"Hangman" Adam Page def. Spencer Slade
I love whenever a notable name such as Page kicks off the show. I also love when his matches are kept short and sweet because there's no reason for him to be competitive with an unknown athlete such as Slade. Page hit his spots and won within a minute or two. It's worth noting that he put Slade away with a powerbomb, so it will be interesting to see if he uses that as an alternate finisher in the future.
Britt Baker def. Tesha Price
An Adam Page followed by a Britt Baker match? Are we are sure this is Dark: Elevation?! In all seriousness, Baker has made it clear that she's trying to boost her win-loss record so she can get closer to contending for the AEW Women's World Championship. Ideally, she should be beating enhancement talent as quickly as Page beat Slade, but Price has been all over these Dark shows for months and is pretty good, so I was fine with this lasting a little bit longer.
Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) def. Jay Lyon and Midas Black
We'll get the occasional Jurassic Express squash when they're booked to look dominant and win almost immediately. I don't know why it doesn't happen more often, but I appreciate it whenever it does. They're quickly climbing up the ranks, and although I'd love to see them contend for the AEW World Tag Team Championship at some point (and they still could), it feels like the focus is largely on Jungle Boy as a singles competitor considering he'll be getting an AEW TNT Championship shot this Wednesday on Dynamite.
The Hybrid2 def. Andre Montoya and Vary Morales
TH2 seem to be stuck in a spot where they'll beat the lower-level wrestlers but never win the more important matches. They're consistently fun to watch in the ring, but that's about it at this point. It feels like their matches lack motivation or urgency, but that might be a case of me not being able to take them seriously because of where they're slotted on the card. This was technically proficient yet nothing out of the ordinary.
Team Taz (FTW Champion Brian Cage and Ricky Starks) def. Mike Magnum and Stone Rockwell
As I've said before, I've been familiar with Rockwell's work for years and remember meeting him at an independent show over seven years ago. He's largely been a comedy character since then, but he seemed to take a more serious approach in this match, which was needed given who he was facing. Team Taz are trying to get back on the same page right now and after they both put away Rockwell here, it feels like their issues are thankfully behind them. The tag titles might be in their sights.
Abadon def. Skye Blue
I'm convinced nothing will ever change my mind on Abadon. I think the character sucks and that's about it. I'm aware that IMPACT has Rosemary and WWE has the Fiend version of Alexa Bliss, but maybe it's because AEW has never bothered to explain the character aside from that one time Hikaru Shida was scared of her. This was fine, but I was honestly more impressed by Blue than I was by anything Abadon did.
Orange Cassidy def. Prince Kai
I don't think I've seen Kai in action before, but getting that special introduction from Justin Roberts definitely helped him stand out. Unfortunately, that was the end of the night for him as he was instantly defeated by Cassidy as soon as he turned around. The funny thing is that I'll likely remember him more than most of the other independent wrestlers on this show because of that. We'll see if he's given more chances to shine in the future, but this was designed to be quick comic relief and I'll rarely complain about getting short matches on a show like this that's longer than it should be.
Private Party def. The Dark Order (Alex "3" Reynolds and Colt Cabana)
If Dark and Dark: Elevation were built around matches like this (storyline-significant but not important enough to be on Dynamite), the shows would be more bearable in my opinion. I'm surprised this wasn't saved for the main event and was instead thrown in the middle of the card. This feud has been all over AEW programming lately, but it feels like they're just exchanging wins at this point. This was a well-wrestled match and Private Party winning was the correct outcome, but other than a giant multi-man tag team affair, I'm not sure what the endgame is going to be for this rivalry.
Thunder Rosa def. Shawna Reed
This was only Reed's second match in AEW. She hasn't done anything overly special yet, but at least she has a unique look and seems to be decent in the ring. Then again, you can never have anything less than a quality match with Rosa, who is among the best in the world right now. She's racking up victories and is impressively splitting her time between AEW and the NWA. She's teased that she wants the NWA World Women's Championship back and I assume we'll get that rematch with her and Serena Deeb once Deeb is cleared.
Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor) def. Kit Sackett and Hayden Backlund
Best Friends are back on track after Trent was out injured for a few months. It's amazing when you think about how they've never held tag team title gold anywhere they've been. That has to change at some point, especially considering how popular they are. Giving them short and sweet matches such as this is a smart call as they continue to reestablish themselves as top title contenders in the division.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch and Ryo Mizunami def. Madi Wrenkowski and Nyla Rose
Hirsch is a hell of a talent and her getting to work with Mizunami is a hell of an opportunity. Mizunami's matches have lost their luster to me because some of the spots she does look silly, but she's still extremely experienced and lend a lot to an up-and-comer like Hirsch. Meanwhile, Wrenkowski has potential and Rose's booking is all over the place. All four women had a good match, but Hirsch is the one to keep an eye on.
Austin Gunn def. Aaron Solow
This was a part of the ongoing feud between QT Marshall's stable and Cody Rhodes' stable. For a match featuring two members of the actual roster, this was very bland, and not just because I don't care about the storyline. I know the heels can't win every match, but it is a little odd that Solow (a singles competitor) would lose to Austin Gunn, who doesn't have a ton of singles experience. Marshall punching Billy Gunn backstage later in the night sets up a bout between them for Tuesday's Dark.
"All Ego" Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky def. Dean Alexander and Carlie Bravo
I continue to question why AEW would take two guys who could be feuding with Darby Allin over the TNT title right now and put them in a tag team where the story is that both guys are disgruntled. I mean, who cares? AEW already has a million tag teams (is Sky still a part of SCU or not anymore?) and I don't see these two getting anywhere together beyond Dark. Their matches are consistently solid, but other than keeping them busy, throwing them in a tandem feels like lazy booking.
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, Konosuke Takeshita and MT Nakazawa def. Danny Limelight, Matt Sydal and Mike Sydal
Omega played up that he was upset about being Elevation, which was funny. Hey, I would be, too. In all seriousness, this has been building for over a month now since Omega and Matt Sydal started their mini-feud, so it made sense. The main events on Dark and Dark: Elevation don't typically get a ton of time, but I'm glad this was the exception since the AEW World Champion was involved. The outcome was never in doubt, but I was hoping they would work more of a frantic pace. Instead, it was fairly slow and ended abruptly I thought. Are we ever going to see Takeshita on Dynamite? You would never know he's been working with AEW if you don't watch the Dark shows.
God bless AEW for keeping the show under two hours this week, but an hour and 42 minutes is still too long. You could have easily cut out a few matches and it would have been even stronger. That said, getting Omega in action for a change was a pleasant surprise and made this episode more newsworthy than most. Several stars being showcased and feuds being furthered made this a thumbs-up show by Dark: Elevation standards. Paul Wight's sit-down interview with The Acclaimed was excellent, too.