20th Oct2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 33’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW Dark: Elevation which was filmed during AEW’s show in Miami, Florida and featured one of the most vocal audiences I think we’ve ever had for a Dark show. The Florida crowd was HOT! But what about the matches? Let’s find out!

Match #1: Dustin Rhodes def. Gustavo

My Thoughts: Good god. Dustin Rhodes looked fantastic in this match and the crowd was hot for him too. Gustavo, making his AEW debut, got his arse handed to him on a plate, the Rhodes’ experience really showing here. Nice new move from Rhodes too – the Backlund Driver! Pretty much a squash match but it was a lot of fun while it lasted!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #2: Wardlow def. Will Austin

My Thoughts: Will Austin tried to get the best of Wardlow with his speed and athleticism but that was for nought. Wardlow hit a HUGE clothesline on Austin before hitting a HUGE powerbomb and ending it by knocking Austin out with the Casualty of War finisher. Another match the crowd was super-hot for – screaming for Wardlow to hit a second powerbomb. Again a squash but a ton of fun!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #3: Santana & Ortiz def. Jaka and Sean Maluta

My Thoughts: Anyone notice that weird glitch during this match? Everyone was introduced then all of a sudden Ortiz was getting up off the mat. Weird. Commentary made nothing of it, in fact it continued over it! Anyway, despite the odd start this was a decent tag match, with Jaka and Sean Maluta given an opportunity to show what they’re made off. In fact it was good to see Maluta on AEW programming again. In the end this was another example of what I like to call AEW’s quasi-squash. Sanatan and Ortiz were ALWAYS in control, even if it looked like Jaka and Maluta could get the upper hand. Both teams threw some hard-hitting shots, with the Inner Circle members eventually hitting the “Outlined In Chalk” finisher for the win… was that ANOTHER new finisher debuted on Elevation?

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Emi Sakura w/ Lulu Pencil, Diamante, and Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero def. Red Velvet, Ryo Mizunami, and Kilynn King

My Thoughts: The result of this match might have sucked (I so wanted Red Velvet, the returning Ryo Mizunami, and Kilynn King to get the win) but the match itself was the total opposite. Mizunami and Diamante opened the match and the former beat the hell out of the latter. Then KiLynn King and Emi Sakura trades hard-hitting blows before Red Velvet got the tag… and nearly pinned Emi Sakura! The tide then turned as Sakura, then Nyla Rose took out Red Velvet. Speaking of whom, Velvet hit a Spanish Fly off the top rope on Diamante towards the end of the match that looked like a botch, with Velvet seemingly face-planting herself, forehead first on the mat. I’d hate to be her neck during THAT move! And in another shocker, Ryo Mizunami PICKED UP Nyla Rose and planted her on the mat! Mizunami was the MVP here too, not for the in-ring action but for the SUPERB reactions she was giving a ringside, seemingly feeling every kick, punch and move delivered to her teammates!

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Despite the two squash matches this episode of AEW Dark: Elevation was fantastic. Right running time, good blend of matches and a crowd that was really into what they were seeing. It made for an altogether FUN wrestling experience. I could get used to these shorter YouTube shows to be honest, easier to digest AND keep me hooked for the entire duration, unlike some of the 2+ hour shows we’ve had to sit through in the past!


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