Jungle Boy def. Danny Limelight
This was probably the perfect match to kick off the show with as both guys are very good and have a ton of potential. I'm still shocked Limelight hasn't been signed to any sort of a deal, but he's making the most of his Dark appearances in the meantime. As for Jungle Boy, he has future breakout singles star written all over him. This was a fun opener and I was glad they got as much time as they did.
Kip Sabian and Miro def. Baron Black and Vary Morales
I can not stress enough how ready I am for Sabian and Miro to go their separate ways, simply so Miro can finally become the monster heel he's destined to be. His pairing with Sabian ran its course a while ago and has done more to hurt his momentum than help it. They're just a dud together and Miro is capable of so much more. They were fairly dominant here and Miro continuing to tease tension with Sabian was key.
Big Swole def. Skyler Moore
It's nice to see Swole back in action after a brief layoff. She cut a heelish promo on Dark a few weeks ago, but she didn't seem to do anything overly heelish here. Moore has wrestled a handful of matches for AEW and has looked good in the past, but this wasn't her strongest showing. It was actually a pretty abysmal match and Swole should have been on offense more than she was considering this was her first bout back in over two months.
QT Marshall def. Marko Stunt
I couldn't give less of a crap about these guys if I tried. Seriously, who is this storyline supposed to appeal to? Marshall is in the midst of a heel turn and gets more TV time on AEW programming than most, yet I can't bring myself to care one bit. Stunt's a waste of a roster spot, too, but at least the effort was there. I will say that the finish looked pretty damn cool with Marshall reversing a move from Stunt right into a Diamond Cutter.
Tay Conti def. Ashley Vox
Vox is a familiar name to NWA viewers as she was a part of their women's division for a while. I don't know if she'll be returning, but it was nice to see her make an appearance here on Dark. As for Conti, I've said this several times before, but she's a star on the rise. She has all the tools to be successful in AEW and she's always improving. I'm hoping these wins will get her an actual storyline on Dynamite one of these days. Losing Anna Jay was a big blow because she was her ticket to getting more airtime usually.
Mike and Matt Sydal def. Jorel Nelson and Royce Isaacs
I was more interested in Royce Issacs being here than I was in the Sydal brothers. He's a former NWA World Tag Team Champion and a member of Nick Aldis' stable. He never stood out as being an exceptional performer, but it'd be a bummer if he didn't return to the NWA. He and Nelson did well here as the Sydal brothers beat them in what was a serviceable tag team match. Considering Matt faced Michael Nakazawa later in the night, this probably didn't need to happen.
Red Velvet def. Dani Jordyn
Velvet is coming off a very impressive performance in the mixed tag team match on Dynamite earlier this month. How AEW follows up on that with her will be interesting. I don't get the sense she'll continue feuding with Jade Cargill, but it's important she continues honing her skills on Dark for now. Unfortunately for both her and Jordyn, this was no good. Velvet bounced back from the Dynamite loss, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.
Max Caster def. Dante Martin
This was one of the few matches on the show that pit two contracted AEW talent against each other and that made it more enjoyable. Both of these guys have injured tag team partners at the moment, and while Martin is a blast to watch in the ring, I don't see him getting anywhere on his own. Caster at least has more personality and can do well for himself before Anthony Bowens comes back. This was a nice match for what it was.
Abadon def. Ray Lyn
It's comical how Abadon was regularly featured on Dynamite for many months, but as soon as her feud with Hikaru Shida over the AEW World Women's Championship ended, she's been relegated to Dark. Hey, I'm not complaining, because I think the character sucks and her matches are always the same. This was no different and Lyn's acting was atrocious. Speaking of Lyn, are we sure she isn't Candice LeRae's older sister or something? She looked like a taller version of her with the same gear and everything.
Will Hobbs def. Brandon Cutler
I was worried that this would be a competitive contest because of how Cutler has won most of his matches since breaking his undefeated streak, but that wasn't the case. Instead, Hobbs made short work of Cutler and I couldn't be happier. I'm sure Cutler is a nice guy, but he's a painfully bland professional wrestler and has no business going 50-50 with a guy like Hobbs. This reestablished Hobbs as a force to be reckoned with.
Diamante def. Layla Grey
Diamante seems to wrestle more matches on Dark than Ivelisse. I'm a fan of both women, but that might be for the better just because Diamante's matches tend to stand out more. Ivelisse's AEW run has been very disappointing in my opinion, whereas Diamante remains a work in progress and her intensity is excellent. Grey didn't score much offense at all and that was absolutely the right call.
Private Party, The Butcher and The Blade def. Dean Alexander, David Ali, Carlie Bravo and Brick Aldridge
I love the "Big Money" Matt Hardy character and him having clients makes sense, but I draw the line at him being associated with Butcher and Blade. They were originally linked to MJF and then Eddie Kingston and now Hardy. That's all in the span of a year-and-a-half. They bore me to tears regardless, but they're am especially awful fit for this faction of Hardy's. This was a mess of an eight-man tag team match. AEW really needs to stop relying on these multi-man matches to get everyone on the show.
Matt Sydal def. Michael Nakazawa
Damn, this was rough to sit through. I love Sydal, but this wasn't exactly what I envisioned when he was signed to AEW late last year. He already wrestled earlier in the evening, so they should have saved this for next week or, better yet, not done it at all. This was total trash and not funny in the slightest. It served as the set-up for Sydal vs. Kenny Omega next week on Dynamite where Sydal will earn an AEW World Championship opportunity if he wins. By the way, Tony Khan's appearance here was brutal. I'd be content if I never saw him make another in-character cameo on one of these shows again.
Riho def. Maki Itoh
I'm still not completely sold on Itoh, just because most of her stuff in the ring doesn't look very convincing, but this was easily the best bout on the entire episode. It wasn't worth sitting through two hours to get through, but at least it was a well-wrestled affair and both women had strong showings. I've read that this was it for Itoh in AEW for now as she heads back to Japan, but when she inevitably returns, I'm sure she'll be even more over with the audience. She and Riho are both talented, they just have to finetune some of their stuff in the ring.
To his credit, Paul Wight did a nice job on commentary, but his presence alone isn't going to make people go out of their way to watch this show. I'm honestly convinced Dark: Elevation was created simply so Wight could do commentary without taking someone else's spot, because this was dreadful. It was literally no different than Dark on Tuesdays. It had the exact same format and only the main event was remotely memorable. Something needs to change because four hours of squash matches on Mondays and Tuesdays is a total waste of time, but if that's your thing, more power to you.