Joey Janela def. Will Allday
We don't see Janela in singles action much these days and I'm not complaining. He teased a heel turn and split from Sonny Kiss a few weeks ago, but I don't believe there was ever any follow-up to that. You get what you get with Janela at this point, but Allday was extremely impressive. I'd love to see more of him going forward. This was a serviceable opener, but I don't see Janela's winning ways extending to Dynamite any time soon.
SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) def. RYZIN and John Skyler
This SCU storyline has been going on for months. I'm convinced Tony Khan forgot about it and that's why they've been relegated to Dark since it started. With The Young Bucks recently turning heel, now would be as good of a time as any to do that match and have them be responsible for SCU breaking up. They have yet to address Scorpio Sky's heel turn, but whatever. RYZIN and Skyler have been a part of plenty tag team matches in AEW, so this was unsurprisingly well-wrestled.
Big Swole and KiLynn King def. Ashley & Steff MK
This marked the AEW debut of the MK twins. They fared well and had a solid showing, but this was all about Swole and furthering her momentum. It's weird that she returned to the ring a month or so ago and we haven't seen her much on Dynamite if at all. I'm glad she's getting reps in on the Dark shows, but those who only watch Dynamite need to be reminded that she's returned. On the bright side, she's formed a fun alliance with Red Velvet. I don't care about King being added, but Swole and Velvet have nice chemistry together.
The Butcher and The Blade def. Brick Aldridge and Cole Karter
I'm sorry but every Butcher and Blade match feels the same to me. I assume the idea of putting them with Matt Hardy was to make them more important, but I don't care any more about them now than I did when they were with Eddie Kingston or even MJF. Although they don't move the needle for me one way or the other much like Janela, at least their matches are usually pretty intense. Keeping their matches short and sweet is totally the right call.
Sonny Kiss def. Jake Manning
I've said this before, but Manning is an absolute gem. I've been familiar with him for over a decade now, but I honestly can't speak too much about his in-ring ability because I've always known him better as a character than as a wrestler. If you find the "Man Scout" shtick stupid, I don't blame you because I probably would too if I wasn't already a fan of him, but I find it hilarious. Kiss cut a good promo afterward demanding that he be taken seriously, but all I could think about was how Manning sold his finisher. That got a kick out of me.
The Dark Order (Stu Grayson, Evil Uno and Preston "10" Vance) def. Ken Broadway, Jay Lyon and Midas Black
As I've said before, all of these Dark Order multi-man matches blend together for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them and it feels like they're having fun out there, but AEW tends to overdo it on the multi-man matches, especially with the factions. Thankfully Matt Hardy's group was nowhere to be seen and the focus was strictly on Dark Order here. I'd like to see Dark Order back in the tag team title hunt at some point.
Billy Gunn def. Andrew Palace
After went down on Dark: Elevation Monday night, I thought we were getting Billy Gunn vs. QT Marshall on this show, but apparently it's being saved for Wednesday's Dynamite instead. I'll be sure to fast-forward through that one. Okay, I kid, but seriously, how many people really give a crap about that feud and Marshall's new faction? I could do without seeing Billy in singles matches in 2021, but this served a purpose as it got him ready for Dynamite.
Dante Martin def. Fuego Del Sol
Dante's Top Flight partner Darius Martin is still out injured, but hopefully he heals up soon because Top Flight was just starting to find their footing before he got hurt. That said, I'm glad Dante is being used in the meantime on the Dark shows. If this were WWE, they would have kept him off until Darius was ready to come back. He's a talented dude and it was cool to see him work against something with a similar style in Fuego Del Sol. This was a fun little sprint.
Diamante def. Queen Aminata
In case you haven't heard, Diamante is now flying solo following the apparent departure of Ivelisse from AEW. The company hasn't said anything publicly about it, but Ivelisse made it pretty clear on her social media and in an interview that she's gone. That essentially renders last summer's Deadly Draw tournament completely pointless. Hey, maybe we'll find out that Ivelisse has been holding Diamante back this whole time. She's skilled and, as seen here, she deserves more chances to shine.
Max Caster def. Alan "5" Angels
Caster has defeated a handful of Dark Order guys in recent weeks and I could have sworn Angels was among them, but apparently not. Much like Dante Martin, I love that AEW has been using Caster while his partner is out injured. He's been excelling as a singles star and has actually been beating people under contract. These two got more time than I was expecting here and they made the most of it in what was a quality contest.
Will Hobbs def. Baron Black
It only took about a year, but when I see Hobbs now, I don't think of him losing to Orange Cassidy in 10 seconds in his debut anymore. He's been booked very well since joining Team Taz, but I wish we got to see him more of him. Thankfully, he'll be back in action on Dynamite this Wednesday when he goes one-on-one with Christian Cage. This effectively made him look dominant before then. Hopefully he has a standout showing against Christian.
Pac def. Dean Alexander
Pac matches where he walks in there and demolishes the dude within a minute are just the best. He's all business and won't take shit from anyone. Justin Roberts wasn't even done introducing him when Pac went after Alexander and beat him soon after. I'm curious to see if he'll go back to getting a singles push now that he and Rey Fenix have gotten their shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championship and failed, or if his focus will be on Death Triangle as a whole while they feud with Best Friends.
AEW squeezed those last two matches in there with five minutes left in the show. God bless. This was also under an hour and a half, so this edition of Dark automatically earns a thumbs-up from me for that alone. Less is more, people. I was entertained by parts of the episode and I feel AEW is doing a better job of progressing storylines on these shows, hyping stuff up for Dynamite, and not having the matches go longer than they need to. I appreciate the improvements as they've made these YouTube shows easier to sit through for someone like me who isn't enamored with squashes.