Brandi Rhodes and Allie def. Rache Chanel and Diamante
I don't think I'm in the minority in feeling this way, but I'm not invested in this ongoing story with Brandi and Allie whatsoever. We all know it's going to end with Allie betraying The Nightmare Family and likely reuniting with The Butcher and The Blade, so I don't see the purpose in dragging the story out, especially if their tag matches are always going to be this bad. Brandi has hardly improved and Allie has seemingly regressed in the ring since joining AEW. It was cool seeing Diamante return, but that's the only positive thing I have to say about this.
Ricky Starks def. Robert anthony
There were reports that AEW had immediate plans in mind for Starks coming off his impressive performance against Cody a few weeks back, but he hasn't wrestled on Dynamite since. Hopefully he can find direction soon. As for this outing, it served its purpose in giving Starks a win. The guy just oozes charisma. It's worth noting that Starks showed respect toward Taz multiple times and vice versa. I don't know if he'll be joining Taz at some point, but it's something to keep an eye on.
The Dark Order (Alan Angels, John Silver and Alex Reynolds) def. Shawn Dean, Joe Alonzo and Will Hobbs
Angels, Silver and Reynolds are clearly the "weak links" of Dark Order, so it didn't bother me that it took them so long to win this match. They faced a talented trio of competitors, even though I just saw Hobbs get squashed by Orange Cassidy in matter of seconds last week on Dark and thus I'm not sure what incentive viewers had to take him seriously here. It was a perfectly solid six-man tag team affair that solely excited to establish these three members of Dark Order as credible.
Michael Nakazawa def. Marko Stunt
Nakazawa's match was easily my least favorite part of last week's Dark episode, so I came into this contest expecting more of the same. Sure enough, it was exactly what I thought it would be. Stunt's athleticism and aerial abilities were impressive, but Nakazawa's whole shtick turns me off on his matches. Hell, the guy busted out the body lotion seconds into this outing. I guess it was designed to be comic relief, but it was too stupid for my liking.
Luther and Serpentico def. Brady Pierce and Pineapple Pete
Luther and Serpentico were a really odd pairing, but hey, anything to make Luther bearable. Serpentico was a treat to watch and Luther was decent. I was fine with this as a showcase for them, but it lasted way longer than it needed to. It'll be interesting to see if Serpentico will be signed eventually (assuming he hasn't already), just because it's rare they give the enhancement talent victories.
Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) def. Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler
I guess the storyline is that Cutler and Avalon are starting to click as a duo, but I'm not seeing it. Their matches aren't bad, but I personally don't care about them any more now than I did when they started teaming a while ago. On the bright side, this was a fun little match and arguably the highlight of the night. You can never go wrong with Jurassic Express while Cutler and Avalon put forth a commendable effort.
FTW Champion Brian Cage def. Brian Pillman Jr.
This match wasn't supposed to be for the FTW Championship until Cage demanded before the bout that it be on the line, even though it isn't an active title. I'm willing to classify it as a technical title matchup, unlike with IMPACT's Moose whose TNA World Heavyweight Championship is clearly defunct. Pillman scored some offense, but this was largely meant to be a glorified squash win for Cage ahead of his opportunity at the AEW World Championship at Fight for the Fallen on Wednesday.
It was mentioned during the latest installment of Being The Elite that this Dark taping took place around 1 a.m., which would explain why the crowd sounded so drained all episode long. I don't blame them one bit because this was yet another tedious edition of Dark with absolutely nothing of note happening. And no, a "defense" of the FTW Championship from Cage wasn't enough to make this show worth watching. I could think of worse ways to spend an hour, but I continue to wonder what AEW think the appeal is of an hour-long show featuring nothing but squash matches. The occasional competitive contest would be nice, but we barely get that.