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Wrestling / The Dark Order

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The Dark Order is a Professional Wrestling Power Stable on All Elite Wrestling currently consisting of Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and -1 (Mr. Brodie Lee Jr.)note .

The group debuted at Double or Nothing 2019, only consisting of Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and a handful of Creepers, seemingly as a reference to supervillains seen on shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. While reception of the group was initially mixed, the group began to gain interest when Evil Uno started to release a series of vignettes in order to recruit new members, leading to the addition of former jobbers Alex Reynolds and John Silver.

Starting in 2020, Evil Uno began to tease the arrival of his superior, the Exalted One, who would later be revealed to be none other than Wyatt Family alumnus Luke Harper, now under his original ring name Mr. Brodie Lee. On the August 22 episode of Dynamite he defeated Cody to win the AEW TNT Championship, the Dark Order's first title. During this title reign, Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, with Stu Grayson and Evil Uno would fight various Facesnote  in an 8 man tag match at All Out 2020. Brodie Lee would hold onto the TNT championship for a few more week afterward, defending against Dustin Rhodes and Orange Cassidy before Cody reclaimed the title in a dog collar match on the October 7 episode of Dynamite.

Sadly, that match was the final one for Jon Huber, the man behind the Mr. Brodie Lee gimmick, as he passed away on December 26, 2020 from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, surrounded by his family and loved ones. Shortly before Huber's passing, his son Brodie (eight years old at the time) made his first appearance with the stable as Brodie Lee Jr., aka –1.

In 2022, the number of members in the Dark Order would slowly drain smaller. Grayson and Angels would leave AEW after their contracts were not renewed, Colt Cabana would become part of the roster of Tony Khan's re-imagining of Ring of Honor, Anna Jay would leave the Dark Order and become a member of the Jericho Appreciation Society, and Preston Vance would betray the Dark Order to work under Rushnote  after the former convinced him that the Dark Order was holding him back. In early 2023, Grayson has since re-signed with AEW and returned to the group in the process. As of this writing, Uno, Grayson, Silver, Reynolds and -1 are the only remaining members of the group.

Tropes below apply to the group's actions in AEW as well as their segments on Being the Elite.

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  • Aloof Ally: In the Dark Order's BTE segments, Anna Jay is usually seen sitting at the back of the room, not getting involved with the guys' shenanigans.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Matt Hardy and his namesake faction the Hardy Family Office, who vowed to destroy the Dark Order after "Hangman" Adam Page chose them over him. He would later go on to recruit Butcher, Blade and Bunny and continue to clash with the Order and anyone remotely associated with them following losing to Hangman in a Big Money Match at Revolution 2021.
    • The Elite. Not only were the Dark Order the first ones to stand against the newly reforged stable; tensions would only increase as Dark Order began championing Hangman Page’s claim to a shot at Kenny Omega’s AEW World Championship, with the The Young Bucks outright banishing Dark Order from Being The Elite.
  • The Artifact:
    • Evil Uno and Stu Grayson obviously don't have their video game gimmicks anymore, but their tag team finisher is still named the "Fatality".
    • The idea of the Dark Order being a cultish evil faction has mostly been dropped, but the creepy music, hand claw salute, and overall dark aesthetic remain the same.
  • Ascended Extra: What was originally just a tag team with an experimental gimmick would grow to become one of the top factions in AEW.
  • Bad Boss: As the leader of a cult-like organization that promotes the loss of individuality in the pursuit of power, Brodie Lee had a very casual attitude towards the welfare of the lesser members of the Dark Order. When Jon Moxley responded to Lee's theft of the AEW Championship belt by beating up one of Lee's favoured acolytes, 10, in the ring and threatening to break his arm if Lee didn't come out and return the belt, Lee appeared on the screen and coldly stated "We all have to make sacrifices" before walking off, abandoning 10 to the tender mercies of Moxley who went on to prove he was not bluffing. Not to mention what he had Evil Uno do to The Mole who'd infiltrated the Order...
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: On BTE episode 238 in a flashback to a New Year's Eve party (that didn't even happen on New Year's Eve) 10 talks about quitting a bad habit he picked up during the year, deciding to quit gambling while doing a pile of coke.
  • Beard of Evil: Mr. Brodie Lee retained his trademark beard, albeit more trimmed and groomed.
  • Big Entrance: On the July 28th 2021 edition of Dynamite, as the Dark Order and Hangman Page faced the Elite in a 5 on 5 elimination tag team match where title shots for the Elite’s AEW World and Tag Team championships were on the line.
  • The Big Guy: Preston “10” Vance served as such, being the tallest and most well built of the group.
  • Blood Knight: Stu Grayson is noted to have been born and bred for combat, and between him and Evil Uno is always the more anxious of the two for a fight.
  • Brains and Brawn: Evil Uno is the charismatic mastermind and Grayson is the physical behemoth, acting in accord.
  • Brick Joke: Around the time the first #JoinDarkOrder vignette aired, AEW launched - featuring a registration form to allow people to submit applications to join the Dark Order. Fast forward to February 2021, the website finally starts responding to the applications with the explanation that Five started going through the applications after Hangman Page offhandedly admitted to previously filling in the form.
  • The Brute: Stu Grayson is mostly in it to fight people and he's directed by Uno as a living weapon.
  • Bumbling Henchmen Duo: Silver and Reynolds are a comical duo of jobbers of the Dark Order. Evil Uno and Grayson are the more serious villainous pair of the bunch.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Silver was often the victim of Mr. Brodie's abuse due to his childish attitude and incompetent nature.
    • Evil Uno to a lesser extent, as he sometimes ends up being the one punished for Silver and Reynolds's incompetence, and his accomplishments tend to be overshadowed by Mr. Brodie preferring Grayson, 10, and 5 over him.
    • After Mr. Brodie Lee took his leave of absence, Alan Angels shifted positions with John Silver, becoming the victim of comedic verbal abuse from the rest of group. This was toned down after the A House Divided storyline.
    • Anna Jay constantly treats Stu like one.
  • Catchphrase: "Join the Dark Order/Join Us!" is their recurring battle cry among all members.
  • Combos: In tag matches, especially ones featuring Silver and Reynolds, the Order are notable for rarely using a tag team finisher to win (although Uno and Grayson use the Fatality). Instead they gang up on an opponent and hit them with a rapid sequence of fluidly-chained consecutive moves, culminating in the last man hitting his finisher.
  • Costume Copy Cat: -1 has a set of ring gear that is essentially a personalised variant of 10’s, his favourite member of The Dark Order, down to having his number written on his chest.
  • Costume Evolution:
    • Evil Uno wrestled shirtless in the early days, giving him something of a Fat Bastard appearance. He soon settled for wearing a vest in the ring, which combined with some weight loss made him look much more athletic.
    • Reynolds and Silver started out wearing matching trunks & masks; they ditched the masks whilst Reynolds switched from trunks to personalised tights.
    • Angels, like Reynolds and Silver, started out wearing generic “Dark Order” trunks and the traditional mask; he switched to personalised tights around the same time as Reynolds, and wound up getting a more personalised version of the mask as time moved on, before ultimately ditching the mask at the conclusion of the A House Divided angle.
    • Ten started out with a white version of the Dark Order mask; at the start of 2021, he switched to new mask with a stylised “10” design. The design was further modified to incorporate the Joker’s color scheme after the original mask was damaged in a match. He would later swap the Joker mask out for a White/Purple version of Deathstroke’s mask in September 2021. Then he switched to one inspired by Jason Voorhees, which he would wear until betraying the group, when he discarded the mask altogether.
  • Cult: This is what they appear to be depicted as in the vignettes, a widespread underground organization who could potentially be anywhere and anyone.
  • Custom Uniform:
    • Anna Jay wore a simple face mask rather than the full mask worn by her male counterparts.
    • Ten prominently wears white instead of black, in contrast to rest of the Dark Order. In early 2021, he began wearing a new mask with a stylised “10” design, as opposed to simply wearing a white version of the traditional mask; over the course of the year, Ten’s mask was damaged and replaced with a new version of the same design but in the Joker’s colors.
    • Reynolds and Angels started out wearing trunks that matched those worn by Silver; they eventually swapped these out for personalised tights.
  • Dark Is Evil: Well, they're not called Dark Order for nothing.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They switched to this following a collective Heel–Face Turn as a result of their popularity and Mr. Brodie's death.
  • The Dragon: Evil Uno, who is in charge of recruiting new members and leads the group in Brodie Lee's absence.
  • Dwindling Party: A non-fatal example. Throughout 2022, many members would leave the group. By the end of the year, only Uno, Silver, Reynolds and -1 remained:
    • Colt Cabana would quietly leave the group in March to be part of Ring of Honor, which was in the process of being acquired by AEW owner, Tony Khan.
    • Stu Grayson and Alan Angels left the group in May and June, respectively, after their AEW contracts expired. Though Grayson would make a one-night appearance in October, and would later return to the Dark Order after re-signing with the company in March 2023...only to leave the group again in June after joining The Righteous in ROH.
    • Anna Jay would quietly leave the group after aligning with The Jericho Appreciation Society.
    • Preston Vance severed ties with the group in late November after betraying them and aligning himself with La Facción Ingobernable.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Dark Order originally debuted at Double or Nothing 2019 as just the Grayson/Uno tag team with an assortment of nameless masked minions referred to as “Creepers” and remained in this format even as AEW Dynamite premiered on TNT in October 2019, with Grayson and Uno even taking part in the tournament to crown the inaugural AEW Tag Team champions; the first “#JoinDarkOrder” vignette didn’t air until a month after they were eliminated from the tournament, the Exalted One wasn’t mentioned until January 2020 with Evil Uno being portrayed as the leader of the group until that point, and slowly the various members of the group started being fleshed out on BTE, leading to Dark Order becoming a more comedic group that they were originally portrayed as.
  • Enfant Terrible: -1, Brodie Lee Jr, fits the bill. He regularly orders his subordinates around, verbally abuses Excalibur when on commentary, and occasionally hits wrestlers with kendo sticks.
  • Evil Is Petty: Mr. Brodie Lee spent his portion of the Dark Order’s (in-universe) Chillis sponsorship on six riding lawnmowers, despite not actually have a lawn. Why? Fuck Hangman, that’s why.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Out of all the members to leave the group, Vance is the only one to outright betray them, helping Rush beat Silver and Reynolds in an already handicap 2 vs 3 match, attacking Evil Uno and tearing his mask, and then throwing his own mask at a distraught -1.
    • The remaining members (Uno, Silver and Reynolds) collectively turned heel in the summer of 2023, turning on Hangman Page after he reunited with The Elite in the midst of his feud with the Blackpool Combat Club, with the Dark Order members believing that Hangman had abandoned them to reunite with his more successful former friends instead of being loyal to the people who had his back when he was at his lowest.
  • Fake Guest Star: Tay Conti still hangs around with the group a lot due to her friendship with Anna Jay, but she's yet to get a number despite being handed a contract on screen at one point.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mr. Brodie Lee. When he wanted to recruit someone he can be calm, amiable and courteous. Of course, that's all for the purpose of recruitment, since if he already has you or if you refuse his invitation his vicious temper makes you suffer.
  • Functional Addict: 10 apparently does drugs, most likely cocaine, leisurely and often offers it to other Dark Order members during BTE bits.
  • Gay Bravado: John Silver dips into this on occasion on BTE. Famously, an attempt to recruit Wardlow to the Dark Order failed when Silver and Reynolds did nothing but gush over how muscular and hot Wardlow is for the whole promo, to the point where they both completely forgot that they were supposed to recruit him.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Dark Order segments on BTE heavily tone down the sexual overtures, references to drugs, and general foul language if Brodie Jr is around.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The entire group made a collective face turn during the tribute episode following the passing of Brodie Lee, allying with various other face wrestlers to challenge and defeat a collection of heel teams in honour of the late Exalted One. While the episode, like the majority of wrestling tribute shows, is "non-canon", there were semi-canonical elements to it, such as the furthering of existing feuds between Lance Archer (who teamed with Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) and Eddie Kingston, Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa, and Cody (who teamed with 10 and Orange Cassidy), Darby Allin, Sting and Team Taz.
    • On night 2 of the 2021 New Year's Smash the group confirmed that they would be faces going forward, in honour of Brodie Lee. They supported Tay Conti for her match against NWA Women's Champion Serena Deeb and, rather than trying to cheat to help her win, Anna Jay only consoled Tay after her spirited loss. They later made a genuine attempt to befriend a depressed Adam Page, and even when he refused to join the Order (because of the trust issues he's been left with after losing his friends in The Elite) they were sad but accepting, and have even continued to help him during his feud against Matt Hardy.
  • Honorary True Companion:
    • Taynara Conti, who has been accompanied to the ring by various members of the Dark Order following her tag team partner Anna Jay joining the group.
    • Hangman Page, who turned down an offer of membership but ultimately reconciled a friendship with the group in early 2021.
  • A House Divided: After Hangman Page and Dark Order's loss against Kenny Omega and The Elite on the 7/28/2021 episode of Dynamite, Hangman blamed himself for the loss and Dark Order losing a shot at the AEW Tag Team championships and subsequently decided to step back from their alliance so that Dark Order would no longer be targeted by the Elite. Following this, Dark Order have been split between those who wanted to help him against the Elite versus those who felt it was best to respect his wishes, resulting in groups within the faction consisting of Uno, Grayson and Cabana, and Reynolds, Silver, Angels (5) and Vance (10), with Reynolds ultimately walking away from the group after tensions between himself and Uno reached a point. After he returned, Uno became the member who walked away when things got too hot, up until the September 29 edition of Dynamite when the combined forces of Anna, Tay, Negative One and Amanda Huber decided they'd had enough and forced all of them to reconcile, ending the bad blood.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Mr. Brodie Lee.
      • More recently, Mr. Brodie Lee Jr.
    • Dark Order is not a cult, just a supportive group of friends. After Brodie Lee's passing and the groups Heel–Face Turn, this ironically came to be true.
  • Ironic Name: Uno is still called Evil Uno despite having turned face following Brodie's passing.
  • Laughably Evil: They're an imposing threat on TV, but on Being the Elite they're prone to cartoonish antics. Some fans have compared them to a wrestling version of The Office (US).
  • Malevolent Masked Man:
    • Evil Uno and Ten are never seen without them.note 
    • Silver & Reynolds initially wore the masks, before gradually wearing them less and less before ultimately ditching them entirely.
    • The Creepers, who wore a black and green variant of the group’s standard mask.
    • Anna Jay briefly wore a mask in her entrances following her induction to the group.
    • Angels wore a mask until the climax of the A House Divided storyline.note 
  • The Man Behind the Man: Brodie Lee didn't make his presence known on AEW until March 2020, instead giving orders to Evil Uno behind the scenes and using him to recruit new followers.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Dark Order" as of itself is foreboding, but they're also billed as from "The Keep" (archaic word for a fortress) and their members include a man called Evil Uno and another known as The Exalted One.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Alan Angels and Preston Vance are only referred to by their assigned numbers of Five and Ten respectively, in contrast to the rest of the group - although this only extends as far as the Dark Order, with AEW’s announcers inserting the nicknames in the middle of their stage names.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Mr. Brodie Lee used rolls of paper to discipline his underlings, with Evil Uno and John Silver being his most common targets.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Dark Order is ostensibly a cult that preaches strength in numbers and self-empowerment, but in practice it brainwashes people into becoming mindless thugs of the megalomaniacal cult leader Mr. Brodie Lee.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • As bad as the Dark Order can be, everyone loves Trent’s mom Sue.
    • Being the Elite episode 225 has arguably the most aggressive chewing-out of the Dark Order by Brodie to date, after his having lost the TNT title to Cody in a dog collar match. Each member of the Dark Order gets their own personal and very loud "fuck you" for either not being at ringside to help during the title defence or for being otherwise inept. Finally, Brodie comes to Silver, who had made a valiant attempt at helping Brodie during the match, but ended up getting hurt and was sporting a huge bandage around his head and eye as a result. In a shocking turn, Brodie acknowledges this with a simple (if rather rough) pat on the shoulder and a simple, "You can stay", before throwing the rest of the Order out of "OUR room". For a comedy segment including perennial butt monkey John Silver, this was surprisingly heartwarming. Also counts as heartbreaking, because it would be Brodie's last appearance on BTE before his death in December 2020.
    • The December 30th 2020 episode of Dynamite, which was the Brodie Lee tribute episode and featured the Dark Order teaming with various faces throughout the night, featured the in-universe justification (Courtesy of Chris Jericho) that the face locker room had no love lost for the Dark Order, but had nevertheless embraced them for the night due to Mr. Brodie Lee’s untimely passing. The group would then go on to make a full-on Heel–Face Turn.
    • After Five went through the backlog of emails from the website to find the one sent by Hangman Page, Evil Uno pulled him to one side and told him how proud the rest of the group were of him for doing so.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: John Silver is on the smaller side of professional wrestlers, but he also tends to wrestle in a "strong man" style traditionally reserved for much bigger men. Usually this contrast is played for comedy, but he does have the legitimate athletic ability to back it up.
  • Red Baron:
    • “The Exalted One” Mr. Brodie Lee.
    • “Queen Slayer” Anna Jay.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Defied after Brodie Lee's passing. While his son Negative One is the unofficial new leader, the group has stated that they don't want someone to outright replace him.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The Creepers were all wrestling students. The idea behind having students as the Creepers was that they'd get time on camera in a low pressure environment. However, their inexperience caused them to make mistakes and miss cues, so they were quietly phased out.
    • Evil Uno & Stu Grayson were absent for several months as they were unable to travel from Canada and due to travel restrictions in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic; subsequently they had no part in the early months of Mr. Brodie Lee’s tenure in the group.
    • The real life passing of Mr. Brodie Lee led to the Dark Order undergoing a Heel–Face Turn, and AEW ultimately reworking any plans that were had for the group.
    • John Silver and Anna Jay both took time away from the group in 2021 due to shoulder injuries.
    • Hangman Page stepping back from his alliance with Dark Order, and Alex Reynolds walking away from the group during the subsequent A House Divided storyline, was necessitated by both men becoming fathers for the first time.
    • Part of the reason Dark Order's numbers depleted to just Uno, Reynolds and Silver over the course of 2022 - Grayson and Angels both left AEW due to a lack of opportunities, whilst Colt was moved over to the ROH roster and re-established as a solo act following Tony Kahn's purchase of the promotion.
      • And the logical opposite of this, Stu Grayson returning to the stable in 2023 was a result of Stu and AEW coming to terms on a new contract.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: The Dark Order's numerical scheme originated as a holdover from Uno and Grayson's time as the video game-themed tag team "The Super Smash Brothers", when they called themselves "Player Uno" and "Player Dos". They repurposed it to fit the Dark Order's theming by explaining that the organization assigned a number to all members to indicate their ranking relative to the Exalted One.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Befitting their name and status as a wrestling cult, the Dark Order uses darkness as a motif of religious worship.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Evil Uno & Stu Grayson’s finishing move is named “Fatality”.
    • Anna Jay’s number “99” is a reference to legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky, who wore that number during his playing career.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Initially they only had one female member, Anna Jay, who they recruited after she suffered an ego-crushing loss to Abadon. She wears a much more elegant masquerade ball-like mask than the male members do, though it was quickly decided for her to ditch it. After Anna had some moderate success in the Women's Tag Team Cup tournament teaming with Taynara Conti, the Order approached her for recruitment as well and she seemed receptive, although she has not as of the current moment made an official appearance as a member the group. When Anna was taken out with an injury, Tay basically stepped into this role as an associate member, with the full backing and support of the Order, even if she's still not an "official" member.
  • Straight Man:
    • Alex Reynolds serves as such to John Silver, thanks to a drier sense of humour and Silver being… well, Silver.
    • Hangman Page serves as one to the group following their 2021 Heel–Face Turn.
  • Team Dad: Colt Cabana ultimately serves in this role following the group’s Heel–Face Turn.
  • Token Evil Teammate: After the group’s Heel–Face Turn, Evil Uno is still named as such and continues to use tricks against his foe.
  • Token Good Teammate: Prior to the group's Heel–Face Turn, Colt Cabana, who generally seems to be oblivious to the Dark Order’s more malicious tendencies.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Silver and Reynolds tried this to imitate Mr. Brodie Lee before he caught them and made Silver climb off of Reynolds' shoulders so as to not look up at him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chili's and their baby back ribs due to the group's (in series) sponsorship with the restaurant chain.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The Creepers gradually disappeared from the Dark Order, without any further mention. Given that their disappearance coincided around the time Evil Uno and Stu Grayson returned from their pandemic-induced hiatus, this was probably due to the Dark Order now having enough full-fledged members that there was no longer any need for a gang of faceless randos to fill up scenes.
    • Numbers Eight & Nine began appearing alongside the rest of the group in April 2020, before disappearing after several months with no explanation as to their identities. note 
  • Villain Decay: They started out as a cult that would recruit fledging wrestlers and put them under the thumb of their oppressive leader Brodie Lee. However, their BTE antics made them popular amongst fans as they transitioned to more of a Laughably Evil stable before their formal Heel–Face Turn. Interestingly enough, this hasn't affected their in-ring ability as they are just as effective as when they were evil.
  • You Are Number 6: The entire Dark Order under Mr. Brodie Lee, although only Angels and Vance are commonly referred to as such.
  • Young and in Charge: -1 took charge of the group after his father's passing. He's still a child, with the rest of the group often having to rein in some of his impulses.

Alternative Title(s): Dark Order