14th Dec2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 41’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this weeks review of AEW Dark: Elevation, which features Tony Nese and Alex Reynolds in the main event and the welcome appearance of Santana & Ortiz in tag team action. On commentary, as usual, is Tony Schiavone, Mark Henry and Eddie Kingston… Speaking of Kingston, you should definitely check out his interview with Rasslin’ AND his appearance on the Swerve City Podcast. Both well worth your time!

Match #1: Thunder Rosa def. Gabby Ortiz

My Thoughts: This was, yet again, another of Thunder Rosa trademark matches. She was in control b ut let her opponent get in a few moves – in this case some hard-looking hits from Gabby Ortiz – before taking charge again and getting the win. Ortiz actually looked good in this one, managing to show off her skills AND personality in the short time this match had.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #2: Red Velvet and Kris Statlander def. Nikii Duke and Tina San Antonio

My Thoughts: Another AEW quasi-squash, with Red Velvet and Kris Statlander in control of this match from the get-go. Nikii Duke and Tina San Antonio may have looked the part but they didn’t stand a chance.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Gunn Club (Austin, Colten, and Billy Gunn) def. Joey Sweets, Antonio Zambrano, and Jack Tomlinson

My Thoughts: More Gunn Club trios action. Hey, at least her we got Billy Gunn slipping into his old gimiick for a second – which was about as much fun as this match could muster. This was a slow, clumsy squash. Even “Sweet Cheeks” could revive this one!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #4: Emi Sakura w/ Mei Suruga def. Notorious Mimi

My Thoughts: Well, well, Notorious Mimi managed to hold her own against Emi Sakura for a short time in this match, with Mei Suruga’s interference really helping Sakura get the win. Mimi has looked good in the handful of matches she’s had in AEW so far and I’d definitely like to see her given a few more spots going forward.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Anthony Ogogo def. Jaden Valo

My Thoughts: What was this? This was literally a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ match. Three moves on Valo from Ogogo and this was over. I get you’re trying to make Ogogo look like a badass but maybe do it with actual matches and not uber-squashes?

My Score: 0 out of 5

Match #6: Santana and Ortiz def. Mike Verna and Anthony Gangone w/ Prince Nana

My Thoughts: It’s always good to see Santana and Ortiz on TV actually wrestling and not just doing run-ins or appearing with the rest of the Inner Circle, which is why I’m giving this squash match a long leash. This was all Santana and Ortiz, though props to Prince Nana from his shenanigans at ringside – which didn’t help his team but its just great to see him on TV. Another reason this match gets a bye.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Tony Nese def. Alex Reynolds

My Thoughts: This was a great main event and suprisingly great outing for Alex Reynolds, who got to shine here as much as Jon Silver did in his match against Bryan Danielson. Tony Nese needed this win after his loss to Sammy Guevara and he got that here. This match almost made up for all the squashes we got this week.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

A solid episode of Elevation but one that suffered from too many squash matches. What was good about this episode was the amount of women featured this week – especially Gabby Ortiz and Notorious Mimi, both of whome I’d like to see get more spots on Dark and Elevation going forward.


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