Powerhouse Hobbs def. Angel Fashion
I feel like we haven't seen a lot of Hobbs in action lately due to the focus largely being on Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in Team Taz and their feud with Sting and Darby Allin, so hopefully he'll have more of a presence on Dark and Dynamite now that Revolution is over. I've said before that he needs to be booked to look dominant and that was exactly what we got here. Short-and-sweet squashes are the perfect use of Hobbs at this point.
SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) def. Danny Limelight and Azriel
I believe Limelight was out injured for a brief back, so I'm glad he's back. He's one of the better independent wrestlers AEW brings in for Dark and he makes the most of every opportunity he's given. As for SCU, it's easy to forget that they've said that they'll split up the next match they lose. They made that promise months ago, but they've barely been on Dynamite since then. Don't get me wrong, this was a fun match, but I wish that SCU story was getting more attention.
Peter Avalon, Cezar Bononi and Ryan Nemeth def. Aaron Solow, Brick Aldridge and Dean Alexander
Does this mean Nemeth is a part of Bononi and Avalon's act now? Good grief. Keep this crap on Dark, please. Meanwhile, I know Solow is a member of The Nightmare Family, but I have no idea why Aldridge and Alexander were wearing Nightmare Family jackets. If they're also part of the faction, then it's safe to say it's reaching 1999 nWo territory. This was a fine showcase for the heels, but personally, I can't bring myself to care about them.
Lee Johnson def. Baron Black
Johnson is getting the big push out of everyone in Nightmare Family right now. He's got skills and Dark is the perfect platform for him to improve. He'll need more mic time and character development over time, but he's off to a solid start. He had a solid showing here, though it would have been more impressive had it not taken him as long as it did to defeat Black.
The Dark Order (Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson and Alex "3" Reynolds) def. Aaron Frye, D3, Jon Cruz and Vary Morales
As I've said before, I'm all in on Dark Order as babyfaces. Granted, they looked like losers at Revolution when none of their three teams could win the Casino Tag Team Royale, but they're still a blast to watch, nonetheless. Every member had their time to shine here and it made for a fun finishing sequence. They're not doing much of note right now, but their alliance with Adam Page has at least made for some entertaining segments on Dynamite.
Varsity Blonds def. RYZIN and Cameron Stewart
I'll keep saying it until it happens, but we need more of RYZIN in singles matches. Unless he's absolutely awful and I'm not seeing it, I hate that he continues to be put in random tag team matches. He stands out more than most of the enhancement talent AEW brings in, so they'd be wise to use him more often. That said, this was all about Varsity Blonds and giving them a momentum boost. They're coming along nicely and have a lot of potential.
Diamante def. Savannah Thorne
This marked Thorne's in-ring debut for AEW, but if she looks familiar, that's because she's been around for a while both in the crowd. She was also a part of MJF's "campaign" last year. I was interested to see how she'd do here, but she was completely dominated by Diamante, whose offense always looks good. Her hard-hitting style makes her matches a treat to watch, but she may as well stop wearing that dumb Deadly Draw medal down to the ring because it means nothing.
QT Marshall def. Fuego Del Sol
I saw that this was heavily hyped on Twitter on social media throughout the day and I'm not sure why. Have they been feuding on Sammy Guevara's vlog or something? There's no doubt that Fuego is talented and, shockingly, this may have been the best bout I've seen him have. I say "shockingly" because Marshall does nothing for me, but he, too, put in quite the effort. This had a frantic pace that made it way more exciting than I was expecting.
Kip Sabian def. Shawn Dean
I've officially lost all interest in the Sabian and Penelope Ford pairing. Ford can be an asset to the women's division, but she doesn't wrestle nearly as often as she should and the focus is almost entirely on Sabian. He's a pretty good wrestler, but nothing he's done so far in AEW has made me care about him. It was ridiculous that it took him six minutes to defeat Dean, even though Dean has been around for a little while. I'm just glad Miro finally seems to be splitting away from Sabian and Ford and going off on his own.
Abadon def. Katalina Perez
It's been well documented in these reviews that I find Abadon to be abysmal, both in the ring and as a character. I didn't even notice she was off AEW TV for almost two months and I certainly didn't miss her. Okay, so that was a little harsh, but seriously, her matches bore me to tears (the same way The Fiend's matches do for a lot of WWE fans). The best thing I can say about this is that it didn't overstay its welcome.
Santana and Ortiz def. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss
I can't believe that Santana and Ortiz are just another team in AEW's tag division at this point. They always bring it in their matches and this was no different, but they really should feel more important than they currently do. Thus, the Inner Circle breakup couldn't come soon enough for them. Janela and Kiss had what I thought was their strongest showing to date here and I loved how everyone worked with a sense of urgency. I'd like to see more of this fire from both teams on a more consistent basis. Santana and Ortiz are usually aggressive, but again, they come off like an afterthought because of how they've been booked.
Dark was slightly shorter than usual this week, likely because these matches were taped during the same batch as Saturday's (last Wednesday before/after Dynamite). Even the commentators made a joke about wearing the same clothes. By Dark standards, this was a decent show with a few fun matches here and there. There were more matches that mattered than there normally is. Next week will be the rest test when Elevation debuts on Monday. Both shows should be around an hour with less matches. Hopefully Elevation has a slightly different format or feel to it so it's not Dark 2.0.