After Dark-Week 11

Five Womens matches across AEW’s YouTube properties and even though four of them we essentially squashes, there’s always at least one interesting take home from these matches if you’re watching.

Let’s get into it…

March 13-Dark Elevation

Zyra vs Emi Sakura

Zyra doesn’t even have a profile on Cage Match so she’s a total mystery to me. Emi Sakura does the Mexican Surfboard to the delight of the crowd. Emi chops Zyra a bunch and challenges her to return fire but no sells them. Zyra hits a nice crossbody splash for two. Emi has a wardrobe malfunction but doesn’t skip a beat as she picks it up and starts whipping Zyra with it. Emi wins with a moonsault. 

Emi Sakura is so damn charming and good. I’m still on my “Jade Cargill vs Emi Sakura” agenda, as I think it would be so good for both parties.

Winner: Emi Sakura (3:16)

Mighty Mayra vs Marina Shafir

Marina Shafir comes out sans Nyla Rose. Mighty Mayra gets a good pop from the Sacramento crowd. Mighty Mayra has some quick offence and reversals but Shafir, even when something doesn’t look as smooth as you like, it looks like she’s just weighing her options before hitting what she needs to.

Marina does some air sparing in between sequences as if she was hoping for more of a challenge. In the end Marina picks up Mayra for what looks like a Samoan Drop but then she just clasps her hands together, squeezing Mayra and submitting her. Every unique move.

During the match the crowd starts a “put some shoes on” chant. Maybe that could turn into something? Probably a one-off.

Winner: Marina Shafir (2:45)

Athena vs Inder Mundi

Athena starts the match by shouting “Who are you?!” at Inder Mundi. Mundi starts with some chain wrestling but Athena cartwheels out of a Monkey Flip and SAAA-MOKES Inder in the face with a forearm.

Athena actually wins this match with a spinning side chokeslam and then she bashes Inder’s head into the mat and pins for 3. Interesting that this was the finish. I think we’ll see this get sold better in future matches.

Athena’s character work is on point as always. She’s so very good.

Winner: Athena (2:41)

March 14-Dark

Riho vs Diamanté

I want to take a moment to be mindful of Riho especially who recently left Twitter. Although I don’t begrudge anyone for voluntarily leaving it (I actually respect that), Riho didn’t want to leave but she felt bullied off it by “fans” who are critical of the idea of her being that’s she’s so small. So in this review, I’m going to speak a bit more on that instead of a regular rundown.

Riho continues her dominant March with a spirited win over Diamanté. Diamanté hits a hard baseball slide to Riho who’s laying on the apron, sending her flying, crashing to the floor. She feeds Riho with some chops and forearms and Riho absolutely draws the sympathy out of you. This is due to her size.

Riho hits a lot of her favourite moves including the diving stomp, a move that would hurt like a bastard no matter how big someone is. She struggles to hit the Dragon Snap Suplex, because she’s smaller but what a lot of fans miss is that when she does finally hit it, something leads up to it to put her larger opponent off balance which in this case is her ducking a strike. She thinks about these things.

Riho wins with the running double knees. Again, a move that no matter how large your opponent, that’s going to knock you out.

Winner: Riho (7:33)

Julia Hart vs Zoey Lynn

Julia Hart’s entrance doesn’t hit as hard in Universal Studios but what does? Despite this Julia feels Dailed into her character. This is Zoey Lynn’s (34, 16 years, 512 career matches) AEW debut. Julia ducks the opening grapple which is new for her, I’d almost say Orange Cassidy-like but if there’s one commonality that OC has with the House Of Black it’s stoicism. So it fits. Zoey is very smooth and quick. She gets a lot more offence in for a Julia Hart squash match than you’d expect including a jump off the bottom rope into a dropkick. Julia hits her standing Moonsault, which is always impressive, and then does a series of pin attempts but pulls Lynn’s head up off the mat each time. She finally puts Zoey Lynn away with Heartless.

Julia has these fun little spots she adds now and then that kind of help round out the overall in-ring experience for fans. If they get over, fans always look forward to familiar spots and also, tweaks and misdirection to the spots. Zoey Lynn: We didn’t get to see a lot but what we did see was good. She’s fast and smooth. She looks great. We’ll see if we see her back in AEW any time soon.

Winner: Julia Hart (2:39)

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