"Captain" Shawn Dean def. Liam Cross
I've always said that Dean has potential based on showings he's had on Dark over the last two years, so I was happy to see him get his moment on Dynamite last week when he beat MJF. Okay, so it was by disqualification and with CM Punk's help, but a win is a win. I appreciate that they actually attempted to capitalize off that by having him pick up a rare singles win in what was a solid showcase for him. Whether they'll actually go forward with featuring him consistently is the question.
Anthony Ogogo def. Baron Black
Ogogo has been back from his hiatus for a bit now and I'm surprised AEW has yet to find anything of note for him to do on television. Seeing him here reminded me that Cody Rhodes recently said in an interview that he regrets almost everything about his angle with Ogogo from last spring, a storyline Ogogo didn't benefit from at all. This was a standard showcase for Ogogo with Black selling well for his offense.
Red Velvet def. Shalonce Royal
As a wrestler, Royal is passable, but the singing stuff simply isn't my cup of tea. It's too damn annoying for my liking. The best thing I can say about this was that it was kept on the shorter side and resulted in a win for Velvet. Velvet hasn't had any direction for a while now, so if they aren't going to have anything meaningful for her to do on TV, having her win on Dark is better than nothing, I suppose. There's still room for improvement and I'm not sure she'll get it from wrestling minute-long matches, but this definitely would have been a lot worse if it went longer than it did.
Gunn Club (Billy, Austin and Colten Gunn) def. Marcus Kross, T.I.M. and Patrick Scott
I hate to admit this, but I think Gunn Club are growing on me as a heel trio. They don't belong on Dynamite or Rampage, but they're at least tolerable in their current role on Dark. Austin and Colten are really leaning into the "Ass Boys" thing (which I believe was started by Danhausen) and because the crowd chanted that at them, they walked to the back and didn't return. Billy won by himself almost immediately once the bell rang. Well, at least this didn't waste much time.
Tay Conti and Anna Jay def. Charlette and Robyn Renegade
The Renegade sisters have appeared on the Dark shows a handful of times over the last year, but I don't remember many times they've teamed up in AEW. Unfortunately, this wasn't their best performance. The match was a bit rough, but it was fine whenever Conti and Jay were on offense. They continue to have quality chemistry as a duo and build off their huge Street Fight win on the New Year's Eve episode of Rampage.
Orange Cassidy def. JD Drake
The rest of The Wingmen weren't with Drake but rather two masked men that weren't revealed despite Best Friends thwarting their interference. Hopefully that leads somewhere and isn't just forgotten about. Drake is arguably the most impressive of anyone in The Wingmen (despite his character being a joke), so so I'm all for him getting the occasional singles showcase.
Dante Martin def. Aaron Solo
Martin will be facing Powerhouse Hobbs this Wednesday on Dynamite, so this served as a minor momentum boost for him before then. Thankfully, none of the other goofs from The Factory were in Solo's corner. Solo bores me to tears, but as a wrestler, he's decent. Thus, he was probably the perfect person to be in there with Martin and give him a competent contest before his big match against Hobbs.
Eddie Kingston def. Joey Janela
I know Janela won his feud-ending match with Sonny Kiss a week or two ago on Dark, but I still can't take him seriously against a competitor the caliber of Kingston. Yes, Kingston rarely wins whenever it matters most, but he doesn't need to be taken to the limit by Joey Janela of all people. Kayla Rossi got involved a time or two, but that wasn't enough to earn Janela the win. To his credit, Janela had one of his better showings in recent memory, but Kingston shouldn't be struggling to beat a dude who has barely sniffed television time in almost a year.
Thunder Rosa def. Kasey Fox
I'm not at all familiar with Fox and it's not like she had much of a chance to impress here with Rosa beating her relatively quickly. However, that's what I was hoping for. Now that Britt Baker has moved past Riho, Rosa should start racking up wins again so she'll be contending for the AEW Women's World Championship within the next few months. She may not get that opportunity at Revolution if Jamie Hayter ends up being next in line, but time will tell.
Powerhouse Hobbs def. Alexander Moss
Alexander has no relation to Riddick, to my knowledge. In all seriousness, this was the definition of a squash and exactly what it should have been. I don't think Hobbs was even dressed for competition. He literally pummeled him in the corner before tapping him out for the quick victory. That's how you make him look dominant before he takes on Martin this week on Dynamite. I wish we saw this sort of thing from him more often.
Daniel Garcia def. Fuego Del Sol
Remember when Fuego was getting really over with the audience and was being booked as the ultimate lovable loser? Granted, he still is a lovable loser, but he's barely been featured it seems since losing that AEW TNT Championship match to Miro in the fall. He could be AEW's Mikey Whipwreck if they bothered to use him more. It made sense for Garcia to run through him here because Garcia will be contending for Sammy Guevara's TNT title this Wednesday on Dynamite.
AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill def. Skye Blue in an AEW TBS Championship Eliminator
"Smart" Mark Sterling established in a backstage promo earlier in the episode that if Blue somehow managed to beat the undefeated Cargill here, she would've earned the first shot at the AEW TBS Championship. However, as a result of her loss, she can no longer challenge for the championship as long as it's in Cargill's possession. I could've sworn these two have faced off before, but this was a little longer. Either way, the outcome was never in doubt.
AEW World Tag Team Champions Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) def. The Factory (QT Marshall and Nick Comoroto) in an AEW World Tag Team Championship Eliminator
It's worth noting that Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus weren't introduced as Jurassic Express (maybe because that name is reserved only for when Marko Stunt is around?), but I'm still going to call them that for now until I get confirmation they've moved on from that name. Christian Cage wasn't at ringside for them, either. I was really happy when Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus became champions last week and this was a solid start to their reign. The Factory were never a threat, but this had a nice pace and was well wrestled.
AEW World Champion "Hangman" Adam Page and The Dark Order (Alan "5" Angels and Preston "10" Vance) def. Serpentico and The Hardy Family Office (Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy)
Excalibur mentioned that this marked Hangman's Dark debut, which is crazy to think about when you consider that Dark has been around for over two years. Thus, having him in action was a special treat for the show. Serpentico had to fill in for Marq Quen, who Hardy said couldn't make it due to travel issues. I don't know why The Blade couldn't have filled in instead. The stipulation stated that if Hardy's team won, he would have gotten a shot at the AEW World Championship on Wednesday's Dynamite. Serpentico stuck out like a sore thumb in there, but the overall match was entertaining and the crowd was into it.
This show was taped the night of Saturday's Battle of the Belts special to give the crowd their money's worth because the special itself was only an hour long. That's why we got several champions in action (and an appearance from interim TNT champ Sammy Guevara). I don't think this show should have been over 90 minutes and feature as many matches as it did, but that's likely because there were more competitive matches than usual, so it was an above-average episode by Dark standards.