Episode 3 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Miro beating up Chuck Taylor with a shoe, Thunder Rosa moving on to a new adversary, issues erupting between Bear Country and Jurassic Express, and Scorpio Sky with a new friend.
Let’s hit the story beats first.
After ring action from Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor, Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford, and Miro came out on stage. Sabian wished Cassidy and Taylor well before their Arcade Anarchy match on Dynamite. Miro snatched the mic to wish that they survive, so he can do violent things to them. The referees prevented any physical contact. Miro and Kip exited through one tunnel then ran out the other tunnel to ambush the babyfaces. Miro used his own shoe to beat up Taylor.
.@ToBeMiro & @TheKipSabian wanted to lay in a beating before their Arcade Anarchy match this Wednesday night on #AEWDynamite.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 29, 2021
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Alex Marvez asked for Thunder Rosa’s thoughts on winning the Lights Out match against Dr. Britt Baker DMD and making history for the women’s division. Rosa is excited and honored by the support. As for what’s next, she is ready to fight. Rosa will continue representing Latinas and women empowerment. Diamante stepped into screen to scoff. Nobody represents her. She represents herself. Rosa claimed jealousy. Diamante pointed out that Rosa now has a target on her back. Both trash-talked about a future match.
After Frankie Kazarian’s match, Christian Cage came out on stage to applaud Kaz. Trash-talk commenced from afar for their match on Dynamite.
Marko Stunt tried to help Bear Country by stopping Matt Hardy’s distraction, but the well-intentioned assistance only helped Private Party in the end. Afterward, Bear Country was frustrated and grabbed Stunt. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy ran down. Jungle Boy was more of a peacemaker, while Luchasaurus was quick to throw punches. A brawl broke out and referees had to separate the animals.
Dasha Gonzalez chatted with Ethan Page. He is racking up victories but doesn’t understand why AEW isn’t giving him star treatment. He’s not the only one being ignored. Page teased that he has a new pal.
"...I did happen to have a pretty good conversation with somebody today..." - @OfficialEGO.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 30, 2021
Who would that 'somebody' be?
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Scorpio Sky submitted Mike Sydal, but he refused to release the ankle lock. Sky didn’t let go of the hold until Matt Sydal ran in for the save. Ethan Page ran out to truck Matt. Sky was friendly with Page after the save. It seems that Sky was the person of reference in Page’s interview.
Here’s the Dark: Elevation lineup with ratings (Dynamite, competitive, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor vs. Ryan Nemeth & JD Drake (showcase)
- Jon Moxley vs. Bill Collier (squash)
- Leila Grey vs. Penelope Ford (squash)
- Rex Lawless & Milk Chocolate vs. Gunn Club (showcase)
- Chandler Hopkins vs. Joey Janela (showcase)
- Alex Gracia vs. Thunder Rosa (showcase)
- Leyla Hirsch vs. Vipress (showcase)
- Frankie Kazarian vs. Danny Limelight (competitive)
- Fuego del Sol vs. Ethan Page (squash)
- Jazmine Allure & Tesha Price vs. Hikaru Shida & Tay Conti (squash)
- Jungle Boy vs. Jack Evans (Dynamite)
- Adam Priest & Aaron Frye vs. QT Marshall & Lee Johnson (showcase)
- KiLynn King vs. Ryo Mizunami (showcase)
- D3 & Vary Morales vs. 5 & 10 (showcase)
- Rising Star: Bear Country (Dynamite)
- Private Party vs. Bear Country (Dynamite)
- Scorpio Sky vs. Mike Sydal (Dynamite)
This show clocked in at the ridiculous length a few seconds shy of 2 hours and 25 minutes. If you are looking to squeeze it down, my fave five is Gracia versus Thunder Rosa, Hirsch versus Vipress, Kaz versus Limelight, Jungle Boy versus Evans, and Sky versus Sydal. The best bout was from Jungle Boy and Evans. Thunder Rosa’s intensity is always appealing. Hirsch used her amateur wrestling skills in a unique manner.
Watch the show here.
Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight handled commentary duties.
Jon Moxley opened the show with a backstage promo about not being in the best mood after the recent pain he’s put his body through. One way to remedy that is by kicking a hole through someone’s chest. That’s why he is happy to be in action on Dark: Elevation.
A new intro played flashing a variety of faces young and old.
Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor defeated Ryan Nemeth & JD Drake. Cassidy came out to his new theme song, “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies. OC did his lazy comedy gimmick heating up to moves. He won the match with an Orange Punch and a Beach Break to pin Drake. There was still no explanation why Nemeth and Drake are a team.
Jon Moxley defeated Bill Collier. Moxley got his blood flowing in the warm-up bout. After taking a fallaway slam, Moxley ducked a clothesline to rocket off the ropes for his own clothesline. A piledriver put Collier down, but he kicked out on the cover. Moxley swiftly transitioned to a bulldog choke to earn the quick tap.
Cody Rhodes presented his weight belt to a child in the crowd.
Penelope Ford defeated Leila Grey. Ford dominated, then Grey fired up for a mini flurry of clotheslines and a Thesz press. Ford put out that spark with a sweet spinning heel kick. A fireman’s carry gutbuster ended the contest.
Gunn Club defeated Rex Lawless & Milk Chocolate. The Gunn sons hit their back body drop neckbreaker teamwork maneuver for Colten to pin the milk in Milk Chocolate.
Joey Janela defeated Chandler Hopkins. The newcomer had momentum on a standing Spanish Fly and a long-distance frog splash. Hopkins took to the air for a shooting star press, but Janela got his knees up. Janela countered a suplex into a fireman’s carry driver then secured victory with a flying elbow drop.
Dasha Gonzalez apologized to Angelico for ruining his vibe as she quested an interview with his partner. Jack Evans exited a trailer to speak, and Angelico went back to dancing to the music in his head. Evans doesn’t need to prepare for Jungle Boy. He will knock Jungle Boy unconscious and toss his body onto the other Jurassic Express dorks.
Thunder Rosa defeated Alex Gracia. Rosa fought with intensity, while Gracia showed heart. Rosa handled business with a fire thunder driver.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Vipress. Hirsch used her amateur wrestling skills to control her opponent. Vipress focused on attacking the arm. Hirsch exploded for three consecutive German suplexes and secured success with an armbar.
Frankie Kazarian defeated Danny Limelight. Kaz blocked a springboard attack to shove Limelight into the corner. Kaz caught the ricochet for a crossface chickenwing submission victory.
Ethan Page defeated Fuego del Sol. Page shed the tornado DDT to steamroll Fuego. He picked the luchador apart with a brutal backbreaker. Page went for the cover then pulled Fuego up at the count of 2. Fuego rallied for another tornado DDT attempt, but Page caught him for a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle. Ego’s Edge finished Fuego.
Hikaru Shida & Tay Conti defeated Jazmine Allure & Tesha Price. The babyfaces worked well together with tosses and submissions. Conti pinned Price on a hammerlock DDT.
Jungle Boy defeated Jack Evans. Jurassic Express and Angelico were ringside. Evans controlled the flow keeping Jungle Boy on his toes. Jungle Boy used a surprise Snare Trap submission to overcome when he caught Evans’ foot on a flying shotgun dropkick attempt.
QT Marshall & Lee Johnson defeated Adam Priest & Aaron Frye. QT and Lee weren’t smooth as a team, however, they didn’t have any issues working together given QT’s recent attitude problems. QT tagged himself in when a dropkick sent Johnson into the corner. QT pounced for a cutter to pin Priest.
Ryo Mizunami defeated KiLynn King. The bout had a comedic flavor mixed with physicality. King almost earned the win with kicks, a German suplex, and a spinebuster, but Mizunami survived. Mizunami turned the tide with a uranage and spear. She finished her opponent with a flying guillotine leg drop.
5 & 10 defeated D3 & Vary Morales. 5 hit a running crossbody to Morales in the ropes. The bounce back momentum sent Morales into a full nelson submission from 10.
Rising Star: Bear Country. The bears have been teaming for three and a half years. They were floundering as singles competitors, so they decided to get together. It took time to mesh, but they were white hot on the indies when the pandemic hit. Both men considered getting regular jobs to put food on the table, then AEW called. Bear Country is ready to kick ass. They will hurt people and make money doing it.
Private Party defeated Bear Country. Matt Hardy was ringside. Power versus flips. Bear Country was in control when Hardy hopped onto the apron as a distraction. Marko Stunt ran out to yank Hardy down to the floor. Stunt’s good deed inadvertently stalled Bear Country’s totem pole splash. Marq Quen chopped the bear tree down with a low dropkick. A double dropkick from Private Party led to a roll-up by Isiah Kassidy while grabbing the tights for the 3 count.
Scorpio Sky defeated Mike Sydal. Sky hit a chop block and submitted Sydal via ankle lock.
Episode 3 was a test of endurance that I failed. I lost interest ten matches in. Pluses were the interviews and story twists. I’m pumped for Thunder Rosa to fight Diamante, and I’m intrigued to see the growing relationship between Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Minuses were the extreme number of contests on the card and overall length of the broadcast.
The show stealing moment either goes to Angelico dancing or Ryo Mizunami putting her sunglasses on referee Bryce Remsburg and cradling him like a child.
The list for my favorite moves starts with this backbreaker from Ethan Page.
Page is doing really well to showcase his skills during these chump matches. I enjoy his creative variations to standard maneuvers.
The combo finisher from 5 and 10 was something I’ve never seen before.
Thunder Rosa takes the cake with her headscissors transition to a Russian leg sweep. It was slick and something I appreciate as a fan of Bret Hart. Russian leg sweeps always get a pop out of me.
Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 3? Which was your favorite match?