04th Jan2022

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 44’ Review

by Phil Wheat

It’s Tuesday so you know what that means… Yes, it’s time for our review of yesterdays episode of AEW Dark: Elevation! Which this week comes from Dailys Place in Jackonsville, Florida.

Match #1: Riho def. Valentina Rossi

My Thoughts: Valentina Rossi got to show off a lot in this match, taking control in the early going as the4 match played up the “David vs. Goliath” size difference between the two women. This was a perfect example of AEW’s penchant for quasi-squash matches, where the more experienced wrestler lets their opponent get in some moves before squashing them cleanly in the latter half of the match.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #2: Andrade El Idolo def. JP Harlow

My Thoughts: This was an extended squash match as Andrade put poor JO Harlow through the ringer, literally slapping the sh*t out of him at points in this match. Whilst Harlow was booked as the loser of this one, he didn’t look weak while doing it.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #3: Megan Bayne def. Leila Grey

My Thoughts: This was a weird one. Megan Bayne looked, during her intro, like a veteran – she sold the character well is basically what I’m saying. However her in-ring performance didn’t match up to that. Not that either woman performed badly, it just looked like a combination of inexperience in front of the camera and possible communication issues made this fall flat; as did the fact the audience weren’t really behind this one either, which sullied the overall atmosphere.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #4: Scorpio Sky def. Ray Jaz

My Thoughts: Another squash match for this weeks Elevation… This was another of AEW’s quasi-squash matches as Scorpio Sky let Ray Jaz get a few moves in before taking over and taking control. Ray Jaz, in his third singles appearance for AEW, actually looked good here, the kind of appearance that is sure to get you more bookings for the company in future.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Dark Order’s John Silver and Alex Reynolds def. Mike Orlando and Shayne Stetson

My Thoughts: John Silver and Alex Reynolds show exactly how good a tag team they are in this one – especially given that Mike Orlando could legitimately kick their arse on his own (the guy looks HUGE and gives off Wardlow vibes!) Silver and Reynolds upped the pace and made this one look and feel more exciting than anything on this card so far.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #6: Jake Atlas def. Serpentico

My Thoughts: Another released wrestler, Jake Atlas, makes his debut for AEW on a Dark show. Serpentico jumped Atals before the bell in a vain attempt at getting one over on Atlas but to no avail. Thankfully this was a decent back and forth between both men, with Serpentico almost getting a pin a one point. Kudos goes to both men for delivering an ACTUAL competitive singles match on this episode of Elevation rather than another squash!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #7: Skye Blue def. Angelica Risk

My Thoughts: Nice to see Skye Blue come out and wrestle this week instead of the squash of her last AEW appearance. Angelica Risk impressed in her previous AEW outing and does so again here. But this match was all about giving Blue a decent outing, positioning here here in a similar underdog role as Riho has – in a complete about face from her last match! Nice finisher from Blue too!

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #8: Jay Lethal def. Troy Hollywood

My Thoughts: Jay Lethal makes his Elevation debut, in only his second singles match since the TNT championship match if I’m not mistaken (yes he was in the Battle Royale but I’m talking singles matches). Both men looked good here, with Hollywood causing a few upsets and surprising everyone in this match, even turing the crowd to his side! Lethal eventually got the win but Troy Hollywood came out of this one looking just as good in defeat!

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2/5

This episode of AEW Dark: Elevation opened strong then faltered a little bit until the Silver & Reynolds match. The crowd was a little subdued up to that point and the atomsphere very much felt like this was a “by the numbers” episode. Thankfully the show picked up in the second half and delivered a main event that impressed. Still you can, and have, done better AEW.

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