AEW Dark and Dark Elevation by the numbers


AEW Dark and Dark Elevation are two great tools that All Elite Wrestling uses to get keep a lot of their talented roster active. The show allows for some of their less-experienced performers to get time in the ring in front of an active crowd and can help advance storylines at the same time. While the shows aren’t on television like Dynamite and Rampage, they still hold a key place in the advancement of AEW as a promotion. However, there’s a growing discussion about which matches and performers show up on YouTube, and diving into the data behind the answers shows some interesting trends.

While the discussion isn’t new, the debate about who is on the show popped up again when it was announced that Thunder Rosa would team with Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida against Emi Sakura, Marina Shafir, and Nyla Rose. The match went down on Dark Elevation where Storm, Shida, and Rosa picked up the win.

Many felt that this match that featured the current champion, two former champions, and a potential future champion in Storm should have received time on either of the main weekly shows. “Dark” matches are a term in wrestling where performers are given matches outside of live or taped television time, such as those on Dark or Elevation. But what does the data say about who specifically gets those matches in AEW?

To answer that question, Daily DDT looked at 28 performers and their match data via Cagematch. This group included current AEW roster members that have held a singles title (World, Women’s World, TBS, TNT, All-Atlantic), which means Cody Rhodes and Brodie Lee were excluded. To make sure the groups are equal in total participants, the review included other wrestlers who have not obtained championships but are frequently used and featured at various points. The list of wrestlers reviewed and their combined match count for Dark and Elevation are as follows:


  • Chris Jericho – 0
  • Jon Moxley – 10
  • Kenny Omega – 5
  • Adam Page – 3
  • CM Punk – 0
  • PAC – 14
  • Wardlow – 27
  • Scorpio Sky – 41
  • Sammy Guevara – 14
  • Miro – 6
  • Darby Allin – 16
  • Orange Cassidy – 31
  • Jungle Boy – 52
  • Ricky Starks – 36
  • Total: 255


  • Jade Cargill – 10
  • Thunder Rosa – 37
  • Britt Baker – 12
  • Hikaru Shida – 30
  • Nyla Rose – 64
  • Riho – 21
  • Bunny – 37
  • Kris Statlander – 37
  • Leyla Hirsch – 36
  • Penelope Ford – 32
  • Red Velvet – 55
  • Ruby Soho – 25
  • Serena Deeb – 12
  • Tay Melo – 43
  • Total: 451

The first glaring bit of data shows that the group of women listed compete on Dark and Dark Elevation much more frequently, 451 matches for the women compared to 255 for the men. The totals include all match types.

Former champion, Nyla Rose is on YouTube the most with 64 total matches, followed by Red Velvet with 55, then Jungle Boy with 52. Big-name male wrestlers rarely compete on Dark or Elevation, with Jericho and Punk each having 0 appearances, while Page (3) Omega (5), and Miro (6) each clock in at less than 10. Cargill has the least number of matches for the women with 10, followed by Baker and Deeb tied at 12.

What does this data show? Well, it’s a clear gap in appearance numbers for women. The debate on whether this is an indication of how the women are valued within AEW is a subjective argument, but there isn’t any arguing the fact that they appear on Dark and Elevation more frequently than their male counterparts. Fans consistently push for the women to be featured more on Dynamite and Rampage, but AEW has kept their matches in the single digits each night and within a certain timeslot, much to the dismay of those calling for more.

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If important women’s champions like Rosa, Shida, and Rose can compete on Dark and Elevation, shouldn’t the same be true for the men? Of course, the answer is “yes,” but the data doesn’t show that happening. With all professional wrestling being a scripted form of entertainment, this is something that AEW could address, but the data shows that women, regardless of status on the roster, appear more frequently on Dark and Elevation than male performers in similar positions.