Luchasaurus def. Brandon Cutler
It was nice when Cutler finally broke his lengthy losing streak a few months ago, but it was about time he faced a fellow member of the roster here on Dark. I liked how this was built up in advance somewhat on Being The Elite with the whole dinosaur vs. dragon thing. It wasn't much, but hey, I appreciated that they had at least something of a story to work with. It was a well-wrestled match for the most part except for that nasty-looking chokeslam to Cutler. Hopefully he's okay after that.
Sammy Guevara def. El Australiano
Guevara is one of the few people consistently pulling double duty each week between Dark and Dynamite. He's on Dynamite teasing tension with MJF and the rest of Inner Circle, and then he appears on Dark picking up wins over enhancement talent. This was a fun little match while it lasted, but once again, the focus was on his post-match promo where he addressed Chris Jericho bringing him into AEW and how he belongs on the power rankings. I wouldn't mind seeing him mix it up with Darby Allin again over the AEW TNT Championship.
Scorpio Sky def. Nick Comoroto
Comoroto never ceases to impress me every time he's in action on Dark. He's a huge dude with great athleticism. I wonder why WWE let him go last year? He could be the next Powerhouse Hobbs and end up with an AEW contract at some point. He looked good here again, but this was all about Sky. Speaking of whom, he's lost so much momentum since the summer. It felt like his opportunity at the TNT title was his peak and he's been spinning his wheels since then. The feud with Shawn Spears certainly didn't do him any favors.
Shanna def. Marti Daniels
Personally, I couldn't care less about Shanna, but Daniels definitely had a solid showing and I think she has potential. I'm curious if AEW has purposefully left Shanna off Dynamite because of the heat she caught for some comments she made on social media last year. I realize she isn't an overly exceptional performer anyway, but you'd think AEW would want more women to work with on Dynamite. This was fine, but the botched finished should have been edited out considering this is a taped show.
The Butcher and The Blade def. Mike Verna and Baron Black
It's well-documented that Butcher and Blade do nothing for me as characters, but they can always bring it in the ring. This was an effective momentum-booster for them as they're currently aligned with Eddie Kingston and are basically regulars on Dynamite at this point. It was a well-wrestled affair and I continue to hope we'll be seeing more of Verna in AEW. He deserves better than being relegated to jobber status in my opinion.
Gunn Club (Billy, Austin and Colten Gunn) def. RYZIN, Adam Priest and Vary Morales
Of everybody who could possibly appear on every episode of Dark, why does it have to be Gunn Club? i guess AEW's goal is to give Austin and Colten more reps, and at least they picked up the win for their team here for a change, but I continue to question why the hell Billy is in there so regularly. My favorite part about this was Taz constantly hating on Gunn Club. That makes their matches somewhat tolerable.
Santana and Ortiz def. Jon Cruz and Danny Limelight
As I've said time and time again, Santana and Ortiz don't feel nearly as special as they should. Their matches on Dark highlight how terrific they truly are, but I can't shake the feeling that they've been underutilized since coming to AEW despite being a part of Inner Circle. Speaking of which, here's hoping they win that three-way tag team match on Dynamite this week to become the official tag team of the group. These guys belong in the AEW World Tag Team Championship picture but need to score some meaningful wins first.
"Pretty" Peter Avalon Challenged Lee Johnson to a "Walk Off"
Avalon has actually grown on me with this gimmick. Don't get me wrong, it won't ever get him above a certain level and he isn't that amazing in the ring anyway, but this is far more bearable than the librarian crap he was doing previously. I like that he's been building up this angle with Johnson in recent weeks. I thought he was trying to recruit him and Griff Garrison, so I don't know what this "walk off" stuff is all about. It could be a train wreck or surprisingly entertaining, so we'll see.
Private Party def. Aaron Solow and Lee Johnson
Private Party and Matt Hardy pulled a Rick Rude in that they appeared on this edition of Dark as well as IMPACT! Wrestling a little later in the night. It's nice that Private Party finally have something going for them following a disappointing 2020. I'm very interested in where their alliance with Hardy will go considering he's clearly a heel. He even helped Private Party win here behind the referee's back. Hardy is excellent in this role and it also means he doesn't have to wrestle as often.
Big Swole def. Alex Gracia
Gracia has continually impressed and improved every time she's wrestled on Dark or Dynamite. Working with established stars will only help her cause, too. Swole has never done much for me personally, but this was a perfectly solid outing for both of them. Swole picked up the win, but what's next for her? It seems like AEW hasn't been able to figure that out since her feud with Britt Baker ended back at All Out.
Sonny Kiss def. Zack Clayton
Kiss is incredibly athletic, but his matches tend to be hit or miss. Unfortunately, this was more of the latter. Some of the spots didn't look good and he didn't have the greatest chemistry with Clayton. If nothing else, this didn't last long as they thankfully kept it on the shorter side. It's been a while since we've seen him team with Joey Janela, so I have no clue what's going on with that and if Kiss will strictly be a singles star going forward.
Top Flight def. AJ Kirsch and KC Navarro
Top Flight have proven so far in their run in AEW that they'll be a team to watch in the future. There's still room for improvement, but the foundation is there for something special. After losing their first few matches on Dynamite, they're gradually building momentum with their wins on Dark. As for Kirsch and Navarro, both guys have skills. Navarro recently popped up in IMPACT's Super X Cup at Genesis and Kirsch was a part of the 2011 season of WWE Tough Enough. Crazy to think that was almost a decade ago.
Ivelisse and Diamante def. Tesha Price and Katalina Perez
With new Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champions being crowned over the weekend, I don't think it'd be a stretch to see Ivelisse and Diamante pop up on IMPACT! Wrestling and challenge them for the titles. Hey, it's not like they have anything else to fight for at the moment if they aren't going to be chasing the AEW Women's Championship or the NWA World Women's Championship. This was a fairly physical affair while it lasted.
The Acclaimed def. Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol
The Acclaimed will always be favorites of mine and I'm not sure their pre-match raps will get old, but it is worth questioning if they hit their peak when they unsuccessfully challenged The Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championship in the main event of Dynamite last month. Until they enter their next feud, it's smart to have them maintain momentum in the meantime on Dark. This was the usual quality performance from The Acclaimed.
The Lucha Brothers def. Chaos Project
If anyone can make me care about a Chaos Project match, it's The Lucha Brothers. They're consistently a blast to watch, even if their offense doesn't always look the smoothest. This was a hell of a sprint and what you'd usually expect from Lucha Brothers. They teased rekindling their rivalry with The Young Bucks on last week's Dynamite, so this served as an effective reminder of what they can do and why they should be perceived as threats to the tag titles.
I never thought I'd be okay with a two-hour edition of Dark, but it's much better than the near-three-hour episodes they were doing not too long ago. Don't get me wrong, 14 matches is still way too many, but I appreciate that most of them were brief and did what they needed to do. None of the matches are worth seeking out in my opinion, but it was a serviceable show that saw certain stars pick up needed victories and others hone their skills.