Excalibur and Matt Menard were on the call for this packed edition of AEW Dark: Elevation taped last Wednesday before Dynamite in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dante Martin defeated Wes Barkley
Martin was on the offensive for most of this match -- another great way to get the young star over. Everything Barkley did, Martin quickly countered it with, as Menard said, "everything is a flip with this kid." Martin planted Barkley with his Nosedive finisher for an easy win.
Julia Hart defeated Arie Alexander
Hart has such an awesome entrance. Of course, nothing lives up to the Undertaker's iconic entrance, but it does give me those vibes. I think Alexander managed to move out of the way of one single move in this match. Hart hit a standing moonsault and locked in her Hartless Lock for the submission win.
Marina Shafir & Nyla Rose defeated Queen Aminata & Skye Blue
Aminata has been making some noise on the indie scene at the last two Terminus events against Killa Kate and Masha Slamovich. Tonight, she returns to the Dark shows to team with the lovely Blue who is yet again in a tag team match with a different partner.
They definitely didn't get off to the hottest start in this match. Rose was dominant as always. Aminata got some offense in, but Shafir countered a clothesline to bring it back. She then hit Blue with a nasty german suplex followed by Shafir and Rose hitting an assisted DDT that they definitely messed up on. But, they got the win regardless.
Matt Hardy defeated RSP
This is Rickey Shane Page's first appearance on AEW TV in over a year. In the middle of the match, former Hardy clients Private Party came out on the stage and watched. After they came out, RSP hit a huge roundhouse kick and then went for a senton off the top rope but Hardy moved out of the way.
Hardy made his way to the middle rope and landed an elbow, followed by the Twist of Fate for the win. Nothing really came from the Private Party situation...for now.
Serena Deeb defeated Katie Arquette
Deeb locked in the flying Octopus Hold early. Arquette fought out of it but Deeb then locked in the Serenity Lock soon after for the quick tap.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Adrian Gretchell
I couldn't really find anything on Gretchell, but he had an entertaining match with Kazarian. It was one of the most back-and-forth matches of the night with each man getting in their offense. Kazarian locked in the crossface chicken wing after a leg drop to get the win in his first appearance since late-June's Royal Rampage match.
Rush, The Blade & The Butcher defeated Chase Oliver, Elijah Dean & Zach Nystrom
The indie team was comprised of guys from both AIW and NEW, respectively. They didn't really have much of a chance in this one, though. The only time they really got any offense in was when Blade entered the match, but even then, it turned around quickly. Rush got back into the match with a massive dropkick in the corner to pick up the win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Emi Sakura to retain the Regina Di WAVE Title
The title in contention is the Regina Di WAVE belt from Japan's Pro Wrestling WAVE. Shida won the title by defeating Suzu Suzuki earlier this month. This match was put into motion on last Monday's show.
Sakura came out of the gates hot, hitting a huge clothesline and then pulling Sakura's hair to drive her head into the turnbuckle. The action went to the outside where Shida pulled out a chair and went for a senton off of it. Sakura caught her in the air and hit a back suplex on to the same chair.
Back in the ring, Sakura connected on a piledriver and moonsault for near falls both times. Shida fought her way back into the match and then opened up her shirt, tempting Sakura to engage in a chopping contest. Sakura tried to use the ref as a shield and then poked the eyes of Shida.
Sakura kept trying to hit the Queen's Gambit, but Shida kept getting out of it. She connected with a big right elbow that set up a running knee for a near fall. She followed it up with the Kitana spinning kick to the head for the win.
This was a super fun show that got the point across and everything that needed to happen did happen. I have seen so many Dark shows where there are no story elements and there's no reason to care. But, on this show, they pushed a Private Party/Hardy angle and the main event included a championship. I always love to see stuff like this. It should be a fun start to the All Out week they have planned.