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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Nov. 29, 2021): Elevation gets a Lethal Injection

Episode 39 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 Eddie Kingston, Paul Wight and Excalibur.

Nyla Rose, The Bunny, Emi Sakura & Diamante (w/ Mei Suruga and Vickie Guerrero) vs. Julia Hart, Skye Blue, Ryo Mizunami & Leyla Hirsch

The heels and faces were both introduced as “making their eight woman tag team debut.” At some point it seems ridiculous to me that they point it out. What’s next? When the fifth entrant in a War Games match enters, would the chyron say “now making their ten man tag team debut” or not? Bunny and Mizunami started for their respective crews and Mizunami quickly overpowered her. She missed on a leg drop though and ate a knee to the face. Rose tagged in for the double team but Mizunami hit a double spear and the trademark chops on Rose before tagging in Hirsch. Every woman hit the ring at that point but Hirsch managed to cover Rose for one. Paul Wight complained about the ref’s lack of control (thank you). Sakura tagged in and gave Blue a cheap shot. Crossbody and backbreaker for two. Every woman hit the ring again with all the heels applying submissions. Hirsch spilled to the outside when Guerrero pulled down the ropes. Kingston: “This wouldn’t have happened if Lulu was here. Lulu wouldn’t have done that.” I beg to differ Eddie, she definitely would’ve.

Hirsch used her amateur wrestling background to break free and make the hot tag to Blue, and she gave Sakura multiple receipts for the cheap shot earlier. Sakura elevated her to the apron but she kicked her in the head and climbed the ropes. Rose tagged in, Julia Hart tagged in and hit a chop block for a near fall. Diamante and Skye Blue spilled to the outside. Excalibur: “This is pandemonium!” Indeed. Small package by Hart for two. Hart to the top rope and Rose hit her with a chop as she was coming down. Beast Bomb for the pin. I’m both happy for the women’s division that they get so much action on the Dark shows and annoyed by the fact this was almost impossible to follow without frequently rewinding.

Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Alice Crowley & Missa Kate

Speaking of the women’s division, the 39-6 Conti and 8-4 Jay came out for some Tay Jay tag team action. Their opponents Crowley & Kate were waiting in the ring, plus making their debut as a team to boot, so you know what that means.

Conti missed Kate with a pump kick and Kate tagged out to Crowley, at the same time Conti tagged out to Jay. Jay did a leg sleep and a kick to the side of the head and made a cover. Kate dived in to break it up and hit her own teammate. Conti hit a pump kick to send her outside and Jay applied the sleeper to pick up the win. Short and decisive, which is the best kind of match for this team. Crowley struck me as an interesting woman to watch.

Santana & Ortiz vs. Brayden Lee & Isaiah Moore

The Proud and Powerful team of Santana & Ortiz entered with a record of 13-3 in 2021. Once again their opponents were waiting in the ring for their impending doom... I mean tag team debut. Wight: “You don’t act right in the locker room, these two might come pay you a visit.”

This didn’t take long. Ortiz hit Lee with a power bomb and didn’t bother to make the pin, letting Lee tag in. Lee got in a head kick for a one count, Ortiz did a bridging Northern Lights suplex, and when Moore interfered Santana wiped him out. Santana did a blind tag, an enzuigiri, a discuss lariat, and made the pin just like that. That’s what prompted the quip from Paul Wight seen above. Up next “The Premiere Athlete” was in action!

Tony Nese vs. Vic Capri

Nese was 2-0 to date in AEW action. His opponent “Icepick” Vic Capri was making his AEW debut and got a nice reaction from the hometown Chicago crowd this was taped in front of. Unfortunately for him this was a tune up match for Nese before his TNT title shot against Sammy Guevara on Rampage this week. He did a moonsault from the outside to the inside and took Capri so lightly he made the pin with a knee, and rightfully Capri kicked out. Capri momentarily stunned him with a dropkick, but Nese slid through the legs and did a sit out piledriver for the very convincing three count.

The Hardy Family Office (Matt Hardy, The Blade & Isaiah Kassidy) vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson & Alan “V” Angels)

Time for some six man tag action! HFO came out first as Mark Henry joined the commentary position for this bout, noting that Hardy has always been the man we know and see today. Dark Order hit the ring and played to the Chicago crowd, who threw up the hand signs in response, which caused the heels to jump them before the opening bell. Henry declared himself surprised to see Hardy start the match. “Usually he has somebody else do the dirty work.” That was a very good bit of foreshadowing on Henry’s part, as Kassidy blindsided Angels with a cheap shot, doing the “dirty work” so that Hardy could get the pin for his team. One has to wonder if he paid the Family a bonus for the victory... nah, probably not.

Jay Lethal vs. Trenton Storm

While Jay Lethal’s match with Trenton Storm wasn’t officially the Elevation main event, it certainly was in my heart. I’ve been following Lethal since he made his Ring of Honor debut under the name Hydro, and watching his career grow over the years has been a blessing.

As much as it saddened me to see Ring of Honor fall apart this year, their loss is All Elite Wrestling’s gain. Impact Wrestling never used Lethal to his full potential (even though Black Machismo was fun) so here’s hoping AEW will. Officially his record is 0-1 but that’s because he lost a TNT title match to Sammy Guevara in his debut. Since Mr. Storm was waiting for him in the ring, there was little doubt his second match would go better. Henry: “Lethal is one of the most experienced, respected wrestlers in the world today.” Wight said he’s worked for a hundred companies around the world, and that might be underestimating it. Storm got a brief near fall though and put Lethal in a chin lock. Henry sounded a little raspy during this match — made me think he might be fighting a cold. Lethal escaped and quickly took control back. Moments later he hit the Lethal Injection and got the pin (as expected).

The Acclaimed & Chaos Project vs. The Varsity Blonds & The Dark Order (Alex Silver & John Reynolds)

Time for another eight person tag team match. The Blonds had a 19-5 record in 2021, Silver & Reynolds had a 7-0 record, and Julia Hart came back out with Garrison and Pillman so she arguably got the privilege of starting and ending the broadcast. Chaos Project’s record was 3-20 while Acclaimed’s was 28-7. “A ring full of losers, who is that, the Cubs?” That was Max Caster’s second best line. The best was “You’re like Aaron Rodgers, you’ll never get a shot.”

“Poor Serpentico. I’ve said this before, but pound for pound he’s got to be the toughest dude here.” - Wight. “And most of the punishment comes from his own partner!” - Paul. This time though the punishment came from John Silver, as he ate the Spin Doctor as Silver picked up the win for his crew. Unfortunately we had to listen to Luther’s screaming and witness him abusing Serpentico before that, and it’s like seeing Roger abuse Klaus on American Dad just to make his art — only I’m not putting Chaos Project in any museum.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s edition of “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Stomp & Circumstance. Even though Storm never stood a chance against Lethal and a longer match against a better opponent would have been preferable, go out of your way to watch it. The Tony Nese squash match was fun too. The opener was a mess but everything else here was solid.

Cageside commentary crew! We’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below. If you want to hit me up on social media that would be fine too. See you tomorrow night for another AEW Dark!