30th Jun2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 16’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Opening with a replay of the post-Saturday Night Dynamite promo by Eddie Kingston (which was already available to view on AEW’s YouTube channel) this weeks episode of AEW Dark: Elevation is going to one of the final few before AEW hits the road and, I’m guessing, we don’t see as many indie wrestlers making their appearance(s) as enhancement talent on Dark and Elevation… Anyway, back to the review!

Match #1: Billy Gunn and Colten Gunn def. JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth

My Thoughts: I was hoping for something interesting from this opener and instead we got another Gunn Club quasi-squash match; with Colten taking a beating from Nemeth and then JD Drake (though there were a couple of botches and telegraphed spots as it happened), before tagging in his dad to run buck-wild on the Wingmen and get the win after hitting the Famouser on Nemeth. This one gets an extra half a point for having JD Drake in the match!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #2: Penelope Ford def. Valentina Rossi

My Thoughts: Valentina Rossi’s second match on AEW programming wnet pretty much like her first… a quick quasi-squash that saw Rossi allowed some offense – but not enough to make Ford look weak.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #3: Brian Cage def. Serpentico

My Thoughts: Now when Serpentico and Luther tag together we typically see Luther throw his tag team partner around the ring at their opposition. Nothing much changed in this match, only it was Brian Cage throwing Serpentico around like a rag doll in a squadh match!

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #4: Karl Anderson def. Wheeler Yuta

My Thoughts: I’m going to sound like a broken recored but this AGAIN was a patented AEW queasi-squash match, with Anderson giving Wheeler Yuta just enough trope to hang himself with – displaying some great skill but nothing that really gave Karl Anderson any issues.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #5: Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson, and Dustin Rhodes def. Adrian Alanis, Liam Gray, and Justin Corino

My Thoughts: Another outing for Arn Anderson’s son Brock, teaming with a veteran and AEW’s golden boy Lee Johnson for a match that felt little more than a training exercise for Anderson and Johnson.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #6: The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) def. PB Smooth and Matt Justice

My Thoughts: This one was all The Acclaimed, with Smooth and Justice only there to take abuse.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #7: Riho def. KiLynn King

My Thoughts: This was a fantastic women’s match and one that I sincerely hope isn;t one of the ladst for KiLynn King in AEW. Seriously King, Baron Black and Fuego Del Sol – all currently taking part in the Friend Olympics on Sammy Guevara’s vlog – all need to been given contracts with the company. Especially King, who’s wrestled in a TON of matches of Dark and Elevation and deserves to stick around andf actually be given a shot in the women’s main event. Plus AEW need to keep the Trios team of King, Red Velvet and Big Swole going!

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #8: Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr.) def. Aaron Rourke and Jake Logan

My Thoughts: Jesus this ended fast. Rourke and Logan got the junop on the Varsity Blonds at the outset b ut that’s al they got. Literally. Garrison and Pillman Jr,. made quick work of their opponents in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it match. A true squash if ever there was one, that’s why it’s not getting a score (as per my squash score policy).

My Score: 0 out of 5

Match #9: Thunder Rosa def. Katalina Perez

My Thoughts: Now I always comment on how THunder Rosa always seemingly lets her opponents have a chance to show their skill, to shine in front of the AEW qudience before getting the win. This time out she changed things up and had her very first ACTUAL squash match this week!

My Score: 0 out of 5

Match #10: The Blade def. Chuck Taylor

My Thoughts: Chuck Taylor has been, essentially, walking through his solo matches pof late – easily beating his opponents after letting them get a bit of offense in. This match was a lot different, this one actually looked like a decent contest between the Blade and Taylor. taylor put in all the work and the Blade got the steal in the best heel fashion – plus we got a run-in from TH2 and a walk-in fromm Orrange Cassidy to further the building feud between the HFO and the Best Friends (though HFO seem to be feuding with EVERYONE!).

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #11: Private Party and Matt Hardy def. Alex Reynolds, Alan “5” Angels and Colt Cabana

My Thoughts: A typical “current-style” Private Party match. The Drak Order trio were allowed to lead the match BEFORE the bell but this ended up being all Private Party in the end. Thankfully Alan “5” Angels managed to kick Matt Hardy’s arse and embarass him out of the match. Dark Order sill need to get a win though…

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #12: Hikaru Shida def. Reka Tehaka

My Thoughts: Woah. Reka Tehaka looked fantastic here, finally living up to the Samoan hype the cvommentary team gave her when she first appeared in AEW. Good on Shida for not just walking all over her, plus having Shida overcome a more powerful opponent made her look strong in the end too.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #13: Eddie Kingston and Penta El Zero Miedo def. The Hybrid2 (Jack Evans and Angelico)

My Thoughts: I’m guessing it must be hard to wrestle against Eddie Kingston these days as there’s no way the crowd aren’t going to be behind him and boo you all the way… Even a headliner like Jon Moxley couldn’t make the AEW audience hate Kingston so TH2 stood no chance. Though it did seem that TH2 reigned it in somewhat for this match… whatever the matter, this was a great closer for this weeks show.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

This was an episode of 2 distinct halves with a main event that seriously benefitted from the live audience – Kingston and Penta are SO over with the AEW crowd that it can’t be much longer until both are some sort of champion.


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