Max Caster def. Tyler Uriah
Anthony Bowens appeared alongside Caster on Monday's edition of Elevation in an eight-man tag team match, so I'm not sure why Caster went at it alone here. He even asked a fan at ringside to do Bowens' portion of the pre-match rap. At any rate, this was a pretty standard showcase for Caster, who won in a matter of minutes. The Acclaimed don't seem to be doing a whole lot right now, but they're always entertaining whenever they are featured.
Marina Shafir def. Layna Lennox
The last time we saw Shafir in action was when she unsuccessfully challenged Jade Cargill for the AEW TBS Championship on Rampage about a month ago. I think it's safe to say the feud was a failure, but I hope the company doesn't give up on her yet. Sure, she has her husband's charisma (which is to say she has none at all), but she definitely has gotten better and plays her role well. This was a dominant win to get her back on track.
Bear Country def. The Workhorsemen
The outcome of this contest was genuinely unpredictable because both teams are used often by AEW but never win on TV, so this could have gone either way. It was a fun hoss fight with all four guys working well together. It was also Bear Bronson's second win of the week after beating Brandon Cutler on Monday's Elevation. I'd love to see more of this type stuff on Dark because it wasn't the same squash match we see constantly and had two teams I wanted to see go at it.
Emi Sakura def. Devlyn Macabre
It feels like Sakura is featured almost every single week on at least one of the Dark shows, and this week it was both. I'd argue that it would be wise for AEW to scale her appearances back a bit so she doesn't feel as overexposed for those of us that actually watch the Dark shows. It doesn't help that almost every squash match she has is exactly the same. Did this really need to be as long as it was?
Angelico and Jora Johl def. Baron Black and Anthony Catena
I'm sorry but The A.F.O. are completely dead in the water at this point and they have been since the beginning. With Jack Evans gone from the company, it appears Johl may be Angelico's new tag team partner, which would be a definite step down. No disrespect to Johl who has potential, but it's the truth. This gave them a rare win, but I can't say I care about this new duo at all.
Trent Beretta def. Ryan Nemeth
Thinking about it now, I'm shocked we didn't get an appearance from Best Friends in Long Island last week considering Beretta is from there if I remember correctly. Nemeth was undefeated one-on-one in 2022 prior to last week, so expect from to do a lot of losing from here on out. He and Beretta had a nice little match yet nothing out of the ordinary. Peter Avalon attacked to attack Beretta afterward, but Rocky Romero made the save, so look for that to turn into a tag team match soon.
Skye Blue def. Amber Nova
I've never found Nova to be anything special in the ring, but she has wrestled in quite a few companies over the years as an enhancement talent. Speaking of which, Blue is one of the top enhancement talents AEW has, but I'm glad she wins once in a while as well. She and Nova had a passable outing, but what really caught my attention was Tony Schiavone mentioning in a post-match promo that Blue has been signed since last year. If that's accurate, I don't remember seeing a graphic. Either way, it was nice to finally hear from Blue for a change.
Alex Coughlin, Clark Connors, Karl Fredricks, Yuya Uemura and Kevin Knight def. The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Nick Comorto, Brick Aldridge and Blake Li)
We've been seeing quite a few members of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's L.A. Dojo recently on Dark and there were a few names on this team this week that I recognized, specifically Coughlin, Connors and Fredricks. I thought they were being set up to lose to the established faction of The Factory, but apparently not and I'm happy about that. This was a pretty basic 10-man tag team match otherwise. The Factory are there to elevate people, so at least they do that well.
ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta def. Josh Woods
It's pretty damn cool we got a title match on Dark for a change. When was the last time that happened? When Brian Cage defended the FTW Championship a while back? It's also cool we got a rematch with these two from Ring of Honor's Supercard of Honor pay-per-view in early April, especially since I don't think this would have gotten nearly as much time on Dynamite or Rampage. As expected, this was very well wrestled, even if the crowd was largely quiet. I hope we can see the Pure title defended more in the future and I think it'd be a nice attraction for the Dark shows.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland def. Chaos Project
It was weird that they cut to a match in front of a capacity crowd (obviously from before a Dynamite or Rampage taping) for the main event when everything else was taped at Universal Studios. It was nice to have some star power on the show in the form of Lee and Strickland, but this really should have been shorter than it was considering Luther and Serpentico are no threat to them whatsoever, not to mention that Lee and Strickland appear to be headed toward tag team title contention. This was fine, but Chaos Project are abysmal and should have been squashed much quicker.
The runtime was back over 90 minutes this week, and the show suffered from the same issues it did last week. Too many matches were featured and some of the matches were unnecessarily lengthy. Elevation has the perfect formula more often than not and I wish Dark was that consistent and efficient as well. On the bright side, there were some matches with notable names and the ROH Pure Championship being defended was a sweet touch, so it worked out in the end.