Kip Sabian def. Michael Nakazawa
As I've said before, I automatically lose interest in anything Nakazawa is involved in. The gimmick is stupid and I don't understand who it's supposed to appeal to. It makes his matches a chore to sit through, especially when he busts out the man thong (or whatever the hell it is) like he did here. Sabian won as he should have and that's about the only positive thing I can say about it.
Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela def. Shawn Dean and Frank Stone
I don't find many of Janela's matches to be all that great, but as random as this pairing between him and Sonny Kiss is, I will admit that they're developing quality chemistry together. This was an enjoyable outing from them that didn't overstay its welcome. They don't lead my list of teams I'd like to see challenge for the AEW World Tag Team Championship, but they're a perfectly fine attraction for Dark.
Shawn Spears def. Will Hobbs
I didn't realize Spears hasn't lost a match since Double or Nothing in May, where he was embarrassed by Dustin Rhodes. It certainly doesn't feel like it, but I assume the idea is to build him up for an eventual alliance with FTR and potentially Cody. The kevlar glove still doesn't do a ton for me, but at least Spears is trying his best to establish it as dangerous. On a side note, Spears taking almost five minutes to defeat a dude who Orange Cassidy defeated in 10 seconds last month isn't impressive at all.
The Hybrid2 def. The Initiative
The commentators noted after The Hybrid2 picked up the victory that this was only their second tag team win in 2020. I realize they were off the show due to being in quarantine from March through July, but the sad thing is that I don't think their record would have been much different had they been around. They've been grossly underutilized since signing with AEW, but I was happy they won this match (which was never in doubt given who their opponents were). It was a decent match and nothing more.
Abadon def. Red Velvet
I know she hasn't been around in AEW for too long, but Abadon is one of the few people I don't expect to grow on me. The gimmick is too hokey for my liking and it doesn't help that her matches are abysmal at best. The fact Abadon is signed to AEW but women such as Nicole Savoy, Ivelisse and Diamante are not is a travesty. This was a waste of time.
Colt Cabana and The Dark Order (John Silver and Alex Reynolds) def. D3, RYZIN and Faboo Andre
If you kept up with Matt Hardy's Free The Delete YouTube series earlier this year, you might remember RYZIN from those videos. He looked out of place in his trio with D3 and Andre, but he impressed the most of the three. On the whole, however, this was a dud of a match from an in-ring standpoint. Cabana acting like his normal self whenever he's with Dark Order is funny, but I'm curious to see where that leads.
Ricky Starks def. Lee Johnson
It's been cool to see Starks get some spotlight in the last month or so, but it feels like he's already back to being directionless. I'm all for him picking up victories on Dark, but since joining Team Taz, he hasn't done a whole lot except get his ass handed to him by Darby Allin. On the bright side, this was a fun little match that allowed Starks to rebound.
Santana and Ortiz def. Baron Black and Tony Donati
I haven't been a fan of Santana and Ortiz having extended squashes on this show because it doesn't make them look like a threat at all. That said, having them win as quickly and as decisively as they did here was a step in the right direction. They also toned down the shennanigans and were a bit more serious and straightforward than they normally are, likely due to Best Friends making them more aggressive in their ongoing feud. They need more wins, so although Black and Donati are no-namers, this was a start.
Lance Archer def. Jon Cruz and Jessy Sorensen in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
I feel like it's been years since I last saw Sorensen and I don't think I would've recognized him had he not gone by that name here. I'm slightly surprised NXT never picked him up with how often he was being brought in to serve as an enhancement talent, but it was nice to see him here on Dark. Unfortunately, for him, he was absolutely annihilated by Archer in this match. I'm in full favor of Archer becoming a dominant monster again and being featured more frequently.
Billy def. Alan "5" Angels
I could have done without the full Dark Order entrance after they already appeared earlier in the evening for the six-man tag team match with Cabana, Silver and Reynolds. Angels is talented, but losing to a well-past-his-prime Billy Gunn helps nobody. Angels tried to make this thing bearable, but putting Billy in there for a showcase matchup in 2020 is wrong on so many levels, even if it is on Dark.
The Butcher, The Blade and The Lucha Brothers def. Private Party and SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian)
The Butcher and The Blade teamed up Lucha Brothers last month at Fyter Fest, so it was a pleasant surprise that wasn't forgotten about. I've said several times before that I don't get the push for Butcher and Blade, but Lucha Brothers are brilliant and needed this victory. Tag team wrestling is almost always entertaining in AEW like it was here, but it'd be even better if some of these matches had a purpose to them and weren't thrown together just to get these guys on the show.
The length of this show remains a problem. Anything over 60 minutes for a bunch of glorified squash matches is ridiculous. That aside, this was one of the better editions of Dark in recent memory. Some of the 11 matches were completely pointless and should not have happened, but the good outweighed the bad and the right people won for the most part. It's a shame that of the 11 matches, only one of them featured women and it was terrible to boot. More women's matches wouldn't instantly make Dark more must-see, but it's certainly something the company needs to work on.