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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Oct. 18, 2021): Chop low, Rob Lowe, Wardlow

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Episode 33 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. Let’s go over what went down on Elevation this week. The announce team was Paul Wight, Mark Henry and Tony Schiavone.

“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. Gustavo

Rhodes brought a record of 9-2 in 2021 to the ring. Gustavo was already waiting for him in the ring, making his AEW debut in this contest. Gustavo immediately showed Rhodes disrespect and both Henry and Wight called that a big mistake. He didn’t let up though, throwing forearms at the much bigger and more experienced Rhodes, but when he dropped down expecting Rhodes to shoot over him Rhodes dropped to his knees and gave him an uppercut instead. Moments later Rhodes hit the Backlund Driver and put Gustavo out of his misery. A short and decisive squash.

Wardlow vs. Will Austin

Wardlow’s singles record in 2021 before Will Austin was 17-3. It was pretty reasonable to expect it would improve to 18-3 since Austin was waiting for him in the ring, and making his AEW debut to boot. Henry: “Looks like a scene out of Jurassic Park.” Wight: “Austin might not want to lock up power moves against Wardlow.” Wardlow turned him inside out with a clothesline, tucked him between his legs, and drove him through the ring with a power bomb. The fans chanted “one more time” and were pissed when Austin managed to block it, so Wardlow hit him with the Casualty of War instead and the referee called for the bell. Another squash-a-riffic match but much more violent and intense than the last.

Santana & Ortiz vs. Jaka & Sean Maluta

Inner Circle’s Santana & Ortiz brought their war paint and a record of 11-3 in 2021 to the ring. Jaka & Sean Maluta were waiting for their arrival, with no record in AEW as a tag team. Henry pointed out that the Malutas are not to be taken lightly, and based on the quick tags and double team moves they certainly weren’t. The Malutas tried and failed to double team Santana in return, Ortiz got the tag for a double suplex, and went to work on Sean until Jaka ran the apron to land an illegal blow. As usual on the Dark shows the ref took no action to even warn them about those tactics. Ortiz recovered on his own to hot tag Santana who promptly cleaned house on the Maluta family. Drop kick, kip up, cutter, stunner, super kick, Outlined In Chalk, Santana gets the pin and his Proud & Powerful familia get the win.

Nyla Rose, Emi Sakura, & Diamante (w/ Vickie Guerrero & Lulu Pencil) vs. Red Velvet, Ryo Mizunami, & KiLynn King

Neither team had a trios record together for this contest, and this was Ryo Mizunami’s first AEW match since the eliminator tournament. Mizunami was wearing the Beyond the Sea Championship on her walk down to the ring. She wasted no time putting a hurting on Diamante before tagging in KiLynn King to pick up where she left off. Diamante rolled through a headlock to tag in Emi Sakura, and King reversed her into the corner and hit an uppercut. Red Velvet tagged herself in and gave Sakura a flying knee to the top rope. Snapmare, drop kick, near fall. Sakura finally slowed Red Velvet down with a boot to the midsection and a delayed vertical suplex into a backbreaker. Pencil cheered her on as Sakura went for the bow & arrow twice. She started her “we will rock you” chant and gave Velvet a crossbody into the corner. Nyla Rose tagged in and locked an arm around her neck, threw her into the corner, then turned her inside out with a clothesline. She let go of Velvet to hit Mizunami and King with strikes and paid for it as Velvet recovered. Diamante tagged in and she and Velvet did a double down. Sakura and Mizunami tagged in. Mizunami took her down with a spear. Rose nailed her with a stiff chop but Mizunami picked her up and planted her. It would have been the pin but everyone got in the ring to break it up. King made a blind tag and gave Rose a boot in the gut. Rose had an assist from outside the ring as Sakura had Velvet’s legs tied up around the ring post, which enabled her to hit the Beast Bomb for three. This match got the most time of anything on a very short episode.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by American Dad. At under a half hour I wouldn’t recommend skipping anything, but if you need one minute of your life back then Gustavo vs. Dustin Rhodes would be it. It’s fun to watch Wardlow destroy people, which is why I gave him the top billing this time, but the women’s division trios match was the more competitive and better worked match overall.

Cageside commentary crew! Get up off your seats and leave your feedback on Elevation below. See you tomorrow night for a new episode of AEW Dark!