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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Dec. 5, 2022): Kip Strikes Back

Episode 92 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 Tony Schiavone, “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard and Paul Wight were this week’s trio in the booth. On with the show!

Nick Comoroto (w/ Aaron Solo) vs. Hagane Shinno

Shinno brought a record of 0-1 to this contest. Comoroto brought a record of 9-15. Menard: “Nicky Boy! What’s not to love? The size, the hair, the power, the lollipop?” Wight and Schiavone were not a fan of the lollipop, and neither was Shinno after it was thrown in his face. Shinno picked it up off the canvas and threw it right back. He jumped on Comoroto trying to get a headlock and was shaken off with ease. Comoroto threw him into the corner to be abused and humiliated. Comoroto said “up yours” to the crowd, pulled Shinno up by the hair, and hit an uppercut. Comoroto jumped over Comoroto from the outside and kicked him in the chin but then got turned inside out with a clothesline. Comoroto hit a pair of backbreakers, Shinno grabbed the ropes to block the third one, then rolled him onto his shoulders when Comoroto yanked him away for the upset win! Solo joined his Factory comrade for a post-match attack on Shinno, but congrats to him on his first AEW win!

Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Alice Crowley & Kittle LaFleur

Rose and Shafir brought a team record of 8-1 to this match. LaFleur and Crowley were teaming together for the first time. Shafir stretched out LaFleur to the point she could have submitted her without Rose tagging in. Rose did and stomped on her anyway then picked her up for a scoop slam followed by a leg drop. She put LaFleur’s neck on the ropes to choke her. Eventually LaFleur escaped and crawled through Rose’s legs for the tag, but Shafir tagged in too and it was Crowley’s turn to take a beating. LaFleur tried to run in for the save and Rose tossed her out, then helped Shafir double team Crowley for the win. Complete one-sided dominance, but there seemed to be some tension with Vickie Guerrero at ringside.

Kiera Hogan vs. Nikki Victory

Hogan had a record of 11-4 heading into this contest. Commentary reminded everyone that Hogan was no longer part of the Baddies for Jade Cargill. Her opponent Victory brought a record of 0-3. Hogan tripped Victory into the ropes and hit her with a running hip attack from behind. Victory hit a crossbody in the corner and threw Hogan to the mat for a one count. Hogan rocked her with a couple of strikes and a lariat, then a charging one in the corner, then hip attack (shades of Toni Storm) and a sliding dropkick. Kick to the jaw. Victory kicked out at two. Hogan got up, hit the ropes, and Victory cut her off and hit a jawbreaker and a cutter for two. Chin buster by Hogan and she suplexed Victory right onto her neck for the pin. Ouch!

Top Flight (Darius & Dante Martin) vs. The Outrunners (Truth Magnum & Turbo Floyd)

Top Flight brought a 2022 team record of 4-2. The Outrunners were 0-1. Menard: “Who are these guys?! Holy smokes!” I know Menard is a heel and he’s supposed to be a dick, but you might try giving the opponents at least an +iota+ of credibility instead of burying them before the match even begins. Darius got double teamed for the heat as Dante complained to the referee. Darius escaped as Floyd tried to jump on him and Dante tagged in to start flipping and flying per his usual m.o. Magnum tagged in as well. Darius blind tagged, Dante hit a superkick, Darius face planted Magnum and Floyd made the save. Dante hit the Nose Dive for the pin and Darius picked up a young fan in a Claudio Castagnoli shirt to parade him around.

Ethan Page was backstage with Matt Hardy and Private Party. Page said their trios match was cancelled. “I’m not sending an injured wrestler to the ring especially when you represent me.” Page: “How about Rampage? You guys lost. You dropped the ball. On Dynamite you want to embarrass us. Did you forget? I’m the boss.” Hardy: “You want to fine them? Fine. Fine me.” Page: “We discussed this. There’s no option. We’re going to take it out of you guyses paychecks.” Hardy screamed... and then apologized. “This Wednesday, in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal, I will have your back. But you have to promise not to punish them any more. It’s between you and me.” Page: “I don’t need you to have my back. I need you to do what I say when I say it.” Page left. Private Party told Matt they’d be fine and not to let Ethan Page break him. On to our next match!

Emi Sakura vs. Madison Rayne

Sakura brought a record of 22-11 to this bout. Rayne was 3-4. Sakura attacked Rayne before the bell could even ring and Stephon Smith tried in vain to pull her off. Menard: “Forget the tea time, let’s get a cover and win this match. In and out!” In this case I agree with Menard because the less time we spend with Rayne in the ring, the better. She did the tea time spot anyway and offered some to Smith. Chops in the corner. “We will chop you” crossbody was blocked for once. Rayne hit an awful diving lariat, a decent northern lights suplex, and got a two count. Sakura hit a spinning DDT, a crossbody, got the double underhooks, and Rayne escaped for a cutter. Sakura kicked out at two. Sakura blocked Cross Rayne and got a roll up for the pin. This match was bowling shoe ugly and not Sakura’s fault. She sat on ref Stephon Smith’s knee to celebrate her victory.

Lee Moriarty (w/ W. Morrissey) vs. Serpentico (w/ Luther)

Serpentico brought a record of 13-99. That means he’s soon to hit the century mark in losses, something that Wight was quick to point out on commentary, but then he pointed out the upside was having that many matches was a testament to his durability. Moriarty brought a record of 12-4. Moriarty did what I’ve always wanted to do — he screamed at Luther to “SHUT, UP.” Moriarty snapped Serpentico face first into the turnbuckle, dropped him with an uppercut, and pulled him up by an arm. Serpentico fired up but missed every shot he threw and Moriarty mocked him by saying “too easy.” Sepentico went to the apron, kicked Lee in the head, leapt over him and face planted Moriarty for two. Enzuigiri by Moriarty. Elbows to the head. Border City Stretch. Serpentico tapped out. Wight: “Enough of getting back on the horse. After a while you should just take a car.”

The Embassy (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Facade, Dan Adams & Star Rider

Brian Cage, Toa Liona and Kaun brought a trios record of 2-1 to this bout. Facade, Adams and Rider had no prior record and were waiting in the ring for their opponents. Menard: “Who’s this idiot in the hat and glasses?” Wight: “You’re quick to throw out the disparaging remarks my friend. Neutrality!” Thank you. Dan Adams seemed to be the local favorite here. He even got a “we want Dan” chant to the amusement of Tony Schiavone. They cheered loudly when he did anything right and booed anytime someone hurt him. Star Rider got the tag and Liona promptly destroyed him. Facade came in but so did Cage, and Cage caught him after he tried a rope walk and spiked him with a Drill Claw. “Who better than Cage?” No one. Triple team Drill Claw on Star Rider for the pin. Schiavone: “As they say he folded him up like an accordion.”

Dalton Castle and The Boys interrupted the post-match celebration. Nana pulled Liona back as Castle held up the trios title, and we moved on to our next match!

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

Sabian brought a 7-2 record to this contest, the third in a series between him and Reynolds, who brought a record of 30-15. Wight: “Right now these guys are tied at 1-apiece.” Menard: “This is it. This is the rubber match!” Reynolds jumped on Sabian before the bell, hit a big boot, and clotheslined him out to the floor. Reynolds went outside to smash his face in the apron. Ford got in his face for a distraction and Sabian kicked him from behind. Sabian was in control as commentary debated how scary Ford is. Reynolds got whipped hard into the corner, where Sabian put the badmouth on him for good measure. That fired Reynolds up for some forearms. Sabian mimicked Orange Cassidy and gave a thumbs up, and Wight accused him of taking his eye off the ball. Reynolds him clotheslines and forearms in the corner after Sabian missed a double stomp. He set Sabian up on the top rope, climbed up in front of him, but Sabian gouged the eyes to escape and snapped his neck off the top rope. This time the double stomp didn’t miss. Reynolds kicked out at two. Menard: “Alex is in a bad way here.” Cannonball for another near fall. Small package by Reynolds for two. Knee to the chin by Sabian. Clothesline by Reynolds. Powerbomb. Piledriver. 2.9. Menard: “Both guys are hurting. This is what it’s all about. Monday night Elevation, let’s go! I’m loving this guys!” Ford got on the apron to mock Reynolds by mimicking Preston Vance. Sabian tripped Reynolds, kicked him in the head, fireman’s carry, and planted him face first to win the rubber match. Fun bout! Best of the entire show.

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Aaron Solo (w/ Nick Comoroto)

Solo brought a record of 22-73 overall in AEW to the main event. Takeshita brought a record of 8-0 on Elevation. To the surprise of no one Don Callis and his rose colored glasses came out again to scout Takeshita. He hit a dive to the outside, a clothesline on the inside, and covered Solo for two. Callis kept walking around the ring trying to make sure Takeshita would notice him. Schiavone: “If he has an interest in him, I can’t blame him!” Solo missed a stomp on the top and ate a blue angel bomb for a near fall. Takeshita missed a flying knee but Solo missed a spinning head kick and ate a hard elbow. Solo tried a roll up but Takeshita countered to a bridge suplex and kept Solo’s shoulders on the mat for three. Callis smiled and gave him a round of applause. Takeshita stared at him as he departed.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “The Roast of Kip Sabian.” That’s not a coincidence as Sabian vs. Reynolds is a match I’d be happy to watch 3-4 more times. The match you shouldn’t watch even once though is Sakura vs. Rayne. Every time I watch Rayne wrestle it’s bowling shoe ugly and it makes me question why (or even how) she can “coach” the women’s division when she’s the one in need of coaching. I guess it’s like the old adage “Those who can do, those who can’t teach.” Watch the main event too even though it was super quick. The Top Flight tag match was also fun.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your thoughts in the comments section below and find me on Twitter for even more wrestling talk. See you for AEW Dark tomorrow after it airs at 7 PM ET, 6 CT!

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