Best Friends (Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor) def. JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth
Drake and Nemeth are apparently an item now. I like Drake, so if this manages to make Nemeth more interesting, then so be it. I've made it quite clear in my reviews that I couldn't care less about the guy, but at least he's more tolerable being paired off with someone who's better than him. Meanwhile, Best Friends are set to compete in the Arcade Anarchy match on Wednesday's Dynamite, so this gave them a nice momentum boost before then. It was a solid tag team affair. Miro and Kip Sabian emerged afterward to talk trash and lay them out.
Jon Moxley def. Bill Collier
I have no idea who the hell Bill Collier is, but I'd argue this should have kicked off the show over the tag team match. No, not because it was better by any means, but because Moxley is a far bigger name than anyone else in that opener. Seeing Moxley in a match is bound to get viewers hooked for at least a little more of the show compared to Best Friends, at least in my opinion. Also, this had no business being as long as it was, even if Moxley had the built-in excuse of coming into this contest a bit beat up.
Penelope Ford def. Leila Grey
It's a miracle this Best Friends vs. Miro and Sabian program is (hopefully) ending on Wednesday because Ford really needs more of the spotlight to herself. I'm not saying she's remotely close to being the best worker in the women's division, but she's improved over the last year and has been relegated to a managerial role more often than not. She needs more experience, so at least she's getting it in this matches on the secondary shows.
Gunn Club (Austin, Colten and Billy Gunn) def. Rex Lawless and Milk Chocolate
The names of the enhancement talent didn't sound familiar to me at all, but I would've rather seen them win this thing over the damn Gunn Club. Okay, putting aside my weekly hated for Gunn Club, this was fine for what it was. They made the most of the time they had and I was impressed by the other trio, but Gunn Club continue to do nothing for me. They just feel like a waste of a roster spot to me, not to mention Billy should not be a regular in the ring at this point.
Joey Janela def. Chandler Hopkins
I'm aware that AEW is full of tag teams at the moment and the duo isn't going to get that much higher than where they currently are, but I tend to prefer Janela in tag team action alongside Sonny Kiss than I do him on his own. That way, Kiss is benefiting somewhat, because otherwise, Janela is as boring as watching grass grow. Hopkins scoring as much offense as he did felt unnecessary, especially when it caused the contest to drag longer than it needed to.
Thunder Rosa def. Alex Gracia
I didn't know until Gracia's recent NWA Powerrr debut that she was a student of Rosa, so it must have been super cool for them to go one-on-one here in a teacher vs. student type of match. Unfortunately, it wasn't great, but that's mostly because Gracia is still green and has a long way to go in the ring. Thankfully, she's coming along nicely and Rosa guided her through this as well as she could have. Working with women like Rosa is only going to help Gracia in the long run.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch def. Vipress
Watching Hirsch do her thing will never get old. She's another one who needs more seasoning, but the raw skills are there. It helps that she comes across as more legitimate than almost anyone else in the women's division. Vipress has made a few appearances on Dark, but she has yet to wow me in any way. Hirsch is making moves and AEW signing her to an official contract a few weeks ago was well-deserved.
Frankie Kazarian def. Danny Limelight
Kazarian has his match against Christian Cage coming up on Wednesday night, so this was designed to make him look like a threat to Cage ahead of time. He's wrestled his fair share of singles matches since the summer, and despite being 43, he can still move around extremely well, so I'm looking forward to that outing. Limelight is a consistent standout on these shows and was the perfect opponent for Kazarian in what was a fun bout.
"All Ego" Ethan Page def. Fuego Del Sol
Page had his successful Dynamite debut immediately following Revolution but hasn't done anything of note since then. He's a good get for the company, but I hope he can find direction in the not-too-distant future. On the bright side, he's maintaining momentum in the meantime with these matches on Dark. Fuego brings the best out of most people he faces and thus this was a quality contest. The sooner AEW can find something for Page to do, the better.
AEW World Women's Champion Hikaru Shida and Tay Conti def. Tesha Price and Jazmin Allure
Getting the AEW Women's champ in action on this show is always a plus. More of Shida is never a bad thing. She helped out Conti last week against Allie and Nyla Rose, which is why they're teaming up on Dynamite and why they teamed up here. Price and Allure are regulars in the enhancement role for the women and always hold their own, but I'm glad this was a straightforward squash for the babyfaces. They needed that.
Jungle Boy def. Jack Evans
Jungle Boy has future breakout singles star written all over him. Evans is excellent, but he's essentially a jobber to the stars in AEW. He has plenty of experience and is an ideal opponent for a guy like Jungle Boy, who shines in the singles setting. They went for more of a spot-fest here and I didn't love that, but all in all, I enjoyed it. It was also another excuse to hear Jungle Boy's catchy entrance music.
QT Marshall and Lee Johnson def. Adam Priest and Aaron Frye
Marshall has been teasing tension with The Nightmare Family for a while now and seemingly turned heel weeks ago, so him teaming with Johnson here was weird. Johnson seems to be the one they want to push the hardest of everyone in that group, and he has potential, but they need to give him more of a character. Currently, he's just generic. Johnson and Marshall managed to stay on the same page, but I don't expect that to last long.
Ryo Mizunami def. KiLynn King
I was a fan of the matches Mizunami was having in the AEW World Women's Championship Eliminator Tournament, but the more I've seen her work on AEW TV, the less I like her. She's obviously talented, but the ridiculously over-the-top antics and the soft chops in the corner (that King sold like death, which was embarrassing) aren't for me, personally. When they got to actually wrestling, this was pretty good. At least you can argue Mizunami is charismatic, a department King seems to be lacking in.
The Dark Order (Alan "5" Angels and Preston "10" Vance) def. D3 and Vary Morales
Angels and Vance have a nice little dynamic whenever they team up, but they're easily my least favorite pairing of everyone in Dark Order. Angels is hilarious on Being The Elite and even Vance to an extent, but there's no depth to their characters on AEW programming because they rarely ever speak. Their matches aren't bad, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't generic. If nothing else, this was kept short and sweet as it should have been.
Private Party def. Bear Country
The only thing Dark: Elevation has on Dark is the brief vignettes that air showcasing one of the talents or tag teams. Bear Country got the video package treatment this week and it was cool. As I've said before, they've grown on me since I first saw them on Dark and I'm happy they're getting more exposure. It was weird timing considering they lost here to Private Party, but at least they looked credible in defeat in what was a decent match (not to mention that Private Party had to cheat to win)
Scorpio Sky def. Mike Sydal
Imagine sitting through two hours of squashes to watch a Mike Sydal match. Seriously, the least AEW can do is make the main event matches on these shows worthwhile. Sometimes they are, but this certainly was not, even though the effort was there. It was a perfectly competent match and I'm digging Sky's heel work, but it wasn't remotely special enough to warrant it being the main event of the show. Sky vs. Matt Sydal would have been more interesting and entertaining.
There were some solid matches sprinkled throughout the show, but by the two-hour mark (or slightly less), it begins to drag horribly and it becomes hard to care about anything other than when it's going to end. I mean, 16 matches is just ridiculous, and the worst part is that I, like many others, figured the idea behind introducing another YouTube show was to cut Dark's time in half. That's obviously not the case if Elevation was almost two-and-a-half hours. If you like watching nothing but squashes, then this show is for you. If not, then you're simply wasting your time because there isn't a ton of depth beyond that stuff.