Does AEW Have a (New World) Dark Order?

AEW's much-maligned group has taken on some serious NWO undertones the last two weeks ...

The Dark Order attacked the Young Bucks

The Dark Order has been a maligned group in AEW. From their debut over the summer to the ill-timed push the group has been receiving since AEW Dynamite debuted on TNT this past fall, every step for the Dark Order has been met with heavy criticism.

Not enough was done to build the characters. Formerly the Super Smash Brothers, no explanation was given to longtime wrestling fans on why the team had new personas. At the same time, to new AEW fans who maybe didn’t see the Super Smash Brothers in ROH or the indie scene, little was done to introduce them or tell the audience their backstory.

They were this group of evil, who had followers in masks, and they existed merely to exist. One of AEW’s biggest missteps since the launch of Dynamite was the main-event angle on the Dec. 18 episode, when the Dark Order took out all of The Elite, and then initiated two enhancement wrestlers who had lost every match on television. This, by the way, was all while the company was charging towards a bye week on TNT.

This week the Dark Order didn’t appear in front of the live crowd. Instead, there was a backstage promo video segment that aired. Prior to the message, a graphic appeared and read, “The following message was paid for by The Dark Order.”

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Wait … where have I seen this before? A group with “Order” in the name, and a pre-taped promo with the disclaimer before it.

The NWO! That’s it! The NWO!

There was a mystery person off-camera during the video that said, “wonderful” in a distorted voice, right at the end. Who could that be? Is that the Dark Order’s version of a “higher power” figure?

Finally, there’s some intrigue to this group. And now the possibilities are endless. With so many NWO comparisons — the NWO initiated members with t-shirts, and we saw the Dark Order do it with masks — could it be the recently-fired Eric Bischoff? What about Kevin Nash? Scott Hall? X-Pac?

I don’t think it’s Bischoff. When this storyline started Bischoff was with WWE as an executive producer and there was no way to know he would get fired a few months later. My bet is it’s someone like Kevin Nash, who could come into the company in a managerial or “head coach” type role, similar to what Arn Anderson is now doing for Cody and his Nightmare Family.

Nothing about Nash’s history in wrestling would suggest he is a cult leader, which is definitely the vibe the Dark Order has going right now, but he would make a lot of sense from a practical standpoint. There’s also James Mitchell or even Kevin Sullivan, although they had little connection to the NWO, and there are definite NWO undertones to this group the last two weeks.

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