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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Dec. 6, 2021): Angelica takes a Risk facing Riho

Episode 40 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, Mark Henry and Tony Schiavone.

Riho vs. Angelica Risk

Riho brought a singles record of 20-5 to the opening match for this episode. Her opponent Angelica Risk was waiting for her in the ring sporting a singles record of 0-3. She turned her backside to Riho and slapped it to show disrespect — not a wise decision. Risk had an arm wringer reversed, returned the favor to a chorus of boos in Atlanta, then came off the ropes for a shoulder tackle and a pin attempt. The crowd chanted “let’s go Riho” in response and she knocked Risk down with a dropkick. Risk responded by yanking her head first to the mat with a handful of hair and twerking (yes twerking) before giving her the Rikishi salute. Risk tried to choke her out with her neck on the ropes and followed up with a neckbreaker for two. Mark Henry: “She’s admiring her work too much.” Eddie Kingston: “She’s young in the game.” Riho hit the 6-1-9 and a flying crossbody for a near fall. Risk pounded on her back and hit a DDT for two. Riho fought out of a suplex and hit a Northern Lights suplex of her own for a near fall, then hit double knees to the face for the finish. I would have booked this as the main event and not the opening match, but it was good either way!

Nightmare Family (Dustin Rhodes, Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson) vs. The Wingmen (Cesar Bononi, Peter Avalon and JD Drake) w/ Ryan Nemeth

The Wingmen came out first with a record of 0-1 as a team. The faces were all billed by their records individually instead of collectively. Johnson and Avalon started the match off as Henry and Schiavone put over Avalon as “more talented than people give him credit for.” Johnson hit a drop kick and an arm drag before Anderson tagged in. Schiavone: “He looks like his dad circa 1986.” Drake tagged in and Anderson worked the left arm until he got punched in the face. Anderson fought back with reverse elbows to the face but got his neck snapped off the ropes, and both Bononi and Nemeth took advantage of him out on the floor. Bononi tagged in and did some body work before a pump handle fall away slam. Drake came back in to do a cannonball, Avalon tagged in for a dive and got a near fall.

The heels continued to work Anderson over three on one until Anderson got a DDT for a double down, and Henry begged for Anderson to make the hot tag to Rhodes. Avalon ate an uppercut and Rhodes hit everybody else for good measure too. Kingston: “If you want to last long in this business watch Dustin.” He hit a power slam and Johnson did a suicide dive to wipe out everybody. Rhodes hit a neckbreaker as Johnson kept the heels at bay on the outside so he could get the pin, and all three men stood tall (albeit bruised) afterward. A perfectly acceptable six man match.

Brian Pillman Jr. w/ Julie Hart vs. Serpentico (w/ Luther)

Serpentico came out first with a singles record of 12-54. Unfortunately Luther came with him. Pillman brought a singles record of 28-11 to this match. Pillman worked Serpentico over with chops and forearms, turning him inside out, then pie faced him in the corner before hitting a jackhammer. Serpentico got his boot on the ropes to break up the pin attempt. Pillman set Serpentico on the ropes and got clapped on the ears. Luther screamed at Serpentico and he did a swanton for a near fall. Luther hit a big boot to the head while he was on the apron and attempted to scoop slam his partner onto Pillman for good measure. He missed. Pillman hit a flying clothesline to pin Serpentico seconds later. This was... fine.

The Factory (Anthony Ogogo, QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo) vs. Baron Black, Shawn Hoodrich, Tony Vincita & Jo Munoz

Ogogo entered last out of the Factory foursome, and the announce team hailed his return while their opponents waited in the ring. Both teams officially had no record in the eight-man division, if there even is such a thing. Comoroto tried to bulldoze everybody and Black took exception to it. Ogogo tagged in and so did Black. Ogogo pie faced him. Black gave him a few chops. Ogogo picked him up for an Olympic Slam. Hoodrich leapt over Ogogo and got punched right in the face for the knockout, bringing a quick end to the match. That was for the best.

Ryo Mizunami and Abadon vs. Emi Sakura and The Bunny (w/ Mei Suruga)

Sakura was 9-2 and Bunny was 10-7. Mizunami was 16-6 and Abadon was 18-2. Abadon and Bunny started the match. Bunny shoved her, kicked her, gave her a running knee lift and right hands, and Abadon no sold all of it. Abadon hit the X Factor for a near fall. Bunny kicked her in the head, Abadon screamed at her, and Bunny finally had enough and tagged in Sakura. Mizunami followed suit and gave Sakura chops, Bunny tried to make the save so she gave them both chops as they were stacked up in the corner. Mizunami hit a running clothesline but Suruga grabbed her boot from the outside as the ref was distracted. Sakura did “we will rock rock” chops to Mizunami and hit a crossbody to the corner. Sakura tried to pose for the camera but Abadon scared everybody away. Mizunami fought back to her feet and hit an uranage before Abadon got the tag. Bunny came back in and hit a thrust kick but Abadon tried to snap her neck off and immediately pinned her. Mizunami reluctantly came to the center of the ring to celebrate with her partner.

Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus vs. Brandon and Brent Tate

Mark Henry: “It’s about to be a party y’all.” The entire crowd sang Jungle Boy’s theme song and waved their arms as the pyro went off. Their 2021 record as a tag team was 12-3. The Tate brothers were 0-1 as a team and waiting for them in the ring. Jungle Boy went to work on each Tate in succession, hitting a back breaker for a pinfall attempt until they tried a little double team work cutting off the ring. The crowd chanted for Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy leapt across the ring to make the hot tag. He was just too big and too strong for the Tates. Kingston: “Throwing them around rag doll style.” He hit a double clothesline and posed on the ropes, then did a double choke slam and tagged Jungle Boy back in. The assisted powerbomb finished off a 110% squash match.

The Acclaimed vs. Carlie Bravo and Shawn Dean

“Yo! Listen! Listen! Yo! Fighting The Acclaimed you’re about to get your mouth smashed. Y’all should break up forever like OutKast. This your one shot. Then you should go back to driving Uber like Yung Joc.” Max Caster’s references were specifically aimed at Atlanta rap fans, so Bravo and Dean got a nice reaction when they made their first comeback. Bowens nearly got pinned off a splash from Dean. He tried to do ten punches in the corner but Caster yanked him off the ropes. Bowens tagged Caster in, he hit a slam, and Caster hit the mic drop. That’s how Elevation ended this week!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s edition of “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Eternal Beauty. My biggest complaint about Elevation this week is that I would have put the first match last and the last match first. Start the show with the heat, end the show with a big babyface win. Other than that I wouldn’t say you need to skip anything as episode 40 was only 40 minutes long. The only mediocre match was Pillman vs. Serpentico, but it wasn’t unwatchable or anything like that. Grab a sandwich and some chips and kick back to enjoy this one.

Cageside commentary crew! I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the show 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!