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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Aug. 30, 2021): Everybody get’cha Swole on

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Episode 26 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. Let’s go over what went down on Elevation this week. Our announce team was Paul Wight, Tony Schiavone and Eddie Kingston.

Hikaru Shida and Emi Sakura were announced for the AEW All Out “Buy In” pre-show casino battle royale to open tonight’s broadcast, and then we were off to the races!

Tylor Sullivan vs. Daniel Garcia

As good as Daniel Garcia is it’s hard for me to fathom that his 2021 record is 2-4, but his good news is that Tylor Sullivan was “already in the ring” and making his AEW debut. Garcia put Sullivan in the sharpshooter and leaned back for the immediate tapout. If this was over a minute long bell to bell I’d be shocked.

Jora Johl (with Matt Hardy) vs. Kal Herro

Johl’s 2021 record going in was 0-5. Kal Herro’s record is 0-1 in AEW. This is not usually what they mean in sports by the phrase “someone’s oh has got to go.” Hardy slapped Johl to fire him up and he picked up Herro to adjust his attitude and pin him after a pump kick. Hardy seemed pleased that his methods worked, and Johl didn’t argue with the results.

Emi Sakura (w/ Lulu Pencil) vs. Ashley D’Amboise

Sakura’s 2021 record before this match was 2-1. Her “already in the ring” opponent D’Amboise was 0-7. Given which of these two was just announced for All Out it wasn’t hard to figure the outcome. Sakura was accompanied to the ring by a second named Lulu Pencil.

Sakura whipped her around the ring, put the boots to her, snatched her up by the ankles and pulled her into the surfboard plus chinlock. D’Amboise tried to fire up with a forearm, got staggered by an enzuigiri and hit with a suplex for two. She tried a jawbreaker to follow up and ate a double dropkick for her trouble. A delayed backbreaker, kicks to the ribs, and a second backbreaker got the job done for Sakura. I thoroughly enjoyed the amount of time they gave this match.

Julia Hart & Big Swole vs. Nyla Rose & Diamante

Given how bad ass three of these four women are (time will tell for Hart) I was thoroughly looking forward to this match. Diamante took Swole down and started beating on her immediately before feeding her to Nyla Rose. They cut off the ring and double teamed the ever loving heck out of her. Swole countered Rose with a flatliner and tagged Hart in. Rose caught her, slammed her, and walked right over her. She picked up Diamante and slammed her on top of Hart for a near fall. Diamante flipped double fingers to everyone before Hart’s beating continued. Hart got the knees up when Rose went for a splash, then came off the ropes for a bulldog and a near fall. Swole got the hot tag and headbutted Diamante when she tried to interfere. Rose ate a spear, a kick to the head, and a Diamond Cutter for two. Everybody got in the ring to interfere but Swole knocked Rose down with a flying headbutt. Diamante yanked Swole out of the ring before they could hit Rose with a double team maneuver and Rose took advantage to hit Hart with the Beast Bomb. Even though her team failed to win Swole had the crowd chants and was the clear star of the match. She could get her revenge at the pay per view “Buy-In” on Sunday — you never know!

Dante Martin vs. Adam Grace

Martin’s 2021 record is now 15-5 and improving every single week. Grace was making his AEW debut so reaching 16-5 was an absolute certainty. Grace tried and failed to slow Martin down with a chin breaker. Martin almost slipped on the double springboard but quickly regained his balance, then hit a modified Death Valley Driver for the win, or as Kingston dubbed it the “Cutthroat Angel Wings.” I like that better to be honest.

Thunder Rosa vs. Laynie Luck

Laynie Luck and Thunder Rosa have met before, but in this promotion Luck is 0-1, so she was in for a bad time against the No. 2 ranked woman in AEW’s entire women’s division.

The Fire Thunder Drive quickly proved that it was not Laynie’s lucky day. This was longer than Garcia vs. Sullivan but not by much, nor did it need to be. Rosa squashes are fun. “Smart” Mark Sterling and Jade Cargill promised success at the PPV on Sunday afterward.

Brian Cage vs. Anthony Bowens

Bowens is 16-8 in singles action, but I didn’t like his chances against the 27-4 Brian Cage. Team Taz joined commentary for this match. Kal Herro’s biggest fan made sure they were seen in the crowd during this bout. Bowens tried to overwhelm Cage right at the opening bell to no avail. Bowens got nailed with a knee and a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. He tried to roll out to the apron and go top rope but Cage caught him in mid air for the Drill Claw to finish him. A spectacular visual to achieve the obvious result. Hook ran down to the ring, Cage grabbed him by the neck, and Powerhouse Hobbs ran down to save the kid. Cage got hit with Town Business and Ricky Starks mouthed off for good measure.

Heather Reckless vs. Hikaru Shida

Shida’s singles record coming in was 38-4. Reckless’ record was 0-1. Need I say more? It’s amusing when they announce a “twenty minute time limit” for a match like this.

Shida mocked Reckless for being a shorty, normally a heel move, but it’s hard for Shida to do anything that would make me hate her. Reckless hit Shida with a bulldog and went for an inside cradle, but Shida responded with a big swing around Reckless’ neck and gave her a glam slam before finishing her with Falcon Arrow. She didn’t even hook the leg for the pin — she just sat on her. That’s so arrogant... but Shida is still the bomb in my eyes.

Sammy Guevara & Fuego del Sol vs. Chaos Project

Fuego del Sol was all kinds of fired up following getting his AEW contract on Rampage, while Eddie Kingston was dismissive of the fact he got it after losing a match.

I know Luther is a long time wrestling industry veteran dating back to his “Dr. Luther” days, but I’ve had just about enough of listening to him scream. It’s not Vickie Guerrero bad, but it’s not good. I’m also tired of him acting like an idiot, like trying to powerbomb his partner into their opponents on the ring apron and missing completely. Serpentico is far too loyal considering how much punishment he takes from his own teammate. Fuego del Sol took out Serpentico with a tornado DDT and Guevara told Luther to Go 2 Hell — an impressive feat on an opponent that size. The right team definitely won here.

One more note for this week’s show — Matt Hardy got Jora Johl to cut a promo to promote that All Elite Wrestling was available on TV in India, and to say they’d be coming there soon. The comedy was Johl refusing to literally translate Hardy’s more arrogant remarks, probably saving his own life if they actually do go to India to “make a lot of money.”

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by the Big Tymers, so by all means “get’cha Swole on” and watch the women’s tag team match. The squashes this week were all excellent, but Daniel Garcia’s was the best and most sorely needed. I’ll be happy when his 2021 W-L record is over .500. There was nothing horrible that you should avoid, except for hitting mute on the remote whenever Luther squawks.

Cageside commentary crew! Get up off those seats and leave your feedback in the comments section below. See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark!