By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 35)
Taped October 27, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts at Agganis Arena
Streamed November 1, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone welcomed us to Elevation from Boston and introduced Mark Henry and Paul Wight. Schiavone then sent it to ring announcer Justin Roberts to introduce the first match…
1. Ryo Mizunami and Kris Statlander vs. Emi Sakura and Nyla Rose (w/Lulu Pencil, Vickie Guerrero). Mizunami and Sakura started the match trading chops. Sakura got the early advantage and locked in the Bow and Arrow but quickly released. Sakura then locked in a double underhook but Mizunami backdropped out of it and started to chop Sakura in the corner. Mizunami then tagged in Statlander then sent Sakura to the opposite corner with an Irish whip.
Mizunami used her miming ability to send Statlander into Sakura then Sakura sent Mizunami into Sakura as well. Statlander attempted a suplex but Sakura slipped out and hit a spinning neck breaker on Statlander then made the tag to Rose. Statlander was prepared for Rose and kicked Rose in the knee followed by a low dropkick and a senton splash for a two count. Statlander sent Rose to Statlander’s corner. Rose was able to fight out and tagged in Sakura. Sakura hit her cross-body block onto Statlander who was in the corner then tagged back in Rose.
Rose put Statlander on the top rope but Statlander came off with a cross body of her own onto Rose and made the tag to Mizunami. Mizunami speared Rose then hit an Exploder for a two count before Sakura broke it up. Statlander came into the ring but was sent into Mizunami and caught in a DDT type position. Rose then DDT’d Mizunami who in turn wound up DDT’ing Statlander. Rose then climbed to the top rope and hit the Swanton bomb on Mizunami for the pinfall…
Nyla Rose and Emi Sakura defeated Ryo Mizunami and Nyla Rose by pinfall in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: As much as I like Statlander, I just don’t understand why she rather than Leyla Hirsch teamed with Mizunami this week. When you have teams that have chemistry such as Mizunami and Hirsch have been building, switching one out like it doesn’t matter lacks sense. Maybe next week we can get Mizunami, Hirsch, and Statlander going against Rose, Sakura, and Diamante. Then it would start to make a little sense. All that being said, this was still a good match and one I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in one way or another once AEW decides on who is teaming with who and keep it that way for more than a week.
An ad aired for Jon Moxley’s new book “Mox” which is being released today (November 2)…
2. Victor Benjamin vs. Frankie Kazarian. Kazarian locked in an armbar early then sent Benjamin into the corner with an Irish whip. As Benjamin bounced out of the corner Kazarian hit Benjamin with a Russian leg sweep. Benjamin hit a European uppercut then a deadlift German suplex. Benjamin then hit Kazarian with a high running knee in the corner. Benjamin went to take Kazarian out of the corner but Kazarian responded with an elbow to Benjamin’s face.
Moments later, Kazarian came off the top rope with a missile dropkick then hit Benjamin with a running lariat. Kazarian then came up behind Benjamin and locked in the rear naked Chicken wing for the submission victory.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Victor Benjamin by submission in 2:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick showcase match for Kazarian who seems to be in limbo even though he is still being called the Elite Hunter.
The Full Gear ad aired…
3. Riho vs. Kayla Sparks. Riho started the match with a headlock on Sparks as Mark Henry spoke about Sparks having a TV show in development regarding her life, as she started wrestling at 13. Riho attempted an arm drag but Sparks blocked so Riho spun and was able to hit the armdrag. Riho was met with a knee to the gut then sent to the corner but as Sparks charged Riho hopped up on the top rope and hit Sparks with a high cross-body. Riho then hit Sparks with a 619 and climbed the top rope again. Riho came down with a double stomp onto Sparks then hit a bridging gutwrench suplex for the pinfall.
Riho defeated Kayla Sparks by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick showcase for Riho, who is also looking for something more meaningful to do. Good for Sparks though. While I don’t know much about her, if her show makes air I’m sure I would check it out.
The Elite General Manager ad aired…
4. AAA Tag Team Champions “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. “Waves & Curls” Jaylen Brandyn and Traevon Jordan in a non-title match. Harwood and Brandyn started the match. Harwood quickly leveled Brandyn with a clothesline then leg dropped Brandyn and made the tag to Wheeler. Wheeler hit a couple of uppercuts then made the tag back to Harwood. Wheeler with a drop toe hold on Brandyn followed by an elbow drop by Harwood. Wheeler mocked Jordan who was still outside the ring then went back to Brandyn who hit Wheeler with an enziguri.
Wheeler came in to prevent Brandyn from making the tag but Brandyn hit Wheeler with a huracanrana. Jordan got the tag but both Wheeler and Harwood were still on the mat. Jordan went for a pinfall on Harwood but Harwood kicked out at 1 (they were playing possum). Harwood and Wheeler then hit Jordan with the Big Rig for the pinfall.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated “Waves and Curls” Jaylen Brandyn and Traevon Jordan by pinfall in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick showcase win for FTR, who used the playing possum trick to get the upper hand this week. I don’t mind the showcase this week for FTR as they have an AEW World Tag Team Title match against the Lucha Brothers at Full Gear so they should be showcased.
5. Tay Conti vs. LMK. LMK made her AEW debut in this match. As the bell rang, LMK got behind Conti and hit a trio of elbows to her back which had no effect. Conti turned around and told LMK to come at her. Conti blocked a punch then cradled LMK and dropped her face first on her knee. Conti then hit her trio of running pump kicks followed by the DDTay for the pinfall.
Tay Conti defeated LMK by pinfall in 1:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick showcase for Conti. As was the case with FTR, she also has a championship match coming up at Full Gear (the AEW Women’s Championship match against Britt Baker).
6. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta vs. Serpentico and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. After the Acclaimed and Serpentico made their entrance and rapped, Cassidy took the mic. Cassidy said “Yo, yo, ok listen” (slowly) then did his slow kicks to Caster. Cassidy ducked a clothesline then dropkicked Caster (all with the mic in his hand) and said “Word to your mother.” Caster, Bowens and Serpentico then attacked as the bell rang. Yuta wound up in the ring with Caster and Bowen who hit Yuta with a double Russian leg sweep.
Bowens hit Yuta with a back senton and then made the tag to Caster. Serpentico was gloating to the fans on the apron so Caster tagged Serpentico in. Bowens went to body slam Serpentico onto Yuta but Yuta rolled out of the way. Caster then tried the same with the same result. As Bowens and Caster discussed what just happened Yuta came off the rope and hit both Caster and Bowens with a missile dropkick and made the tag to Taylor. Taylor hit everyone with lariats then slammed Serpentico on Bowens then on Caster.
Taylor went to slam Serpentico again but Serpentico slipped out and pushed Taylor into his corner. Cassidy made the blind tag as Taylor charged Serpentico with a running knee. Cassidy went to the top rope and then dropped onto Serpentico for a two count. Bowens broke up the pinfall and then sent Cassidy up and over the top rope but Cassidy landed on his feet on the apron. Cassidy climbed up to the top rope and hit a cross-body block then Cassidy set up for the Orange punch. Caster from outside the ring went after Cassidy but Cassidy fought him off.
As Cassidy went for the Orange Punch, Bowens ducked then lifted Cassidy so that Bowens could hit Cassidy with a dropkick. Serpentico who was still the legal man hit Cassidy with a dropkick for a two count that Taylor broke up. Bowens came back into the ring and kicked Taylor as Caster climbed the top rope. Before Caster could come off the top, Yuta was able to knock Caster down. Taylor hit Bowens with Soul Food and then Yuta hit Bowens with a German Suplex. Yuta was met with a thrust kick by Serpentico and then Serpentico hit another kick on Taylor. Serpentico went to kick Cassidy but Cassidy ducked and then came off the ropes with the Orange Punch for the pinfall.
Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta defeated Max Caster, Anthony Bowens and Serpentico by pinfall in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: This was mostly a comedy match, but it also had some good action in it. It was not a technical masterpiece by any stretch, yet still a good main event for Elevation this week.
This was another quick episode of Elevation and it clocked in at 31 minutes 33 seconds, which I am sure we will continue to see when Rampage is taped after Dynamite. Don’t worry Elevation fans, the next two week’s of Rampage are live, so I’m sure we will get longer shows, as Elevation can be taped before AND after Dynamite.
If that happens, I hope we get a bit more of an interesting episode than we did here this week. For me this show peaked after the first match. The main event was fine, the work was fine, and the comedy was good for a chuckle, but I can’t really tell you to go out of your way to catch this episode either. I expect to be saying the opposite next week.