clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AEW Dark Elevation recap (Feb. 13, 2023): Magical Girl vs. Player One

Episode 102 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books. If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. Paul Wight and Matt Menard called the action tonight. RIP Plug 2.

The Dark Order (Evil Uno, John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. Vary Morales, El Dragon & El Combarde

Dark Order brought a 2023 trios record of 4-0 to our opening contest of the night. Their opponents were waiting in the ring with (as you’d expect) no prior record as a trio, although you’ve certainly seen Morales in other Dark matches before. He locked up with Silver and tried a shoulder tackle that didn’t move him an inch. Morales did a drop down leapfrog and ate a shoulder tackle that sent him flying. Silver dragged him to their corner and tagged in Uno, and Uno tagged in Reynolds so they could triple team him, and Morales tagged out as well for a beatdown conducted by his masked men. Paul Wight said he was trying to learn to roll his “R’s” like Dasha but has been unable to master it. Pop up knee by Reynolds and he tagged Uno in to run wild. Cutter, sit out power bomb, right hand, Uno tags out and Reynolds and Silver did their double team finish.

Matt Hardy was explaining backstage to Ethan Page why he brought a camera man. He said he wanted to explain to both Page and the audience that he was the reason they lost the match. “You want me to fall for this? You want a camera to document this?” Hardy: “I’m saying it to the world so they can see how genuine and authentic I am.” Page: “I don’t care what they think and you sir are messing up my business.” Hardy: “It’s my fault. You think I wanted that to happen? I wanted to be a champion with you. These last few months I wasn’t sure about you at first, but I’ve been motivated by you, I’m inspired by you. I’m gonna bust my ass to turn back the clock. Two a days, three a days. Whatever it takes. I want us to take over the world. You’ve inspired me to be a better pro wrestler and be a better man. Not only are we great men we are great fathers. We love our children more than anything else. We love our wives. We’re loyal. You have an impeccable sense of style.” Hardy presents him with a shirt. Page: “When you put it like that Matt, I want to see where this goes.” They hug it out. Page: “When I say jump,” Hardy: “I’ll say how high. We can run this joint.” Page: “Hey, thanks for watching guys. Can they leave? We’ll continue this on our own. Okay, bye!”

Big Bill vs. Gino

Bill is making his singles debut for 2023 on Elevation. Something about that seems odd, but so be it. Gino was making his AEW debut period, not just for 2023, and was barely able to look above Bill’s navel standing directly in front of him. This was exactly as one sided as you would expect. Wight: “Everything Bill does is what we’d call snug.” Bill mocked the crowd’s Gino chant and then flipped them off. He stomped on Gino’s back and hammered on it when he got up. Bill ate a dropkick to the chest, and then Gino got kicked out of +his+ boots by Big Bill. One handed chokeslam and Bill stood on his chest for the pin. Wight rated this an “8 out of 10” for one sided beatings.

Jade Cargill & Leila Grey vs. DD Doom & Dulce Tormenta

Speaking of one sided, I can’t see Cargill losing any matches any time soon, even a tag team match. She and Grey had a tag team record of 3-0 coming in, and Wight was sure to point out Cargill won another match on Jericho’s cruise to improve her singles records to 51-0. Tormenta and Doom were making their AEW debut as a team. Tormenta had size on Cargill but not the same degree of musculature. She easily overpowered Tormenta and tagged in Grey, who nearly got caught in a roll up for 3. She recovered with a Russian leg sweep for a near fall. Doom got knocked off the apron and Cargill was tagged back in. Cargill gave Tormenta a pump kick to the face. threw Doom over her head when she tried to run in and help, then gave Tormenta an implant buster for the pin. The entrance video immediately updated to 52-0 after the match, even though Wight responded “I’m not going to argue with her +but+ that wasn’t a singles match.” I wouldn’t argue with her either Paul.

Brian Cage (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Jastin Taylor

Cage brought a record of 13-0 on Elevation. Spoiler alert — it would be 14-0 in a couple of minutes. Taylor was waiting in the ring to make his AEW debut, however short lived it might be. He wasn’t nearly as outgunned as Gino was against Bill, but Cage still did reps with him like he was workout equipment. Kick to the head, suplex, double bicep pose for the crowd. Discus lariat missed. Taylor hit a kick and signaled for a big move that Cage easily blocked, and he was promptly finished off with the Drill Claw. Nana hit the ring to hand him his ROH Trios Title and celebrate the win.

Emi Sakura & Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Skye Blue & Madison Rayne

Sakura and Rose were teaming for the first time in 2023. Vickie Guerrero interrupted their entrance music screaming “Excuse me!” and blowing kisses to the crowd, who chanted “Eddie” in response. Rayne and Blue were also teaming for the first time this year. Rayne had even gotten matching blue trunks and top for the occasion. Sakura laughed off Rayne and grabbed a handful of hair as the “Eddie” chants continued. You had to expect that in El Paso. Blue tagged in and gave Sakura a high knee. Rose tagged in and punched Blue in the face. She responded with leg and knee kicks. Blue tried a rana and then a Canadian Destroyer, neither of which worked, and Rose crushed her. Menard: “I think Skye blew (it).” Sakura tagged back in and did a crossbody through the ropes to send Blue to the floor and dragged her around by the hair. Blue speared her into the barricade and Vickie Guerrero speared Blue in response! The crowd roared for it. Rose was tagged in, Sakura threw Blue onto her knee, and Rose made the cover for two. Rayne pounded on the turnbuckle to encourage Blue to fight back. Rose splashed Blue in the corner but missed the avalanche in the corner. Sakura tagged in and Menard immediately said “YASSS QUEEN.” Tilt a whirl backbreaker by Sakura to Rose and both women were down. Double tag. Rayne tried and failed shoulder tackles so she attacked the knee instead. Blue ran in to try and help and Sakura dropped her on her head and gave her a crossbody into the barricade on the floor. Back in the ring Rose immediately destroyed Rayne for the pin and the El Paso crowd loved it. More “Eddie” chants and shots of fans wearing his shirts.

Yuka Sakazaki vs. Vertvixen

Sakazaki brought a record of 3-0 in 2023 to the ring. Vertvixen was also making her 2023 debut although she too is no stranger to Dark matches. As with most of her matches Sakazaki was giving up size and had to use her quickness and high flying to overcome the difference. Vixen put the boots to her in the corner and ran on top of her head before a sliding forearm and a peace sign for the camera. Sakazaki blocked a vertical suplex and kicked Vixen in the gut. Vixen responded by slamming her down for a near fall. Sakazaki picked Vixen up for an airplane spin. Wight: “That’s impressive! I may be small but I’m tough damn it.” Magical Dream Girl Splash for three! Somebody put her AEW entrance music on YouTube please. Athena ran in to give Sakazaki a belt shot and the crowd loudly booed. She threw Sakazaki out of the ring, threw her into the steel steps, talked some smack, picked her up and pinned her leg between the steps and the ring before hitting a dropkick to it. Wight: “Athena should be fined for this!” She got back int he ring and paraded with her ROH Women’s Title for more boos. Menard: “We need to get somebody out here.” Athena put her down again with a boot and went to the back, laughing and mocking Sakazaki the whole way.

Josh Woods (w/ Ari Daivari, Tony Nese & “Smart” Mark Sterling) vs. Manscout Jake Manning

Woods was 17-8 in AEW before this match. Wight: “I’m looking at Smart Mark Sterling and I’ve got to ask — is that an oxymoron?” Manning was too busy reading his scouting manual to even pay attention to the opening bell. Woods threw the book away, picked him up, and dropped him on his face. Power bomb, knee to the face, back bridge German for the pin, and this whole thing was 30 seconds at the most. Sterling should have cut a promo about a law in Texas and how it applied to El Paso to stretch this out a bit.

Best Friends (Trent Beretta & Chuck Taylor) vs. Aydan Colt & Frank Stone

Beretta and Taylor were 1-0 so far in 2023. Colt and Stone were waiting in the ring to (say it with me now) make their AEW tag team debut. Aubrey Edwards called for the bell and we started out with Taylor and Stone. Stone tagged Colt, Colt knocked Beretta off the apron, but Taylor recovered for a slam and tagged in Beretta. Colt ate a chop and some strikes. Colt tried to return the favor and got put right back down. Stone lent an assist from the apron so they could work Beretta over. High back body drop by Beretta. Tag to Taylor. Double shoulder tackle. Stone ran in to throw punches and the Best Friends took care of him before hitting Sole Food and doing a big hug. Double piledrivers, double pins for the win. Menard: “We might need some stretchers!” The Friends shook hands to celebrate as Elevation went off the air.

What to watch/skip

Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by De La Soul. Pro wrestling and rap music are the things I live for, so Dave’s passing on February 12th hurts a lot, but getting to share this episode of Dark Elevation with all of you helps (a little). If you’ve never checked out their catalogue it comes to streaming in its entirety on March 3rd after a decades long fight over ownership, so stay tuned for that. First of all let me say I like Vertvixen more every time I see her. She’s got the physique, the charisma, and if she had some longer matches in AEW I think we’d learn just how good she is. Here’s hoping. The Sakazaki match was the highlight of the episode both in terms of her overcoming the odds but for the post match angle to build up her program with Athena. It would be great to see Sakazaki dethrone the champ. With that out of the way your opinion on this show is solely based on how you feel about squashes. The only competitive match was the women’s tag team bout and it was still obvious who would win. For me this was a fun episode albeit not an +intriguing+ one.

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 after AEW Dark!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats