After Dark-Week 9

5 women’s matches across AEW’s YouTube properties totalling about 15-16 minutes. I’d like to see AEW really showcase at least one women’s match per week like how they did with Emi Sakura vs Billie Starkz, especially when the Dark tapings are in Universal Studios. All the Elevation matches are typically very short because it’s from the arena where they did Dynamite but on Dark, there’s often 2-3 mens matches that go 9-10 minutes. How about it? Despite the limited time, these women really made their minutes count and packed a lot of action and cool spots in. Let’s get into it…

FEB 27-DARK ELEVATION

Rachelle Riveter vs Emi Sakura

Emi Sakura kicks off this episode of Dark Elevation against Rachelle Riveter (28, 6 years, 56 career matches), who’s making her AEW debut. Rachelle looks in extremely good shape.

Emi gets a great crowd response throughout this match, to the point she tells the crowd to shut up when they start an “EMI!” chant. Awesome.

Rachelle moves very well, she’s quick, smooth and hits hard. And sells hard.

This match is pretty low on moves but chocked full of stiff chops and strikes. Emi wins with a Moonsault which is usually a graceful maneuver but Emi’s always looks stiff and impactful.

Good showing for Rachelle Riveter and it’s great to see Emi Sakura getting her flowers. I will say it again: We need to see Jade Cargill vs Emi Sakura on TV.

Winner: Emi Sakura (2:52)

Diamanté, Marina Shafir & Nyla Rose vs Mazzerati, Miss May & Brittnie Brooks

I’m starting to get the feeling Tony Khan is just trying things with Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir on YouTube until he finds something he feels will stick. They’ve teamed up with Diamanté here.

Marina Shafir puts on a technical showcase against Brittnie Brooks. She’s so great. I’m not sure what angle is going to take her to the next level as far as crowd heat but it exists. She provides so much opportunity in a match for the crowd to get into a spot.

Diamanté gives an awesome German Suplex to Brooks. Nyla is in amazing form tonight. She obliterates Mazzerati with a few power moves before throwing her into her own corner asking for Miss May to tag in. Miss May drops of the apron and runs to the back while Nyla chokeslams Mazzerati. Hilarious!

Nyla & Marina hit the assisted DDT on Mazzerati for the win. Really fun, really funny squash match.

Winner: Nyla, Marina, Diamante (2:58)

Athena vs Danielle Kamela

Goddamn Athena rules. ALL her strikes look like match-ending blows. She’s SO funny with her heel work and how much she just delights in inverting someone’s nose into their face. Athena truly is just sitting there ready to have the division hoisted upon her shoulders. I’m not saying there’s any rush. She’s just very very good.

Since there’s not much to add on Athena, let’s have a look at Danielle Kamela (29, 7 years, 191 matches). It takes 2 to tango and she sold Athena’s offence very well and really made getting thrown between the ropes into ring post look extremely good (like, low key one of the best you’ll ever see). And her fall off the turnbuckle where she bumps her ass on the turnbuckle on the way down and Peter Griffin’s her leg to the side… I hope that was intentional, lol, because that fall looked awful (in the best way). Interesting worker.

Athena hits one of the greatest finishers today, the O-Face and again Kamela sells it like death.

Winner: Athena (3:19)

Feb 28-Dark

Leila Grey vs Sahara Seven

Sahara Seven (7 years, 101 matches) has been an enhancement talent to the stars in AEW for some time, this being her 8th match on Dark.

Leila Grey, the last Baddie standing, feels like she’s making some traction in AEW with her character. There’s a spot where she’s got Saraya hanging off the apron, she kisses her on the cheek and say “You’re cute but you ain’t no baddie” before kicking her in the head.

The finish to this match was a nice surprise as Leila locked in a Cobra Clutch, Seven fought it off but Leila rip-corded her back and took her down to the mat with a head scissors takedown and directly into a triangle submission with one arm locked. Seven didn’t immediately tap which allowed Grey to wrench back on it to make her tap which is a detail I like. Any time a submission move can have another step to it like that is good in my books.

Winner: Leila Grey (3:21)

Skye Blue vs Dream Girl Ellie

Hey it’s Dream Girl Ellie (4 years, 184 matches)! I find I always enjoy her matches. She and Skye start off with some back-and-forth pinning combinations. Ellie ducks Skye’s recovering enziguri she likes to do and then German Suplexes Blue from her knees and then bridges up! I told you I like this wrestler!

Ellie lets out a primal scream before a running shotgun Dropkick to Skye against the ropes, something that could’ve come across as cringe in the Universal Studios venue but it actually didn’t. She hit that fire up spot nicely. She shows off a few more unique offensive maneuvers in this match. She’s very good.

Ellie kind of dominates this match. A very generous outing from Skye before she hits a Superkick and the Skye Fall for the win. Great showcase for Dream Girl Ellie!

Winner: Skye Blue (3:31)

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