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9 Ups & 4 Downs From AEW Dark (Sep 2)

Pour one out for The Initiative.

AEW

Excalibur quietly returned to the AEW announce booth last night, calling his first All Elite show since footage of him using a repulsive racial slur in an old indie promo resurfaced in late July. A few notes on that before diving into the Dark review.

The terminology used in the former PWG man's feud with Human Tornado is unacceptable and repugnant. Him sticking around on television would have created terrible optics, so stepping away for a short while was the right move. Excalibur, to his credit, reportedly made the decision himself.

This is not a Hulk Hogan situation, however. Tony Khan banned the ageing legend from AEW shows because Hogan offered only an insincere "sorry you got offended" non-apology in response to his own racism. Excalibur, meanwhile, has apologised profusely for an incident that occurred the best parts of two decades ago. By all accounts (including Tornado himself), he has atoned for it, accepted his wrongdoing, and learned. That doesn't justify what happened, though it is a sensible and reasonable response.

That's why Excalibur returning to AEW television, at this stage, is appropriate.

Last night's Dark experienced a significant upturn in quality, despite persistent problems. Franke Kazarian, Allie, Private Party, Ricky Starks, and Abadon were amongst the highlighted names. 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.