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AEW Dark Elevation recap (June 14, 2021): Wardlow prepares for MMA fight with a KO

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Episode 14 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Wardlow warming up with a knockout, the Wingmen offering a makeover to Orange Cassidy, and Scorpio Sky battling Alex Reynolds in the main event.

It’s Wardlow week. He competes on Elevation, Dark, and then the MMA fight against Jake Hager on Friday night Dynamite. Wardlow proclaimed that he is going to knock out his opponent tonight, choke out his opponent tomorrow night, and KO Hager in the first round on Friday.

Wardlow backed up his words against Jason Hotch. Mr. Mayhem hit a couple of slams, a back body drop, then his knee strike finisher for the knockout win.

Damn! That was a badass knockout. Just look at Hotch hanging off the turnbuckles like a dead man.

AEW Dark: Elevation

That is a perfect way to pump up the anticipation for Wardlow and Hager locking up inside a steel cage with MMA rules.

The funniest part of the show came courtesy of the Wingmen. They had a message for Orange Cassidy. When Ryan Nemeth met JD Drake, Drake was a poorly dressed, ill-mannered, monster of a man. Under Nemeth’s tutelage, Drake is now hot and supple. Nemeth offered OC the chance to join the official Wingmen makeover program. Turning it down would be a bad choice.

This seems like a throwaway hype promo for Cezar Bononi versus Cassidy on Dynamite, but I am actually curious how OC would fare in their makeover program. In fact, Cassidy’s whole crew could use some hunky help in the fashion department. That would surely be good for a laugh or two.

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

  • Jason Hotch vs. Wardlow (squash)
  • Dustin Rhodes & Lee Johnson vs. VSK & Travis Titan (squash)
  • Angelico vs. Mike Sydal (showcase)
  • Shawn Spears vs. Falco (squash)
  • Private Party vs. Dean Alexander & Carlie Bravo (showcase)
  • Nyla Rose vs. Megan Bayne (squash)
  • Cameron Cole vs. Orange Cassidy (showcase)
  • Pentagon & Eddie Kingston vs. Arik Cannon & Kevin Blackwood (showcase)
  • Dani Jordyn vs. Julia Hart (showcase)
  • Aaron Solow & QT Marshall vs. Deonn Rusman & Joe Keys (showcase)
  • Scorpio Sky vs. Alex Reynolds (competitive)

The main event was the highest quality of the bunch. Wardlow’s domination was fun to watch. Rhodes & Johnson worked well as a unit. Angelico versus Sydal had interesting spots. Take your pick on the rest.

Watch the show here.

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

Dustin Rhodes & Lee Johnson defeated VSK & Travis Titan. The Nightmare Family handled business with Johnson finishing on a neckbreaker over his knee.

Angelico defeated Mike Sydal. Jack Evans and Matt Sydal were present for the entrances, but they went backstage prior to the match. Matt Hardy came out during the contest to cheer on Angelico. The submission specialist worked his trade against the flexible Sydal. The yoga man had momentum after an enzuigiri, but Angelico wisely clasped his hands together around the top rope to prevent an Irish whip. That allowed the necessary recovery time to slingshot Sydal onto the ropes to set up the Navarro Death Roll for victory. After the bell, Angelico applied a second Navarro Death Roll on the floor at the orders of Hardy. Matt Sydal made the save to chase away the bad guys.

Shawn Spears defeated Falco. Spears dished out pain to the masked man and closed with a DVD. Afterward, Spears brought a chair in the ring, but the referee prevented any misconduct.

Private Party defeated Dean Alexander & Carlie Bravo. Matt Hardy, Blade, and Bunny were ringside. Bravo was cleaning house on a hot tag until Isiah Kassidy knocked him off the turnbuckles. That led to Private Party’s Gin & Juice finisher for the win.

Nyla Rose defeated Megan Bayne. Vickie Guerrero was ringside. The Native Beast made quick work of her opponent to win with a Beast Bomb.

Orange Cassidy defeated Cameron Cole. OC came out to the original Best Friends theme song instead of the tune from the Pixies. Best Friends and Kris Statlander were ringside. Cole started strong with a DDT. Cassidy found his groove for a tumbling routine to evade all of Cole’s advances. Cassidy closed with a Superman punch.

Pentagon & Eddie Kingston defeated Arik Cannon & Kevin Blackwood. Alex Abrahantes was ringside. It sounded like the tropical rain began pouring down on the amphitheater’s canopy cover. Pentagon and Kingston worked well enough as a team despite past tension. They crushed Blackwood with a combo in the end. Pentagon went first for a package piledriver followed by Kingston with a half-and-half suplex.

Julia Hart defeated Dani Jordyn. Varsity Blondes were ringside. Hart rallied for an explosion of offense with a running bulldog into the splits, a standing moonsault, then a sliced bread finisher to win.

Aaron Solow & QT Marshall defeated Deonn Rusman & Joe Keys. Keys is from the ROH dojo. The Factory worked hard enough to break a sweat, but they were never in trouble. QT cleared the way with a cutter to Keys. Solow picked up the win on a Pedigree to Rusman.

Scorpio Sky defeated Alex Reynolds. Ethan Page was on commentary. Reynolds roared with momentum, then Sky clipped his knee. Reynolds went up top for a moonsault, but Sky rolled away. The impact to the mat did even more damage to Reynolds’ knee. Reynolds tried a discus strike, however, Sky ducked under to roll through for a heel hook. Reynolds tapped out to give the victory to Sky.

The show closed with an animated music video for the Elevation theme song.

Lots of lopsided contests on this episode. It achieved its purpose of letting the established wrestlers shine.

Wardlow was a beast. He left me wanting to see more. Dustin Rhodes & Lee Johnson have potential as a veteran/youngster tag team. I love Johnson’s finisher. It looks so painful. Julia Hart is an example of the benefit of these YouTube shows. It allows her an opportunity to work out the kinks in low pressure situations. I like how she adds cheerleader flair into her moves. That makes her unique in the ring.

Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 14? Which was your favorite match?