By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 27)
Taped September 1, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois
Streamed September 6, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Bailin’s Breakdown: Before we get started, I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend (if you celebrate). If you had to go to work, I hope you weren’t too tired after last night’s AEW All Out pay-per-view. If you were though, I’m sure most would say it was worth it. But I’m not here to talk about last night’s PPV (which was excellent to say the very least), on to Elevation.
Before the opening credits Tony Schiavone narrated still photos of All Out and said it would go down as the best PPV ever in AEW history…
The Wingmen were backstage discussing their matches for tonight and their opponents’ fashion sense. They said they would be giving hostile makeovers to Bear Country and Dante Martin. We then went to the opening credits…
The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone, Paul Wight and Eddie Kingston welcomed us to Dark Elevation. Justin Roberts is the ring announcer…
1. Ryan Nemeth and Peter Avalon vs Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder. Cezar Bononi and J.D. Drake walked out with Nemeth and Avalon but then walked to the back. Avalon attacked Bronson prior to the bell ringing but Bronson quickly recovered and slammed Avalon to the mat. Bear and Boulder used their power early to keep Nemeth and Avalon off balance. At one point the Bear’s used a double Irish whip on Nemeth but Avalon held on to Nemeth before he could rebound off the ropes. Boulder charged towards Avalon but Avalon pulled down the top rope and Boulder fell outside the ring, allowing Nemeth and Avalon to take over on Bronson, who was the legal man. Bronson finally made the tag to Boulder, who caught both Nemeth and Avalon and slammed them both to the ground. Boulder then tagged in Bronson and lifted Bronson onto his shoulders and then slammed him onto Nemeth with the Elevator splash for the pinfall.
Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder defeated Ryan Nemeth and Peter Avalon by pinfall in 5:00.
After the match Bononi and Drake hit the ring and attacked Bear Country. Avalon got a mic and said that Bear Country was ugly and told the rest of The Wingmen to get them and it was a hostile makeover. Avalon and the Wingmen then walked up the ramp and said that J.D. Drake was going to beat Dante Martin’s ass tonight as Bear Country stared the Wingmen down…
Bailin’s Breakdown: This was an okay match but a decent spotlight for Bear Country. The Wingmen got some of their heat back with the beatdown after the match. But I don’t know why Bear Country would stay in the ring like some kind of force field was holding them back from The Wingmen.
2. Emi Sakura (w/Lulu Pencil) vs Missa Kate.Kate went for a handshake but Sakura pushed Kate’s hand away. Sakura dominated the majority of the match then hit a pair of double underhook backbreakers for the pinfall. Sakura looked at her stopwatch and was not happy with how long it took her to win…
Emi Sakura beat Missa Kate by pinfall in 3:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good spotlight for Sakura to re-familiarize the audience with her character. It would be nice to see her against some stronger competition sooner than later.
3. Lance Archer vs. GPA. Archer carried GPA out on his shoulder as he came to the ring. Archer toyed with GPA for a minute or so before hitting the Blackout for the pinfall…
Lance Archer beat GPA by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: What else can be said about the Archer squashes that hasn’t already been said? This was Archer’s 35th win.
4. Kiera Hogan vs. Blair Onyx. Hogan received a televised entrance (which I believe to be her first). Kiera took control with a kick to Onyx’s head that sent Onyx to the corner. Hogan then hit her running single leg dropkick on Hogan who was slumped down in the corner. Hogan went for a cover but only got a 2 count. Hogan then hit Onyx who did a matrix bridge and then lifted herself back up. Hogan kicked Onyx in the wrist which stunned Onyx enough for Hogan to hit Face the Music (Swinging Fisherman’s neckbreaker) for the pinfall.
Kiera Hogan defeated Blair Onyx by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A nice showcase match and first win for Hogan. The broadcast team gushed over Hogan’s finisher, which looked very smooth.
Big Swole was backstage and was speaking about her upcoming Three Strikes match on Dark. The first fall is pinfall, the second fall is submission, and the third fall (if necessary) will be decided by knockout. Diamante said that the stipulations fall in her favor because after the first two falls there are no rules and that’s where Diamante thrives. Swole said after this match no one will have any doubt who is superior. She will put Diamante down and be done with it. Diamante said after the first pinfall and submission, she is going to get her chain and introduce it to Swole’s jaw…
5.Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Laynie Luck. Luck kicked Rose and then hit a couple of forearms to back Rose into the corner. Luck attempted an Irish whip but Rose held on and took over. Rose threw Luck around inside and outside the ring. Luck hit a couple more forearms then attempted a step up huracarana but Rose held on and hit the Beast Bomb for the pinfall…
Nyla Rose beat Laynie Luck by pinfall in 1:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: The same question I asked about the Archer squashes only replace his name with Nyla Rose’s name. Not much else can or needs to be added.
6. Anthony Bowens vs. Griff Garrison (w/Julia Hart). Garrison had control early and Bowens rolled outside the ring. Bowens went to confront Julia Hart but turned around into Garrison’s boot. Later, Bowens and Garrison hit each other with elbow shots. Bowens crawled over to his boombox. While the referee tried to take it away from Bowens, Max Caster ran to ringside and hit Garrison with a chain and then rolled under the ring. Bowens pinned Garrison for the win. As The Acclaimed celebrated Brian Pillman Jr. ran to the ring with a pool cue to chase them off…
Anthony Bowens beat Griff Garrison by pinfall in 6:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match and the match of the night thus far. It was also good to see Caster back from his hiatus. Now we can get back to the Varsity Blonds vs. Acclaimed feud which had a lot of potential before Caster’s absence.
7. Red Velvet vs. Queen Aminata. Aminata attacked Velvet before the bell. Aminata continued the assault with a backbreaker and a vertical suplex. Velvet was slumped in the corner and Aminata hit Velvet with a hip splash and then gave her the stink face. Velvet started to make her comeback and hit Aminata with a couple of sling blades followed by a bulldog. Velvet then hit the Final Slice for the pinfall.
Red Velvet beat Queen Aminata by pinfall in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Aminata was able to show off a lot of offense. Velvet looked better here then she has in the past. I wonder if she would benefit from entering through the other tunnel.
The Dark Order were backstage without Alex Reynolds. Evil Uno took ownership of the Dark Order’s issues and said if anyone had an issue with him then to please speak up. Alan “5” Angels said that Uno was not a leader and challenged him to a match. John Silver and 10 cheered on Angels. Uno accepted. He immediately knew it was a bad idea while Stu Grayson liked the idea…
8. John Silver and “10” (w/Colt Cabana, Alan “5” Angels) vs. Travis Titan and Isaiah Moore. Moore and Titan briefly worked over 10 in the corner but then turned towards Silver and posed. 10 hit a double clothesline and tagged in Silver. Titan and Moore attempted to suplex Silver, but he blocked and then reversed it, suplexing both Titan and Moore. A short time later, Silver hit Moore with a Rainbow Bomb. 10 then locked in the Full Nelson for the submission victory.
John Silver and “10” beat Travis Titan and Isaiah by submission in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: The fans were behind the Dark Order. This was a good showcase for them but nothing we haven’t seen before. Hopefully the Uno vs. Angels match moves the Dark Order to the next phase of their story.
9. J.D. Drake (w/Cezar Bononi, Ryan Nemeth, Peter Avalon) vs. Dante Martin. Schiavone mentioned that Eddie Kingston went backstage to get ready for his match. He asked Wight about what happened with the Gunn Club attacking him on Dynamite. Wight said he was heartbroken and that Gunn did not attack his titanium hip but his flesh and bone hip. Martin hit Drake with a dropkick early and Drake rolled outside the ring. Martin leapt over the top rope but was distracted by Bononi. Drake used the distraction to bounce Martin off the ropes and hit Martin on the rebound. Later, Martin pushed Nemeth into Bononi and Avalon. When Martin got back into the ring Drake went for an Irish Whip but Martin dove over the top rope onto the other Wingmen. Once back in the ring Drake is able to hit Martin with a Bossman slam. Drake then attempted a cannonball but Martin rolled out of the way. Martin then hit a springboard moonsault onto Drake for the pinfall.
Dante Martin beat J.D. Drake by pinfall in 5:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match, even with the interference. Drake’s Big Bossman/Amish Roadkill attire is also a big distraction, as he is continuously having to pull up his sleeves. Why would he put himself through that? Regardless, this was another good win for Martin. I’m glad he is being used but it also feels like he is in a holding pattern until his brother returns.
10. Riho vs. Skye Blue. Riho and Blue shook hands then locked up. Riho managed to get early control with a dropkick then locked Blue in a Bow and Arrow. Riho sent Blue into the corner but as Riho charged Blue moved out of the way and hit Riho with a spin kick and then a cartwheel uppercut. Riho hit Blue with a drop toe hold into the ring ropes and hit her version of the 619 before climbing the top rope for a cross body block. Blue kicked out at two so Riho locked a crossface on Blue.
Riho went for the top rope double stomp but Blue rolled out of the way. Riho landed on her feet but was nailed with a super kick from Blue which kept Riho down for a near fall. Blue attempted a snap mare but Riho held on and hit a high knee to Blue. Riho then bridged a Northern Lights suplex for a 2 count. Riho finally hit the Samato (double knees) to Blue for the pinfall. Riho checked on Blue after the match and they hugged.
Riho defeated Skye Blue by pinfall in 5:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: This show was taped prior to the special Saturday edition of Dark where Skye Blue was added to the Women’s Casino Battle Royale. This match coupled with Saturday’s match probably made Tony Khan’s decision easy. Blue was given a fair bit of offense in this back-and-forth match. Blue’s superkick to Riho looked really good and maybe actually landed. If so, there did not seem to be any animosity as they shared a couple of words and hugged after the match. Blue would be a solid addition to Dark and Elevation.
11. Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, and Darby Allin (w/Sting) vs. Luther, Serpentico and RSP. Moxley and Kingston attacked Luther and RSP before the bell rang. Serpentico and Allin were left in the ring. Allin hit the Destroyer on Serpentico for an early two count. Allin went for the Coffin drop but Serpentico rolled away. Allin attempted another coffin drop from the middle rope but Luther pulled Allin’s legs out from under him. Allin got beat up for a few minutes before Luther wanted to superplex Serpentico on top of Allin. As Luther and Serpentico argued Allin made the tag to Kingston, who powerbombed Luther who also superplexed Serpentico. Everyone in the match got their turn on offense and eventually Allin was tagged in and hit the Coffin Drop on RSP for the pinfall.
Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston and Darby Allin defeated Luther, Serpentico and RSP by pinfall in 7:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: I’m assuming this was the last match taped after Dynamite aired and was meant to send everyone home happy. It worked in that respect. It didn’t really affect anything or move anything forward, nor did it hurt anything, so no harm done.
This episode was honestly a little hard to cover after All Out last night. There was nothing wrong with it. Some stories progressed throughout the episode. We had Swole and Diamante continue to build and if I understand correctly the Three Strikes will happen on Dark. The Dark Order continued their story, Max Caster returned and Paul Wight even progressed his story with the Gunn Club on commentary by talking about what happened. This would be a good episode normally, but after last night’s pay-per-view it may be just too much of a good thing. Last night is still on everyone’s minds and a lot happened at All Out. A lot happened tonight as well, maybe too much that will be missed unless you are an avid watcher of Elevation.