When approaching any episode of AEW Dark, it’s important to remember what the web series actually is.
This isn’t presented as a Dynamite-calibre broadcast with intertwining storylines, several high-level matches, and TNT’s gloss and sheen. It rarely hits a theoretical rating higher than 7/10 because it doesn’t aspire to. Sure, Dark serves up many a fun squash, and its more competitive bouts often edge towards television quality, but the brand’s primary function is to open doors for wrestlers who aren’t making Dynamite every week, provide AEW’s less experienced wrestlers with valuable reps, and assess enhancement talents in pseudo tryouts.
To that end, it works. Viewers learn to accept the show’s low ceiling and alter their expectations accordingly. Grading it like Dynamite is pointless because you end up holding Dark to a standard it isn’t trying to hit, so it’s wise to forgive certain flaws – for your own benefit.
Still, the show has a duty to provide something worth your time. It doesn’t get a free pass, even as a developmental brand, and 14 matches across close to two hours of largely the same thing? That’s too much.
Ricky Starks, Eddie Kingston, The Lucha Brothers, and Darby Allin were among the wrestlers highlighted on this bumper episode. Let’s light the overlong fuse…
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