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Dark Side of The Elite (12/17/19): Aliens, Bastards, and Cougars




EXCUSE ME!! 

AEW DARK EPISODE 11 IS PRETTY GOOD!!

The first thing I want to bring up is that the format they used in this episode is the bomb. Four matches in one hour might sound impossible to some, but having one of them be a squash makes things much more manageable. Three of the matches were very entertaining and should serve as a nice appetizer before Dynamite, which is exactly what this show was made for.

We also got to see two women’s matches in this episode, which is more than what we usually get from an episode of Dynamite. Granted, one of them was a Britt Baker squash but the other was a pretty solid match between my leader Kris Statlander and Bea Priestley. I have more to say about that match but know that it’s worth watching and you should keep your eyes on both women. 

No, not like THAT you pervs.



It was also nice seeing and hearing Vickie Guerrero in this episode, who ended up being the guest commentator along with Joey Janela. I know Tazz also commentated in a previous Dark episode so it’s pretty cool seeing some names from the past pop up here. This might sound cheap, but having some legends show up in Dark makes it a bit more exciting. Hopefully, future guest commentators are as entertaining as Guerrero since she really leaned into her cougar character.

SCU def. Private Party

Kicking off your show with two talented tag teams is a surefire way to wake up the crowd and that’s what this match did. This could easily serve as a preview for what’s to come since I can see these two teams locking up again in the near future and knowing that they can improve upon this encounter makes this smark very happy.

Depending on who they face, Private Party can either look really green or wise beyond their years and SCU did a great job of making the two up-and-comers look strong in defeat. While I’d rather see Private Party win more matches, there’s nothing wrong with losing to Scorpio Sky, who gave Chris Jericho his first loss, and Impact veteran Frankie Kazarian. 

Plus, they’re the AEW World Tag Team Champions. These guys should look strong until they a) find new challengers or b) are about to lose their belts. 

Anyway, a fun match and a good sign of things to come.

Britt Baker def. Machiko

Very basic squash here. Machiko barely got any offense in, while Baker hit most of her spots and won with the Lockjaw submission. I still think Baker has a ways to go before AEW plans to push her to the moon but I am a big fan of her finisher. Combining the Rings of Saturn with a Mandible Claw works so well with her dentist gimmick.

Sadly, that’s the best thing about Britt Baker. She’s been carried to good matches before and there are signs of improvement, but I think it’s safe to say that the doctor wrestles like an intern and should compete in shorter matches like this one.

That finisher continues to be aces though.

Kris Statlander def. Bea Priestley

Great little match here, showing that Statlander really has the potential to be one of AEW’s breakout stars in 2020. Even with her weird alien gimmick, which is admittedly starting to grow on me, it’s hard not to cheer for someone so charismatic and athletic. I really hope she wins that number one contender’s match to face Riho. 

You know what? Screw complaining about the alien gimmick. I totally embrace Kris Statlander as our lord and alien savior.

I would also like to give Bea Priestley come credit since she also worked hard here. The fact that she countered some of Statlander’s moves made her look pretty smart, and her offense wasn’t too bad either. It’s a shame that she was sacrificed in a literal Dark match since Priestley has a lot to offer for AEW’s women’s division. Lord knows we need more heels that aren’t a part of some kinky cult.

PAC and TH2 def. The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy



Kris Statlander might be my lord and savior but Orange Cassidy is everyone else’s. No complaints though because this man is O V E R. Give me another wrestler who can receive a reaction like Cassidy did when he gets tagged into the match, because this is the kind of noise I want to hear in all of my wrestling matches. I’d say that he had the crowd eating from the palm of his hands but they were mostly in his pockets here. 

Now, if you’re one of the many “old-school” wrestling fans who hates comedy wrestling, this probably wasn’t the match for you. Granted, it wasn’t all laughs since things were mostly serious when the other wrestlers were in the ring. However, there was a nice bit of development for Cassidy when he evaded a Bicycle Kick from PAC and gave him a Tornado DDT. It’s a small callback to when PAC booted him in the face during his match with Trent a number of weeks ago.

PAC and TH2 winning was the right call here. The Best Friends are still pretty over and are bound to get a win soon, while PAC has a pending rematch with Kenny Omega and TH2 desperately needs some wins. It’s a shame that Orange Cassidy had to debut some new offense in a losing effort but they could always be saving a big win for him in an actual episode of Dynamite.

Final Grade: With three very good matches and one inoffensive squash, I think it’s safe to give AEW Dark Episode 11 an A. Now, who else is willing to accept Kris Statlander as their alien warlord?

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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