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AEW Dark Elevation recap (July 11, 2022): Yes, that Colin Delaney

Episode 71 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 and Caprice Coleman were in the broadcast booth this week. Tonight’s show features an “Extremely Cute Wrestler” among others so let’s get into the action!

Emi Sakura vs. Paris Van Dale

Sakura came out first with a 2022 record of 5-2. Coleman described her as “a veteran that can still play on the field” and “a coach that can still go.” The 0-1 Van Dale offered her a handshake and Sakura slapped it away. Sakura twisted her up like a pretzel, sat on her behind, and mimed drinking a cup of tea. At this moment we really needed William Regal on commentary. Van Dale finally bucked up and started throwing forearms at Sakura, then responded to Sakura grabbing her ponytail by grabbing a handful of hair herself for a face buster. Van Dale went for a suplex and got blocked, Sakura bit her hand, then gave her a spinning neckbreaker. Sakura put her in the corner for the “we will rock you” chops and flying crossbody. Sakura hit a delayed double underhook backbreaker to pick up the win.

Tony Schiavone did a cut away to promote an All-Atlantic title defense for PAC vs. Shota Umino on Dark tomorrow night along with a non-title match Thunder Rosa had in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling against Miyu Yamashita. Should be a hell of a show!

Dante Martin vs. JD Drake

Drake came out first with a record of 4-40. Martin brought a record of 51-28. Martin went for a side headlock and got thrown off with ease and shoved down, but he popped back up quick, went for a sleeper, then used Drake as a base for a backflip. Drake rolled outside after too much of Martin’s antics, he went for a dive, and Drake walked away. Martin changed directions and went to where Drake was and slid out, but Drake threw him into the ropes and caught him with a shot on the rebound. Drake got back in and waited as ref Aubrey Edwards got to seven on a 10 count. Drake laid in a few chops in the corner. Martin tried to fire up for a receipt, but Drake tossed him across the ring and his head bounced like a basketball. Edwards audibly asked him on camera if he was alright.

Drake applied a chinlock and the Rochester crowd started a “let’s go Dante” chant. Martin fired up and tried a roll up for a near fall. Drake threw Martin down and went up the ropes to finish him off but Martin got out of the way. Drake went for a delayed vertical on the ropes but Martin fought it off with a knee and hit an elevated crossbody for two. Martin flipped over Drake repeatedly until he ate a dropkick for 2.9. A lariat led to another near fall where he looked pissed it wasn’t the three count. Drake said “you’re done kid” but missed the cannonball in the corner, and Martin responded with the Nosedive for the three count.

Julia Hart vs. JC

Julia Hart came out with a 2022 record of 6-3, with her opponent JC making her AEW debut and trying hard to not looked scared. The bell rang and Hart continued to stare a hole through her as JC looked like she wanted to be anywhere else. She took a bump for Hart without her really doing anything. They finally tied up and Hart started choking her in the ropes until the referee made her break and Hart shoved him in return. JC caught Hart with an elbow but ate a boot to the face in return. Hart took full mount, choked JC, trapped an arm and applied a submission hold. Coleman: “She needs to change her name because there was no Hart in there.” The camera zoomed in to show Hart wearing contacts so that one eye was gray and the other was black. This whole thing was to make an otherwise cute wrestler look as creepy and ominous as possible. Thanks to JC that effort was a success.

Ethan Page vs. Colin Delaney

Page came out with a record of 28-10. He made sure to flip off a fan holding up a Canadian flag. Meanwhile the 0-1 Delaney was in the ring and commentary made sure to point out he was a native of Rochester. Page pointed at him as the crowd chanted “let’s go Colin.” Page took a swing, Delaney did a good behind, but Page responded with a back elbow. Delaney did a deep arm drag and Page transitioned to a head scissor. Delaney kipped up and hit another arm drag. Page hit a knee to the body. Delaney floated over as Page charged and “All Ego” hit an eye poke and bulldozed him, mocking the ground by yelling “This is your guy right here?” Page dropped him with a forearm to the jaw and a running elbow, then got on top to pummel him in the face. “I can’t believe you cheer for this piece of crap! Oh, was that too much?”

Page did a delayed vertical suplex, flexed both biceps, and blew a kiss to the crowd. Delaney staggered out of the way at the last second when Page charged the corner and they traded chops until a back elbow put Delaney on the apron. Delaney got up and hit an eye poke of his own, quickly went for a cutter and a cover, and got a two count. Page shoved him into the corner, threw him off the turnbuckle, and found the hard camera before delivering the Ego’s Edge. Channeling Mark Henry, Coleman quipped “you can count to a thousand” as the referee counted the pin.

Anna Jay vs. Shawna Reed

Jay brought a 2022 record of (appropriately enough) 22-2. Anthony Ogogo joined the commentary position for this contest. Reed was waiting for her with a record of 0-4. Ogogo went out of his way to put Reed over, saying she currently holds eight titles including the Dusty Rhodes Wrestling Academy championship. This led Coleman to ask Ogogo which wrestling academy trained him, and naturally he plugged QT Marshall and The Factory as they reminded we’d see QT in the main event. This was an entirely one-sided match with Jay applying the Queen Slayer for the submission so they might as well have been doing just what they did — treating it like a transition spot before the main event.

Best Friends vs. The Factory (QT Marshall & Aaron Solo)

The Factory came out first accompanied by Nick Comoroto and sporting records of 44-44 and 19-62 for Marshall and Solo respectively. Best Friends brought a record of 29-11 along with some tie-dye warm-ups that were so loud I thought the Young Bucks had entered. Ogogo continued to gush about Marshall and Coleman had finally had enough. “Are you being paid to say this?” The Best Friends cut off the ring to work Marshall over, did a handshake and a double elbow drop, and Solo came in illegally to try and make the save. This lead to a dosi-do and a double suplex. Comoroto distracted Trent Beretta and Marshall plowed into him from behind for the “QT sucks” chant. Comoroto threw Beretta into the apron when he fell out and Ogogo said “that’ll give you a wonky nose.” Now it was the heels turn to get the heat, and Solo yanked Chuck Taylor off the apron before Beretta could make the hot tag. The Factory mocked the Best Friends hug spot to get the ire of the Rochester crowd. Beretta got up first from the double down spot for the tag and Taylor ran wild.

Marshall rolled out after eating a knee and Taylor did a dive over the ropes to wipe him and Solo out at the same time. Marshall grabbed the leg before he could get back in, but Beretta made a blind tag for Sole Food and Marshall had to break up the pin attempt. Marshall signaled for a diamond cutter and mocked Rochester, but Beretta went for a roll up and got 2.5. Marshall hit a cutter off a crossbody for 2.5. Taylor ran in to stop a double team, got thrown out and Comoroto posted him. Solo did an enzuigiri, Marshall hit a piledriver, and Beretta kicked out at the last last second. Solo tagged in and went to the top rope, but Taylor shoved him off. Comoroto went to send him into the ring post again and Taylor reversed it. Taylor went to the top rope for the Strong Zero and they hit it to pin Solo! Outstanding main event from everybody involved.

What to watch/skip

Some days I feel like the only person who ever watched (or even cared one bit) about the WWE version of ECW, so this week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Colin Delaney vs. Taeler Hendrix. I chose this clip in particular to highlight the fact Delaney was capable of far more than winning “slip on a banana peel” matches but they rarely used him that way. Still as fun as his match with Ethan Page was the best performance was the Best Friends vs. The Factory. It was the main event for all the right reasons. No offense to Anna Jay but hers was the most nothing match and most easily skippable. I felt like Martin sold a little too much for Drake, but theirs was the best match other than Page’s or the main event.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your thoughts in the comments section below and find me on Twitter too for more pro wrestling talk. See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark!