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AEW Dark Elevation recap (June 20, 2022): If QT wins, we riot

Episode 68 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 Excalibur and Mark Henry called the action. Let’s talk about what went down on Elevation this week!

Serena Deeb & Mercedes Martinez vs. Tootie Lynn & Heather Reckless

Deeb came out first with a record of 22-6, while Martinez entered wearing her ROH Women’s Title with a record of 9-3. Anthony Ogogo was a late addition to commentary. Lynn and Reckless were waiting in the ring and working together as a team in AEW for the first time, while Martinez and Deeb were paired up last week. Martinez begged to be tagged in and Deeb refused, so she blind tagged herself. She immediately went for a crossface on Lynn while Deeb was giving Reckless a suplex. Reckless finally got a legal tag and hit Martinez with a flurry of kicks and an enzuigiri. Martinez put an end to that with a spinebuster that got a nod of approval from Deeb. Martinez hit a flying forearm to Reckless into their corner and Deeb tagged in. Deeb catapulted Reckless into the bottom rope neck first and then hit the Detox. Instead of going for the pin she walked around Reckless examining her foe. Lynn tried to make the save so Martinez put her in a Brass City Sleeper while Deeb gave Reckless a Serenity Lock, and both women got the tap at the same time!

Andrade El Idolo vs. Frankie Kazarian

Andrade was accompanied by Jose the Assistant and sported a singles record of 13-8 along with his trademark tearaway pinstripe suit and black mask, both of which were meticulously removed on the entrance ramp. Kazarian brought a record of 72-32 while Henry complained he needed hot dogs for all the fire/pyro that went off for his entrance. Henry: “Andrade is getting bigger. He’s going to be a super heavyweight soon!” Excalibur: “This match is what you call a monitor sellout.” Ogogo proclaimed this “a banger.” Kazarian tried to surprise Andrade with some lucha moves and started to do a suicide dive, but Jose the Assistant called for a “time out” at the same moment. My Chromecast froze but when it came back Andrade hit double knees in the corner for a near fall and went to climb the ropes. Kazarian clubbed him in the back and they started fighting. Kazarian hit the ocean cyclone suplex for a near fall of his own. Andrade hit a reverse forearm. Kaz hit an elbow strike and a knee lift. Andrade hit a backbreaker and smashed his head into the turnbuckle then finished the match with El Idolo. Fun bout! I hope I didn’t miss too much of it.

Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir vs. Max the Impaler & Heidi Howitzer

Rose came out first with a record of 70-29 while Shafir brought a record of 8-3. Max the Impaler and Heidi Howitzer were waiting for them, and they were teaming for the first time together in AEW even though individually they each had a match on last week’s show. Max and Rose played up this history as they started up the match with a test of strength and some forearms. Rose finally overpowered them with a knee to the body and Shafir tagged in to hit them with some body shots and go for a submission via jumping on their back. Max carried Shafir across the ring and tagged in Howitzer. who repeatedly bounced Shafir’s head into the turnbuckle. Max tagged back in as the fearsome twosome tried to cut off the ring, but Shafir managed to escape and tag in Rose. Max shoved Rose into the corner so Shafir blind tagged in. Rose hit a diamond cutter and a kick to the side of the head. Shafir tried to make the pin and Howitzer broke it up. Howitzer and Shafir went for the “Greedy” submission and Rose hit a spear on Max at the same time, laying them out on the floor so they couldn’t break it up. Shafir got the tap and the respect of Rose as the two exchanged a smile after the match was over.

Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee vs. Davey Vega & Matt Fitchett

Strickland entered first followed by Lee, with Lee refusing a fist bump. Strickland was 7-4 and Lee was 10-3. Strickland went for it a second time on the entrance ramp and got refused again, even as Strickland was showing off their “Swerve In Our Glory” t-shirts. Vega and Fitchett brought a tag team record of 0-1 to this bout.

Even though Lee and Strickland were clearly not on the same page as friends, they had a pair of jobbers to throw around. Lee refused to give Strickland a chance to do the Swerve Stomp and instead hit a Spirit Bomb for the pin as the two exchanged looks. Lee finally gave him a reluctant fist bump after the referee raised their hands in victory.

Anna Jay vs. Rebel

Rebel entered first and was also having her first singles match for AEW in 2022. Mark Henry: “It’s not a good sign when you come out and your entrance (video) has crutches behind you.” The Dark Order ran out to salute Jay before her walk down the ramp, sporting a singles record of 39-12. It only took about 30 seconds for Jay to apply the Queen Slayer and get the tap out, which caused Mark Henry to scream “holy hell” and Excalibur to call it “one of the fastest wins in the division” and “an absolutely dominant performance.”

Tony Nese vs. Warhorse

Warhorse was waiting in the ring as Nese made his entrance accompanied by “Smart” Mark Sterling, sporting a singles record of 16-2. Warhorse’s record in AEW to date before this contest was 0-1. Despite that he got a nice pop and a crowd chant to boot. Nese played that up by faking offering a handshake to him and then jabbing him in the throat. The beatdown began to a chorus of boos, and they roared when Warhorse fired up for a comeback. He hit a headbutt and a missile dropkick off the ropes, then did some head banging before a series of running clotheslines. Nese raked the eyes while Warhorse had him up in the air for a potential finishing move. Nese then hit a spinning wheel kick and Running Nese in the corner for a win and one more series of boos.

Ruby Soho vs. Miranda Gordy

Soho came out with a singles record of 33-5 and “Destination Unknown” playing. Gordy kicked her from behind right in the head while she was doing her entrance to hot start the match. Despite that and what Mark Henry described as Gordy being “the wrong weight class” for Soho (his words not mine — maybe not the best thing he could have said) she fought valiantly and eventually got a back heel trip followed by Destination Unknown for the pin. This didn’t last nearly as long as you would think, but everything they did was fine.

Matt Sydal vs. QT Marshall

Main event time! Marshall was accompanied by members of The Factory and brought a singles record of 44-41. Henry: “I’ve got a question — can music make your nauseous?” Sydal got a nice ovation for his arrival and brought a record of 38-32 to the ring. Sydal did a standing moonsault for a near fall as Excalibur talked about his early days in Dragon Gate. Sydal hit a leg lariat for another two count. Excalibur: “He knows he might not get the win off that but he’s forcing QT to exert energy by kicking out.” The fans chanted “let’s go Sydal” and “Q-T sucks!” How about that? A dueling chant where both sides are on the same side. As you’d expect The Factory interfered to help Marshall get on offense and slow the match down. Solo held Sydal’s leg to stop him from doing another leg lariat and Henry qupped “That made me want to hit the ring.” Comoroto grabbed the leg too and referee Stephon Smith finally caught them doing it and threw ALL of The Factory out of the building. Marshall bonked the turnbuckle on a dive and Sydal hit a Meteora. Henry: “I know I’m not supposed to take a side but I can’t help it!” Sydal got up holding his left knee but hit kick after kick including a roundhouse and a dropkick to the jaw for two. Henry: “We criticize hits antics but QT is a tough SOB.” Excalibur: “He has the talent and he doesn’t have to but he takes these shortcuts.” Sydal went for a backslide for two. Marshall hit a pop up elbow to the jaw and took off his elbow pads. Sydal reversed Marshall’s brainbuster move with a hurricanrana and hooked the legs for the three count! Fantastic finish.

What to watch/skip

This “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Breaking Free.” Why? Because even if you love to hate QT Marshall, he’s very good at two things — making crowds of any size totally despise him, and executing everything he does in the ring the right way. You can argue whether or not he’s a star all you want but you can’t argue that he’s a star MAKER as a trainer, and knowing that has made me appreciate just how good he is at being a bad guy. Pro wrestling just wouldn’t be fun without them. Go out of your way to watch the main event and tell me if you don’t agree. Warhorse gets reactions way above his level of recognition in the mainstream and I think AEW would be smart to sign him to some sort of deal — even just a developmental deal — and take advantage of it. Kazarian and Andrade could easily have been the main event if they weren’t going for Sydal getting a hometown pop. You can’t blame them for that. The tag matches were good albeit short and the rest of the show was meh. Not bad, just meh. It started well and it ended well so that’s a good episode of Elevation for me.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you love pro wrestling find me on Twitter too. Today’s my birthday so I wouldn’t mind picking up an extra follower or two! See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark.