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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 8) Review 5.03.21

May 4, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
AEW Dark: Elevation
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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 8) Review 5.03.21  

Hey there people, another Monday so here’s another episode of AEW Dark: Elevation. We’re still clocking in at under 2 hours, though cramming 14 matches into 100 minutes seems like an odd choice. But who knows how it will turn out. We’ve got Jon Moxley, Miro, and Orange Cassidy among some other recognizable names performing tonight so let’s get to the action.

Match #1: Miro vs. Will Allday

This will not be pretty. Miro easily overpowers Allday then clubs him down. There’s a brief flurry from Allday but Miro shuts that down with a belly to belly suplex. More Miro offense, he’s just playing with his food now while yelling at the crowd to send him champions. Allday eventually avoids a corner rush and sends Miro over the top rope. Suicide dive from Allday, they botched Miro catching him so they repeat the spot and then Allday sends Miro into the post. Back in the ring Allday jumps into a thrust kick. Miro’s had enough, Game Over and Allday taps.


Rating: Fig-leaf. . . SQUASH

Typical Miro squash, for better and/or worse.

Match #2: Abadon vs. Ryo Mizunami

OK, this one might be a lot of fun. Mizunami avoids Abadon early while trying to psych herself up. They tie up eventually and Abadon intimidates Mizunami but Mizunami shoulder blocks her down a couple of times. Abadon screams at Mizunami and Mizunami powders to regain herself. Back in the ring Mizunami lays in chops all the way to the corner where she goes into the Kobashi chops but has the final one blocked and Abadon bites her on the forearm. Abadon avoids a scoop slam and hits an Edge-o-Matic to take over. A corner splash from Abadon then a meteora to the seated Mizunami. Low angle cross body from Abadon gets a 2 count. Mizunami fights back with strikes to eventually floor Abadon. Clothesline and a leg drop from Mizunami gets a 2 count, then she gets a leg lariat to the back of the head for another near fall. Abadon with some elbows, but runs into a clothesline for another 2 count. Abadon’s turn to land a hard clothesline for a near fall. Mizunami tries a fireman’s carry, Abadon fights free but can’t find a backslide and Mizunami hits a belly to back suplex. Spear from Mizunami, then she wants the top rope leg drop but Abadon sits up to avoid it. Abadon hits the Cemetery Driver to win.


Rating: 2.5 stars

These two didn’t mesh quite as well as I thought they might, but turned in a perfectly fine match.

Match #3: Jon Moxley vs. Andrew Palace

It bears repeating, but Jon Moxley’s entrance music is really good. Palace is excited to be here. Moxley out wrestles Palace early, and with ease to the point of boredom. He gives Palace a side headlock, then counters easily. They run the ropes, Palace gets a couple of bits of offense so Moxley slaps the taste out of his mouth. Strikes from Moxley, Palace with strikes then a back drop driver, which Moxley more or less no sells to kill him with a clothesline. Piledriver, then a Falcon Arrow into a rear naked choke and Moxley wins.


Rating: Amphora. . . SQUASH

Pretty much exactly what you’d expect.

Match #4: 10 vs. D3

Taking out the worst of the Mighty Ducks movies should be no problem for the mighty 10. On a more serious note D3 has entrance music now, so good for him. 10 overpowers and out strikes D3 early, and hits a wheelbarrow suplex as well. 10 with a 10 count stalling vertical suplex, which amused me more than it should. D3 with a kick, and another but he runs into a series of clotheslines then a cornered pump kick from 10. Spinebuster, followed by a full nelson and D3 is done like dinner.


Rating: Aurantiaca-Alba. . . SQUASH

10 keeps improving, he’s looking a lot smoother over the last couple of weeks so the experience he’s gaining is paying off.

Match #5: Orange Cassidy w/ Kris Statlander vs. VSK

VSK tries to stop the hands going in the pockets, hits a drop kick but Cassidy just walks over him in the corner then gets the hands into his pockets. VSK avoids a Beach Break, lands a series of kicks, then they run the ropes a bit before Cassidy counters a fireman’s carry into a spinning DDT. Cassidy wants the Orange Punch but walks into a C4. VSK wants a finisher but gets countered into a Beach Break and Cassidy wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Orange Cassidy won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Can’t give that one a squash rating, they gave VSK a surprising amount of offense. That said, if you’ve seen one Orange Cassidy match like this you’ve kind of seen them all.

Match #6 – Tag Team Match: FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) w/ Tully Blanchard vs. The Hughes Brothers (Terrell and Terrence)

Wheeler and Terrell start us off. Side headlock from Wheeler, then they trade go behinds and Wheeler gets things to the mat and paint brushes Terrell. Harwood tags in and starts laying in strikes. Wheeler in, the hit tandem headbutts and are working to keep Terrell isolated. Terrell hits a suplex and tags out. Terrence in, hits a senton for a near fall but Harwood blind tags in and clobbers him with a clothesline. Harwood unloads in the corner, then a snap suplex and leg drop before tagging Wheeler back in. Terrence eventually fights back with a suplex and both men are down. Both men tag out, Terrell runs wild for a bit on both men and floors Harwood with a clothesline. Harwood avoids a ripcord lariat and hits a brainbuster before tagging out. Spike piledriver follows and we’re done.


Rating: 1.5 stars

Like the prior match not a full squash, but a very abbreviated match.

Match #7: Madi Wrenkowski vs. Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero

This will not be competitive, but they do give Madi entrance music. Madi attacks right away but Nyla no sells most of it before getting taken down by drop kicks. Madi misses a swing at Vickie, and Nyla kills her with a German suplex. Nyla abuses Madi for a bit, including a diving knee drop that should have ended things but Nyla stops her own pin. Beast Bomb follows and we’re done.


Rating: Blue banana. . . SQUASH

Next please.

Match #8: Baron Black vs. Nick Comoroto w/ The Factory

Comoroto starts laying into Black immediately. Marshall on the outside has still not perfected his thinking face, now looking a combination of confused and constipated as Comoroto lays out Black with a clothesline. Comoroto blocks some strikes, then hits a power bomb to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Nick Comoroto won

Rating: Buttercup. . . SQUASH

Comoroto has the look, but we need to see him work a few actual matches not just squashes.

Match #9: Red Velevet vs. Reka Tehaka

Tehaka over powers Velvet and mocks her, leading to Velvet out moving her and landing a series of kicks then body shots in the corner. Tehaka lands a kick, then hits a less than believable pump kick as Velvet was hung up on the top rope for a 1 count. Samoan drop from Tehaka gets a 2 count. Velvet avoids a corner rush and Tehaka posts herself, leading to some Velvet offense including a meteora while Tehaka was in the 619 position, then a standing moonsault for 2. Tehaka hits a headbutt, but Velvet counters with a couple of kicks, then a wheel kick to the face and Velvet wins.


Rating: 1.5 stars

Tehaka looked a little unpolished, and I’m genuinely not sure Red Velvet is best served in these kinds of matches.

Match #10 – Tag Team Match: Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) w/ Matt Hardy vs. Duke Davis and Ganon Jones

Davis and Quen get things going. Davis over powers Quen early, Quen grabs the braids for an advantage and Jones comes in to intimidate them away from a double team. Kassidy tags in, lands a chop but Davis slaps him down to the mat. Some illegal shenanigans catch up to Davis eventually and he gets dove on on the outside by Quen. A cheap shot from Hardy for good measure. Davis back into the ring but Quen and Kassidy are keeping him isolated and hit a series of double team moves. Davis tosses Kassidy away and tags out. Jones runs wild on both opponents and hits a Whisper in the Wind onto both men. Quen with a blind tag, flies in with a sunset flip then holds the tights to get the pin while Hardy holds onto Davis to keep him occupied.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Private Party won

Rating: 1.5 stars

A bit too heavy on the shenanigans for my taste, not helped by the camera work. Davis and Jones look good physically but still need some seasoning as there were timing issues here.

Match #11: Thunder Rosa vs. Willow Nightingale

There’s some non-trivial wind going for this match. They shake hands then tie up. Rosa gets the better of the wrestling sequences. Willow tries a scoop slam, but gets rolled up then eats a drop toe hold into the ropes. Rosa keeping things grounded now and just overall beating up Willow. Willow fights back with a few strikes, including a super kick for a 1 count. Rosa with a corner splash then a slingshot meteora and basement drop kick. Butterfly suplex follows but only a 2 count for Rosa. They start trading strikes, this goes badly for Willow and Rosa caps that off with a neckbreaker. Willow avoids a German suplex, hits a modified Angle slam then climbs the ropes but Rosa cuts her off, then brings her off the ropes with the Fire Thunder Driver to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Thunder Rosa won

Rating: 1 star

Again I can’t quite get to calling this a squash. Willow looked really green, but Rosa gave her a fair bit of the match.

Match #12: QT Marshall w/ The Factory vs. Dillon McQueen

Marshall slaps Dillon and mocks him verbally. Dillon gets fired up and fights back but runs into a kick then eats a running lariat. Chops from Marshall as he starts working Dillon over. Marshall with punches, and Dillon is bleeding from the nose. Dillon tries to fight back, there’s an ugly as sin collision on a clothesline spot, then Solow trips him up which lets Marshall hit the Diamond Cutter but he stops his own pin. Ugly as sin Cross Rhodes next and Marshall wins.


Rating: Golias. . . SQUASH

That was rough, several miscues took place and this was very nearly a dud of an affair even for a squash.

Post match they set up the stairs on the ramp, then Marshall hits a piledriver onto the steps.

Match #13 – Tag Team Match: Gunn Club (Austin and Colten Gunn) vs. Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico)

Luther and Austin start us off, they tell each other to shut up and trade shoves before we actually get to wrestling. Serpentico tags in off of an arm drag and Austin gets an arm wringer. Colten tags in and they work to isolate Serpentico. Some quick tags from the Gunn brothers keeping Serpentico isolated. Neckbreaker from Colten, and Serpentico crawls over to tag in Luther. Austin in with Luther, Luther unloads strikes in the corner but Austin gets away from him using speed. When getting back into the ring Austin eats a kick and Luther can take over on offense. Serpentico in, they double team Austin for a bit. Now the heels work quick tags to keep Austin isolated and in trouble. That goes on for a bit, but eventually Austin starts fighting back against Serpentico. Austin eats an assisted DDT as Luther tosses Serpentico to the mat while he was holding a front headlock. Boy they’re giving Luther and Serpentico a ton of time here. Austin fights back with strikes, avoids Serpentico and tags in Colten. Colten runs wild on both Luther and Serpentico, they want the 3:10 to Yuma but Luther breaks that up. Serpentico gets tripped by Austin running the ropes and Colten with the Colt .45 to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Gunn Club won

Rating: 1.5 stars

This never quite clicked for me, the comedy of Luther using Serpentico as a weapon got old in a hurry given how much of it they did and the Gunn Club just kind of exist.

Match #14 – Tag Team Match: Matt Hardy and The Blade w/ The Hardy Family Office vs. Colt Cabana and Alan “5” Angels w/ Dark Order

Missing from the HFO at ringside is The Butcher. Eventually they settle on 2 Dark Order representatives to help the team, Stu Grayson and Evil Uno. Hardy and Blade get the early advantage, Hardy and Angels being the legal men. Arm work from Hardy as he and Blade work over Angels. Some chops from Blade, Angels fights back and hits a running clothesline then unloads on Blade and tags in Colt. Colt lays into Blade, Blade fires back and they trade blows before Blade hits a scoop slam. Colt gets back on offense and Angels is back in, they work to keep Blade isolated. Some elbows from Colt, he tries to take out Hardy but the ref is distracted so everyone jumps Colt on the floor. Hardy in now as the heels take over on offense. Quick tags and tandem offense from Hardy and Blade. Colt fights back but gets cut off by Hardy. Hardy tries to keep Colt isolated, and does so then tags out. Blade with strikes to the back, tries a chin lock but Colt fights back with punches. Blade forces things to the corner, they both head up but Colt fights back again and comes flying off with a hip attack and both men are down. Hot tag to Angels and he runs wild on Blade. Blade avoids the Wing Snapper, Hardy tags in blind, Angels hits a C4 onto Blade but Hardy then drills him with a Side Effect for a 2 count. Hardy wants the Twist of Fate, but Angels counts and Colt hits him with an elbow, a wheel kick from Angels then an assisted moonsault for a near fall. Another Wing Snapper attempt, but the Bunny distracts the ref, Private Party gets involved then everything breaks down into a brawl ringside. Angels up top but the Blade shoves him off. Hardy grabs the Leech and gets the submission.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Matt Hardy and The Blade won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Perfectly average match, it never found a second gear which handicaps things and all the interference was a negative for me personally.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was a very bland episode, nothing really popped or stood out. The Dark Order's woes continue as it pertains to their issue with the Hardy Family Office, so much so that it's really hard to care about what happens between them.