After a change in the format last week, AEW Dark returned with eight matches. We saw the current AEW World champion Jon Moxley in a match-up, Allie returned to cause more cracks within the Natural Nightmares and the Dark Order introduced a new member.

Low Rida & Fuego Del Sol Vs SCU 

Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky represented SCU during this match-up. They faced a new team to AEW Dark, Low Rida and Fuego Del Sol. Fuego and Del Sol seemed to get a rather large amount of control within this match, which was a shock as it was excepted SCU would win easily. If this match were between SCU and another AEW tag team, it probably would not have come across as bad. However, because SCU seemed to struggle a bit during the match and only took control for the last minute. The match came across pointless and just a strange booking. AEW is still very much struggling due to the majority of the card being unknown indie wrestlers. It was a 5-minute match so did not ruin the show. This is not to say Fuego and Del Sol did not show some impressive moves though. Fuego hit Sky with an impressive shooting star press and Rida hit a shotgun dropkick off the ropes. After being shown up by Rida and Fuego, SCU started to finally work together and got the win.

Winner: SCU

Lee Johnson Vs 5

Before this match, we saw 5 being inducted into the Dark Order by Mr Brodie Lee, we now know that 5 is, in fact, AEW Dark regular Alan Angels. I was so hopeful that AEW would realise the potential Angels has to be a future star and the company signing him is amazing news. Adding Angels to the Dark Order line up was an incredibly smart decision for AEW, it’s a great way to raise his value as a roster member and allows him to learn from some of the more experienced wrestlers within the company. Another thing I like with the Dark Order is most of their members are smaller guys and therefore they rarely come out and dominate. They recognise they are not monsters and therefore allow their opponents to have some offence and put on some good matches. This was another good match and helped to introduce 5 without making him destroy Lee Johnson. Very 50/50 match with both men putting everything into it. Johnson had moments to shine as he impressed with his high-flying ability. Though 5 seemed to be taking too much time to win this match, Brodie Lee came to ringside to keep him motivated. This did the trick as 5 hit Johnson with a modified lungblower and won the match.

Winner: 5

Musa & Brady Pierce Vs Santana & Ortiz 

Santana and Ortiz’s current run in AEW has been rather disappointing for me so far. I was a huge fan of these two while they were in Impact wrestling and was incredibly excited when they signed with AEW. But they have not done much since coming to the company. Yes, they are members of the Inner Circle, but they have never really fit into that group. This match was a rare delight as Santana and Ortiz were without the Inner Circle and therefore, we were able to see them excel on their own. They both focused on dominating throughout this match, while also showing off their in-ring abilities. We were also able to see some more of their personalities as they are normally just standing in the background. Musa and Brady Pierce did everything they were meant to. While they did not do anything, that stood out both teams put on a good match. After watching Santana and Ortiz put on another good match on their own it only goes to show in my mind that they should split from the Inner Circle and go it alone as a team. Whether AEW decides to follow down this rabbit hole or not, it was a good clean victory for Santana and Ortiz.

Winner: Santana & Ortiz

A little promo featured next setting us up QT Marshall’s match later on the show. We saw QT present Dustin and Brandi with some new Natural Nightmares merch which Allie had spent all night making. This was a fun little segment and helped break up the show a bit more than just constantly being bombarded with a match after match.

Pineapple Pete & Anthony Catena Vs The Butcher & The Blade 

Nice to see the return of the Butcher and the Blade back in an AEW ring, though it would have been a far more enjoyable match if it were not against two indie wrestlers. Though I get it, they have not had a proper match in months, and they needed not only a win but some airtime before facing FTR on Dynamite. Another match that suffered from the teams competing. If Butcher and Blade faced off against Santana and Ortiz this match could have been something special. Though instead, we witnessed a quick win for the Butcher and the Blade as they spent an extraordinarily short amount of time in the ring with Pineapple Pete and Anthony Catena. Another problem with this match was Pineapple Pete, I do not understand how we can take him seriously now when we saw Chris Jericho knock him out in a matter of seconds on Dynamite weeks ago. It was another ok match, it didn’t have a purpose other than to add another win to the Butcher and the Blade.

Winner: The Butcher & The Blade

Zack Clayton Vs QT Marshall (w/ Dustin, Brandi & Allie) 

QT Marshall and the posse of oversized shirts worn by Dustin and Brandi wandered out to the ring next, of course with QT’s newest fangirl Allie. We were treated once again this week to Allie on commentary as she spent the full match admiring everything about the apple eater. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this match, it was pretty even as both men are a similar size. It was good to see Clayton take control at points. The match worked well to build QT up as a babyface and within this match, he seemed to be the underdog. Just take a minute to think about that, QT was made to be the underdog, against an indie wrestler not signed to the company. While some may say this is stupid, I think it was extremely clever. You started to cheer QT on, and while somewhere in your mind you knew he was going to win, you could just as easily see an upset. The match also focused on using the comedy relief of QT’s relationship with Allie as we saw her play on a nail injury to grab QT’s attention. I never thought I would say it but QT was the highlight of this episode of Dark, his match was funny and worked incredibly well to gain fan support for him. With the help of Allie, QT took the win.

Winner: QT Marshall 

Sonny Kiss Vs Christopher Daniels 

You know a show is facing problems when you are shocked to see two of the company’s wrestlers having a match. That is how I felt when it was announced we would see two signed AEW wrestlers facing off. This match went far longer than I expected it to but while it felt a little long, I cannot complain because at least they are both signed to the company. I like Sonny Kiss, he can impress me in the ring and I am not sure why AEW doesn’t use him more when the full roster is at the events. Kiss seems to be the perfect wrestler for Dark. His popularity is not affected by how many wins or loses he has so why no use this, let him learn and develop on Dark each week. Christopher Daniels seems to have also stepped back from the ring since the start of AEW, to be honest, this is expected as the other members of SCU have focused on building a tag team. Though I do wish AEW will make their minds up on their plan for Daniels, as he seems to have teased storylines many times, that has not gone anywhere as of yet. This was a good little match, some funny moments and felt very even. I could have believed either Kiss or Daniels could have won, though Daniels did in fact win after hitting Kiss with the Angels Wings.

Winner: Christopher Daniels

Peter Avalon & Brandon Cutler Vs Jurassic Express

What? Another two AEW teams facing off on Dark, it must be Christmas in June. Jurassic Express seems to be going through a span of bad luck currently. They barely get a win anymore and they needed one this week. Of course, Cutler and Avalon both have yet to win in AEW history. However, while in some companies this would be an area for ridicule it benefits their characters on Dark. Having this little competition each week over who will get their win, has given you a reason to notice Avalon and Cutler. This was not a five-star match by any means, but it is exactly the type of match Dark was built to showcase and therefore was great to see a match which belonged on the show. All four competitors benefited, they all had their moment to highlight their wrestling ability and impress the fans at home. Jurassic Express won the match after Luchasaurus dominated both Avalon and Cutler.

Winner: Jurassic Express

Robert Anthony Vs Jon Moxley

AEW World Champion Jon Moxley decided to have a match this week on Dark. Brian Cage joined commentary, which seemed rather pointless as he barely said a word. Moxley faced Robert Anthony, someone we have seen a few times on other episodes of Dark and Moxley faced in CZW a decade or so ago. This match went far too long, Anthony seemed to get far too much offence in. Maybe I am missing something about Anthony. He could be a well-trained and well-accomplished wrestler, but if he is, commentary completely forgot to tell us. The commentary seemed so focused on discussing Moxley versus Cage that it left this match feeling flat with no back story. I just wished they would have given me some reason for this match, let me know why Moxley is facing Anthony. Instead, it just felt like the champion was having a match for the fun of it, but that is what AEW Dark has felt like recently. It was an ok match. Good to see Moxley in competition but it suffered from overrunning and lack of storyline. The AEW World champion, of course, took the win after locking Anthony into the Texas Cloverleaf, leaving him to tap out.

Winner: Jon Moxley

AEW Dark is truly starting to feel like a show focused only on win/lost records, we all know who is going to win these matches before they even start. That is not to say they are not putting on some good matches. It is just hard to get into them, fans rarely have anyone to cheer on as its too predictable. After AEW put on a pretty standard good quality episode of Dark last week, I for once was hopeful we were returning to the normal layout. Though this week, it seems to have been reversed once again. At the moment there is not much you’re missing if you don’t tune in each week to watch the show, except for some storyline development with the Natural Nightmares.

All videos and images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling and TDE Wrestling