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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Jan. 24, 2022): Hobbs and Starks, not Hobbs and Shaw

Episode 47 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!

Leyla Hirsch vs. Brittany Blake

Hirsch brought a record of 27-12 to the ring. Blake was making her AEW debut. The announcers debated the “new attitude” of Leyla Hirsch seen over the last few weeks, and Wight made the comment that the women’s division in AEW is so deep and competitive that it doesn’t hurt to have an attitude. He also criticized Mark Henry for “mellowing out” when he used to put people in the Hall of Pain. Blake tried coming off the ropes and got destroyed by a knee for an immediate pin.

Private Party (w/ Matt Hardy) vs. Myles Hawkins & Action Andretti

Private Party brought a tag team record of 26-17. Andretti and Hawkins were making their tag team debut, but you’ve seen both of them on the Dark shows before. Hawkins got double teamed while referee Bryce Remsburg was distracted, with Hardy watching at ringside to make sure his proteges were doing their job correctly. Hawkins finally escaped and tagged Andretti, who hit a neck breaker and kipped up before getting kicked in the face. While he was staggering around Marq Quen went up top to hit a shooting star press, then he sat on Hawkins to make the pin. Short but fun. Shots, shots, shots!

Brandi Rhodes vs. Willow Nightingale

Rhodes received some boos as she made her way to the ring with a singles record of 13-3. Nightingale was waiting for her in the ring with an AEW record of 0-5. Nightingale hit a Russian leg sweep and went for a submission, Rhodes got her shoulders on the mat for a near fall, so she stood up and hit a superkick instead. Unfortunately a missed splash in the corner let to Rhodes hitting her with a series of kicks, and then it was her turn to apply a submission. Nightingale tapped immediately. Henry: “Anything where you pull the elbow back and it touches the knee, that’s dangerous.”

Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky (w. Dan Lambert) vs. Logan Easton Laroux & Mike Fowler

The “Men of the Year” Sky and Page brought a 10-1 tag team record to the ring along with American Top Team’s d-bag Dan Lambert. Laroux and Fowler were waiting for them, making their debut as a team although they have seen singles action in AEW before. Sky dusted off his shoulders and hit the Ace of Spades to bring a quick squash match to an end.

Red Velvet vs. Janai Kai

Velvet brought a record of 42-20 to the ring. Kai was waiting for her with a record of 0-1. Kai overpowered her into the corner and was told to break clean, but she threw a couple of strikes, so Velvet turned her around and did the same and used a long leg to put a boot to her. She gave Kai an axe kick through the ropes and a face wash, but Kai put a foot in Velvet’s face in revenge when they came back in. The announcers couldn’t stop talking about Kai’s look — mohawk, kickboxing trunks, mouth guard and all. She put Velvet in a neck hold but she escaped, tripped Kai into the ropes, gave her a knee strike from behind and a standing moonsault for the near fall. Kai missed with lefts and rights but Velvet connected with the Final Slice for three. You can see why Kai was booked for TERMINUS.

Santana & Ortiz vs. Breaux Keller & Goldy

The Proud & Powerful team of Santana & Ortiz brought a 30-10 record to this match. Keller & Goldy were waiting for them in the ring to make their debut in the tag team division. The young upstarts tried to double team Ortiz as Santana waited patiently on the ring apron. Goldy hit him with some elbows, Ortiz responded with chops, slaps, and a lariat before Santana made a blind tag and the two cleared the ring. Goldy ate a knee, an enzuigiri, and the Puerto Rican Hammer”clothesline for the pin. Wight: “Goldy just got turned to brass!”

Thunder Rosa & Ruby Soho vs. Leva Bates & Jordan Blade

Rosa brought a record of 45-7, while Soho came to the ring 12-3. Bates and Blade were waiting for them in the ring, having never teamed before, but “The Librarian” had a book in her hand and put a finger to her lips to call for silence. Wight: “If we had more librarians like that I would have spent more time in the library.” Henry: “Blue hair?” Wight: “That works for me!” I wouldn’t mind if the librarian looked like Blade either. She’s tall, strong, and athletic. Rosa picked her up and hit the Thunder Rosa Driver but Bates broke up the pin. Rosa put her in the Peruvian Necktie to finish things off.

Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty

Starks came out 38-8 and Hobbs 37-17. Sydal and Moriarty brought a combined record of 2-1 as a tag team. The announcers talked about Starks spending too much time posing, showboating and mocking people, but couldn’t deny the talent of the FTW champion. Hobbs tagged in and went to work on Moriarty with pure physical power. He even did a bear hug to wear Hobbs down, although Moriarty clapped the ears and kicked him in the head to escape and tag Sydal. Starks tagged in as well and Sydal kicked him in the ear before the flying knees led to a near fall — Hobbs made the save. Moriarty and Sydal tried to double team Hobbs and ate a double clothesline. Hobbs threw Moriarty into Starks as he was doing a spear and they made the pin together.

Starks: “You want to talk about lethal? Well this is lethal here — me with a live mic. Dante Martin, here’s the deal, I want you to come out here and say what you’ve got to say, and that’s that you made a mistake turning on Team Taz.” Martin ran down, kicked Hobbs in the head, took down Starks for some ground and pound, but Hobbs pulled him off for a two on one beatdown. Sydal and Moriarty made the save. Hobbs and Starks backed off once they were outnumbered and the faces stood tall to close the show.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s edition of “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Hobbs and Shaw. In truth the “what to watch” portion is relatively short this time — see the Team Taz All Stars in the main event. Everything else was a squash that barely got any time, although I definitely wish that Blade and Bates had been given a few more minutes. Janai Kai impressed me too.

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!

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