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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Oct. 3, 2022): Brian Cage is back!

Episode 83 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. The announce team of Ian Riccaboni and “No BS” Paul Wight handled the commentary tonight. Let’s get into it!

Skye Blue vs. Trish Adora

We’re off and running for the three year anniversary week of Dynamite with the 7-10 Skye Blue. Adora brought a record of 0-1. Riccaboni was sure to point out that Adora was a former contender for the ROH Women’s Title, which is exactly what I’d expect him to do. Adora was twisting Blue up like a pretzel, which was exactly what I’d expect +her+ to do. Wight made fun of referee Paul Turner but then was sure to thank him for booking his air travel. Adora bear hugged Blue and as Wight said “turned it into the slowest German suplex” ever to bridge a near fall, but Blue answered with Sky Fall to pick up the win.

Brian Cage (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Tracy Williams

I was honestly surprised this match was going second on the card. but I was happy to see the 31-6 Cage and his manager Prince Nana all the same. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams was waiting for him in the ring to make his AEW debut. Riccaboni told audiences new to Williams that he’s like a surgeon with his wrestling acumen, to which Wight responded he’d need to be since Cage would rip his arm off and eat it. Williams avoided a pump handle and a lariat and both men exchanged side headlock takeovers. Cage hit a shoulder tackle, Williams did a leapfrog, Cage hit a back elbow and a kick but missed a charge into the corner. He hit a high kick to leave Williams dazed on the apron, stood on the second rope, and lifted Williams back into the ring for a slam. He mounted Williams from behind to pummel him with forearms, did a few curls with Williams and dropped him, and Wight said he was “playing with his food.” Exchange of forearms ended with another kick to put Williams down. He grabbed a boot when Cage tried to paintbrush him, hit a hard chop, and surprised Cage with a suplex. Splash in the corner. Chop. Cage blocked a vertical suplex, Williams hit a back elbow, Cage rang Williams’ bell and set him up top, Williams countered with a DDT on the top rope and put Cage in the STF. Cage powered up out of it, threw Williams down, and finished him with the Drill Claw. This was much more of a back and forth match than you’d expect for “The Machine” in his return, and I wasn’t mad about it at all.

Lance Archer vs. Cheeseburger

The finish to this match is much more predictable. Archer brought a record of 51-10 to the ring. The only surprise was that he didn’t throw Cheeseburger down to the ring ahead of him. Instead World Famous CB was waiting for him in the ring with a record of 0-2. Burger tried to jump him from behind for a rear naked choke and utterly failed. Archer minced CB into meat and Wight declared he was a taco salad while Riccaboni said we’d need a spatula to scrap him off the mat. Archer threw him all the way across the ring with a suplex and the crowd rallied for Cheeseburger to make a comeback. Archer begged him for a few shots to the face and then promptly wiped him out with multiple charges into the turnbuckle. Burger tried to stop the Blackout with elbows to the head, but “Everybody Dies” against Archer. Riccaboni declared it “our second match of Elevation” even though it was the third, so they undoubtedly changed the order the matches aired in regardless of when they were taped. Riccaboni may want to be careful about it in the future, or some producer might want to give him a heads up the matches will air out of order next time.

Abadon vs. Abby James

Abadon brought a record of 35-3 to the ring. Jane was waiting for her with a record of 0-1. This was a 100% squash. James got in zero offense and got hit with Black Dahlia for the pin.

This gave us extra time for a video package highlighting Brian Cage and promoting the fact he’d be on Dynamite this week for the three year anniversary show, facing Wardlow for the TNT Title. “You think you’re a star because you powerbombed some bums? I can do that every day of the week and twice on Sunday.” Challenge laid down!

Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Primal Fear

Primal Fear entered first to make their AEW debut. The 1-0 trio of Dalton Castle & The Boys sauntered to the ring for what Riccaboni informed us was a ROH Six Man Title defense. He even declared that Primal Fear had a legitimate chance to win. Even without looking at the spoilers I don’t believe that for a moment. Wight seemed jealous of the fact Castle had Boys to fan him when he was hot and said he had been doing six man tags all wrong. Eventually Brent Tate got cut off so that Primal Fear could give him a three-on-one beating. It didn’t last long though as Castle got the hot tag and threw everyone around. “Bring me a Boy!” Per his usual shtick he threw them into Primal Fear on the outside, then used them both at the same time on PF’s Adrien Soriano before finishing him with the Bangarang as expected.

Penelope Ford & Kip Sabian vs. Gia Scott & LSG

Time for intergender action! Sabian 15-10, Ford 33-14, and presumably they’re at least 1-0 in the mixed tag team division. There must be one because Gia Scott and LSG were listed as “making their AEW mixed tag debut” so that settles that. Wight complimented Ford on how much she had improved in his time away, and case in point she hit a cutter, bridged backward and submitted Scott with a Muta Lock. “That was really impressive by Penelope Ford.” Riccaboni confirmed that they’re now 2-0 in the division. Thanks Ian!

Lucha Bros. vs. Dante Martin & Tony Deppen

Top Flight’s music hit, but instead of Darius Martin we got Dante teaming with the 0-1 Tony Deppen (with Martin’s record being 38-17). Alex Abrahantes accompanied the Lucha Bros. to the ring, sporting a tag team record of 28-13. Martin and Rey Fenix locked up, broke clean, locked up again, Fenix overpowered him into the ropes and let him go. Martin got a side headlock on him but Fenix punched his way out. Martin blocked a hip toss and did a backslide, then we had rolling two counts to make Aubrey Edwards “earn her pay” as Wight said on commentary. Deppen and Penta tagged in. Deppen caught his glove when he tried to throw it out to the crowd and threw it back into his face. Deppen landed some knees and kicks before Fenix even the odds with an assist from the apron, and when Martin tried to help he got double kicks to the chin. Deppen tried to fight the Bros. off with chops but Penta put him down with a pump kick and Renix did a leg drop. Penta did a flying drop kick to the rump and Riccaboni called it a “Rump Shaker.” Penta did a shush for a chop and Wight complained about gimmick infringement. Deppen fought his way out of trouble with high knees and tagged in Martin to run wild on the Bros. He leapt off Fenix’ back for a springboard side headlock takeover and did a cannonball to the outside. Martin tried to pin Fenix and he kicked out at two, so he tagged Deppen in for the assist. Fenix blocked it and tagged Penta back in. You know what’s next — double stomp, Fear Factor, 1-2-3.

Rocky Romero, Danhausen & Best Friends vs. The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Nick Comoroto & Cole Karter)

This was the first time for this particular set of Factory members teaming together in eight-man action. Comoroto is still doing his feather boa and sucker thing. I’m not a fan of it. Best Friends, Romero and Danhausen were +also+ teaming together for the first time in the eight-man division. Danhausen started the match with Solo and the crowd was quickly chanting for him. He took Solo down with a ‘rana but Solo quickly tagged Marshall to the expected chorus of boos. Danhausen bit a finger, Marshall knocked him down and mocked the curse, Danhausen returned the favor and stood on him in the corner before tagging Romero. Marshall tagged out to Karter. Comoroto lent a hand from the ring apron, then he hit a dropkick and struck a pose before making the cover. Comoroto blind tagged in. The heels kept cutting off the ring to beat Romero down man after man. Wight: “It’s kind of a dirty move, but what does it do? It keeps Rocky from getting a breath.” Romero finally escaped by hitting a shiranui, then both Taylor and Beretta tagged in. That just lead to the heels cutting off the ring again to work on Beretta until the Best Friends evened the odds to give Marshall the Strong Zero. Romero did a jumping high five, we had a Best Friends hug, then Taylor jumped on the pile of Factory meat outside. Comoroto broke up the finisher on Marshall and he got the cutter before Romero made the save. Solo pulled Beretta up for a piledriver but Danhausen cursed him! That led to Danhausen lending an assist for the Strong Zero before Elevation immediately went off the air. Here’s a replay though!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Machine.” Have you been wondering where Mr. Cage has been on AEW programming? I get the feeling Miro is wondering the same thing. This is something All Elite Wrestling needs to address sooner rather than later, because the promotion can’t afford to have this many talented people feeling unhappy that they are underutilized. Putting Cage right back into title contention on Wednesday is a damn good start. What should you skip? Abadon’s match. Watch everything else.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your thoughts in the comments section below and find me on Twitter for even more wrestling talk. See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark!

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