12/26 AEW Dark Elevation results: Bailin’s review of Frankie Kazarian vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Athena vs. Kiera Hogan, Dralistico vs. Blake Christian, The Bunny vs. Madison Rayne, Willow Nightingale and Ruby Soho vs. Vertvixen and Madi Wrenkowski, Promise Braxton vs. Julia Hart, Leva Bates and Karizma vs. Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose

By Rich Bailin, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@RichBailin)

AEW Dark: Elevation (Episode 95)
Taped December 21, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas at Freeman Coliseum
Streamed December 26, 2022 on the AEW YouTube Page

Paul wight started the show on commentary alone as Leva Bates and Karizma made their entrance. Dasha Gonzales was the ring announcer…

1. Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose vs. Leva Bates and Karizma.Both teams had televised entrances. Dasha Gonzales said that Vickie Guerrero would be with Rose and Shafir but she did not come out. When the bell rang Karizma tried to clothesline Rose to no effect. Karizma attempted again and Rose kicked her arm. Rose continued to dominate Karizma until making the tag to Shafir. Karizma broke away and tagged in Bates. Bates got in a couple of shots early but Shafir countered with a uranage.

Shafir tagged in Rose who went for a splash but Bates got the knees up and tagged in Karizma. Karizma tried to get a few shots in on Rose to no effect. Rose then chokeslammed Karizma and went for the cover but Bates broke it up. Rose sent Bates out of the ring while Shafir tied up Karizma in a submission and Karizma tapped out.

Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose defeated Leva Bates and Karizma by submission in 3:00.

Bailin’s Breakdown: Another dominant showing by Bates and Shafir. Guerrero not coming out with them had Rose specifically off her game a little bit (in a story sense)

An ad for this week’s New Years Smash edition of Dynamite aired.

2. Julia Hart (w/Brody King) vs. Promise Braxton. Matt Menard joined the commentary team at the start of the match.Hart ducked out of a couple of lock up attempts from Braxton. Braxton then charged towards Hart but was tripped and fell face first into the turnbuckle. A few moments later Hart locked in the Heartless lock and Braxton had to tap out.

Julia Hart defeated Promise Braxton by submission in 1:10.

Bailin’s Breakdown:A dominant win for Hart, who had not had a match on Elevation since Episode 79.

Lexy Nair was backstage with Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir and Vickie Guerrero. Guerrero is upset as Rose is no longer the TBS Champion. Guerrero said she is supposed to manage champions but they have none. Guerrero said she felt disrespected because nothing is working anymore and walked off…

3. The Bunny (w/Penelope Ford) vs. Madison Rayne. Bunny tried to attack at the bell but Rayne sidestepped it. Rayne got in a few shots on the Bunny and then hit her with an enzuigiri. Rayne tried to do a move from the ring apron but was pulled down to the floor by Penelope Ford. Ford then threw Rayne back into the ring. Bunny continued her assault until she tried to put Rayne on her shoulders.

Rayne got off and hit a ripcord cutter on the Bunny and went for the cover but Ford got on the apron to distract the referee. Rayne got in Ford’s face and the Bunny attempted to attack Rayne from behind. Rayne sidestepped again and Bunny almost hit Ford. Rayne rolled up Bunny for a near fall. When Bunny stood up she kicked Rayne and then hit Down the Rabbit Hole for the pinfall victory.

The Bunny defeated Madison Rayne by pinfall in 3:00.

After the match Ford and Bunny attacked Rayne until Skye Blue made the save…

Bailin’s Breakdown: An ok back and forth match but I expected more based on who was in the ring. I also don’t know why Rayne continues to lose a majority of her matches and most in short order. As a coach I would expect to see her in longer form matches then 2–3-minute ones on Dark and Elevation.

Ethan Page was backstage and called in Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy. Page said he was in a good mood and said he was giving Hardy and Kassidy the night off for Boxing Day. Hardy was angry because Page made him leave home on Christmas just to have the day off. Hardy pulled his “Broken” gear out of his suitcase and said he couldn’t take this shit much longer.

4. Konosuke Takeshita vs. Frankie Kazarian. Both men traded holds in the early portion of the match until Kazarian held on to a headlock for an extended period. Takeshita escaped with a side suplex. Takeshita followed up with a flying clothesline. After trading chops Kazarian took control after a spin kick, knee and clothesline combination. Kazarian got a near fall after a Russian leg sweep.

Kazarian went to springboard off the ropes but was caught by Takeshita and hit with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kazarian blocked a German suplex attempt and rolled up Takeshita for another near fall. Kazarian got another after a spinning neckbreaker. Kazarian then attempted the crossface chickenwing but Takeshita was able to avoid it. Takeshita then hit a rolling German suplex with a bridge for the pinfall.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Frankie Kazarian by pinfall in 5:00.

After the match Takeshita and Kazarian shook hands and showed respect to one another…

Bailin’s Breakdown: The match of the night at this point to the surprise of no one. Both men worked really well together.

5. Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale vs. Vertvixen and Madi Wrenkowski.Soho and Wrenkowski started the match. Soho and Nightingale isolated Wrenkowski early. After a Nightingale backbreaker on Wrenkowski, Wrenkowski scurried to her corner to tag in Vertvixen. Nightingale hit Vertvixen with an enzuigiri and a scoop slam before tagging in Soho. Nightingale and Soho double teamed Vertvixen and Soho went for the cover but it was broken up by Wrenkowski. Vertvixen caught Soho with a jawbreaker then pushed her into a knee from Wrenkowski. Soho went after Wrenkowski but was hit from behind by a big knee that sent Soho outside the ring.

Wrenkowski and Vertvixen continued to work over Soho in the corner. Soho eventually made the tag after ducking a clothesline from Vertvixen. Nightingale came in with a series of strikes and went for the cover on Vertvixen after a shotgun dropkick from the middle rope. Wrenkowski broke it up but Soho and Nightingale sent her out of the ring. Nightingale then lifted Vertvixen up for a backbreaker and held her for Soho to hit Destination Unknown and get the pinfall.

Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale defeated Vertvixen and Madi Wrenkowski by pinfall in 4:45.

Bailin’s Breakdown: A good win for Nightingale and Soho, though it went longer than I expected.  Soho and Nightingale will face Tay Melo and Anna Jay this wed on Dynamite.

6. ROH Women’s World Champion Athena vs Kiera Hogan for the ROH Women’s World Championship.Both women shook hands but Athena threatened to punch Hogan. Hogan then hit Athena with a dropkick when the bell rang. Hogan then hit a huracanrana from the middle turnbuckle and followed up with a hip attack to Athena who was in the ropes. Hogan then dropkicked Athena out of the ring and followed her out after a baseball slide to the face. Athena recovered and threw Hogan into the ringside barrier and then draped her over the barrier and dropkicked her.

Athena slowed down the pace and methodically worked over Hogan. Athena eventually missed a senton splash and Hogan countered with a tornado DDT. Hogan sent Athena into the corner and hit a low dropkick then hit Athena with a couple of standing kicks. Hogan climbed up to the top rope but Athena threw her down by the hair. Athena climbed the top rope and Hogan followed her up there. Athena poked Hogan in the eye then powerbombed her to the mat from the top rope. Athena followed up with another powerbomb onto her knees and got the pinfall.

Athena retained the ROH Women’s World Championship by pinfall in 6:00.

After the match Athena continued to attack Hogan by slamming her head onto the ROH Women’s Championship…

Bailin’s Breakdown: A good back and forth match and a much better title match than last weeks. With the exception of Final Battle this was the most competitive match Athena has had in weeks.

7. Dralistico (w/Jose) vs. Blake Christian. Dralistico and Christian started the match trading strikes. Christian hit Dralistico with a high running knee. Dralistico countered with a tijeras that sent Christian out of the ring. Dralistico dove over the top rope onto Christian. Dralistico got a near fall after a springboard Swanton from the top rope. Christian started to make a comeback and sent Dralistico out of the ring again, This time Christian dove over the top onto Dralistico and then dropped him on the floor with a reverse DDT.

Christian climbed to the top rope again but his legs were swiped by Jose. Dralistico then caught Christian with another tijeras off the middle rope. Dralistico missed a moonsault from the top rope but landed on his feet. Christian then caught Dralistico with a Spanish Fly. Christian followed up with a springboard 450 splash for another near fall. Christian went to run off the ropes again but was tripped up by Jose. The distraction allowed Dralistico to springboard himself off the middle rope and hit Christian with a destroyer and got the pinfall.

Dralistico defeated Blake Christian by pinfall in 4:00.

After the match RUSH and Preston Vance came out and all four men posed on the top of the stage.

Bailin’s Breakdown: A fast paced back and forth match aided by the fact that either man could have won and it would not be a surprise or upset.  

In fact, all around this was one of the better episodes of Elevation. Only 1 match was under three minutes. Match of the night though goes to Kazarian and Takeshita who just tore each other up for five minutes. The last two matches in particular were also very good.


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