Episode 80 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 this week. The Butcher has no baker, but he and Blade are certainly ready to make candlesticks out of two opponents. Let’s get right to it!
Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir vs. JC Storm & Joelle Clift
As a team the Beast of Burdens are 6-1 before this match, and they were accompanied by their manager Vickie Guerrero. As a team JC Storm & Joelle Clift are 0-0, because they’ve never teamed together before tonight. As much as I like Mr. Menard he needs to spend less time laughing at his own jokes and more time calling the action. Nyla Rose rolled through on a vertical suplex and hit a Gordbuster on Clift before tagging in Shafir. Rose put Clift on her shoulders and Shafir immediately spiked her on her head from there. Menard: “Can somebody check on her? Good night! Impressive.”
A BRUTAL tag team maneuver by @MarinaShafir and @NylaRoseBeast gets them the victory in dominant fashion here on #AEWDarkElevation! Catch the action from tonight right here: ▶️ https://t.co/FAInCKry4M pic.twitter.com/D6EuwGrNHf— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 12, 2022
Julia Hart vs. Tiara James
Hart brought a record of 16-3 and the best entrance music on Elevation to the ring. Menard: “Quickly becoming one of my favorite performers, I got to say.” I don’t mind him saying it because I have been for a while. James was making her AEW debut here and unlike many of Hart’s opponents she was not showing fear. She just stood there in the middle of the ring like “Come on, let’s tie up.” Hart responding by stomping on her foot, taking her to the ground, and then dribbling her head on the canvas like a basketball. James tried to fire up for a response but got whipped to the mat by her hair and hit with a standing moonsault. Hart pulled her up before the three count, hit a clothesline from behind, and then locked in her Hartless submission. James is the latest Hart victim I’d like to see more of when she’s not being fed to the wolf.
Dante Martin & Matt Sydal vs. Serpentico & Zack Clayton
Excalibur called Zack Clayton and Serpentico “an unlikely duo.” You’ve got that right! Unfortunately Luther still decided to accompany them to the ring. As they had never teamed before they had a 0-0 record for this match. That would not be true of their opponents Martin and Sydal. They brought records of 58-33 and 41-33 but their record as a duo was not shown. I’m sure AEW knows it — why not use it? Menard: “Who doesn’t love Serpentico? Come on.” I think I’d love him even more if Luther went away and never ever came back. Martin did a dive to the outside to wipe out all three heels. He immediately got back in the ring and hit a Nose Dive on Serpentico for the pin. Did Clayton even hit one move for his team? I don’t think he did! This whole thing was a minute tops.
Athena vs. Emi Sakura
Sakura brought a record of 19-9 in singles competition and was already cackling at the top of the entrance ramp. The more she cackles, the better. She really needs a flunky to take her crown and robe from her though. Athena brought a record of 7-2 to this contest. Sakura offered a handshake, Athena wasn’t buying it, and it quickly descended into slapping and shoving. Athena called for a Greco-Roman knuckle lock, Sakura overpowered her and bridged her onto her neck, but Athena flipped her up and over, splashed her in the corner, and hit her with an elbow. Sakura turned her inside out and started her “we will rock you” stomp and clap. The diving crossbody connected and Athena appeared to be down and out. Backbreaker by Sakura. Spot of tea sitting on her in the ropes. Athena finally fired up with a forearm and got kicked right in the gut and the head. Athena dropped to a knee to block her next move and threw a chop. Knee to the body, roundhouse kick, and shotgun dropkick for Athena left Sakura down. Athena: “Get up!!” Back drop by Athena. Sakura with five chops in a row. Athena screamed at her, hit a powerbomb and a thrust kick to the jaw, went to the top rope for the Eclipse and pinned her. It was the only pin attempt of the whole match and the only one needed. A great physical battle between these two!
.@AthenaPalmer_FG scores the win in this physical back-and-forth battle with @EmiSakura_gtmv here on #AEWDarkElevation! See the action in full right here ▶️ https://t.co/FAInCKry4M pic.twitter.com/drQrAgLJJG— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 12, 2022
Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Isaiah Prince & Kubes
Time for some more House of Black action! The lights went down again, and when they came up Hart was accompanying the 8-3 Matthews and 12-5 King to the ring. The lights went out a second time and when they came up we saw all three bathed in a blue glow in the middle of the ring. Kubes and Prince were already waiting in the ring during all of this to make their tag team debut. Menard: “I’m very confused. Who is Kubes?” I don’t think it matters Daddy Magic. Both of them are just here to die. King dismantled both men all by himself and the referee did nothing to stop him. (Would you?) Matthews tagged himself in and he kicked Prince off the ropes before giving Kubes a cannonball in the corner. Kubes took a pump handle driver for the easy pin. If you like gloriously one-sided violent squashes, here you go.
Hikaru Shida vs. Christina Marie
Shida brought a record of 63-15 to this contest. Marie was waiting for her with a 0-1 record thus far in AEW. She mouthed off to Shida and got pie faced, hit with a right and a sliding elbow, then covered for a two count. Marie tried to jump on her back for a sleeper but Shida shook her off by backing into the turnbuckle, slapped her in the face, went up to play to the crowd and got yanked off by Marie for her trouble. Marie tried to scoop Shida up for a slam and failed Shida went for a vertical suplex and did not fail. The Buffalo crowd tried to get a Shida count going, then successfully counted along for the ten punches in the corner. She hit a meteora and the katana head kick for the pin and the win. Almost entirely one sided and again I can’t complain about it one bit.
John Silver vs. Ryan Nemeth
The alleged “Hollywood Hunk” himself Nemeth entered with a record of 6-15. I typed “Hollywood Junk” by mistake and debated leaving it in since it would be more accurate. Silver entered flanked by Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, and Preston Vance — the latter two both on crutches. All three waited on the ramp as “Johnny Hungee” made his way to the ring. His record for 2022 was 27-9. Silver dominated until Nemeth hit a dropkick while Silver was climbing the ropes from the outside. Nemeth dragged him back in the ring for a one count, threw knees to the body, and shot ref Aubrey Edwards a look like “Are you gonna stop me? I don’t think so.” Well she wouldn’t for two reasons — if this was a real sport the ref isn’t supposed to stop the action unless it’s illegal, and since it’s not she’s supposed to let Nemeth beat down Silver so he can fire up in response. Fire up he did. He finished off the big comeback with a Spin Doctor for three. A little less of a squash than the last two bouts... but only a little.
The Butcher & The Blade vs. The Factory (Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo)
Since these matches were taped in Buffalo, you knew that Buffalo’s own Butcher & Blade would be the main event. Before they could come out though QT Marshall flanked his 4-8 team to the ring and yelled at Justin Roberts for being an idiot. “I thought I said we would never come to this city. Nothing good has ever come from Buffalo, New York. I can’t think of anybody, anything from Buffalo that matters worth a crap.” He hardly needed to do this to get their opponents over, but he did it anyway. It was good to see Bunny accompanying them to the ring this time, and all three were wearing Buffalo Sabres jerseys with their ring names on the back. They hardly needed to pander to the crowd that much, but they did it anyway. Excalibur noted that they had never before competed in Buffalo as part of AEW, so it’s fair to say this would be the biggest crowd in Buffalo they had ever been in front of.
Butcher and Comoroto had a hosts fight where they tried to muscle each other around, and as you’d expected Butcher got the best of it. He tagged in Blade and they hit a double clothesline, and Blade encouraged the fans to raise the roof. Excalibur: “It’s like 1989 in here!” The Factory responded by cutting off the ring to give Blade a two-on-one beating, and Marshall hit a sucker punch from the outside to heat the crowd up even more. Butcher got back in though and hit a pump handle suplex, Comoroto ran in to stop a double team maneuver, and Comoroto set Blade up for a foot stomp and a near fall. Marshall got in the ring to wrap his watch around his knuckles for a punch, and he got caught and ejected. Butcher and Blade immediately hit Drag the Lake on Solo for the pin. The fans were pleased. One even held up a sign reading “Buffalo loves Garcia, Butcher, Blade & Bunny.”
What to watch/skip
This week’s Elevation report is brought to you by Full Death. After a full week of nothing but AEW drama it was nice to not think about it for 45 minutes and just enjoy the action. After it was over I stopped to contemplate this was taped the same night CM Punk and The Elite were stripped of their belts, but during the show it was just pure fun. The best match was Shida and Sakura, but the most fun was the main event. No skips this week. None.
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!