By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 13)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed June 7, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Santana and Ortiz stood backstage. Ortiz said February 17, 2021 was their last and only tag team title match opportunity and they lost. Santana said it’s dangerous because it has made them hungrier than a pack of wild dogs. They have prided themselves on learning from their mistakes. They will be back for the top spot and that begins tonight on Elevation. Their opponents will be the ones to pay the price and they have given them fair warning that they are about to face the best. Prove them wrong…
After the opening theme, Tony Schiavone introduced the Big G himself, Paul Wight, who mentioned that he just had some wisdom teeth pulled and apologized if he messed up during the show. Tony then sent it to ring announcer Justin Roberts for our first introduction.
1. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Rache Chanel. Chanel received a televised entrance. Jade received a good number of cheers as she made her entrance. Jade called Chanel to the center of the ring for a lockup and then pushed Chanel off. Chanel attempted a go behind and Jade threw her off. Jade hit Chanel with a pop-up Samoan drop followed by Jaded for the pinfall.
Jade Cargill beat Rache Chanel by pinfall in 1:00.
After the match, Mark Sterling entered the ring with a microphone. AEW knows what they have here, they know what they have here and AEW is exploiting it no more. Jade Cargill does not need a manager she needs representation and he is the best representation Mark Sterling, Esq. The first thing they are going to do is renegotiate their contract. For monetary purposes Mark asks Jade to say her catchphrase. Jade said, “I’m that bitch!”…
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick dominant win for Cargill to get us started this week.
2. Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis vs. Santana and Ortiz. Santana and Alanis started things off. Santana sent Alanis into his corner. Alanis tried to leap out of it but Santana caught Alanis onto his shoulders and slammed him face first into the top turnbuckle. Santana tagged Ortiz who hit a DDT as he entered the ring. Ortiz allowed Alanis to tag out. Ortiz missed a back senton when Gray rolled out of the way. Both men tagged their partners. A short time later Ortiz power bombed Alanis and Ortiz then lifted Alanis so Santana could kick him. Ortiz pinned Alanis…
Santana and Ortiz beat Liam Gray and Adrian Alanis by pinfall in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good showcase win for Santana and Ortiz to get them back into the tag team rankings.
The Dark Order were shown backstage. This Friday on Dynamite, Evil Uno gets a shot at the TNT title against Miro. The rest of the Dark Order asked if Uno was excited. They did Miro impersonations to show what he would do to Uno, who said that he knows he has to face Danny Limelight tonight and he is not overlooking him. Uno knows Limelight is a fantastic competitor, but he is no Evil Uno…
3. Scorpio Sky vs. Trevor Read. Ethan Page was on commentary for the match. Sky toyed with Read to start the match. Sky telegraphed a drop down so Read kicked Sky in the face then hit an inverted atomic drop. Sky reversed an Irish whip but Read held on to the ropes and attempted to kick Sky. Sky caught the leg and hit a dragon screw followed by the heel hook for the submission victory.
Scorpio Sky beat Trevor Read by submission in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick showcase win for Sky. Ethan Page was good on commentary.
The Varsity Blonds were shown backstage. Brian Pillman Jr. said they may have lost against the Young Bucks, but just last week they beat Chaos Project to put them back at 1st and 10 and tonight they will do it again against The Wingmen. Griff Garrison said speaking of Wingmen, he has his own in Pillman and his own ring woman in Julia Hart, who is a two-time National Champion. They said can’t forget the roaring crowd who chanted Varsity.
4. Brian Cage and Powerhouse Hobbs (w/Ricky Starks and Hook) vs. Trevor Aeon and Kendall Blake. Taz joined the commentary team for this match. Blake punched Hobbs to start which had no effect. Hobbs then clotheslined Blake, then body slammed Blake nine times but dropped Blake on the ten as to not give the fans the satisfaction. Hobbs tagged in Cage, who lifted up Blake and then threw Blake to his corner to tag Aeon. Cage dropped Aeon on his head then hit a release German suplex. Blake ran in but Hobbs cut him off. Cage hit a discus lariat on Aeon then lifted Aeon up for the drill claw and the victory…
Brian Cage and Powerhouse Hobbs beat Trevor Aeon and Kendall Blake by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A dominant win for Team Taz to show that they were ready for “10” and Adam Page on Dynamite. Taz on commentary was saying everything was ok with Team Taz, but Starks avoided eye contact with Cage and even turned his back while Cage was in the ring.
5. Danny Limelight vs Evil Uno. Schiavone mentioned it was Uno’s singles debut in AEW. -1 remained at ringside. They bumped fists before locking up. Uno attempted his finisher early but Limelight arm dragged Uno out of it and outside the ring. Limelight then leapt over the top rope onto Uno on the outside. Limelight sent Uno back into the ring and then climbed the top rope. -1 caught his eye and when Limelight jumped Uno just stepped aside. Uno attempted the ripcord flatliner again but Limelight held onto the leg.
Uno kicked Limelight into the corner and charged after him but Limelight kicked Uno the walked across the middle rope and then leaped off the middle of the top rope with a blockbuster on Uno. Limelight kicked Uno in the chest a few times then Uno stood up. Limelight attempted another kick but Uno caught the leg and made referee Rick Knox hold it so Uno can grab Limelight for a neck breaker. Uno then hit a brain buster onto Limelight for a two count. Uno went to pick Limelight up but Limelight went limp.
Uno went to pick Limelight up again but Limelight was playing possum and Uno got rolled up for a two count. Limelight then hit an enziguri. Limelight went up to the top rope again and attempted to jump off but as Limelight came down Uno pushed him away. Uno then stomped on Limelight’s hands then hit the ripcord flatliner for the pinfall. Wight said Uno called the move Something Evil. The wrestlers shook hands afterward…
Evil Uno beat Danny Limelight by pinfall in 6:45
Bailin’s Breakdown: An unexpectedly good match, as Uno rarely wrestles singles matches. This was actually his first in AEW. Also, I wasn’t sure if their styles would work well together, but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.
Diamante was shown backstage. She said she had the opportunity to face the former AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida, and if people thought what Britt Baker did to Shida was bad, just wait until she rips Shida’s ass apart. Diamante said she would make everyone forget that Shida was ever champion and in doing so will go right to the top (of the rankings).
6. Mike Sydal vs. Ethan Page. Scorpio Sky sat in on commentary. Sydal used his speed early to gain an advantage. Sydal went to climb the top rope but Page slammed Sydal’s head into the turnbuckle. Page then hit an underhook backbreaker to bring Sydal back into the ring. Page hit another backbreaker then worked on Sydal’s back some more. Page attempted a superplex but Sydal fought out of it with a headbutt. Sydal cartwheeled back into the ring from the turnbuckle. Sydal with a huracanrana the sent Page outside.
Sydal followed up with a Tope Suicida. Sydal then sent Page back into the ring and climbed the top rope and hit Meteora onto Page for a two count. Sydal went to pick Page up but Page dropped Sydal. Page then attempted the Ego’s Edge but Sydal slipped up and hit his thrust kick into a split. Sydal attempted a standing moonsault but Page got his knees up. Page immediately picked up Sydal for the Ego’s Edge for the pinfall.
Ethan Page beat Mike Sydal by pinfall in 5:00
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match, but obviously the result was never in doubt.
7. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens vs Alex Reynolds and Alan “5” Angels. Reynolds and Bowens started the match. Reynolds used his speed early. Both men tagged at the same time. Angels mounted punches in the corner on Caster but Caster lifted Angels and attempted a powerbomb that Angels was able to flip out of. Caster sent Angels to the corner but Angels flipped up and over Caster then hit a few kicks that sent Caster outside the ring. Angels tagged in Reynolds and Bowens entered the ring.
Reynolds threw Bowens out and both Reynolds and Angels hit a double Tope Suicida onto both members of The Acclaimed. As Reynolds went to enter the ring Bowens lifted Reynolds and dropped him face first on the ring apron. Caster then with a sliding dropkick onto Reynolds to keep him outside. Caster with a belly to back suplex for a two count. Caster and Bowens with tags in and out worked over Reynolds. Reynolds with the hot tag to Angels who is able to keep Bowens off balance with kicks and then able to hit Bowens with a Sliced Bread for a two count. Angels tagged in Reynolds but was met with a kick to the face by Caster.
Angels threw Caster outside the ring and attempted another Tope Suicida but Caster caught Angels and rammed him into the ring apron. Caster then grabbed the boom box and distracted the referee. On the other side of the ring Bowens threw a chain to Reynolds and then dropped on the ground. Angels climbed the turnbuckle with a frog splash onto Bowens for a two count. As the referee tried to remove Angels from the ring, Reynolds attempted to lift Bowens up for a suplex but Caster used the boom box to hit Reynolds with it and allow Bowens to make the pinfall.
“The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens beat Alex Reynolds and Alan “5” Angels by pinfall in 7:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match, but I can’t in good faith believe that Reynolds and Angels can rack up a lot of wins. If the match was Jon Silver and Alex Reynolds, then the result becomes a little more in doubt. I am surprised it was Reynolds who took the fall though.
8. Queen Aminata vs. Kris Statlander (w/Trent, Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy). Early in the match they traded suplex attempts with Statlander finally able to hit one. Statlander charged Aminata who was in the corner but Aminata sidestepped Statlander and sent her into the corner. Aminata charged at Statlander in the corner then gave Statlander a stink face. Aminata then charged from another corner but Statlander moved and then hit Aminata with a running knee to the face.
Statlander lifted Aminata onto her shoulders but Aminata was able to forward roll out of it for a two count. Aminata hit a thrust kick followed by a Flatliner for a two count. Aminata is sent into the ropes and attempts a flying head scissors. After a couple of rotations, Statlander powered out and got and transitioned Aminata into the Big Bang Theory for the pinfall.
Kris Statlander beat Queen Aminata by pinfall in 4:00
Bailin’s Breakdown: Hopefully Aminata is ok after that Big Bang Theory. It looked like Statlander didn’t have a good grip on Aminata and just fell into the move.
9. J.D. Drake and Ryan Nemeth (w/The Wingmen) vs “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison (w/Julia Hart). Pillman and Nemeth started the match. Pillman worked on Nemeth’s arm and tagged in Garrison. Pillman tagged back in and Irish whipped Nemeth into the ropes. When Pillman dropped down, Nemeth tripped outside the ring. Julia Hart had a Varsity sign that Nemeth took and ripped up. Pillman dropkicked Nemeth through the ropes. J.D. Drake grabbed Pillman as Pillman tried to enter the ring.
Drake punched Pillman then threw him back in the ring. Drake and Nemeth tag in and out and work over Pillman. Pillman was able to make the tag after throwing Nemeth and Drake into each other. Garrison lifted Drake and hit a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Garrison tagged in Pillman and held Drake for a dropkick and pinfall attempt that Nemeth broke up.
Garrison was sent out of the ring. Nemeth performed a neck breaker on Pillman followed by a top rope moonsault by Drake for a two count that Garrison returned to break up. Garrison sent Nemeth out of the ring again and Drake attempted to body slam Garrison but Garrison slipped out and sent Drake into a forearm by Pillman. Garrison hit Drake with another forearm then Pillman with a springboard lariat for the pinfall.
“The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison beat J.D. Drake and Ryan Nemeth in 6:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another good back and forth match that kept the Varsity Blonds on top of the tag rankings.
Highlights aired of Britt Baker beating Hikaru Shida at Double or Nothing…
10. Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante. Shida came out showing off a new look that included a new haircut. They locked up and traded kicks, but Shida was able to whip Diamante off. Diamante and Shida get caught up in the corner and Diamante was able to hit a back stabber. Diamante worked over Shida with punches and kicks. Diamante dove onto Shida for a two count. Diamante climbed the top rope but Shida was able to get her down then Shida hit Diamante repeatedly with forearms and punches and followed up with a knee to the face.
Shida lifted Diamante onto the top rope but Diamante grabbed Shida’s legs and locked her in the Tree of Woe. Diamante followed up with a hesitation dropkick for a two count. Diamante hit Sliced Bread for a two count. Diamante then attempted a Code Red but Shida got out and sent Diamante into the ropes and hit a flying knee to Diamante’s face followed by a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Shida attempted the Tomishe but Diamante caught Shida and hit a low DDT for a two count.
Diamante went to pick Shida up but Shida was able to counter into a forward roll for a two count. Shida hit Diamante with a knee to the back of her head followed by a forearm shiver and the Katana knee strike for the pinfall.
Hikaru Shida beat Diamante by pinfall in 7:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good match worthy of the main event slot. Shida was slightly more vicious than normal but not enough to make you feel like it was to go along with her new look. Perhaps it will be more of a subtle character change for Shida.
All in all, this was a good episode of Elevation. This episode clocked in at one hour and 15 minutes so it didn’t overstay its welcome. The crowd was definitely not as hot as it was last week. While I don’t expect every crowd to be like last week’s crowd, it will be really interesting to see how the crowds are once they resume touring full time again.
The match of the night goes to Shida vs. Diamante. The other marquee matches delivered as well but not to the level of the main event.