four so who knows what could be next for them all. I also appreciate that AEW makes it a point to give plenty of time to these crossover matches and really showcase both teams.
Post match: QT asks DKC and Knight if they’d like to join the factory. They decline and get into a brawl they simply can’t win. The Factory jump DKC and Knight as they set up the tables outside of the ring. The Factory take DKC to the apron and powerbomb him through two tables outside of the ring. Knight is brought into the ring and finally some other LA Dojo superstars hit the ring to make the save. I actually love that they’re building this up on Dark and I hope they continue to do so as it’s a really fun and intriguing story that can be built. Sucks to be DKC who is clearly not favored by his LA Dojo friends.

Rohit Raju vs. Adam Priest

Priest looks like a default caw but he also looks like he might just be able to bring it to Rohit. He gets some brief offense in but this is clearly a Raju showcase match to build him up for a future loss down the road. Rohit’s a really good fit for the role too so I get it. Priest is someone i’d love to see more of on the independent scene. He reminded me of Benoit to an extent in terms of build and ring gear as well moveset to an extent. I am just curious if he has a lot more there or if what we saw here was the best of him. He’d be super intriguing in a GCW or DEFY level promotion. Rohit with the victory after hanging Priest up on the top rope. He followed up with a double stomp for the victory.
Rating: N/A
Review: The match itself was exactly what I expected, a short showcase for Raju with very minimal offense for Priest to help Raju’s record. These matches are typical for AEW Dark but I do think they’d be better served in the opening few matches of the show.

Evil Uno & 10 vs. Tiger Ruas & Cezar Bononi

After the attack early tonight we will get a tag match. We have -1, Silver, Reynolds and 5 with the team of Uno and 10 so apparently they get more support than Reynolds did. Ruas and Cezar out here in just black gear looking like some NJPW Dojo superstars. It’s great that Bononi got this time to develop with the Wingmen and now transition to a more serious tag team. He has the look and size that could be a big star if the stars align. Seeing Uno without Stu is very strange, he and Ten just don’t feel like a natural team or like a pairing we have ever seen from the Dark Order yet. Bononi and Ruas getting plenty of offense in looking like the stronger team. Ten tags in with the hot tag and runs through Bononi and Ruas. Ten with a spinebuster followed by a swanton from Uno, he covers for a two count but Bononi breaks it up. Bononi and Ruas with the catapult into a corkscrew kick and it looked like they were going to win here. Uno sends Bononi into the steps and for some reason this makes Ruas head to the outside for Uno the distractions allows Ten to recover and lock Ruas in the full nelson for the victory.
Rating: **1/2
Review: My key takeaway from this match is, if Ruas wasn’t a fool then he and Bononi likely would’ve won this match. First he allows Uno to break up the pinfall then he runs outside after Uno for no reason. Truly a fool. Jokes aside this was fine but I am so very lost on the trajectory of The Dark Order. I could just be bitter that Stu is gone but man this group immediately feels strange knowing they’re missing a piece. Uno and Ten may have tagged a few times in the past but they don’t feel like an actual team, this felt like Ruas and Bononi’s match to win because their opponents just didn’t feel cohesive or really all that intimidating to two jacked humans. I’ll continue to be a fan of the group but I am curious if they can ever get close to the momentum they once had.

No top three this week as it’s already late enough of a post as it is, maybe post your top three names to watch from AEW Dark in the comments and i’ll highlight one next week!

The final score: review Average
The 411
Too many matches, not enough names to care about. We are back to the same old complaints from ya boy overly critical jones. This card featured one match that really stood out and helped me actually care about new superstars other than that a majority of these matches were simply forgettable. It's not even to discredit the talent there was simply noone to care that much about on this show and the matches themselves did little to make you care either. There were some names and moments that were slightly memorable but overall this weeks episode of Dark was mid outside of the Factory/NJPW action.

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AEW Dark, Andrew Cazer