By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 7)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed April 26, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight welcome us to Elevation (Tony dropped the Dark when he said it) and then sent it to ring announcer Justin Roberts…
1. Chuck Taylor (w/Trent) vs. Rey Fenix (w/Penta El Zero Miedo). Taylor and Fenix started with some mat wrestling and traded submission holds with neither gaining an advantage. Later Taylor piledrove Fenix, which brought out Alex Abrahantes on the mic to distract Taylor. Orange Cassidy quickly followed but got hit with a superkick. While this happened, Fenix rolled up Taylor for the pinfall.
Rey Fenix beat Chuck Taylor by pinfall in 7:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Considering on paper that this match, at the very least had the most star power, I was very surprised to see this match first. Good competitive match between them.
2. Ryan Nemeth (w/Peter Avalon, Cezar Bononi, J.D. Drake) vs Ryzin. Late in the match Ryzin climbed the top rope and attempted a Swanton bomb but Nemeth brought the knees up. Nemeth picked up Ryzin and nailed the Rude Awakening neck breaker for the pinfall
Ryan Nemeth beat Ryzyn by pinfall 3:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Plenty of outside interference in this one by Avalon’s group. This may have been the first time all four have been together as Avalon has been out a couple of weeks with an injury.
3. Dean Alexander vs. Orange Cassidy. Alexander came out with a bit of a different look wearing a faux fur coat and sunglasses, which he threw at Cassidy. Cassidy returned the favor. Cassidy went for a lockup, but Alexander pushed Cassidy down. Cassidy put his hands on his pockets while on the mat. As he got up, he ducked a clothesline turned around and landed the Orange Punch for the quick win.
Orange Cassidy over Dean Alexander by pinfall in 1:00.
Avalon, Nemeth and Bononi were backstage. Nemeth said it was another victory for the Wingmen. Avalon asked where the new guy was and J.D. Drake walked in wearing a fancy shirt. Avalon told him to spin. J.D. said he made the shirt work. They said they would go to the club and celebrated and ended the segment with them touching their pinkies together.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Orange Cassidy doesn’t seem to be being paid by the hour the last two weeks. More momentum going into his match with Penta on Dynamite this week. I’m not sure if Avalon and his group are being called The Wingmen or if they even have a name at this point.
4. “The Acclaimed” Max Cater and Anthony Bowens vs. Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis. Bowens and Gray started the match. Bowens and Caster isolated Gray for most of the match. Alanis tagged in was able to mount a little offense but then tagged back in Gray. Gray climbed to the top rope while Alanis attempted to lift Bowens into a suplex position. Bowens slipped out and pushed Gray who fell into the ring. Bowens lifted Gray then slammed him while Caster climbed up the top rope and hit the Mic Drop elbow drop on Gray for the pinfall.
The Acclaimed beat Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis by pinfall in 5:00.
Alan Angels and Alex Reynolds were backstage talking about their match. Alex said while he isn’t Jon Silver, he has all the faith in the world in Angels. Angels says he can be Jon Silver and does an impersonation of him. Catchphrases aside, they have a tough match. Angels said on the one hand we have Scorpio Sky, who grabbed the brass ring and did nothing, and on the other we have Ethan Page, who finally made it to national TV and does nothing. Reynolds says they have been doing something and that’s crying and whining, but they will give them one more thing to cry about and that’s a loss.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A showcase win to get The Acclaimed back on the winning track they were on before Anthony Bowens injury.
5. Nick Comoroto (w/The Factory) vs. VSK. VSK with a dropkick as Comoroto entered the ring. Comoroto caught a leaping VSK and slammed him to the mat. Comoroto used his power to beat on VSK until QT did the throat slash to signify to Comoroto to end it with his military press into a powerslam for the pin. After the match QT told Comoroto to do it again.
Nick Comoroto beat VSK by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A dominant win for Comoroto and The Factory.
Rising Star segment with Leyla Hirsch. Leyla is from Moscow, Russia. She was adopted at eight years old with her twin sister and they moved to the United States. Being in Russia, you had to be very disciplined. Moving to the States was a big adjustment. She found sports at a young age and her goal was to just have fun. At 14, she discovered professional wrestling and said this is what she wanted to do.
Hirsch got into amateur wrestling because she thought that was the way to get in. She wrestled on the men’s and women’s team. That was the hardest thing she had to do and being only the second woman on the team she had to prove she belonged there. By senior year received a college scholarship but she met a professional wrestler through a mutual friend. The first time she got in the ring she knew she had to do this now rather than later. She 4’11 & ½.
For a good while, Hirsch was an underdog now, she sees herself as someone to beat. She has only been a professional for three years and she was lucky, She wound up working for WXW in Germany and then a month later made her debut in Japan for Stardom. She had to come home two weeks earlier because of the pandemic. She isn’t there to look pretty or show off her body she is there to win. When she saw that Legit Leyla was ‘All Elite’ she knew all the hard work was worth it. She has no problem breaking your arm and making her statement. Her size does not matter, she is here to win. Keep underestimating her size and you will find out why she is Legit.
6. Leyla Hirsch and Ryo Mizunami vs. Diamante and Amber Nova.Late in the match Diamante broke up a pinfall attempt. Diamante lifted Leyla up for a sliced bread which enabled Amber to make a pinfall attempt which Ryo broke up by pushing Diamante into the pin. Ryo and Diamante rolled to the floor and Leyla locked in the cross-arm breaker and Amber quickly tapped.
Leyla Hirsch and Ryo Mizunami beat Diamante and Amber Nova by submission in 4:30.
After the match, Diamante attacked Leyla until Ryo broke it up. They exchanged words as Schiavone mentioned that Tony Khan just signed Diamante vs. Leyla Hirsch for next week’s Dark (not Elevation)…
Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page were backstage with Dasha. They had a disagreement on what their name should be. Sky thinks they should be called Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. Page says that doesn’t roll off the tongue, won’t look good on the marquee, and won’t fill their pockets. Page thinks their name should be Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Dasha asked them about the match tonight and Sky said he doesn’t underestimate anyone; The Dark Order are really good or they wouldn’t be here but he is a wrestling savant. He wouldn’t surround himself with anyone who wasn’t a certified winner. Page said Jon Silver isn’t even in the corner so good luck keeping up with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page.
Bailin’s Breakdown: As usual I really enjoyed the Rising Star segment and I also enjoy the pairing of Ryo and Leyla. Is there anyone faster at making matches than Tony Khan? Also, the Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page name does sound much better than Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky.
7. Tesha Price vs. Kris Statlander (w/Best Friends, Orange Cassidy).Tesha received a televised entrance this week. Late in the match Statlander lifted Price into the Big Bang Theory piledriver for the win.
Kris Statlander beat Tesha Price by pinfall in 2:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another showcase win for the returning Statlander, who has looked great since she came back from her injury.
8. Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page vs. The Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds and Alan “5” Angels. Sky and Reynolds started the match. Good back and forth until Sky with a cheap shot to Reynolds while Sky was in the ropes. Later, Sky and Page isolated Angels, who finally tagged in Reynolds, who then cleared the ring. Sky threw Reynolds out of the ring and hit Angels so that Page could attempt the Ego’s Edge. Angels blocked it then hit a spinning kick on Page. Angels attempted the Wing Snapper, but Page threw him into the corner. Angels climbed to the top but Sky pulled him down. Page on his third attempt was able to hit the Ego’s Edge on Angels for the pinfall
Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page beat Alan “5” Angels and Alex Reynolds by pinfall in 10:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A fun and competitive match that keeps Sky and Page undefeated. Reynolds and Angels looked good in defeat.
9. Big Swole and Red Velvet vs. Nyla Rose and Madi Wrenkowski (w/ Vickie Guerrero). Vickie interrupted Justin Roberts as he was making the introductions. Vickie took over and said it was her displeasure to introduce Madi. As they made their entrance, Nyla kept telling Madi what she should do. Madi called for the tag and Nyla obliged but then threw Madi into the ring. Madi refused to tag in Nyla, so Nyla entered the ring and powerbombed Madi, allowing Red Velvet to make the pinfall.
Big Swole and Red Velvet beat Nyla Rose and Madi Wrenkowski by pinfall in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: More of an angle than a match. I’m not sure why there were issues between Rose and Wrenkowski other than maybe the loss last week.
10. Joey Janela (w/Sonny Kiss) vs. Matt Sydal (w/Mike Sydal). Sydal eventually took over with kicks to Janela. Sydal then climbed to the top rope and hit a Meteora for a two count. They hit each other with a lariat then traded chops. Sydal with a leaping knee but Janela responded with a lariat. Janela lifted up Sydal for a suplex that Sydal countered into a huracanrana. Janela whipped Sydal into the corner but Sydal jumped up to the top rope. As Sydal came down, Janela caught him with a Death Valley driver then climbed up to the top rope. Janela attempted the Greetings from Asbury Park elbow drop, but Sydal got his knees up. Sydal then hit Janela with a kick then lifted him up for the Lightning Spiral for the pinfall.
Matt Sydal defeated Joey Janela by pinfall in 12:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A really good and competitive match. It started off slow and technical, but they picked up the pace towards the middle and latter portions of the match.
This may have been the best episode of Elevation to date. The pacing of the matches and especially the number of matches made for a quicker than normal episode. In the beginning, while I did question why Fenix and Taylor’s match went on first, by the end of the show it made sense that Janela and Sydal were in the final match. One thing they do need to watch out for when taping these matches out of order is that they run the risk of failing to run an advertised match, which is what happened tonight. The FTR vs. Terrence Hughes and Terrell Hughes match that was advertised and even mentioned as happening by Schiavone at the beginning of the show did not air. The matches of the night were Janela vs. Sydal, Dark Order vs. Sky and Page, and Fenix vs. Taylor.