Willow Nightingale def. Ashley D'Amboise
It seems like Nightingale is becoming more of a regular on AEW TV these days in her alliance with Athena and Kris Statlander and I'm all for that. There's been no word on whether she's officially been signed by AEW or not, but surely this has to be leading to that, right? As for D'Amboise, she's always been fine in the enhancement role for AEW and she made Nightingale look great here. More of Nightingale on any AEW show is always a positive.
The Factory (Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto) def. Matt Vandagriff and Knull
Solo, Comoroto and QT Marshall all lost at Forbidden Door and this was basically a rebound win for them. The faction continues to do nothing for me, but I suspect nothing will change as far as how often they're featured. Watching these two work is as exciting as watching grass grow, so this was a bland bout. The best thing I can say about it is that it was brief and didn't last longer than it needed to.
Matt Sydal def. Jake Something
Fun fact: Sydal is a former Impact X-Division Champion, a title that Something competed for on a few different occasions during his time in IMPACT. I don't think they've crossed paths in IMPACT or AEW before now. I was happy to see Something score as much offense as he did because he's very skilled and deserves more chances to shine like he got here. Sydal is a super reliable worker and you'll almost never get anything less than a competent match out of him. This was one of the better bouts on the whole show.
Athena def. Amber Nova
I believe this marked Athena's Dark debut. As long as she doesn't become a regular on the program and only beat uncontracted talent every week (a la Ruby Soho), then I'm content. She's only a month into her run in AEW and she's looked terrific so far, including in this outing. You can tell she's more motivated than she's been in years. She made quick work of Nova and I liked that she used a rare submission move for the win.
Dante Martin def. Lucky Ali
Dante is back to fending for himself after Darius got hurt again, which is a bummer. What's worse is that he was building serious momentum as a singles star before re-entering the tag team ranks and now he's back to where he was a year ago. Sure, he had an impressive outing recently against Jon Moxley on Rampage, but I don't expect AEW to capitalize on that performance. This should have been shorter, but at least they made the most of the time they had.
Julia Hart def. Valentina Rossi
As I've said before, Hart doesn't add much to House of Black in my opinion since she just stands in the corner and does nothing. That said, the character development with her is somewhat appreciated. Granted, she's no better in the ring now than she was earlier this year, but she was only going to go so far with the cheerleader gimmick. It was already starting to grow tiresome. She showed nothing in this match to make me think she'll be a future player in the AEW women's division, but maybe she'll improve over time.
Fuego Del Sol def. Marcus Kross
Kross no longer has the goofy-looking hairstyle, so that's a plus. As for Fuego, Sammy Guevara used his mask recently on Dynamite to make people think it was Fuego interfering in the Hair vs. Hair match between Chris Jericho and Santana, so why wouldn't Fuego be more mad about that on AEW programming? They probably explained it in one of his vlogs, but it would've made more sense for Guevara to bully him backstage on Dark or something. Oh well. He was more straightforward here than usual, so that was nice. The match was whatever otherwise. I have no desire to see a Fuego vs. Factory feud based on what we got afterward.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Preston "10" Vance) def. The Wingmen (Ryan Nemeth and JD Drake)
I'm so beyond tired of the Dark Order vs. Wingmen matches. Maybe they haven't worked together at all and I'm just misremembering, but I feel like I've seen a million matches between them because they're both undercard factions I don't currently care about. This was given an ample amount of time, and although there was nothing technically wrong with it, the action was average and the outcome was never in doubt despite Dark Order's recent shortcomings.
Ariya Daivari def. Caleb Konley
Daivari has largely been utilized as an enhancement talent any time he's appeared on AEW programming since being released from WWE last year. What's interesting is that he has since returned to WWE in a backstage producer role alongside his brother Shawn Daivari and I believe he was even shown backstage when John Cena entered the arena on Monday's Raw. Of course, this was filmed a few weeks ago, so this may be the last we see of Daivari in AEW. I'm actually bummed about the result because Konley deserves a look more than Daivari does. It was a quality contest, nonetheless.
ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta def. Tony Nese in a Pure Rules Match
As he mentioned in a backstage interview earlier in the episode, Yuta is having a hell of a week. He just competed in a barn burner of a six-man tag team match at Sunday's Forbidden Door pay-per-view, defended his title in the main event of this edition of Dark (even though it was taped a few weeks ago), and he'll be in the Blood and Guts main event on Wednesday's Dynamite. The company clearly sees big things in his future, so he's on the right track. At any rate, this was as enjoyable as you'd expect given their respective styles. BJ Whitmer, Mercedes Martinez and Christopher Daniels served as judges at ringside. It was far from an exhilarating encounter, but it was well worked and I imagine Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia (which they set up afterward) will be better.
I thought it was cool how they built up the ROH Pure Championship over the course of two weeks and there was an actual story behind it. That's rare for Dark and I hope they do more of that sort of stuff going forward, specifically with Yuta and Garcia. I wasn't thrilled that this edition of Dark lasted almost 90 minutes, but I'll make an exception this week as it was the 150th episode. All in all, it was a solid show, though they could have cut out one or two of the squashes to trim the fat/filler.