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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Aug. 22, 2022): Death Triangle warm up for Wednesday

Episode 77 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 “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard called tonight’s show. Tonight death has three sides and a good angle leading into Wednesday night. Let’s get to it!

Anna Jay (w/ Angelo Parker) vs. Nikki Victory

Jay brought a record of 25-3. Victory brought a record of 0-1. Excalibur: “Do you think the name is prophetic?” Menard: “Not tonight.” Jay wasted no time pummeling her and stomping on her. She also yelled at the fans and pointed at them before locking in the Queen Slayer and tapping Victory out. Menard and Parker both applauded her from their respective positions in the building before she mouthed off to the camera some more. If this match lasted a minute it wasn’t a second longer than that.

Ruby Soho & Ortiz vs. Queen Aminata & Nikki Midas

Soho was 37-6 and Ortiz was 45-26. Mixed tag team action on Elevation! I like it. Aminata and Midas were “making their mixed tag team debut” although that doesn’t mean there’s an actual division. I’m not opposed to one though if they plan to have mixed tag titles and defend them on the TV shows. Ortiz splashed Soho and got slapped in the face by Aminata. He spun her around into Soho for a knee to the face, and then Soho returned the assist with a No Future kick to help Ortiz hit a fisherman bomb on Midas for the pin before the Rancid music played. I wouldn’t have minded if this match had three more minutes.

Dante Martin vs. Jackson Drake

Martin brought a record of 54-31 to the ring for this bout. Drake was making his AEW debut here. Menard: “This kid came to fight! But I don’t know about that, jaw jacking with the crowd.” Drake looked so young that Nick Wayne looks like a grizzled young veteran by comparison. Martin hit a top rope crossbody for a near fall, picked the younger Drake up, and Drake fought him off with a reverse elbow. Martin flipped over him and hoisted him up for a half and half and a sitout for the pin. Does that mean he’s not doing the Nose Dive any more? Well the only nose that got involved here was Drake’s — I think he was busted open hard way. Make sure they pay your medical kid!

Serena Deeb vs. Megan Meyers

“The Professor” brought a singles record of 17-2 to this match. Deeb is someone I’d very much like to see compete in a mixed tag team division. Meyers was waiting for her in the ring with a record of 0-2 in AEW. I’m glad she’s back for her third bout as I like her look and think she shows promise, but they definitely aren’t putting her in with anybody she could beat in a work or a shoot (yet). Maybe let her get a win over Skye Blue? Deeb woman-handled her going from hold to hold, grapevining her legs, kneeling on her back and then applying a fish hook until Aubrey Edwards made her break the hold. Deeb slapped her around in the corner and Meyers fired back with forearms. Deeb immediately destroyed her with a clothesline and some vicious chops, then giving her leg a dragon screw while in the ropes. Twisting neckbreaker, knee pounded into the canvas, Serenity Lock, and it’s all over.

The Dark Order (John Silver, Alex Reynolds & Preston “10” Vance) vs. RC Dupree, Damone Soravino & Alexander Apollo

Dark Order brought a record of 8-1 in trios action to this match and were flanked by Evil Uno on their way to the ring. The carpenters who would build Dark Order’s win/loss record were already waiting for them and (say it with me) “making their debut” here. The crowd was very into this one, chanting “Johnny Hungee” and counting to ten for Vance’s delayed vertical suplex. Reynolds got thrown into the heel corner for the three-on-one beatdown. Reynolds leapt over Dupree to make the hot tag to Vance, who single-handedly cleaned house. Silver tagged in and Stephon Smith made no attempt to restore law and order as every member of Silver’s team lent an assist before he made the pin. Here’s how it looked.

Julia Hart vs. Hayley Shadows

The lights went down to honor the House of Black, and Hart entered sporting a record of 11-3. Shadows was making her AEW debut here and both announcers were quick to note her name sounded like a good fit for the House of Black. As a matter of fact Hart’s entrance music sounds like it would fit someone named Hayley Shadows too. She even had a bit of the look with her tattoos and ring gear. With a little more dark makeup she’d be perfect. Hart dominated her for the entire match, grabbed a handful of hair, looked at the camera and said “always... win” before cranking on her opponent’s neck for the submission. Even though “the house always wins” I still left this match wanting to know more about Shadows.

Tony Nese and Josh Woods vs. Logan James & Andrea Guercio

Nese and Woods were accompanied by “Smart” Mark Sterling with records of 21-7 and 5-4 respectively. There seems to be a little debate about whether or not Woods is with AEW in our commentary section, and as I approve of that interaction let me add to the debate — is there really a difference between “being signed to Ring of Honor” and “being signed to All Elite Wrestling” when Tony Khan owns both? Guercio and James were debuting here but wouldn’t have the chance to do much as this was a minute bell to bell before Nese helped Woods get the pin with an assist for an Olympic slam/neckbreaker combination. Once again the helpful AEW social media account has a replay of the finish for you!

Death Triangle vs. Manscout Jake Manning, Dean Alexander & Rosario Grillo

Death Triangle brought a record of 6-2 to tonight’s co main event. Manning, Alexander and Grillo were “making their trios debut” here, but we’ve seen all of them competing in singles or with other teammates on prior episodes of Elevation and Dark. Manning in particular is a mainstay of the indies, although PAC certainly didn’t find him amusing and tossed him to the floor before tagging in legally. Menard: “One of the greatest nicknames of all time — The Bastard!” Penta tagged in for a Fear Factor on Grillo and the pin. This was a total squash. Excalibur: “A statement victory before Dynamite.” Rey Fenix brought a kid into the ring because it was his birthday and PAC even gave him a fist bump.

Maki Itoh & Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida & Skye Blue

Sakura was cackling before her partner even arrived. They were making their debut as a team but let’s face it, this was all about Maki F’n Itoh! She sang her her theme song all the way to the ring and left Mr. Menard completely perplexed.

Blue was 13-29 and Shida was 61-13. Sakura gave Blue her signature chops and crossbody and tagged in Itoh, who applied a submission while letting her eyes go in opposite directions. She’s crazy... in a good way. Blue escaped, hit an enzuigiri, and tagged in Shida. I look at all of the women in this match, I look at Blue, and I think to myself “One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong.” In fact I’d have preferred a one on one bout between Itoh and Shida or Sakura and Itoh. Itoh hit a kokeshi headbutt on Shida and Sakura tagged back in. Shida got mad and threw some forearms, Sakura kicked her in the jaw, Shida hit her with a question mark kick, Sakura missed with a chop and we had a double tag.

Blue tried throwing Itoh into the turnbuckles and she no sold it and hit her head on a turnbuckle herself repeatedly. Itoh nailed her with a headbutt and tagged Sakura back in. Sakura dropped her into Itoh’s waiting knee, then Sakura hit a delayed implant buster before Shida came in to make the save. Blue hit Itoh with a neckbreaker, all four women hit the ring and the ref lost all control, Itoh hit a diving DDT on Shida and Sakura hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on blue. Itoh kept Shida from getting back in the ring as Sakura hit Blue with Queen’s Gambit for the pin. The right team won here. Sakura and Shida grabbed a handful of each other’s hair while Itoh jumped up and down celebrating on the outside. A fantastically fun main event!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Triangulo 2.0.” Before I say anything else, please go out of your way to watch the co-main and the main event. Death Triangle are a fantastic trio and the unexpected post-match celebration was a fun bonus since you don’t usually get to see PAC acting like a babyface. Maki Itoh is one of my favorite people in pro wrestling this decade and if there was any way she could wrestle full time in the U.S. I’d be all for it, but sadly she’s too big of a star in Japan for that to happen. It also doesn’t feel like they could use her on Dynamite or Rampage nearly enough to make me happy. Maybe that’s why I’m a proponent of AEW doing more mixed tag matches — they’ve got so many talented women who aren’t featured on mainstream television outside of No. 1 contender matches or title defense. Maybe that wouldn’t end up in the “death spot” on Dynamite but much like wanting Itoh in the United States full time I’m probably asking for too much. My only “skips” this time are Jay vs. Victory (too short, too one sided) and Dark Order.

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

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