The Blade def. Ryan Mantell
The Blade of all people kicking off the show was an odd choice, but the best thing I can say about this is that it was kept short and sweet. That isn't to say he's terrible by any means (I actually enjoyed his work as Braxton Sutter in IMPACT a few years ago), but I simply have no interest in Blade, The Butcher and The Bunny as characters. This was designed to give Blade some last-minute credibility before he faces Orange Cassidy on Wednesday's Dynamite.
Thunder Rosa def. KiLynn King
Rosa received a monster reaction upon making her entrance. This was obviously taped last week, but she's fresh off a great match against Deonna Purrazzo for the Impact Knockouts Championship at IMPACT's Slammiversary pay-per-view event on Saturday. Needless to say, she's an absolute star. King had a less-than-stellar match against Yuka Sakazaki last week on Elevation, so this was a nice rebound performance for her, even though it was brief. This could have been even better with more time, but it was still a quality contest for the few minutes it lasted.
The Acclaimed and Private Party def. Varsity Blonds and The Dark Order (Alan "5" Angels and Preston "10" Vance)
All four of these teams were super over, but Acclaimed got the best reaction of the bunch. I can't say I'm surprised because they're so damn entertaining. Last week, they teased an eventual match with Varsity Blonds to determine the number two ranked team in the AEW World Tag Team Championship rankings, so I liked how they got to further their feud here. This was a fun showcase for these talented teams and the heel squad going over was the right call coming off Acclaimed's eight-man tag team loss to Acclaimed last week.
Abadon def. Promise Braxton
As much as I despise the Abadon character, good for her for getting such a strong reaction when she came out. Granted, she's been completely directionless since losing her last shot at the AEW Women's World Championship back in January (and I don't think she's been on Dynamite at all since that start), but at least she's been racking up wins on the Dark shows. This was quick and painless with Abadon putting Promise away in the matter of a minute.
The Bunny def. Big Swole
The tepid reaction to Swole during her entrance was definitely telling. I've never been her biggest fan, but it's strange that she has barely been featured on Dynamite since she returned to the ring several months ago. Unless you watch the Dark shows, I wouldn't be shocked if some people genuinely forgot she was on the roster. At any rate, she and Bunny had a decent match that was interrupted halfway through by Diamante, who distracted Swole and cost her the win as they continue to build up their bout.
Wardlow def. Chad Lennex
Lennex got special treatment compared to the rest of the enhancement athletes because he's a student of Dustin Rhodes'. I didn't have my stopwatch out, but it's possible that his entrance lasted longer than the match itself. Wardlow completely decimated the dude as he should have. He isn't a focal point at the moment on Dynamite, but I like that he's being booked in squashes on the Dark shows and maintaining momentum that way.
Dustin Rhodes def. Aaron Solo
I guess "Solo" is how Aaron is spelling his last name now, as opposed to Solow. We actually got to hear from him for a change beforehand. He didn't blow me away with his promo, but it was nice that he actually got mic time instead of letting QT Marshall do all the talking for him. He and Dustin had a pretty basic bout, but it was enjoyable while it lasted and Dustin being the hometown hero helped. Will we get Dustin against his old tag team partner QT Marshall at some point?
If Monday's Dark: Elevation was taped after last week's Dynamite, then Dark must have been taped beforehand. This was such an improvement over last week's edition that emanated from Daily's Place in Jacksonville in front of no one but the lower-level wrestlers. The crowd was lively and into the action. All of the matches went an appropriate amount of time and the show was over within 50 minutes. You can't ask for much more than that, so this episode gets an easy thumbs-up from me. More of this, please.