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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Jan. 17, 2022): Private Party up! Up in here

Episode 46 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 Mark Henry and Excalibur. Let’s talk about what went down (or up) on Elevation this week!

Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty vs. JR Miller & Marcus Kross

You should already know Kross if you’re a regular viewer of the dark shows, but this was his first time teaming with Mr. Miller. He and Sydal exchanged kicks in the early going, which Henry quipped was “not very smart” of Kross. Moriarty came in and promptly put Kross in an abdominal stretch, but he hit a headbutt and tagged Miller in. Miller ate a double foot stomp and Sydal came right back in. Sydal gave him a double foot stomp too for good measure. Kross ran in and kicked Sydal’s knee from behind to get the crowd booing, and he kept yelling “I’ve been waiting for this” loudly enough to be heard over the announcers. Miller tagged out to Kross. Sydal hit a step up enzuigiri and gave Moriarty the hot tag. Sydal prevented a run in and Moriarty applied a Border City Stretch for the tap.

Tay Conti vs. Ameera

Conti brought a singles record of 51-9. Ameera was waiting for her in the ring with an AEW record of 0-0. Henry told us this would be “a really good test of wills” while Excalibur promoted the new Upper Deck trading cards. Somewhere I’ve actually got the first year of Upper Deck baseball cards from when they were new in the game. Conti hit Ameera with her version ofa Bossman Slam and then unloaded with right forearms. Three back to back pump kicks followed. Tay-Kay-Oh finished this quick squash. Henry: “It wasn’t easy.” Really? That’s not what I saw.

The Gunn Club (Austin & Colten Gunn) w/ Billy Gunn vs. JB Cole & T.I.M.

39-3 singles record for Austin and 40-1 for Colten as they made their way to the ring. Poppa Billy came out behind them and unzipped his jacket to reveal the “A** Boys” t-shirt. Cole and T.I.M. were making their tag team debut in AEW, and like Wednesday nights, you know what that means. T.I.M. and Cole both relied on arm wringers and double teaming early, the latter of which Aubrey Edwards was not happy about, and she verbally berated for not following the rules. Colten hit a high missile drop kick and yelled “I’m the best!” Austin tagged in and Cole hit a jawbreaker before tagging T.I.M. He got caught with a right hook to end his teams momentum. Colt 45 got the pin moments later. This was acceptable. Not great, but fine.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Labron Kozone

Kazarian brought a 2021 record of 32-7. Kozone was waiting for him in the ring with an overall AEW record of 0-1. Honestly now if you looked at both men without knowing anything about either of them, you’d think Kozone was the star and Kazarian was the journeyman. Kozone has a great physique and it looked weird for the bigger, more muscular man to be selling for Kaz. He hit a leaping headbutt at one point but Kaz kicked out at one. Henry was also a fan of Kozone’s purple and gold ring attire — I agree with him. Kozone missed with a right hook and ate a back elbow and a scoop slam before the middle rope leg drop. Double knees to the chest and crossface chicken wing finished Kozone. I know he’s 0-2 but right now he’s the man I want to see more of, and again that’s no disrespect to a long time wrestling legend like Kaz. I’m just calling it like I see it. If his promo skills are any good and he can work a longer match while calling it in the ring, Kozone’s on his way.

Ruby Soho vs. Kenzie Paige

“Destination unknown!” Soho brought an overall record of 11-3 to the ring. Paige brought a record of 0-1 in AEW. The crowd was firmly behind Soho, so she made the decision to let Paige beat her down to fire them up even more. Clothesline for a near fall. Paige kept kicking her in the back to show even more disrespect. Soho responded by driving her into a turnbuckle and unloading with a right forearm and a heel kick. Paige grabbed the ropes to avoid a whip and hit a thrust kick. Soho hit her own “No Future” head kick in response and knocked Paige out to get the pin. Short match, but fun.

Private Party vs. Chase Emory & Patrick Scott

I don’t mind Isiah Kassidy wrestling on his own or in tag team matches with the Hardy Family Office, but the chemistry between Quen and Kassidy was what got this team over to begin with, so I was happy they were together here. Private Party brought a 2021 record of 11-2 and their own security guard to open the velvet rope for their entrance. Emory and Scott were waiting in the ring to make their tag team debut. Quen took full mount but then paint brushed his opponent instead of laying in the ground and pound, then tagged in Kassidy so they could do splashes in stereo. Quen applied kidney punches to Emory while the ref was distracted. Emory hit a jawbreaker to get free but Quen cut off Scott when he got the tag with a bicycle kick. You know what’s next right? Gin & Juice, 1-2-3, it’s over. Henry: “Bottle service in the club!”

Jay Lethal vs. Alexander Moss

Main event time! Lethal’s 2022 record was 2-0 and soon to be 3-0, as his opponent Moss was waiting for him in the ring with a record of 0-2. Henry: “He looks like a deer in the headlights.” Accurate! Series of clotheslines, leg lariat, backbreaker combination, top rope, Macho Man flying elbow, two count.

Moss went for a firemans’s carry but Lethal escaped and got a backslide for two before getting the Lethal Injection for three. As Excalibur said it was “just... like... that!” This was a fine way to finish Elevation.

What to watch/skip

In honor of the return of Marq Quen to team with Isiah Kassidy, this week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by DMX’s “Party Up (Up In Here).” Rest in power X. I’m torn about how to rate this episode. I didn’t hate anything, but almost nothing was even remotely competitive, and I’d like at least one match where the underdog has a slight chance. Only Paige vs. Soho and Lethal vs. Moss came remotely close. I can’t say anything was bad though, it was just 38 minutes of almost entirely one-sided dominant victories.

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