Big Swole def. Vipress
I believe this marked AEW's debut. She had a solid showing and looked impressive against Swole. Speaking of Swole, her matches are always well-wrestled, but it's hard to care considering how she's floundering at the moment. She was getting consistent mic time on Dynamite, Dark and even Being The Elite for a while, but now she's just an afterthought in the women's division. It's nice she's maintaining momentum with wins, but eventually she'll have to move forward.
The Dark Order (Alex "3" Reynolds and John "4" Silver) def. Lee Johnson and Aaron Solow
It's funny. I would have dreaded a match with Reynolds and Silver in it six months ago because they were always positioned as losers until recently. Now, they're among my favorite recurring characters on Being The Elite and they're finally being allowed to show off some of that personality on Dark and Dynamite. Granted, they were serious here, but they should have been. They should be built up more and thus this was a step in the right direction.
Trent def. Michael Nakazawa
The show was going just fine until this. I don't understand the appeal of Nakazawa. Sometimes his matches are straightforward, and other times they're unbearable like this one because of the stupidity. I should have known this would be played for comedy because of who was involved, but at least they ditched the dumb stuff once they got going (except for when Nakazawa pulled out the thong at the end). If WWE did crap like this, they would never hear the end of it.
Red Velvet def. Tesha Price
Could Velvet's buddy Brandi Rhodes not be bothered to accompany her to ringside here? At any rate, she's shown signs of improvement in the time she's been working with AEW, so it was nice to see her get a showcase here. Price is pretty skilled in her own right and thus this was decent for the time given. If Velvet isn't already signed by AEW, I assume she will be soon. She'll be much better off when she ditches that silly pot-stirring motion.
Lance Archer and Jake "The Snake" Roberts Addressed the AEW Roster
While it's been cool to hear more from Archer lately in these segments with Roberts, it begs the question of why he needed a mouthpiece in the first place and what AEW has planned for him going forward. My guess is that he was going to enter the AEW World Championship picture following Full Gear, but the promotion went in a different direction and now he's spinning his wheels and saying the same stuff week after week. Don't get me wrong, more mic work on Dark is a plus, but the promos should serve a purpose. This, however, was nothing new.
Private Party def. VSK and Baron Black
VSK and Black have been perfectly serviceable in the ring from what I've seen, though their performances don't stand out as being special. This was all about Private Party and giving them a needed win. They definitely feel like they're in a better spot than they were a few months ago, but their partnership with Matt Hardy hasn't helped them as much as I hoped it would. He'll manage them once in a while but it hasn't been consistent enough to really make much of a difference.
KiLynn King def. Rache Chanel
King has been beaten so many times that she's been cemented as a stepping stone in my mind. It's possible AEW is interested in signing her and that's why she's been winning on a small winning streak lately, but personally, I find it difficult to get invested in her character when we know absolutely nothing about her. Chanel, on the other hand, is abysmal at best. Thankfully, this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it also isn't worth seeking out by any means.
Sammy Guevara def. Marko Stunt
Dark would benefit from having less matches with the same un-signed wrestlers losing every week and more matches like this where it's two contracted performers. I realize Guevara was supposed to be the heel here, but I'll never boo anyone who beats up Marko Stunt. In all seriousness, Stunt was the perfect opponent for Guevara as Stunt got to shine for a bit before Guevara put him away with his great-looking finisher. Cutting promos isn't his strong suit, but it was nice to hear him vow to get back on track coming off his recent loss at Full Gear.
Penelope Ford def. Dreamgirl Ellie
As I've said time and time again, Ford has plenty of potential and she'll only benefit from having more matches. The key is putting her in there with established talent like Hikaru Shida. For example, she had a breakout performance against her at Fyter Fest but hasn't had a single memorable match since then. Facing women who are as inexperienced as her (or marginally more experienced) will not do her any favors. Also, she has to stop doing that Lethal Injection move because it rarely looks good.
Ivelisse and Diamante def. Lady Frost and Jenna
Jenna was on Dark recently as Jennacide (or something similar to that), but thankfully, it looks like AEW shortened her name so it wasn't so, you know, offensive. She was significantly taller than anyone else in this match, but she looks like a giant goof with that face paint. I might forgive it if she was some sort of amazing wrestler, but I have yet to see it if so. For those keeping track at home, Deadly Draw winners Ivelisse and Diamante continue to pick up meaningless victories on Dark but aren't involved in anything of note on Dynamite.
Brandon Cutler def. Adam Priest
I'm no Brandon Cutler fan, but he's been on a winning streak since scoring his first victory on Dark last month and it's made for a feel-good story. He's skilled in the ring, but my biggest criticism of him was that he didn't have an identity outside of being friends with The Young Bucks (and I'm referring to what's being shown on Dark and Dynamite, not Being The Elite). To his credit, he's been able to get past that with this string of wins. This was exactly what it needed to be.
Britt Baker Hosted The Waiting Room with Tay Conti and The Acclaimed
I saw that the debut edition of The Waiting Room received a ton of flack online from fans last week, and while it was far from perfect, I noted that it was at least a cool concept and a smart way to get an additional talking segment on this show. This was slightly better, though Conti certainly has her work cut out for her on the mic. The Acclaimed were more entertaining with their short and sweet rap, though unless we're getting Baker vs. Conti at some point, their back-and-forth felt pointless.
Gunn Club (Billy, Austin and Colten Gunn) def. Cezar Bononi, KTB and Seth Gargis
Fun fact: Bononi once beat Andrade on an episode of NXT TV three and a half years ag. AEW must like the former WWE Performance Center recruit if he's been brought back a handful of times recently. There might be something there, but he's always getting squashed and there were five other guys in this match, so it's hard to tell how much potential he actually has. Gunn Club are what they are. Billy's sons are getting more experience by the week, but they're featured so frequently on this show that I'm sick of seeing them.
Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) def. Panda X-Press
I'm aware that Panda X-Press are friends of Excalibur's and are from PWG (I think?), but that panda suit was a whole other level of stupid. It was such a distraction I honestly couldn't pay attention to the action. Maybe people love it elsewhere, but that trash does not belong on a major platform like AEW in my opinion. Keep that crap on the indies. I don't really know what else to say about this other than the right team won, obviously.
The Hybrid2 def. Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr.
I'm all for TH2 getting more television time and entering a feud with new AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks, but it's weird their feud with SCU was dropped out of nowhere with any resolution. It wasn't acknowledged here, and instead, Top Flight came out afterward to fend them off. Strange. Garrison and Pillman continue to be a pleasant surprise as a team and they looked good in defeat here.
The Acclaimed def. Alex Chamberlain and Damian Fenrir
The Acclaimed went from feeling like an amateurish team to me upon their debut less than a month ago to being one of my favorite acts in AEW's tag team division. Seriously, these guys are the stars and their entrance shtick won me over. They're above-average athletes to boot and win their matches quicker than most. If Top Flight are going to be on Dynamite two weeks in a row, I see no reason why these guys shouldn't be on Dynamite soon enough, too.
Matt Sydal def. Alan "5" Angels
These two wrestle similar styles, so I figured this would be fun and it was. Angels is in a different spot than Silver in that both are entertaining to watch on Being The Elite, but Silver gets more airtime on Dynamite and has been positioned as more of a threat than Angels, even though Angels has had more singles wins. It actually helped that he's won a bunch of matches lately because it meant more for Sydal to beat him here as a result. It was a quality contest and I'm glad Sydal has officially been signed by the promotion.
"Pretty" Peter Avalon def. Fuego del Sol
Avalon has officially ditched the librarian gimmick and that can't be considered anything but positive. It sucked and nothing he did was ever going to make it work. Unfortunately for Leva Bates, she's still posing as a librarian, but she's not very good anyways, so I suppose it doesn't matter. He's been playing up this new character of his for a few weeks and, I have to say, it's mildly enjoyable. His reaction to picking up his first win in AEW was hilarious. He's still an undercard competitor, but this is a refreshing change of pace for him compared to what he was doing previously.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) def. Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss and Chaos Project in a Three-Way Tag Team Match
Dark Order are the best of these three teams and it's not even close. Luther and Serpentico bore me to tears and the duo of Janela and Kiss are all over the place. Kiss can be hit or miss sometimes, whereas Janela is just a mess. They maintained a frantic pace throughout this main event and they developed strong chemistry together. I've seen better tag team matches on this show, but it was solid. This may as well have been the main event of WrestleMania because if nothing else, it meant that this show was finally over and for that I was grateful.
I think I aged five years by watching this edition of Dark. I mean, three hours?! Come on, man. That's ridiculous and I will not hear otherwise. Three hours worth of nothing but enhancement matches is absolute overkill. The three positives about this show were that there were more women's matches than usual, the talking segments are improving, and we got to see more up-and-comers get their time to shine. The issue is that there was too much time. Cut down the amount of matches and trim the fat and the show is infinitely more bearable. If you have three hours to spare for nothing but squashes you won't remember a week from now, then this show is for you. The least they can do is split it up into two episodes a week so it isn't 15 matches a night.