By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)
AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 86)
Taped October 19, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio at Heritage Bank Center
Streamed October 24, 2022 on the AEW YouTube Page
Ian Riccaboni welcomed us to this week’s Elevation as The Dark Order’s music played. Riccaboni was joined on commentary by Matt Menard and Jose the Assistant. Dasha Gonzalez was the ring announcer…
1. Preston “10” Vance (w/ Evil Uno) vs. Baron Black. Black attacked 10 from behind before the bell rang. 10 quickly recovered and began to absorb Black’s chops. Black briefly had 10 in an abdominal stretch but 10 escaped. 10 dropped Black with a spinebuster and waited for Black to get up so he could drop Black again with a discus lariat and get the pinfall.
Preston “10” Vance defeated Baron Black by pinfall in under a minute.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A quick win for 10. Jose didn’t really add much on commentary other than he said still wanted to sign 10. Jose left once the match was over.
A promo video aired on AEW Heels.
2. Eddie Kingston and Ortiz vs. Russ Myers and T-Money. Myers and Money attacked Kingston and Ortiz before the bell rang. Myers sent Kingston out of the ring and he and Money focused on Ortiz. Money lifted Ortiz on his shoulders for an airplane spin while Myers punched Ortiz in the head with each rotation. Myers draped Ortiz on the top rope as Money came down on Ortiz’s back. They then planted Ortiz with a double chokeslam.
Myers went for the cover and got a near fall. Ortiz recovered and clotheslined Myers. Both men tagged in their partners. Kingston. Kingston hit Money with a trio of back elbows and then did his series of shorts chops in the corner before tagging in Ortiz. Ortiz hit Money with the Fisherman’s suplex and got the pinfall.
Eddie Kingston and Ortiz defeated Russ Myers and T-Money by pinfall in 2:00.
After the match Kingston hit the spinning back fist on Myers and then continued to punch him. Kingston backed off but went after Myers again. Ortiz kept trying to Kingston but Kingston grabbed a chair. Ortiz calmed Kingston down and they walked to the back.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Another quick win for Ortiz and Kingston to show off more of Kingston’s anger issues.
3. Serena Deeb vs. Haley J. Deeb allowed Haley to put her in a headlock. Deeb quickly reversed it. A few moments later, Deeb hit Haley with a spinning neckbreaker. Deeb then locked in the Serenity Lock and Haley tapped out.
Serena Deeb defeated Hayley J by submission in 2:00.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A showcase match for Deeb. The only real offense from Haley J was a forearm.
4. “The Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison vs. “The Workhorsemen” JD Drake and Anthony Henry. Both teams had televised entrances. Pillman and Garrison still had the same music and their video wall still said Varsity Blonds but they were introduced as just “The Blonds”. Garrison and Drake started the match but Drake said he wanted Pillman. Garrison turned his back and Drake attacked him as Henry came back in the ring and knocked Pillman off the apron. The match immediately spilled outside the ring with Henry and Drake having the early advantage.
Once back in the ring, Henry and Drake focused on Garrison. Garrison recovered long enough to hit Drake with a forearm. Henry tried to hold on to Garrison to keep him from his corner. Garrison slingshot Henry into the ring but caught him and slammed him to the mat. Garrison made the tag to Pillman and Pillman went after both Drake and Henry. After sending both outside the ring Pillman leapt over the top and dove onto them. Pillman then threw Henry back in the ring and set up for a springboard move but Drake grabbed Pillman down by the ankle.
Henry came over the top with a dive of his own. In the ring Drake caught Garrison with a superkick that sent him out of the ring. Henry rolled Pillman back in and Henry and Drake hit an assisted powerbomb for a nearfall. Henry tagged Drake back into the ring and then climbed the top rope and hit Pillman with a double stomp. Drake climbed up top after Henry for a moonsault but Pillman rolled out of the way. Garrison came in and hit Drake with a discus forearm and then Pillman superkicked Drake. Garrison then lifted up Drake so that Pillman could dropkick Drake and get the pinfall.
“The Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison defeated “The WorkHorsemen” JD Drake and Anthony Henry by pinfall in 5:40.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match. AEW seems to want to slowly get behind the Blonds again, so this was a good win and it was good to do it in front of Pillman’s hometown crowd.
5. Emi Sakura and Mei Suruga vs. Nikki Victory and Jaylee. Jaylee and Sakura started the match. Sakura faked a handshake and turned her back on Jaylee. Suruga then came in from behind and attacked Jaylee. Sakura then threw Jaylee across the ring by her hair. Suruga and Victory came into the ring and Sakura and Suruga set them up for Double Tea Time. Suruga tagged in and spring boarded off the ropes with a dropkick to Jaylee’s face who was on the mat.
Suruga locked in a submission on Jaylee and continued to taunt Jaylee by smacking her in the head. Jaylee managed to escape and caught Suruga with a jawbreaker and both women made the tag. Victory backed Sakura into the corner with strikes and then attempted a suplex but Sakura held on and hit Victory with a spinning neckbreaker instead. Sakura did her Rock You chops and splash in the corner and followed up with the double underhook backbreaker and made the cover.
Jaylee came in to break it up. Suruga came in and ducked a clothesline from Jaylee then came off the ropes with a cross body. Suruga then pulled Jaylee next to Victory and got on Sakura’s shoulders. They then flipped onto both Victory and Jaylee. Riccaboni called it the Transformer. Sakura then came off the top rope with a moonsault onto Victory and got the pinfall.
Emi Sakura and Mei Suruga defeated Nikki Victory and Jaylee by pinfall in 3:30.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A showcase win for Sakura and Suruga. Suruga got to show more than she has in the past.
6. Matt Hardy vs. Lord Crewe. Hardy was followed out by Stokely Hathaway and Ethan Page. Hathaway had Hardy’s contract in his hand. There was a Firm Facts graphic that read “Matt Hardy eats unseasoned chicken and dips everything in ranch.” Hathaway and Page sat in on commentary. Before locking up, Page was yelling Hardy’s name from commentary though the mic wasn’t working.
After getting a working mic, Page reminded Hardy that he could not use the Twist of Fate tonight. With Hardy’s back turned, Crewe attacked Hardy from behind. Hardy quickly recovered and hit Crewe with the Side Effect. Hardy then hit the Twist of Fate and got the pinfall.
Matt Hardy defeated Lord Crewe by pinfall in 1:40.
After the match, Hathaway called for Hardy’s music to be cut. Hathaway told Hardy that the Twist of Fate now belonged to Ethan Page and would now be called the Page Turner. Hardy told Hathaway to go to Hell. Hathaway said that because Hardy used the Twist of Fate, Hardy now owes The Firm $50,000 due to the terms of his contract. Hardy pushed Hathaway. Page said Hardy was fined another $50,000 for pushing his boss. Page said better yet, Hardy had next week off because he was suspended.
Bailin’s Breakdown: Not much of a match but more of an angle. I have said for months Elevation needs more storyline support so I am grateful for the effort.
7. Claudio Castagnoli vs. QT Marshall. William Regal sat in on commentary. Marshall avoided locking up as the match began and Regal praised it as being a good villain. After some early back and forth Castagnoli was able to get Marshall on his shoulder and deliver a backbreaker. Marshall rolled onto the apron. When Castagnoli went to grab Marshall, he instead was dropped throat first onto the top rope.
Marshall came back into the ring and hit Castagnoli in the back with a running knee.Marshall slowed down the pace and worked over Castagnoli for an extended period. Marshall attempted a suplex but Castagnoli powered up Marshall instead with a suplex of his own. Marshall was the first up and he punched Castagnoli multiple times to no effect. Castagnoli responded with a series of European uppercuts.
Castagnoli went for the spin but Marshall rolled out of the ring. Castagnoli followed him out and hit Marshall with another running European uppercut. Castagnoli rolled Marshall into the ring and attempted the Ricola bomb. Marshall backdropped Castagnoli who landed on his feet. Marshall then came off the ropes with a handspring enzuigiri and a neckbreaker to Castagnoli. Marshall went for the cover but only got a 2 count. Marshall then mocked Castagnoli and went for a Ricola bomb of his own. Castagnoli took Marshall down with a double leg takedown and followed up with a double stomp.
After some more back and forth, Marshall went for the Diamond Cutter. Castagnoli avoided it and hit Marshall with an elbow to the back of the head. Castagnoli then hit Marshall with an elevated European uppercut. Castagnoli followed up with Hammer elbows and then hit the Ricola bomb for the pinfall.
Claudio Castagnoli defeated QT Marshall by pinfall in 9:40.
Bailin’s Breakdown: A very good back and forth match that was not out of place in the main event slot. Marshall can go in the ring and it was good to see him without The Factory to play off of. It was just a straight up one on one match. Overall, another decent episode of Elevation. Episode 86 clocked in at 43 minutes and 21 seconds
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