One of the highlights of the week for me is on Tuesday nights when I sit down and watch All Elite Wrestling’s AEW Dark, the company’s free YouTube show. Dark, which airs live on YouTube every Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. Eastern, features mostly short matches where established talent easily defeats inferior opponents, who are generally known as “jobbers” in pro wrestling terminology.
And frankly, sometimes just watching jobbers get squashed is good enough. I mean, take a look at this guy. The state of wrestling jobbers in the year 2021!
But AEW Dark is more than just the colorful jobbers. Much of the appeal of the show is the commentary duo who calls the matches – the masked Excalibur doing play by play while assisted by the ECW legend Taz. At worst, the two of them offer chill, competent commentary for matches that can not be very exciting. At their best though, they’re frequently hilarious as they actively try to make the other laugh.
And why do they do that? The current taping schedule of Dark, as AEW works through the current pandemic at its “home base” at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, probably is the source of this – as they tape hours upon hours of content in a single block. Sometimes during the early hours of the morning!
Frankly, imagine watching pro wrestling matches, many without a whole lot of stakes in them, for hours at a time while being expected to provide commentary. Wouldn’t you start just babbling about random gibberish after a while?
The long-running Botchamania video series, a ongoing collection of pro wrestling “botches” and other screwups from the overall world of pro wrestling, does a regular segment focused on AEW Dark, since Excalibur and Taz (mostly Taz) simply won’t stop saying absurd things. Here is an example! Here’s another one!
I could go on. It’s hard to say what will happen to AEW Dark as a show when the pandemic ends, as presumably it will return to being a show featuring matches taped before and after episodes of AEW Dynamite from whatever location they are broadcasting from that week. It probably won’t continue to be the weird adventures of two nerds trying to make one another laugh while competent wrestling happens in the background.
To sum this up, the “pandemic era” of AEW Dark has really helped me mentally this past year or so. Ridiculously long episodes (sometimes over two hours!) while an increasingly sleep-deprived Excalibur and Taz try their damnedest to stay interested. The show is solid pro wrestling, but also a good amount of laughs each and every week.
Enjoy your day, enjoy the day thread…and mostly just have a laugh at yourself or others. It’s good for you.