By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 17)
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed July 5, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone, who was joined on commentary by Paul Wight, wasted no time this week and sent it immediately to ring announcer Justin Roberts…
Bailin’s Breakdown: Before we get started, I just wanted to say I hope everyone who celebrated enjoyed their 4th of July festivities. Most importantly, I hope everyone who set off fireworks kept all their appendages. With that said on to Elevation!
1. Leila Grey vs. Thunder Rosa. Thunder Rosa received her normal great reaction as she entered the ring. Rosa dominated from the start and finished Grey off quickly with the Fire Thunder Driver.
Thunder Rosa beat Leila Grey by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: More of the same for a Thunder Rosa showcase match.
2. Scorpio Sky vs. Marcus Kross. Ethan Page sat in on commentary. Sky quickly took over with a double thrust to Kross’s throat. After a Russian leg sweep by Sky, Kross retreated to the corner and tried to fight his way out, but Sky with repeated kicks to slow Kross’s momentum. Sky grabbed a chunk of Kross’ hair (which looked like carnival sized Cotton Candy) and threw Kross around the ring while continuing to hold the hair. Sky gloated which allowed Kross to quickly roll up Sky for a two count. Kross hit Sky with a dropkick followed by a double stomp to the chest and then an elbow drop. Kross went for a kick, but Sky ducked and lifted up Kross into the TKO, which led to the the pinfall.
Scorpio Sky beat Marcus Kross by pinfall in about 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: What I wrote about the Thunder Rosa match applies here as well. Kross, who teamed with Griff Garrison on the independent scene, got to show a little bit of offense at least. That hair though. I’m not sure my words can do that style justice.
3. Hikaru Shida vs. Dani Jordyn. Shida brought Jordyn outside of the ring and grabbed a chair but the referee took the chair. As the referee was distracted Jordyn used the opportunity to hit Shida with the Burn book and then rolled Shida back inside the ring. Jordyn spent too long to get back into the ring and was only able to get a 2 count on Shida. They started to trade punches then Shida with an Irish whip that sent Jordyn into the corner.
Shida charged with an attempted knee strike but Jordyn moved with Shida’s knee hitting the turnbuckle. Shida wound up on the apron and Jordyn applied a submission with Shida draped between the ropes. Shida was able to use the ropes to send Jordyn into them chest first. Shida hit knee strikes to Jordyn in opposite corners. Shida pounded on Jordyn’s back and attempted a suplex but Jordyn countered with a roll up for two then rolled up Shida in a crucifix pin also for a two count. They traded German suplex attempts then forearms. Shida took control and hit a knee to the back of the head then a forearm smash followed by her Kitana knee strike for the pinfall.
Hikaru Shida beat Dani Jordyn by pinfall in 7:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: This was a good back and forth match and it would not surprise me if it was meant to give Jordyn a closer look as AEW looks to get back on the road. The one thing that slightly bothered me was seeing Jordyn get so much offense on Shida. I’m not saying Shida should have squashed Jordyn, but we have seen other women who are not a former AEW Women’s Champion beat Jordyn quicker and easier. Still, this was a great showing for Jordyn (possibly her best) and maybe we see more of her going forward.
4. Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander) vs. Angelico (w/Jack Evans). Cassidy received a massive reaction as soon as the first note of his music hit. Angelico took Orange’s glasses then backed away from Orange. Orange quickly got the glasses back and then hit Angelico with his “super” kicks. Later, Angelico lifted Cassidy into a gut-wrench but held on and crossed Cassidy’s feet in a submission move. Angelico danced which allowed Cassidy to roll up Angelico for a two count.
Angelico quickly went back on the offense. Things started to speed up and Cassidy is able to hit a tornado DDT. Orange then missed the Orange punch. Angelico attempted the Navarro Death roll but rolled up Cassidy into a pin attempt for a two count instead. Cassidy attempted a Beach break but Angelico slipped out. Angelico then targeted Cassidy’s leg. Angelico tried for the leg sweep head kick combo again but Cassidy ducked both then rolled up Angelico for the pinfall.
Orange Cassidy beat Angelico by pinfall in 6:00.
After the match, The Blade and the Bunny entered the ring and had a stare-down with Cassidy and Statlander prior to their mixed tag match on Dynamite.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another good back and forth match. Angelico continues to grow on me week after week. He has a cool factor. He also possesses great technical and submission skills, and a very unique move set. While it’s not his time, Angelico strikes me as someone who could eventually break out and become a player in AEW for years to come.
5. Serena Deeb vs. Tesha Price. Tesha started the match by offering a handshake to Deeb while saying Happy Birthday. Deeb responded by slapping Price in the face. Deeb continued her aggressive streak and dominated Price. Deeb eventually hit Detox on Price then shook Price’s hand. Deeb then started to lock in the Serenity Lock submission hold but slammed Price’s knee into the mat multiple times. Once the Serenity Lock was locked in, Price quickly tapped.
Serena Deeb beat Tesha Price by submission in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good showcase win for Deeb, who continues to reach into her more aggressive side. Deeb would be a strong top two or three female heel behind Britt Baker and Nyla Rose if they continue down this path.
Alex Marvez was ringside with Joey Janela. Marvez asked about a medical update, but he did not answer. Marvez asked why Janela was late to save Sonny Kiss last week on Dark. Marvez answered his own question by saying they were out on the melon farm together. Marvez said Janela and Kiss would be on Britt Baker’s “Waiting Room” talkshow tomorrow and asked what Janela hoped to accomplish. Janela took the mic and the fans started chanting for Sonny. “I’m just frustrated,” Janela said before walking out of the arena through Jon Moxley’s old entrance area…
6. Serpentico (w/Luther) vs. Dante Martin. Serpentico was going to do a running chop or headbutt to Martin but Martin moved and Serpentico hit the ring post. Martin threw Serpentico back in the ring but Luther blocked his path. Martin got back inside the ring and hit a dropkick to Serpentico then hit a springboard moonsault from the top rope onto Serpentico. Martin missed a kick and Serpentico responded with one of his own followed by a low DDT followed by a double stomp for a two count.
Martin avoided a couple of strikes from Serpentico then lifted Serpentico onto the top turnbuckle. Martin then lifted Serpentico and slammed him down in the form of a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Luther swiped at Martin’s legs from outside the ring but missed. Serpentico charged but was sent over the top rope onto the apron. Luther pushed Serpentico to keep him from falling on the floor, but Martin dove over the top rope and Serpentico onto Luther. Back in the ring, Martin hit a flip over Stunner on Serpentico for the three count.
Dante Martin beat Serpentico by pinfall in 7:00.
After the match Luther attacked Martin. Matt Sydal ran out and chased away Serpentico and Luther…
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match that gave Martin a rebound win after his loss to Matt Sydal a couple of weeks ago on Dynamite. Overall, a good episode of Elevation this week and a very quick watch, coming in at 43 minutes. If this is the direction Elevation goes moving forward, I personally would be very happy. Three of the six matches were more than competitive enough. We had some storyline progression for Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss with probably even more coming tomorrow. We also had some hype for a Dynamite match with the standoff between The Blade and The Bunny and Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander. So all in all, this was a successful episode of Elevation.