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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Aug. 29, 2022): Is Hikaru Shida ready for All Out on Sunday?

Episode 78 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 the action here. All Out 2022 takes place this Sunday and the build starts right here on Elevation. Here’s what they did!

Dante Martin vs. Wes Barkley

Martin entered with a record of 56-31. Barkley was waiting for him in the ring to make his AEW debut. Menard: “A ten dollar wrestler with a two dollar haircut. How about that one huh? I’ve been waiting to use that one for three weeks!” Excalibur: “It’s funnier the more times you say it. Repetition is key.” Leapfrog and shotgun dropkick from Martin. Clothesline and a one count for Barkley. Shoulder tackles from Martin. Head kick and crossbody for a two count. Menard: “Most dangerous crossbody in the history of the business.” Martin didn’t win with the Nosedive this time — he picked Barkley up, flipped him over and drilled him into the canvas, laying across his opponent casually for the three count. That’s a little arrogant but I don’t mind it a bit! Have a look at the finish below.

Julia Hart vs. Arie Alexander

The lights went out for Julia Hart to honor the House of Black, entering with a record of 12-3. Have I mentioned lately how much I like her new theme music? When I hear the singer croon “the house always wins” I get goosebumps. Alexander brought a 0-1 record to the ring. Menard compliment Alexander on her beautiful outfit and all the bright colors, while Hart simply stared a hole through her opponent before pummeling her in the corner. To further Menard’s point, Alexander’s ring gear is like the NXT 2.0 set personified. Alexander hit Hart with a couple of forearms but ate a snapmare, a kick to the back of the head and a standing moonsault in return. She ran and hit the ropes for a lariat to the back of the head, said “the house always wins” to the camera and put on the Hartless Lock for the victory.

Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Skye Blue & Queen Aminata

Blue and Aminata entered to make their debut as a tag team. The team introduced to us as the Beast of Burdens entered with records of 74-33 and 14-7 for Rose and Shafir, but their record as a team left off the graphic. Now if you’re wondering why I’m pointing that out, wouldn’t it make more sense for Blue and Aminata to be billed by their records, since they are not an established team and their opponents are? Blue countered Rose into Shafir’s waiting knees and Aminata made a blind tag and chopped Shafir right in the chest. She followed with a snap suplex, a kick, and a running knee. Shafir immediately rolled away from a pin attempt and came back with strikes, an arm drag, and a series of kicks. She delivered a urinagi and stomped on Aminata as she was making the tag. Rose hit a splash and Blue broke it up. Rose and Aminata double teamed Aminata behind the ref’s back. Rose hit a senton, Aminata broke free of Shafir and Blue tagged in, Shafir threw her with a hard German suplex and tagged Rose again for the double team finisher.

Matt Hardy vs. RSP (Rickey Shane Page)

Hardy brought a record of 39-19 in AEW to this contest. Excalibur said he was “walking the path of redemption” in remorse for his time as “Big Money Matt.” RSP brought a record of 0-4 in AEW to this bout. Menard: “RSP. What does it stand for? Nobody knows!” What he meant to say is that he has never watched a single CZW or GCW card and that +he+ doesn’t know. Unfortunately for Mr. Page he was about to go 0-5 in the promotion. Hardy applied a sleeper and Page went to one knee, but as he was going out Private Party walked out to the ramp to keep an eye on their former manager. Hardy made a cover and Page kicked out at two. Page hit a knee to the body and teased a Twist of Fate, Hardy blocked it, Page hit an enzuigiri and Hardy went face down. A fan in the crowd had the “Undertaker face” on seeing it. Page came off the top rope and missed with a back senton. Hardy went to the second rope for an elbow drop and called for the Twist of Fate. The fans chanted “delete, delete, delete” and Hardy did the Twist as the fans cheered. Private Party looked at Matt and looked at each other. Excalibur: “There’s more to this situation than we know.”

Serena Deeb vs. Katie Arquette

Deeb brought a record of 18-2 for 2022 to the ring, where Arquette was waiting for her with a record of 0-1. Menard: “I’m going with under three minutes. I’m going to make it three tonight.” Excalibur: “The clock has started.” Menard: “Come on Deeb. Do it for Daddy!” If he and “Cool Ang” ever break up he should put that on a t-shirt. Deeb put on an Octopus Hold but Arquette responded with a torture rack when she escaped. She threw some elbows and a headbutt but missed a charge to the corner. Deeb recovered with a swinging neckbreaker and captured the arm for the Serenity Lock and submission. “We did it again Serena. Woo!” Excalibur: “Are you guys in cahoots?” Menard: “No. Daddy knows how to pick his horses!”

Frankie Kazarian vs. Andrea Guercio

Kazarian entered with a record of 72-33 in AEW. Guercio was making his AEW debut here. Menard: “Who? Say that again.” It’s not his wrestling debut in a major promotion though if you’ve been paying attention. Either way just like his WWE appearance he was here to do the job. Scoop slam, leg drop, crossface chicken wing, submission. A quick squash match. “Andrea’s going to seriously be reconsidering his choices here when he watches this back.” As compared to what Mr. Menard, getting pummeled by Omos? This is the better choice.

The Butcher, The Blade & RUSH vs. Elijah, Chase Oliver & Zack Maestro

Butcher and Blade entered together, RUSH came out afterward flanked by Jose the Assistant wearing his bull mask, records of 25-13 and 2-2 respectively. Their opponents were making their debut as a team although again not in the squared circle. If the last match was a quick squash, this one was a prolonged squash, but the result was exactly the same. Butcher hit a pump handle suplex, Blade hit chops and a back elbow, the jobber du jour got a hot tag, but Blade hit a lariat and immediately tagged Butcher to Drag the Lake. RUSH tagged in for a dropkick to the face in the corner and the pin. High-fives all around.

Hikaru Shida vs. Emi Sakura (w/ Baliyan Akki)

This match is also a Regina di Wave title defense for Shida. Sakura entered first flanked by Akki with a singles record of 19-8. Shida brought an AEW record of 61-14 along with the Wave Title around her waist. Excalibur noted that in the nine times these two women had faced each other, Shida had only beaten her once. Sakura did the “we will chop you” right away but was cut off by Shida before the crossbody, and Shida mocked her by doing the same. Sakura kicked her in the gut in anger and Shida responded with a suplex and ten punches in the corner plus a dropkick. Excalibur: “This is a teacher versus student battle.”

Shida is one crafty student though. She went under the ring for a chair. Sakura avoided the jumping knee off the chair though and suplexed her onto the chair. Menard: “Holy smokes!” Indeed. She threw Shida back into the ring, Remsburg tried to check on her, Sakura pushed him out of the way and hit the tiger driver for a near fall. She went to the top for a moonsault and Shida kicked out again. Shida escaped a delayed vertical suplex and reversed Sakura before landing a jumping knee.

Shida opened her jacket and pounded on her chest, daring Sakura to throw chops, then giving back as good as she got. She pummeled Sakura with elbows to the back of the head and a sliding elbow strike, then went to the for a Meteora. Sakura kicked out at 2.9! Bryce Remsburg got into Shida’s way, Sakura raked the eyes, Shida responded with a Falcon Arrow. Sakura reverses for a near fall, then tries a la magistral cradle for another near fall. Sakura’s Queen’s Gambit was blocked, Shida’s Falcon Arrow was blocked, elbow strike, Tamashii, Sakura kicks out again! Katana spin kick to the head, 1-2-3, Shida retains the Regina di Wave title. Fantastic main event for Elevation!

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by “Shining SAMURAAAI.” Without question the main event was a must see even if it’s the only thing on the entire show that you watch. The rest of the show was one-sided victories. Maybe RSP doesn’t have “the look” AEW wants but if they trust him to do this many Dark matches what could it hurt to sign him? Both Alexander and Arquette showed some fire for winless competitors, but of the two Arquette got to do more than Hart’s hapless foe. After all... the house always wins.

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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