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AEW Dark Elevation recap (June 21, 2021): Bum fights

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Episode 15 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured two bums gracing the squared circle, Matt Hardy recruiting a prospect from India, Jungle Boy digging deep in a warm-up for the world title, and Matt Sydal battling Jack Evans in the best match of the show.

AEW has brought in a wide range of characters on Elevation and Dark. There have been a living dead girl, a scoutmaster, and pandas, just to name a few. The next addition to that zany list is Bums R Us. The duo of Milo Beasley and Raymond Beasley made their AEW debut. Time for bum fights!

AEW Dark: Elevation

Bums R Us squared off against the Varsity Blonds. Julia Hart was ringside. The Bums attacked prior to the bell. Their big move for this match was the Dumpster Dive teamwork fireman’s carry running cannonball in the corner.

Brian Pillman Jr. rallied with a super German suplex. Griff Garrison added a big boot. Garrison held up one of the bums, so Pillman could fire off a high dropkick for victory.

The Bums did alright despite the loss. I hope they get a return ticket to AEW, if only to see Jon Moxley’s reaction to them. I have a feeling he wouldn’t mind sharing a drink with those two.

One story that could potentially spill onto Dynamite involves Matt Hardy recruiting a prospect from India to join the Hardy Family Office. Hardy is stacking numbers for his feud with Christian Cage. Private Party, Blade, Butcher, Bunny, and TH2 are all on Hardy’s side at the moment. A new name could join the crew soon.

It began with Hardy taking care of business against Jora Johl. The newcomer has wrestled under the name Robo The Punjabi Lion. Private Party, TH2, and Bunny were ringside. Hardy trucked through his opponent for the most part. Johl scored a Michinoku driver, but Hardy wasn’t down for long. A superplex and Twist of Fate earned the W for Hardy.

After the match, Hardy took the mic to make an offer to Johl. Hardy saw potential in the young man. Johl is from India chasing the American dream. If he doesn’t become a success, then his papers will expire and force him out of the USA. A wealthy and powerful man like Hardy could correct those issues. Hardy offered Johl a spot in the HFO, for a wee fee. Since Johl is starting from the bottom, he would have to tend to the HFO’s needs, like ironing clothes and shining shoes.

Later in the broadcast, Johl addressed the offer. He discussed wrestling his hero, Hardy. Unfortunately, Hardy is not the same person that he looked up to. However, Johl will have to consider Hardy’s offer despite not being comfortable accepting.

Johl also spoke in his native language (here). I assume it was the same message as in English.

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

  • Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson vs. FTR (showcase)
  • Delmi Exo vs. Nyla Rose (squash)
  • Baron Black & Tamilian Vineesh vs. The Acclaimed (showcase)
  • Bums R Us vs. Varsity Blonds (showcase)
  • Renee Michelle vs. Kris Statlander (showcase)
  • Matt Hardy vs. Jora Johl (showcase)
  • Shawn Spears & Wardlow vs. Ryzin & Kal Herro (squash)
  • Will Hobbs vs. Darien Bengston (squash)
  • Jade Cargill vs. Robyn Renegade (squash)
  • Pentagon & Eddie Kingston vs. Vary Morales & Fuego Del Sol (showcase)
  • Cezar Bononi vs. Jungle Boy (competitive)
  • Matt Sydal vs. Jack Evans (competitive)

The main event was the best of the bunch. Sydal and Evans used kicks, flips, and counters for an entertaining duel. Bononi versus Jungle Boy was enjoyable as a classic power versus speed matchup. FTR’s bout is my pick to round out the top three.

Watch the show here.

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

The show kicked off with hype for Rampage debuting Friday, August 13 on TNT. Cody Rhodes, Hikaru Shida, Jungle Boy, Sting, and Miro were showcased with electricity special effects.

Tony Schiavone explained that Matt Sydal versus Jack Evans would be the main event due to TH2 and Matt Hardy attacking Mike Sydal after his match against Angelico last week. Matt stated that the Sydal brothers stand up for each other. They are calm and cool, but they also fight with claws.

FTR defeated Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson. The West Coast Wrecking Crew was in control early with suplexes. The tide turned when Dax Harwood hit a dragon screw leg whip on Nelson then followed with a brainbuster. Harwood held Nelson down for Cash Wheeler to come flying in for a stomp to the knee. Harwood finished with a reverse figure-four submission.

Nyla Rose defeated Delmi Exo. Vickie Guerrero was ringside. Nyla went beast mode for a Samoan drop and Beast Bomb for the quick win.

The Acclaimed defeated Baron Black & Tamilian Vineesh. Max Caster dissed Black’s crown in his entrance rap. Black charged at the Acclaimed, so Anthony Bowens bopped him on the head with their boombox. Inside the ring, Bowens also struck Vineesh just because.

Bowens kept on the pressure to force the referee to call for the opening bell. Black had a little bit of payback on a hot tag as he cleaned house. Caster put an end to that rally by grabbing Black’s foot. That bought time for Bowens to pop Black. The Acclaimed took charge to close out on Vineesh with a teamwork hanging slam then a flying elbow drop from Caster.

Kris Statlander defeated Renee Michelle. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy were ringside. Statlander was on the prowl with a powerslam, running uppercut, running knee, and a waist lock release German suplex. Statlander ate a discus forearm from Michelle, but the alien came right back with a lariat. Statlander hit the Big Bang Theory piledriver to win.

Taz hyped Will Hobbs versus Hangman Page for Saturday night Dynamite. Hobbs questioned if Hangman really thinks he can kick Hobbs’ ass. Powerhouse plans to beat the hell out of the cowboy.

Shawn Spears & Wardlow defeated Ryzin & Kal Herro. Spears started with aggression to dismantle his opponents. Wardlow closed out the win with a knockout to Ryzin on a corner knee strike.

Will Hobbs defeated Darien Bengston. Hobbs powerhoused through that slab of meat to finish with a running side slam.

Jade Cargill defeated Robyn Renegade. Prior to the contest, Mark Sterling announced Cargill’s latest sponsor. She is the face of the Black News Channel. Sterling is still taking offers to monetize Team Jade.

Cargill went to work to crush Renegade with a pop-up Samoan drop and the Jaded chickenwing facebuster.

Pentagon & Eddie Kingston defeated Vary Morales & Fuego Del Sol. Alex Abrahantes was ringside. The high-flyers had Penta and King on their heels. Kingston grounded them on the floor by shoving Fuego into the guardrail and smashing Morales with an exploder suplex. Back in the ring, Kingston shed off a tornado DDT from Fuego. Kingston softened Fuego’s arm for Pentagon to pick up the pin after a snapping armbreaker.

Jungle Boy defeated Cezar Bononi. Jurassic Express and the Wingmen were ringside. JB had the edge with his speed until Peter Avalon grabbed his foot. Bononi blitzed Jungle Boy and used his power advantage to control the match. Jungle Boy dug deep with the will to win for a running forearm shot then a low trip into the Snare Trap submission. Ryan Nemeth hopped onto the apron, so JB let go to blast a boot to the Hunk. Jungle Boy refocused on Bononi to chop him down with kicks leading to a running forearm to the back of the head for the three count.

Matt Sydal defeated Jack Evans. Mike Sydal, Angelico, and Matt Hardy were ringside. After a trip by Angelico, Evans took control. Sydal rallied with kicks, slams, and a cobra clutch submission. As the match progressed, both men were quick on their feet with counters. Sydal rose to the top in the end. He ducked a high kick then exploded for a jumping knee. Sydal followed with a head kick and a Lightning Spiral slam to win.

The main event had high energy. Anytime Jack Evans gets time to strut his stuff, it usually turns out entertaining. This match was no different. I loved the back and forth counter routine from Evans and Matt Sydal. They both made good use of their flexibility. One thing to keep an eye on is if Matt Hardy keeps Evans on his side. Hardy did not look pleased with Evans’ losing effort. It could be something, or it could be nothing. The reason why I’m curious is Hardy’s preference in choosing Angelico to wrestle Christian Cage a few weeks ago.

Lots of underdogs looked good on this episode. Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson were finally able to put their skills on display. The West Coast Wrecking Crew has potential to rise up the ranks over time. It may not be in AEW, but I think they can achieve success. Heck, Isaacs’ German suplex to Cash Wheeler made me giddy.

Renee Michelle has shown noticeable improvement. She had a nice little match with Kris Statlander. Vary Morales & Fuego Del Sol rocked as a tag team. The two high-flyers blended well together. I’d like to see if they can work some magic as a unit.

Cezar Bononi deserves a shout-out. He came in as a generic big man, but he has found his footing with the Wingmen crew. Bononi was a perfect foil for Jungle Boy to overcome. I like how he treated Jungle Boy like a child.

Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 15? Which was your favorite match?