18th Aug2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 23’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW Dark: Elevation, which emanates from Pittsburgh – as did most of last weeks AEW shows! The first show post-Rampage, this one has a lot to live up to. Keep the quality consistent guys!

Match #1: 2.0 (Matt Lee and Jeff Parker) vs. Duke Davis and Ganon Jones

My Thoughts: Good god Duke Davis and Ganon Jones are huge, putting 2.0 at a size disadvantage. But that didn’t stop the duo of Matt Lee and Jeff Parker, whose obvious experience offset the size and strength of Davis and Jones. Looking forward to hopefully seeing more of Duke Davis and Ganon Jones in AEW though.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #2: Diamante def. Julia Hart

My Thoughts: Once again Julia Hart showed a more vicious streak, foregoing the smiles in the latter half of the match – which makes sense when you’re facing Diamante, who we all know is a hard-hitting brawler rather than delicate wrestler. Hart also improves with each and every match too. Fantastic run-in by Swole at the end of the match, delivering what looked to bne a nasty beatdown – even choking Diamante at one point!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #3: Joey Janela def. Alan “5” Angels

My Thoughts: In his first match since turning heel, again, Joey Janela takes on Dark Order’s 5 – a guy who should get more respect in AEW – though it seems, given the commentary here, that 5 is being taken more seriously. That didn’t stop Janela going through his usual motions in that familiar, clumsy, style.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Hikaru Shida def. Kiera Hogan

My Thoughts: Former Impact Wrestling star Keira Hogan switches brands with her first appearance on AEW programming in a match against the companies former champion. Talk about trial by fire! It will be interesting to see Hogan in singles competition in AEW, I always though she worked better in the tag team scene as one half of Fire n Flava – at least in AEW she can let her wrestling do the talking.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Lance Archer def. Reggie Collins

My Thoughts: Yet another typical Lance Archer match. Archer throws his opponent in the ring, around the ring… Collins didn’t stand a chance. Got to appreciate Collins’ facial reactions though!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #6: Thunder Rosa def. Ray Lyn

My Thoughts: Much like Lance Archer, Thunder Rosa has settled into something of a routine in her Dark and Elevation matches. She lets her opponent get some moves in, show what they can do, then she takes over and gets the win. Nothing wrong with that at all, I’m just hoping this is Rosa being benevolent to other female talent and not just poor booking from AEW.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #7: PAC def. Anthony Bowens

My Thoughts: LOVED Pac still playing the bastard in a match he was supposed to be the face – not giving the crowd ANYTHING they wanted right from the get-go. Bowens looked good here too, like really good. Surprisingly good given how he’s been performing as part of The Acclaimed.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #8: Brian Cage def. Joey Keys

My Thoughts: Poor Joey Keys, fed to the proverbial wolves in a squash match against Cage. Keys got in a nice backstabber but it was not enough to stop the beast that is Brian Cage.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Sammy Guevara def. Serpentico

My Thoughts: I’m digging Serpentico getting more singles matches, even if it does mean we still get Luther by his side (and throwing him around the place). He matched Sammy quite well here, though Guevara undeniably has the star power and charisma that carried this match most of the time.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #10: Jade Cargill def. Katie Arquette

My Thoughts: Cargill steps back in to the ring, this time on Elevation – which is probably for the best. For while she looks the part, Jade is still a little green. Some time on either of the two Dark shows will, like a lot of this fresh-faced roster, do her wonders in terms of wrestling skill and presentation.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #11: Lucha Bros def. TH2

My Thoughts: Whilst I’m not a fan of TH2 you can’t deny how well the duo paired with the Lucha Bros. Maybe its not TH2 I dislike, just the matches they’ve been put in in AEW? Maybe they need better tag competitors? They certainly need to stop being HFO lackeys that’s for sure! As for the Lucha Bros., well what can anyone say? Best in the business for a reason, which is clear here.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

Another good, but not great, episode of AEW Dark: Elevation this week. The shorter run time means less squash matches thankfully but the variety of bouts on display here made for decent viewing. I’m not going to beat around the bush, but every time Eddie Kingston is on commentary the product skyrockets in viewability: its more exciting, more fun and more digestible. Seriously, Kingston needs to become a commentary regular on AEW programming.