It's important to temper criticism of AEW Dark every once in a while. In the Empty Arena Era, getting wrestlers that aren't guaranteed a Dynamite spot every other week as many reps as possible has become the web series' primary function. It's about building experience so that when they are needed for TNT, they're ready, which explains the match cram. Watching from start to finish every week is reserved for the hardest of the hardcore, with cherry-picking easy on YouTube.
But it's still a product put out by AEW for public consumption, making it fair game for said criticism - particularly when the concept is stretched as thin as it was this week.
Dark presented 13 matches across close to two hours, making this the longest episode since launch. That means extreme repetition. You know the drill by now, but this was the same cast of characters working roughly the same matches they have all the time, and while some performers stood out, this episode was a slog.
Highlighted performers include Lance Archer, Shawn Spears, Ricky Starks, Nyla Rose, and Jake Hager, while Veda Scott returned to the announce booth, joining Taz and Tony Schiavone.
WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.