Wednesday, February 5, 2020

AEW Dark #18 Review

Matches:
1.Cutler,Kiss vs Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy,Marko) **3/4
2.Shida vs Mel *1/4
3.Omega,Riho vs Kip,Ford ***1/2
4.Best Friends vs Spears, Delaney ***

Thoughts:
I was having issues sleeping, so let's look at this week's episode of Dark...

The opener this week was fairly decent with the right team winning. As a Dungeons & Dragons fanatic, I love Brandon's gimmick top to bottom and he seems to be getting better in-ring. I'm curious how he'll fit in the Dark Order when they pull the trigger. Note that the gimmick has been growing on me as I start to see more threads laid out, but I still think the implementation has been a bit iffy. It's seemingly starting to get better...fingers crossed.

The latest therapy session with Brandi was included next, with more hallucinations tacked on for fun. Blue Sock Monkeys ARE evil, so...

This led into the second match of the night, with Hikaru Shida once again suffering through a Nightmare Collective angle. I'm sorry, I get that Brandi's sessions are meant to call out toxic fans, but I do agree on this one that the gimmick is a thud and is just hurting the division. Are some fans being too extra in the way they lash out? Sure, but that's always going to happen. Brandi wasn't with her group during the walkout nor the match, there were cheap interference moments, and Mel was very green looking. That last part is weird since I know Mel's been bouncing around for over ten years in the business. This was a mess and Shida deserves better. It's okay to just let some stories die if they aren't working at all...By the way, what the fuck happened to the Kong/Kong match they teased last Summer? After, Mel and Luther attacked Kong. Did Kong just get written off.........?

I swear that fan's response face was more of, "why is this a thing" than, "is she okay..." but maybe I'm wrong.

Up third, mixed-tag action with Kenny and Riho taking on Kip and Ford. This one came from the cruise, which was cool. They went with a different production style for it, which was also interesting. Ringside cam is cool with me, but I'm sure there are fans on the web bitching about it. To each their own and I can at least agree that maybe they should have just aired this as a single match upload away from Dark.

I also know some will complain that they didn't do the WWE style of intergender match (though WWE doesn't always, either) and let it be a legit mixed match. It's a nice move and a good step. I was worried after Khan's remarks last Summer that they wouldn't do much with mixed matches but maybe they are not only easing the fans in, but Khan, too. Tessa is likely helping.

Anyway, with Ford being an active participant instead of a manager, the bullshit was largely cut and it allowed for a much more enjoyable experience than most of Ford and Kip's AEW output. I mean, yea there was still a bit of bull, but it was kept minimal and the match itself was very good as a result. I loved the teamwork from Omega and Riho in particular, and as usual, with the Crucifix Trigger specifically looking awesome. Borderline great match!

Omega put over the concept of mixed matches, the match itself, and the opponents. Mixed belts, please. I'd also like a secondary strap, women's tag gold when they gel the division better, and maybe a hardcore title... The secondary championship takes priority, though. Maybe the AEW Dark Championship?

Thank you, Kenny.

Kong is checked out and said to be out indefinitely....

Tully and Spears are seeking a partner and are testing out Colin Delaney. Yea, him. They are mainly just still trying to figure out what the hell to do with Spears following his decent after the Cody angle. Good match but nothing major. Just a little throwaway. A lot of CHIKARA pasts in this one. Oh, and I do have to say the Orange/Tully spot was fun.

Dark is typically a mixed bag as they test out ideas and future matches on the show. That was true here, too. Honestly, just know what happened and only watch the mixed match.

Overall Rating: 55/100%

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