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AEW DARK: ELEVATION TV REPORT
APRIL 5, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED ON YOUTUBE
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Paul Wight and Tony Schiavone
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
– Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight welcomed us to the fourth episode of AEW Dark: Elevation.
(1) ADAM PAGE vs. BILL COLLIER
Collier picked up Page right from the get-go, then powered him to the mat. Page came back with a few stiff chops, and Collier reciprocated. Collier landed a huge right to Page’s chin, which knocked him down. Page tried firing back again, but Collier cut him off. Collier landed a stalling suplex. Page rolled out of a move and threw Collier to the outside. Page followed up with a plancha over the top rope. Back inside, Page hit a fall away slam on the much larger Collier. Collier was perched on the top rope, and Page hit a Frankensteiner, then followed up shortly thereafter with the Buckshot Lariat for the win.
WINNER: Adam Page in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Quick match here, but a good showcase for Page nonetheless, especially against the larger Collier.)
(2) DEAN ALEXANDER & CARLIE BRAVO vs. VARSITY BLONDS (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.)
Alexander locked up with Garrison to kick things off. Garrison and Pillman made quick tags early, focusing on Alexander and keeping him from tagging in Bravo. Bravo eventually did tag in and quickly focused on Garrison’s leg. Alexander and Bravo hit a double drop kick on Garrison but could only get a one count. Garrison fought off both opponents and made a tag to Pillman, who hit a nice looking powerslam on Alexander. Garrison tagged back in and caught Bravo as Pillman came off the top with a dropkick. Garrison covered for the win.
WINNERS: Varsity Blonds in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A nice tag team match. The Varsity Blonds continue to work very well together. In fact, Schiavone noted it’s been a year since they first tagged together.)
(3) DR. BRITT BAKER, D.M.D (w/Rebel/Reba) vs. ALEX GRACIA
Before the match, Baker got on the mic and spoke directly to Gracia saying that since she was the enhancement talent, Baker will be making quick work out of her. Baker noted that Gracia had a good showing against Thunder Rosa last week she will give her a good showing. Baker continued by getting into a wrestling stance on the mat, allowing Gracia to get in the first move. As Gracia locked in, the match finally started, but Baker reversed Gracia into the Lock Jaw for the tap out win.
WINNER: Britt Baker in 0:30
(Moynahan’s Take: An easy night for Baker, but she made the most of her time with a strong promo and overall effective showing.)
(4) PRESTON “10” VANCE (w/The Dark Order) vs. DANNY LIMELIGHT
10 used his power advantage early, ramming Limelight’s head in the turnbuckles. 10 hit Limelight with a fall away slam. Limelight was able to get an advantage and focused on 10’s arm. 10 tried mounting a comeback but Limelight cut him off. Limelight locked in an arm bar, then kicked 10 hard in the back. 10 came right back again with a few stiff forearms. Limelight took 10 down, again focusing on the hurt arm. Limelight bounced off the ropes but was caught with two clotheslines by 10. Limelight ran into a boot by 10, who followed up with a sling blade from the top. 10 hit Limelight with a spinebuster. 10 went for the full nelson but Limelight countered with a hip toss. 10 hit a pump kick, which rocked Limelight to the mat. 10 tried picking Limelight off the mat but Limelight locked in a triangle sleeper. 10 punched his way out of it, then locked Limelight in his full nelson for the tap out victory.
WINNER: 10 in 6:30
(Moynahan’s Take: This was a fun back-and-forth match. The story of the match was Limelight focusing on 10’s arm, with 10 overcoming the onslaught with his sheer power.)
(5) BIG SWOLE vs. JAZMIN ALLURE
Swole took Allure down, then landed a series of knees to her back. Allure rolled to the outside after taking a hip toss. On the floor, Swole ping-ponged Allure between the rail and the apron. Back inside, Swole continued to focus on Allure’s back, hitting a diving European uppercut in the process. Allure fought back, hitting Swole with a running clothesline, then a missile drop kick. Swole caught Allure in midair, then slammed her hard to the mat. Swole power bombed Allure, then turned her into a Texas Cloverleaf submission for the tap out.
WINNER: Big Swole in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Another quick match. Swole looked good here as she tries to climb back in the rankings after time off. Allure is still green but worked well.)
– Backstage, the Sydal Brothers spoke with Dasha about their upcoming match with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page.
(6) VARY MORALES vs. MICHAEL NAKAZAWA
Nakazawa had to pause the match early as he claimed someone was speaking to him in his headset from backstage. Morales caught him by the headset cord, then hit a spinning head scissors takeover. Morales held onto Nakazawa’s arm as he came off the top rope, throwing Nakazawa down in the process. Morales fell on the ropes between his legs, and Nakazawa proceeded to drag Morales along the ropes (ouch). Morales hit a few clotheslines, then a drop kick, which drove Nakazawa to the outside. Morales came off the top onto Nakazawa on the floor. Back inside, Morales went for the cover but Nakazawa kicked out at two. Nakazawa hit a running spear. Morales slipped away from Nakazawa. With the ref distracted, Nakazawa hit Morales with his laptop. Nakazawa dropped Morales, then covered him for the win.
WINNER: Michael Nakazawa in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: This was fine. I’m not a huge fan of Nakazawa, but at least there was no baby oil this time around. I’m just trying to find the plus side here, everyone.)
(7) BARON BLACK vs. LANCE ARCHER (w/Jake “The Snake” Roberts)
Jake Roberts joined commentary for this match. Archer ran through Black at the start of the match. Archer whipped Black hard into the turnbuckle, then hit a splash off the ropes for a two count. Black tried mounting a comeback, but Archer nailed him with a stiff right. Archer missed a short arm clothesline, allowing black to again make a comeback. Archer caught Black with a one-arm choke slam, then perched him on the top rope for the Blackout. Archer covered for the win.
WINNER: Lance Archer in 2:30
– After the match, Roberts took the mic and spoke about them always cutting off Sting’s interviews. Roberts said no one in the back asks them for a match so Roberts says they’ll invite themselves. Archer said everyone else gets interview time except him, so he will make his own time. Archer said he respected Sting, but everything is about Sting since he came back.
(Moynahan’s Take: Yet another quick match, with Archer making quick work of Black this week. I shouldn’t be too surprised, but Black has been given a lot of work over the weeks and months, so I would have guessed he would get a little more offense here. The post-match promo made sense, but I wish they explained themselves on Dynamite instead of Elevation.)
(8) TESHA PRICE vs. RYO MIZUNAMI
Mizunami hit a scoop slam in the early going. Price caught Mizunami with a knee as she went in with a charge. Mizunami and Price went toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring, trading punches and chops. Mizunami has Price in the corner and hit her with her patented series of chops. Mizunami showboated too long, allowing Price to get away. Price bit Mizunami on the arm, then hit a running bulldog. Mizunami ducked a kick but Price hit her on the second attempt. Price locked in a full nelson but Mizunami was able to get out of it. Mizunami hit a powerslam for a two count. Mizunami landed her running leg drops and covered again for a two count. Mizunami picked up Price in a rack position, but Price raked Mizunami’s eyes to get out of it. Price went for two quick pin attempts to no avail. Price landed a kick to Mizunami’s head, staggering her, but Mizunami came right back with a clothesline. Mizunami hit a charging spear for the win.
WINNER: Ryo Mizunami in 6:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was a very enjoyable match, with Price showing a lot of intensity and clearly playing the heel. Mizunami continues to impress me as well. She also lessened the amount of showmanship in this one, which I appreciated.)
(9) MAX CASTER (w/Anthony Bowens) vs. COLT CABANA (w/Evil Uno)
Caster came out and cut a rap on Cabana, basically making fun of his podcast. With Bowens at ringside for Caster, Cabana went to the back and came back with Evil Uno as his corner man. Cabana took Caster down with a head scissors but missed a follow up in the corner. Caster took advantage and drove his knees into Cabana’s back. Caster locked in an arm bar. Cabana rolled out but was met with a clothesline. Caster continued to focus on Cabana’s arm and shoulder. Cabana dodged a charge in from Caster in the corner, then rammed Caster’s head into the turnbuckle. Cabana nailed Caster with his patented elbow, then climbed to the middle rope and hit a splash for a two count. Caster nailed Cabana in the back of the head with his knee. Caster locked in an arm submission, but Cabana turned it around for a close pin fall. Bowens distracted the ref and threw the chain in the ring, but Uno caught it. Caster threw Cabana headfirst into the boombox, then covered for the win.
WINNER: Max Caster in 8:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was fine, but it just never felt like it hit second gear. Not sure if it’s coincidence but the last time reviewing a Caster match, I came away feeling the same way.)
(10) ADAM PRIEST & RYZIN & D3 & FUEGO DEL SOL vs. BUTCHER & BLADE & PRIVATE PARTY (w/Matt Hardy and the Bunny)
Private Party and Butcher and Blade attacked their opponents before the bell. Butcher tagged in and pounded on the much smaller D3. Matt Hardy’s team cut the ring off and focused on D3 in their own corner. D3 was thrown outside, and the Bunny took her turn kicking him while he was down. Quen tagged back in, and D3 finally made the hot tag into Del Sol. Del Sol took out both members of Private Party on his own. Del Sol hit a moonsault on Private Party but Blade came in and broke up the pin attempt. Private Party hit a double kick to Del Sol’s head. Blade and Butcher hit their double team power bomb on Del Sol for the win.
WINNERS: Butcher & Blade & Private Party in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Matt Hardy’s Family Office made quick work here; neither Ryzin nor Priest even got into the ring. The Hardy Family continues to look like an impressive foursome.)
– An AEW Casino mobile game ad aired.
– A new segment aired called “Showcase.” Paul Wight sat down with John Silver, learning a bit about his background in wrestling before making it to AEW. Silver said he started wrestling at 14 and met Alex Reynolds around that same time. They were initially called The Beaver Boys. Silver talked about being recruited into the Dark Order, calling it the best decision. Silver talked about Brodie Lee and the impact on his career. Silver said Brodie Lee was always very genuine and cared about them as both performers and people. Silver talked about his current injury. He said once he is healed, he’s looking to win a championship in 2021.
(11) MATT HARDY vs. ALAN “5” ANGELS
Angels charged Hardy into the corner and laid in a few shots. Hardy came back and slammed Angels hard into the corner. Hardy nailed Angels with a back elbow, then a leg drop. Angels landed a few left hands but was cut off again. Hardy caught Angels then threw him face-first into the turnbuckle. Hardy climbed to the middle rope and came down onto Angels’ back. Hardy called for the Twist of Fate, but Angels reversed out of it. Hardy went for a Razor’s Edge move, but Angels countered out of it. Angels again countered a Twist of Fate attempt. Angels hit a splash across Hardy’s back as he was draped on the middle rope. Angels hit a wing snapper, but Hardy rolled to the outside. Hardy hit Angels with a DDT as he was coming back into the ring. Hardy locked in a new submission, called the Leach, for the win.
WINNER: Matt Hardy in 7:00
– After the match, Hardy took the mic, and said he’s glad the first quarter is over so he can make all of his money now. He called out The Dark Order and said he would destroy them with the HFO (Hardy Family Office). Hardy then called out Darby Allin saying he’s next on his list.
(Moynahan’s Take: This was okay. A bit slow at times, but overall a solid match. Hardy looked good and surprisingly did not need any outside interference for the win.)
(12) SCORPIO SKY & ETHAN PAGE vs. MATT & MIKE SYDAL
Sky and Matt Sydal started things off, trading punches and kicks. All four men hit the ring. The Sydal Brothers evaded a double clothesline, then hit a double dropkick. Mike Sydal tagged in and came off the top with a double stomp across Sky’s chest. As Mike Sydal was working on Sky in the corner, he jumped off onto Page on the apron. Page dropped Mike’s knee hard on the apron, giving Sky the advantage. Page tagged in and stomped away at Mike Sydal’s knee. Sky tagged back in and continued focusing on Mike’s knee. Sky tagged Page back in as they continued hammering away on Mike Sydal. Sky locked in a one-legged Boston Crab, then stomped on the knee for good measure. Mike finally made the hot tag to Matt, who came in with repeated kicks to Sky. Matt hit a brain buster suplex on Sky for a two count. Page tagged in and ran right over Matt Sydal. Matt caught a pump kick attempt and nailed Page with a spinning kick. Mike tagged in, still favoring his knee. The Sydal’s took Page down with a double wrist lock. As the ref was trying to get Matt out of the ring, Sky hit the ring and nailed Mike in the knee. Page hit Mike with the Ego’s Edge for the win.
WINNERS: Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page in 7:00
(Moynahan’s Take: The story of this one was Sky and Page focusing on Mike’s injured knee. With that said, there was not a ton of offense in this one, as Sky and Page tried keeping things on the mat against the faster Sydal brothers.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Quite the change of pace this week, with just twelve matches in under two hours to last week’s sixteen in two and a half. With that said, matches flew by and nothing really stood out to me. I did enjoy the Lance Archer storyline progression, although as mentioned, I would have liked to see that explained to us on Dynamite. I also thought the new Showcase segment with Paul Wight and John Silver was well done. I’m not exactly sure any match is deserving of match of the week honors, but if you only have time for one, I recommend checking out Price vs. Mizunami.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ELEVATION REPORT: 3/29 AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT: Moxley appears, Shida & Conti team up, more