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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Nov. 8, 2021): Destination KNOWN

Episode 36 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 Excalibur.

Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) vs. Danny Adams

Hobbs came out with a record of 17-4 for this match. Adams was waiting for him in the ring to make his AEW debut. He was wearing a pair of glasses and sporting a beard so the commentary team compared him to Tony Schiavone. Hobbs quickly overpowered him and the glasses didn’t stay in his face for long. Henry: “He looks like an animal playing with his food.” Hobbs picked him up for Town Business, threw him down, then pulled his head up before the three count. Hobbs picked him back up and put him in the Torture Rack for a submission. This was maybe 90 seconds long bell to bell — maybe less.

The Butcher & The Blade (w/ The Bunny) vs. Wheeler YUTA & Chuck Taylor

Butcher & Blade brought a record of 7-1 in 2021 to the ring. YUTA & Taylor were 13-9 and 20-9 respectively in singles action before this bout. Taylor and Blade started things off. Taylor took him down with an arm drag and tagged YUTA in before doing a double elbow drop. YUTA got a one count. Blade stuck his fingers in YUTA’s eyes and tagged Butcher in. YUTA knocked him out of the ring with a dropkick, did a leapfrog, crawled through his legs and hit another dropkick before tagging back to Taylor. Suplex and flex. Butcher hooked the ropes with his right arm to block Taylor and hit a low crossbody before Blade tagged back in. Blade distracted the ref so Butcher could do some dirty work. Butcher tagged in for an assisted leg drop and a near fall. Quick tags kept Taylor in peril. The action spilled out of the ring for more dirty tactics. YUTA pounded the apron with his foot waiting for the hot tag when they got back in the ring. Taylor finally hit Sole Food and made that aforementioned tag. Blade and Butcher ate back to back German suplexes from YUTA. Taylor tagged back in and hit a Falcon Arrow but Blade kicked out. YUTA blind tagged in after a knee strike and hit a frog splash but Butcher broke up the pin. Bunny shoved Butcher out of the way to avoid a suicide dive. Butcher and Blade hit their Drag the Lake finisher and Butcher made the pin. It was even until almost the end, so you could argue that if Kris Statlander had been there to neutralize The Bunny, the babyfaces might have come out on top. A fun (and long) match!

Riho vs. Tootie Lynn

Riho came to the ring with a singles record of 7-2 for 2021. Lynn was waiting for her in the ring to make her AEW debut. Mark Henry proclaimed Lynn to be “a registered black belt.” She took Riho down with a back elbow for the first pin fall. Lynn knocked her down with palm strikes and kicks. Riho dodged Lynn and hit a 6-1-9 while she was on the ropes, but that wasn’t the finish. Lynn kicked Riho and got a very ner fall. Riho knocked Lynn down and went to the top rope but missed on the Coup de Gras. Riho finally got the foot stomp but not from the top rope and did a Northern Lights suplex for two. She went back up top for the Coup de Gras and that was definitely the finish. Riho has been getting squashes on the dark shows lately and this was a little more competitive so maybe someone in the back likes Tootie Lynn. I think she has potential too.

Matt Hardy vs. Dean Alexander

Hardy is 25-12 so far in 2021. No one from the Hardy Family Office accompanied him to the ring for this match. Alexander was waiting in the ring with a singles record of 0-4. Hardy: “What’s your name?” Alexander: “I’m Dean Alexander and I’m from Kansas City baby.” Hardy: “I didn’t ask all of that. Now who am I?” Alexander: “You’re Matt Hardy.” Hardy: “You may know my name, but you don’t know who I am. I’m Big Money Matt, and after I kick your ass tonight, you will say my name with reverence!” The bell rang and Hardy started bouncing his head off the turnbuckle and spearing him in the corner. Alexander actually knocked Hardy down with a clothesline and had some brief shine, but when he floated to the apron Hardy ran him into the turnbuckle and he hit the ring steps as he tumbled to the floor. Hardy catapulted his throat into the rope and applied a sleeper. Alexander fought out with elbows to the gut and picked Hardy up for a neckbreaker. He went to climb the ropes but Hardy recovered and cut him off. Hardy hit headbutts and a superplex, then pulled guard for a guillotine choke (a/k/a The Leech) and got the win... as you would expect.

Ruby Soho and Ryo Mizunami vs. Emi Sakura and Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero & Lulu Pencil)

Sakura and Rose were 8-2 and 22-5 in singles action respectively. Soho and Mizunami were 5-1 and 11-4 before this match. Something weird happened to the audio before this match. We heard a few seconds of Soho’s entrance music, then it and the announcers got really quiet. It’s almost like Rancid gave Tony Khan the rights to use the music on television, but not on internet streaming, so they had to mute it for this episode. That’s just an educated guess. Guerrero distracted Soho and Rose powerbombed her. She tried to do it a second time but Soho escaped to tag Mizunami in, and she speared Rose off her feet. Soho tagged back in and they double teamed Rose as the ref stood there and did nothing about it. I’m sure Danhausen was tweeting about it furiously. Mizunami got reversed into a neckbreaker and Rose went to the top rope. Mizunami rolled out of the way of the senton and tagged Soho back in, and Rose tagged Sakura as well. Soho blocked the Queen’s Gambit and got a near fall on a roll up. Lulu Pencil tripped Soho from the outside and Sakura went for a magistral cradle. Soho went for a backslide and Sakura kicked out. Soho gave her the No Future head kick and picked up the pin. We heard a few seconds of Rancid and then the music was cut off again. Sakura and Pencil distracted Soho until Rose could attack, and Sakura prepared to finish Soho with the Queen’s Gambit, but Kris Statlander ran down with a steel chair to make the save for her opponent in the TBS Tournament quarterfinals. After a tense handshake, Mizunami rolled back into the ring and the audio got real quiet again while Soho and Mizunami celebrated their win. This was my favorite match but the audio issues before and after made for a strange moment in this episode.

The Acclaimed & 2point0 vs. Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds & John Silver, accompanied by Colt Cabana)

Max Caster: “The Acclaimed, we’re back in the zone. We’re never falling off like Pat Mahomes. We’re so amazing. Y’all are like the barbecue here, overrated.” Wight: “He just managed to upset everybody in Kansas City. When you insult a city’s barbecue, you’re looking for a fight.” Henry: “Oh I might hit the ring.” Wight: “I might hit a barbecue joint.” Henry: “Yeah let’s do that.”

The referee had no control over this match whatsoever, which is at least the norm for an eight man tag match, but serves to reinforce the point that AEW referees are often not the least bit interested in enforcing the rules. 2point0’s Parker spent his time working over Reynolds once the match settled down, then dragged him to the heel corner so The Acclaimed could double team him. He gave them a noggin knocker and rolled over to Grayson to make the tag. Belly to belly suplex, head kick, DDT, drop kick, and Silver got a big pop from K.C. when he tagged in. He ran over everybody both inside and outside the ring, went to the top rope, missed Parker with the dropkick and ate a leg drop. Evil Uno came in for rolling elbows to make the save. Bowens gave him a superkick, Reynolds ran in and ate Two for the Show on the ropes, Caster hit a clothesline but got thrown to the outside. elbow strike, enzuigiri, stunner and Grayson went to the top rope for the Fatality as Silver made the cover for the win. Trying to follow the action here was like trying to figure out which card caused the accident in a 30 car pile up, but it was still a fun main event!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s edition of “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Rancid since AEW couldn’t seem to figure out the music rights issue. I’m a bit torn in recommending you could skip the Powerhouse Hobbs match, because I’m very high on his future in pro wrestling, but there was less than nothing to this match. Riho vs. Tootie Lynn was the biggest surprise, the women’s tag match was the most competitive, and the eight man pile up to close the show was the right choice to end Elevation. A very solid edition of the program overall, and the tease for Statlander vs. Soho took my interest in the tournament up another notch.

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!