After Dark-Week 7

There were 5 women’s matches across AEW’s YouTube product this week. I thought the matches on Elevation were especially fun and there was a nice surprise on Dark! Let’s get in!

Feb. 13-Dark Elevation

Jade Cargill & Leila Grey vs Dulce Tormenta & DD Doom

Jade greats a great pop from the El Paso crowd. She starts the match but after gaining control of DD Doom, she tags out to Leila Grey. Leila’s time in the ring is brief. She did have a nice Side Russian Leg Sweep which she bounced into a floatover cover right after but I was more drawn to her character work. It was, dare I say, “nice” to see a Baddie tag in and out with Jade with enthusiasm and confidence. She looked like she was having fun. Jade gets back in and cleans house, pump kicking the face off of DDD, overhead throwing Tormenta, and then hitting Jaded on Doom. 52-0.

It was a very quick squash. Jade felt like a star.

Winner: Jade Cargill & Leila Grey (1:55)

Nyla Rose & Emi Sakura vs Skye Blue & Madison Rayne

This was such a fun match. And for 5.5 minutes, they pack a lot of action in! Vickie Guerrero gets a nice pop from her home town crowd of El Paso.

Skye Blue took the majority of bumps for her team including a great early sequence with Nyla where Skye goes for a Hurricanerana but Nyla reverses that into a Beastbomb but Skye Blue counters that into a Code Blue but Nyla stops that at turns it into a Crunchy Piledriver! Skye also gets in her share of great looking offence including a Super Kick and a Back Stabber. As one prominently displayed sign in the crowd read “Push Skye Blue”, this match felt like another step in the direction of solidifying her eventual strong long-term push on this roster.

Emi Sakura was in rare form in this one from small things like biting Skye’s wrist for wrist control to using her crossbody dive, normally reserved for corner attacks, this time she does one through the ropes to Skye Blue on the apron and another one (again on Skye) against the barricade to great effect!

Even Vickie Guerrero gets in on the physicality after Skye fends Emi on the floor, Vickie runs in with a spear!

Nyla finishes the match with a new finisher where it looks like she’s setting up a Burning Hammer but Madison instead hits an extra half rotation and lands on her back. It got a good “OH!” from the crowd. I think the extra half-rotation subverted expectations of what that was going to be.

Winner: Nyla Rose & Emi Sakura (5:28)

Vertvixen vs Yuka Sakazaki

It’s the enchanting Yuka Sakazaki versus the powerful prismatic-haired VertVixen in… Is her ring gear GameCube-themed?! This is the first time we’ve seen Vertvixen (33, 4-years in-ring, 100 matches) in AEW since Boxing Day. Vert is someone who’s been getting my attention more and more. DEFY Wrestling out of Seattle is a promotion that keeps catching my eye and VertVixen recently became their inaugural Women’s Champion. I have some of her matches bookmarked on YouTube to watch as these Dark/Elevation matches don’t give you the full picture of what a wrestler can do in-ring.

I really liked that we got to hear Yuka’s theme go on longer, I almost wish she’d doddle on the floor during her entrance so we could hear it for longer, it’s such a fun excursion. My biggest takeaway from this match is that VertVixen looked like she was anticipating the action to transition a lot quicker as when Yuka was on offence, Vert looked like she was needing to sometimes wait up a bit. By the end of the match they looked more in sync. It’s technically a critique of the match but it’s nice to know VertVixen can pick up the pace like that.

After the match, Athena runs in from out of nowhere and bashes Yuka with her ROH World Title and then gleefully dances in celebration. She then crushes Yuka’s leg in the steel steps. What a bad bitch, lol. And then just when you think it’s over Athena imprints a Nike logo into Yuka’s face with a big boot that looked just incredible. Yuka vs Athena at ROH SuperCard Of Honor would be an outstanding match but it’s still over 6 weeks away so I’m wondering if that’s the match or this is like a halfway feud? I’m looking forward to it either way.

Winner: Yuka Sakazaki (3:02)

Feb. 14-Dark

Mei Suruga vs Hyena Hera

I adore Mei Suruga. At current, she’s my favourite wrestler not signed to AEW, WWE or STARDOM, although my #2, Yuu is narrowing the gap! So you could imagine my delight at seeing not only this match card where Mei isn’t the enhancement talent but she also gets her own entrance with music and it has the perfect energy for her.

Hyena Hera (1 year in-ring, 17 career matches, 3rd match in AEW) towers over Mei and starts out the match by making fun of Mei’s height. Mei, in turn, as one does, bites Hyena’s arm. Then threatens to bite Referee Bryce Remsburg’s arm for admonishing her. For a 5-minute match, Mei is really economical with her moves. She just gets it. She is an amazing worker and her comedy is impeccable. I’d be overjoyed to see her become #AllElite.

Winner: Mei Suruga (4:59)

Diamanté vs Ultra Violette

This is Ultra Violette’s (7 years in-ring, 58 matches) AEW debut. Diamenté beats Ultra Violette’s ass. She then from the turnbuckle tells the crowd “Imma beat her ass” and then precedes to beat her ass some more. Ultra Violette does manage to get some offence in but Diamanté finishes her with a trio of German Suplexes with a bridged pin on the third one. She’s a pro’s pro.

Winner: Diamanté (3:25)

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