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7 Ups & 9 Downs From AEW Dark (Oct 20)

16 matches in two hours doesn't make for a fun episode of Dark.

AEW

Two hours and six minutes is too long for an episode of Dark. When the web series is stretched to 16 matches, fatigue kicks in earlier, the pseudo squashes blend into one (with their near-identical layouts), and cherry-picking becomes a necessity. This episode was a big, mulchy soup with far too many ingredients, meaning no individual flavours stood out, undermining AEW's earnest attempts to push storylines forward in a handful of matches.

Among the highlighted performers were Wardlow, Jungle Boy, The Butcher and The Blade, Penta El Zero M, Ricky Starks, and Colt Cabana. The women's division was represented by a Brandi Rhodes squash and Diamante and Ivelisse's return to tag team action. Elsewhere, we got more competitive singles bouts pitting Shawn Spears against Christopher Daniels and Rey Fenix against Sonny Kiss.

A stodgy, overlong show necessitates a reminder that a Down isn't necessarily a condemnation. Nothing on this episode was outright bad, in fact. It's just that when you're served 16 courses of almost the exact same thing in a row, it becomes harder to be lenient when determining what is and isn't skippable. As always, you only need to watch the Downs if you're a particularly big fan of the performers.

Let's light the fuse...

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.