AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida def. Rachel Chanel (Non-Title)
I have not been too impressed by what I've seen from Chanel in the few appearances she's made for AEW lately, so I don't know why she's be given an extended showing here. Shida is obviously excellent, but it should not have taken her as long as it did to defeat an enhancement talent. As a showcase for Shida, it was perfectly fine, but they could have trimmed off a few minutes and it would have been even better.
Kip Sabian def. Corey Hollis
Both WWE and AEW have used Hollis as an enhancement talent before, so if if the name sounds familiar, that's why. At any rate, this was a solid squash match for Sabian. Sabian is skilled in the ring, but he hasn't been all that interesting as a character lately. In fact, Penelope Ford's stock is higher at the moment coming off her phenomenal performance against Shida at Fyter Fest. He can just never seem to win whenever it matters most.
Best Friends def. Brady Pierce and Sabby
Sabby is the former Tino Sabbatelli from WWE NXT. The guy had been hurt for about two years before finally returning to the ring earlier this year at a house show. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit, he wasn't used on TV, and NXT decided to cut bait. It's hard to blame the company because he had been there for at least five years and didn't live up to expectations, but I hope AEW gives him a shot. That said, there wasn't anything he did in this match that stood out as special. It was a decent tag team affair that didn't have the type of energy I thought it would.
Ricky Starks def. Will Hobbs
I continue to question why AEW had Hobbs get beat by Orange Cassidy so quickly and so decisively a few weeks ago. It destroyed his credibility right off the bat and I can't take him seriously as a result. Don't get me wrong, this did what it needed to do, but it makes Starks look incompetent when it takes him four minutes to defeat Hobbs when Cassidy did it in roughly 10 seconds. I'm almost willing to forgive it because of how charismatic Starks is.
Scorpio Sky def. Aaron Solow
I've seen Solow's work in multiple promotions and he's never blown me away, but I was pleasantly surprised by the showing he had here. Of course, having an opponent the caliber of Sky helped, but he deserves credit for holding his own and looking credible in defeat. As for Sky, his singles push is coming along nicely. The new entrance music is awesome and I'm looking forward to him eventually challenging Cody for the AEW TNT Championship.
Diamante def. KiLynn King
Both of these women have been positioned as losers in AEW for a while now, so although I don't blame the average viewer for not caring about this match, it did serve a purpose as Diamante will be facing Ivelisse on Wednesday's Dynamite and this gave her a bit of credibility before then. It was boring at certain points (though that might have been due to the dead "crowd"), It was well wrestled on the whole did what it needed to do.
Darby Allin def. Robert Anthony
This marked Allin's first taste of in-ring action since being taken out by Brian Cage back at Double or Nothing in May. The story of this match was that Allin was distracted by Taz on commentary and that Anthony was disrespected by Allin not paying attention to him. I didn't have as much of a problem with Allin taking longer to defeat Anthony as I did with other matches on this show because of how Anthony is an established veteran and Allin is more of an underdog anyway. I loved the post-match angle with Starks helping Cage lay out Allin. It appears he's joined forces with Taz and Cage and I'm all for that.
The Butcher and The Blade def. Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon
Although Cutler and Avalon have lost every match they've had as a team, it seemed like they were slowly starting to gel and get on the same page, but they teased tension toward the end of this main event. I couldn't care less one way or the other as far as them sticking together, but I found it interesting. The match itself had a nice pace but didn't offer anything of substance for the most part.
Dark once again exceeded the one-hour mark this week and I don't understand why. Some matches were given more time than others and I didn't mind that, but for a show that features nothing but enhancement matches, anything over 60 minutes is too much, especially when the "live crowds" are progressively getting worse and worse. If these shows are being taped after midnight (as mentioned on Being The Elite recently), then there lies the issue. All in all, this was a completely passable edition of Dark and at least one thing of importance happened for a change with Starks aligning with Cage.