Big Swole def. Tesha Price
Swole feels directionless coming off her recent failure to win the AEW Women's Championship from Hikaru Shida. I'm not her biggest fan to begin with and don't see what all the hype is about her personally, but it seems strange to me that she'd go from being a regular on Dynamite and coming out on top in her feud with Britt Baker to barely being featured. As for this match, it was fine, but as always, it was the only women's match on the entire episode of Dark.
Matt Sydal def. Christopher Daniels
It's obvious that Daniels is now at a point in his career where he wants to elevate as much talent as possible before he calls it quits as a wrestler, and that's super commendable. If you're wondering why he hasn't been as active in the ring lately, it's likely because he has a behind-the-scenes role now and he appears to be more focused on that. That said, he can still go and that was evident here in this fun match with Sydal. Sydal isn't officially signed yet to my knowledge, so for him to beat Daniels was huge for him. The Hybrid2 teased going after Daniels afterward, so clearly their feud with SCU isn't over yet.
Brandon Cutler def. Michael Nakazawa
I expect Cutler to embark on a mini winning streak now that he's finally scored his first victory. Nakazawa is arguably the next biggest loser above Cutler and Peter Avalon, so it was logical for Cutler to earn his second win in AEW against him. It was a serviceable match that thankfully didn't involve the typical Nakazawa shenanigans with the baby oil and whatnot. I don't know who it's supposed to appeal to, but I find it to be dumb whenever he does it.
Griff Garrison def. Ariel Dominguez
Like Will Hobbs before he got signed, Garrison is a guy it's difficult to take seriously because he's been positioned as a jobber on Dark and Dynamite for many months now. Just because he beat a fellow unsigned independent wrestler doesn't mean he's credible by any stretch, though he did tower over Dominguez here. I assume the match was designed to be a backdrop for Lance Archer's attack and subsequent promo putting Eddie Kingston on notice. Archer's mic work was so terrific that I honestly wonder why he needs Jake Roberts there as a mouthpiece.
The Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno) def. Sean Maluta and RYZIN
We should be getting Grayson and Uno in action more often as opposed to practically any other combination of Dark Order. Their chemistry is super strong, and say what you will about the gimmick, but at least their matches always deliver. This was perfect at just four minutes in length. I like Maluta and RYZIN and they sold well for Dark Order's offense, but they were a super random team. AEW has, like, a billion tag teams, so I'm sure some other pairing could have been in that spot instead.
Ricky Starks def. Trevor Read
The best thing about Starks' matches on Dark at this point is how he carries himself as a star, along with how Taz plays him up on commentary. It's hilarious. All of Starks' squashes are the same and nothing about this one in particular stood out as special. That said, it was smart to keep this short and sweet because there was zero reason to drag it out any longer than it needed to be. Starks complained on Dynamite this week that it makes no sense why he isn't ranked despite having a strong win-loss record, and while he isn't technically wrong, it isn't all that impressive when you realize a lot of those wins came against enhancement talent.
Chuck Taylor def. Lee Johnson
Even though he has yet to score a single win in AEW, Johnson was recently recruited by Cody into The Nightmare Family. That's great and all, but it'd be lovely if Cody cut a promo on Dark or Dynamite explaining why that is. That isn't to say Johnson doesn't have potential (he obviously does based on the outing he had here), but from a storyline standpoint, it's ridiculous for The Nightmare Family to want him over anyone else on the roster if he's been a perennial loser so far in the company. Regardless, this was a very good match that saw Johnson get in a ton of offense before eating defeat. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy showing him respect post-match was a nice touch.
This edition of Dark was exactly I'd like to see more of from the show as opposed to the needlessly-long two-hour episodes we've been getting for the last month. This was just under an hour and was way more bearable and worthwhile in my opinion as a result. I continue to wish we'd get more video packages like we used to in the early days of Dark, but this installment was a step in the right direction. The action was largely enjoyable, the main event was the best bout on the show, and the commentators got to run down the card for Full Gear at the very end. This was an effective hour of wrestling all things considered.