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AEW Dark Elevation recap (May 17, 2021): Shida finally appears to fire up feud with Baker

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Episode 10 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Hikaru Shida making an appearance to get in the face of Dr. Britt Baker DMD, QT Marshall and Anthony Ogogo responding to Cody Rhodes, as well as various feuds rumbling onward and upward.

One of the marquee matches for the Double or Nothing PPV on May 30 is Hikaru Shida defending the AEW Women’s World Championship against Dr. Britt Baker DMD. A rightful criticism of this feud is that the champ has been nowhere to be seen in several weeks to build the heat. Well, that changed on Elevation.

Holy Shida! There has been a Shida sighting. The champ fired up this feud from 0 to 11 in a matter of seconds.

Kris Statlander had interview with Alex Marvez that was interrupted by Baker. As #1 contender, the doctor demanded the spotlight. Hikaru Shida heard her name and entered with kendo stick in hand. She knocked Reba’s crutch down to the floor. Shida told them to bring it. Baker replied that they would on Dynamite.

And with one swing of the kendo stick, I’m pumped to see Shida kick Baker’s ass at Double or Nothing. Later, AEW announced Shida versus Reba on Dynamite in singles action.

Elevation also aired photo shoot footage of Baker rabble rousing Shida. Since the images would be published after Double or Nothing, Baker requested pictures of her with the title. She barged over to Shida to take the strap without asking. That led to a skirmish.

Add another log on the fire of desire to see Shida kick Baker’s ass.

One thing I can’t stand about that clip is Tony Khan’s incompetence as a leader. It was obvious Baker’s brashness would not be tolerated by Shida, and yet he could not anticipate that outcome. He would have been better off acting clueless in the background. After seeing that, I understand why AEW’s referees are so inept and have zero authority. The example comes from the top.

One thing I do like is Cody Rhodes placing the belt back on Shida’s shoulder. That is respect from one champ to another.

The other standout moment was a promo from QT Marshall’s Factory. QT addressed his loss to Cody Rhodes. He blamed it on Jacksonville being Cody’s home turf with support from rednecks and hillbillies. Anthony Ogogo responded to Cody’s patriotic speech. The Brit hates America, because it values money more than life. People are left to rot, because they can’t afford healthcare. He also mentioned other hot button issues. Ogogo closed by saying he will smash Cody’s face and punch the peroxide out of that piss boy’s head.

Whew. Ogogo spit fire. He has me 100% believing in his dangerous skills. However, the content was questionable in terms of building up fans to root for Cody. Ogogo is supposed to be the bad guy, and here he is making babyface points. Even with Cody’s patriotic speech, I imagine most would agree that people shouldn’t die because they can’t afford to live. I’m not interested in stirring the political pot. I’m just boiling it down to the basics.

Here’s the Dark: Elevation lineup with ratings (Dynamite, competitive, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:

  • Adrian Alanis vs. Jungle Boy (showcase)
  • Dustin Rhodes vs. Aaron Solow (Dynamite)
  • Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Danny Limelight & Royce Isaacs (showcase)
  • Lance Archer vs. Bear Bronson (showcase)
  • Paul Wight interviewing Ryan Nemeth (Dynamite)
  • Leyla Hirsch vs. Natalia Markova (squash)
  • Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page vs. Jaelyn Brandon & Traevon Jordan (showcase)
  • KiLynn King vs. Bunny (showcase)
  • The Acclaimed vs. Kevin Bennett & Kevin Blackwood (showcase)
  • Baron Black vs. QT Marshall (showcase)
  • Daniel Garcia vs. Joey Janela (showcase)
  • Private Party vs. Alex Reynolds & 5 (competitive)
  • Roman Rozell & Derek Pisaturo vs. Ryan Nemeth & JD Drake (showcase)
  • Tay Conti vs. Kiah Dream (squash)
  • Robo vs. Pentagon (squash)
  • Thunder Rosa vs. Robyn Renegade (squash)
  • Mike Sydal vs. Brian Cage (competitive)

Moxley and Kingston had my favorite performance in their brief work. Rhodes versus Solow and Private Party versus Reynolds & 5 were quality matches carrying on feuds. Archer and Bronson were big men beefing it up. Sydal and Cage was a main event that lived up to expectations. The Nemeth interview wasn’t all that interesting to me, but it is important as character development.

Watch the show here.

Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight handled commentary duties. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Jungle Boy defeated Adrian Alanis. Luchasaurus is back! He was ringside with Marko Stunt to support Jungle Boy. JB closed it out by exploding for a belly-to-belly suplex, German suplex, running forearm to the back of the head, and Snare Trap submission.

Dustin Rhodes defeated Aaron Solow. QT Marshall, Anthony Ogogo, and Nick Comoroto were ringside. Rhodes rolled solo. He also rolled Solow early on with a beatdown from pillar to post. Solow had to grab referee Aubrey Edwards as a distraction so Comoroto could yank Rhodes off the turnbuckles crashing down to the floor. Ref Edwards noticed the aftermath and overstepped her bounds by ejecting the Factory without actually seeing the interference. Dock her pay with a fine! Solow controlled the action for a bit until Rhodes rallied with a powerslam and Canadian Destroyer. Solow came back with a suplex and flying stomp. Solow grabbed Rhodes’ cowbell but missed the blow. Rhodes answered with a bulldog. On the cover, he pulled Solow up at 1. Rhodes retrieved the cowbell then declined to cross the line of violence. He finished Solow with a corkscrew neckbreaker.

After the match, Rhodes set up Solow for the Shattered Dreams cojones kick, but Comoroto ran out to clock Rhodes in the head with the cowbell. Lee Johnson entered the scene with a chair to protect Rhodes.

Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston defeated Danny Limelight & Royce Isaacs. Moxley was outclassed on the mat by Isaacs, so he pulled the cowardly move of offering a handshake then slapping Isaacs as a cheap shot. Mox and King controlled the pace from there. They stuffed comeback attempts en route to victory. Moxley caught a flying Limelight for a sleeper. He handed over the body to Kingston to execute their clothesline suplex combo finisher. Moxley planted Isaacs with a Paradigm Shift to ensure Kingston could pin Limelight without worry.

Jake Roberts and Lance Archer cut a promo prior to Archer’s contest against Bear Bronson. Roberts warned Bronson not to play with fire. Archer is not looking past Bronson. He will put the bear down then move on toward taking the TNT title from Miro. There seemed to be a disagreement about money and contracts in regard to the title match. Roberts wants his riches, while Archer wants to murder.

Lance Archer defeated Bear Bronson. Jake Roberts was on commentary. The big men took turns trading chops. That led to heftier blows as they revved up steam. Archer triumphed with a clothesline in the duel of fisticuffs. The match progressed with Bronson hitting some sweet moves. He connected on suplexes, a suicide dive, and a running senton. Archer turned the tide with a big boot, chokeslam and Blackout to win.

Paul Wight interviewed Ryan Nemeth. Nemeth’s life changed when coming to AEW. It gave him a home promotion as a wrestler. The Hollywood Hunk nickname comes from the obvious looks and being featured in Hollywood projects. Nemeth desires to be the face of AEW.

Leyla Hirsch defeated Natalia Markova. The newcomer hailed from Moscow, Russia with training experience in Japan. She is also a reigning champion in Shine. Markova was no match for Hirsch. Legit dominated with suplexes, a running knee, and a cross armbreaker to finish.

Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page defeated Jaelyn Brandon & Traevon Jordan. Teamwork tactics won the match for Sky and Page. When Page had Jordan occupied, Sky clipped the knee. That led to a heel hook victory. Page launched Brandon with an Ego’s Edge for good measure.

Matt Hardy hyped the Hardy Family Office. When people join HFO, they grow, evolve, and get better. For example, Bunny has become more aggressive, more violent, more deranged, and more demented. Hardy loves that. Bunny said she is often underestimated, but she will send KiLynn King down the rabbit hole.

Bunny defeated KiLynn King. Matt Hardy, Private Party, and Blade were ringside. King had momentum with a spinning fallaway slam and a spinebuster. When King mounted Bunny in the corner to rain down punches, Blade caused a distraction. Bunny landed an uppercut flush for the pin. On replay, cameras caught Hardy slipping a foreign object to Bunny for the punch. After the match, Bunny hit the Down the Rabbit Hole maneuver to King. Big Swole ran in to chase away HFO.

The Acclaimed defeated Kevin Bennett & Kevin Blackwood. Max Caster rapped about swallowing and spitting. The Acclaimed used efficient teamwork for success. Anthony Bowens hit both opponents on a blockbuster DDT combo. Caster followed with a flying elbow drop to pin Bennett.

Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page celebrated Darby Allin losing the TNT title to Miro. They attacked Sting to make sure he didn’t get involved and ruin Miro’s moment. Sky and Page are like Blade and Neo.

QT Marshall defeated Baron Black. Anthony Ogogo and Nick Comoroto were ringside. Paul Wight called out QT Marshall’s small hands. He wondered if chops hurt more with small hands or pancake hands. QT must have heard, because he executed a chokeslam then did the ‘up yours’ motion over to Wight. Black was on a roll when QT escaped a crossface to hit a cutter for victory.

Joey Janela defeated Daniel Garcia. Janela got worked hard then pulled it out with a DVD to win.

Private Party defeated Alex Reynolds & 5. Referee Mike Posey ejected the Dark Order and HFO companions prior to the opening bell. That didn’t stop Matt Hardy from returning to hit a Twist of Fate on Reynolds, so Private Party could steal the win. After the match, HFO beat up Reynolds and 5, then the Dark Order made the save.

Ryan Nemeth & JD Drake defeated Roman Rozell & Derek Pisaturo. The newcomers were accompanied by a man named First Sgt., while the Wingmen had Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi in their corner. Rozell is a former Green Beret. He and his partner have MMA experience and wrestled in military ring gear. The hunks were too sexy and won with a reverse neckbreaker from Nemeth followed by a moonsault from Drake.

Tay Conti defeated Kiah Dream. Conti overwhelmed Dream with offense to win via hammerlock DDT.

Matt Hardy explained that he didn’t need to help Private Party win. He did it as payback for Alex Reynolds causing a distraction last week with his Dark Order goons. Hardy talked big about Reynolds and John Silver being no match for him. Hardy will Leech each and every Dark Order member until they are no more.

Pentagon defeated Robo. Alex Abrahantes was ringside. Pentagon wore down his opponent to snap an arm then win with a package piledriver.

Thunder Rosa defeated Robyn Renegade. Peruvian necktie did the job.

Ryan Nemeth celebrated his win. JD Drake was proud of Nemeth’s mean streak. Nemeth wasn’t concerned about that, which caused Drake to question what he has gotten himself into. Cezar Bononi answered with the hottest, sexiest, most dominant faction in AEW. Drake was on board with that. Pinky salute.

Brian Cage defeated Mike Sydal. Hook and Matt Sydal were ringside. Cage clowned Sydal by curling his body then tossing him overhead. Sydal got cute with the splits, so Cage blasted him with a big knee. Sydal rallied by flipping out of a German suplex. He landed kicks and hit a moonsault on the floor. Back in the ring, Sydal connected on a Meteora. That wasn’t enough to keep Cage down, so Sydal climbed the turnbuckles once again. This time, Cage exploded for a jumping knee strike. Cage continued his assault with a deadlift suplex over the ropes. Sydal still had life. He did the splits to score a roll-up. Cage escaped then clobbered Sydal with a discus lariat. Weapon X ended Sydal’s evening.


Hey, AEW! Elevation does not need to be 2 hours and 27 minutes. Keep the promos and feud building moments, then drop 60 minutes of irrelevant matches. I would love if Elevation was a tight hour, but that obviously does not seem to be the plan. With my airing of grievances out of the way, let’s discuss the show.

With the Double or Nothing PPV looking to be fully booked, there were two feuds on this program that I wouldn’t mind seeing as blow-offs on the go-home show of Dynamite. Give me Dustin Rhodes versus Nick Comoroto with a cowbell gimmick, please. That object has been shown enough times that it deserves a payoff. Also, I think it is about time to wrap up the feud between HFO and Dark Order. They have been going back and forth for weeks on Elevation and Dark with little progression. Make that volcano erupt, so everyone can move on to other stories.

Marko Stunt acted like a punk in kicking Adrian Alanis out of the ring after the match. It’s actions like that why I never feel bad seeing Stunt get beat up in the ring. I hope Stunt challenges Miro for the TNT title. That destruction would be satisfying.

Jungle Boy continued looking excellent in the ring. He has that babyface comeback down to perfection. I love how well Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston work together as a team. They don’t have much history tagging, but you can tell that their friendship keeps them in tune and on the same page. The Acclaimed is another act that has benefit tremendously from the extra work. Max Caster has been able to push boundaries with his raps. In the ring, the duo is now a well-oiled machine. I appreciate the small touch of Aaron Solow missing from QT Marshall’s match after his loss to Dustin Rhodes earlier. Little things like that go a long way in selling the consequences of the sport.

Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 10? Which was your favorite match?