Lee Moriarty def. Leon Ruffin
Moriarty will team with ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham against two of Tully Blanchard's newest associates this Friday on Rampage. Is that supposed to signal that they're going to face off for the title at Ring of Honor's upcoming pay-per-view Death Before Dishonor? It's a bit random since we haven't seen much of Moriarty on AEW programming lately, but from an in-ring standpoint, sign me the hell up. Ruffin is talented in his own right, so this was an entertaining opener and gave Moriarty a notable win (since Ruffin was a former NXT North American Champion once upon a time).
Bear Country def. Adrian Alanis and Liam Gray
I feel like we've barely seen Bear Country in action lately and I'm not sure what that is. I always enjoy their intensity, so I wish they'd go back to being featured more often. The fact they won here probably means they're going to be used to elevate another team soon, so keep an eye out for that. This didn't need to last as long as it did considering their opponents were two no-namers, but at least they were dominant throughout.
A.Q.A. def. Avery Breaux
A.Q.A. is another name I honestly forgot was on the AEW roster until she returned here. Where the hell has she been lately? Unlike Bear Country, she actually got the "all elite" graphic, so her absence is a bit more surprising. That said, she's still very much a work in progress, so her being relegated to the Dark shows at this point is probably for the best. This was an extremely basic bout, but A.Q.A. won't get the experience she needs unless she wrestles more.
Josh Woods def. Barrett Brown
Woods is a talent with a ton of potential and should be getting more exposure on the Dark shows. I really want AEW's Ring of Honor show to get up and running so Woods can be a regular over there again. In the meantime, he should appear at Death Before Dishonor later this month, so hopefully this indicates that will be the case. This served as a showcase for him and his offense is always impressive.
Sonny Kiss def. Lamar Diggs
Diggs is a big dude, so Kiss had his work cut out for him here. Kiss had to fight from underneath and did well in the underdog role, but after battling back, he was able to pick up the victory. I'm all for Kiss winning more matches, but we're at a point now where they need to give him more of a chance, whether that be in more competitive matches on Dark or an actual spot on Dynamite. He did well against Cody Rhodes in that AEW TNT Championship open challenge two years ago and there was never any follow-up.
Fuego Del Sol def. Aaron Solo
I believe it was last week that Fuego was offered a spot in The Factory by QT Marshall, which he declined. I guess that means he'll be feuding with The Factory going forward and that doesn't do much for me at all. When I said that I like when Dark furthers storylines, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind. To their credit, they had a nice little match, though I could have done without Fuego beating Solo with a damn roll-up. A more decisive win would have been preferable. There's no need to protect Aaron Solo of all people.
Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh def. Darian Bengston and Gus De La Vega
Lethal and Singh were just in tag team action on Monday's Elevation and I mentioned in my review that we've seen very little of Singh in the ring since he debuted in April. They're clearly trying to fix that now. I don't think he's ready for any singles matches, so having him team with Lethal for now is smart. The heels are being made to look as strong as possible before Samoa Joe returns and presumably wrecks them.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Preston "10" Vance, John Silver and Alex Reynolds) def. The Wingmen ("Pretty" Peter Avalon, Cezar Bononi, JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth)
Could they have given this more time considering it involved all established talent? Sure, but I have no issue with it being less 10 minutes because I can't bring myself to care about The Wingmen or Dark Order for that matter. Neither faction serves much of a purpose at this point other than to elevate others. This was a fairly standard eight-man tag team main event, but at least everyone had their time to shine and it didn't overstay its welcome.
Dark was back to being filmed at Universal Studios this week. Although that's better for the developmental talent, it makes for a less interesting show. Nonetheless, this was a straightforward show with nothing too memorable one way or the other. The fact there were only eight matches and the episode lasted under an hour was a plus, but we haven't seen some of these faces in a while, so it's hard to get invested. Moriarty vs. Ruffin in the opener was the best thing on the show by a country mile.