A lot can happen in a year. Someone can go through a new hairstyle multiple times while relationships can come and go. One thing is for sure: the glow up for The Dark Order is something else.
It was this time last year when The Dark Order wasn’t a blip on anyone’s radar. The two primary members were Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, while John Silver and Alex Reynolds would join later. The “Creepers” were throwing people off, while a majority of the segments involving them would get booed. The lasting impression of the group in 2019 was a beatdown of The Elite, with phantom punches thrown.
It seemed as though the gimmick would flame out like Brandi Rhodes’ Nightmare Collective. And then, it felt like a flip of a switch. Now, they are the most over group in AEW.
Besides messages of recruitment through posters, the group was slowly used more on Being the Elite. Whether it was trying to recruit Hangman Page or Christopher Daniels, the group was slowly gaining momentum. They didn’t have the hottest start to the year, but as 2020 went on, the dynamic changed. The COVID-19 pandemic affected pro wrestling, but it didn’t stop AEW’s plans in bringing in The Exalted One, Brodie Lee. Now a member of AEW, Lee, who tragically passed away not long ago, helped legitimize The Dark Order.
The recruitment process improved. Preston Vance and Alan Angels, featured on AEW Dark, were welcomed into the group as 10 and 5. Recruiting wrestlers going through a tough time (losing streak), The Dark Order experimented with Colt Cabana and intrigued by bringing in the young Anna Jay into the fold. The group was improving, but something was missing.
Brodie challenged Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship and absolutely squashed him. That immediately transcended The Dark Order from an afterthought to a legitimate threat. They took over in the ring and on BTE, where Silver steals every single scene. Even when Brodie lost the title to Cody, via a Dog Collar Match, the significance of the bout did not go unnoticed. A true blood feud on live TV, it was the best of the new promotion in many ways.
Sadly, when Brodie passed, the wrestling world was in shambles. Everyone, however, wanted to join The Dark Order. There was a comradery there, especially with Brodie’s son donning a mask and coming out to the ring with the group.
It is hard to say where The Dark Order would be without Brodie, just like it is hard to say where they will be without them. The group is still making an impact somehow. Tay Conti, who has teamed with Anna Jay in the past, will have the group by her side when she challenges for the NWA Women’s Title on Dynamite. The group will continue to brighten people’s day on BTE, and the potential recruitment of Page will definitely have all eyes on them. Finding a new leader, if they plan to do so, will be hard, but the group appears to still have that spark within them.
Where does The Dark Order go from here? That is up in the air, but one thing is for sure: they aren’t going away just yet. How did this all happen? Some rewrites, a chance for the talent to let loose, and a lot of patience.
Cody has a saying where something or someone can go from undesirable to undeniable. That is where The Dark Order is at now. Are you ready to join them in 2021?