wrestling / TV Reports

Lovell’s AEW Dark Review 7.20.21

July 20, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
AEW Dark The Acclaimed
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Lovell’s AEW Dark Review 7.20.21  

Hey everyone! It’s Tuesday. You know what that means.

As a reminder, the GoFundMe for Larry Csonka’s daughters is still active. Please contribute and share if you can.

Also, 411’s Steve Cook put together a great piece on Larry’s top seven columns. You should read it.

Let’s jump into this week’s episode of AEW Dark.

AEW Dark logo

– Dustin Rhodes tells Aaron Solow he chose the wrong side by joining The Factory. Dustin is gonna kick his ass in Texas and take him to school.

The Blade (13-3) vs. Ryan Mantell (0-2)

WE’VE GOT A CROWD. IN AN ACTUAL ARENA. It’s pretty awesome. The Blade even got some pyro. Blade has been great in singles action in recent months, and it goes without saying that Bunny continues to be the Queen of Shenanigans on the outside. Unlike The Miz, Blade did not come to play, as he hit the Doctor Bomb for the quick win at 1:57.


KiLynn King (12-8) vs. Thunder Rosa (18-2)

I think this match should be a little more competitive. Nice to see King get a good reaction from the crowd. However, Rosa got a HUGE pop, and that tells you all you need to know about her stardom. Thunder Rosa chant to start the match, then the crowd starts booing King. I’ve missed fan chants (well, most of them) and fan boos. Seriously, the crowd loved them some Rosa, and she controlled this one until King hit a reverse German suplex. But Rosa went straight to the submission to force King to tap at 2:47. Short and sweet.

Blake’s Rating: NR

The Acclaimed & Private Party vs. The Varsity Blonds & 5 & 10

Love these two four-man teams. Not gonna lie, The Acclaimed’s crowd pop was close to matching The Dark Order. Max Caster cut quite rap, which included him bringing out a FRENCH BAGUETTE for Julia Hart. Well, that escalated quickly. Lots of action early on, with Caster and Anthony Bowens basically allowing Private Party to take the majority of the offense from the opposition. Of course, Caster and Bowens made their way in once his team had the advantage. Garrison got a hot tag spot and ran wild, and the crowd loved it. 5 and 10 also did their thing to a great creation. That led to a fun sequence with everyone in the match getting in big moves. From there, Bowens grabbed the boombox, but Hart took it away and 5 got two huge near falls. Caster used his heel tactics for a sneaky tag, then hit the Mic Drop after Private Party hit Gin and Juice to earn the victory at 6:52. Very good match that was all action from start to finish.

Blake’s Rating: ***1/4

– After the match, Bowens goes to apologize to Hart but then says the Acclaimed don’t give a shit. He then makes a joke about Hart getting tag-teamed and does a mic drop. AWESOME heel work from Bowens here. Just tremendous.

Abadon (11-1) vs. Promise Braxton (AEW debut)

I can promise Braxton that she’s about to be destroyed by Abadon. That’s pretty much how things unfolded in this match, with Abadon hitting an aggressive clothesline before planting Braxton for the easy win at 1:36.

Blake’s Rating: SQUASH

Big Swole (5-0) vs. The Bunny

The AEW women’s division has really come a long way when it comes to having a variety of characters. Early on in this match, Diamante came out with a mic and distracted Swole. Then Diamante grabbed a seat ringside. Swole was able to regain control, but Blade hopped on the apron, and that allowed Diamante to hop up and punch Swole. Bunny then used the tights for the roll-up to get the victory at 3:33.

Blake’s Rating: **

Chad Lenex vs. Wardlow

Always enjoyable to see a Nightmare Factory product get an entrance. Unfortunately for Lenex, Wardlow also got an entrance, and it was basically an ass-whopping from that point on. Wardlow caught Lenex and just slammed him right off the bat. Then Wardlow hit the Casualty of War for the knockout win at 35 seconds.

Blake’s Rating: DESTRUCTION

– Swole doesn’t like people messing with her money or her winning streak. She accepts Diamante’s challenge for a match.

– QT Marshall comes out with Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto and runs down the city of Austin. Heel QT might not be for everyone, but I appreciate his work. Solow then runs down Dustin.

Aaron Solow vs. Dustin Rhodes (7-1)

Monster reaction for Dustin considering it’s his hometown. I love that AEW took advantage of using Dustin in this spot simply because of the location. That’s one of those little things that you can do to get people more invested in a show like AEW Dark. The company did similar things prior to the pandemic, and I’m just glad they have the opportunity to do it again. Solow did a fine job playing the heel, as he attacked Dustin before the match and even hilariously used the Bronco Buster on him. Dustin went to the Code Red, but Solow kicked out. Then Dustin kicked out at two and three quarters. They kept going back and forth with the crowd fully into it, and it was Rhodes hitting the bulldog to get the victory at 6:03.

Blake’s Rating: **1/2

For more of my thoughts on pro wrestling, subscribe to the 411 On Wrestling podcast and follow me on Twitter @wrestleblake. Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Good
The 411
True story: AEW Dark is a significantly better show with a crowd. The 50-minute runtime doesn't hurt, either. Yes, you still have a decent amount of squash matches, but the atmosphere is everything. That was especially clear with a team like The Acclaimed, who played off of the crowd to absolute perfection with their mic work. As mentioned, I also like AEW adding in storyline elements with Dustin's hometown, the feud between Big Swole and Diamante, and more. This was just fun professional wrestling.

article topics :

AEW, AEW Dark, Blake Lovell