Tonight was the first episode of AEW Dark: Elevation, and there were some great things about the show, and some that never need to be shown again. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights:
Highlight: The structure of the show gives AEW a clear distinction in their programs. Elevation was clearly a different show than Dark and Dynamite. Featuring stories from guys like Lee Johnson and giving Will Hobbs promo time, the goal of the show is obvious: provide younger stars a story for fans to follow. They may not be ready for Dynamite just yet, but by doing this every week, it gives them an expanded character that we haven't seen before.
Lowlight: Tony Khan should never, everrrrrr, get on a microphone again. I get that he stated that he didn't want to be an on-screen character, and now I know why. He looked awkward and if I didn't know who he was, I'd swear he was a plant. I appreciate everything Tony has done in establishing AEW, but keep him away from the mic at all times.
Highlight: Solid matches from start to finish. Jungle Boy and Danny Limelight gave us a hot opener, and Riho/Maki Itoh closed out the show with a great match, which hopefully allows us to see more. Each match kept you engaged and entertained, even the squashes.
Lowlight: Still no explanation of the rankings. If there was one thing I was hoping to see, it was that AEW would finally commit to focusing on the hierarchy in their respective divisions. The reason I keep harping on it is because AEW promised a rankings system to determine title contenders, and it still fails to be consistent.
Highlight: Storyline advancement. Elevation added something extra to this show that we rarely see on Dark, establishment of feuds. We saw more of the Kip/Miro/Penelope saga play out, as well as the World Champion Kenny Omega giving Matt Sydal his moment to shine. Even after defeating Michael Nakazawa, Omega attacked him with the One Winged Angel and had a faux pin. Khan came out and said he's going to get a rematch with the champ.
If Elevation can provide storylines that either bridge over to Dynamite or lower card feuds that are solved on Mondays, it will give fans reason to tune in.