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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 22) Review 8.09.21

August 9, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
AEW Dark: Elevation
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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 22) Review 8.09.21  

Hey there everyone, another Monday so it’s time for another episode of AEW Dark: Elevation. Tonight our main event features teams of brothers when the Lucha Bros take on the Sydal brothers Matt and Mike. We’ve also got Brian Cage back in action plus matches with Red Velvet, Jade Cargill, and Hikaru Shida. This episode is pretty short, under 40 minutes, so let’s get to it. Well, before we do I want to mention that the variable run time on this show is a blessing for AEW. While the really long episodes can get a bit tedious, the ability to change up run time to allow for variables is a good thing. They’re never stretching segments or matches out just to fill air time, and I think on balance they’ve done a good job of making the most with what they have week to week.

Tonight on commentary is Tony Schiavone and Eddie Kingston, sadly no Paul Wight because they made a great trio. But Kingston on commentary is always money. Also my now weekly reminder it seems: put a title on Eddie Kingston you cowards.

Match #1: Red Velvet vs. Renee Michelle

Michelle jumps Velvet at the bell. Michelle keeps control early before Velvet fires up with strikes. Wheelbarrow bulldog from Velvet, then the Final Slice to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Red Velvet won in 1:13

Rating: Winterhorn. . . SQUASH

Michelle showed decent fire, and this was one of her smoother matches thus far on Elevation. Red Velvet is still her usual self, I’m still not a fan of that finisher but that’s personal preference.

Match #2: Shawn Dean vs. Peter Avalon w/ JD Drake and Cezar Bononi

Avalon with strikes early, but Dean fires up with a clothesline and a suplex. Powerbomb into a double knee back breaker (The Deal is what he calls it) from Dean and he wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Shawn Dean won in :47

Rating: Zucchini. . . SQUASH

Nice win for Dean, too short to be anything more than him rebuilding a bit but Avalon is a decent enough name to get on your resume.

Match #3: Tesha Price vs. Hikaru Shida

Some early mat wrestling then Price lands a right hand. Shida battles back with a face buster then a running knee in the corner. Price pushes Shida off the top rope then lays in kicks through the ropes. That just annoys Shida who lands an elbow, then Price with a small package for 2. Shida battles back with a running knee then a Michinoku Driver to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Hikaru Shida won in 1:45

Rating: 1.5 stars

Price has been on Elevation a few times, her character is that of a party girl who goes psycho on occasion. To her credit she plays that role well, and definitely has the requisite scream nailed down.

We get a replay of the promo from Daniel Garcia and 2.0 (Matt Lee and Jeff Parker the former Ever Rise). Garcia could have gone anywhere, but he’s here for the challenge and competition, then runs down Fuego del Sol and lobbies for a one on one match with Darby Allin because he doesn’t think Allin can beat him without help. Decent promo, Garcia is still coming along on the mic.

Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela come out for a tag team match, but Janela completes his much foreshadowed heel turn and clobbers Kiss on the entrance ramp. Janela jumps Baron Black and DMC, their opponents for the match, and takes them both off the entrance ramp. Janela drags Kiss across the ledge in front of the fans on the elevated position and hits a piledriver and walks off.

Match #4: Brian Cage vs. RSP

A quick head scissors take down from Cage, then he leap frogs RSP and hits a drop kick. A knee strike from Cage, but RSP avoids the discus clothesline and hits an enziguri. Scoop slam from RSP, then he heads up top and misses a top rope senton. Discus clothesline from Cage then a powerbomb, F5 and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Brian Cage won in 1:15

Rating: Cushaw. . . SQUASH

RSP was big enough that Cage’s power spots looked good, and Cage is still really good.

Match #5: Jade Cargill w/ Smart Mark Sterling vs. Amber Nova

Pump kick from Jade, pump handle flap jack, Jaded and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jade Cargill won in :45

Rating: Fig-leaf. . . SQUASH

Nova has been decent in her matches so far, I’m still not sure who botched the ending of her match with Riho a few weeks back, and she did her job here making Jade look good. Jade keeps coming along, but she’s got an annoying habit of doing everything to the hard cam. To be clear, she’s hardly alone in this but it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

Match #6: Carlie Bravo and Cyrus vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) w/ Marko Stunt

Bravo and Cyrus jump the good guys, but Jungle Boy clotheslines Bravo and Luchasaurus sends Cyrus out of the ring. Chokeslam from Luchasurus, Jungle Boy with the Snare Trap and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jurassic Express won in :32

Rating: Amphora. . . SQUASH

Delicious squash.

Match #7 – Tag Team Match: Lucha Bros (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) w/ Alex Abrahantes vs. Mike and Matt Sydal

Mike and Fenix start us off. They tie up and Mike gets a side headlock, Fenix counters into one of his own. They run the ropes and Mike hits a couple of head scissors take overs before Fenix lands a chop. Fenix with an absurd sequence of bounces off the ropes and hits an arm drag. Both men avoid kicks then trade roll ups into a double drop kick and stare off spot. Penta and Matt come in now. Kicks from Penta, they run the ropes then Penta lands another kick. Matt with a back flip arm drag off the ropes then a jump spinning back kick. Hurricanrana from Matt, Penta out of the ring and avoids a baseball slide then lands a kick to Matt. Overhand chop from Penta and they head back into the ring. Fenix tags in, they hit a double team sequence of kicks and an assisted splash. Fenix lays in a chop but Sydal counters out of a firemans carry into a slightly modified Hog Log (pity Wight isn’t on commentary for that) then a standing spinning moonsault for a near fall. They trade some strikes now, Matt goes to leg kicks but Fenix lands a high kick and Sydal hits a jumping wheel kick and both men are down. Mike tags in and we get a prolonged tilt a whirl DDT for a near fall. Michinoku Driver into a split from Mike and Penta has to save the match up. Matt tags in and they double team Penta but here’s Fenix intercepting everyone on the top rope. Penta joins them but gets tossed off then Fenix is knocked off the top. Double flying meteora from the Sydal brothers but that only gets 2. Penta pushes Matt off the top rope into a Victory Roll but that only gets 2. Mike gets involved, Penta sends him to the entrance ramp then Fenix with a double springboard corkscrew plancha to take him down. Back in the ring Penta tags in, Fenix holds Matt in place for the flying double stomp to the groin area. An assisted Tiger Driver 91 (call it a double team Fear Factor if you’re so inclined) follows and Penta pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Lucha bros won in 8:18

Rating: 3 stars

Our only proper match tonight, but it was a wild sprint from both teams. Rey Fenix and Penta are one of the best tag teams in the game, and two of the best wrestlers in the world individually, and while the Sydal brothers aren’t on that level they’re definitely not slouches and more than held their own. About as good an eight minute sprint as you’ll find.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Breezy episode this time around, a lot of short squash matches but given some of the participants I'd say it was called for. Cage shouldn't be having back and forth matches with enhancement talent, and Jade isn't at a spot in her development where real matches would do her a ton of favors. But our main event was a darn good tag team match, plus while I think Kingston works best as the third man with Schiavone and Wight he carried his half of the 2 man booth just fine.