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AEW Dark Elevation recap (May 31, 2021): Dustin Rhodes, bull rope master

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Episode 12 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Dustin Rhodes with passion, Matt Hardy laying a trap for Christian, and Jungle Boy setting the house on fire.

There were two promos setting the stage for Dynamite. Dustin Rhodes and Jungle Boy each hyped their upcoming fights.

Dustin Rhodes discussed his bull rope match against Nick Comoroto for Dynamite. He doesn’t care how big and strong Comoroto is. There have been many before who tried to put Rhodes down and failed. Comoroto is missing passion. Passion is what drives Dustin to see it through to the end no matter what. Rhodes is unbeaten in bull rope matches. He will bulldog Comoroto to hell.

Rhodes’ claim about being undefeated in bull rope matches caught my ear out of curiosity. Apparently, that statement is not entirely true. Rhodes is 5-0 in bull rope matches throughout his career. However, when it comes to bullrope matches, he is 8-1. The bull rope variety has victories over Arn Anderson and Barry Windham. The bullrope variety includes wins over Raven, Terry Funk, Bunkhouse Buck, and others. Rhodes’ lone loss was in his first bullrope match to Black Bart in 1989. Technically, that was a Texas bullrope match. Who knew the bullrope fighting world was so complex? For what it is worth, AEW is rolling with the bullrope spelling. Draw your own conclusions.

Jungle Boy was interviewed by Tony Schiavone after Double of Nothing in regard to winning the Casino Battle Royale and earning a world title shot. Jungle Boy has been close to winning big matches before, and he actually did it this time. Wrestling Kenny Omega in two weeks will be the biggest match of his life.

Christian Cage interrupted to put over Jungle Boy. Christian believes the rule that you must hate to lose more than you love to win in order to become a champion. He had previously questioned if Jungle Boy had that trait, but Christian saw something change in Jungle Boy’s eyes in the battle royale. Go win the title!

Matt Hardy interrupted to yell at Christian for eliminating him. Private Party ambushed Christian. Jungle Boy launched for a plancha over the ropes to make the save.

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

  • The Acclaimed vs. Brent Tate & Brandon Tate (showcase)
  • Leyla Hirsch vs. Robyn Renegade (showcase)
  • Thunder Rosa vs. Reka Tehaka (showcase)
  • Chaos Project vs. Varsity Blonds (competitive)
  • Big Swole & Red Velvet vs. Nyla Rose & Bunny (competitive)
  • Jack Evans vs. Pentagon (competitive)
  • Tay Conti vs. Ashley D’Ambrose (showcase)
  • JD Drake vs. Jungle Boy (competitive)

The format of Elevation included less matches and more promos this week. The promos were a nice change of pace between contests. Drake and Jungle Boy had the top bout. Fans of Evans will enjoy his outing, since he got a chance to strut his athletic stuff. All the other stars performed well.

Watch the show here.

Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight handled commentary duties. Excalibur also called a few matches. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.

Thunder Rosa sarcastically clapped to congratulate Dr. Britt Baker DMD as the new champion. New champions come with old enemies. Thunder Rosa is going to show why Baker is still afraid of her. The new era of Thunder Rosa begins now.

The Acclaimed defeated Brent Tate & Brandon Tate. Max Caster rapped about the Tate twins being like Sister, Sister and also like the vaccine, just two little pricks. The Tate brothers are Ohio Valley Wrestling tag team champions. The Acclaimed weathered the storm of a speedy flurry to take control and finish on a suplex from Anthony Bowens followed by a flying elbow drop from Caster.

Leyla Hirsch defeated Robyn Renegade. Apparently, Hirsch has cracked the top 5, but you wouldn’t know it since AEW never released the rankings last week. Legit used her amateur wrestling skills to overcome Renegade’s size advantage. Hirsch exploded with a German suplex, running knee, then closed with the cross armbreaker.

The Varsity Blonds are going to put down Chaos Project. Brian Pillman Jr. is no stranger to chaos or adversity. Every time he gets ahead in life, a snake in the grass appears. Serpentico got in his way against Luther. The snakeman started a fight he can’t finish. Griff Garrison is going to rip the head off the snake, then the Blonds will get back to their goal of becoming tag team champions.

Thunder Rosa defeated Reka Tehaka. Thunder used mat work to triumph. She took Tehaka down with a DVD then used a Peruvian necktie submission to win.

Pentagon and Alex Abrahantes addressed the Young Bucks and Jack Evans. Pentagon will have PAC by his side in a tag bout against the Bucks on Dynamite. For Elevation, Pentagon will wrestle Evans. They have met many times in Mexico, but AEW is Penta’s house.

Varsity Blonds defeated Chaos Project. Julia Hart was ringside with pompoms. Chaos Project hit their flying knee teamwork finisher on Brian Pillman Jr., but Griff Garrison made the save on the cover. Garrison tossed Serpentico out of the ring then blasted Luther with a discus forearm. Pillman pounced for a flying clothesline to win.

Nyla Rose & Bunny defeated Big Swole & Red Velvet. Vickie Guerrero, Blade, and Private Party were ringside. Nyla missed a flying dive. That allowed Red Velvet space to make the hot tag to Swole. She hit Dirty Dancing to Nyla, but Bunny broke the pin. Private Party distracted the referee, so Bunny could land a loaded punch to Swole. Nyla picked up the win.

Joey Janela was interviewed by Alex Marvez. His match against Hangman Page last week was a hard-hitting affair. Janela chipped his tooth in the fight. When asked about last week’s disloyalty to Sonny Kiss, Janela explained he had a paralyzing migraine. Janela and Kiss are BFFs until the end.

Pentagon defeated Jack Evans. Alex Abrahantes and Angelico were ringside. Pentagon started with Cero Miedo, but Evans stopped him to run his mouth and breakdance. Penta’s response was a kick to the gut. Evans got a chance to strut his stuff with a standing corkscrew moonsault, Northern Lights suplex, and Michinoku driver. Pentagon came back with multiple sling blades. Evans tried to cheat with his feet on the ropes for a pin, but the referee noticed. When Evans bickered with the official, Pentagon began his comeback with a thrust kick. A Mexican destroyer and a package piledriver finished Evans.

Tay Conti defeated Ashley D’Ambrose. Conti went on a run to blow the match open. She used judo throws, pump kicks, running boots to the face, a Gory Special knee strike, and a hammerlock DDT to win.

Jungle Boy defeated JD Drake. Jurassic Express and the Wingmen were ringside. Drake took control early with a blue-collar beatdown. Jungle Boy fought with heart on his comeback, but Drake cut the rally short. Drake had momentum on a running cannonball into the corner and a running single-leg dropkick. Jungle Boy refused to lose and kicked out on the cover. Drake was stunned and took too long setting up his next move. As Drake climbed the turnbuckles, Jungle Boy exploded for a powerbomb out of the corner then the Snare Trap submission to win.

Jungle Boy is a star. There is no doubt about it. He had the biggest pop of the evening. This episode of Elevation provided a glimpse at both sides of Jungle Boy’s work with a promo and a match. Jungle Boy’s promo game is a little bland for my tastes. AEW should be giving him weekly speaking spots on these YouTube shows for him to experiment in styles. That part of his game is lacking at the moment, so more opportunity would help him improve quicker. In the ring, Jungle Boy is a stud. He showed spirit to fight back against the brawler, skill to execute a variety of moves, and ring awareness to seize the moment for victory.

It seems that Christian’s next direction will be running through the Hardy Family Office with a big match against Matt Hardy. That should add at least 3 more wins to Christian’s record for a rise up the rankings en route to earning a world title shot.

On the enhancement side, the Tate twins showed spark. Too bad Bear Country is dealing with injury, because I’d like to see them wrestle those hosses in a contrast of styles. Robyn Renegade has a good look. I don’t know if it was just because Hirsch is a mini, but Renegade had a towering presence.

My favorite moment of the show came from Julia Hart. Luther slammed Brian Pillman Jr. on the floor. As Chaos Project was planning a flying attack, Hart did a bunch of handsprings to block their path. That was a creative way to get her involved.

Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 12? Which was your favorite match?