5 Ups & 3 Downs From AEW Dark (Oct 8)

Darby Allin vs. CIMA highlights AEW's first weekly B-show.

Darby Allin CIMA

Six days removed from Dynamite's well-received arrival on TNT, AEW debuted their new web series, Dark, last night.

The full show can be found on the promotion's YouTube channel. Comprised entirely of untelevised bouts worked before and after the Dynamite taping broken up by in-studio pieces featuring announcer Tony Schiavone, it looks like Dark is going to be a great vehicle to showcase those wrestlers who didn't make it onto the big show. AEW can't push and promote everyone at once, after all, and if they're going to hold these "dark" matches, they might as well tape and release them.

This episode featured four bouts, Schiavone's hype pieces, and a quick Dynamite recap. It was a light, breezy watch with some solid little 6-10 minute bouts. Should it become appointment viewing? That's hard to say, given how much pro-wrestling content is out there these days, but can fans really afford to skip shows from a promotion in which every single win and loss is supposed to matter?

With CIMA vs. Darby Allin, a Jurassic Express/SCU All Out rematch, and two other tags on display, AEW Dark wasn't without its teething problems, but largely delivered on expectations. Let's break it down...

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.