Episode 38 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 Mark Henry, Paul Wight and Tony Schiavone.
TayJay (Tay Conti and Anna Jay) vs. Willow Nightingale and Erica Leigh
Conti was 38-6 as a singles wrestler coming in while Jay was 7-4. Their opponents were already waiting in the ring to make their AEW tag team debut. Jay started the match but she and Conti trading quick tags before Jay hit a suplex and a knee to the face, and Conti tagged right in again for a head kick and a suplex. Pump kicks to Nightingale. Leigh came in to try to break up the D-D-Tay but Jay put her in a sleeper and Conti hit her finisher. Quick and decisive tag team match.
Tony Nese vs. Logan Laroux
“Premier Athlete” Tony Nese came in 1-0. Eddie Kingston joined commentary for this bout. Laroux was waiting in the ring to debut for AEW. Kingston put Laroux over as a fan held up a sign reading “push Abadon please.” That’s a polite request. Nese pushed Laroux into the corner, did a double shove into the chest, backed off and then hit a left to the jaw. Nese put him down with a shoulder tackle but ate a drop kick as they ran the ropes. Nese backflipped over Laroux and hit a series of kicks into a leg sweep for two. Back elbow put Laroux down. Nese put him in the corner for some vicious chops. Laroux tried to fight back but ate a guillotine on the ropes and a moonsault for two. Body scissor from Nese. Laroux fought free and hit a back elbow, a pump kick, an enzuigiri and a dive before going to the top for a double missle dropkick that got two and a half. Laroux tried and failed with a sunset flip. Nese cleaned his clock with a head kick and gave him a German suplex into the ropes before a running knee finished the job. Laroux doesn’t have a look like Nese but he did very well from bell to bell in a match that was booked very competitively.
Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) vs. Lucas Chase & Irvin Legend
Kingston was still on commentary for this match. Chase & Legend were making their tag team debut, which didn’t bode well for their chances. FTW champion Starks hit a deep arm drag and a drop kick before kissing his own bicep and tagging Hobbs. At the same time Legend tagged out to Chase and Hobbs overpowered him with ease. He tagged back out to Starks but not before they did stereo kicks to the midsection. Hobbs hit a scoop slam, Starks did a knee drop, two count. Legend got tagged in and quickly taken down. Legend crawled through the legs to tag Chase, he started throwing haymakers all around, Hobbs wound up on the floor when the ropes got pulled down but was able to get back in for the assist by putting Chase in the Torture Rack while Hobbs pinned Legend. Squish squash.
The Bunny, Penelope Ford and Emi Sakura (w/ Mei Suruga) vs. Kris Statlander, Leyla Hirsch, Ryo Mizunami
Bunny, Ford and Sakura entered first as Kingston tagged out on commentary and Ruby Soho tagged in. Both teams were listed by their individual singles records on the chyron. Bunny and Mizunami took turns mocking each other before the opening bell, but it was Ford who came in to trade chops with Mizunami. Mizunami overwhelmed her and hit the machine gun chops and one more for good measure. Hirsch tagged in but quickly tagged out to Statlander. Sakura tagged in when Bunny refused to help Ford, but Bunny ultimately got blind tagged in anyway. Hirsch covered her for two. Ford and Suruga cheated with a hair pull and yank off her feet. Sakura took advantage for the “we will rock you” cross body and a pose in the corner with Suruga. Ford tagged in to work Hirsch over. Backflip reverse elbow, firewoman’s carry, punt to the body and smash into the turnbuckle. Sakura tagged in and put Hirsch in the bow and arrow. Sakura and Hirsch traded strikes, Hirsch crawled through her legs to make a tag, Sakura grabbed the leg so Hirsch hit an enzuigiri and tagged Mizunami. She tagged Statlander and we had four women in the ring as Ford and Bunny got the double noggin knocker and double leg drop. Sakura broke up the pin but Hirsch gave her a German suplex. Ford ate a spear from Mizunami. Bunny hit a thrust kick but Statlander gave her Big Bang Theory and made the pin. She pointed at the ref for losing control of the match even as he was trying to raise her hand in victory. I would too.
.@callmekrisstat wins with the Big Bang Theory! Can’t wait for Statlander and @realrubysoho to square off in the TBS Women’s Championship Quarterfinals. Watch #AEWDarkElevation NOW: https://t.co/lyoSb4yp2C pic.twitter.com/BM2ZHua1xz— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 23, 2021
Frankie Kazarian vs. Joe Keys
Kazarian’s singles record for 2021 coming in was 31-7. Keys record on the other hand was 0-1, so you already know how this is going to go. Keys actually got to shine for a few seconds before Kazarian hit some vicious chops, a leg lariat, and a big clothesline. Keys laid like a heap in the middle of the ring so Kazarian circled him for a second before ultimately applying the crossface chicken wing. Keys submitted so fast Excalibur said it was “before we even knew it.” Quick match. Not exceptional, but not bad either.
The Dark Order (Preston “10” Vance, John Silver, Alex Reynolds) vs. Mane Event and Baron Black
Order came out to the entrance ramp to join their stablemates before Vance, Silver and Reynolds went down to the ring. Mane Event and Baron Black were waiting for them, making their trios debut for AEW even though there have been singles matches before now. Baron Black started the match with Reynolds and got the advantage early. Reynolds came off the ropes to knock him down, Duke Davis tagged in, and Silver tagged in. Davis wanted Vance but Silver refused to cooperate. He knocked him down with a shoulder tackle from the middle ropes and tagged in Reynolds. Ganon Jones got the tag and Reynolds got a double team faceplant before Black came in. The heels tried to cut off the ring but Reynolds easily outsmarted all three and tagged Vance in. Pump kicks and clotheslines all around. Ganon tried to overwhelm Vance but Silver ran in. Rolling elbow and a German fed Black into Vance’s full nelson for the submission. It wasn’t going to go any other way.
Riho vs. Trish Adora
Riho’s 2021 singles record was 9-2. Adora was making her AEW debut out of Washington, D.C. Adora neglected to hook the leg when she had Riho in a pinning predicament and she kicked out. Adora hit a vertical suplex that popped Mark Henry on commentary. Paul Wight said she’s a U.S. Army veteran trained in capoeira and muay thai kickboxing, and she certainly had the look and physique of someone that strong. Riho still got her down across the ropes for the 6-1-9. Adora kicked out of that but didn’t kick out of the double foot stomp. This one was over too fast and I wanted to see much more-a of Adora.
Wheeler YUTA (w/ Kris Statlander & Chuck Taylor) vs. Serpentico
Serpentico came out first with a record of 12-52 and thankfully no Dr. Luther anywhere in sight. The Best Friends accompanied YUTA to the ring, who was slightly over .500 with a record of 14-11. Mark Henry seemed to be distracted by “the cute ladies in the front row” then said “I don’t want to be kicked off the air, I just got here.” Serpentico got mad when he only got a one count on a pin attempt. YUTA put him down with a kick but limped around a bit to sell Serpentico’s offense. Slam by Serpentico before he begged the Best Friends for a thumbs up, and when they finally gave it to him YUTA threw him off the ropes. Drop kicks, atomic drop, enzuigiri, and a flying fist from the top rope. Serpentico tried to come back with haymakers but ate a German suplex into a near fall. Serpentico tried a jaw breaker and ducked a head kick before getting another pin attempt. He begged the Best Friends for encouragement and Paul Wight chirped “stop telling people what you’re going to do and just do it.” Serpentico threw himself off the ropes since Luther wasn’t there to do it for him and it went just about as well as it usually does. YUTA gave him an arm drag and and then twisted him up like a pretzel for the pin, or as Henry said “locked him up in that thing.”
What to watch/skip
This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by (hed) p.e. I urge you to watch Riho vs. Trish Adora and see if you agree with me that she deserved more than a one minute match. The best match was Nese vs. Laroux and he’s a strong candidate to get signed by AEW if he continues to perform like that on the Dark shows. Skip Kazarian vs. Keys or the Tay Jay tag team match if you must skip anything, but this was your typical good episode of Elevation to watch.
Cageside commentary crew! We’d love to read your feedback in our all new comments section below. If you want to hit me back on social media I welcome feedback there too. See you tomorrow night for another AEW Dark!