Lee Johnson and Aaron Solow def. Louie Valle and Chris Peaks
Johnson and Solow represented The Nightmare Family, hence why Arn Anderson was in their corner. Maybe it was explained elsewhere, and I know Cody Rhodes teamed with Johnson on one episode of Dynamite, but I really wish Cody would explain on AEW TV why he chose to recruit these two into The Nightmare Family. Solow doesn't do much for me personally, but Johnson is fun to watch and this was a nice opener.
Red Velvet and KiLynn King def. Ivelisse and Diamante
Finally, the weeks and months of pointless squashes for Ivelisse and Diamante led to something. Granted, they didn't win here, but at least they faced two women are AEW regulars and were on offense for a majority of it. Velvet will be teaming up with Cody on Wednesday's Dynamite to take on Jade Cargill and Shaquille O'Neal, so this was a solid warm-up for her. I don't know why she couldn't have faced Ivelisse or Diamante in singles competition, but it was a decent match, nonetheless.
Top Flight def. Fuego Del Sol and Jon Cruz
Top Flight remains a work in progress, but they're a blast to watch and have a ton of potential. They've been impressive most times I've seen them in action and giving them more reps on Dark will only help them in the long-run. Meanwhile, Fuego bumped around a bit and looked good in defeat. It's too soon for Top Flight to be getting any sort of meaningful push, but there's nothing wrong with maintaining momentum in the meantime.
Gunn Club (Austin, Colten and Billy Gunn) def. Tony Vega, Aaron Frye and Angel Fashion
I haven't seen a Gunn Club match in a while, so I honestly forgot they existed. Unfortunately, they made their return as a trio here. I think they'd be more bearable if Billy wasn't in there at all. Austin and Colten are fine and are making progress, but there is zero reason why Billy should be in there at this stage of his career, especially since he adds nothing to the matches he's in. Having him picking up the winning fall instead of his sons made even less sense.
Abandon def. Renee Michelle
I believe this marked Abadon's first appearance since failing to beat Hikaru Shida for the AEW World Women's Championship at New Year's Smash back in early January. I don't know why she was gone for almost two months, but I can't say I missed her while she was gone. As for Michelle, the real-life wife of Drake Maverick has becoming a regular on Dark lately. She hasn't been able to show off what she's capable of just because she tends to get beat fairly quickly. The best thing about this match was that it was short and sweet. Less of Abadon, the better (but I realize I'm in the minority who feels that way).
Stu Grayson def. JD Drake
It was nice to see Drake back on Dark following his impressive debut. Better yet, he had another standout performance against an equally talented opponent in Grayson. As I've said before, we don't see nearly enough of Grayson on his own, but he never ceases to impress me with what he can do. This was probably my favorite match on the entire episode. Needless to say, AEW would be foolish to not look into Drake more and give him another look.
Bear Country def. Baron Black and M'Badu
Bear Country getting more and more chances to shine can only be seen as a good thing. I haven't read anything indicating they've been signed to a deal, but it sure seems like they have been since they're winning most of their matches on Dark. They can move around very well for guys their size, though I wish their matches were booked more like squashes in their favor. Bear Country should the one AEW team that isn't like the rest and are able to put their opponents away relatively quickly.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Alan "5" Angels and Colt Cabana) def. Levy Shapiro, John Skyler and RYZIN
I'm going to go ahead and assume Dark Order are officially babyfaces at this point, especially since they're coming out with -1 almost every week. This was a random combination of Dark Order members, but all three guys are good and this was a perfectly acceptable showcase for them. I don't know if it needed to last as long as it did, but at least I wasn't bored. Most of the Dark Order guys were supposed to be involved in a 10-man tag team match on Wednesday's Dynamite before the bout was changed to Matt Hardy and Marq Quen vs. Adam Page and John Silver.
Max Castor def. JJ Garrett
I can't shake the feeling that Garrett looks like a knockoff Chad Gable albeit slightly taller. At any rate, Caster is competing in a qualifying match against Preston "10" Vance on Dynamite where the winner will move on to the Face of the Revolution Ladder match at Revolution. Caster is more of a tag team guy than he is a singles star, but it's a cool opportunity for him. That said, he probably should have won a little quickly just so he could established as more of a threat to Vance.
The Hybrid2 def. Shawn Dean and Charlie Bravo
Aside from their mini push late last year where they feuded with The Young Bucks for a brief bit, TH2 are booked like glorified enhancement talent in AEW and I've accepted that they likely won't be much more than that. On the bright side, it's nice that they've been getting more television time in recent weeks in their alliance with Matt Hardy. I'd argue that this was more competitive than it needed to be, but then again, it's TH2 we're talking about here, so I shouldn't be surprised.
Orange Cassidy def. Steven Stetson
Didn't Chris Jericho claim that he made a star out of Cassidy by putting him over twice last year? If he's such a star, why has he been directionless ever since? I'm a fan of Cassidy, but it really goes to show that the entire program (despite producing a few fun moments) was a giant waste of time because Cassidy is right back to where he was before the push started. He'll be teaming with Chuck Taylor against Miro and Kip Sabian at Revolution, but personally, I couldn't care less. This was enjoyable for Cassidy's antics, which is what he's best at as opposed to being put in serious situations.
Chuck Taylor def. VSK
I don't think it was necessary to have an Orange Cassidy match and a Chuck Taylor match on the same show, or at least not back-to-back. Just one would have sufficed. Similar to what I said about Cassidy, I'm a Best Friends fan, but I honestly don't find Taylor remotely interesting by himself. Trent couldn't come back soon enough. This was another match that was fine for what it was, but it just caused the show to drag on even longer.
Preston "10" Vance def. Daniel Joseph
As previously noted, Vance has a Face of the Revolution qualifying match coming up this week against The Acclaimed's Max Caster. He's booked similar to Brian Cage and Wardlow in that his matches are typically on the shorter side and he comes across as dominant. That was the case here as well. For what it's worth, it looks like -1 will be Vance's manager of sorts going forward, and while I don't think he needs to be on the show every week, I applaud AEW for doing something nice for him. He genuinely seems like he's having the time of his life when he's out there.
SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) def. Mike and Matt Sydal
SCU and the Sydal brothers were involved in last week's three-way tag team main event that was won by SCU. There was no way Matt and Mike were winning here, but once again, they put forth a commendable effort and gelled well as a team. They're best off on Dark because there's so many more teams that deserve to be slotted above them on Dynamite. This was a well-wrestled affair. I just wish the SCU story was getting more traction on Dynamite because it feels like it's lost steam over the last month or two with so much other stuff going on.
Dark returned to its usual format last week with an absurd amount of matches and almost two hours in length. There were actually some quality matches on the show, but two hours is too long when most of them mean nothing. The good news is that there's a chance it could be getting cut in half in two weeks when the debut of Dark: Elevation on Monday nights on YouTube. I hope they'll both be one-hour shows as that would be easier to digest (or at least for someone like me who reviews all the shows). The hype for Wednesday's loaded Dynamite was also well done on this edition of Dark, but as I always say, it isn't worth sitting through in its entirety.