Don’t Get Too Excited About The Dark Order Mini-Reunion In NJPW, AEW Fans
When the news broke Alan “5” Angels of the Dark Order was leaving AEW after failing to agree to a new contract with Tony Khan and company, it looked like a big deal in the grand scheme of the faction’s future in the promotion.
Of course, they lost Stu Grayson in a similar contract dispute earlier in the year, and he was one of the founding members of the original Dark Order label team – who, funnily enough, was called originally The Super Smash Brothers and featured very different outfits. – and the faction of AEW alongside evil unobut the performer formerly known as “Stupified” had left dynamite/Carnage since March and apart from a few Dark matches was largely absent from the promotion.
But the angels? The Angels were struggling all the time in AEW, with 20 matches in AEW one way or another, compared to just 10 by Grayson. He was a staple of both be the elite and Sammy Guevara’s vlog and was widely regarded as one of the promotion’s greatest businessmen who would happily take an L if need be or operate in a variety of different team setups, from solo to squads. mixed tags, and even multi-man matches.
Losing Angels, while nowhere near as impactful as, say, losing CM Punk to a broken foot, or Kenny Omega to a series of surgeries, presents even more of a changing of the guard in promotion. of Tony Khan, with old stalwarts from its first three years of operation becoming memories of a bygone era.
So naturally, when fans learned that Uno and Angels were once again teaming up under the Dark Order banner, with an Aussie Open fight booked for NJPW strong, it was like a huge relief; even if the Angels weren’t going to appear regularly in AEW, the Dark Order could transcend where each artist works at any given time to become a kind of faction for the Forbidden Gate era.
…except that’s not what happened. No, as disappointing as it may be for the narrative, this match, which officially aired on Saturday July 16, was actually filmed since June 16, approximately two weeks before his AEW free agent status was announced. be officially made public. While the team could theoretically reunite again in the not-too-distant future, with Angels having previously suggested that he’d like to wrestle alongside Grayson again on a proper two-man tag team, that has yet to happen.
Fortunately, history shows us that AEW has no problem allowing wrestlers to continue their previous freelance work even after signing with the promotion, as more than a few tag teams in recent memory clearly show.
AEW has no problem with their wrestlers changing things up in the Indies.
Before they were both members of the House of Black, Malakai Black and Brody King were The Kings of the Black Throne, a crossover promotional tag team in Pro Wrestling Guerilla that included an AEW roster member and an artist. who was then engaged for Ring of Honor and New Japan. While King eventually made his way to AEW as well and was a smash hit for everyone other than Darby Allin, their initial union was forged on mutual respect and a compatible in-ring style, not a planned union. pre-ordained by Tony Khan. to have a “trial” before becoming All Elite.
This pairing is not unique to Black and King, however; no, JD Drake teamed up with Anthony Henry long before the Workhorsemen were regularly booked for DarkOrange Cassidy teamed up with Kris Statlander at NYWC/Outlaw Wrestling King & Queen Tournament long before joining Best Friends, and even “Pretty” Peter Avalon found a second life teaming up with Ray Rosas as PPRay.
Now granted, these situations are slightly different, as the number of AEW wrestlers who have been released from the promotion to continue outside of the promotion with their former in-ring performers is rather low, and all teams with a Tony Khan- l contract interpreter eventually surrenders Dynamite, Rampage, DarkWhere Elevation – no offense to Flip Gordon and/or KC Navarro, but they probably won’t be linked to Ring of Honor anytime soon – but the Dark Order is different as the majority of the team remains under contract and Brodie Lee will remain the one of the promotion’s true legends, whether it lasts another year or until Tony Khan Jr. decides he doesn’t want to keep his father’s business going. If the script is right, Stu Grayson and Alan Angels may end up under contract without even lifting a finger, and if they can tear it up in the Indies, they just might be able to put on enough to warrant a second run in the promotion. by themselves.