Nick Comoroto and Natural Nightmares def. M'Badu and Terrence and Terrell Hughes
Comoroto teaming with Natural Nightmares was a refreshing change. He's made a ton of appearances on Dark in recent months and has stood out every time, including in his brief bout against Jon Moxley on Dynamite a few weeks ago. I don't know if he's officially been signed yet (it isn't uncommon for the independent wrestlers to pick up the occasional win), but this was a step in the right direction. He looked great here while the Hughes brothers were also impressive in defeat.
Rey Fenix def. KC Navararo
It's a bummer that Penta El Zero M is out for the foreseeable future being due to visa issues, but on the bright side, it's allowed Fenix to shine on his own in the meantime. He goes overboard with his high-risk maneuvers sometimes, but other than that, he's always a blast to watch in the ring and this was no exception. It also served as a warm-up for him before he competes in the main event of Beach Break on Wednesday.
Tay Conti def. Tesha Price
Conti is obviously one to watch, but that's nothing new because I (along with many others) have been saying that from the moment she arrived in AEW. The fact WWE NXT never capitalized on her potential for the few years she was there for is a crime. She's finally putting all of the pieces together and it's been cool to see her progression. Price held her own here as always and made this a serviceable match.
Tony Schiavone Interrupted Britt Baker and Ricky Starks on The Waiting Room
I like Baker and I like Starks, but this was a weird segment that ended up serving zero purpose aside from killing time (which wasn't necessary on a near-two-hour show). Usually, The Waiting Room is used to further a feud or promote something for Dynamite, but this installment didn't accomplish either of those things. Instead, they went back and forth complimenting each other before Schiavone came out and ended it. I don't think Adam Cole will be too happy with Starks for flirting with his woman.
Thunder Rosa def. Dani Jordyn
Rosa is gearing up to face Britt Baker at Beach Break and Jordyn was the perfect person for her to face before then. I'm honestly shocked she hasn't been signed to a deal yet because she stands out more than most of the enhancement talent they bring in and she consistently delivers. I wish these two got more than four minutes, but it was a fun sprint while it lasted.
Santana and Ortiz def. Fuego Del Sol and Vary Morales
Lost in in all of this ongoing Inner Circle nonsense are Santana and Ortiz, who are way more talented than most fans give them credit for because we don't see them in action often enough on Dynamite. I'm glad they're still doing their thing on Dark, but they should be getting more of a spotlight on Wednesday nights, too. Once this storyline runs its course, I really hope they wind up in the AEW World Tag Team Championship picture where they belong. I love how they don't waste any time and instead put their opponents away decisively and quickly.
Leyla Hirsch def. Katalina Perez
I am all in on Hirsch. Has she been signed yet? If not, why? She's a lot like Dani Jordyn in that I think there's a ton of potential there, but she's an even more polished worker and she brings the intensity every time. Perez didn't stand a chance here as Hirsch dominated her with ease. This was one of the shortest matches I've seen on Dark in a while and rightfully so. AEW, please sign this woman and build her up. She's a killer.
The Acclaimed def. RYZIN and Danny Limelight
It's been a few months and I'm still not tired of The Acclaimed's entrance rap. They also had a music video that preceded this that was pretty entertaining. What's cool is that they can back it up in the ring and are good wrestlers. Limelight and RYZIN are talented in their own right, so this was a quality contest. The Acclaimed will be in the number one contender's tag team Battle Royal, but seeing as how they already got their title shot against The Young Bucks and lost, I doubt they win.
Joey Janela, Sonny Kiss and Bear Country def. Shawn Dean, Baron Black, Aaron Solow and Mike Verna
Joey Janela is back and I honestly didn't even know he was gone. I guess that's good news for Kiss, who was directionless without him. They won't end up in a featured role on Dynamite or anything, but it's better than Kiss spinning his wheels on his own. Bear Country were the real stars of the match to me as they're absolute hosses and can move around the ring like it's nothing despite their size. Again, I know AEW's tag team division is stacked, but they're worth a look.
Ivelisse and Diamante def. Jazmin Allure and Vertvixen
Ivelisse and Diamante getting more exposure and stacking up victories is nice and all, but if it isn't leading anywhere, then fans are going to have less of a reason to care. The sole purpose of this match was so the commentators could play up the possibility of them competing in the upcoming AEW Women's Championship Eliminator tournament. They controlled most of this match and won, but that was about it.
Gunn Club (Colten and Billy Gunn) def. John Skyler and Ray Jaz
I believe this marked the first time that Billy and Colten have teamed up while Austin was on commentary. It doesn't matter what the combination is, I just really don't care for Gunn Club. Their matches are always the same and they're on Dark almost every week. Billy is trying to get his sons more experience, but they just aren't very interesting. This was longer than it needed to be with the outcome never in doubt.
Red Velvet def. Alex Gracia
Velvet is in the midst of a big push at the moment due to Brandi Rhodes getting pregnant and having to be replaced in the Jade Cargill feud by her. Thankfully, Velvet is skilled and probably won't embarrass herself when that match inevitably happens, but I don't have the same faith for Velvet. That has train wreck written all over it. This was a fine momentum-building victory for her.
Preston "10" Vance def. Jake St. Patrick
Vance is a dominant dude, so keeping his matches on the shorter side is a smart call. However, his character has no depth outside of what we see from him on Being The Elite, so that's one area he still needs to work on. At this point, the best part about his matches is -1 (a.k.a. Brodie Jr.) sitting on commentary and trash-talking Excalibur. He's well-spoken for someone so young. He's been appearing alongside The Dark Order for two or three weeks now, so he could possibly be a permanent part of their act. I don't know if that's necessary, but if it makes him happy, that's really all that matters.
SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) def. Chaos Project
SCU are still doing the gimmick where they have agreed to go their separate ways the next match they lose. Hell, I'd retire too if I lost to Luther. Okay, I kid, but in all seriousness, there was zero doubt that they would win here as they should have. Chaos Project does nothing for me being in the main event of Dark, but at least they're contracted talent (though I'm still not sure about Serpentico). This was a decent match with the right outcome.
Dark is what it is at this point. The best thing I can say about it is that, other than giving unsigned talent an opportunity to shine, the episodes have been significantly shorter for the last month and I appreciate that. If it wasn't for these reviews, I definitely wouldn't be watching the full two hours, if any of it at all, but there is some solid stuff sprinkled in throughout the show that's worth checking out. The Waiting Room was very skippable this week, but Comoroto picking up his first win in AEW was cool and three matches I enjoyed were Acclaimed vs. RYZIN and Limelight, Rosa vs. Jordyn, and Fenix vs. Navarro. There was also effective hype for Beach Break on Wednesday.