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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Sept. 19, 2022): Why isn’t Dalton Castle signed?

Episode 81 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 Ian Riccaboni and “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard called the matches tonight. There’s still not an official Ring of Honor TV show under the AEW umbrella (unless you count Rampage) but something on this episode feels awfully familiar. Let’s get into it!

Zack Clayton vs. Conan Lycan

Clayton brought a 2-4 record to this match, and since this was taped in Albany, they went out of their way to announce he was “originally from” the area before moving to the Jersey Shore. Lycan was waiting for him in the ring with a record 0-1 and he too was from Albany. Riccaboni said he’d been looking forward to “the battle of Albany” all day. Lycan went up on the ropes to show off his physique, the crowd popped, and Clayton immediately clipped the knee. Beat down in the corner, elbow to the spine, and then he struck a pose in the corner to get the crowd to boo. Lycan ran him over with a couple of clotheslines but missed a spear in the corner and hit the ring post. Menard kept mispronouncing his name “Konnan” and you know that was on purpose. Clayton dropped a knee, caught Lycan coming out of the corner for a power slam, and got a near fall. Lycan rolled over Clayton’s back, slammed him, and missed a 450 off the top rope. Clayton picked him up for what looked like a torture rack but then dropped him on his ass and pinned him. Menard: “What do you call that?” Riccaboni: “A spin out torture rack.” Okay, that’s what we’ll call it.

Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero & Marina Shafir) vs. B3cca

Rose was flanked by Shafir and Guerrero for her entrance and brought a singles record of 77-33 in AEW to the ring. B3cca was waiting for her in the ring with a record of 0-1. Riccaboni noted that she had wrestled in 32 countries and was well known for her community service. I’m sure that was his attempt to give her some credibility given that she was about to get destroyed. Rose gave her a spear, picked her up for the Beast Bomb, and that was that. The entrance took longer than the match.

Vickie Guerrero: “I said excuse me! My client Marina Shafir has a message just for you.” Shafir: “Albany! My name is Marina Shafir, daughter of Isabella and Benjamin Shafir, and you welcomed us here with open arms in ‘93 when we moved here from Moldova. My parents created The Problem, Albany you raised The Problem, and all of you are part of The Problem. You know me.” Then Shafir turned to the camera. “You don’t know me! You don’t know nothing about me! Understand this. When the violins play, violence is always on the way.” The announcers called this a “descent into madness” and that’s what it felt like.

Private Party vs. Danger Kid & Aggro

Private Party brought a record of 33-27 to the ring. Danger Kid & Aggro were competing as a team for the first time in AEW. This is both the good and the bad of the Dark shows in a nutshell. It’s good that more members of the roster get a chance to wrestle, it’s good that indie talent get to work with them, and it’s bad when you know the result of a match without going to a taping or reading the spoilers. Even “Daddy Magic” seemed to think it was a foregone conclusion because he was taking about facing Hook and Action Bronson at Dynamite Grand Slam and said he’d be “a hundred and ten percent” for the match. Danger Kid tried to give Aggro a hot tag in the hopes he’d run wild, he hit a missile drop kick for a near fall, and then immediately took an elbow to the jaw and an arm drag. You know what’s coming next. Rolling down the street, smoking indo, sipping on Gin & Juice.

Skye Blue vs. Clara “Chica” Carreras

Blue entered with a 2022 record of 6-10. Carreras was waiting for her in the ring to make her AEW debut. Riccaboni said she had been competing in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Menard was flummoxed. He thought Riccaboni was reading from a cheat sheet. Carreras took a thrust kick to the jaw, Blue picked her up for a Sky Fall (full nelson into a slam) and that was all she wrote. I feel Carreras can probably do much more than she got to here.

Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Rick Recon, Omar and Boujii

And now the moment I was waiting this whole show for, and an incredibly appropriate reason to have Riccaboni on commentary, it’s time for Dalton Castle and The Boys! Dasha Fuentes made sure to note they were the ROH six-man champs and Castle had the belt around his waist to prove it. Boujii, Rick Recon and Omar were waiting in the ring to make their trios debut.

Menard claimed he used to ride up and down the rode with Castle and that he got sick of hearing about his amateur wrestling. Riccaboni picked up on this and ran with it: “I hear you used to be friends with a man named Ashley Remington who looked an awful lot like him.” Castle let The Boys work with Omar and Boujii for a little bit before he got the tag and ran over everyone. Riccaboni: “There are those hips and as Shakira once said they do not lie.” He threw his Boys out of the ring into all three of their opponents, Boujii was thrown back in, and Castle hit the Bangarang for the pin. This was fun!

Frankie Kazarian vs. Jora Johl

Johl came to the ring with a record of 6-3 for 2022. Kazarian entered with a record of 72-33 overall in AEW. Okay All Elite Wrestling — how about some consistency? If we’re going to bill one man by his 2022 record, bill the other the same way. If we’re going to bill one man by his overall record, bill the other the same way. I’m not asking for much — just consistency.

Kazarian hit a springboard back elbow and clotheslined Johl to the floor, then lit him up with chops on the ramp. He rolled Johl back in for a guillotine leg drop and got a one count. Johl reversed Kazarian, took him to his shoulders and slammed him for a two count. Front face lock suplex for a two count followed by flexing his biceps. Kazarian blocked Johl’s charge with a back elbow then stacked him up for a pin attempt. Johl with a back breaker for two. Menard: “He hit his back there. Get to it. Don’t take too much time!” Johl set up for a pump kick and missed. Kazarian hit a spinning kick and a flying forearm, then went for the crossface chicken wing. Johl blocked it and went for a roll up, but he got countered right into the chicken wing for the tap. Another fun match!

Mascara Dorada vs. Serpentico

Serpentico was (unfortunately) accompanied by Luther and brought a record of 13-92. Dorada was making is AEW debut but if you don’t know him from lucha libre or New Japan Strong you might know him better as Gran Metalik. “We got a match here Ian!” Serpentico went to the top rope and missed on a double stomp, took a superkick, fireman’s carry into an airplane spin, Dorada Driver got the pin. Short fast and decisive. Hopefully we’ll be seeing much more of Dorada going forward. Riccaboni echoed my thoughts.

The Butcher & The Blade vs. Mike Anthony & Liam Davis

Butcher & Blade brought a record of 26-13 to the main event. If you’re getting deja vu you’re not mistaken as they were the main event last week too. Davis and Anthony were waiting for them in the ring with no prior record as a team in AEW. Butcher & Blade were laughing at their opponents and I can’t say I blame them. Blade no sold a bunch of forearms to the face from Anthony, gave him a suplex, then tagged Butcher in. They gave him a double head butt. Davis ran in, tried, and failed to make the save. Mike Posey lost control of the match as referee as everyone was in the ring at once, with the enhancement talent getting mud holes stomped into them and stomped dry. The match was finished with a double stacked Drag the Lake right in the middle. Riccaboni: “You might want to drain the lake after that, to see all the carcasses at the bottom.”

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” for Elevation is brought to you by Dalton Castle live from Planet Peacock. The last time I checked (which was also not the first time I checked), Dalton Castle is a free agent working on a per appearance basis, +even though+ he’s currently one third of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions along with his Boys. I’m happy that the door is open for him to appear on AEW programming, but given Tony Khan owns ROH lock stock and barrel, why wouldn’t you want a charismatic performer who is a +current+ champion to actually be signed to a full time deal? I don’t understand it. Having Riccaboni on commentary is hopefully a sign they realize both he and Castle need to be under contract and featured on a ROH TV show when Tony Khan launches one. Anyway the must watch match was Castle’s (for the entrance and finish alone it’s worth it), followed by Dorada vs. Serpentico (give them five more minutes), followed by Kazarian vs. Johl. No offense to Nyla Rose but skip her match. B3cca didn’t get to do a thing and Shafir got completely lost during her promo afterward. She needs more practice. The rest was fine.

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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