Darby Allin def. Brandon Cutler
Allin wrestling on Dark is a rare nowadays, and that's because he's too big of a star to be a regular on the show. That said, he hasn't been doing much of note as of late and hasn't been positioned as anyone important on his own in a while, so this shouldn't have been too surprising. This was a really fun opener with Allin wasting no time in taking the fight to Cutler and Cutler playing his role well. Allin will face Kyle O'Reilly at Double or Nothing, and as well-wrestled as that's bound to be, it's unnecessary addition to an already loaded card.
Anna Jay def. Sandra Moone
Jay has mostly competed in random tag team matches on the Dark shows since Tay Conti turned heel and their alliance was inexplicably put on ice, and now we're supposed to take her seriously as a threat to Jade Cargill's AEW TBS Championship. No, this win over Moore did nothing to change my mind, but it did give Jay a necessary singles win, if nothing else. The match was fine for what it was.
House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King and Buddy Matthews) def. Adriel Noctis, Matt Brannigan and Gregory Sharpe
I know they'll be in action against Death Triangle at Double or Nothing, but I still feel like we barely see House of Black on TV and that has to change. They're one of the coolest acts in the entire company and they've done nothing so far this year except for feud with the same faction. Hopefully a win over Death Triangle will get them back on the right track. This served as a solid showcase for them and it was wise to keep it short and sweet.
Riho, Skye Blue and Yuka Sakazaki def. Nyla Rose, Emi Sakura and Diamante
This was the obligatory multi-woman tag team match we've been getting on Dark for a while now, just a slightly different variation. Almost all of them feature Rose and Sakura, too. If you've seen one of them, you've seen them all. That isn't to say this was bad as it was actually nicely paced and had some enjoyable action, but it feels lazy to keep putting the same women in the same matches. None of these ladies will be at Double or Nothing.
Death Triangle (Pac, Rey Fenix and Penta Oscuro) def. The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto)
Death Triangle never had a chance to really get going when they first got together two years ago due to the pandemic and then injuries also halted their momentum last year. They've been a blast to watch this year, but House of Black is the hotter faction and I hope they win at Double or Nothing. However, The Factory are at least established enough for this to mean more than the victory House of Black picked up earlier in the evening. I couldn't care less about The Factory, but they were the perfect people to do the job here and it was a well-worked match.
Johnny Elite def. Marq Quen
I agree whichever commentator said it: Quen looks much, much older with his dyed facial hair. This match wasn't advertised and I like that Elite's appearance was kept a surprise because it made for a cool moment when the crowd realized it was him. The last I heard, Elite has not been signed by AEW, but that could change if he racks up more wins and becomes more of a regular in AEW. This was a quality contest and a nice way to close out the episode.
This was a Saturday special edition of Dark ahead of Double or Nothing on Sunday. I honestly didn't know about it until right before it aired on YouTube, so they could have done a better job of promoting it in advance. There's nothing you need to go out of your way to see, but it was an above-average episode by Dark standards with Allin and Elite appearing and House of Black and Death Triangle competing. It won't sell you on Double or Nothing if you weren't already purchasing the pay-per-view, but it served as a nice preview for the event.