The Dark Order (John Silver and Alex Reynolds) def. Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo
I feel like Silver and Reynolds don't get the credit they deserve for being such a terrific tag team. Maybe it's because they're too goofy as characters, but if they can develop more of a serious side, they could absolutely be more of a threat to the AEW World Tag Team Championship. Dean is signed to a full-time deal with AEW I believe, but we barely see him in the ring. This was a well-wrestled opener, and because Dean is somewhat established, I didn't have a problem with this being given some time.
Riho def. Karma Dean
This marked Dean's AEW debut. She was fine, but like most Riho matches that we've gotten on Dark recently, this was all about Riho and re-establishing her with another win. Aside from the multi-woman matches she's been a part of, she hasn't had many competitive matches since coming back to AEW, but I assume that will change fairly soon as they find the right role for her on the show.
Daniel Garcia and 2point0 def. Gabriel Hodder, Adrien Soriano and Matthew Omen
Hodder, Soriano and Omen are three no-namers, so this was completely one-sided in favor of Garcia and 2point0. The focus was less on the match and more on the post-match promo where Garcia and 2point0 put the locker room on notice. The weird thing with them is that it felt like they were on TV quite a bit going into and coming out of All Out yet they haven't been featured a lot lately. That said, Garcia will face Eddie Kingston this Friday on Rampage.
Kiera Hogan def. Notorious Mimi
Hogan recently said in an interview that she feels "lost in the shuffle" in AEW and also confirmed she's under a deal to them. I don't know if it's one of those lower-level deals or if they have yet to release the "all elite" graphic for her, but either way, she's talented enough that I have no doubt she'll do well in the long run. She just arrived and therefore I'm not shocked they haven't found much for her to do. Matches like this and winning on Dark will only help her cause, though.
Bear Country def. Chad Lennex and Caine Carter
Bear Country are the perfect utility guys that stand out in the ring and always look good in defeat but are used to put over other people. They always win enough on the Dark shows that they aren't complete losers. They got to showcase their skills here and show off their intensity. We never hear from them on the mic, so I liked that we heard from them in a backstage promo later in the show.
Anthony Greene def. Jameson Ryan
I've been following Greene's work on the independent scene for years and enjoyed his work in NXT for the brief time he was there, so I'm glad he's getting a chance to shine in AEW and is the perfect person to be spotlighting on Dark at Universal Studios. Unfortunately, this wasn't very good at all, though it did give Greene his first win in AEW. Tony Schiavone informed him afterward that he'll be facing Adam Cole on next week's episode.
Joey Janela def. Zack Clayton
I'm not kidding when I say there are weeks I forget Janela is still under contract to AEW. I feel like we barely see him nowadays and that's not a bad thing at all. Kudos to him for getting into better shape, but I still think he pales in comparison to the rest of the roster AEW now has and doesn't bring much of value. This was a fine showcase for him, though I don't know if it needed to be as long as it was.
Emi Sakura def. Valentina Rossi
Sakura is one of those women AEW will build up with wins like this on Dark at Universal Studios but never do anything of note with her. I'm okay with that because I don't find anything interesting about her, but at least she's experienced in the ring and the newer women (such as Rossi) can benefit from working with her. Rossi was able to score some offense, but Sakura went over in the end as expected.
Matt Hardy def. Brick Aldridge
Hardy is wonderful when it come to working with the younger talent in matches like this, which is why I wish the Hardy Family Office had different members and weren't booked like losers. With the Big Money Matt gimmick, he's an ideal manager for one or two people, not a bunch of lower-level talent that aren't any more over than they were before. This was a great example of what Matt can do on his own without all of the shenanigans and Aldridge got to look quite credible in defeat. Jora Johl getting to learn from him at ringside was a nice touch.
The Acclaimed def. Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson
Of all the matches on this show, it made sense for this to get an ample amount of time because of who was involved. Anderson and Johnson have been honing their chemistry in their last several matches on the Dark shows, but both men are works in progress. The Acclaimed are a pretty polished act, so this gave the newcomers a chance to grow against an established team. This was a nice match with the correct outcome.
Wardlow def. Rolando Perez by Referee Stoppage
As I've said before, Wardlow has replaced Lance Archer as the resident ass kicker on the Dark shows with Archer being out injured for the time being. I'll never get tired of seeing him kill dudes in short order, especially when his opponents are so much smaller than he is like Perez. Props to Perez for taking this beating like a champ and for selling so well for Wardlow's offense. I thought Wardlow was going to put him through the roof with those F10s afterward. I can't wait for him to break out as a babyface.
Lee Moriarty def. Nick Comoroto
This was an interesting matchup. We haven't seen as much of Moriarty in AEW as I would like, but putting him in the main event of Dark against a guy that's been around a while is a good start. Comoroto is one of those guys that I think can be a bigger star in the future if he can continue to improve, whereas Moriarty is ready for a spot on TV right now. He'd honestly thrive in a cruiserweight division if AEW decided to start one. This was a fairly basic bout with Moriarty having to fight from underneath throughout, but they worked well together. Moriarty eking out the win was a pleasant surprise as well as the fact he got to cut a post-match promo.
Dark was back at Universal Studios this week, so there was a lot less star power compared to last week and more people that are in the process of being built up or developed. It didn't make for the most thrilling 80 minutes of wrestling, but at least the show served its purpose of giving these up-and-comers a platform to hone their skills. I appreciated the few promos we got on this show (whether they were in the ring or backstage), so more of that would help break up the monotony of the matches.