After Dark-Week 17

So without warning, AEW Dark Elevation is suddenly no longer. We were beginning to see Ring Of Honor’s matches cannibalize AEW’s YouTube wrestling matches but I’m still surprised by this development since with AEW Collision coming along soon, you’d think AEW would have more time per week to film Dark Elevation before that show. I don’t actually know how everything will work but I’m interested to see how it shakes out.

Anyway, with AEW Dark being the sole survivor of AEW’s YouTube wrestling shows, we have just two matches to review this week. So let’s get into it!

Dark opens with Harley Cameron’s entrance. This is my first time watching her wrestle since QTV was established. She takes on Mafiosa (27, 3 years, 38 matches), a woman I’ve found to be a pretty interesting prospect. She’s tall, fit, has comedic timing and has a background in dance which is proving to be excellent training for the choreographic nature of pro wrestling.

Harley at one point pulls out a pink iPhone to take a selfie with a beaten down Mafiosa. Harley does pretty good character work in this match. The action was fine, although I was impressed with Mafiosa’s ability to kick Harley in the head by lifting her leg straight up while facing away from her.

Winner: Harley Cameron (3:02)

The second women’s match on Dark feels like it was booked just for me! Emi Sakura is maybe our greatest under-appreaciated wrestler of this generation and I absolutely ADORE Mei Suruga (23/4/584). Ashley D’Amboise (32/2/98) is one of my tippy top AEW Rookies (assuming the reports are true that she’s All Elite), and while I haven’t watched as much Reka Tehaka (30/4/58) as the rest in this match her size & look is such a presence. The only thing you can hold against her is that she looks like someone who ought to be dominant so if you sign her and don’t book her that way, it’s tricky to present her as the “young upstart still learning the ropes”. Not impossible but it’s tricky.

Mei, as always, is just incredible in this match. She isn’t just an immaculately skilled in-ring competitor but her character is incredibly entertaining and endearing. Speaking of character work, we get to see Reka show that imposing presence in this match when she races to get in between Emi & D’Amboise. D’Amboise & Tehaka are both just tall muscular imposing women, I can’t help but imagine some type of “big young lions” stable including both of them. Maybe Megan Rayne too. Hmm.

The win for Suruga & Sakura is academic but they do hit my favourite double-team maneuver in all of pro wrestling: The Transformer! If Mei Suruga never signs with AEW I have to think that’s more Mei’s decision than Tony Khan’s because she is just so wonderful and amazing. Despite being essentially a squash match, I really enjoyed this one, just watching 4 of my favourites do their thing.

Winner: Emi Sakura & Mei Suruga (3:35)

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