This week's edition of AEW Dark: Elevation was taped prior to last Wednesday's Dynamite in Baltimore, MD. Ian Riccaboni and Paul Wight were on the call. As much as I like "Daddy Magic" Matt Menard, this two-man crew was a nice break from the usual three-man pandemonium.
Abadon defeated Amy Rose
They started off the show with an Abadon match, which is always fun. Abadon did her usual gimmick by screaming at Rose and using the fish hook hold on both sides of her mouth. Rose got a couple of clotheslines in, but Abadon was back in the match quickly. She went directly to the Black Dahlia to get another win and remain undefeated in 2022 (13-0).
ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions Dalton Castle & The Boys (Brandon & Brent) defeated The Trustbusters (Ari Daivari, JeeVes Kay & Slim J) to retain the titles
It was time for another ROH Six-Man title defense on YouTube instead of any appearance or mention on TNT or TBS. This was also another case of the challengers doing absolutely nothing to earn the shot.
It was a fun match either way. Daivari started with Castle, but Daivari wanted Brent instead. That was a nice way to get the babyfaces behind early. An enziguri got Brent back on the offensive working with Brandon. A double-team armdrag got a quick two count. Slim J had some help from a referee distraction and hit this insane spinning kick from the top rope for his own two- ount. Quickly, and frankly out of nowhere, Castle got the hot tag and yelled, "BRING ME THE BOYS!" Of course, this meant he started throwing them out each side of the ring one by one.
After this, Castle went for the Bangarang but Daivari stopped it and hit a superkick. A power slam from Kay got a near fall that actually got me for a second. I thought The Trustbusters might win, but Castle kicked out and finally hit the Bangarang for the win.
- Alex Reynolds was in the back and got asked how big a win would be tonight against Kip Sabian. He talked about how both men were even, but he didn't boast about how good he is or whine about how bad he is. That was pretty much it.
Athena defeated Abby Jane
In the past few weeks, Athena seems to be in the middle of a long-term heel turn. That continued here against Jane. Jane's offense was working at the start, but Athena stopped it with a forearm. She started on her tirade where it looks like she is losing control and then beat the hell out of Jane. The commentary team started teasing the idea that the referee might have to stop the match, which I wouldn't have hated. Athena got Jane back in the ring after picking her apart on the outside and locked in a crossface for the win.
After the bell rang, Athena locked in the crossface again and slapped Jane multiple times, leading to talks about fines coming for Athena.
- The Factory was in the back with Lexy Nair. They spoke about last week's main event between Danhausen and QT Marshall that saw Lee Johnson get involved. Johnson spoke about himself finally "getting the party started" in AEW and finally doing something.
Matt Hardy segment
They went back to the ring where Private Party was in the ring with Stokely Hathaway and the rest of The Firm. Hathaway talked about Private Party attending his wrestling training camp recently and how well they did, but Private Party refuted this saying he didn't teach them anything. Hathaway threatened the tag team as Hardy's music hit.
Hardy made his way to the ring and Ethan Page told them to cut the music. Page mentioned a $100,000 fine for Hardy putting his hands on Hathaway which is an absurd amount to just throw out there. He then asked Hardy to leave Private Party alone. The Firm talked about how much they were helping Private Party, but the team wasn't agreeing.
Page put himself over talking about how he gives great advice and then proceeded to tell a couple of newlyweds in the front row to get a divorce. He talked about the AEW World Title eliminator tournament, turned to the hard cam and started celebrating with W. Morrissey. Behind them, while they celebrated, Hardy hit Hathaway with another twist of fate and left the ring. It seems The Firm didn't notice this happening at all and Hardy claimed he fainted which was really funny.
Tay Melo defeated Trish Adora
Melo looked great at the onset, but she started blowing kisses to Sammy Guevara after getting the upper hand so she lost the advantage. Adora scored some forearms, but Melo got right back into it. One thing I really liked about this match was Riccaboni showing so much disdain for Melo and the JAS for a very good reason following last Wednesday's happenings. Melo hit a punt kick in the corner and followed that with a Tay-KO for the win.
Dante Martin defeated Eli Isom
This match had a fun style written all over it. They showed out with a great back-and-forth sequence to start out that was followed by a handshake. Martin was right back in there going for three different pinning combinations and an armdrag. Isom fought out and hit a sunset flip and armdrag. This match was just as awesome as I thought it would be.
Isom was all over Martin, getting a near fall after a belly-to-back neckbreaker. A big boot by Martin got him back in the match. He jumped about 350 feet in the air for a flying crossbody and got his own near fall. He went for his finisher but Isom got an armdrag, threw Martin up onto his shoulders, and hit an air raid crash for another near fall.
They exchanged close calls and Martin flew all across the air doing things that I don't even know how to best describe. He finished the match with his Nose Dive rope walk moonsault. This was the best match of the night by far.
The Factory (Cole Karter, Lee Johnson & QT Marshall) defeated Cheeseburger, Logan Laroux & Rhett Titus
If you would have told me in 2019 when AEW got started that I would see Cheeseburger and Titus teaming together and would be writing about it, I would've slapped you in the face. But, here we are.
The match didn't actually start until Johnson came in against Laroux. Karter came into the match for the Factory, but was used as a punching bag. This match was a very slow affair between the two teams just beating down each other. The Factory ended up dominating Cheeseburger until Titus got a hot tag and took out the entire Factory team. They each kept going back and forth until The Factory surprised Titus with two diamond cutters for the win.
After the match, Marshall grabbed the mic and was about to cut a promo when a video played on the screen that was really cryptic and included some nails.
Eddie Kingston & Ortiz defeated Joe Keys & Myles Hawkins
Kingston & Ortiz got the biggest pop of the show as always. They dominated, quickly getting the win after Kingston locked in the plum stretch on Hawkins. He went to go grab a chair after the match, but Ortiz had to stop him. It will be interesting to see how they handle this Kingston story on Wednesday as the World title eliminator tournament kicks off.
Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford) defeated Alex Reynolds (w/ John Silver)
The two went back and forth early with Reynolds getting most of the offense, but Sabian used some heel tactics to get back in into things. He connected on a press springboard moonsault to the outside onto both Reynolds and Silver. Back in the ring, they exchanged some kicks and some clotheslines. Reynolds stomped on Sabian's back for a near fall. Sabian countered Reynolds in the corner and hit a cannonball, but then celebrated and took his eye off Reynolds who hit a tiger driver for another near fall.
Sabian then bit Reynolds's ear in desperation and hit an anarchist suplex for a really good near fall. Sabian got right back to it, going to the top for a double stomp but Reynolds rolled him up. Sabian countered this with his own pinning combination for the win.
Best Friends & Rocky Romero (w/ Danhausen) defeated Angelico and The Butcher & The Blade
Best Friends made their way to the ring with Danhausen who was rocking a bunny mask. Riccaboni made sure we knew about Angelico's past history with Butcher and Blade in the Hardy Family Office.
Best Friends started out hot with even Roppongi Vice getting name dropped and working together here. A quick trip on Romero from The Bunny stopped their hot streak, leading the heel team to work on him for a while. He finally got to Trent Beretta with a hot tag who hit all his signature moves on Blade, but Angelico broke up a pin attempt. Roppongi Vice quickly turned back into the Best Friends team. They did their hug gimmick but while the referee was distracted, The Bunny came in and gave Beretta a low blow.
There was a weird editing cut as we suddenly went to Chuck Taylor trying to get a chair in the ring with Danhausen standing in the ring. Danhausen got caught up with The Blade and retaliated with his own groin shot that led to the pin and win for the babyfaces.
This week's edition was 30 minutes longer than usual, which actually helped as they did more promo segments and had more interviews which can be good for a show...if they are done right. Going from a 45-minute squashfest to a 90-minute wrestling show gave the show somewhat of an Elevation (every pun you can think of is intended).