12th May2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 9’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Another week, another episode of AEW Dark: Elevation – the first of this weeks AEW programmes and usually a good indicator of what we can expect from AEW booking this week. Lets check it out!

Match #1: Lee Johnson def. David Ali

My Thoughts: This was a great match-up between two great wrestlers. Lee Johnson got the rub from this match, furthering his push in AEW. Though Ali looked good in defeat too.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Eddie Kingston def. VSK

My Thoughts: Another great pairing. Kingston did his usual thing, with a great delayed suplex; but this was no squash! VSK was given time to showcase his skills even if you knew he was never going to win.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page def. Fuego Del Sol and Baron Black

My Thoughts: Black and Del Sol have been killing it on Sammy Guevara’s vlog and so I hoped they’d possibly kill it here to. But it was not to be – depsite some great work from Black and a flurry of moves from Fuego this ended up being all Page and Sky. FYI: Bonus points go to this match for featuring two of my favourite wrestling vloggers!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #4: Thunder Rosa def. Renne Michelle

My Thoughts: Another AEW quasi-squash! Apart from a couple of nive moves from Michelle, showing of her strength and power, this match was all Thunder Rosa’s. And yet again, no-one came out of the match looking bad. Hell… at least AEW’s brand of squash match has that over the competition.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #5: Chuck Taylor def. Vary Morales

My Thoughts: Now this was a typical squash match, over almost before it began with Taylor’s usual mix of moves. At least Morales got to do a couple (literally a couple) of lucha moves!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #6: Leyla Hirsch def. Dani Jordyn

My Thoughts: Hirsch broke out more mat-based wrestling here however there were a few awkward looking spots where both Hirsch and Jordyn seemed to have lost their flow. The pair recovered well with a slugfest before Hirsch lock on the cross arm breaker for the win.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #7: Matt Sydal def. Manny Smith

My Thoughts: What’s this? Matt Sydal working an entire match on the mat? Nice to see Sydal given the opportunity to show another side to his in-ring work, and something we haven’t really seen from Sydal on AEW programming.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #8: Jade Cargill def. Reka Tehaka

My Thoughts: This was a squash that was essentially a lead-in to a promo for Jade featuring “Smart” Mark Sterling, mking his return to AEW as a wrestling lawyer.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #9: Matt Hardy and Marq Quen def. Dean Alexander and Dillon McQueen

My Thoughts: Meh. If you’ve read any of my other Dark and/or Elevation reviews you know how I feel about Matt Hardy and Private Party and the same applies here.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #10: Britt Baker def. Raychell Rose

My Thoughts: Raychell Rose was fed to Baker merely to increase Baker’s win record. Otherwise a waste of a match.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #11: Tay Conti def. Madi Wrenkowski

My Thoughts: Another great pairing. Both women got a chance to show off even though you knew Wrenkowski was never going to win this one. At least it looks like her angle with Nyla Rose is over, so hopefully Wrenkowski can get a chance to move on and elevate her skills on AEW programming – just like Conti has done over the past year or so.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #12: Jurassic Express def. Chaos Project

My Thoughts: Marko Stunt took a beating here, getting thrown around the ring almost as much as Serpentico! So much so that I honestly thought Chaos Projecy might have got the win. Once Jungle Boy was tagged in the tide changed and the match was Jurassic Express’

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #13: Alex Reynolds def. Isiah Kassidy

My Thoughts: More Private Party and more disappointment. At least Alex Reynolds looked good getting the win – even if he did sell some back issues – we definitely need more Dark Order wins going forward. The end of the match, post-Silver’s win, was actual bullsh*t booking. A load of crap IMHO.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #14: Jon Moxley def. Danny Limelight

My Thoughts: What a great match. Seriously. This could have easily been the main event on Dynamite on Wednesday. Moxlet was Moxely, he never disappoints in AEW but Limelight was also really great, like REALLY great. Good on Moxley for letting him get over in this match, even if the Radioactive Papi didn’t get the win in the end.

My Score: 3.5 out of 5

News of the Night:

  1. Danny Limelight was profiled in a fantastic interview with Paul Wight that showcased his history and what kind of man he is. Surely Limelight needs one of the “…is All Elite” tweets in the very near future?!
  2. Everyone knows he can cut a promo, but Eddie Kingston cut one of the greatest promos in AEW history during this episode of Elevation.
  3. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky were interviewed backstage by Dasha and showed just how well the duo have gelled in such a short time – it almost felt like the were finishing each others sentences!
  4. Private Party wrestled both their singles matches in street clothes… Why? Hopefully there’s a good reason OTHER than some Matt Hardy storyline bullsh*t. But I doubt it.

Final Verdict: 2.5 /5

The matches were great but they weren’t bad either. All in all this was an easy to digest episode of Elevation and one that managed to not feel like a bunch of squash matches followed by a main event. Even if that was the case. But what a main event… one of the best we’ve seen on Elevation since its inception.

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