The storyline between The Hardy Family Office and The Dark Order was in prime focus throughout the show.
However, AEW offered several other matches in the buildup towards the show-stealing main event. The Acclaimed kicked off the evening's in-ring proceedings, and Justin Roberts, as always, did the pre-match introductions.
Fuego Del Sol & D3 vs. The Acclaimed on AEW Dark
Max Caster absolutely wrecked D3 and Fuego del Sol with his latest diss verse during The Acclaimed's entrance. As noted, Anthony Bowens made his in-ring return on last night's episode of AEW Dark: Elevation.
Cater was initially chopped down with D3's kicks, but Max responded with a big elbow strike.
The Acclaimed kept D3 down with a neckbreaker-backbreaker combo. Bowens was the legal man now, and he focused on D3's back with Irish whip attacks.
Bowens executed a perfect back body suplex, which looked like an Olympic slam, but he opted to ditch the cover. D3 created some separation with a leaping enziguri. Del Sol got the tag and teed off on Bowens.
Del Sol connected with an enziguri but got his tornado DDT reversed into a suplex.
Fuego's head bounced off the turnbuckle. Bowens set up Del Sol for Caster's 'Claim to Fame' (top-rope elbow drop) for the win. And yes, Caster kissed del Sol's fingers after the win on AEW Dark.
Platinum Max could very well be the weirdest performer in all of AEW.
Result: The Acclaimed def. Fuego Del Sol on AEW Dark
Matt & Mike Sydal vs. David Ali & Aaron Frye on AEW Dark
Mike got some wrist control on David Ali to begin the match. The Yoga Monster used his agility to trap Ali in a headlock.
Mike then cartwheeled his way into a dominant position on the mat. Matt Sydal got the tag, and he continued to maintain wrist control.
Sydal got a few covers on David Ali, and he kept the pressure on his opponent's arms. Ali fought back with a few rights and lefts, but Sydal executed a flying mare, followed by a series of chopping kicks.
The Sydal brothers executed a drop-toe hold/basement dropkick combination.
They followed it with a double bow and arrow stretch on Ali. Mike Sydal hit a leg lariat and a standing moonsault press. Frye rushed in to break the pin.
Despite not being the legal man, Frye attempted a double suplex with his partner. Matt Sydal came in to help his brother, and they sent Ali and Frye outside.
A 'Namaste' chant kicked off in the arena. Frye smartly prevented Mike from suplexing Ali from the outside.
Frye hit a clean powerbomb on Mike for a two-count. He got Mike Sydal up in the fireman's carry position, but he escaped and tagged Matt, who hit a few roundhouse kicks.
Matt Sydal delivered the fisherman's buster on Frye before sending him into the corner. The Sydals hit a double Meteora on Frye, and Ali came in to break the pin at two and a half.
Frye, though, couldn't evade a double lightning spiral from the Sydals, which did the trick for the brothers.
Result: Matt & Mike Sydal def. David Ali & Aaron Frye on AEW Dark
Mike and Matt Sydal showcased a wide range of double-team moves in today's match, which was refreshing to watch.
Dante Martin vs. Andrew Palace on AEW Dark
A lively Andrew Palace wanted to have 'fun' in the AEW Dark match, and he offered Martin a handshake. Dante bit the bait, and Palace connected with a cheap shot.
Top Flight's Martin, however, was as fast as a deer, and he flung off the ropes to connect with a dropkick. He followed it with a beautiful springboard crossbody for a two-count.
Palace hung Dante out to dry over the top rope, and he pulled him into a powerful suplex. Andrew had a mean streak to him as he pounded away on Martin from the top mount position.
Palace executed an insane backdrop driver, and Martin seemed to have landed on his head.
Andrew Palace wasted time with his showboating and missed a splash from the middle rope. Martin connected with three kicks followed by a brutal lariat. Palace evaded an elbow strike and hit one of his own.
Both men somehow managed to find themselves on the middle rope. Martin leaped over to the top turnbuckle and sent Palace down with a hurricanrana. Martin wrapped things up with a 450 splash from the top rope.
Result: Dante Martin def. Andrew Palace on AEW Dark
Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.) vs. Duke Davis & Ganon Jones Jr. on AEW Dark
The 'juniors' from the respective teams started the match. Pillman gained some back control in the early stages.
Pillman connected with a high front knee, and he followed it with a front chancery. Garrison came in, and the Blonds executed a double faceplant. They sent Davis flying over the top with a backdrop. The elevation on the drop was incredible!
Pillman had Ganon in an abdominal stretch, but Jones broke away. Davis connected with a kick from the back and the AEW debutants took control of the match.
Ganon and Davis worked on wearing down Pillman in their corner. Ganon hit a stiff kick for a two-count. He, however, landed hard on his moonsault after Pillman moved out of the way.
Pillman made the hot tag to Garrison, and the fresh and hungry big man dropped Davis with a massive running boot followed by a diving splash and a spear.
Pillman got the tag, and the Varisty Blonds hit the assisted powerbomb for the victory.
Result: Varsity Blonds def. Duke Davis & Ganon Jones Jr. on AEW Dark
The Blonds' rise in the AEW tag team division continues as they are now edging closer to the top three spots in the rankings.
Brian Cage (w/ Hook) vs. Marty Casaus (AEW Debut)
Known as Marty "The Moth" Martinez during his time in Lucha Underground, Casaus was a known figure in the company who hasn't seen much over the last couple of years. It was great to see him in an AEW ring against a fellow LU rival, and it's safe to say that he put his best foot forward.
Brian Cage didn't play into Casaus' eccentric gimmick as the FTW Champion went on the offensive with his opponent.
Big Marty did respond with some intensity as he connected with a series of cross shots across Cage's face. Marty was giving Cage a run for his money, and that was a surprise to many people watching the match, including Taz.
Cage, however, caught Casaus in mid-air from a crossbody and planted him in the mat with a Death Valley Driver. Brian followed it up with uppercuts in the corner and a powerful Irish whip. He caught Marty with the sole butt and an uppercut-commonguri combo.
Cage was putting on a wrestling clinic as he got a two-count with a German suplex. Casaus reacted well despite taking a lot of punishment as he hit a Northern Lights suplex and two clotheslines.
He executed a Samoan drop and a dropkick on Brian. He built up a head of steam and leaped over the top rope to lay out Cage with a splash. He barely made it over the top rope.
Back in the ring, Casaus got a near fall with a Full Nelson Slam. Marty wrenched Cage's head, and he grabbed the jaw.
Cage got up, hit three kicks, and flattened Marty with a viscous Discus clothesline. He called for the finish and delivered the Drill Claw for the win on AEW Dark.
Result: Brian Cage def. Marty Casaus (AEW Debut)
A special shout-out has to go out to Marty Casaus for a strong AEW debut. Casaus has been in the wrestling business since 2003, so the 36-year-old's performance shouldn't shock many.
The Hardy Family Office was involved in a backstage segment next, and they had messages for The Dark Order. The two factions were set to collide in the main event later on in the show.
Leyla Hirsch vs. Renee Michelle on AEW Dark
Renee Michelle took her time outside the ring to assess her opponent. The pre-match analysis didn't bear any fruit as Leyla Hirsch asserted her dominance on the mat.
Renee gathered some steam but completely missed her crossbody attack. Hirsch managed to lock in the armbar early, but Michelle rolled over to the ropes.
Michelle sent Hirsch's head bouncing off the turnbuckle, and she methodically broke her opponent down with a few kicks.
Hirsch, however, needed one small opening to exploit, and she got it when Michelle missed the moonsault press. Leyla connected with a driving knee strike to Michelle's head, followed by the armbar for the victory.
Taz was quick to note that Hirsch transitioned from a jackknife pinfall into the Juji Gatame (armbar).
Result: Leyla Hirsch def. Renee Michelle on AEW Dark
Lance Archer (w/ Jake "The Snake" Roberts) vs. Jake St. Patrick on AEW Dark
Jake St. Patrick tried to get a headstart by attacking Lance Archer with a dropkick during the latter's AEW Dark entrance. Talk about bad decisions!
Archer caught Patrick and chokeslammed him onto the ramp. It should be noted that Archer's music and Jake Roberts' chilling commentary played in the background.
The Murderhawk Monster absolutely destroyed Patrick, and that's the only way to sum up this match.
There was a point where Patrick did show some signs of revival. However, Archer swatted Patrick mid-air during a moonsault press attempt from the top rope.
Archer ended the match with a ripcord spinning urinagi, aka The Hellacoaster.
Result: Lance Archer def. Jake St. Patrick on AEW Dark
The Dark Order cut a backstage promo on The Hardy Family Office. Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Preston "10" Vance promised to be victorious later tonight in their featured tag team main event.
Diamante vs. Raychell Rose (AEW Debut) on AEW Dark
Both women locked up to begin the match, and Diamante spun Rose to the mat following a hammerlock.
The debutant tipped the scales in her favor with a headlock takedown. Rose showed off her impressive flexibility by escaping a headscissors lock.
The early exchanges were of back-and-forth nature until Diamante took control with a Russian leg sweep.
Diamante drove both of her boots into Rose's chest. Twice!
She hit a double stomp to Raychell's back from the middle turnbuckle for a two-count. Raychell turned things around with a few kicks, but Diamante executed the Cazadora stunner to stop any possibility of an upset.
Diamante hit Code Red for the three-count.
Result: Diamante def. Raychell Rose (AEW Debut) on AEW Dark
Lee Johnson vs. Will Allday on AEW Dark
Both men had mutual respect. They bumped fists and got down to business with a keenly-contested sequence of holds.
Johnson took Allday down with two deep arm drags. Will executed a step-up hurricanrana, but Johnson landed on his feet. That popped the crowd.
Lee followed it up with a picture-perfect dropkick. He rightfully flexed after the move. Allday, however, got back with a few punches and an enziguri in the corner.
Will Allday missed the superkick, and Johson hit two clotheslines, followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Johnson was showing off all night as he did the kip-up.
Big Shotty, however, got caught in Allday's moonsault press for a two-count. Johnson showed tremendous power to grab Allday from a hurricanrana and deliver a buckle bomb.
Johnson finished the contest with the Ushigoroshi.
Result: Lee Johnson def. Will Allday on AEW Dark
QT Marshall dropped Johnson with the blindside shot after the match. The leader of The Factory hit the Cutter before Dustin Rhodes ran out to make the save.
Rhodes had the bull rope in his hands. Nick Comoroto, Anthony Ogogo, and Aaron Solow backed up QT on the ramp before the post-match segment came to an end.
Penelope Ford (w/ Kip Sabian) vs. Ashley D'Amboise (AEW Debut) on AEW Dark
Ford slapped Ashley across the face and fired off a few cross-angled shots. Ford and Aubrey Edwards had some noticeable tension throughout the match.
Ashley managed to get a quick roll-up and even leapfrogged over Ford, but Penelope shut her down with some clubbing blows.
Ford hit a six-strike combo using her hands and feet to significant effect before coming in for the back elbow in the corner. She hit the handspring cutter, followed by the Fisherwomen's suplex with a bridged pin for the win on AEW Dark.
Result: Penelope Ford def. Ashley D'Amboise on AEW Dark
Cole Karter vs. Colt Cabana (w/ Dark Order) on AEW Dark
Karter and Cabana shook hands and locked up to start the highly-anticipated matchup.
It didn't take time for a 'Colt Cabana' chant to echo. Cabana used catch wrestling techniques to ground his opponent. Boom Boom was just floating around the ring, and he seemed to be enjoying himself.
Karter hit a dropkick but missed the follow-up diving splash. Cabana executed the flying apple, rammed Karter's head into the turnbuckle, and flew into the Superman cover for the win.
Result: Colt Cabana def. Cole Karter on AEW Dark
KiLynn King vs. Dani Jordyn on AEW Dark
Dani Jordyn gave King a piece of her broken crown before the match kicked off with an aggressive lock-up. KiLynn King knocked Jordyn down with a stiff shoulder block, which even got her a two-count.
Dani countered King's mobility with a side headlock takedown. KiLynn, however, regained control and kicked Dani in the head from the apron. The action shifted to the ringside area.
Dani attempted a diving crossbody off the apron, but King caught her and executed a fallaway slam onto the mat. Dani kicked King to the side of the head and performed a pendulum-style DDT for a near fall.
Dani pushed forward with a faceplant and a basement dropkick for a two-count. KiLynn King began her comeback with three heavy chops in the corner.
Dani moved to the top rope and hit a flipping neckbreaker. Another near fall! King was resilient and ate a few knee strikes before responding with three of her own.
KiLynn connected with two clotheslines, a high right roundhouse kick. She folded Dani in half with a German suplex.
Jordyn reversed the Kingdom Falls with a standing switch. King, though, caught Dani's boot, flipped her over, and delivered the Kingdom Falls for the victory. Good match!
Result: KiLynn King def. Dani Jordyn on AEW Dark
AEW Dark Co-Main Event: SCU vs. Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis
Christopher Daniels and Liam Gray got the AEW Dark match rolling with a sequence of wrist holds, roll-ups and headlocks.
The action picked up pace as Liam Gray hit the ropes for a shoulder block. Daniels reacted with two old-fashioned scoop slams. Alanis came in for a cheap shot, and Frankie Kazarian was having none of it. Kazarian ran across the ring just to knock Alanis off the apron.
SCU hit a combination move on Liam Gray before Kazarian got the tag. The veterans followed it with a four-piece combo.
Kazarian hit two chops and a leg lariat on Gray. Alanis created a distraction, and Gray used the time to stun both Kazarian and Daniels with kicks.
There was a scary situation that followed as Alanis lost his footing while delivering a swinging backbreaker on Frankie. His knees gave up, but thankfully for Alanis, he got back to a vertical base and looked fine. Kazarian was also lucky to have not taken a nasty bump.
Alanis still managed to execute a hanging neckbreaker on Kazarian for a one-count with his partner's help.
Adrian got another two-count with a spinebuster. Gray received the tag, but Kazarian used all his experience to fight both his opponents with a quickfire attack featuring kicks and punches.
Daniels got the tag, and The Fallen Angel came in with a series of clotheslines. SCU hit the high-low on Alanis before focussing on Gray.
The No.1 ranked AEW tag team hit the Best Meltzer Ever (BME) to win on AEW Dark.
Result: SCU def. Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis on AEW Dark
AEW Dark Main Event: The Blade & Private Party (w/ The Bunny & Matt Hardy) vs. Dark Order's Evil Uno, Stu Grayson & Preston "10" Vance (w/ Colt Cabana, Alex Reynolds & Alan "5" Angels)
A face-off between Preston Vance and The Blade was the perfect way to kick off the show's main event.
The physically imposing men engaged in a stiff battle of chops and punches. Private Party took advantage of a distraction and hammered away on Vance in their corner. Isiah Kassidy got the tag, but a rampaging Vance trucked him.
Grayson came in from the Dark Order's corner and lifted Kassidy. Evil Uno and Grayson worked in tandem to deliver a series of strikes on the Private Party member.
Uno hit a classic vertical suplex. Grayson replicated Uno's feat. Vance, as expected, followed suit, but he delivered the delayed vertical suplex with the complete ten-count. Vance is called the most powerful person in Dark Order for a reason!
Referee Bryce Remsburg was having a tough time keeping track of all the action as Marc Quen, one of the illegal men in the match, came in and hit Uno with a dropkick.
The Hardy Family Office members were in the driving seat now as they isolated Evil Uno in their corner. Private Party executed a Hardy classic, the Poetry in Motion, for a two-count. Matt Hardy was impressed and barked orders from the ringside area.
Uno kept getting punished in the corner, and the heels of the match expertly thwarted his continued efforts to make the tag.
Uno smartly used the referee to his advantage by catching Quen's boot and placing it in the ref's hands. Uno then got behind Quen's back and hit a hanging neckbreaker. 200 IQ.
Matt Hardy created a distraction, and Bunny unloaded with a barrage of kicks on Uno. All hell broke loose, and Bryce Remsburg instructed Matt Hardy and The Bunny to go backstage.
The Dark Order members were allowed to stay as they hadn't gotten physical with the match's competitors.
Uno finally created the separation and tagged Stu Grayson, who came in hot and delivered two overhead suplexes. He followed it with a urinagi and a springboard twisting senton for a near fall on Kassidy.
Vance was next with a pump kick as he set his partners up for an assisted powerbomb combo on Kassidy. Blade saved the AEW Dark match for his team by breaking Evil Uno's pinfall.
Kassidy recuperated and hit an enziguri on Grayson before tagging Blade. Private Party executed the Silly String. Kassidy mistimed his double team move with Blade, but Grayson was still aptly laid out for Quen's 450 splash from the top rope.
Big Vance ran in to make the clutch pinfall break. Grayson hit a double backflipping kick on Blade and Quen and jumped to his corner to finally tag Vance into the match.
Preston dropped Quen with a massive spinebuster. It was chaotic in the ring as we approached the finishing sequence of the contest.
Blade knocked Vance over. Uno, in turn, knocked Blade down with an elbow strike.
Kassidy stunned Evil Uno with a corkscrew enziguri. Grayson, however, came through with a bicycle knee strike. Blade sent crashing to the mat Grayson inside-out with a lariat.
The Blade went for the powerbomb, but Vance locked in the Full Nelson lock from the back. Blade tapped out before going to sleep. Huge W for The Dark Order and a big blow for The Hardy Family Office!
Result: Evil Uno, Stu Grayson & Preston "10" Vance def. The Blade & Private Party on AEW Dark
And that was it! AEW put forth another solid episode of AEW Dark which had a few belters! Of course, the match of the night honors goes to the six men who stole the show in the main event of AEW Dark. You can catch the full AEW Dark episode below.
Don't forget to join us for tomorrow's AEW Dynamite, the final episode before AEW Blood and Guts.