01st Sep2021

‘AEW Dark: Elevation – Episode 26’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this week review of AEW Dark: Elevation, the first show in a weeks countdown to the AEW pay per view All Out, which takes place in Chicago this weekend.

Match #1: Daniel Garcia def. Tyler Sullivan

My Thoughts: Daniel Garcia fianlly gets a chance at a win, opening this week Elevation. Looks like he’s going to be sticking around and with some Dark and Elevation matches under his belt he cant start to get a shot at the rest of AEW’s male roster. Somehting I’m really looking forward too… Even if this first match was little more than a squash!

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #2: Jora Johl def. Kal Herro

My Thoughts: Jora Johl gets a singles match and is overshadowed by Matt Hardy, whose assholery continues across all AEW’s shows. Johl looked good despite Hardy’s interfrence (or “management”). Thank god. This was still the second squash match of the night though.

My Score: 1 out of 5

Match #3: Emi Sakura def. Ashley D’Amboise

My Thoughts: Emi Sakura is finally back on regular AEW programming, bringing Lulu Pencil with her as her valet. This could’ve been a typical super-fast squash match but AEW let this one play out in quasi-squash fashion, with Ashley D’Amboise given a chance (as she has been in her other Dark/Elevation matches) to get in some offense. But ultimately this was Sakura’s match and she showed why she’s back in AEW and why she deserves to be (in case anyone had forgot).

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #4: Diamante and Nyla Rose def. Big Swole and Julia Hart

My Thoughts: This was a fantastic womens tag match. Nyla Rose and Diamante were a perfect pairing, their hard-hitting no BS style really gelling in this one. Big Swole did most of the work for her team but Hart still got some flourishes in and looked, as I’ve said each and every week, better than her last match on TV. Hart really is defining what Elevation and Dark are all about, people getting a chance to train whilst working. And its working for Hart.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #5: Dante Martin def. Adam Grace

My Thoughts: This was just Dante Martin doing Dante Martin. High flying, spot-making acrobatics that he makes looks good AND easy (somehow). Grce didn’t stand a chance.

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #6: Thunder Rosa def. Laynie Luck

My Thoughts: Another typical Thunder Rosa Dark/Elevation match, where she lets her opponent shine and get the spotlight at times but is a) always in control and b) is always going to win. Might make for repetitive matches but show Rosa really is behind womens wrestling, always supporting women all the time.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #7: Brian Cage def. Anthony Bowens

My Thoughts: Nice to see Cage didn’t just completelt squash Bowens here, with both men giving as good as they got. Cage’s sheer strength eventually got the advantage and hit the drill claw fopr the win. This should’ve gone for longer really…

My Score: 2 out of 5

Match #8: Hikaru Shida vs. Heather Reckless

My Thoughts: This was another example of an AEW quasi-squash, with Reckless given a chance to shine, or in this case showboat – which cost her the match considerably. Hut then this was never going to be anything other than a Shida win. Nice to see Shida’s somewhat heelish turn progress here though.

My Score: 1.5 out of 5

Match #9: Sammy Guevara and Fuego del Sol def. Chaos Project

My Thoughts: This was too short and too fast. There was no time to savour anything that happened, which was a shame because the team of Sammy and Fuego was highly anticipated. There was no real time to relish in the fact the vlog crew were finally tagging together as employees of AEW. Otherwise this was more of the Chaos Project’s usual schtick.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Final Verdict: 2/5

This was a series of squash matches, saved by the two tag matches and the usual superexciting Dante Martin match (which was also a squash to be fair but damn fun). Starting to worry now that AEW are stretching themselves thin – especially given that the matches here would usually be dotted into longer Dark/Elevation shows and not be the entire thing.

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