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Dark Side of The Elite (11/19/19): Thriller Filler



Since before the beginning, AEW has been trying to sell the fact that wins and losses matter. It might seem redundant in the world of predetermined physicality, but they've made it work by making every match in the company important, including the ones in AEW Dark. 

While Dynamite is the flagship show, the wins and losses in AEW Dark do carry over, as do the storylines. Dark is where the Shawn Spears/Joey Janela rivalry started, and where Emi Sakura gained a win to become the number one contender for Riho’s AEW Women’s World Championship.

This might be the AEW version of Heat/Velocity/Superstars/Main Event but when you have a roster this talented, it’s hard to complain about an additional 60 minutes of fake fighting. For one hour, you get to see talent who didn’t appear in Dynamite showcased, and as someone who tuned into those WWE B-shows back in the day, the existence of Dark makes me happy.

I’ll admit that this episode was basically filler since it featured a ton of Dynamite mainstays winning, with the possible exception of one match. But it was entertaining filler.



The Best Friends def. Private Party

Considering how the company has been pushing Private Party, their loss to Trent and Chuck Taylor here was pretty surprising. I suppose it gives AEW Dark an “anything can happen” feel, but the fact that Private Party is facing Santana and Ortiz in tomorrow’s Dynamite makes this an odd decision. 

Questionable booking aside, this was a fun match. Private Party hit a number of their high spots and innovative tag moves. They’re pretty green, so it was good for them to work with veterans like Chuck and Trent, who made the two look strong in defeat. 

Riho and Dr. Britt Baker def. Big Swole and Kris Statlander

I can’t believe the biggest stars of AEW’s women’s division appeared in Dark this week and not last week's Dynamite. While the company mantra of “wins and losses matter” doesn’t make their appearance here too much of a downgrade, you have to wonder why they wouldn’t feature the AEW Women’s World Champion on their main program that is viewed by a wider audience.

This was a good match and one I would have preferred over the Nyla Rose squash in last week’s Dynamite. We already know that Riho is great and Baker is improving, while also being the most developed woman character-wise in the AEW roster. Big Swole and Kris Statlander did look pretty good in defeat, with Statlander, in particular, impressing for someone who has only been wrestling for three years. She has a great look and a good array of moves, so here’s hoping AEW noticed and does something with her (along with the entire division).

Undesirable to Undeniable: Justin Roberts

Roberts has always been one of my favorite ring announcers, so it was nice to see him get spotlighted here. If you were expecting some jabs at WWE, you'll be disappointed, since Roberts only brings up how he had several non-wrestling announcing gigs before signing with AEW. Cody also brought up the fact that Justin helped out Brandi when she was a WWE announcer back in the day, which I didn't know, so that was cool to hear. These are always worth watching and I do like how they feature non-wrestling talent from time-to-time.

The Young Bucks def. Stronghearts



Remember how I said Young Bucks matches are 10% selling and 90% flappy shit in my Full Gear review? Well, this match proves my point. While the Stronghearts did have some good tandem offense, this was basically a Young Bucks showcase and was reminiscent of those times a big WWE star appeared in Heat or Velocity, where they would just dominate anyone in the undercard. We did get to see a Meltzer Driver though, which will always be cool, but I'd like to see this match again with more time.

This week’s episode wasn’t essential viewing, but if you want a solid hour of wrestling, check it out. AEW Dark Episode 7 gets a B.

Images from All Elite Wrestling

Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.

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