Welcome one and welcome all to the AEW Dark Elevation #34 review. Now, I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with AEW Dark Elevation and AEW Dark of late, as I wasn’t quite sure where to put them in the overall AEW scale of things. After all, in AEW Rampage, they have the best one hour of television around at the moment and AEW Dynamite is the perfect way to spend two hours on a Wednesday night, but AEW Dark Elevation and AEW Dark have always been difficult to pin down in that regard. That was, until this morning.
I sat down at three a.m – bloody kids, sleep more – and had a cup of tea, a bowl of cereal, and a nicotine tablet, and by the time I’d finished so had AEW Dark Elevation. This makes it the perfect breakfast tv – at least those episodes that don’t run about 70 bloody hours – and if you fancy some good old squash matches with your morning eats, then AEW Dark Elevation is as good a way as any to shake off those wrestling cobwebs.
Diamante and Xtina Kay vs. Leyla Hirsch and Ryo Mizunami
I’m a big fan of Diamante. I think she has a brilliant smash-mouth style and could be worth her weight in gold if given a push, but I’m always saddened when I see her in a match like this as it’s obvious to me that she’s not gonna come out with the win, and I’m going to be left waiting for her to move up the card for at least another week.
There wasn’t anything wrong with this bout. In fact, it was hard-hitting action – which is just the ways I likes it – and furious enough to mean that you couldn’t take your eyes off it for fear of missing something, it’s just that I knew in my heart that Hirsch and Mizunami were going to get the 1-2-3 right from the off, and that kind of sucked the air out of it for me.
The end came when Hirsch hit a brutal-looking running knee on Kay for the pin. This does mean that Diamante at least wasn’t left staring at the lights, but in a land where wins and losses are supposed to matter, it’s now 29-18 for someone who should be a lot higher up the totem pole, in your friendly neighborhood wrestling writer’s opinion.
Winners: Leyla Hirsch and Ryo Mizunami
Mike Reed and Toa Liona vs FTR
This was kind of all over the place. It seemed quite scrappy – almost as if all those involved weren’t reading from the same hymn sheet – and though there were no obvious botches it just didn’t gel as well as you’d usually expect an FTR match too.
I did like the look of Toa Liona, however. He’s a big Mother-Hubbard and I think he’d make a great permanent addition to the AEW roster, and if pushed right he could become a huge monster heel. As for the match itself, we’ll just say it was a rough day at the office. not terrible, but not brilliant either.
Reka Tahaka vs. Emi Sakura w/Lulu Pencil
Now, this was a surprise. Not the result – which was never in doubt – but that it wasn’t just Sakura walking to the ring, slapping Tahaka around for two minutes, and then getting the pinfall. Considering that the latter had a 0-10 record going into this bout, it wasn’t that much of a stretch of the imagination to think that that was exactly how it would go.
Instead, Tahaka got in a decent amount of offense before she lost to a Twisting Elbow Drop and it helped elevate her credibility in the eyes of the fans in attendance, as well as those watching at home. Which I’m pretty sure is the entire point of a show called AEW Dark Elevation.
Winner: Emi Sakura
QT Marshall w/The Factory vs. No. 10 w/The Dark Order
This was played out to perfection, and it also proved that QT Marshall is one tough sum-beehatch. My biggest concern going into this was that because it had been shot god knows how many weeks ago, they’d forget that No. 10 had a first-round match with a certain Jon Moxley coming up this Wednesday and he’d lose. This would’ve reflected badly on The Dark Order member, and any semblance of him standing a chance against Mox would’ve gone out of the window. Fortunately, this isn’t the WWE and someone in production realized that he needed to go over to keep him looking strong.
This also gets my Fight of the Night award. Partially because it was entertaining as hell, but also because QT Marshall took an accidental shot to the eye that meant he was fighting a huge chunk of the bout with a rapidly closing eye. Seriously, how he got through it while being half-blind is a testament to the quality of wrestler that QT Marshall is. The man is packed with testicular fortitude.
Three On One Handicap Match: Arjun Singh, Cole Karter, Carlie Bravo vs. Paul Wight
Paul Wight squashed three jobbers. No-one cared. I spent the four or so minutes it was on scratching my bum.