This week on AEW Dark, we saw the Nightmare Sisters return to try and get along without their weekly catfight. Ricky Starks returned after disappearing for a few weeks, and the Dark Order members tried to continue their dominance over the AEW locker room. We also saw Michael Nakazawa and his baby oil return, and The Machine Brian Cage defended his FTW title against Brian Pillman Jr.

Diamanté & Rache Chanel vs Allie & Brandi Rhodes (w/ Dustin Rhodes)

Even with a brand new apple necklace and an ‘I Miss You QT’ sign, Allie has still not been invited into the Nightmare Family. Allie started the match against Diamanté, she definitely knew how to get a rise out of Brandi and Dustin as she copied another one of Dustin’s move and screams that they were all a family. Rache Chanel tagged in and then Brandi, The Nightmare Sisters surprisingly worked together to cause damage to Chanel. Their tag work has got a lot better, during this match they worked together and used each other’s ability. Due to Allie turning her back, Diamanté and Chanel started to gain control over the poor Demon Bunny. She luckily escaped to Brandi who hit Chanel with a spear to win the match.

It was actually rather disappointing that The Nightmare Sisters were getting along, the great thing about this story was that they couldn’t get along. What are they going to do this week? Now it’s just two wrestlers working together, doesn’t have the same appeal as before. It was just a shame to lose the comedy relief of Dark so quickly.

Winner: The Nightmare Sisters (Allie & Brandi Rhodes)

Robert Anthony vs Ricky Starks 

This match started with a close to the mat contest of back and forth, they then rose to their feet and continued the submission battle. Anthony dropped Starks to the mat for a split second until Starks turned the tide once again. Starks hit a released Northern Lights and then speared Anthony back to the mat. Anthony tried to fight back but was hit with a swinging neck breaker, Starks took a little bit too long showboating as Anthony saw his opportunity to drop Starks to the mat. After a long two-count, Starks realised he was in a bit of trouble so reversed Anthony’s moves to keep the fight alive. Starks lifts Anthony upon his shoulders and performed a huge slam into the mat to win this match-up. Overall, Starks and Anthony put on an enjoyable, competitive match which was entertaining to watch. Hopefully, this could be a sign we are going to see more of Starks and maybe Starks will even join Taz and Brian Cage.

Winner: Ricky Starks

Shawn Dean, Will Hobbs & Joe Alonzo vs Dark Order 

Alan Angels, John Silver and Alex Reynolds represented the Dark Order this week on AEW Dark. Angels and Hobbs started in the ring, Hobbs tried to use his size and strength advance to bring down Angels. Alan Angels was doing rather well until Hobbs lifted him up and threw him across the ring. Silver then tagged in and received the same treatment from Hobbs. Alonzo tagged in, he seemed to be doing well against Silver until Silver started to just manhandle him, throwing him around the ring. Reynolds tagged in to continue Dark Order’s control, that was until Dean tagged in. Dean fought back against every member of the Dark Order, he flew out of the ring into everyone. Angels then threw Dean into the barrier and returned to the ring.

A couple of long two-counts for the Dark Order. Everyone came into the ring brawling amongst each other, one by one they were taken down by their opponents until Dark Order members isolated Joe Alonzo. Silver hit a swinging destroyer DDT and Dark Order won the match. Another competitive match for the Dark Order. I didn’t mind that it was a little longer because it was great to see all three Dark Order members have some time in the ring and show off their individual ability.

Winner: Dark Order

Michael Nakazawa vs Marko Stunt 

After only just starting to recover from last week’s Michael Nakazawa match, I had to subject my eyes to another oil-filled match, wonderful. The match started with Nakazawa throwing away his baby oil stating he doesn’t need it, the best news I had heard all day. Nakazawa seemed to put little effort into taking down Stunt, who was being dropped every time he tried to run into Nakazawa. Stunt got a little bit of control in though and used this to repeatedly kick his opponent in the face, Nakazawa escaped but Stunt flew out of the ring after him.

Back in the ring, Nakazawa tried the tides again putting in a limited effort. But then Nakazawa changed his mind and brought the baby oil back out, why? Though this didn’t stop Stunt as he hit Nakazawa with everything he had but it wasn’t enough as Nakazawa took back control and then took his thong off. Stunt dodged the thong, reversed it and stuck the pants to Nakazawa leaving Stunt to take the win. Nakazawa seemed rather upset so maybe this means he is going to take a back seat from the ring?

Winner: Marko Stunt

Serpentico & Luther vs Brady Pierce & Pineapple Pete 

Pineapple Juice started the match against Luther, this went as well as can be expected as Luther dominated Pineapple and then started with his child-like screams once again. Serpentico tagged in and reversed nearly every of Pineapple Juice’s moves until he was lifted mid-air and thrown down. Luther returned to scream at Pierce, Pierce attempted to take Luther down but that didn’t go very well either as Luther just stood still mid-ring. Pineapple Juice returned to the ring but was dragged crotch first into the steel ring post by Serpentico. Luther then threw Serpentico into Pineapple Juice multiple times. By this point, Pineapple didn’t have much juice left in the carton as he was attacked by both his opponents. He escaped the ring, Pierce came in and knocked everyone down. Serpentico hit Pierce with a standing sliced bread, Luther tagged in they worked to drop Pierce again and won the match. A rather competitive and well put together match, it was rather enjoyable to watch and good the see Luther turn down the screaming.

Winner: Serpentico & Luther

Jurassic Express vs Brandon Cutler & Peter Avalon (w/ Leva Bates) 

The Bucks of Youth were behind the barriers as they cheered on their best friend Brandon Cutler as he attempted to get his first win. Jungle Boy and Avalon started the match, Avalon threw Jungle Boy into his corner and Cutler tagged in. All the advantage Cutler had created was destroyed when Jungle Boy dropkicked him back down into the mat. Cutler tried to rebuild but was hit with multiple big knees. Luchasaurus tagged in and focused on using his build and size against Cutler. Jungle Boy tagged in to take advance of his team’s control. After some impressive moves from Jungle Boy, Cutler reversed and took control over Jungle Boy once again. Avalon tagged in to hit a scoop and a stand. Cutler returned to, Jungle Boy reversed Cutler’s move again.

Both competitors escaped the ring for Luchasaurus and Avalon to face off. Luchasaurus didn’t focus on only Avalon performing round-house kicks on him and then causing damage to his other competitor. Cutler somehow reversed the big bad dinosaur’s moves. It seemed to be all going in Cutler and Avalon’s favour at this point. Bates hit Jungle Boy at ringside to stop him from breaking up any attempted pins and then got rather excited herself at the prospect of winning a match. Avalon hit Luchasaurus with a DDT, Cutler hit a huge elbow drop but Jungle Boy saved. Avalon is hit with an assisted cutter from Jurassic Express, Jurassic Express takes the win.

Very entertaining and competitive match. Both Avalon and Cutler look like completely different competitors since their first matches in AEW. Their in-ring ability has improved in ten folds and they are clearly close to their first win.

Winner: Jurassic Express

FTW Championship Match: Brian Cage (w/ Taz) vs Brian Pillman Jr 

Brian Cage who now holds the unofficial FTW championship would defend his new title against Major League Wrestling star Brian Pillman Jr. Justin Roberts forgot to mention the FTW Championship which clearly angered Cage who made him redo the announcements. Every time Pillman got a move in, it was quickly reversed with something bigger from The Machine Brian Cage. Cage lifted Pillman and suplexed him outside the ring, he then threw him into the metal ring pole. Cage grabbed Pillman by the hair, lifting him back into the ring. Cage lifted Pillman up and dropped him on his head to win the match and retained his FTW Championship. While this match wasn’t competitive, it did help to cement Cage as a genuine threat to Jon Moxley and his AEW World Championship.

Winner: Brian Cage (Retained the FTW Championship)

Another good episode of AEW Dark. While we did have to sit through more baby oil and raspberry thongs, the rest of the show was filled with highly competitive matches. This was one of AEW’s better episodes of Dark in the last few months, though it was still missing some build-up and promos in between matches.

All images and videos courtesy of All Elite Wrestling