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AEW Dark Elevation recap (Sept. 5, 2022): Did Matt Hardy acknowledge Private Party?

Episode 79 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 were in the booth this week. How are you all feeling after All Out last night? We all get to collectively embrace the oddity of a show taped before the pay per view airing afterward in this episode, so let’s get right to it!

Julia Hart vs. Alice Crowley

Hart brought a record of 14-3 to the opening contest. Menard: “Four weeks in a row on Elevation. Julia Hart — dominating!” Excalibur: “New theme song too.” Crowley was waiting for her in the ring with a record of 0-1. Hart spent at least half a minute starting at Crowley before they finally locked up and Hart pushed her into the corner. She broke clean (albeit reluctantly) at the referee’s instructions, but a handful of hair and a standing moonsault led to a near fall. Hart intentionally pulled her opponent up before three, landed a thrust kick to the jaw, threw Crowley into the corner for more punishment, and yelled at the ref to scare him off. Another thrust kick, pearl harbor lariat, “the house always wins.” Hartless was locked in for the submission and Hart didn’t want to let go after the tap.

Tony Nese & Josh Woods vs. Jordan Cross & Renny D

“Smart” Mark Sterling accompanied Nese & Woods to the ring, sporting a team record of 4-1. They’ve already got a theme song and a manager, now they just need a cool team name. Cross & D were making their debut as a team so they don’t need a name at all. They don’t even need to do anything but take a few bumps for stars, or in this case the knees to the body from Woods. D tried to break up a pin and was thrown out to the floor, then Cross ate a double team neckbreaker for the finish. Excalibur: “Woods and Nese waste no time securing the victory.” You can’t sum it up better than that.

Serena Deeb vs. Nikki Victory

Deeb’s record coming in was 19-2. Victory brought the same number of losses and no wins. Victory got a flurry early and Excalibur teased a “career defining victory” but Deeb hit a dragon leg screw, some chops, finally took off her robe, pushed Victory around the ring with her foot, did a side headlock takeover, and kneeled on Victory’s back as she flexed the biceps. She fish hooked Victory and ref Aubrey Edwards made her break the illegal hold. Victory took a swing and missed, ate a short arm lariat, and Deeb teased a Serenity Lock before Victory escaped. That just led to Deeb sitting on her neck and cranking on her arms for an entirely different submission. Let’s watch a replay!

Private Party vs. JDX and Brandon Gore

Private Party brought a record of 31-22 along with a bouncer and the red rope for them to be “let in” to the party. JDS and Gore were waiting for them with a 0-1 record as a team. After hitting the Silly String on Gore, Matt Hardy came out to the entrance ramp to repay the favor of Private Party watching his match last week. Gore ate Gin & Juice moments later for the pin and Hardy gave them polite applause. Remember folks — if you eat Gin & Juice rather than drinking it, you had a bad night at the party. Hardy threw up a peace sign, kissed it and left as Private Party noticed him on the ramp, and they didn’t seem mad about it.

Skye Blue vs. Diamante

Diamante brought a record of 43-24 and some guns that go “click click BOOM BOOM BOOM” in her entrance music. Blue brought a record of 5-10 to her Chi-Town hometown. The NOW Arena was chanting for Blue and Menard quipped “We’re in Skye Blue country!” Diamante decked her with some forearms, whipped her across the ring, ate a forearm back, and then Diamante hit a baseball slide dropkick and mocked Blue’s crowd chant. She threw Blue into the ring for an elbow to the back. Menard: “How do you like that? Shades of Greg the Hammer!” (“Ah Greg the Hammer, stop di car. Skye Blue, you don’t like my medicine?”) Anyway I digress. Diamante landed another elbow but missed with a dropkick into the corner turnbuckle when Blue moved at the last second. They traded “boo” and “yay” strikes, Blue hit a rising knee and a dropkick to the head, Diamante kicked out at two. Blue went for a leg lariat but ate Three Amigos instead and was bridged for a near fall. Blue hit a superkick, a flatliner, and got the pin! Menard: “That’s got to feel good. Friends and family in the house.” That was the most impressive match from Blue in a while, and I’m giving 60-70% of the credit to her opponent in the ring making her look good.

Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir vs. Madison Rayne & Queen Aminata

Beast of Burdens were accompanied by Vickie Guerrero with records of 15-7 and 75-33 respectively for Shafir and Rose. When are we going to start showing their team record instead? For Rayne and Aminata though you should bill them individually as this was their first time teaming together... yet AEW still put “making their tag team debut” on the chyron. Sometimes I just don’t understand the logic. Shafir was woman-handling Rayne early. Even when it appeared she’d get on offense, Guerrero provided a distraction and Rose tagged in. They blatantly double teamed Rayne and the ref didn’t try to restore law and order until Aminata ran in to make the save. Great — book the ref to be blind +and+ incompetent. Shafir and Rayne used quick tags to cut off the ring and beat Aminata down until Aminata hit a pretty terrible looking Flatliner that she ended up selling more than her opponent. Rose tagged in and dived on Aminata but she got the knees up, then tagged in Rayne. Rayne tried and failed to get an Octopus hold on Rose and Shafir got tagged back in for a double team DDT, and Rose wiped out Aminata to prevent her from breaking up the pin. One of the sloppier main events on Elevation in quite some time. You know it’s bad when I’m saying Skye Blue had a better match, but that’s the honest truth.

What to watch/skip

This is a little bit random I admit but “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Matt Facts. Those are the things that made me a Matt Hardy fan in the first place and decades later I still ride for “vee-one-ah” whether in singles action, a tag team, or possibly... a trio now? We’ll have to see how that plays out. Maybe I’m a little burnt out after so much All Elite Wrestling in the last seven days, but this whole episode felt highly skippable. A lot of short matches, a really bad main event, and no debuts or upsets to comment on. Really the ongoing storyline of Matt Hardy and Private Party going full circle from manager and clients to enemies to possibly friends is the only thing worth hanging your hat on for this episode. I’ll give a pass to Diamante vs. Blue though and tell you to skip everything else. If you really want to watch this show watch the Twitter highlights here. They were the best parts.

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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