By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 36)
Taped November 3, 2021 in Independence, Missouri at Cable Dahmer Arena
Streamed November 8, 2021 on the AEW YouTube Page
Excalibur said he was stepping in for Tony Schiavone this week and introduced fellow broadcast team member Mark Henry and Paul Wight. Excalibur then sent it to ring announcer Justin Roberts for the introductions for our first match…
1. Powerhouse Hobbs (w/Hook) vs. Danny Adams. When Danny Adams was introduced, Mark said “there’s Tony.” Paul said that the Keto diet really worked. Hobbs pushed off Adams on the opening lock up. The force knocked off Adams glasses but Adams put them back on. Adams hit Hobbs with a couple of elbow strikes to no effect. Hobbs then grabbed Adams by the throat and pushed him into the corner and charged. A short while later Hobbs hit Adams with Town Business but lifted Adams up on the two count Hobbs then locked Adams in a torture rack for the submission victory.
Powerhouse defeated Danny Adams by submission in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick showcase for Hobbs this week. This was my first-time seeing Danny Adams (who usually goes by Dan the Dad). And yes, he did look like a skinnier version of Tony Schiavone.
2. Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/The Bunny). Taylor and The Blade started the match with Blade gaining the early advantage until Taylor leapfrogged the Blade and locked in an armbar. Taylor then tagged in Yuta and both Yuta and Taylor hit the Blade with a pair of elbows then a double elbow drop. Yuta went for the cover but the Blade kicked out at one. When Blade got up, he raked Yuta’s eyes and tagged in The Butcher.
Yuta rolled out of an armbar but the Butcher hit Yuta with a shoulder block. The Butcher walked around the ring which allowed Yuta to kip up and dropkick the Butcher out of the ring. Yuta and Taylor were able to double suplex the Butcher. Taylor then attempted an Irish whip but the Butcher held on. Taylor gave up the whip attempt and went to charge the Butcher but Butcher hit Taylor with a low cross body block then tagged in the Blade. The Blade went after Yuta which distracted the referee which allowed the Butcher to choke Taylor from outside the ring.
The Blade hit Taylor with a clothesline then elevated Taylor and tagged in the Butcher who came in and leg dropped Taylor out of the Blade’s arms. The Butcher and The Blade continued to work over Taylor. The Blade then sent Taylor outside the ring and grabbed a chair from under the ring. Rick Knox (surprisingly) grabbed the chair out of the Blade’s hands. Yuta then came around the ring and tried to get the chair from Knox. While this went on the Butcher ran over Taylor with a shoulder tackle and threw him back in the ring.
The Blade continued to work over Taylor with a chinlock. Taylor eventually fought out of it and hit Soul Food and made the hot tag to Yuta. Yuta spring boarded off the top rope onto the Blade. Yuta then German suplexed the Blade, the Butcher came in and got German suplexed as well. Yuta then grabbed onto the Blades hand and tagged in Taylor then spring boarded again off the top rope onto the Butcher outside the ring. Inside the ring Taylor hit the Blade with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. The Blade retreated to the corner and Taylor charged after him.
The Blade moved out of the way and as Yuta made a blind tag to Taylor, Taylor was able to hit the Blade with a high knee. Yuta came off the top rope with a splash but the Butcher broke up the pinfall attempt. Taylor sent the Butcher out of the ring and attempted a plancha but the Bunny pushed the Butcher out of the way. Yuta went after the Butcher but the Butcher snapped Yuta’s throat on the bottom turnbuckle. The Blade hit Yuta with a spinning tombstone then tagged in the Butcher. The Butcher and the Blade then hit Yuta with their combination neckbreaker/powerbomb for the pinfall
The Butcher and The Blade defeated Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta by pinfall in 7:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match and it felt like either team could have won. It was good to see that Rick Knox can actually stop a team from breaking the rules. It would be nice if it was ever explained why he doesn’t stop anyone in The Elite’s matches (one bribe in an airport on BTE doesn’t count), but that can be discussed at another time.
The Elite GM ad aired…
3. Riho vs. Tootie Lynn. Lynn started the match trying to land a high kick but Riho ducked and locked in a headlock. Lynn fought out and hit Riho with a back elbow. Riho matrixed out of the pin attempt then attempted a dropkick but Lynn sidestepped it and started hitting Riho with palm strikes and then kicked Riho to the mat. Riho cartwheeled out of an Irish whip then hit Lynn with a drop toehold into the middle rope. Riho then hit the area code which garnered a two count. Lynn countered three Riho strikes with strikes of her own then kicked Riho down to the mat for a very close near fall.
Riho moved away from a charging Lynn and then attempted a double foot stomp from the top rope but Lynn moved out of the way. Both Lynn and Riho tried suplex attempts but Riho rolled through and hit a double stomp to Lynn. Riho then hit Lynn with a Northern lights suplex which also got a two count. Riho climbed up to the top rope and was able to hit the double foot stomp for the pinfall.
Riho defeated Tootie Lynn by pinfall in 2:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Tootie Lynn has appeared for the NWA on numerous occasions, but I don’t believe she’s under an NWA deal. If so, then perhaps there’s still something going one with AEW and the NWA. While this was a short match, it was competitive until the end.
4. Matt Hardy vs. Dean Alexander. Matt Hardy came out alone to a good reaction. Before the bell, Matt Hardy took the mic and asked Alexander his name. Alexander said his name and he is from Kansas City, Hardy then asked what his name was. Alexander said it was Matt Hardy. Hardy said you may know his name but you don’t know who he is. He is the infamous Big Money Matt Hardy and after he kicks Alexander’s ass Alexander will say Hardy’s name with reverence.
After a lock up Hardy sent Alexander into the corner and pounded his head into the turnbuckles from top to bottom. Hardy then hit Alexander with a couple of shoulder blocks. Alexander started to fight back with a clothesline but Hardy quickly recovered and sent Alexander into the turnbuckle and ring post. It was not a good landing for Alexander. Hardy then catapulted Alexander into the middle rope.
Alexander again tried to fight back but Hardy locked in a sleeper. Alexander fought out of the sleeper and hit Hardy with a neckbreaker from a torture rack position. Alexander then slowly climbed up to the top rope but Hardy got up and pushed out Alexander’s leg. Hardy then hit Alexander with a superplex and then locked in The Leech for the submission victory.
Matt Hardy defeated Dean Alexander by submission in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Matt worked a little harder in this one than usual, but the result was obviously never in question. Hardy didn’t bother to make Alexander say his name after the match, so I wonder what was the point in taking the mic in the first place.
The ad for Jon Moxley’s book aired…
5. Ryo Mizunami and Ruby Soho vs. Emi Sakura and Nyla Rose (w/Lulu Pencil, Vickie Guerrero, Mei Suruga). Mizunami and Rose started the match. Rose body slammed Mizunami then tagged in Sakura. Sakura and Rose with a double Irish whip to Mizunami and Rose picked up Sakura so Sakura could kick Mizunami. Sakura went for the Queen’s gambit but Mizunami backdropped out of it and made the tag to Soho. Soho attempted a bodyslam but couldn’t get Sakura up. Sakura reversed it into a spinning neckbreaker then came from across the ring with the body block.
Sakura then tagged in Rose who grabbed Soho by the hair. Soho tried to fight out and got away from Rose but Vickie Guerrero swiped at Soho’s feet which distracted Soho. Rose used the distraction to hit Soho with a spinebuster for a two count. Rose went for the Beast bomb but Soho rolled out of it. Soho then was able to make the tag to Mizunami. Sakura ran into the ring and Sakura and Rose attempted a double clothesline out of an Irish whip that Mizunami ducked. Mizunami then pushed Rose into Sakura then hit Rose with a spear.
Mizunami and Soho tagged in and out working over Rose. Rose hit Mizunami with a clothesline but Mizunami got up and chopped Rose. Rose was able to hit Mizunami with a half straight jacket neckbreaker (thanks Excalibur) and then climbed up to the top rope. Rose went for a Swanton bomb but Mizunami rolled out of the way.
Both Nyla and Mizunami tagged out of the match. Sakura and Soho both fight back and forth but Suruga tripped up Soho and Sakura rolled up Soho in a majistral cradle for a two count. Soho got Sakura in a backslide for another two count then hit the No Future kick on Sakura for the pinfall.
Ryo Mizunami and Ruby Soho defeated Emi Sakura and Nyla Rose by pinfall in 4:30.
After the match, Rose pulled Mizunami out of the ring as Lulu Pencil and Mei Suruga got in Soho’s face. Rose came up behind Soho with a lariat and then Sakura hit Soho with the Queen’s Gambit. Sakura went for it again, but Kris Statlander ran to the ring with a chair and chased everyone away. Soho and Statlander shook hands. Soho held on and then she and Statlander stared each other down…
Bailin’s Breakdown: There were a few audio issues at the beginning and end of this match. Mizunami’s revolving door of partners aside this was another good back and forth match that could have gone either way. Good to see Soho back on Elevation as well. It looks like Sakura’s stable is starting to grow with the addition of Suruga and the post-match attack was good to show while Statlander had Soho’s back there is still going to be some tension when they face off in the TBS Championship tournament.
6. “The Dark Order” Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver and Alex Reynolds (w/Colt Cabana) vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker. In regards to Caster’s rap, Mark Henry said he can make fun of the Kansas City Chiefs all he wants, but don’t speak bad about a town’s BBQ. Henry said he wanted to hit the ring after that. Paul Wight talked him out of it and said they would go get BBQ instead. Bowens and Uno started the match. Uno went for a handshake but Bowens smacked it away. They went back and forth with shoulder tackles with no one going down until Uno switched directions and was finally able to knock Bowens down.
Bowens and Uno headbutted each other and tagged out to Reynolds and Caster. After Caster hit Reynolds with a knee to the midsection, he went to check on Bowens. Bowens and Caster went for a double clothesline but were met with shoulder tackles from Uno and Reynolds. Lee and Parker went after Reynolds and Uno but Grayson and Silver removed them from the ring and the Dark Order posed. It was back to Caster and Reynolds and they fought back and forth until Reynolds wound up on the ring apron. Bowens put Reynolds on his shoulders but Reynolds slipped out.
Lee and Parker hit Two For the Show on the Reynolds over the ringside barricade. 2point0 and The Acclaimed continued to tag in and out and work over Reynolds. Reynolds eventually made the tag to Grayson and Grayson clears house hitting moves on everyone. Grayson then made the tag to Silver (who got a big reaction when he got in the ring). Silver went after everyone running around the ring. Silver climbed up the top rope but Parker moved out of the way.
Lee came off Parker’s back with a legdrop but Uno broke up the pinfall. At this point the match started to break down until it was just Parker left with Silver and Reynolds. From that point it was a rolling elbow to Parker followed by an enzuigri into a stunner into a German suplex. Uno and Grayson then hit Fatality on Parker for the pinfall…
“The Dark Order” Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver and Alex Reynolds defeated “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker by pinfall in 7:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: This was another good back and forth match that could have gone either way as well. It got a little chaotic at the end but basically everyone got their stuff in before the finish. Any of the three competitive matches could have been the main event this week.
This was an entertaining episode this week and it went by quickly at 47 minutes 27 seconds. As I wrote last week, I hoped this week would be a bit more interesting and it definitely was. There was no match that I preferred as match of the night of the three competitive matches. All three of those matches were good enough to recommend checking out if you have some extra time.