Taped in Columbus, Ohio, with Mark Henry, Tony Schiavone and Madison Rayne on commentary. Schiavone introduced Rayne as the “head women’s coach” of AEW.
Hikaru Shida defeated Emi Sakura
Sakura won a slugfest early and chopped Shida into the corner, but Shida took her down with a shoulder block.
The fight went to the floor and Sakura whipped Shida between the ring apron and the ringside barricade. Sakura had a great spot in the corner where she chopped Shida to the rhythm of “We Will Rock You.” If Excalibur and Taz were on commentary they would have called it the “We Will Chop You.”
Shida came back with a suplex and a running knee in the corner, then a dropkick in the corner. A brainbuster from Shida got a near fall. After some misdirection around the ring ropes, Sakura caught Shida with a double underhook backbreaker.
Shida caught Sakura with a high knee and a sliding forearm for a near fall. Sakura hit a double underhook powerbomb for a near fall.
Sakura went for a double underhook again. Shida escaped, hit a hurricanrana, came off the top with a spin kick, and finished off Sakura with a knee strike for the pinfall.
Jade Cargill and Stokely Hathaway came out to introduce themselves to Madison Rayne. Rayne was not impressed. Rayne announced she would be an in-ring competitor and suggested she’d challenge Jade Cargill.
Cargill will be busy tomorrow night during Rampage, but Leila Grey will be available. Grey v. Rayne was made for Rampage tomorrow night.
Mance Warner defeated Serpentico (w/ Luther)
Luther attacked Warner when the fight went to the floor, hitting a pump kick and throwing Warner into the ring barricade. Back in the ring, Serpentico choked Warner against the ropes and delivered a suplex.
Warner came back with a pair of clotheslines and a big boot that Serpentico sold with a 360 bump. Serpentico came back with a flatliner for a near fall. Serpentico went for a powerbomb, but Warner escaped.
Warner hit a clothesline, a running knee and a DDT to get the pinfall.
Tony Nese & Josh Woods (w/ “Smart” Mark Sterling) defeated Damian Chambers & Dean Alexander
Woods tossed around Chambers and buried knees into his midsection. Nese got a near fall with a stomach buster on Chambers, but Alexander slid in to break up the pinfall.
Woods ran in and hit Alexander with a pair of stiff knees that took him out of the match. Chambers went to the top and Nese caught him with a flying uppercut.
Woods got the tag, charged in with a forearm on Chambers, then rolled Woods up into a German suplex on Chambers to get the pinfall. Pretty brutal squash.
A Mance Warner pre-taped promo about his match with Jon Moxley ended the show.
Final thoughts --
They can run Elevation (or Dark) five nights a week if they keep it to 30 minutes. It was also a nice touch to set up a match on Rampage.