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Is The Dark Order good in AEW, Evil Uno?

AEW, The Dark Order, "Hangman" Adam Page, Evil Uno, Alan Angels, Stu Grayson

2022 has not been a particularly good year for The Dark Order in AEW.

Sure, they’ve recorded a 26-17 record since the calendar turned over, with matches in AEW, Create A Pro, Prestige, and NJPW, and have watched on proudly as their good pal “Hangman” Adam Page held the top honor in Tony Khan’s promotion, the AEW World Championship. And yet, here we are, roughly halfway through the 2022 calendar year, and two members of the faction, Stu Grayson and Alan “Five” Angels, have already failed to come to terms on new deals, with a third, Colt Cabana, expected to stick to Ring of Honor due to his positive history in the promotion and his negative history with CM Punk.

While things could always change in a hurry, as TK has the resources needed to bring back Grayson, Angels, and Cabana if he needs the faction back together for something like the arrival of Windham Rotunda that could shake everything up in a major way – no, there aren’t any new rumors on the matter – when you consider the faction hasn’t been on television since all the way back in April, the question has to be asked: Is The Dark Order good, Evil Uno?

Where does The Dark Order fit into AEW’s plans moving forward?

Had “Hangman” Adam Page fully embraced The Dark Order in the leadup to his championship run, the prospects of the faction would have been much different in 2022.

After tragically losing their leader in 2020 due to the untimely passing of Brodie Lee, the suddenly-babyfaced unit latched on with the “Hangman,” who admitted to having applied for the unit after being abandoned by The Elite during a particularly drunken stupor. Though the two parties became fast friends on Being The Elite, with more than a few in-jokes that captured the hearts of aggressively-online wrestling fans – and confused the heck out of non-aggressively-online fans when their lawnmower in-joke made its way onto TV – “Hanger” was never really willing to officially join The Dark Order as their leader, instead opting to associate with the faction as work colleagues instead of full-on stablemates.

Though The Dark Order did come out to celebrate with Page after his big win and even wrestled with Page in a losing effort on Dynamite to the team of Adam Cole and reDRagon, the faction never quite incorporated the “Hangman” into the fold, and thus failed to celebrate in his ultimate accomplishments or comfort him in his ultimate defeat at the hands of CM Punk at Double or Nothing.

Since then, the two parties have interacted sporadically, with the most notable coming in a BTE segment in the leadup to Forbidden Door, but otherwise, Page had focused on his pursuit of Jay White/Okada and then the Rampage Rumble and the Dark order have wrestled the likes of The Factory and The Wingmen on Dark and Dark Elevation. They’ve wrestled outside of the promotion too, which isn’t unusual for Uno and company in the past, but now holds a particularly dubious distinction because it may signify the unit’s future unless Tony Khan finds a new angle from which to keep the unit going with.

AEW Games might be enough to keep Uno around as a content creator, as his collaboration with Adam Cole has been doing numbers on YouTube, but at his heart, “The Evil One” is a wrestler, with 18 years of experience, and even if he’s expanding out his Evil Empire to other ventures, laying his boots in the center of the ring at 34 probably isn’t what he’s looking to do at this point in his career.

Fortunately, there are a few interesting options available for the unit to go to war with if TK sees fit.

Though they probably won’t be wrestling with the Lucha Brothers anytime soon, as Penta and Fenix appear destined for a long and fun feud with Andrade EL Idolo and Rush of La Faccion Ingobernable, what about the House of Black? Okay, maybe they’re destined for something bigger, say, the Blackpool Combat Club, but what about The Best Friends? After a solid month of Trent Beretta tagging with Rocky Romero instead of Chuck Taylor, maybe a feud with The Dark Order could serve as a solid setup for whatever Khan has in store next, be that Men of the Year, or The Acclaimed plus Billy Gunn, who has fully abandoned his children to mentor a better team of tag competitors.

On July Fourth, 2023, maybe Evil Uno and Dark Order will be in the middle of a valuable feud and will have a special place on the AEW roster. Maybe they’ll be stalwarts of the upper mid-card, or have found a new leader who takes the faction in a different direction. Or maybe the unit will be a faction of one, with the name Evil Uno also serving as a completed attendance count. Either way, it’ll be a sight worth watching.