By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 8)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed May 3, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Elevation started with ring announcer Justin Roberts introducing Miro to the ring as his entrance played… Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight were on commentary…
1. Miro vs. Will Allday. Miro dominated until Allday avoided a splash in the ropes. Allday hit a Tope Suicida and then tried for another but Miro caught him. Allday slipped out and pushed Miro into the ring post. Allday jumped off the top rope but was met with a thrust kick. Miro then locked Allday in Game Over for the tap out win.
Miro beat Will Allday by submission in 4:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A dominant win for Miro. Mid match, Miro yelled to send him the champions, so hopefully he will be in a title hunt sooner than later.
2. Abadon vs. Ryo Mizunami. Abadon did the Undertaker sit-up, which scared Ryo momentarily. Ryo did her repeated chops in the corner and on the windup, Abadon bit Ryo’s arm. Late in the match Ryo speared Abadon and decided to not go for the pin. Instead, she climbed up top for the guillotine leg drop but Abadon sat up again. Abadon then hooked in the Cemetery Driver and was able to hit it on Ryo for the three count.
Abadon beat Ryo Mizunami by pinfall in 8:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: When the matches were advertised this one had me the most intrigued. As I’ve mentioned before, we aren’t sure of all of AEW’s booking tendencies yet. And with these two having similar records, the result of this one was less predictable than most of the Elevation matches. So, while you can call Abadon’s win an upset (due to the focus on Ryo as of late), I don’t think it really is. A competitive match that they definitely can and should go back to in the future.
3. Jon Moxley vs. Andrew Palace. Moxley toyed with Palace until hitting a piledriver followed by a falcon arrow type suplex. Moxley followed with a rear naked choke for the tap out.
Jon Moxley beat Andrew Palace by submission in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick dominant win for Jon Moxley. Not much else here.
4. Preston “10” Vance vs. D3. Both men received the televised entrance. Vance showed off his power early. Vance hit a spinebuster then locked in the full nelson on D3 for the submission victory.
Preston “10” Vance beat D3 by submission in 2:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A dominant outing for Vance to get him back on the winning track after the loss to Darby Allin on Dynamite this past Wednesday.
5. Orange Cassidy (w/Kris Statlander) vs. VSK. Cassidy trapped VSK’s wrists with his feet then walked over VSK. Cassidy attempted the Orange Crush but VSK caught him with a Spanish Fly. VSK then tried to lift up Cassidy, but Cassidy reversed it and hit Beach Break for the pin.
Orange Cassidy beat VSK by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick win for Orange Cassidy. Paul Wight said that VSK had one of the best outings against Cassidy on Elevation. I can agree with that statement because it was the longest Cassidy match of the last three weeks, but not by much.
6. Terrell Hughes and Terrence Hughes vs. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler. Late in the match, FTR hit the spike piledriver on Terrell for the pinfall
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler beat Terrence Hughes and Terrell Hughes by pinfall in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: This was the match that was advertised for last week but did not air. It was a quick showcase win for FTR going into Blood and Guts on Dynamite.
8. Madi Wrenkowski vs. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero). Wrenkowski charged Nyla to start the match. Vickie climbed on the apron to distract Madi which allowed Nyla to hit a German suplex. Nyla draped Madi on the middle of the top rope and Nyla climbed the turnbuckle to hit a leg drop. Nyla went for the pin then lifted Madi at two. Nyla then picked up Madi and hit the Beast Bomb for the pinfall.
Nyla Rose by Pinfall in 2:00.
9. Baron Black vs. Nick Comoroto (w/The Factory). Comoroto dominated until hitting Black with a powerbomb for the pinfall.
Nick Comoroto by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick showcase win for Comoroto.
10. Red Velvet vs. Reka Tehaka. Tehaka showed off her power in the early parts of the match. Velvet escaped a charge in the corner and hit a pair of clotheslines on Tehaka. Tehaka kicked out at two following a standing moonsault from Velvet. Tehaka blocked a kick and then hit a headbutt on Velvet. Tahaka went to grab Velvet, but Velvet avoided her and landed a spin kick for the pinfall.
Red Velvet beat Reka Tehaka by pinfall in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good, competitive match and good showing for Tehaka in her first “televised” appearance. It was mentioned Tehaka faced Jade Cargill at the AEW house show last month.
11. “Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen (w/Matt Hardy) vs. Duke Davis and Ganon Jones. Kassidy slapped Davis and Davis responded with a slap back. Davis was sent outside where Hardy hit Davis. Davis was able to tag out. Jones hit a spinning moonsault from the top rope on both members of Private Party. Jones lifted Kassidy for a suplex, but Kassidy made a blind tag to Quen, who rolled up Jones and held onto the tights while getting the pinfall.
“Private Party” Isiah Kassidy and Marq Queen beat Duke Davis and Ganon Jones by pinfall in 3:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Davis and Jones had a good look to them (both were listed as being 6’5”) and may be worth another shot, though they didn’t get to show much this week. They were protected by the grabbing of the tights and Matt Hardy prevented Davis from breaking up the rollup.
12. Willow Nightingale vs. Thunder Rosa. The wrestlers shook hands at the start. Late in the match, Willow was able to slam Rosa with a pump-handle fallaway slam, Willow then climbed the top rope, but Rosa recovered and hooked in the Fire Thunder Driver and got the pinfall.
Thunder Rosa beat Willow Nightingale by pinfall in 4:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A little more of a test for Rosa but a dominant win nonetheless.
13. Dillon McQueen vs. QT Marshall (w/The Factory). Schiavone and Wight hyped up McQueen as the prized pupil of the Nightmare Factory. Late in the match, Marshall busted up (or may have broken) McQueen’s nose. This fired up McQueen, but Aaron Solow tripped up McQueen, which allowed Marshall to hit the Diamond Cutter. Marshall lifted McQueen at two. Marshall then hit CrossRhodes on McQueen before pinning him.
QT Marshall beat Dillon McQueen by pinfall in 3:00.
Post-match, Marshall piledrove McQueen on the ring steps as the rest of the Factory looked on.
Bailin’s Breakdown: If McQueen is the Nightmare Family’s top prospect, we didn’t get to see it in this match. A dominant win for QT leading into his match with Cody Rhodes on Dynamite.
14. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn vs. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico. Austin and Colten tagged in and out while isolating Serpentico. Colten hit Serpentico with the Colt 45. Serpentico made the tag to Luther with Austin in the ring. Austin avoided a knee and wound up outside the ring. Serpentico distracted him but got punched in the face. Luther used the distraction to take over control of the match.
Luther continued to use Serpentico as a weapon on Austin. Austin made the hot tag to Colten, who cleared house. Serpentico avoided the 3:10 to Yuma. Luther pulled Austin out of the ring and hit a dropkick. Austin tripped up Serpentico from outside the ring to allow Colten to hit the Colt 45 (double underhook neckbreaker) for the pinfall.
Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn beat Luther and Serpentico by pinfall in 9:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A decent back and forth match, but the result was never in doubt seeing as the Gunn Club never loses. Chaos Project were not going to be the ones to beat them (probably saving that for the Factory), but it was an upgrade in competition.
15. The Blade and Matt Hardy (w/Private Party, The Bunny) vs. Colt Cabana and Alan “5” Angels (w/The Dark Order).Referee Bryce Remsburg made Alex Reynolds and “10” leave ringside but allowed Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, Private Party, and The Bunny to remain. Late in the match, The Bunny climbed on the apron, allowing Private Party to pull Angels out of the ring to attack him. Cabana, Grayson, and Uno broke it up. Angels climbed the top rope, but The Blade pushed him off. Hardy recovered and locked in The Leech for the submission win.
The Blade and Matt Hardy defeated Colt Cabana and Alan “5” Angels by submission in 10:00.
The Hardy Family Office celebrated as they went up the ramp as the show went off the air
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good match. And while it could have gone either way, you kind of had to figure that Hardy was not going to lose a match to the bottom part of the Dark Order.
Overall, another good episode of Elevation this week. It went a little longer clocking in at an hour and forty minutes, but it did go by fairly quickly. I like how the intersperse their “stars” in and out of Elevation. Having Moxley and Miro appear even in a glorified squash scenario adds to the feel of the show. I think I would have liked to see Abadon and Ryo much later in the show based on the result. No Rising Star or Spotlight segment this week, which was a bit surprising. No reason was given why not, but with the amount of talent AEW has brought in, they should have like 30 of those already taped.