By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 22)
Taped August 4, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Streamed August 9, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone and Eddie Kingston were on commentary this week without Paul Wight. They hyped the main event and sent it to ring announcer Justin Roberts…
1. Red Velvet vs. Renee Michelle. Michelle attacked Velvet before the bell even rang. Michelle attempted a bodyslam but Velvet slipped out and hit a single leg lariat. Velvet ducked a clothesline and hit one of her own, then Michelle with a bulldog, followed by a moonsault, followed by the Final Slice for the pinfall.
Red Velvet beat Renee Michelle by pinfall in 1:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Strong showing from Velvet this week going into her Women’s Championship match on Rampage Friday night.
2. Shawn Dean vs Peter Avalon (w/Cezar Bononi, JD Drake). Dean ducked an early clothesline attempt by Avalon and hit one of his own to quickly take over the match. Dean with a bodyslam, followed by a vertical suplex. Dean then lifted up Avalon and hit the Deal (double knee powerbomb) for the pinfall.
Shawn Dean beat Peter Avalon by pinfall in 0:45.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Wow!! I did not see that coming. And even if I saw a win coming, I did not see it happen that quickly. Follow up will be key but for one week (and maybe because it was at Daily’s Place).
3. Tesha Price vs. Hikaru Shida. Tesha had a bouquet of flowers and handed one to Shida and one to the referee. When the bell rang Price started to scream. Later, Price wrapped up Shida in the ropes and hit her with a pair of kicks until the referee pulled her off. Shida released herself from the ropes and spun Price around and punched her. Shida then attempted to lift Price but Price rolled her up for a one count. Both Price and Shida ran the ropes but Shida was able to kick Price then lift her into the Falcon Arrow for the victory.
Hikaru Shida beat Tesha Price by pinfall in 2:00
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match and they did a lot with the time they had. It was too short to amount to anything else.
Daniel Garcia and 2.0 were backstage with Tony Schiavone, who said all three men will be on Dark this week, including Garcia, who has a match against Fuego Del Sol. Garcia said as a free agent he could have gone anywhere, but he chose AEW for the challenge and the competition. Del Sol has been trying to pick AEW for a long time but AEW refuses. 2.0 called Del Sol losers. Garcia then said that Darby Allin was able to pin him when he had his boys, but one on one in the ring he could not. He asked Tony Khan to make the match for Dynamite in Pittsburgh.
Bailin’s Breakdown: This may have been an extended version of the promo that aired on Dynamite or on social media after.
4. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss vs. DMC and Baron Black. Janela hyped up the crowd as he and Kiss made their entrance. Janela superkicked Kiss and mocked the crowd. Janela was about to walk to the back as Baron Black and DMC went to check on Kiss. Janela threw Black off the stage and into the ring post, he then flipped DMC off the stage and onto the ringside steps. Janela walked Kiss onto the ledge and piledrove him. Kiss dropped to the floor as Janela gloated.
Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss vs. DMC and Baron Black never started.
Bailin’s Breakdown: I listed this as a match but this was an angle more than a match. Janela looked good and Kingston put him over strong in the end, saying if this is the Joey that he used to know, anyone he fights will be in trouble. I’m interested to see where this goes for Janela.
5. Brian Cage vs. RSP. RSP immediately went for a clothesline, but Cage ducked and hit a flying head scissors. Cage then dropkicked RSP and went to lift RSP onto his shoulders. RSP slipped off but Cage met him with a knee to the face. RSP ducked a discus lariat and then kicked Cage in the back of the head. After a bodyslam RSP climbed to the top rope and attempted a back senton but Cage rolled out of the way. Cage hit the discus lariat followed by a powerbomb and then the F-5 for the pinfall.
Brian Cage beat RSP by pinfall in 1:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick showcase win for Cage.
6. Jade Cargill (w/”Smart” Mark Sterling) vs. Amber Nova. Jade kicked Nova to start the match and posed. Jade then lifted Nova in a pumphandle and flipped her into a facebuster. Jade then hit Jaded for the victory.
Jade Cargill pinned Amber Nova in 0:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A couple of weeks ago I said that enough was enough on the Jade Cargill promos and asked how you could crossover if you don’t wrestle. Well, Jade wrestled and was dominant. There is no doubt Cargill has a ton of potential. Time will tell if she reaches that potential but no doubt, she is off to a good start.
7. Cyrus and Carlie Bravo vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus (w/Marko Stunt). Bravo and Cyrus attacked Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus before the bell rang. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy quickly recovered and Luchasaurus sent Cyrus over the top rope. Luchasaurus then chokeslammed Bravo and sent him into Jungle Boy who locked in the Snare Trap and Bravo quickly tapped out.
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus beat Cyrus and Carlie Bravo in 1:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick match. They posed in the ring longer than the actual match. It looked like it might have been raining so that may be a reason for all these quick matches.
8. Matt and Mike Sydal vs. Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes). Fenix and Mike started the match with a handshake. They traded headlocks until Mike hit a pair of flying head scissors. Fenix got up and jumped on the top rope. Mike knocked Fenix down but Fenix bounced back up and jumped off the ropes with an armdrag to Mike. They each missed a kick and then traded roll ups. Both men went for dropkicks at the same time.
Fenix and Mike got up and bowed to each other and shook hands then tagged in Matt and Penta. After Penta did Zero Miedo in Matt’s face, Matt responded by telling Penta to look in his third eye. Penta responded with a kick to Matt’s stomach. Matt was sent into the ropes and leapfrogged Penta and attempted a head scissors but Penta kicked Matt in the stomach again. Matt recovered and was able to hit a huracanrana, which sent Penta outside the ring. Matt performed a baseball slide but Penta ducked. Penta backdropped Matt into the ropes and kicked him in the stomach again. Penta sent Matt into the ring and tagged Fenix. Penta flipped Fenix into a splash on Matt which garnered a two count.
Fenix went to lift Matt for a TKO but Matt flipped out and hit a leg lariat followed by a moonsault for a two count. Matt and Fenix traded strikes and kicks until Matt was able to hit an enzuigiri and tagged in Mike. Mike with a spinning DDT on Fenix for another two count. Mike hit a splitting body slam and went for the pin but Penta broke it up. Penta lifted up Mike but Mike reversed and sent Penta into his corner. Both Mike and Matt charged Penta but Penta flipped them over the top rope onto the apron.
Mike and Matt both hit kicks to the back of Penta’s head then climbed up to the top rope. Fenix met them on top and then Penta was also on the top rope. Penta gets knocked down to the floor and Fenix gets sent to the mat. Mike and Matt then hit a double Meteora for a very close near fall. Matt climbed up the top rope again but Penta pushed him off into a rollup for a two count. Mike charged Penta but was sent on the ramp and Fenix came off the top rope and splashed Mike. Matt went for a kick but Fenix caught it and set Matt up for Penta to come down off the top rope with a double stomp to Matt. They then lifted Matt up for an assisted Fear Factor for the pinfall.
Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo beat Matt and Mike Sydal in 9:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: It probably goes without saying that this was the match of the night. I apologize for the lack of detail, as they kept a quick pace throughout and I don’t even know if half of what they did even has names yet.
This may have been the quickest episode of Elevation yet at 38 minutes. It may have been raining there at points and being at an outdoor venue, I’m sure they wanted to move things along quickly. I’m guessing that when these matches were drawn out of a……I mean made, they were not intended to be as short as they were. The Red Velvet, Shawn Dean, and Jurassic Express matches in particular struck me as being more one sided and quicker than normal.
All that being said, this episode worked. The crowd that was there stayed engaged throughout. Long time Dark and Elevation viewers finally saw the official break up of Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss. The main event, while the result was never in doubt, was at least a good, fast-paced, enjoyable match. The other matches while quick, did give the show a bit of blink and you miss it type vibe.