By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 28)
Taped September 8, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio
Streamed September 13, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Elevation started with ring announcer Justin Roberts introducing Emi Sakura for the opening match. Tony Schiavone, Paul Wight and Eddie Kingston were on commentary…
1. Emi Sakura (w/Lulu Pencil) vs. Queen Aminata. Aminata went for a handshake but Sakura slapped it away. Aminata hit Sakura with a hip attack at one point and then ran the ropes and kicked Sakura in the face. Aminata leaped up to the top rope and was going for a double stomp, but Sakura moved out of the way. Sakura then hit her double underhook backbreaker, but on the pin attempt lifted Aminata at two. Sakura hopped on the second rope and hit Aminata with an elbow drop for the pinfall.
Emi Sakura defeated Queen Aminata by pinfall in 3:40.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Sakura had to be on the defense a little more than usual for this match but in the end, it was another quick win for her.
2. Ren Jones vs Frankie Kazarian. Kazarian had the early control until Jones slipped out of what looked to be a powerbomb attempt. Jones hit a forearm smash as Kazarian went down. Jones sent Kazarian to the opposite corner and attempted a running splash, but Kazarian moved out of the way and hit Jones with a lariat. Kazarian then hit Jones with double knees to the back and then locked in the crossface for the submission victory.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Ren Jones by submission in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good showcase for Kazarian going into his match with Adam Cole on Dynamite. I’m not sure the match did anything to make anyone think Kazarian will actually beat Cole though.
3. Layna Lennox vs. Penelope Ford (w/The Bunny). Lennox made her AEW debut. Lennox caught Ford early with a Russian Leg Sweep for a quick near fall. Lennox then hesitated a bit and was sent outside the ring by Ford. The Bunny attacked and beat down Lennox while Ford distracted the referee. After a handspring elbow, boot to the face, and a German suplex, Ford locked in the Muta Lock for the submission victory.
Penelope Ford defeated Layna Lennox by submission in 2:00.
4. The Butcher and The Blade (w/The Bunny) vs. Turbo Floyd and Truth Magnum. Butcher and Blade received a nice reaction on their way to the ring. Butcher and Magnum started the match and Butcher completely dominated. Butcher threw Magnum into his corner and allowed Floyd to come into the ring. A short time later, The Butcher and Blade hit Full Death (combo powerbomb/neckbreaker) for the pinfall.
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Turbo Floyd and Truth Magnum by pinfall in 1:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A dominant win for The Butcher and The Blade for Butcher’s return match. Somehow, they are still ranked No. 3 on the tag team rankings, which doesn’t make a lot of sense given how long Butcher was away. No complaints though, because with a couple of more wins they would probably be there anyways.
5. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Shawna Reed. After a big boot Cargill lifted Reed into Jaded for the pinfall.
Jade Cargill beat Shawna Reed by pinfall in 1:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: And to think we complained about John Cena’s Five Moves of Doom a few years ago. Another dominating win for Cargill. It will be nice to see how Cargill looks against a step up in competition on Dynamite when she faces Leyla Hirsch. Cargill is now 13-0.
6. Ella Shae and Jaylee vs. Tay Conti and Anna Jay. Conti and Jay came out to Conti’s music and had matching gear. Shae and Conti started the match with Conti controlling the whole exchange. Shae ran to make the tag to Jaylee and Conti tagged in Jay. Jay immediately took over on Jaylee with a couple of kicks and a rolling gamengire. Conti followed up with a boot to Jaylee’s face. A short time later Conti hit a pump kick to Jaylee then Jay and Conti double suplexed her. Shae was then hit with a double Flatliner. Conti then grabbed Jaylee and hit the TayKO and tagged in Jay who locked in the Queenslayer for the submission victory.
Tay Conti and Anna Jay defeated Ella Shae and Jaylee by submission in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Jay looks improved from prior to her injury. She comes across as even more confident now. A fine match for Jay’s return and return of the Jay and Tay tag team.
7. Lee Moriarty vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Matt Lee, Jeff Parker). There was back and forth action until Garcia was able to land a strong European uppercut to Moriarty. Garcia then stomped Moriarty with boots in the corner. Moriarty was able to briefly work on Garcia’s arm before Lee and Parker distracted Moriarty, allowing Garcia to hit a chop block to Moriarty’s knee. Garcia continued his assault on Moriarty’s knee until Moriarty was able to kick Garcia’s arm. Moriarty rolled up Garcia and bridged while holding Garcia’s arm for a near fall.
Moriarty hit Garcia with a Pepsi Twist for another two count. Both men kicked each other while they were on the mat. Moriarty was up first and tried to suplex Garcia but Garcia slipped behind Moriarty and kicked him in the knee again. Garcia then hit a Russian leg sweep and locked Moriarty in the crossface. Moriarty grabbed Garcia’s fingers to escape the crossface and lock Garcia into one of his own. Garcia escaped and attempted the sharpshooter but they rolled into the ropes.
Moriarty hit Garcia with an enuigiri and attempted a double stomp on Garcia but Garcia moved out of the way. Garcia attempted a dropkick but Moriarty leaped over and hit the double stomp to Garcia’s chest. Moriarty attempted a suplex but couldn’t get Garcia up. Garcia grabbed Moriarty in a dragon screw leg whip then locked Moriarty in the Sharpshooter for the submission victory.
Daniel Garcia defeated Lee Moriarty by submission in 6:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Really good back and forth match. When the matches were announced I was sure this would be the main event. Both men looked really good and the spoilers coming out of these tapings was that Moriarty received a contract after this match. Not sure why that wasn’t shown when other contracts or match opportunities given were.
8. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Skye Blue. Vickie took over the ring announcing duties after kicking Justin Roberts out of the ring. Blue and Rose immediately locked up with Rose pushing Blue into the corner but missing a strike when Blue ducked. Blue tried a couple of holds but Nyla powered out of them. Nyla got a hold of Blue and slammed her to the mat and then hit a back senton.
A short time later Rose went to lift Blue for the Beast bomb but Blue got out and rolled up Rose for a 1 count. Rose missed a knee drop and an elbow drop and Blue was able to land a pair of dropkicks. Blue had Rose stunned and hit a step up huracanrana followed by a cartwheel into an uppercut. Blue then kicked Rose with a kick to the back of the head and climbed up the top rope and got Rose down with a cross body block. Blue attempted a cutter, but Rose pushed her off. Blue went to leap up onto the rope, but Rose caught her. Rose turned Blue around and hit the Beast Bomb for the pinfall.
Nyla Rose defeated Skye Blue by pinfall in 3:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Skye got to show off more offense on Rose than is usually seen in an Elevation or Dark match. Another good showing for Blue yet another win for Rose.
An okay episode of Elevation this week. But I thank Tony Khan for not wanting to go against Monday Night Football or at least knowing that the Baltimore Ravens were playing tonight (ok I’m sure he doesn’t care about that Ravens part), because this was a very short episode that clocked in at 40 minutes. The match of the night was Garcia vs. Moriarty with Blue vs. Rose a decent runner up. The rest of the show was pretty much one-sided matches. If you have the time, the last 10-12 minutes is worth the watch.