wrestling / TV Reports

Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 28) Review 9.13.21

September 13, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
AEW Dark: Elevation
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 28) Review 9.13.21  

Alright everyone, time for another episode of Dark: Elevation. Tonight we’ve got Frankie Kazarian, Emi Sakura, Jade Cargill, and Nyla Rose all in action in one for or another. The main event will be Nyla Rose taking on Skye Blue, and there’s a showcase match here between Daniel Garcia and Lee Moriarty that should be pretty good. We’ve still got the trio of Paul Wight, Tony Schiavone, and Eddie Kingston on commentary. This is also my chance to once again remind AEW to put a title on Eddie Kingston already, you cowards.

Match #1: Queen Aminata vs. Emi Sakura w/ Lulu Pencil

Sakura declines a handshake offer then they tie up. Both women trade some arm wringers and headlocks and related escapes before Sakura bites Aminata’s hand. Sakura with the Romero Special, then just drops Aminta to the mat. Aminata with a snapmare then a kick to the back. Sakura doesn’t appreciate that and starts laying in chops. They both trade blows for a bit before Aminata hits a backbreaker. Hip attack from Aminata in the corner, then a running facewash to the seated Sakura. Aminata bounces out of the corner but gets caught in a Flatliner from Sakura. Sakura with her cross body in the corner then a double underhook backbreaker, but pulls Aminata up so she can hit a Vader Bomb and then pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Emi Sakura won in 3:40

Rating: 1.5 stars

Bordered on 2 but there was a misstep on Sakura’s backbreaker that looked a little dicey and Aminata never really had sustained control over the match. But Aminata keeps improving and I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if she finds a home in one of the bigger promotions sooner rather than later.

Match #2: Ren Jones vs. Frankie Kazarian

They tie up, trade headlocks then Kazarian lands some shoulder blocks and a fireman’s carry into a bridge for a 2 count then an arm drag and Japanese arm drag from Kazarian. For a man his age Kazarian is still smooth in the ring. Some chops from Kazarian then Jones fights back with a back elbow in the corner. More rights from Kazarian then they head up top but Jones rakes the eyes and hits a pop up right hand punch. Jones misses a corner splash and Kazarian hits a clothesline and a meteora to the lower back then locks in the Crossface Chickenwing to force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Frankie Kazarian won in 3:00

Rating: Butternut. . . SQUASH

Kazarian still being as good in the ring as he is at his age and with the miles on his body is genuinely incredible. Jones has a decent physique but didn’t leave much of an impression with his actual work.

Match #3: Penelope Ford w/ The Bunny vs. Layna Lennox

They trade arm wringers and escapes before Ford slams Lennox down by the hair. They run the ropes but Lennox hits a side Russian leg sweep for a 1 count. Ford tosses Lennox out of the ring and Bunny lays in some cheap shots on the outside. Ford with a springboard double knee drop on the apron then heads back into the ring. A cartwheel into a double handspring and back elbow from Ford then a running kick in the corner and a German suplex. For locks in the Muta Lock and Lennox taps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Penelope Ford won in 2:15

Rating: Calabaza. . . SQUASH

Delicious squash.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Turbo Floyd and Truth Magnum vs. The Butcher and The Blade w/ The Bunny

Butcher looks to have slimmed down a bit during his injury rehab. Butcher and Truth start us off, but Butcher is able to lay in a low cross body to floor him then tosses him into his own corner. Turbo tags in, and immediately gets walloped by the Butcher and then Blade tags in. Blade with chops then a clothesline. Truth in, and immediately tossed out by Butcher. The Full Death (powerbomb and neckbreaker combination) follows and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Butcher and Blade won in 1:16

Rating: Muscat de Provence. . . SQUASH

More delicious squash. Butcher looked really amped up to be back.

Match #5: Jade Cargill w/ Smart Mark Sterling vs. Shawna Reed

Jade immediately kicks Reed down then hits a shoulder block. Reed gets caught on a cross body and eats a fall away slam from Jade. Pump kick from Jade, then the Jaded and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jade Cargill won in 1:02

Rating: Shishigatani. . . SQUASH

Slightly less delicious squash. Jade has the look, the presentation, and a lot of athleticism, plus she’s not nearly as stiff in the ring as she used to be, but it’s time we move beyond these squash matches with her.

Match #6 – Tag Team Match: Ella Shae and Jaylee vs. Anna Jay and Tay Conti

Conti and Ella start us off. Some quick hip tosses from Conti then a back kick to the body. A spinning facebuster from Conti then she tags in Jay, as Jaylee tags in as well. Jay with some kicks then a neckbreaker and a heel kick to the face. Conti tags back in and they hit some kicks in the corner. Jaylee is able to get some offense on Conti then tag in Ella. Ella misses a corner splash, takes an enziguri then Jay tags in and runs wild. Conti back in with a pump kick, then Jaylee takes a double suplex. A double Flatliner to Ella, then a Tay-KO into Jay’s Queenslayer (rear naked choke) to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Tay Conti and Anna Jay won in 2:48

Rating: Acorn. . . SQUASH

A lot of squashes tonight. Conti did most of the work, understandable since Anna Jay is just returning from an injury. It also should be said that Anna Jay looked pretty good, still not hitting the higher gears but she doesn’t seem to have lost much of a step while recovering.

Match #7: Lee Moriarty vs. Daniel Garcia w/ 2point0

Some quick mat work from both men, Lee gets the edge and Garcia uses the ropes to break off. Garcia grabs a side headlock then hits a shoulder block and some kicks. Lee into the ropes and catches Garcia with a backslide for 1 then a kick to the arm. Standing crossbody from Lee gets another 1 count. Garcia starts laying in strikes then hits a back drop. Lee starts firing up with uppercuts, then kicks the arm of Garcia. Garcia hits a chop block as 2.0 distract Lee and Garcia is going after the knee now. Some more knee work from Garcia, but Lee is able to kick his arm, then catches Garcia in a pinning predicament for a 2 count. A Pepsi Twist (hammerlock clothesline) from Lee gets a 2 count. Lee wants a suplex, Garcia slips free and kicks the leg then hits a Russian leg sweep into the Crippler Crossface. Lee fights free attacking the bad arm and hooks a shoulder crank, Garcia gets free and threatens his Sharpshooter variant but Lee moves into the ropes before he can lock it in. Garcia eats a kick, but avoids a double stomp. Lee avoids a drop kick to the knee and hits a double stomp. Garcia avoids a suplex and hits a Dragon Screw leg whip into his Sharpshooter version and gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Daniel Garcia won in 6:15

Rating: 2.5 stars

These two have worked each other on the indy scene before, and it shows. Some darn good wrestling from both men, Garcia remembers to sell even when he’s on offense and the same is true of Lee. I’m not surprised the gave Lee Moriarty a contract after this, he and Garcia work very well together.

Match #8: Skye Blue vs. Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero

Rose over powers Blue early, Blue looking to out quick Rose. More evasive moves from Blue, then she lands a roundhouse kick that stuns Rose, but Rose hits a side slam then a senton. Stomps from Rose in the corner, but Blue fights off of her shoulders and lays in elbows but is still over powered by Rose. Rose wants a Beast Bomb but Blue rolls through with a Sunset flip for near fall then avoids some elbow drops. More evasive maneuvers from Blue then some elbows and a few drop kicks. Hurricanrana from Blue then a cartwheel into a European uppercut in the corner. Enziguri from Blue, then a top rope cross body for a 2 count. Super kick from Blue, but Rose avoids a Shiranui and catches Blue in an electric chair position, then swings her into powerbomb position and hits the Beast Bomb to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Nyla Rose won in 3:36

Rating: 2 stars

They gave Skye Blue a heck of a rally segment, and Rose sold well for her in those spots. Pretty good main event.

The final score: review Good
The 411
This one sneaks into the Good category by virtue of the last two matches, before that it was decidedly average for an episode of Elevation. That said, Garcia vs. Moriarty was a solid match and the main event did a fair bit to elevate Skye Blue. The rest was mostly the usual squash affair but given that we had a few people coming back from injuries that should be expected.