Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dark: A bunch of weirdos lost matches, and I complained about it a lot.
If you’d like to keep up with our ongoing coverage of AEW’s YouTube series that showcases the dark matches from the previous week’s Dynamite, you can follow the tag here. You should also be keeping up Brandon Stroud’s Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite for recaps of AEW’s flagship show.
First of all, you can watch AEW Dark here:
And now let’s talk about the Ins and Outs of AEW Dark for December 10, 2019:
All In: Mixing It Up
If we’re going to have really random dark matches on the Dark Match Show, my favorite kind are the multi-person matches where unconnected people get thrown together and have to build something entertaining. I feel like it’s a great way to get to know the roster. This one has Scorpio Sky, Jimmy Havoc, and Peter Avalon, three guys I like, and I enjoyed watching them together. I was happy Scorpio went over, letting us know that just because he lost to Le Champion doesn’t mean he’s done as a singles wrestler, despite also being a Tag Team Champion.
And yes, wrestling internet, I just said I like the Librarian Peter Avalon. Don’t get me wrong, he’s annoying as hell, but that’s just because he’s such a great ’80s-style heel. If he was on NWA Powerrr I feel like he’d fit right in, but in AEW he’s the only guy playing it quite so old school (including the actual old guys). I still don’t understand the deal with the Librarians to be honest. Leva’s playing babyface these days, but they show no sign of breaking up, and it’s not like they could have a proper feud as long as Khan’s rule against intergender remains in place (although Omega and Ford pushed the envelope on this episode, but we’ll get to that). The Librarians are either at the center of an incredibly subtle, complex slow-burn storyline, or they’re something ridiculous that nobody’s put any thought into at all. Or, since this is wrestling, they might turn out to be both.
All In: Dino Might
Finally, a win for Jurassic Express! A pin for Marko Stunt, even. Sure John Silver and Alex Reynolds are just visiting jobbers, but this still felt like a pretty valid match, and it’s probably about time to start the project of giving one of the most over babyface tag teams in AEW some wins. I liked that they let Jungle Boy sit this match out. Not only does it make sense to save him for his big Jericho match, but Marko and Luchasaurus seem that much more bananas as a team without a medium-sized guy to fill in the middle. They’re like the Twobadours of wrestling without the the Jerry Palter they need to be the Folksmen.
It’s a little weird how hard they’re pushing Luchasaurus being smart and educated now. I enjoy a Chrétien de Troyes reference as much as the next wrestling writer, but I don’t know that I needed it from a wrestling dinosaur. It’s fun that he talks like a normal dude but still claims to be an actual dinosaur, though. There are times when the blurry line between kayfabe and shoot gets pretty obnoxious, but there are other times when it adds to the fun. I’m still working out which this is, but I’ll let you know when I decide.
All In: It’s Swole’s World
I usually avoid the post-Dynamite reports about which matches were shot for Dark, but I figured there wouldn’t be any women’s matches this week, since there were actually two (plus women doing run-ins and cutting promos!) on the main show. I was ready to except that trade-off, but what I wasn’t expecting was a whole new segment on Dark devoted to the women’s division. So that’s pretty cool. It’s hosted by Lexy Nair, who I’d never heard of, and without being to harsh I’ll just say that listening to her talk made me wonder how she got a job talking. But then I learned she’s the daughter of top Cody crony Diamond Dallas Page, so that explains that. That’s fine though. She wears the hell out of a black dress, and hopefully she’ll get smoother with time and practice.
The main focus this week was a really excellent video package/interview with Big Swole. It did a great job of conveying who she is and making her seem likeable and important. This and the Shanna video we got before demonstrate exactly the kind of character introduction AEW needs to be doing more of, especially for the women’s division. I hope they do one of these every week.
It’s Fine, I Guess: Big Match Kenny
Whenever Kenny’s on Dark, it feels like the show is his personal playground to have the kind of long epic, dramatic matches he loves to have, and which Dynamite just doesn’t have time for every week. It’s not that his match with Kip Sabian was bad. Most of it was really good. It just tweaks my… I don’t know, cognitive dissonance to have Kenny acting like every match is life or death when it’s just Kip Sabian and they’re just pre-taping for YouTube.
Penelope Ford’s presence was interesting, and I liked seeing her and Kenny get into it. I mean sure, she hit that rana on the outside my first thought was “She’s no Zelina Vega,” but rationally I know that’s an unfair standard to hold anyone too, and even moreso in the realm of doing intergender hurricanranas at ringside. Ultimately I hope valeting for Sabian doesn’t keep Penelope out of women’s division action (I have basically the same concern about the Bunny), but it’s probably not a bad idea to do something else that gets you on TV while they sort out who the top women’s stars are and how long they’re going to give the women on a weekly basis.
That’s all for this week, join me next time for more wrestling too elite for TV.