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AEW Dark Elevation recap (June 7, 2021): New look Hikaru Shida on the comeback track

Episode 13 of AEW Dark: Elevation featured Santana & Ortiz seeking gold, Evil Uno preparing for a TNT title shot, and the beginning of Hikaru Shida’s quest to rise again.

Hikaru Shida lost the AEW Women’s Championship to Dr. Britt Baker DMD at Double or Nothing, but she’s not one to hang her head. Shida was on the comeback track against Diamante in the main event.

Diamante was pleased with the opportunity to go one-on-one with the former champion. If you thought what Britt Baker did was bad, wait until you see Diamante tear Shida up. She will make everyone forget Shida was ever a champ.

Shida arrived with a new look of shorter hair and modified ring gear.

Shida scored a knuckle toss early and followed with a running knee into the corner. She hyped up the crowd, but that allowed Diamante recovery time. Diamante connected on an elbow strike then a backstabber in the ropes. Diamante worked a ‘Shida’ chant only to give the ‘up yours’ arm motion to the fans. Diamante continued control with a body slam and running dead weight splash.

Shida fired back with repeated forearm blows and a running knee lift to Diamante on the apron. Diamante rallied to trap Shida for a dropkick in the tree of woe. After a waist lock counter dance, Shida hit an enzuigiri. The two exchanged moves, then Shida snapped off a Falcon Arrow Slam. Diamante kicked out on the cover.

Shida aimed for the Tamashii running knee, but Diamante ducked under to counter for a roll-up. Shida escaped, so Diamante transitioned to a DDT. Shida refused to lose. She rallied with a series of strikes to win with the Katana spinning knee. Step one on Shida’s comeback is complete.

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

  • Jade Cargill vs. Rache Chanel (squash)
  • Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis vs. Santana & Ortiz (squash)
  • Scorpio Sky vs. Trevor Read (showcase)
  • Brian Cage & Will Hobbs vs. Trevor Aeon & Kendall Blake (squash)
  • Danny Limelight vs. Evil Uno (showcase)
  • Mike Sydal vs. Ethan Page (competitive)
  • The Acclaimed vs. Alex Reynolds & 5 (competitive)
  • Queen Aminata vs. Kris Statlander (showcase)
  • JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth vs. Varsity Blonds (competitive)
  • Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante (competitive)

The main event and Sydal versus Page are my top picks for quality. My favorite contest was Team Taz wrecking shop. The rest lived up to expectations. There were also several promos scattered throughout from competitors.

Watch the show here.

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

Santana and Ortiz were in the stairwell speaking about their last tag title opportunity in AEW. It has made them hungrier than a pack of wild dogs. They will be back for the top spot. Be warned to face THE BEST!

Jade Cargill defeated Rache Chanel. Mark Sterling was ringside. Cargill hit a few moves then won with the Jaded chickenwing facebuster. After the match, Sterling grabbed the mic to accuse AEW of exploiting Cargill. There will be contractual renegotiations.

Santana & Ortiz defeated Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis. Proud and Powerful dominated and closed with a double-team combo. Ortiz hit a powerbomb then lifted the opponent upward for Santana to kick in the head. Ortiz made the pin.

The Dark Order were excited about Evil Uno’s TNT title bout on Friday night Dynamite. Uno clarified that he is not looking past Danny Limelight on Elevation.

Scorpio Sky defeated Trevor Read. Ethan page was on commentary. Sky hit a dragon screw leg whip to cut Read’s momentum short. A heel hook was next for victory.

The Varsity Blonds hyped their win over Chaos Project. They will do it again against the Wingmen.

Brian Cage & Will Hobbs defeated Trevor Aeon & Kendall Blake. Taz was on commentary. Ricky Starks and Hook were ringside. Hobbs started with 9 straight body slams. He dropped the 10th on purpose after the fans were cheering too much for him. Cage handled his end with a Drill Claw to win.

Evil Uno defeated Danny Limelight. -1 was ringside. Uno was often one step ahead of Limelight’s attacks. The masked man shed off a springboard maneuver to set up a ripcord flatliner for victory.

Ethan Page defeated Mike Sydal. Scorpio Sky was on commentary. Sydal escaped Ego’s Edge to land a thrust kick. He dropped into the splits for a leg sweep. On Sydal’s standing moonsault attempt, Page put his knees up. All Ego promptly hit the Ego’s Edge to win.

The Acclaimed defeated Alex Reynolds & 5. Max Caster’s rap used corporate synergy with references to John Cena on Wipeout and TBS.

Caster used the boombox to distract the referee, so Anthony Bowens could clock Reynolds with the chain necklace. Bowens decided to flop instead and tossed the chain into Reynolds’ hands. The referee was still occupied, so 5 flew in for a frog splash onto Bowens. Reynolds punched Caster then covered Bowens, but he couldn’t secure the three count. While the referee cleared 5 from the ring, Caster bopped Reynolds on the head with the boombox for Bowens to steal the win.

Kris Statlander defeated Queen Aminata. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy were ringside. Both women executed a big move for a close pinfall. Statlander countered a headscissors into a piledriver to finish.

Varsity Blonds defeated JD Drake & Ryan Nemeth. Julia Hart, Peter Avalon, and Cezar Bononi were ringside. Nemeth broke Hart’s sign, so Brian Pillman Jr. dropkicked him in the face. Hart did a backflip to celebrate. Pillman was in trouble after a gyrating neckbreaker from Nemeth. Drake quickly followed for a moonsault. Griff Garrison broke the pin. He cleared the ring to set up Pillman for a springboard lariat to win.

Hikaru Shida and Diamante put on a solid main event. It didn’t quite hit that next gear of fury, but it was certainly enjoyable. I’m eager to see what AEW has in store for Shida. Will she proceed to sharpen her skills on Elevation and Dark? Or will we be seeing Shida’s face sooner than later in new feuds for Dynamite?

Two moments in particular stole the show for me. First was Will Hobbs’ body slam train. Doing nine was great. He made it even better when leaning heel to disappoint the fans by not executing a tenth slam. The second was Julia Hart doing a celebratory backflip during the Varsity Blonds’ match. I like it is a little touch to add flair and chemistry to the team’s gimmick.

Also of note, Ricky Starks joined Team Taz ringside after walking out on their promo last week. It seemed to me that Starks made a specific effort to show Hobbs love. Starks didn’t do the same for Brian Cage. He didn’t blatantly snub Cage, so perhaps it was a mere oversight. Or not. Starks has been shown to hold a grudge.

Evil Uno looked good in victory. Danny Limelight is usually a tough out, but Uno was well-prepared to handle the papi. He worked smarter, not harder. It will be interesting to see how that tactic works against Miro when Uno competes for the TNT title on Dynamite. I predict a bumpy ride for Uno as Miro wins with brute force.

Share your thoughts on Dark: Elevation. Who stood out most for episode 13? Which was your favorite match?

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