Episode 91 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, “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard and Paul Wight called the action. Let’s get to it!
TONIGHT on #AEWDarkElevation, catch @AthenaPalmer_FG, #BestFriends @trentylocks @SexyChuckieT & @azucarRoc in action, @AriyaDaivari takes on @Takesoup, @BranCutler faces @manscoutmanning, plus so much more!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 28, 2022
▶️ Tune in at 7/6c to https://t.co/lBSV4sbfpB! pic.twitter.com/j83o5cpNbn
Actually before we do here’s a quick note — AEW advertised ten matches on social media this morning, but when the live stream went up on YouTube it read “8 Matches: Kingston & Ortiz, Athena, Konosuke Takeshita, Best Friends & More!” Will we actually get the original ten matches advertised? Let’s find out.
The Bunny (w/ Penelope Ford) vs. Blair Onyx
The Bunny brought a record of 9-7 on Elevation to this contest. Blair Onyx brought a 0-3 record and got punched right in the face before the opening bell. Menard: “I want to know — who hurt her?” Wight: “Bunny enjoys scaring people. Hurting people.” Commentary seemed to have trouble deciding whether her opponent was named Blair Onyx or Black Onyx, but it didn’t really matter either way, because Bunny took her Down the Rabbit Hole in about a minute flat.
Brandon Cutler vs. Manscout Jake Manning
Cutler’s overall record in AEW was 10-25-2. Manning brought a singles record of 0-1 and this time he actually had a scouting handbook on him, which he tucked into his singlet before the match and pulled out during the match to keep reading. He kept running the ropes while reading it and after Cutler missed with a series of lariats Cutler tripped him and then smashed his head into the book in the corner turnbuckle. Manning grounded Cutler and applied a chinlock, then pounded on Cutler’s back when he tried to escape, but Cutler hit him with a high back body drop, a scoop slam, a drop elbow and a dab elbow. Wight: “That’s the first time he’s ever hit that!” Fireman’s carry into an airplane spin that as usual for Cutler left both men dizzy. Manning fell first and Cutler got on top for a schoolboy roll up pin. “The, Elite. The, the, Elite.”
Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Emi Sakura & Maki Itoh
You know it’s going to be a good episode of Dark or Elevation when Maki F’n Itoh is on the show! The team of Itoh and Sakura had a combined tag team record of 1-0, and Itoh tried to sing her theme song even though her microphone didn’t seem to be working so well. She did get out a “thank you” at the end as Sakura rolled her eyes at the whole thing.
What an entrance!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 29, 2022
See @maki_itoh & @EmiSakura_gtmv in tag team action against #TheProblem @MarinaShafir & #TheNativeBeast @nylarosebeast!
Tune in to #AEWDarkElevation right now: https://t.co/da1INIPAyD pic.twitter.com/I3CKrfzIgS
Rose and Shafir brought a team record of 7-1 to this contest. Sakura and Rose started out, and after a stalemate both Shafir and Itoh tagged in. Itoh slapped her in the face and Shafir shoved her to the ground. Itoh took a wrist lock and Shafir broke it. Shafir did a judo throw. Itoh did an elbow to the face and tagged Sakura in. Sakura trapped her arm and sat on her for a spot of tea as Itoh mimicked her. Itoh missed her falling headbutt and Shafir tagged in Rose. Rose did body work and tagged Shafir in to do more. Shafir tagged Rose right back in but Itoh hit a headbutt and a DDT, then tagged in Sakura for crossbody blows to both women. Sakura and Itoh went for ten punches in the corner. Shafir threw Itoh out and they brawled on the floor until Shafir got the better of it. Rose hit Sakura with a spear and a beast bomb for the win. I want this same match on Dynamite or a pay per view with ten more minutes and Itoh’s team coming out on top! Tony Khan, make it happen.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Ari Daivari (w/ The Trustbusters)
Daivari brought a singles record of 5-4 to this match. Wight reminded us that he lost $50,000 to Matt Hardy last week. Takeshita brought a singles record of 7-0 on Elevation along with a nice crowd ovation for his arrival. Takeshita tied up his hair before the opening bell and then the two locked up. Shoulder tackle by Takeshita. Leapfrog, drop down, head kick. As the match was going on, Don Callis and his rose colored glasses walked down the entrance ramp. Takeshita hit a Blue Thunder Bomb and Callis was all smiles. Daivari tried to throw strikes at Takeshita for a classic “boo yay” spot and lost the war. Pump kick in the corner. Suplex. Near fall. Takeshita shot a glance at Callis and Daivari kicked him in the face. Frog splash for a near fall by Daivari. Daivari missed a clothesline and ate a huge elbow. O’Connor roll into a bridging German suplex for the win! Callis was all smiles again. What could dastardly Don be up to?
Kip Sabian cut a promo on Alex Reynolds of Dark Order. “I heard the whispers. It was a lucky pin. It was any man’s match to win. I took my eye off the ball for three seconds and that Alex is luck. You are a very good professional wrestler but we are nothing alike. You have no idea what it’s like to be me. Forgotten. Left out in the cold. But I embrace the change because this is art. You want to go for round three? That’s fine by me. But there’s no doubt you will be a footnote in this story of redemption.”
Lee Moriarty vs. Robert Anthony
Moriarty brought a singles record of 11-4. Anthony had a record of 0-1. Commentary sold the idea that Moriarty was taking Anthony lightly at the beginning, then that Anthony started showboating after his early success and it backfired. The thing is Moriarty was doing it too, like licking his hand before a chop, and Anthony gave him a series of southpaw chops right back. Moriarty tried to roll him up for a near fall then did a float over into a crossface for the submission.
Jay Lethal & Satnam Singh (w/ Sonjay Dutt) vs. Joe Alonzo & GPA
Lethal and Singh brought a team record of 4-0. Alonzo and GPA were teaming together for the first time. On my sheet there are four matches left after this so 50% of what was taped after this bout won’t air. Singh planted his opponent, tagged in Lethal, and Lethal put him on his shoulders for Singh to do an alley oop choke slam. Lethal immediately made the pin and his whole crew did a Flair strut.
Backstage it was time for an “All Ego” Ethan Page interview with Lexi. He told Matt Hardy and Private Party that they weren’t leaving, and that they had to go get dressed for a match. “Smart” Mark Sterling showed up with Daivari and Sterling said that Hardy needs his $50,000 back. Page: “You think this is a joke? You guys want to joke around?” Page paid back Daivari by saying he could use the Twist of Fate rent free any time he wanted. Hardy wasn’t pleased. Page was.
Best Friends & Rocky Romero vs. Yabo & Freedom Ramsey & Davey Bang
Best Friends and Romero brought a trios record of 1-0 for 2022. Considering 2022 is almost over it’s probably not going much beyond 2-0 if at all. Their opponents Bang, Ramsey and Yabo were “making their trios debut” which tells you who is going to win. On top of that Yabo was literally dressed like a clown and doing tricks with balloons, which prompted Wight to say he got thrown out of McDonald’s as a kid due to his hatred of clowns. On the other hand he did claim that Yabo had stolen his tie. Yabo tried to do some juggling and Chuck Taylor was having none of it. He tagged in Beretta to run over Davey Bang, hit a DDT, and throw away the juggling balls. Yabo ran in and ate a suplex. Ramsey ran in and ate a double high knee from Roppongi Vice. Sole Food for Davey Bang. Group hug. Double team Strong Zero on Bang for the pin.
Athena vs. Laynie Luck
Athena brought a singles record of 15-2. Luck was unlucky at 0-1. Athena cold cocked her at the opening bell, smashed her face into the mat repeatedly, and tossed her out of the ring like garbage. When she brought her back in the ring she applied a crossface and refused to immediately let go after the submission, then gave Luck more of a beating after the bell with blindside strikes and fish hooks to the face. She shook her hair at the camera, jumped out of the ring and said “I’m coming for you” which I can assume was a message meant for either Jamie Hayter or Jade Cargill. Probably Hayter.
Matt Hardy & Private Party vs. Chaos Project & Isaiah Moore
Chaos Project was teaming with Isaiah Moore for the first time. I think I understand “eight matches” now — this match was a bonus match signed by Ethan Page after the confrontation backstage. Hardy and the Party were 6-1 as a trio coming in. Per usual Luther used Serpentico like a human battering ram. Eventually Hardy got the tag and Riccaboni reminded us he couldn’t legally use the Twist of Fate, but he could certainly do the turnbuckle “delete delete delete” with Moore. He slammed Moore, Kassidy did a swanton, and Quen did a 450 for the pin.
Mark Sterling came out with Daivari to interrupt the Hardy Boyz music. Daivari: “Matt Hardy, not only did you hit me with an illegal Twist of Fate, you stole $50,000 from me. So I did the responsible thing and got myself some legal representation, the best in AEW. Sterling was also kind enough to offer me the services of Tony Nese and Josh Woods, so it’s the three of us against you next week. Hit +my+ music!” The Hardy Boyz music played anyway.
Eddie Kingston & Ortiz vs. The Factory (Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo)
Looks like we’re getting all ten matches after all! The Factory brought a team record of 4-9. Kingston and Ortiz had a team record of 5-1 and Kingston had a “Deez Nuts” holiday shirt, which Riccaboni wouldn’t say out loud, but was happy to tell you was available from Shop AEW. Comoroto had his way with Ortiz as Kingston had to watch and wait for the tag. Ortiz hit a low blow and a clothesline and leapt across the ring to tag in the anxious Eddie. He hit rapid fire chops on Solo, then rapid fire chops on Comoroto when he ran into his partner, then tagged Ortiz back in. Scoop slam by Kingston, leg drop by Ortiz, Comoroto broke up the pin. Backbreakers by Comoroto back to back. This time it was Kingston’s turn to break up a near fall by Solo. Comoroto got thrown out and Kingston hit a DDT on Solo. Ortiz trapped his shoulders to the mat for three and Kingston spit on the camera, but he didn’t get a steel chair or try to pummel his opponents post-match, so Ortiz is turning out to be a calming influence on his friend after all! Well, +somewhat+ calming.
What to watch/skip
Today’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by this Blue Thunder Bomb compilation. Takeshita vs. Daivari was a must watch this week but for better or worse that’s also because there’s something going on with Don Callis. I want to know where this is headed and I’m sure you do too. Cutler vs. Manning was the most fun. Bunny vs. Onyx was the most skippable. The match of the show was Rose & Shafir vs. Sakura & Itoh, although in my ideal version of AEW we’d see Itoh contend for a singles title. That’s the only gift I want for Christmas.
Cageside commentary crew! Share your thoughts in the comments section below and find me on Twitter for even more wrestling talk. See you for a recap of AEW Dark tomorrow after it airs at 7 PM ET, 6 CT.