Lance Archer def. Zachariah
Archer did the gimmick where he brought his opponent down to ringside with him. I can't remember the last time he did and I love it whenever he does. He's a Texas guy, so the crowd loved him here. Having Archer completely kill Zachariah almost immediately was the right call heading into his Texas Death match with Jon Moxley for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship this week on Dynamite.
Best Friends (Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor) def. Chaos Project
Wheeler Yuta accompanied Best Friends to the ring alongside Kris Statlander, so it looks like he'll be sticking around in AEW for the time being and that's great news. Best Friends is down a man with Trent being out hurt for the remainder of the year most likely, so Yuta is a nice fit for them. Putting that aside, this was your typical comedy match from Best Friends. This wouldn't have worked as well without a crowd. It's not exactly my cup of tea and I can understand why some would've hated it, but personally, I didn't mind it. The Blade and The Bunny emerged afterward to hype up Blade vs. Cassidy on Wednesday night.
Hikaru Shida def. Dulce Tormenta
Is it not strange to anyone else that Shida hasn't acted the least bit concerned with getting back the AEW Women's World Championship since losing it to Britt Baker at Double or Nothing two months ago? It's not like she disappeared from AEW all together because she was devastated by the loss. Rather, she's been relegated to the Dark shows and winning matches but hasn't gotten much mic time (if any) at all, and we know her English isn't that bad. This wasn't Shida's best squash, and it was more competitive than it needed to be, but the end result was never in doubt.
Powerhouse Hobbs def. Lucas Chase
We learned that Chase is a student of Dustin Rhodes, which is why he had his entrance music. It didn't end up mattering, though, since Hobbs absolutely decimated the dude and made quick work of him. I know nothing about Chase other than who he was trained by and I didn't need to know much else because this was all about Hobbs. By the way, Ricky Starks coming out with Hobbs while wearing the FTW Championship belt confirmed that this was taped after last week's Dynamite.
Frankie Kazarian def. Baron Black
I'm fine with Black getting more offense than most of the enhancement talent AEW uses because he's been around for so long. Granted, he's never stood out as special to me, but he does an effective job of making his opponent look good as he did here with Kazarian. It was an average outing on the whole. Kazarian attacked Brandon Cutler afterward only to get laid out by Doc Gallows, who he will be facing on Dynamite this week in a newly-announced match.
Jungle Boy def. Angelico
The crowd went bananas (see what I did there?) when Jungle Boy's music hit. Holy shit, that kid is over like crazy. He still has work to do on the talking front and in the ring as well, but he's a future star no doubt. He and Angelico had the best bout on the whole show, and given the level of talent between them, that should have been expected. I liked that they were given an ample amount of time and the crowd was into the action. Jungle Boy's ascent to super stardom has been a blast to watch.
Red Velvet def. Julia Hart
Both of these ladies are established babyfaces, so I was curious who the crowd was going to side with more. Velvet has been around longer, but she hasn't been on Dynamite in a few months while it feels like Hart is on quite a bit in some form or fashion. This didn't light the world on fire or anything, but it was a passable match between two up-and-comers with potential. Velvet's new finisher looks like MVP's old Playmaker move but cooler.
Gunn Club (Billy and Colten Gunn) def. Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson
Billy is way more experienced than the rest of these guys, so as much as I dislike Gunn Club, he played the veteran role well. I have no idea where Austin Gunn has been lately, but Billy and Colten have been a decent team having decent matches. They're more established than Johnson and Anderson, who are still trying to find their footing in the ring, so the outcome made sense. It was a perfectly fine affair. The finish came off a bit awkward, though.
Luchasaurus def. Fuego Del Sol
Don't get me wrong, Jungle Boy's entrance music is amazing and very catchy, but Luchasaurus should have come out to the Jurassic Express music here because the crowd was confused before he made his entrance upon hearing Jungle Boy's song. This was a way quicker squash than I was expecting considering how beloved Fuego was. I would have had him last a little longer, but on the bright side, Luchasaurus' finisher looked sick.
Dante Martin def. "Captain" Shawn Dean
Man, when the hell are we getting Darius Martin back? Has there been any update on his timetable for returning? Hopefully he's okay. As I've said several times before, Dante has been doing great work in the absence of his partner, including here. He's definitely more of an aerial artist than he is a storyteller, but his matches are always fun. That said, it would have been nice to see Dean pick up the rare win here.
Serena Deeb and Tay Conti def. Vertvixen and Jazmin Allure
Conti has been having the same squash matches on Dark and Dark: Elevation for months, and while it's been good for her development, I've been begging AEW to do something different with her or give her tougher competition. Granted, she faced another two enhancement opponents here, but at least she got to team up with Deeb. Deeb has shown heel tendencies in her last few matches but not as much here. I'd love to see Conti vs. Deeb again at some point after the chemistry they had the last time they went one-on-one.
Penta El Zero Miedo and Eddie Kingston def. The Wingmen (JD Drake and Cezar Bononi)
Bononi and Drake cut a promo beforehand revealing that Peter Avalon and Ryan Nemeth couldn't make it due to being held up at the airport, or something along those lines. Well, the airport did us a favor this week by sparring us two members of The Wingmen. I kid, I kid... kind of. Thankfully, this was a total showcase for Penta and Kingston, who work really well together as partners and are really over as a team. They also sent the crowd home happy with a post-match promo.
Cramming 12 matches in 90 minutes still feels like a lot to ask of the audience in attendance, but to the crowd's credit, they were alive for most of these matches and weren't as quiet as last week's crowd. That's also probably because the matchups were a bit more interesting and featured more star power. An hour would be ideal, but 90 minutes is serviceable. The show served its purpose in giving certain wrestlers more experience and exposure as well as boosting the win-loss records of others, so I have no complaints.