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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Nov. 7, 2022): Kip Sabian isn’t underrated at this point

Episode 88 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 Paul Wight called the action. On with the show!

Abadon vs. Amy Rose

Abadon brought a 2022 record of 11-0 to this contest. Paul Wight gushed about their physique while Amy Rose blew a kiss to the crowd with a record of 0-0. Riccaboni was sure to note he knew Rose for her work in ROH as a manager, but not as a wrestler. Abadon took her down with a clothesline, delivered a running blow to her back while she was on the ropes, fish hooked her, and Rose tried to fight back with some kicks and a bulldog for a one count. Abadon grabbed her head, cracked her neck, and smiled their creepy smile. Thrust kick to the chest of Rose. Black Dahlia for three. Squash.

Dalton Castle & The Boys (c) vs. The Trustbusters (Ari Daivari, Slim J & Jeeves Kay) - ROH Six-Man Title Match

The Trustbusters entered first to make their six-man division debut flanked by Sonny Kiss and Parker Boudreaux. Dalton Castle and his Boys entered with a record of 4-0. As the “Peacock” and his Boys entered we got this statement from Wight: “You know Ian, there’s presentation, there’s showmanship, and then there’s standing out.” Indeed!

Castle waited patiently for a tag while the Boys took turns beating up Slim J. Daivari ran over to shove Brent off the ropes so that Slim J could get back on track, at which point Jeeves Kay tagged in for a scoop slam and a near fall. Brent escaped the clutches of the Busters and Castle got his long awaited hot tag. Suplex City! Boys being used as human darts! Boudreaux helped Kay escape the Bangarang, Slim J did a dive to wipe out the Boys and Kay got a near fall. Kay accidentally knocked Daivari off the apron and got picked up for the Bangarang, 1-2-3. Another fun title defense for Dalton Castle and The Boys!

Alex Reynolds interview backstage about facing Kip Sabian. “Kip he’s so talented but he feels the need to tell everybody he’s overlooked. He wears a box on his head like a child begging for people’s attention. Me, I’m the dark horse. I don’t need to bitch about that. it drives me to go out there and prove to people how good I am. Kip, I hope you’re ready.”

Athena vs. Abby Jane

Athena brought a singles record of 10-2 in AEW to this match as Paul Wight made sure to note we’ve seen a “mean streak” in her of late. Jane brought a singles record of 0-2. Jane had Athena reeling for the first minute of the match and even seemed to have her rocked with a discus punch and a head kick. Instead this only fired Athena up and she started brawling with her both inside and outside the ring, throwing her into the ring post and the steel steps while ref Mike Posey begged her to bring it back in the squared circle. Athena even started mocking his countout. She threw Jane back in and applied a crossface for the immediate tapout, then put it back on again even after the ref called for the bell, drawing boos from the crowd. She spit on Jane and pie-faced her for even more heat.

Lexy Nair came to interview QT Marshall and he said that Lee Johnson should get the time. “He’s the man who got me into AEW and I never got to give him a proper thank you. It’s time for Shotty to start the party. This isn’t about Danhausen, this is about me leaving a legacy behind. I’ve lost so much time, and I’ll be damned if I don’t take it all back.” Marshall: “I couldn’t have said it better myself!”

We had a segment where The Firm were in the ring. Private Party were being talked up by Stokely Carmichael (or talked down depending on your point of view) and Matt Hardy interrupted. Ethan Page had his music turned off and bragged about “deleting” him. Matt listened to his rant for a minute and then gave Carmichael a Twist of Fate while his back was turned. “He got so excited when you said Private Party would be the champs he passed out. He also gave us the rest of the night off!” He thanked Baltimore and we moved on.

Tay Melo (w/ Sammy Guevara) vs. Trish Adora

Melo brought an Elevation record of 22-0. Adora brought a singles record of 0-4 and got a nice reception from Baltimore as Wight noted she’s “tougher than a coffin nail.” Melo gave her a knee to the jaw, blew kisses to Guevara, and Adora came back with a series of chops plus one big forearm. Melo gave her a pump kick to the face right back. Guevara got on the apron to give her smooches as the crowd booed. More pump kicks in the corner. Wight: “She’s not afraid to go to the well when it works.” Tay KO for the three count. Squish squash.

Dante Martin vs. Eli Isom

Martin brought a 13-1 record in matches on Elevation. Isom brought a 2022 record of 0-1. Riccaboni put over that Isom had been around the world from Mexico to Germany working on his craft before coming back to AEW, and noted that Isom might have the “hometown advantage” as a ROH regular for 2021 wrestling here in Baltimore. He even put over that “we could be looking at the future” of wrestling between these two young men. I’d buy that. Isom with a sunset flip for two. Deep arm drag. Scoop slam. Running elbow for two. Isom kicked Martin the back and delivered a right forearm. Martin fought back with punches and a back elbow. Spear by Isom. Pop up neckbreaker for 2.5. Boot and a forearm from Martin. A second spear attempt by Isom missed. High crossbody from Martin for two. The crowd chanted for Dante as he picked Isom up. Isom countered Martin, went for “The Promise” (a brainbuster) and got countered. Martin slammed him and did a springboard to the outside, then threw Isom back in for the Nose Dive and the win. Excellent match from both men! Wight: “I’d like to see these two compete again.” Same.

QT Marshall, Lee Johnson & Cole Karter vs. Cheeseburger, Rhett Titus & Logan Easton LaRoux

I suppose if we’re going to keep pointing out this show was in B-More, you might as well have ROH fan favorite “The Original CB” Cheeseburger on the card. He was accompanied by fellow ROH regular Rhett Titus, and indie wrestler Logan LaRoux. (One of these things is not like the other.) Both teams were making their six-man division debut. All the crowd wanted to see is Cheeseburger go wild, so naturally Marshall and his Factory flunkies beat him down for the heat. In fact the heat segment went on so long I took a break and grabbed a snack.

Cheeseburger finally escaped and gave Titus the hot tag to clean house. Belly to belly on Karter. Dropkick on Johnson. The match broke down with everybody running in and Cheeseburger giving Marshall the Jushin Liger signature shotei palm strike. Unfortunately that didn’t lead to the win as everybody took their turns giving Titus a diamond cutter and Karter laid on top of him for the pin. Marshall: “Cut the music! I don’t need to see a replay of these pieces of crap. The Factory is running on all cylinders and I don’t give a damn what you say you piece of crap.” He was interrupted by a video on the big screen which looked like a bunch of static and a pipe or a nail. This upset Marshall to the point he left without finishing his promo.

Eddie Kingston & Ortiz vs. Joe Keys and Myles Hawkins

Kingston and Ortiz entered with records of 10-0 and 16-0 on Elevation respectively. Hawkins and Keys were waiting in the ring to make their tag team debut. There was a huge “Ed-die” chant before the match got underway. Riccaboni: “Loudest response on Dark so far.” Ortiz had his fun with Keys and flexed his biceps while Kingston waited on the apron. Keys hit a backbreaker and tagged in Hawkins. Every time I hear “Hawkins” I think of somebody else. Kingston tagged in, double team Russian leg sweep, Kingston applied the plum stretch, and got the immediate tap. He seemed like he was going to keep his cool for a change, then ran outside and got a steel chair instead, which Remsburg and Ortiz had to wrestle away from him. Kingston and Ortiz then took turns swiveling their hips to delight the fans, and when Kingston couldn’t outdo his partner he waved off the contest and we moved on. At this point I think we are watching Kingston’s matches for the post-match antics more than the actual wrestling... but hey, I like it!

Alex Reynolds (w/ John Silver) vs. Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford)

Sabian brought a record of 5-1 and his “underrated, over it” box as expected. Reynolds brought a record of 26-13 along with Johnny Hungee to even the odds. Did he though? Sabian managed to wipe them both out at the same time when he went to the outside, then drove knees into Reynolds’ back on the inside. Body roll into a foot stomp by Sabian for a near fall. Wight: “He’s hit the gym pretty hard, put on some size, and used that size and strength to become a pretty deadly player.”

Reynolds escaped a springboard suplex and it turned into an exchange of strikes. Reynolds turned Sabian upside down with a clothesline and Ford was concerned on the outside. Sabian recovered, called for a cannonball, delivered it and then played conductor to the crowd. Reynolds gave him a hard forearm while he was distracted and took control both outside and inside the ring. Tiger driver for a near fall. Reynolds set Sabian on the top rope but Sabian bit his ear to escape. Springboard DDT, anarchist suplex, Reynolds kicked out. Sabian went to the top rope for the double stomp, Reynolds moved, we had dueling inside cradles, but Sabian was the man who wound up on top of it for three. This was good!

Angelico, The Butcher & The Blade (w/ Bunny) vs. Best Friends & Rocky Romero (w/ Danhausen)

Angelico brought a 2022 singles record of 4-1. Butcher & Blade brought a tag team record of 28-15. Best Friends brought a record of 6-0 on Elevation while Romero’s record on this program was 4-0. Romero had to be the face-in-peril for a while until finally took Butcher down and gave Beretta the tag to clean house. Blade ate a clothesline and a satellite DDT followed by a flying knee before Angelico broke up the pin. Taylor took him out and they combined to give him Sole Food. Triple knee for Butcher. Group hug for the Friends and Romero! Bunny gave Beretta a low blow but Blade kicked out before three. Wight said he was like Duke Nukem “with balls of steel.” Romero took out Angelico with a dive. Taylor distracted the ref with a steel chair and Danhausen gave Blade a low blow! No balls of steel for him. Beretta hit the Jerry Lynn style piledriver for the win. Danhausen got high-fives all around as the show went off the air.

What to watch/skip

This week’s sponsor is Kip Sabian’s theme music “Over It.” This was an unusually long episode of Elevation (75 minutes) with an equally unusual high number of competitive quality matches. The only matches to skip are Abadon vs. Rose, Melo vs. Adora, and The Factory. Kingston & Ortiz had a squash too but as noted you don’t even watch them for the wrestling any more. Some people might hate that, but given how many years Kingston has been in this business and how currently beloved he is, I’m more than happy to see him get over in matches where he barely has to break a sweat. Good for him.

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.

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