Every week AEW brings fans two shows filled to their respective brims with pro wrestling goodness. The first one is AEW Dark, which pops up on YouTube and incredibly different run times each week. Then, Wednesday evening is two hours of AEW Dynamite, the flagship of the company.
AEW Dark: October 20th Episode
This week’s edition of AEW Dark was longer than usual, sporting a run time of two hours. That’s saying a lot as the YouTube show doesn’t have commercial breaks. It was two solid hours of pro wrestling, and was reliably good from from front to back.
It’s always worth mentioning that AEW’s commentary is at it’s best on Dark. Excalibur and Taz have superb chemistry, and always have a good time. That being said, it was even better when Veda Scott was on the team. AEW should bring her back permanently.
The standout match of the evening was, by far, Rey Fenix versus Sonny Kiss. Both competitors put on stellar performances, which was no surprise from either wrestler. It was a pay-per-view caliber match from two of AEW’s unsung ring heroes.
It was also great to see Ivelisse and Diamante back in action as a tag team. The best part of the utterly pointless AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament was this incredible team, but there doesn’t seem to be a plan for them. AEW is sleeping on them and needs to put them to work in a meaningful fashion.
Additionally, Ricky Starks, Shawn Spears, Scorpio Sky, Penta El Zero M and The Butcher and The Blade all had great matches. That’s no shock since these performers are a big part of AEW’s backbone. The company does not lack talent.
There wasn’t a lot to complain about this week. Dark is a consistent showed filled with solid matches. Even the wrestlers some might consider jobbers are doing great work each week. If you’re not watching Dark, you are missing out on what makes AEW great.
That being said, watching Shawn Dean lose to Matt Sydal was painful at best. Shawn has been wrestling on Dark since May, losing all 19 of his matches. Sydal just started. AEW does not see the talent they have on their hands with Shawn Dean and needs to do better with him. It’s time he got a win.
Without question, the worst part of the show was Allie’s increasingly incomprehensible booking. She started off just being part of the women’s roster. Then, she became The Bunny, the manager of The Butcher and The Blade. Fine. That worked.
Suddenly, Allie was no longer managing The Butcher and The Blade and was involved in a romantic angle with QT Marshall. This led to a confusing tag team with Brandi Rhodes. After they lost in the finals of AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament: The Deadly Draw, the team immediately broke up.
Allie more or less disappeared for a few weeks after this. She popped back up on this week’s Dark, once again managing The Butcher and The Blade as The Bunny. Eddie Kingston had something to do with this, but no explanation has been offered by AEW for why her gimmick has been changing so frequently.
AEW Dynamite: October 21st Episode
This was one of the most unique episodes of Dynamite in it’s entire existence. It featured the quarter finals of a tournament to determine who will get a shot at the AEW World Championship. It was also a mixed bag of matches with some truly interesting pairings.
But the standout of the night was Le Dinner Debonair. This was a meal shared by MJF and Chris Jericho that turned into a full on Broadway song and dance number. This doesn’t belong under “The Good” because it was exceptional. It was truly one of the best segments AEW has done to date.
If you didn’t think that Penta El Zero M versus Rey Fenix wouldn’t be the match of the night, you haven’t been paying attention. This bout was huge. It was a match of the year contender. The Lucha Bros put on an absolute tour de force in the ring.
Eddie Kingston also continued to prove why his mic game is the best in the business. Not only did he provide at least two killer promos, one from after Dynamite last week, but he also jumped on commentary. It’s time to become a fan of “The Mad King” if you weren’t already.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD returned to the Dynamite ring, as well, with Reba/Rebel in tow. As one would expect, she was exceptional in the ring in a match with Kilynn King. If AEW doesn’t have Baker on a collision course with Hikaru Shida, they’re booking their women’s division wrong.
John Silver has also been on his A-game. His overly exuberant tiny muscle guy schtick is working. He played it brilliantly on Dark, Dynamite and A Shot of Brandi, all delightfully contained in this one week. AEW needs to keep building on what Silver is laying down these days.
The Number One Contender 4-Way Tag Team Match wasn’t bad, though it was predictable. People have been pulling for a match between #FTR and the Young Bucks for years. This four way match was just window dressing for that feud. Despite the talent involved, it was okay at best.
On top of that, #FTR predictably attacked the Young Bucks after the match. The Young Bucks winning and the post match shenanigans were all thoroughly expected. If AEW wanted to throw fans a curveball, Private Party should have won the match. They have more than earned a legit title shot.
Without question, the worst moment of the week for AEW was the absolute burial of Sonny Kiss. He lost on Dark to Rey Fenix, but at least it was a competitive match. He got to give a great performance, and made himself look good in defeat. The same can’t be said for Dynamite.
Kiss competed against Kenny Omega in a quarter finals match. Omega is in the middle of a heel turn, so the bout was booked to accommodate that. Kenny squashed Kiss in a matter of seconds with a V-Trigger followed by a One Winged Angel. That was the entire match.
Sonny Kiss is a talented performer, one worthy of more respect than AEW has been giving him. There were glimmers of hope when he started tagging with Joey Janela but that push is basically gone. These back to back losses have just cemented his AEW status as a jobber.
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