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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Jan. 31, 2022): Penta has zero fear of Serpentico

Episode 48 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!

Lance Archer vs. Chase Oliver

The show opened hot with Archer “throwing his opponent to the ring” as announced by Justin Roberts, bringing a record of 43-9 with him. They didn’t even bother to give us poor Chase Oliver’s record. He put the kid in the corner and teased a chop, and the crowd booed when he didn’t deliver it. Archer put him on the top rope, hit the Blackout, stood on him with his left boot and let the ref count the inevitable. He grabbed a mic shortly after.

“Cleveland! Shut the hell up. I did not come here for you. You’re nothing but sheep. You cheer for everybody that comes out here. You shut up, you suck. I came back, for everything. Hangman’s so full of shit it’s like he’s got a mouthful, and it just so happens he’s the AEW world champion, so he’s on the list. Everybody dies... on my list.”

Brandi Rhodes vs. KiLynn King

King got her own introduction for this match with an overall record of 14-12 from 2021. Schiavone: “She’s an Ohio native and they love her here in Cleveland.” Rhodes entered with a record of 14-3, and Arn Anderson came out with her with what appeared to be the run sheet in his hand. Mark Henry claimed it was a Waffle House menu. King got the first near fall of the match and a series of arm drags, causing Rhodes to roll out and regroup. King hit a kick through the ropes while Rhodes was talking to Anderson and threw her back in, but Rhodes got on offense as King as coming back in. She kicked King in the head for a two count. King fired up with her own kicks. That only seemed to make Rhodes even more mad when she responded in kind. King recovered though and caught a kick before picking up Rhodes for a slam. They traded “boo/yay” forearms back and forth. Rhodes hit a pump kick, a right cross, and applied the Stretch Marks for the tap. Arn stepped in to raise her hand.

Jay Lethal vs. Casey Carrington

Lethal brought a 2022 record of 3-0 to the ring and stopped to greet a fan who was wearing one of those single color tuxedos that Kazarian and Daniels used to wear in TNA. Carrington was waiting for him in the ring to make his AEW debut. Lethal did a suicide dive and hit a Flair strut to celebrate nailing it perfectly. Back in the ring Carrington got an enzuigiri and briefly had the advantage, but Lethal did a cartwheel into a dropkick and leapt back to his feet. Carrington reversed a slam for a near fall but Lethal did a forward roll and the Macho Man elbow in response. The Lethal Injection ended it moments later.

Anna Jay (w/ The Dark Order) vs. Nikki Victory

Anna Jay brought a 23-11 record to this match. Victory was waiting in the ring for her to (you guessed it) make her AEW debut. Victory tried to get off to a hot start but Jay immediately took over after one near fall and applied the Queen’s Gambit for a lightning fast submission.

Matt Sydal, Dante Martin & Lee Moriarty vs. The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto) w/ Anthony Ogogo

The Factory brought a trios record of 3-1 to the ring. Sydal, Martin and Moriarty had no trios record since this was their first time working together in the division (which I must note still doesn’t have a champion let alone title belts). The Factory jumped them before the opening bell and Solo went to work on Moriarty. He recovered and hit a standing crossbody for a near fall before tagging in Sydal. Sydal hit a standing moonsault and Solo tagged out to Comoroto. All three faces hit a dropkick but he no sold it and overpowered everyone. As he pressed Martin with one hand, Sydal hit another dropkick and Martin landed on top of him for a near fall. This causes Comoroto to roll out to regroup.

Marshall tagged in and the Cleveland crowd immediately chanted “QT sucks!” Sydal went for a move and Ogogo grabbed his legs, so Bryce Remsburg threw him out. Comoroto tagged in and the heels cut off the ring to work Sydal over. Sydal finally escaped Marshall’s grasp and leapt across the ring to give Martin the hot tag. Solo was now the legal man but all the heels hit the ring to break up the pin. The Factory took out Moriarty and Sydal on the outside and the heels triple teamed Martin on the inside, but he still kicked out of the pin. Moriarty and Sydal got their revenge by taking out Comoroto. Martin hit his corner to corner moonsault on Solo and made the cover. Excellent trios action!

Thunder Rosa & Ruby Soho vs. Megan Meyers & Joseline Navarro

Rosa entered first with a record of 46-7. Soho followed her with a record of 13-3. Meyers and Navarro were waiting in the ring to make their tag team debut. Soho took a right hand from Meyers when she wasn’t the legal competitor and then she tried to take advantage once she tagged in, but Rosa got the tag and knocked her partner off the apron for good measure. Rosa nailed Meyers with the double dropkick to the chest and got a near fall. Soho tagged back in and went for a catapult into her partner for the pin, but Navarro broke up the pinfall. Rosa tagged back in and hit the Thunder Driver to end it. The newcomers were a little sloppy but this was still okay overall. Mercedes Martinez came out to beg Rosa for a fight. Rosa begged her to come down to the ring and do it as Soho held her back.

Penta El Zero Miedo (w/ Alex Abrahantes) vs. Serpentico

Serpentico brought a record of 12-60 and thankfully there was no Luther in sight. Penta brought a record of 57-28. Penta took a few chops from Serpentico that had no effect, then he knocked Serpentico right off his feet with the response. The serpent tried to slither out of the ring but Penta grabbed him by the legs and dragged him back in. Serpentico tried to avoid a dive but got kicked in the head anyway. Wight: “In a drawer full of knives...” Henry: “He’s not the sharpest.” Penta went for a kick on the outside and Serpentico moved at the last second so Penta kicked the ring post instead. Referee Aubrey Edwards ordered them to get back in the ring and Serpentico hit a thrust kick and a flatliner for a near fall. He went to the top rope for a senton but Penta got the knees up, then hit a slingblade for a near fall.

The two traded forearms back and forth as a fan at ringside in Cleveland held up a sign reading “FTR FEARS DEM BOYS” repeatedly. Serpentico managed to staggered Penta enough to send him outside, but Penta caught him in mid air on the suicide dive and dropped him right across the barricade. The crowd sang along as Penta called for the Fear Factor and hit it to bring this match to an abrupt end. Nice try Serpentico. Nice try!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you Houston rap legend Z-Ro, because just like Penta El Zero Miedo he has no fear and he doesn’t give a damn. Needless to say I recommend the main event of Elevation, but the trios match was also good and really highlighted how the faces had to continually overcome the odds. Given how much the crowd hates QT Marshall and his crew, the fan reactions were as strong for that one as they were for Penta. Everything else was fine but the Anna Jay match was an absolute zero (no pun intended) so feel free to skip it. Keep an eye on Casey Carrington too — he didn’t mess up any spots working with Lethal so I think he’s got some potential.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below. You can also contact me on social media — I promise I don’t bite (much). See you tomorrow night for another episode of AEW Dark!