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8 Ups & 5 Downs From AEW Dark (Aug 18)

A crammed episode, but don't sleep on Dark's high points: especially Ricky Starks.

AEW

Last night's was a bumper episode of AEW Dark ahead of a disjointed few weeks of programming for America's second biggest wrestling promotion, who presented 11 matches across a runtime closer to two hours than one, making this one of the web series' most packed outings yet.

The bulk of it worked. A handful of bouts suffered from the usual repetition problem, with the squashers unwilling to stray from their usual formulas. It's hard to blame them too much for doing this on the B-show, which catches less than half the eyes the average episode of Dynamite does, though it doesn't make for compelling viewing.

Lance Archer, The Butcher and The Blade, Billy Gunn, Ricky Starks, Lucha Brothers, Abadon, and Santana and Ortiz were amongst the highlighted performers here. Their outings varied in effectiveness, though some of the good stuff on Dark was really good by the show's usual standards. Had AEW trimmed the fat down to, say, 45 minutes, this would have been an incredibly watchable episode.

The usual Dark Ups and Downs system applies here: Ups are worth watching, Downs are skippable unless you're into 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.