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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation Review (Ep. 4) 4.05.21

April 6, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
AEW Dark: Elevation Dr. Britt Baker
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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation Review (Ep. 4) 4.05.21  

Well everyone, the biggest week of the wrestling year is upon us. I’m Robert Winfree and let’s see what AEW’s Dark: Elevation show has in store. Right off the bat we’re at a more appropriate 97 minutes, a much better run time for this show than the 2.5 hour offering last week. Our big match this week is Ethan Page teaming with Scorpio Sky against the Sydal brothers, Mike and Matt. This plays off of the ending to last weeks show when Page and Sky seemed to team up. We’ve also got appearances by “Hangman” Adam Page, Lance Archer, even Matt Hardy is getting in the ring this week.

Match #1: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Bill Collier

Collier is the bigger man, tries to work the power game but Page counters with speed and chops. They trade chops for a bit, the Collier clocks Page with a right. A lot of Collier offense early, Page counters a catatonic and tosses Collier out of the ring then hits a plancha. Page in control now, he hits a fallaway slam and standing shooting star press for a near fall. They head up top, Page wants a top rope hurricanrana and gets it on the second effort. A series of lariats, then a Buckshot Lariat later and Page wins.


Rating: 1.5 stars

I appreciate them giving Collier a bit of offense against two of the bigger guys in AEW, he still needs to find all the connective tissue for his matches as there’s a bit too much standing and waiting when he’s on offense though. Collier was a little bit far away for the Buckshot as well, minor timing/position issue. Perfectly acceptable match overall.

Post match Page gives Collier one of his beers.

Match #2 – Tag Team Match: Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison) vs. Dean Alexander and Carlie Bravo

Garrison and Alexander start things, Garrison gets the edge with wrestling and the Blonds start isolating Alexander. A lot of basic mat wrestling early from Garrison and Pillman, they then double team a few times. Alexander eventually chop blocks Garrison and he and Bravo start working his leg. Garrison eats a double drop kick but eventually fights back and makes a hot tag to Pillman. Pillman runs wild, tags Garrison and they hit the drop kick assisted powerbomb to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Varsity Blonds won

Rating: 1 star

They gave Alexander and Bravo enough time on offense as a percentage of the match to avoid this being a squash. This was incredibly generic though, and that double team finish from the Blonds needs work because it looked ugly.

Before our next match Britt Baker gets a mic in the ring. She condescends to Gracia, calling her enhancement talent and herself the big star. But her match last week with Thunder Rosa was impressive enough to further motivate Baker to continue elevating women’s wrestling. Baker says Gracia wont win, but we should put some respect on the Pink Dream. She runs down all the different kinds of wrestling she’s qualified in and gives Gracia the referees position in amateur wrestling to start.

Match #3: Dr. Britt Baker w/ Rebel vs. Alex Gracia

Gracia isn’t sure about the sincerity of Baker, but plays along with the start. Baker quickly counters into a Rings of Saturn position, gets a latex or nitrile glove from Rebel, applies the Lockjaw and wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dr. Britt Baker won

Rating: Golias. . . SQUASH

More about Baker’s promo than the match, but Baker does condescending jerk quite well.

Match #4: Danny Limelight vs. 10

10 over powers Limelight early, to the shock of no one. Limelight decides to start with the strikes, that also doesn’t go his way as 10 starts bouncing him off the turn buckles. Fallaway slam from 10, but Limelight is able to counter in the corner after eating that and starts working the arm of 10. More kicks from Limelight and he’s still working the arm. 10 fights back on occasion but every time he builds momentum Limelight is back to the arm to shut him down. Eventually Limelight runs into a few clotheslines and a boot, 10 then downs him with a diving clothesline. A spinebuster from 10, he wants the full nelson but Limelight counters into a scarf-hold armlock but 10 escapes and hits a pump kick. Limelight counters a deadlift powerbomb with a triangle choke, 10 eventually punches his way out of it. Limelight slips off the back going for his Morir Sonando, 10 takes that chance to lock in the Full Nelson and get the tap.


Rating: 2 stars

Limelight working the arm was a nice little angle for him to have on offense, and while he was clearly here to lose they found a believable enough way to give him offense on the guy they’re starting to get behind in 10. Fun little match.

Match #5: Big Swole vs. Jazmin Allure

Swole overpowers Allure early, and starts landing knees to the back on the mat. Hip toss from Swole, then they’re out of the ring and Swole slams Allure around between ring and barricade before they head back inside the ropes. Swole resumes abusing Allure, but eventually Allure starts evading her offense and gets some of her own. Allure with an arm drag and running drop kick. Swole with the ST-Joe out of the corner, Tiger Driver into a Texas Cloverleaf to get the tap.


Rating: Kiszombori. . . SQUASH

Total squash job as they’re still kind of rebuilding Swole.

In the back Dasha interviews Matt and Mike Sydal. Mike says he’s a little beat up but he’s a Sydal so he might bend but he wont break. Matt says he’s disappointed in Scorpio Sky, who’s just another phony. Tonight Sky and Page have revenge coming their way, they see through the fake partnership of Sky and Page.

Match #6: Vary Morales vs. Michael Nakazawa

Nakazawa plays around with his headset early, uses that to get an advantage but Morales hits a tilt a whirl head scissor then hits the usual lucha arm drags. A lot of arm work from Morales before Nakazawa knocks him off the top rope then crotches him and drags his crotch along the top rope. Commentary tells me that’s the Hentai Slide. Alright then. Nakazawa follows that with an atomic drop, a running back elbow to fully take over. There’s a cell phone going off, from how Wight and Tony are joking on commentary I assume it’s one of theirs but they’re playing like it’s Nakazawa’s headset. Morales counters and hits a big triangle dive to the outside. That seems unnecessary. Spear from Nakazawa, but he’s slow going for the finish and eats a super kick. Morales wants a running move but Nakazawa pulls the ref in front then blasts Morales with the lap top. A tombstone slam follows and Nakazawa wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Michael Nakazawa won

Rating: 1 star

That was rough. I’m not sure who’s more to blame, but the timing seemed off in several places. Nakazawa is also more character than wrestler with this gimmick, and while his facial expressions are quite good this wasn’t my cup of tea in terms of overall presentation.

Match #7: Lance Archer w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Baron Black

Roberts is on commentary with Schiavone and Wight. Archer comes out already abusing Black. Archer no sells some chops then hits a Pounce. Short arm clothesline from Archer. Archer is in full control, beating the crap out of Black. Black tries fighting back, but Archer clobbers him with a right. Black avoids another short arm clothesline, hits some strikes but that seems to have just annoyed Archer. Archer with a one arm chokeslam. A Black Out follows and Archer wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Lance Archer won

Rating: Mammut. . . SQUASH

Jake on commentary was fun for as long as it lasted, and Archer got to do his usual thing.

Jake gets a mic post match, he says he wished the match had been longer because he was enjoying commentary. He brings up that everyone asks why they’re invading Sting’s space, someone from the crowd says “Yeah, why?” and Jake replies perfectly with “Why not?”. They’re hoping someone will try to remove them, nobody wants to wrestle them or invites them anywhere. So they’ll invite themselves. Archer takes the mic, he says it’s his time but for some reason week after week everyone else gets an interview. And they never bring him up, he’s not a good guy or a bad guy but everyone dies. He might as well remind the biggest dog of that, says he respects Sting as an inspiration but once Sting came back it all became about Sting. So just think of it this way, Sting’s time is now Archer’s time, and like Sting says “it’s showtime”. Jake on the mic can do almost no wrong, and Archer wasn’t bad here.

Match #8: Tesha Price vs. Ryo Mizunami

Mizunami with the early power edge, Tesha complains to the ref and that lets Mizunami start laying in strikes. Tesha grabs the hair, Mizunami over powers her and hits a scoop slam. Mizunami charges, but Tesha hits a drop toe hold into the second rope and takes over on offense. Well, for a moment at least then Mizunami floors her with a shoulder block. They trade strikes, this will almost certainly go poorly for Tesha. Yep, Mizunami lays in the Kobashi chops in the corner. Tesha avoids the last chop and starts biting the arm. Bit of a bulldog from Tesha and she gets a full nelson. Mizunami spins out of that with strikes then hits a powerslam and then the low angle running leg drops. Mizunami gets a Torture Rack, Tesha rakes the eyes to get free and tries a series of roll ups but can’t get one to stick. A clothesline from Mizunami ends that rally, then a spear follows and that’s it for Tesha.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ryo Mizunami won

Rating: 2 stars

Tesha didn’t look too bad, her kicks need a lot of work but she’s got a decent handle on her character. Mizunami is a ton of fun per usual.

Match #9: Max Caster w/ Anthony Bowens vs. Colt Cabana w/ Evil Uno

Caster plays coward early, then they trade shoves. Colt starts working the arm, that leads to mat wrestling where Colt maintains his advantage. Caster blocks a monkey flip with help from Bowens, then Caster with a twisting arm takedown. That puts Caster on offense, he’s working the arm now. Rights from Colt, but Caster hits a top wristlock takedown and returns to attacking the arm. Colt avoids a corner splash and starts working offense but his shoulder is still limiting his options. Second rope splash from Colt, then chops to follow up. Caster yanks the head of Colt back over his knee, nasty looking move, then locks in a London Dungeon. Colt fights free and hits a hip attack. Some ref misdirection allows Caster to hit a drop toe hold into the boom box and then pin to win.


Rating: 2.5 stars

Nice work from both men, I’m never a big fan of distraction finishes like that as they all feel over done but that’s a relatively minor gripe. Best match of the night so far.

Match #10 – 8 Man Tag Team Match: The Butcher & The Blade and Private Party (Isiah Kasside and Marq Quen) w/ The Bunny and Matt Hardy vs. Adam Priest, Ryzin, D3, and Fuego del Sol

The Hardy Family Office jump the jobbers at the bell. D3 gets worked over early while the HFO tags in and out. Quen hits a really nice drop kick at one point. Eventually D3 gets free and tags Fuego. Fuego is a house on fire, pun fully intended, taking down Kassidy and Quen. Things break down when he gets the better of things and the HFO gets back in control. Double kicks from Quen and Kassidy, then Butcher and Blade with the Full Death to win. They really need to decide on the name of that move, that’s the second different name I’ve heard for it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Hardy Family Office won

Rating: Hokkaido. . . SQUASH

Pretty much what you’d expect.

We get a new segment next, Showcase with Paul Wight. This week he’s talking with John Silver. Silver talks a bit about his journey to AEW and starting out wrestling when he was 14 and his tag team of the Beaver Boys. 15 years later they finally get a look on AEW, and Evil Uno approached them about joining Dark Order. He calls joining Dark Order the best decision of their careers. That dovetails into talking about the late Brodie Lee. Wight brings up his TNT Title match lately when he lost to Darby Allin, and mentions messing up his shoulder in that match. He says the respect from Sting and Allin post match meant a lot to him, he plans on coming for gold in either singles or tag team divisions this year. Decent little segment, I like the concept and we’ll have to see if they play around with it going forward.

Back to the ring for our next match.

Match #11: Matt Hardy vs. Alan “5” Angels

Hardy makes fun of Angels early, Angels starts laying in strikes. Low German suplex from Hardy drives Angels into the second turnbuckle. Hardy on offense now for a while, he hits a snake eyes then a running lariat. Second rope elbow from Hardy, he wants the Twist of Fate but Angels escapes the attempt. Hardy tries a Razor’s Edge but Angels counters with a hurricanrana. Angels with kicks to the body and leg. Angels counters a Twist of Fate with a backslide for 2, then hits a drop kick. Hardy into the ropes, eats the diving low cross body then a standing shiranui from Angels gets a 2 count. Angels eats the mat on a moonsault attempt, then eats a Side Effect for a 2 count. Angels counters a Twist of Fate with a Wing Snapper but Hardy rolls out of the ring to avoid being pinned after that. Back in the ring and Hardy kicks the second rope into the groin of Angels, hits DDT a after Angels blocks another Twist of Fate, then jumps for The Leech (it’s called the 100% if you’re a jiu-jitsu guy) and Angels has to give it up.


Rating: 2.5 stars

Angels didn’t look too bad even in defeat, and the work from both men was largely competent. Hardy just kind of is who he is in the ring at this point, this was very paint by numbers but it used the right colors. Hardy gets a mic, and says March Madness is over and everyone should always be watching Matt Hardy. Now that the first quarter is over he’s finally getting his money again, and he’s going to take out his anger on the Dark Order. He vows to destroy the Dark Order with the HFO, and says the HFO will take all the money and titles. Hardy says he heard what Darby Allin had to say, how dare a kid who grew up idolizing him call him a sell out. He didn’t sell out, he smartened up, and he’s coming for the TNT title and the money it commands. Standard Matt Hardy promo, but it gives him and his stable a direction going forward.

Match #12 – Tag Team Match: Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page vs. Mike and Matt Sydal

Matt and Sky start us off. They trash talk then start trading blows. Things get tense and break down quickly and all 4 men brawl. Sky winds up isolated, eats a double team move and the Sydal’s isolate him. Mike with a double stomp to the body then a standing moonsault but he’s favoring the knee still after the prolonged Heel Hook from Sky last week. Page distracts Mike, that lets Sky kick him in then leg. Mike out of the ring, Page drops his leg on the ring apron in a modified shin breaker and the heels are in full control now. Page tags in and starts working the leg of Mike. Sky and Page work to keep Mike isolated, Sky tags in and hits a back breaker. The both keep Mike grounded and work the leg. Sky gets a half crab then stomps the leg just to be mean. Mike fires up and lands elbows then is eventually able to tag out. Matt is the proverbial house on fire with kicks to both Sky and Page, then a modified Fisherman’s buster for a near fall. Page tags in and runs over Matt, slightly odd timing there as Matt had to stand still for him. Matt blocks a pump kick and hits a kick to the head for a near fall. Mike tags back in and they hit a double team which leads to Sky saving the match on a pin attempt. The ref, Bryce Remsburg, argues with Matt about how long he’s staying in the ring and forces him back to the apron but that distraction allows Sky to sneak in and punt the leg of Mike to put the heels back in control. Page wants the Egos Edge, hits it and pins Mike to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page won

Rating: 3 stars

Soft 3, but Page will forever have a soft spot in my heart so I’ll be generous. Sky and Page worked well enough together, Mike and Matt did their usual high quality work. Apart from one or two minor miscues this was solid.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This episode had a much better run time which I appreciate, and the wrestling was solid if unspectacular. A nice improvement from last week which was a bit of a drag.