FTR def. The Initiative
The Initiative is what Peter Avalon and Brandon Cutler are calling themselves now. Does that mean they aren't going to be breaking up any time soon? They looked good again here, but this mostly about FTR and the match itself wasn't anything special. I'm convinced Avalon and Cutler were put together just to lose to the entire AEW tag team division, which is fine, but it doesn't make their matches very exciting if the outcome is always a foregone conclusion.
Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela def. Pineapple Pete and Michael Nakazawa
As I've said before, I guess the pairing of Kiss and Janela works in the sense that it gives both of them something to do after floundering for so long, but outside of a pair of vignettes, viewers have yet to be given a real reason to care about them, especially after they had their asses handed to them by Lance Archer a few weeks ago. Pete is a clown and Nakazawa is awful, so I wasn't surprised that this match was a stinker.
Abadon def. Skyler Moore
I don't think we've seen Abadon at all since she randomly beat Anna Jay on Dynamite a while ago. I'm no a fan of hers, so I was actually hoping she'd be gone a little longer. I'm sorry but the zombie look is way too distracting and it's not like her matches are all that good, either. The only positive thing I can say about this is that it didn't last long. What we got wasn't too terrible, but Abadon's character work bores me to tears.
The Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno) def. Shawn Dean and Will Hobbs
As I've said before, Hobbs is a physically impressive specimen, but it's nearly impossible to take the guy seriously after he lost to Orange Cassidy in under 10 minutes earlier this month. AEW says wins and losses matter, but we're supposed to forget about that? At any rate, this served its purpose in giving Dark Order another win before they challenge for the AEW World Tag Team Championship on Wednesday's Dynamite.
Scorpio Sky def. Corey Hollis
Sky continues to shine with these short and sweet squashes on Dark. I'm waiting for him to be featured more prominently on Dynamite, but this is a solid start to his singles push. As for this match, it was fun while it lasted and allowed Sky to once again showcase his skills. Even Hollis looked good in defeat. I'm fine with Sky's matches on Dark lasting longer than some of the others because of how they tend to be energetic sprints.
Penelope Ford def. Kenzie Paige
Ford's Lethal Injection-esque finisher looked like it barely connected here, so I was happy she decided to put Paige away with the fisherman suplex instead. Those final few moments were pretty sloppy, but the rest of the match was serviceable. I was happy Ford had such a standout showing when she faced Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women's Championship at Fyter Fest, but the followup for her has been less than stellar so far.
Wardlow def. Aaron Solow
Wardlow is just a freak of nature. I really, really hope the plan isn't to split him from MJF any time soon. Both guys would be worse off for it, in my opinion. This was Solow's second appearance on Dark in recent weeks, but he didn't get nearly as much offense in here as he did when he faced Scorpio Sky. This was all Wardlow as it should have been. His squashes never get old.
Best Friends def. The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver)
There's actual bad blood here (not legitimately), as Dark Order have been at odds with Best Friends and Orange Cassidy in recent weeks on Being The Elite. In fact, Silver has been super entertaining on that show since the skits started and it's been cool he's been able to show more personality than what we've seen from him on Dark and Dynamite (which is practically nothing). Reynolds and Silver scored more offense than I thought they would before eating defeat and it was an energetic little sprint.
Lance Archer def. Frankie Thomas
In a perfect world, this would have been over in a matter of seconds, but Archer taking his time killing fools is a new guilty pleasure of mine. He feels like he's lost a considerable amount of momentum since Double or Nothing where he failed to beat Cody to become the inaugural AEW TNT Champion, but at least he's picking up wins and continuing along his path of destruction for now. This was an absolute blast.
Orange Cassidy def. Serpentico
Yes, this was the real Serpentico, not Sammy Guevara with a mask on. Serpentico has actually looked competent in most matches I've seen him have on Dark and he shockingly won alongside Luther a few weeks ago, but this wasn't one of his better performances. I'm sure he intentionally came across like a fool because of who he was facing, but it didn't make the match any more interesting or exciting to me. It was just sort of there as Cassidy's shtick wasn't as engaging as it normally is.
Sammy Guevara def. Fuego Del Sol
This marked Guevara's first bout back since his return on Dynamite last week. He was suspended and off TV for over a month, so it was great to see him back in action here. Fuego del Sol was a good opponent for him to have as he sold all of Guevara's offense nicely. Guevara seemed to have more of an edge to him than the last time we saw him with his post-match attack on Sol serving as an example of that.
Santana & Ortiz def. Private Party and SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) in a Three-Way Tag Team Match
I popped for Big Money Matt (Matt Hardy's evil alter-ego) accompanying Private Party to ringside. It actually made sense given their gimmicks and I hope we see more of Big Money Matt with them in the future. This should have been better with the level of talent involved, but it was a treat for what it was, everyone got to shine and the outcome wasn't overly predictable. Despite their victory here, Santana and Ortiz should mean a lot more than they do currently.
I have to start off with the obvious: an hour and 50 minutes? Really?! I realize they "stacked" the show more than they have in a while and there was some quality wrestling, but 12 matches is way too many. Hell, without commercials, Dynamite isn't as as long as this edition of Dark was. On the bright side, I enjoyed most of the matches as I mentioned and I appreciated that the main event wasn't an extended squash for a change. The "audience" was silent for a majority of the show, likely because it was taped so late at night, but if that's going to be the case, then maybe they should consider shortening it up a bit and not taping so many matches to begin with.