By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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AEW Dark Elevation TV Tapings
Milwaukee, Wisconsin at UWM Panther Arena
Report by Dot Net reader Chris Vetter
I have never been in the UWM Panther arena before. I would estimate 95-98% of seats available were filled, for about 5,000 spectators. I last looked at sales a week ago, before CM Punk was announced. AEW clearly sold a significant number of the remaining seats in the past week.
The doors open at 5 p.m.; I arrived shortly before 5 and it seems like everyone was already there. Huge line loops around the back of the building.
Justin Roberts came out, and he had a hilarious on-screen graphic. We started the nine Elevation matches at 5:50 pm central. Worth noting that the preliminary wrestlers and the referees come out of a side door; they don’t come down the ramp. Eddie Kingston joined Paul Wight and Tony Schiavone for commentary. I didn’t notice when Kingston left.
1. Daniel Garcia beat an unknown wrestler at 1:00. Garcia clamped on a leglock and the unknown guy tapped out.
2. Jora Johl (w/Matt Hardy) defeated Kal Herro at 1:05. Herro was announced as being from Wisconsin and got a nice pop. Herro performed an early move; Hardy called Johl over to him, and he slapped Johl in the face. Johl fired up, hit several quick blows, then a running (Claymore) kick to the chest for the pin.
3. Emi Sakura defeated Ashley D’Amboise at 4:05. Emi tied up D’Amboise in a nice surfboard, and of course, dominated the offense. She won it with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker over her knee. Good match.
4. Nyla Rose and Diamante defeated Big Swole and Julia Hart. Swole started and the crowd chanted, “We Want Julia!” Swole hit a nice spear on Rose. The heels had some really good team moves. Rose nailed a sit0down powerbomb on Hart for the pin. Really good for the time given.
5. Dante Martin defeated Adam Grace at 1:32. Fun while it lasted. Martin hit his double jump backflip into a stunner. Martin won it with a swinging Death Valley Driver.
6. Thunder Rosa defeated Laynie Luck at 2:47. Rosa dominated with some mat holds, and won it with a modified Air Raid Crash.
Will Hobbs joined the commentary team; Hook stands behind him.
8. Brian Cage defeats Anthony Bowens at 3:07. Bowens came out to the Acclaimed song. Cage showed off some good ring-work. Cage hit a nice German release suplex. Bowens came back with an Angle Slam. Bowens went to the top rope and leaped at Cage, but Cage caught him, held him for a vertical suplex, and nailed the Drill Claw for the pin. After the match, Hobbs and Hook attacked. Once they had Cage subdued, Ricky Starks came out and taunted Cage.
9. Hikaru Shida defeated Heather Reckless at 2:50. We saw Reckless on either Elevation or Dark earlier this week, and she is really, really short. Shida acted almost like a heel, mocking Reckless’ height, and asking her to do a test of strength. Shida won with a basic vertical suplex into a slam for the pin.
10. Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol defeated Luther and Serpentico at 4:57. Fun way to wrap up the Elevation matches. Guevara got a massive pop. Really good action, with Serpentico and Fuego showing off some good lucha-style action. Guevara hit his Go To Hell on Luther for the pin, while Fuego Del Sol hit his Tornado DDT on Serpentico to keep him at bay.
The Elevation matches ended at 6:50, so we hammered out nine matches in one hour even. Tony Khan came out and thanked us for coming. He reminded us how this show was scheduled for April 1, 2020 and was postponed because of the pandemic, but now we get to see the first-ever CM Punk appearance on Dynamite.