By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 49)
Taped February 2, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois at Wintrust Arena
Streamed February 7, 2022 on the AEW YouTube Page
Tony Schiavone welcomed viewers to Elevation and was joined on commentary Mark Henry and Paul Wight. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…
1. Robert Anthony vs. Bobby Fish. Fish had Anthony down early and went outside on the ring apron to flip onto Anthony. Anthony moved and rolled onto the floor. Fish followed, but was met with strikes from Anthony and rolled back into the ring. Fish recovered with an inside leg kick and backed Anthony into the corner. Fish went to send Anthony to the opposite corner but Anthony reversed and charged. Fish went over Anthony but was met with a dropkick by Anthony instead.
Anthony lifted Fish in a delayed vertical suplex and went for the cover but only got a one count. Fish and Anthony traded strikes with Fish kicking Anthony in the ankle and shin area. Anthony went for a kick but Fish caught the leg and sent Anthony into the middle turnbuckle with a dragonscrew leg whip. Fish continued his assault on Anthony’s leg before catching him with an exploder suplex followed by a roundhouse kick to the head for the victory.
Bobby Fish defeated Robert Anthony by pinfall in 5:20.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good competitive match to start this week’s Elevation.
2. Skye Blue, Queen Aminata, and Heather Reckless vs. Emi Sakura, Diamante, and The Bunny. Both teams received televised entrances. Blue was introduced as “Chicago’s own” which got a favorable reaction from the crowd. Blue soaked in the cheers from the crowd as her and Diamanté started the match. Diamanté chopped Blue and Blue retaliated with a series of punches. Diamanté broke free but Blue caught her with a double leg takedown and more punches to Diamanté. Diamanté rolled Blue over but was met with a kick as they both got up.
Blue eventually tagged in Reckless but Reckless was immediately thrown into the opposite corner by Diamanté. Diamanté tagged in Sakura who did her “Rock You” splash into the corner followed by a backbreaker. Sakura went for the pin, but Blue broke it up. Blue and Reckless tried to send Sakura into the ropes but Sakura sent them into each other instead and tied them up. Aminata tried to break it up but was caught in a camel clutch by Diamanté as The Bunny skipped around the ring. Sakura hit another backbreaker on Reckless before tagging in the Bunny.
The Bunny knocked both Aminata and Blue off the apron then started to set up for her finisher on Reckless. Aminata and Blue tried to break it up but were caught by Sakura and Diamanté. The Bunny dragged Reckless to the center of the ring while Sakura had Blue and Diamanté had Aminata. The Bunny yelled Down the Rabbit Hole as Sakura and Diamanté did versions of the same and the Bunny gets the victory.
Diamanté, Emi Sakura and The Bunny defeated Skye Blue, Queen Aminata and Heather Reckless by pinfall in 4:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Putting all the posing aside (which looked more choreographed than “The Peacemaker” opening credits), this match was competitive when Skye Blue was in the ring and not when Aminata or Reckless were in the ring. Reckless may have gotten her nose busted open when she collided with Blue as Sakura was setting up the posing part of the match.
3. Scorpio Sky (w/Dan Lambert) vs. Stephen Wolf. Ethan Page joined the commentary desk. Sky had control throughout the majority of the match before hitting the TKO on Wolf for the victory.
Scorpio Sky defeated Stephen Wolf by pinfall in 3:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A showcase match for Sky that should get him back into the top five rankings.
4. Julia Hart vs. Arie Alexander. Hart came out alone and had no one to hand her jacket to, so she threw it behind her. Alexander caught Hart with a back elbow and a couple of kicks early before sending Hart into the corner. Alexander charged but Hart moved and then started pounding on Alexander. The referee pulled Hart, but she returned and started to stomp to Alexander. Later, Hart caught Alexander with her splitting bulldog then wrapped her legs around Alexander’s head and neck for the submission victory.
Julia Hart defeated Arie Alexander by submission in 3:40.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A strong showcase victory for Hart as she works on showing her newfound aggressiveness.
5. Dante Martin vs. Aaron Solo (w/Nick Comoroto). As the match started the crowd was actively cheering for Martin which he acknowledged. Neither man could gain an advantage early. Martin attempted a springboard move but Comoroto grabbed Martin’s leg. Martin got in Comoroto’ s face which allowed Solo to come through the ropes with a dropkick. Solo rammed Martin into the ring apron then threw him back in the ring. Solo continued to work on Martin’s back and midsection with elbow drops then sent Martin into the corner. Solo beat down Martin in the corner then taunted the crowd.
When Solo came back, Martin fought back and sent Solo outside the ring. Martin with a couple of elbow shots before picking up Solo and flipping him over. Solo retreated to the floor. Martin went for a dive but Comoroto got on the apron to stop Martin. The distraction again allowed Solo to come behind Martin with a spinning enzuigiri for a two count. Solo tried to lift Martin up but Martin got past him and hit a tope suicida on Comoroto. Martin the set-up Solo and hit his double springboard moonsault for the victory
Dante Martin defeated Aaron Solo by pinfall in 5:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good competitive match, though there was no way Dante Martin would be on the losing end of a single’s match on Elevation during the run he has been on.
6. Colten Gunn, Austin Gunn, Max Caster, and Anthony Bowens (w/Billy Gunn) vs. Lee Johnson, Brock Anderson, Matt Sydal, and Lee Moriarty. Sydal and Moriarty had the early advantage on the Acclaimed. The Gunn Club entered the ring but Johnson and Anderson quickly followed and the Gunn Club and The Acclaimed regrouped outside the ring. Later, the match broke down with everyone hitting a move before being hit with a move from someone else.
Caster wound up getting his hands on his chain to use on Johnson but Johnson saw it and kicked Caster. Caster dropped the chain and Johnson picked it up but was rolled up by Austin. As the referee removed the chain, Johnson pushed Austin towards the ropes. Austin ducked and Colten hit Johnson with the boom box. Austin then rolled up Johnson and briefly held on to the tights for the pinfall victory.
Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Colten Gunn and Austin Gunn defeated Lee, Johnson, Brock Anderson, Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty by pinfall in 7:05.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match, but with the Gunn Club getting a tag team title match this week on Rampage you knew they weren’t going to lose and would wind up being the ones who got the pinfall as well. Nothing wrong with that at all.
7. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico vs. “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor. Taylor and Luther started the match with Taylor gaining the early momentum. After Taylor caught Luther with an enzuigiri, Luther tagged out to Serpentico. Taylor immediately caught Serpentico with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tagged in Beretta. Beretta worked over Serpentico easily until he ran into a desperation kick from Serpentico that sent Beretta outside the ring. Luther dropped down off the apron and hit Beretta with a pump kick, then Serpentico tagged in Luther.
Luther dropped back down and dropped Beretta’s throat first on the ringside barrier before throwing Beretta back into the ring. Luther dropped Trent with a backbreaker then punched Taylor off the apron before tagging in Serpentico and telling him to climb up top. Luther then used Serpentico’ s arms to pull him off the top rope and onto Baretta. Serpentico went for the cover and got a two count before tagging Luther back in.
Luther and Serpentico then hugged before Luther sent Serpentico into Baretta who was in the corner. While continuing their double teams Luther slammed Serpentico onto Beretta then told Serpentico to slam him. Serpentico was unable too and Luther fell on top of him. Beretta then slammed Luther onto Serpentico and then made the tag to Taylor. Later Taylor and Beretta gave Serpentico the Soul Food/T-Bone suplex combo. They then gave the people what they wanted and hugged mid ring. Beretta and Taylor then set up and hit Serpentico with the Strong Zero for the pinfall victory.
“Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor defeated “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico by pinfall in 5:45.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good match to get Best Friends back on the winning track. I believe this is their first true tag match back since Trent came back. Though none of the match outcomes were really in doubt, this was a good solid episode of Elevation with over half of the matches being somewhat competitive. A very lively Chicago crowd didn’t disappoint either. Episode 49 clocked in at 52 minutes and 16 seconds. There wasn’t a real match of the night this week, as it could really be a four-way tie between the first match and the last three. So again, a solid episode all around.