06th Oct2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 31’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW Dark: Elevation which was filmed during AEW’s show in Rochester, New York – the home town of Brodie Lee, whose influence was felt even on this show. Let’s get to it!

Match #1: Emi Sakura def. Skye Blue

My Thoughts: Skye Blue, who was a last minute entry into this years Women’s Battle Royale, gets another singles match in AEW. Unfortunately she’s thrown to the lions, well thrown to veteran Emi Sakura, in a match that she, surprisingly, held her own in. Lulu Pencil even got a chance to take part in this match!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #2: Daniel Garcia and 2point0 (Jeff Parker and Matt Lee) def. Shayne Stetson, Justin Corino, and The 1ManThrillRide

My Thoughts: Good god this was one hell of a squash match. Daniel Garcia and 2point0 looked like absolute beasts in this one, demolishing the rather bizarre team of Stetson, Corino and 1ManThrillRide (what a name!)

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Wardlow and Shawn Spears def. Marko Stunt and Fuego del Sol

My Thoughts: This was a match of two halves. Literally. One half is big mean wrestlers and the other half is Marko and Fuego. Wardlow did his usual beefy badass role whilst Spears and Marko had a fun little comedy wrestling skit that I got a kick out of. Meanwhile Fuego did his thing and looked good doing it. Sadly still didn’t win!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #4: Lance Archer def. Louis Bruno

My Thoughts: Wow. Archer didn’t come out throwing his opponenet around the place. Mainly because Louis Bruno matched Archer pound for pound. In fact he looked TALLER than Archer as they faced off! Still didn’t stop Archer from kicking his arse… with a superb cannonball roll off the apron on Bruno – who was probably just the right size to not get killed by the move!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Abadon def. Davienne

My Thoughts: Abadon was sporting a new look and what looked to be a new finisher too, taking out Davienne in just over a minute. This was the kind of squash match that felt shorter than the wrestlers intro!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #6: Santana and Ortiz def. Kodama and Obariyon

My Thoughts: Nice to see two-thirds of Chikara’s The Batiri appearing in AEW. This was yet another squash but both teams looked good coming out of this one. I’d definitely love to see more of Kodama and Obariyon in AEW in future. Really.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #7: Kris Statlander def. B3CCA

My Thoughts: Nice bit of play between Statlander and B3cca – with the latter trying her damnedest to not get booped by the alien. B3cca actually looked pretty decent here, not the typical enhancement talent green performance we tend to see from some such talent. Still.. this was yet another squash.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #8: The Acclaimed def. Colin Delaney and Cheech

My Thoughts: There was some good back and forth in this match, but The Acclaimed were always in control and were always going to win. Colin Delaney actually made quite an impression here too.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: FTR def. Zach Nystrom and Elijah Dean

My Thoughts: Why does this match exist? Going less than thirty seconds, this was a blink and you’ll miss it match. You reading all this has lasted longer than the actual match did!

My Score: 0 out of 5

Match #10: Sonny Kiss def. KM

My Thoughts: This match looked a little one sided at the outset, with KM’s size and stature seemingly putting Kiss on the back foot. Kiss had a real underdog vibe here and it really worked to get the crowd behind Kiss, who eventually used speed to overcome KM’s strength. An nice sell of the continuing Jenela/Kiss feud ended this one.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 1.5/5

Well this was a massive comedown from AEW’s recent run of excellent programming. With no real investment in storytelling, this episode only had the wrestling to fall back on… and we ended up with too many squash matches to make this essential viewing. A shame given the buzz built since CM Punk’s debut.

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