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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Sept. 20, 2021): Kiss Me Deadly

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Episode 29 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. The announce team was Paul Wight, Tony Schiavone and Eddie Kingston.

Kaia McKenna vs. Thunder Rosa

Thunder Rosa brought a 26-2 record in singles competition to this match. Kaia McKenna was “already in the ring” in her AEW debut. I was both excited and disappointed about this debut because I follow Kaia on social media but knew there’s no way she’d get a W against Rosa here. Still she’s a student of the Seth Rollins wrestling school, so it’s safe to assume her solids are fundamental if you haven’t seen her, and watching this match I can assure you that they were. Rosa kicked her in the face, picked her up for the Fire Thunder Driver, and got the pin. This was fine but damn it I wish it had been three minutes longer.

The Gunn Club vs. Anthony Bennett, Leon St. Giovanni and Ray Jaz

The Gunn Club was 13-0 in trios action, so if they ever do create trios titles in AEW they’d be right at the top of the rankings. Their opponents had no trios record so you know what that means. A disgusted Wight refused to provide commentary thanks to what Billy Gunn did to him on Dynamite. The faces made a comeback and tagged in Giovanni, but Billy stopped him dead with a back elbow, one of his sons hit a Colt 45 (neckbreaker), and that was that.

Evil Uno & Colt Cabana vs. Alan “5” Angels & Preston “10” Vance

The internecine war between The Dark Order continued on Elevation this week. Wight: “They’re destroying what made them unique and special and it’s sad.” Kingston: “Stop the crying and let’s fight!” Wight: “And you wonder why you have one friend with that attitude.” Eventually they stopped arguing and called the match. Angels double legged Uno to the ground to beat him up, and did a suicide dive for good measure. The rest of the Order surrounded them all outside the ring, confused about who to help. Back in the ring Uno and Vance got into a shoving match. Vance caught Uno mid-air, Angels made the blind tag and hit a drop kick. Uno avoided a head kick and rolled out. Angels gave chase. He and Cabana started arguing and Cabana got hit with a forearm. Uno regained control and tagged Cabana in. Cabana kept teasing a closed fist on Angels but wouldn’t use it, and Uno got back into the match. Angels escaped and tagged Vance in, Uno begged off, Cabana made the save and got thrown out, pump kicks from Vance, punches in the corner until Cabana tanked him off. He did it again, Cabana yanked him off again, Vance gave him another forearm and hit Uno with a spinebuster. Spear by Vance but Cabana broke up the pin. Cabana finally hit the closed fist and got the tag. He and Vance started throwing shots at each other. Angels made a blind tag, Uno made the visible tag, Vance and Cabana continued brawling outside the ring, and Uno ripped off Angels’ mask. Angels slapped Uno in the face, ate a forearm in return, but bridged Uno onto his shoulders to get the pin!! Uno refused a handshake after the match and rolled out of the ring.

Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor & Kris Statlander) vs. Mike Verna

Verna was 0-1 in AEW, so it’s not his promotional debut, but he was “already in the ring” while Cassidy made his entrance. It only took about a minute for Cassidy to land the Orange Punch and get the pin. Total squash.

Private Party (w/ Matt Hardy) vs. Teddy Goodz & Jorge Santi

Private Party brought in a 2021 record of 9-2. Goodz and Santi had the double mark of doom before the match began — “already in the ring” and “making their AEW debut.” The double team head scissor takeover into a diamond cutter finished the “carpenters” off.

Hikaru Shida vs. Masha Slamovich

Shida brought a record of 40-4 to this match. Slamovich (who was just offered a deal by Impact) brought a record of 0-1. Slamovich sent Shida flying with a gut wrench suplex, but Shida responded with headbutts, a dropkick to the chest, a running knee and a vertical suplex for a near fall. Slamovich hit her with forearms and did a bridging suplex for a near fall. Shida hit the Dominator, a sliding forearm, and the Katana (spinning head kick) for three. I like Slamovich — it’s a shame AEW didn’t offer her a contract first.

Sonny Kiss vs. Joey Janela (w/ Kayla Rossi)

Schiavone: “We have a grudge match next.” No kidding Tony! Janela’s singles record coming into this bout was 8-3. Kiss brought a singles record of 8-10. Kiss immediately nailed Janela with a rolling elbow and put the boots to Janela. Dropkick, moonsault to the floor, and punches all along the barricade. Janela got busted open and was bleeding from over the right eye, so Rossi came over to make the save. Back in the ring Kiss and Janela traded kicks to the head and Janela got the better of it. When Janela went to the top rope, Kiss picked Janela up and threw him, then did a moonsault knees first to the ribs. Jawbreaker and a lariat from Janela. Janela went top rope for a moonsault to the apron but Kiss got out of the way. Topei into a DDT from Kiss and both parties were down on the floor! Kiss threw Janela back in and went to the top, but Janela knocked Kiss down and went up for the Spanish fly and a near fall. Back to back piledrivers from Janela... and Kiss kicked out! At this point the blood was smeared all over Janela’s face. Janela went up top again and went for a big elbow, but Kiss countered into a roll up for the pin! Before the celebration could begin Kayla Rossi wiped Kiss out and Janela whacked Kiss with the chair. Rossi did a standing moonsault onto the chair and the heels left triumphant even though Janela lost the match.

Santana & Ortiz vs. Avery Good & JT Dunn

You can’t have had any doubt about who would win this match, but just for the record, the Inner Circle’s best tag team picked up the W in an incredibly quick squash.

QT Marshall (w/ The Factory) vs. Dustin Rhodes

Two of the most technically sound wrestlers on the roster got to headline Elevation this week. Marshall hit a powerbomb and signaled for the diamond cutter, but Rhodes blocked it and got a near fall of his own. Marshall shrugged off a bulldog, Rhodes hit a boot to the face, Marshall hit a step up enzuigiri, and Marshall hit a superplex for a near fall. Rhodes went for a roll up and got one too. Code Red from Rhodes got 2.9999! “Boo/yay” punches back and forth from the two until Rhodes hit the bulldog. Aaron Solow tried to interfere but Lee Johnson yanked him off the apron, and Rhodes hit The Final Reckoning for three.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Lita Ford. Go out of your way to see Kiss vs. Janela from this episode. It could have been the end of the feud between the two, but the post-match beatdown suggests it’s only the beginning. Kiss needs to find a new tag team partner so that we can even up the odds. The Dark Order’s dissolution may make Paul Wight sad, but it was the second best match of the show. Orange Cassidy’s match was underwhelming, Kaia McKenna should have gotten more time with Thunder Rosa, and anybody who complains about AEW’s women’s division clearly isn’t watching YouTube.

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