By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 13)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed June 14, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone was backstage with Wardlow. It’s Wardlow Week as he has matches tonight, tomorrow and Friday. Wardlow said it was Wardlow’s Week and Wardlow’s World. Tonight, he will knock someone out, tomorrow he will choke someone out, and Friday he will knock out Jake Hagar in the first round and that’s a “guarantedamntee”…
After the intro, Schiavone, who was joined on commentary by Paul Wight, welcomed everyone to Elevation and sent it to ring announcer Justin Roberts for our first introduction…
1. Jason Hotch vs. Wardlow. Hotch attempted a kick that Wardlow caught. Wardlow slammed Hotch down. Hotch then attempted to charge at Wardlow but Wardlow caught him again and pushed him off. Hotch charged again and was backdropped. Wardlow then lifted Hotch onto the top rope and hit his finishing knee to the face for the knockout victory.
Wardlow beat Jason Hotch by knockout in a little over a minute.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick and dominating win for Wardlow to start Wardlow Week.
2. Lee Johnson and Dustin Rhodes vs. VSK and Travis Titan. Dustin and Titan started the match with a handshake. Quick tags by Johnson and Dustin. Dustin got caught in the opposite corner and VSK and Titan took over with quick tags. Dustin is able to tag Johnson after Titan telegraphed a backdrop. Titan also tagged in VSK. Johnson with a couple of lariats followed by a cutter neckbreaker. Titan came in but was met with a power slam by Dustin. Johnson then hit the Brain Dog on VSK for the pinfall.
Lee Johnson and Dustin Rhodes beat VSK and Travis Titan by pinfall in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick win for the Nightmare Family.
3. Angelico (w/Jack Evans) vs Mike Sydal (w/Matt Sydal). Matt Sydal and Jack Evans came out with their partners but walked to the back before the match started. Back and forth match to start as they traded armbars, arm drags and headlocks with neither man gaining an advantage. After Sydal bridged out of a pin attempt, Matt Hardy walked out. Angelico and Sydal went to lock up but Angelico kneed Sydal in the stomach and took over. Angelico charged Sydal in the corner but Sydal cartwheeled out of it and hit a standing enzuigiri which stunned Angelico. Angelico reversed an Irish whip then lifted Sydal and dropped him throat first on the top rope. Angelico then locked in the Navarro death roll for the submission victory.
Angelico beat Mike Sydal by submission in 5:00.
After the match, Matt Hardy told Angelico to attack Mike Sydal again. Angelico attacked and locked in the Navarro Death Row on Sydal while Matt Hardy cheered him on. Matt Sydal ran out and chased off Angelico and Hardy…
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good match while it lasted. It was a bit too short to get into the next gear. It was good to see Angelico get a meaningful win though.
4. Shawn Spears vs. Falco. Spears shook Falco’s hand as the match started. Late in the match Spears hit the C4 (Death Valley driver) to win the match.
Shawn Spears beat Falco by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A showcase win for Spears. He is definitely someone who benefits short term from a match on Elevation as he has only been in four matches in 2021.
The Wingmen were backstage to offer Orange Cassidy an official Wingman makeover. If Orange chooses not to accept, then that’s the bad choice…
5. Private Party (w/HFO) vs. Carlie Bravo and Dean Alexander. Before the match started Tony said he had inside information on why Private Party aren’t wearing gear anymore. Tony said it was because they are coming from the club. Private Party worked over Alexander to start the match. Alexander is able to make the tag to Bravo when he avoided a Pele kick from Quen. Bravo was able to hit the Michinoku Driver on Quen. Bravo then climbed the top rope but Kassidy crotched him. Private Party then hit Gin and Juice for the pinfall.
Private Party beat Carlie Bravo and Dean Alexander by pinfall 3:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another showcase match and win from Private Party.
6. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Megan Bayne. Rose and Bayne locked up but Rose pushed her off. Rose then hit Bayne with a clothesline then lifted Bayne up for the Beast Bomb for the quick win.
Nyla Rose beat Megan Bayne by pinfall in roughly 0:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick and dominant win for Rose.
7. Cameron Cole vs. Orange Cassidy (w/Trent, Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander). Orange came out to the Best Friends music instead of his Pixies entrance. Cole and Orange went for a lock up but Cole stomped on Cassidy’s foot and pushed Cassidy down. Cole then picked up Cassidy and DDT’d him. Cole went up to the top rope for a missile dropkick but Cassidy stepped away so Cole missed. Cole then attempted a few times to catch Cassidy but missed a few times until Cassidy was able to hit the Orange Punch for the pinfall.
Orange Cassidy beat Cameron Cole by pinfall in 1:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick win for Orange Cassidy. In fact, Cassidy is probably close to the top in terms of matches wrestled but probably closer to the bottom in terms of actual in ring time.
8. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) and Eddie Kingston vs. Arik Cannon and Kevin Blackwood. Cannon and Kingston started the match. Kingston went for a clean break in the corner but Cannon punched him in the face. Kingston missed the spinning back fist and was met with another punch by Cannon. Cannon then hit a suplex on Kingston and then made the tag to Blackwood. Kingston blocked a belly to back suplex attempt by Blackwood but was not able to block a kick to the face.
Blackwood attempted a pin but was only able to get a one count. Kingston made the tag to Penta after an enziguri. Blackwood attempted to kick Penta but Penta caught it then hit Blackwood with a super kick. Penta the press slammed Blackwood and tagged in Kingston. Penta with the Fear Factor and then sends Blackwood to Kingston who hits a half and half suplex on Blackwood for the pinfall.
Penta El Zero Miedo and Eddie Kingston beat Arik Cannon and Kevin Blackwood by pinfall in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick match and win. Kingston took all of Cannon and Blackwood’s offense.
9. Dani Jordyn vs. Julia Hart (w/Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison). The wrestlers traded arm drags to start. Hart then hit a dropkick. Hart missed a lariat which allowed Jordyn to take over. Jordyn sent Hart outside then drop kicked Hart as Hart was trying to come back in the ring. Jordyn sent Hart back inside the ring and went for a pinfall but Hart kicked out at two. Hart took over with forearm shivers and then Hart hit a series of clotheslines on Jordyn. Hart sent Jordyn out of the corner with a bulldog while doing a split. Hart with a standing moonsault for a two count. Hart then ducked a clothesline from Jordyn, grabbed Jordyn by the head and flipped over for the pinfall.
Julia Hart beat Dani Jordyn by pinfall in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Jordyn managed a little offense but this was definitely a showcase for Hart going into her match with Penelope Ford on Dynamite. Hopefully Hart has a name for her finisher by Friday, as Paul and Tony (especially Tony) have not been much help in the move calling department.
10. Aaron Solow and QT Marshall vs. Deonn Rusman and Joe Keys. Marshall and Rusman start the match. QT gained the quick advantage and tagged in Solow. Rusman reversed an Irish whip attempt by Solow into a powerslam and made the tag to Keys. Keys with a back elbow and a tilt a whirl backbreaker to Solow. Keys went for an Irish whip that Solow countered. Keys jumped up on the top rope but was distracted by Marshall. Solow then pulled Keys off the top rope by his legs.
Solow made the tag to Marshall who hit a vertical suplex on Keys. Marshall tagged in Solow, who slipped out of a bodyslam attempt and made the tag to Rusman. Rusman hit a couple of clotheslines on Solow but was met with a spinning kick when he went to charge Solow a fourth time. Keys ran into the ring but was met with a cutter from Marshall. Solow then hit the pedigree on Rusman for the pinfall.
Aaron Solow and QT Marshall beat Deonn Rusman and Joe Keys by pinfall in 5:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A slightly more competitive match but again another showcase for the Factory.
11. Scorpio Sky (w/Ethan Page) vs. Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds. Ethan Page joined Paul and Tony on commentary. After a lockup Sky with a single leg takedown on Reynolds. Sky put his hands behind his back and mocked Reynolds but Reynolds kicked Sky in the stomach. Reynolds with a suplex for a two count. Sky thought he had control after a knee to the gut so he charged at Reynolds but Reynolds with a drop toe hold onto the bottom rope. Reynolds then hit a drive by kick on Sky from outside the ring who was still hung up in the ropes. Reynolds then climbed up to the top rope and hit a cross body block for a two count.
Reynolds then sent Sky into the corner but Sky sent Reynolds up and over the top rope and outside the ring. After some back and forth fighting Sky is able to clip Reynolds in the knee. Reynolds gets sent into the corner by Sky but as Sky ran in, he was met with a double stomp to the chest. Reynolds then climbed the top rope and attempted a moonsault but missed and though Reynolds landed on his feet his knee that was clipped by Sky gave out. Sky ducked a discus clothesline attempt by Reynolds and locked in the heel hook for the submission victory.
Scorpio Sky beat Alex Reynolds by submission in 8:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good competitive back and forth match and definite match of the night. The result was not in doubt but Reynolds got more than enough offense in.
Unfortunately, while one of the faster episodes of Elevation, it was also probably one of the worse episodes of Elevation. The work was fine, just everything other than the main event was just too short to matter. Usually on Elevation there are also a couple of marquee matches and while I have ragged on the idea of calling them main events in the past, this episode could have definitely used another marquee match or two. I think we are beyond the weekly Orange Cassidy and Nyla Rose squashes and those couple of minutes could have been given to Sydal and Angelico to bring that match up a notch. I will say it was good to see Wardlow and Spears in single matches this week as those have been pretty rare over all three AEW shows.