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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Jan. 10, 2022): Dante Martin in action against Andretti

Episode 45 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. The announce team was Paul Wight, Mark Henry and Tony Schiavone. Let’s talk about what went down (or up) on Elevation this week!

Jay Lethal & Sonny Kiss vs. Jaden Bower & Chris Bueller

Lethal and Kiss were teaming together for the first time so they had no record as a tag team. Their opponents Bower & Bueller were waiting in the ring, also making their AEW debut as a tag team. Paul Wight: “Hey Mark, why didn’t the toilet paper cross the road?” Mark Henry: “I don’t know. Why?” Wight: “Because it was pooped.” Lethal quickly tagged in Kiss so she could drop a knee on the spleen and pick up Bueller (Bueller, Bueller, anyone) before he escaped and tagged Bower in. Bower had more flames on his pants than Gregory House had on his cane. Lethal hit a suicide dive to the outside to take care of Bueller after he tagged back in. Bueller tried to grab the leg to keep him from getting back in, but Kiss took Bueller out and Lethal hit the Injection to pin Bower. Henry: “It looked like they were an established team.” Wight: “Absolutely!” I’m down with seeing them tag together some more.

Nyla Rose & Emi Sakura (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Skye Blue & Tina San Antonio

Blue and San Antonio came out first, our third straight duo to be making their debut in the tag team division. Rose was 25-6 and Sakura was 11-2 coming in. Wight didn’t think much of Blue and San Antonio’s chances here. “They didn’t get a good lottery draw.” Guerrero tripped Blue from behind and Sakura took advantage before tagging in Rose, who tried to choke her out on the ropes. Blue escaped a firewoman’s carry and tagged San Antonio in, who no sold before tagging Sakura so they could do a stacked up splash on top of her. Blue broke up a pin attempt and got a spinebuster for her trouble, then Rose got the legal tag and gave one to San Antonio for the pin. Henry: “You didn’t even need a referee to make that count.” He’s right.

FTR vs. Pat Brink & Myles Hawkins

FTR brought their 28-5 record and their AAA tag titles to this match. I don’t think you have to guess that Brink and Hawkins were waiting for them in the ring, nor that they were making their debut in the division, nor that they were going to be “toast” as Paul Wight said. The crowd even chanted for FTR, showing no faith nor interest in the jobbers here. That’s right. Not “carpenters.” Jobbers. Not “good hands.” Jobbers. You’d prefer I call them jabronis instead? They are what they are. FTR faked Dax Harwood having an injury and then hit the Big Rig. The crowd even counted along for the pin.

Leyla Hirsch & Red Velvet vs. B3cca & Notorious Mimi

Yet another tag match on Elevation this week! Velvet came out 32-8 and Hirsch came out 22-7. B3cca and Mimi were waiting in the ring to make their tag team debut, although we know them both from singles competition. Hirsch hit a double suplex and tagged Velvet in. Velvet tripped Mimi into the ropes and hit a spinning kick to the head. Little did she know that Hirsch had made a blind tag, the ref signaled she was the legal woman, and she applied the arm breaker for the submission. They both tried to laugh it off like it was cool.

Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ryan Clancy

Hobbs came in with a singles record of 26-6. Eddie Kingston joined the commentary booth for this match. Clancy was waiting in the ring to make his debut as Hobbs’ opponent. Wight: “Opponent? He looks more like a sacrifice.” Indeed. Even Brinks and Hawkins looked more like competition for FTR than this skinny geek did for the muscular Hobbs. It took a minute for him to take Clancy out with the Torture Rack, maybe less.

QT Marshall vs. Zack Clayton

Marshall did his own introduction, telling Roberts to shut up, bringing a singles record of 24-11 to the match along with Factory family. He proceeded to make fun of Clayton’s connection to JWoww from Jersey Shore, and Clayton was having none of it and started whipping his ass in and outside of the ring. Clayton hit a fisherman buster but Marshall kicked out. Marshall rolled him up seconds later. Wight: “Rookie mistake! I see great potential in him though.” Clayton will definitely be back after they made this much of a big deal out of him on Elevation.

Andrade El Idolo (w/ Jose the Assistant) vs. Avery Good

Idolo came out with his signature mask and pinstripe tear away suit along with Jose and a singles record of 8-3. If looks could kill then the 0-1 Good would have been dead before the bell even rang. Idolo nearly took his head off in the corner with a clothesline, put the boots to him, and gave him a thunderous chop. Kingston: “My man’s ready to go! I’d love to punch him in the face.” Idolo gave him a suplex into the turnbuckle. Kingston: “And those ropes hurt. Steel cables! You’re gonna feel it.” Good tapped out immediately when Idolo locked up the submission and tried to rip his arm off.

The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. Kevin “KM” Matthews & Joey Ace

“The Acclaimed about to throw you around. Got these bitches running like Antonio Brown. Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, shout to Betty White cause we always stay golden.” Max Caster also got in a line referencing KM’s time on Impact Wrestling. You wouldn’t have any doubt who was who watching given Joey Ace was half his size. Bowens took him apart and did the hand sign before screaming “Everybody loves The Acclaimed!” Caster tagged in and they gave Ace a double suplex. Kingston: “He needs to tag Kev. I’ve been in many locker rooms with him. Kev can go!” Ace finally escaped and gave KM that hot tag. He hit a nice standing dropkick, The Acclaimed doubled teamed him for a bit, then Kev blocked a back body drop and tagged in Ace. Why? Bowens spiked him, Caster did the Mic Drop, done. The logic of KM giving his partner the tag completely baffled me here.

Dante Martin vs. Action Andretti

Martin brought a singles record of 31-14. Andretti was waiting in the ring for him with a record of 0-0. He looked confident for a rookie though and even managed a shooting star press, but Martin kicked out of it at one. Martin flipped him inside out onto his face and hit the double springboard moonsault for the quick pin. Kingston: “He almost floated out of the ring. Can we get a replay?” Tony Schiavone: “No.” A fun squash albeit super fast. With a name like “Action Andretti” I wanted to see more of what the kid could do.

The Dark Order (Preston “10” Vance, Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) & The Blade

Matt Hardy led the Hardy Family Office out to the ramp. Private Party sported a record of 11-2 and Blade 22-12. Silver 25-7, Reynolds 23-14, and Vance 37-6 respectively as they came out with the rest of their own family. Hardy’s crew jumped them while they were posing on the ring apron before the opening bell, and Evil Uno visibly protested from the top of the entryway. Kingston on Vance: “You always need a muscle guy in the group.” He tried to put the full nelson on Blade but Hardy broke it up from the outside. Silver got the hot tag and took care of Private Party all by himself. Kassidy got a Liger Bomb before Blade made the save. With an assist from the Dark Order, Silver flipped him inside out and made the pin.

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by First Class. I think I would have preferred six to seven matches with each of them going a few minutes longer as opposed to having 10 in just under 50 minutes. The opener got some time and the main event did as well but everything in the middle went by super fast. Keep your eye on Zack Clayton and “Big Kev” as Kingston called KM. I barely saw enough of Andretti to know this for sure... but his shooting star press looked good so I think there’s potential in him. They really need to make up their minds about Notorious Mimi. As much as they keep bringing her back it might be time to give her an AEW contract. Nothing was bad tonight, so watch it all.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback and thoughts on the show in the comments section below. You can hit me up on social media too. See you tomorrow night for another episode of AEW Dark!

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