Episode 16 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Karl Anderson with the Elite by his side, the return of Riho, and Eddie Kingston rocking the house with Pentagon in tag team action.
The main event was Pentagon & Eddie Kingston versus Jack Evan & Angelico. Alex Abrahantes was ringside. The crowd was pumped for King and Penta. Loud chants of, “Eddie!” were followed by loud chants of, “Cero miedo!”
Kingston did not let the fans down. He put on a show by dancing like TH2.
As the match progressed, Angelico trapped Kingston in a tricky submission, so Pentagon ran in to kick Angelico in the head.
That led to Kingston slamming Evans to make the hot tag to his best friend. Pentagon hit sling blades on both Evans and Angelico. Pentagon continued with a dropkick to Evans then a monkey flip to send Angelico crashing onto his partner. Pentagon aimed to finish, but Angelico kicked the masked man in the face to save Evans.
TH2 rallied with a neckbreaker combo. Evans showed he is from the heavens with a standing corkscrew moonsault.
Kingston was back in the ring for a half-and-half suplex to Evans. Pentagon finished TH2 with a package piledriver to Evans.
The duo of Kingston and Pentagon picked up momentum heading into Wednesday night Dynamite. If they can defeat the Young Bucks, then they will earn a tag title shot.
Here’s the Dark: Elevation lineup with ratings (watch, competitive, showcase, squash) on which matches are worth your time toward Dynamite:
- JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth vs. Gunn Club (showcase)
- Valentina Rossi vs. Penelope Ford (showcase)
- Serpentico vs. Brian Cage (showcase)
- Wheeler Yuta vs. Karl Anderson (showcase)
- Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson, & Dustin Rhodes vs. Adrian Alanis, Liam Gray, & Justin Corino (showcase)
- PB Smooth & Matt Justice vs. The Acclaimed (squash)
- KiLynn King vs. Riho (competitive)
- Aaron Rourke & Jake Logan vs. Varsity Blonds (squash)
- Katalina Perez vs. Thunder Rosa (squash)
- Blade vs. Chuck Taylor (competitive)
- Private Party & Matt Hardy vs. Alan Reynolds, 5, & Colt Cabana (competitive)
- Hikaru Shida vs. Reka Tehaka (showcase)
- Pentagon & Eddie Kingston vs. TH2 (competitive)
All of the competitive matches are good for a viewing. The main event is my pick at the top. The Dark Order was enjoyable with the crowd behind them. Riho chopping down a tree was good fun. Taylor found an aggressive streak against Blade. For the rest, Cage’s power game was a delight and Shida was back in action to deliver her signature moves.
Watch the show here.
Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight handled commentary duties. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer.
Gunn Club defeated JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth. Billy and Colten represented the Gunn Club. Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi were ringside. Tag to Billy to clean house. He went for a Fameasser. Nemeth countered into a gyrating neckbreaker attempt, however, Billy reversed into the Fameasser for victory.
Penelope Ford defeated Valentina Rossi. It was even until Ford turned up the heat for a fireman’s carry gutbuster to win.
Brian Cage defeated Serpentico. Will Hobbs, Hook, and Luther were ringside. Luther interfered on a few occasions. Team Taz had zero reaction to Luther’s pilfering. The action spilled onto the stage. Cage cold-cocked Luther then powerbomb tossed Serpentico into the ring.
Cage followed with a Drill Claw to win. Hobbs and Hook showed support for Cage’s success, but it appeared as though tension was in the air among Team Taz.
Karl Anderson defeated Wheeler Yuta. Young Bucks and Luke Gallows were ringside. Yuta’s quickness had Anderson on his heels. Yuta fell for Gallows’ distraction then walked right into a spinebuster from Anderson. Yuta rallied with a flying shotgun dropkick. He ran the ropes ducking a clothesline to launch for a suicide dive. Bad move. Gallows caught Yuta for a spinebuster on the floor. The Bucks added a double superkick. Back in the ring, Anderson closed with a flying neckbreaker. After the match, Nick Jackson ran the ropes stepping on Yuta’s chest.
Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson, & Dustin Rhodes defeated Adrian Alanis, Liam Gray, & Justin Corino. Arn Anderson was ringside. Hot tag to Dustin to clean house. Johnson connected on a flying attack to knock all three opponents down to the floor.
Johnson unloaded a thrust kick to set up Dustin for the bulldog win.
The Acclaimed defeated PB Smooth & Matt Justice. Max Caster’s rap had references to Devin Booker’s broken nose, hookers, and Joe Biden. Caster and Bowens took big man Smooth down by working his knee. Justice ate the pin after a teamwork twisting slam then a flying elbow drop from Caster.
Riho defeated KiLynn King. The taller King mocked the height difference on a test of strength. Riho responded with a kick to the midsection. Riho scored a flurry of offense, but King caught a flying crossbody to counter with a ribbreaker. King dished out punishment, then Riho took control with a drop toehold into the ropes for a 619. Riho connected on a flying crossbody. King kicked out then hit a suplex. King went high risk and missed a moonsault. Riho pounced for a double running knees to win.
Varsity Blonds defeated Aaron Rourke & Jake Logan. Julia Hart was ringside. The bad guys attacked before the bell, but the Blonds quickly turned it around with a double clothesline out of the ring. The Blonds followed with a running dropkick from Brian Pillman Jr. and a suicide dive from Griff Garrison down to the floor. Back in the ring, it was clobbering time for Garrison with a discus forearm. Pillman took to the air for a springboard clothesline for the victory.
Thunder Rosa defeated Katalina Perez. Rosa worked her game using a Russian leg sweep to transition to a Peruvian necktie submission win.
Blade defeated Chuck Taylor. Bunny was ringside. Taylor picked up momentum during the physical fight with an Awful Waffle slam. Blade kicked out though. Taylor hit his target on a flying stomp. Blade kicked out again. When Taylor tried to finisher with a piledriver, Blade escaped for a roll-up. The master of cutlery hooked his feet on the ropes with assistance from Bunny to hold them in place as the unwitting referee made the three count. After the match, TH2 ran out to stomp Taylor. Orange Cassidy ran out as well to chase away the baddies.
Private Party & Matt Hardy defeated Alan Reynolds, 5, & Colt Cabana. Pre-match fisticuffs saw the Dark Order stand tall. The momentum carried over into the match. 5 was the engine for the Dark Order to jam with energy. 5 climbed the turnbuckles, but Hardy pulled on his leg. That allowed Private Party to hit Gin & Juice for the win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Reka Tehaka. The former champ was in trouble after taking two headbutts and a Samoan drop, but the shining samurai rebounded with a Katana spinning knee strike for victory.
All wrestling on this episode of Elevation. AEW put together some interesting matchups on paper. Riho against a tall opponent in KiLynn King provided a classic babyface bout. Hikaru Shida had a rousing fight as Reka Tehaka leaned into Samoan wrestling traits. I was excited to see Wheeler Yuta after watching him in other promotions. He wrestled well enough considering he was enhancement talent to get beat up by the Elite. I hope Yuta gets a competitive bout to show his skills.
I like the concept of Dustin Rhodes leading Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson as a trios unit. Now, AEW just needs a trios division to give purpose to the veteran and two youngsters.
Chuck Taylor fought with an edge due to Blade using brass knuckles to knock out Orange Cassidy on Dynamite. Even though the Elevation match was taped beforehand, I appreciate the attention to make sure it continued the feud as opposed to coming across out of order.
Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 16? Which was your favorite match?