AEW on TNT: The Dark Order – The Best Team You Didn’t Remember

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Photo: Oli Sandler / Ringside Perspective

After only a handful of shows under their belts, All Elite Wrestling is quickly establishing a plethora of fan favorites on their roster approaching their upcoming weekly show, Wednesday Night Dynamite. People like Riho, Private Party, and Luchasauras have all become favorites amongst fans who were previously unaware of their existence. On the other hand, some wrestlers have not gotten off on the right foot with the AEW faithful. One such case of this is the Canadian tag-team Super Smash Bros., now known as The Dark Order.

Photo: Scott Lesh

The team currently recognized for the masked “creepers” that accompany them to the ring and aide them to victory are both veterans of the ring. Having a combined 30 years of wrestling experience between them, they are no strangers to the wrestling ring. They have also been put over by many of their peers as one of the most underrated tag teams on the planet. Despite this, however, many fans have failed to see the appeal of the duo. So today, let me tell you a brief history of The Dark Order, and why you should believe the hype.

Arkham Origins

Since the mid-2000s, the men currently known as Evil Uno and “Player Dos” Stu Grayson have brought retro video games to the world of independent wrestling. Born in separate parts of Quebec, Canada, Uno & Dos came into the wrestling world within close proximity of one other, with only a year and a half separating each man’s debut date. Due to their shared love of retro video games, as well as their quickly established friendship, they were a natural fit as a tag team. Starting in 2006, “Player Uno” and “Stupified” would team up throughout the Quebec area under the name “Triforce” and quickly becoming one of the top teams in the scene.

By early 2007, the team had their eyes on the International Wrestling Syndicate tag team championships; Arguably the largest company in the area at that time. The team, now officially known as the Super Smash Brothers, challenged Team 2.0 for their championships and were able to walk away with their first pieces of gold in their short tenure. After a lengthy 180+ day reign, they finally lost the belts in March 2008, right around the time they started doing dates south of the Canadian border.

The New World

In late 2007, Uno & Dos made their first tag-team appearances outside of Quebec, traveling down to Philadelphia to compete in CHIKARA. In the place where over the top characters thrive, The Smash Bros truly made a name for themselves in Chikara, being invited back repeatedly throughout 2008. As the Summer came along, in fact, Uno & Dos started picking up big wins against F.I.S.T. and The Osirian Portal before getting a shot at the CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas titles. In the main event match of the evening, SSB beat Incoherence to claim their 2nd pair of championship belts since their partnership began. Despite losing the belts a month later, this laid the groundwork for their eventual surge into the American independent scene.

With the Chikara titles on their resume, Player Uno and Player Dos were brought in by Ring of Honor to do some dark matches in late 2008 before making their official debuts for the company a year later. Following their debut, The Super Smash Bros continued to wrestle independently throughout New England and all across Canada in 2009 and 2010. When they finished up with ROH in August 2010, Uno & Dos continued to wrestle, but to less fanfare than during their stints with ROH & Chikara. That was until a trip to the West Coast changed everything.

Manifest Destiny

Moving into 2011, the Kings of Co-Op continued to wrestle in new companies such as Beyond and EVOLVE, as well as new companies in their home country of Canada. This was also when they made their Pacific debut in none other than the independent juggernaut, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Alongside appearances at other SoCal companies like NWA Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, Uno and Dos wrestled their first match for PWG in a losing effort against the RockNES Monsters. This started the team’s most notable run of their careers, as they would become regulars for PWG as 2011 came to an end.

2012 marked SSB’s 7th year as a tag team, and they showed no signs of slowing their ascent to the top of independent wrestling. They walked into the year with the NSPW tag team championships in Canada, belts they would hold for over a year. This was coupled with a newfound success that came their way in PWG, where they ended their losing streak in the company at PWG World’s Finest against the Young Bucks. Now, gaining a pinfall victory over the Young Bucks is no easy thing to do, but they were able to carry this momentum into their first-ever DDT4 tournament. Uno & Dos were ironmen in the grueling tournament beating top teams in PWG on their way to victory. Then, in their most important match to date, SSB defeated The Young Bucks once more in a Guerrilla Warfare match to become the new PWG Tag Team Champions.

Atop the Leaderboard

As 2012 continued, so did the Smash Bros.’s reign atop of independent wrestling. Soon after claiming the PWG tag titles, Uno & Dos would also be able to win the 2CW Tag Team Titles from The Briscoes as well as make their debuts for Dragon Gate: USA in the summer of 2012. The summer also saw the Super Smash Bros. defend the PWG titles for the first time in a triangle ladder match at PWG Threemendous III. In a match that arguably put the duo on the map, Uno & Dos were able to overcome both the Young Bucks and Future Shock to retain their crown. They defended the PWG Titles only one more time before the year ended with a non-title loss to the Dojo Bros.

2013, on the other hand, started in quite a negative way, with Uno separating his shoulder in the first round of DDT4 2013, losing the PWG Titles in the process. The year continued to produce bad news for the tag team as they were struck with multiple visa issues when attempting to wrestle in the United States. Uno & Dos were forced to vacate the 2CW Tag Team Titles in February 2013 after seven successful defenses of the titles. The pair competed during Wrestlemania Weekend 2013 for WWN affiliated companies before no longer being able to take US bookings as a team for over six years.

The Dark Ages

After returning to Canada full time in the middle of 2013, the Super Smash Bros started losing a lot of the buzz that had grown over their years competing in America. In response, Uno & Dos started wrestling in the top independent promotion, SMASH Wrestling. They continued to wrestle as singles wrestlers and as a team throughout 2014 and 2015 but went through a 2-year dry spell without holding championship gold. During this time, Player Uno made a guest appearance on a New Legacy Inc.’s Charity Livestream in affiliation with C4’s Fighting Back 5. Christened “The Big Dog” to Player Dos’s “Wild Cat”, he was refamiliarized to many fans who hadn’t seen him in quite some time.

Late in 2015, however, things began to change. After being known as Player Uno and Player Dos for many years, a radical change was made to both men as their first European tour came along. Now known as Evil Uno & Stu Grayson, The New SSB was meaner and grittier than the team known to many fans in the US. Traveling across the pond for the first time in their careers, SSB brought their new personas to Westside Xtreme Wrestling and IPW: UK in October 2015; They haven’t looked back since.

Return From Exile

For the following years, both members of the Super Smash Brothers continued wrestling through Canada. In 2016, Evil Uno was able to compete at PWG’s Bowie as well as both nights of All-Star Weekend 12. Uno put on great matches against the likes of Mike Bailey and Chris Hero in what was his first American wrestling appearance in 3 years. 

The dynamic duo resurfaced into the mainstream wrestling scene in 2018 when they were featured on the ROH War of the Worlds Toronto show in May. Handpicked by former rivals the Young Bucks, Uno & Dos went to war against their favorite contemporaries for the first time in multiple years. While they were unable to pick up the win, the Super Smash Brothers made enough of an impact to get invited back to ROH to challenge tag champions SoCal Uncensored on November 11th, 2018.

DARK ORDER TRES
Picture Credit: ROH

After a short European tour as a team, SSB took a break as a team, focusing on their singles careers during the early months of 2019. The team then made their shock debut at All Elite Wrestling’s first show, Double or Nothing. The team, forgotten by the fans who had once adored them, attacked Best Friends and Angelico & Jack Evans and instantly inserted themselves atop the tag team division in AEW. Their addition to the AEW roster has also allowed them to make their long-awaited return to various US Indies, most notably their former home away from home, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

Correcting the Order

Now that you know their history, it’s time to talk about the fact of the matter here; The Dark Order is a tag team to watch going into AEW’s television debut. After getting to the top of the independent mountain in 2012, Uno and Dos were victims of circumstances and lost the buzz that likely would’ve brought them to superstardom. Now that they have the chance to right that wrong, they have delivered strongly since their AEW debut at Fight for the Fallen and will be huge benefactors to the upcoming tag team tournament. Whilst many new fans are yet to come around to The Dark Order in AEW, it is only a matter of time until everybody recognizes just who they are; The best tag team you didn’t remember.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific starting October 2nd, live on TNT.

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