Hikaru Shida def. Dani Jordyn
Shida will officially be facing Nyla Rose for the AEW Women's Championship at Double or Nothing coming off her four-way victory last week on Dynamite, so this was merely a warm-up for her. However, Jordyn once again had a standout showing and looked credible in defeat. She's impressed me the few times I've seen her in action in AEW and the NWA, so I hope one of the companies sign her soon.
QT Marshall def. Clutch Adams
Any time I see Marshall in action, I immediately lose interest. Nothing against the guy, but aside from the vignette that ran for him on Dark around the time that he debuted late last year, I have zero reason to care about him. His matches are harmless and he isn't terrible by any means, but he doesn't generate any excitement for me whatsoever. Keeping this short and sweet was for the best.
Marko Stunt def. Jason Cade
I'm not the biggest fan of Marko Stunt, but it was cool to see him showcased by himself for a change. Cade scored more offense than most of the enhancement talent on this show, but that's because Stunt shouldn't believably be dominating anyone. It looked like he had his bell rung post-match because of a nasty clothesline bump he took, so hopefully he's okay. It's also possible he was just was selling it really well, but I didn't get that sense.
Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian def. Musa and Lee Johnson
I'm still not sold on this pairing of Havoc and Sabian, but they've worked well together thus far and the matches have been enjoyable. That was the case here as well and Musa and Johnson had top-notch performances as always. It lasted a little longer than I expected, but that's not a knock against it. The only issue I see with Havoc and Sabian joining the tag team ranks is that AEW has so many teams as it is that they'll get lost in the shuffle fairly easily.
Rey Fenix def. Shawn Dean
As I assumed was the case last week, it looks like Fenix is indeed on his own in the interim since Pentagon Jr. hasn't been seen lately on AEW TV, which would explain why Fenix is in the Casino Ladder match at Double or Nothing. That said, this could be a giant positive for Fenix, who was a breakout singles star in Lucha Underground as well as in IMPACT a few years ago. This was a fun little outing and that dive to the outside (I believe by Dean) was brutal.
Luther def. Jon Cruz
I'm sorry but I don't get the appeal of Luther at all. His match with Jimmy Havoc last week was exactly what it needed to be, but it wasn't like it left me clamoring for more of Luther. That said, I assume Dark will primarily be where we'll be seeing him for the foreseeable future. The match was fine, but the constant screaming from Luther did nothing for me, the same way how it annoys the hell out of me when The Kabuki Warriors do it on WWE Raw.
Private Party def. Ryan Rembrandt and Mike Reed
It was announced last week on Dynamite that Private Party will face Best Friends at Double or Nothing where the winners will earn a future shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championship. It's about time they were involved in something notable again. They're a terrific team, but they need to regain steam and this is an effective way of doing just that. Unfortunately, this felt like it had one too many hiccups, especially toward the end.
Sammy Guevara def. Alan Angels
Guevara's matches against the enhancement talent are probably my favorite because they're always entertaining. He continues to nail the mannerisms and make me forget about the lack of live crowd. Angels, to his credit, has been killing it regardless of who of his opponent has been over the last month and he's left the biggest impression on me of everyone they've brought in. The pace was perfect and they really brought the best out of each other here.
Darby Allin def. Serpentico
This marked Serpentico's AEW debut and I was honestly expecting more. Based off how this was positioned as the main event, I thought he and Allin would go all out and have a hell of a sprint, but it was barely above average and Serpentico failed to blow me away. On the bright side, Allin is still shining even in the empty arena environment and I'm pulling for him to win to win the Casino Ladder match. Taz again expressed interest in managing Allin on commentary, but that's not a pairing that makes sense to me on paper.
Similar to last week's, this edition of Dark featured a whopping nine matches. Some were better than others, but they all succeeded in giving certain talent victories and building them ahead of Double or Nothing this weekend. Speaking of which, AEW has done an excellent job of putting together a card worth caring about, and they still have one more show to sell viewers on it. I'm not a big fan of these super-sized episodes of Dark, but at least they're providing some quality wrestling if nothing else.