There were only 3 women’s matches totalling 6-minutes and 33-seconds across these two episodes of Dark & Elevation. That seems very odd. Hopefully just an anomaly.
JAN. 16 – DARK ELEVATION
All three women come out to what sounds like new walk-out music for Nyla Rose. The dissension between Nyla & Vickie Guerrero is laid on pretty thick and it boils over between Nyla & Marina Shafir as well.
Emi Sakura, who seemingly exists in this match so that Nyla & Marina can tag her in instead of each other, gets a couple really solid shots in including a chop and a crossbody in the corner but it’s a light night at the office for her as she gets the easy pinfall by sitting on Zyra following Nyla both spearing and Beast Bombing her.
Post match, Nyla attempts to celebrate the win with Sakura while Shafir remains on the apron near Vickie on the floor.
A pretty enjoyable 2-minute sprint that mostly acts as a storyline beat.
Winner: Nyla/Shafir/Emi (2:01)
ROH Women’s Title eliminator match here. Athena’s gear looks incredible. Let’s go!
Big “Athena” chant as Athena goes for a forearm strike which Zhang dodges but then gets a vicious knee to the face when going for a single leg takedown. Athena put her striking game to use before ending the match pretty cleverly. Zhang tries to counter an attack in the corner with a double kick, Athena counters this by catching her feet and throwing them throw the ropes and kicking the back of her prone opponent caught in the the ropes. Then almost like a backstabber off the ropes back into the ring followed by a submission with fish hooks. That was cool.
Post-match, much in the same way Marina Shafir came down to the ring as Athena is beating down her opponent it’s AYAYAYAYAYA Yuka Sakazaki!!! I’m so happy to see her back again, I hope this is an extended stay this time!
Winner: Athena (2:05)
Dark starts off with the only women’s match on the show. I’m still not done gushing over the new AEW set and few make better use of it than Kiera Hogan.
Kiera’s in somewhat of a holding pattern at the moment. Jade Cargill has seemingly moved on from her to probably feuding with Red Velvet. This match scans as a simple fixture of competition within the sport of pro wrestling.
Hogan brings a hard quick-style strike based offence. If I could critique one thing about her moveset (and keep in mind this is my own pedantic nerdom coming out) it’d be her step-up leg drop. In my opinion, it doesn’t look like it hurts at all and it also depends on the opponent, blind to when the strike is coming, to know when to drop as well. I like the step-up part as a sort of play on using her size to get a better leverage on that attack but I feel like if she turned it into a splash, or seating splash or elbow drop it would look a lot more effective and the opponent wouldn’t need to time falling because it would knock them down.
I did really like her high angle backdrop to end the match. Not sure that it’s a finisher on a main roster opponent but it’s a good move to have in the mix.