"Hangman" Adam Page def. Bill Collier
Page doesn't ordinarily compete on the Dark shows, so this was a treat. It was a smart call to have him kick off the show too because of his star power. Collier doesn't stand out as special in any way, shape or form, so I'm glad this was kept short and sweet with Page winning within a minute or so. I hope Page finds some direction soon because he's doing a whole lot of nothing at the moment.
Varsity Blonds def. Dean Alexander and Carlie Bravo
Varsity Blonds are coming along real nicely. I'm stunned they haven't been secured to full-time deals with the company yet (at least to my knowledge), but that might be because he's still under contract to MLW (I honestly had no idea he was still wrestling for them in 2021). Unfortunately, this wasn't one of their finer showings, and their tag team finisher in particular looked rough. This show is meant for development, so hopefully this was just an off week for them.
Britt Baker def. Alex Gracia
Baker started off the match offering Gracia a handshake, and like a fool, Gracia accepted it. Baker quickly turned that into her finisher and Gracia tapped out almost instantly. In short, this was exactly what it needed to win. Baker is building her case for a much-deserved shot at the AEW Women's World Championship, and the more wins she stacks up, the more likely it is that she'll get it sooner rather than later.
Preston "10" Vance def. Danny Limelight
Vance has been getting more and more exposure as of late in singles competition and it's nice to see because he definitely has potential. I envision him being a breakout star down the road, but I don't think his time will come while a member of The Dark Order (especially while he's masked). Limelight has a tendency to make everyone he's in the ring with look even better than they are, so this was a fun sprint.
Big Swole def. Jazmin Allure
Swole is still in the rebuilding phase, so it makes sense that she keeps picking up win after win. I don't know when she'll be back on Dynamite, but at least she's working her way toward that. Allure hasn't left a lasting impression on me in any of appearance on the Dark shows, but at least this was kept relatively short and sweet with Swole going over decisively as she should have.
MT Nakazawa def. Vary Morales
I can't stress enough how little I care about Nakazawa's matches. I realize he's a comedy character, but the comedy he's doing is terribly unfunny. I guess the idea is to give him win so his losses mean more, but I don't think the result of most of his matches against established talent is ever in doubt. Instead, this was a complete waste of time. The longer this went on for, the more painful it was.
Lance Archer def. Baron Black
Not only is Archer decimating dudes always a treat, but now we're getting Jake Roberts on commentary for his matches. Awesome! It's interesting because Archer does most of the talking for his promos nowadays, so I'm glad they've found a role for Roberts and he isn't completely pointless as Archer's manager. At any rate, this was your typical squash as Archer continues to tease something with Sting, whatever that may be.
Ryo Mizuanmi def. Tesha Price
The more I see of Mizunami, the less I enjoy her matches. Her over-the-top mannerisms and chops in the corner specifically look ridiculous. I guess it's all a matter of preference, but I have no issue with her being relegated to the Dark shows at this point. Price is a work in progress, but she had a decent performance here in what was a perfectly fine match on the whole.
Max Caster def. Colt Cabana
Anthony Bowens is still hurt, but at least he's back to making appearances at ringside for Caster. I've said this before, but I've been really digging Caster's singles run. If The Acclaimed ever break up (and they shouldn't), he could find some success on his own. He's defeated several members of The Dark Order in recent weeks and now he can add Cabana's name to the list after what was an above-average match by Dark standards as he prepares to take Adam Page on Wednesday's Dynamite.
The Butcher, The Blade and Private Party def. Adam Priest, RYZIN, D3 and Fuego Del Sol
Why must every Butcher and Blade match start with them attacking their opponents before the bell? I know they do it to be different, but it's gotten too formulaic. At any rate, this was a pretty one-sided squash in favor of Matt Hardy's faction. Butcher and Blade do nothing for me and I have no idea why they're associated with Hardy. They're currently feuding with The Dark Order, so this set them up for that.
"Big Money" Matt Hardy def. Alan "5" Angels
Hardy was just at ringside for the previous match, so he might as well have stayed there to save time, but I guess it was characteristic of "Big Money" Matt to make another entrance. His faction has been feuding with The Dark Order lately, so it made sense for him to take out Angels here in what was a nice match while it lasted. Hardy addressed Darby Allin in his post-match promo, so I'm curious if that will be the Double or Nothing matchup for the AEW TNT Championship or if they'll clash before then.
"All Ego" Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky def. Mike and Matt Sydal
So, are Page and Sky the disgruntled midcarders? They just need to steal Shawn Spears away from The Pinnacle and the package will be complete. In all seriousness, I just don't get it. Sky just got out of a tag team (despite SCU never saying he actually left the group), and Page doesn't need to be another team from the get-go. In that case, take advantage of the IMPACT partnership and reunite him with Josh Alexander for goodness sake. This was a pretty good main event, but I hate the idea of Page and Sky joining the tag team ranks if that's where their alliance is going.
The Showcase segment that debuted on this episode with John Silver hosted by Paul Wight is exactly what I want to see more of on Elevation. It was around six minutes long and featured Silver talking about his journey, his motivations and more. The card consisted of 12 matches, and while I maintain that's too many, I appreciated that the show was kept on the shorter side this week at around an hour and 30 minutes. That's an acceptable amount of time and I enjoyed the matchups more than usual as a result.