Powerhouse Hobbs def. Axton Ray
Hobbs is set to team with Ricky Starks tomorrow night on Dynamite against Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. It's been a pretty basic feud, but I'm looking forward to that match because it should be fun. I'll continue to complain about wanting to see AEW do more with Hobbs and Starks, but at least they're getting TV time these days. Hobbs dominated Ray as he should have and made quick work of him.
Max Caster def. Mike Reed
I believe Anthony Bowens is out injured at the moment, which is why Caster has been flying solo as of late. I love The Acclaimed as a duo (despite the fact they rarely win whenever it matters most), but Caster definitely has singles potential and I always enjoy his pre-match raps. Reed has wrestled a handful of times for AEW before but didn't do much to stand out in this match. This was a rebound win for Caster following his loss to Samoa Joe last week on Dynamite.
Diamante def. Mylo
Diamante has been racking up plenty of wins lately, or at least more than usual. That leads me to believe she may actually be used on Dynamite or Rampage one of these days, even if it's to lose to someone else. I don't want to get my hopes up, but it's ridiculous she hasn't been used at all on either show in over a year. She'd be a perfect fit alongside Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz. At any rate, this was a short and sweet squash for Diamante.
Jora Johl def. Teddy Goodz
Johl just got squashed by Penta Oscuro on Monday's edition of Elevation. He scored some offense in that match, but it was mostly about Penta as it should have been. This was more of a showcase for him, and although he has skills, we need to see more of him as a character in order to determine how far he can really go. And yes, he's still a member of The Andrade Family Office despite almost never appearing with the rest of the group on Dynamite or Rampage. I appreciated the intensity he showed in this match, if nothing else.
Emi Sakura def. Charlette Renegade
Sakura is used as a stepping stone for other women on the roster more often than not (which I have no issue with personally), but she needs the occasional wins over enhancement talent so other people beating her actually means something. That's what purpose this served. It was what it needed to be and didn't overstay its welcome. The Renegade sisters are used quite a bit by AEW and usually hold their own against whoever their opponents are.
"Captain" Shawn Dean def. Rohit Raju
It was awesome seeing Raju get some mic time via a pre-taped promo earlier in the episode. The guy has natural charisma and exceeded everyone's expectations with his Impact X-Division Championship run in late 2020. I'm happy he's at least getting a look by AEW and was put in a competitive main event with a Dark stalwart in Dean. Considering Dean has a one-on-one match with MJF coming up on Wednesday's Dynamite, there was no way Raju was winning here, but it was an quality contest while it lasted.
This edition of Dark was closer to the hour mark despite only featuring six matches, and that's because they filled the time with video packages and pre-taped promos hyping up Wednesday's loaded Dynamite. Maybe those promos have aired elsewhere on AEW's YouTube channel, but it was my first time seeing them and they were excellent. I wish Dark is used for that sort of stuff more often going forward. From an in-ring standpoint, this was a serviceable show. The main event wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but it was cool seeing Dean spotlighted for a change.