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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Feb. 14, 2022): Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Matt Sydal

Episode 50 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 Excalibur. Let’s talk about what went down (or up) on Elevation this week as the show reached its golden anniversary.

Dante Martin vs. Kevin Matthews

Martin brought a record of 40-19 to the ring. Matthews was already there waiting for him sporting a 0-1 record. Matthews and Martin tied up and KM shoved him off with ease before yelling at him. Yes, this is that Kevin Matthews from Impact. If we had any doubt about that he yelled at him again even louder moments later: “Do you know who I am?” Actually that was more Bully Ray’s thing in Impact, but I digress. Matthews worked him over for a few minutes until Martin rolled out of the way on a dive and then knocked KM off his feet with a dropkick before doing a springboard dive to wipe KM out on the floor, prompting the crowd to chant “A-E-W” in response. Martin hit a kick that had KM stunned, then immediately did the double springboard Nosedive moonsault for the pin. A fun opening match!

Thunder Rosa vs. Riley Shepard

Rosa brought a singles record of 48-7 to the ring, where her opponent Shepard was waiting to make her AEW debut. Rosa had the crowd on her side and a side headlock takeover to boot. Shepard countered it into a pinfall for one. Rosa pushed her into the ropes and hit a chop before breaking at the referee’s instructions, then followed her around the ring for more chops and elbows. The crowd popped for each blow she landed. She went top rope to deliver double knees and Shepard fell into position for a double stomp to the chest on the ropes. She slammed Shepard into the canvas for the pin seconds later. Another solid match albeit more one-sided than the opener.

Zack Clayton vs. Serpentico (w/ Luther)

Serpentico brought an overall record of 12-63, and unfortunately he brought Luther with him as well. “From the Jersey Shore” Zack Clayton brought a record of 0-2. He took Serpentico down with a dropkick, threw him into the turnbuckle, and sent him flying with a release German suplex. Luther grabbed Clayton’s boot from the outside to interfere and Serpentico hit a flatliner and some grounded punches. Serpentico hit a DDT and Clayton kicked out at two. Luther screamed at his teammate to go to the top rope, but Clayton got out of the way before the moonsault. He ran over Serpentico with a few clotheslines then pressed him high in the air and let him splat. Next Clayton sent him over the top rope and worked him over on the barricade before throwing him back in. Luther took Clayton out with a pump kick and yelled at all of his Jersey Shore friends sitting at ringside. He stalled for so long that Clayton recovered, ran him over, and Serpentico got a power slam for his trouble when he came to help. Clayton threw Serpentico back into the ring and hit a fisherman buster for three, picking up his first win in AEW.

Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Ricky Starks) vs. Matt Sydal (w/ Lee Moriarty)

This match was preceded by a video package about Powerhouse Hobbs’ new theme song, which you can find on ShopAEW.com. We get nothing from the new album they released in time for Black History Month, but the Bootsy Collins Foundation does, so it’s worth a look. Hobbs 40-17, Sydal 23-13 coming in. Sydal tried to get off to a fast start and then piggyback Hobbs looking for a choke, but Hobbs shook him off by ramming him backward into the corner. Hobbs stared him down and Sydal ran away for a bit, but Hobbs caught him by the ankle. Sydal reversed that into a roll up but Hobbs kicked out. Starks grabbed a boot and Hobbs got on offense, then laid in some ground and pound from mount before putting a boot to Sydal’s throat, all while the commentators made fun of the referee’s lack of control.

Hobbs picked up Sydal for a delayed vertical suplex but he nailed him with a couple of knees while upside down and checked his chin with a couple more standing. He staggered Hobbs with a questionmark kick, but Hobbs ran into the referee (on purpose) so Starks could run interference and allow Hobbs to grab Sydal and put him over his head for the torture rack. The ending came so suddenly I wound up feeling the match could have gone a few minutes longer, but it is what it is. The two worked well together.

Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page (w/ Dan Lambert) vs. Jaden Valo & Steve Peña

Page 23-7, Sky 54-16 as they made their way to the ring. Valo & Peña were waiting in the ring to make their tag team division debut, so you knew this was only going to go one way (and probably in a quick fashion). Valo got one second of shine before Page absolutely trucked him and tagged Sky in to continue the beating. Wight complimented Sky on how vicious his backbreaker was before Page came in to do one of his own, knocking Peña off the ring apron for good measure. Sky came back in, kicked Valo in the stomach and stomped on his face. Valo escaped a backbreaker and tagged Peña, who hit a pump kick and some leg kicks before tagging Valo back in. He immediately got double teamed and Page tagged back in to hit the Razor’s (Ego’s) Edge for a dominant finish. Henry: “Call air traffic control.”

2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) & Daniel Garcia & The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. The Dark Order (Alan Angels, Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, Stu Grayson, John Silver)

This was a cluster so I’m not even going to give you the individual records of all ten men involved. Instead let’s hear from Max Caster: “Everyone loves The Acclaimed, you know the slogan. We drop bombs on the mic like Joe Rogan. Dark Order hasn’t beaten us once, and you can’t beat us now it’s Black History Month. And you know we do it big — all of y’all are bald, even Alex wears a wig! There’s too many of y’all, I don’t want more, so I’ma send you back through the Forbidden Door.”

John Silver hit a double suplex on the heels before Reynolds got the hot tag to run wild. All ten men hit the ring as the ref gave up any pretense of having control over this affair. Angels hit a moonsault to the outside, and Uno hit a flatliner on the inside before tagging Grayson, who launched himself off Uno’s shoulders for a double DDT. He tagged Angels and went after Bowens, Silver came in and there was a noggin knocker, Uno ate a Saito suplex, Angels hit Bowens with a Spanish Fly and it was broken up, and Henry said “I’m tired just watching it.” Bowens kicked Angels in the back of the head and gave him a DDT from the ropes to make the pin. Caster’s prediction in his rap came true. Way too many bodies here but there were some fun spots amongst the insanity.

Ruby Soho, Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Emi Sakura, Nyla Rose & The Bunny (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

For the second match in a row there were too many people involved to give you their individual records. Henry: “Make sure you tell the PETA people that no bunnies were hurt in the making of this match.” Commentary was better than the wrestling here and there are two things I can tell you for certain — it wasn’t Emi Sakura or Ruby Soho’s fault. In fact Soho hit the No Future kick to bring this one to a quick merciful end with Bunny taking the pin.

What to watch/skip

I know this is out of the ordinary but tonight’s music for “what to watch/skip” has nothing to do with Elevation whatsoever. Instead I’d like to recognize Kendrick Lamar after seeing him perform at the halftime show last night. Dude, you killed it. That was glorious. Everybody else rocked it too — Snoop, Dre, Eminem, 50, Mary J. Blige — it was a beautiful thing to see. Elevation was on a roll this week until the last two matches and then it fell apart with the multi-man and multi-woman matches, so you could watch up until the Men of the Year’s finish and skip the rest. That’s just my opinion though so let me know if you disagree!

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below. You can also hit me up on social media. See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark!