The Ins And Outs Of AEW Dark 10/15/19: Lights Out

Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dark: The premiere episode featured an unnecessary tag team rematch, an eight-man chaos match, a solid women’s tag, and Darby Allin tearing it up in singles action against CIMA.

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 October 15, 2019:

All In: Non-Wrestling Segments!

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Look, I get that the existence of AEW can be traced back to the success of Being The Elite in the first place, but personally I’m a firm believer that the kayfabe backstage storytelling behind your wrestling matches should happen on the same shows as the wrestling. I’m still hoping that the nonstop action of Dynamite eventually makes a little space for a segment or two about the stories behind the matches, but in the meantime I was happy that this episode of Dark began with a locker room scene.

Just when Tony Schiavone is about to talk to the Young Bucks about Private Party, Kenny Omega rushes in and announces that he’s arranged for an unsanctioned dark match against Joey Janela. Nick and Matt are basically like “Kenny, come on, what are you doing?” which is exactly how they should react. Whether you’ve been following the larger “Kenny’s losing it” storyline or not, it sets up this show’s main event as a bad, dangerous idea, which is what it should be.

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There’s another segment later in the show where Cody Rhodes interviews referee Aubrey Edwards about her career, which has less to do with storytelling, but it’s still a lot of fun. Aubrey has really won me over since she started with AEW and quickly become probably my favorite wrestling referee working today (ironically taking that top spot from Bryce Remsburg, who’s also with AEW now). I like that they’re giving Aubrey a little spotlight here, and in general that they seem interested in letting their referees be characters.

All In: Remember These Guys?

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This Triple Threat is between three guys who’ve yet to debut on AEW Dynamite: The Librarian Peter Avalon (with Leva Bates, of course), Sonny Kiss, and Kip Sabian. The Librarian gimmick is stupid, of course, but it’s meta-stupid in this way that AEW seems entirely aware of, which has made me wonder if it’s leading somewhere, although the lack of Librarian action on Dynamite doesn’t seem to point in that direction. In any case, Avalon is a solid heel regardless of his gimmick, and I particularly like the moments early in the match when Kiss and Sabian keep tossing him out of the ring so they can have their own match.

Sonny Kiss is great, and I hate that he’s yet to make his TNT television debut. AEW seems to want cred for being willing to sign someone like him, but they don’t seem to want to actually push him. Hopefully that changes, maybe with the introduction of a midcard belt, which he would be a perfect contender for.

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Kip Sabian also belongs in a feud for that not-yet-existent midcard title. I don’t feel like I have a really strong sense of who Sabian is yet, especially compared to Kiss and Avalon, whose characters (and actual self, in Sonny’s case) are impossible to miss. On the other hand, at the beginning of the match Kip gives Sonny a look like, “Oh, so it’s like that,” which I quite liked.

The story of this match seems to be that Kiss and Sabian are trying to have a fun wrestling match with each other, but Avalon keeps getting involved because that guy’s the worst. Sonny already put the Librarian away at Fight For The Fallen, but the three-way gives Avalon more chaos to use to his advantage.

Leva Bates has to help take out Sonny, which keeps him somewhat protected as the finish becomes about Sabian and Avalon. Sabian hits the Deathly Hallow (British nerd that he is), and the Librarian takes another well deserved loss.

Let’s get these guys on actual TV sometime soon, huh? I want to see Sonny Kiss and Kip Sabian living up to their potential, and Peter Avalon and Leva Bates resolving whatever this Librarian thing is supposed to be so we can all move past it.

In And Out: Super Heel Party

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This week’s installment of “Well that sure was a dark match” is CIMA teaming up with SoCal Uncensored to face the Hybrid2 and the Dark Order. CIMA, being a veteran who can still go, fits in pretty well with SCU, despite having hair. On the other hand, it’s always weird when a heel team of cocky athletes teams up with a heel team of evil supernatural monsters.

But then again, are the Dark Order actually supernatural monsters? I’m starting to get the impression they’re just two guys who like video games and have despite to make themselves look scary. That doesn’t really explain the skull-faced minions, is the only thing.

As for the actual match, it was solid if as chaotic as you expect an eight-man dark match to be. Everybody got their spots in, and Kazarian and Angelico in particular got to look like badasses. Ultimately the Hybrid2 won the match for their side by taking out Scorpio Skye, continuing their Dark redemption tour. It was a little weird that the Dark Order didn’t look scarier, but maybe we’ve moved on narratively since they were menacing the Best Friends on PPV.

All In: The Janela And The Omega

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Do you like Unsanctioned Lights Out Hardcore Street Fight Violent Chaos Matches? Joey Janela really really does, and Kenny Omega’s clearly pretty into them too, when the mood strikes him right, so we get almost a full half-hour of that here. If you’re the sort of wrestling fan (no judgement) who doesn’t like watching guys go through tables and land awkwardly on steel steps, barriers, and piles of chairs, probably just skip this one.

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Personally I’m open to that sort of thing, and I thought this was pretty fun. I was a little distracted by the length, but that wasn’t really because the match dragged; it was because it took the overall show twelve minutes past the hour mark, whereas last week’s was almost exactly an hour. So I spent the last twelve minutes thinking, “this must be about to end, okay here comes the pin, nope that wasn’t it,” but that’s probably on me.

Kenny Omega, master storyteller that he is, keeps borrowing Jon Moxley’s moveset, to let us know who’s really on his mind as he brutally fights a guy he has no particular beef with (who also happens to have been Moxley’s first AEW opponent). If Omega’s a man obsessed, Janela’s a man who’s still trying to prove his worth, and he knows over-the-top violence is his greatest strength.

I really thought Janela might win this match, to continue the “what’s up with Kenny?” storyline, but Omega kept managing to get out of the way of the most brutal spots, and eventually he hit the V-Trigger and then a One Winged Angel directly onto a chair, and that was the end of Joey.

That means Omega has another win now, but since this was an “Unsanctioned” match, I guess it doesn’t count. This was a fun interlude for both competitors, but it’s time to get back to Omega and Moxley, which happens tonight with a tag match on Dynamite.

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That’s all for this week, join me next time for more wrestling too elite for TV!