SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK: ELEVATION TV REPORT
MAY 10, 2021
RECORDED AT DAILY’S PLACE, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY PATRICK MOYNAHAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
(1) DAVID ALI vs. LEE JOHNSON
Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight spoke up both competitors, saying Ali and Johnson know one another quite well. Johnson took Ali down early, then drove him back into the corner. Johnson went for a handshake, but Ali rolled him over. Johnson came right back with a perfect drop kick flip over. Johnson spring boarded off the top rope, but Ali met him with a forearm uppercut. The two traded strikes in the middle of the ring, which ended with a double underhook slam by Ali and a close two count. Ali nailed Johnson with a stiff forearm. Johnson fought back with a series of clotheslines and a cutter. Johnson hit his Blue Thunder Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Lee Johnson in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Schiavone and Wight made mention of this during the match, but Ali and Johnson had a very good opener this week. They matched up very well, going back-and-forth throughout most of the match until Johnson hit his finisher for the win.)
– Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight welcomed us to the ninth episode of AEW Dark: Elevation. They ran down this week’s show, as well as called out a few upcoming matches on Wednesday’s Dynamite.
(2) EDDIE KINGSTON vs. VSK
Kingston immediately locked VSK in a headlock, then took him over with a hip toss. VSK tried and failed to gain momentum, as Kingston cut him off and focused on VSK’s midsection. Kingston landed a stalling vertical suplex but missed a follow up charge into the corner. VSK hit a pump kick on Kingston, then hit him with a step-up kick to the side of Kingston’s head. VSK tried gaining some offense but Kingston knocked him back yet again. VSK hit a backstabber on Kingston, then came off the top rope, but missed a frog splash. Kingston covered for the win.
WINNER: Eddie Kingston in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A fairly dominant win by Kingston here, with VSK trying, and failing many times, to get in any semblance of offense.)
(3) FUEGO DEL SOL & BARON BLACK vs. ETHAN PAGE & SCORPIO SKY
Sky and Black kicked things off for their respective teams. Sky took an early advantage, as he drove Black into the corner and nailed him with an uppercut. Black came back with a spinning chop to Sky’s chest. Page nailed Black in the back from the apron. Page tagged in as Black was forced into Sky and Page’s corner. With the ref distracted, Sky choked Black from the apron. Sky tagged back in as Black fought back with a few chops and a close two count. Del Sol tagged in and evaded Page and Sky, then came off the top onto both with a moonsault. Del Sol missed the tornado DDT, which allowed Page to follow up with a shoulder tackle. Page hit the Ego’s Edge on Del Sol for the win.
WINNERS: Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A relatively quick tag team match, with Page and Sky continuing to work well together since forming a few weeks ago. Hoping they add a new theme song, plus some matching ring gear sooner than later to really solidify things.)
– Paul Wight was backstage with Danny Limelight, who went over his background and how he became interested in wrestling. Limelight also went into his background in the Marines, and shared a good story about how he initially enrolled. Limelight noted how he became a Marine drill Sergeant and how he helped more than 300 Marines in their own service careers. Limelight then went into more detail about his professional wrestling background. Lastly, Limelight talked about how the pandemic affected his wrestling career, how he got the call from AEW, and what’s next for him.
(4) THUNDER ROSA vs. RENEE MICHELLE
Rosa took Michelle to the mat, then locked her ankle into a submission. Michelle powered out, and the two traded hammerlocks until Michelle got Rosa to the mat. Rosa returned the favor and drove Michelle back to the mat. Rosa hit two arm drags on Michelle, then hit her with a dropkick. Michelle hit Rosa with a face buster but could only get a one count. Rosa knocked Michelle into the corner with a few forearm uppercuts, but Michelle nailed Rosa with a kick as a counter. Rosa hit a backbreaker for a close two count. With Michelle in the corner, Rosa charged in with a running clothesline, then charged in again with a missile dropkick. Michelle rolled Rosa into a pin attempt but rolled her up and nailed a German suplex. Rosa locked in a submission for a quick tap out.
WINNER: Thunder Rosa in 5:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Impressive submission victory for Thunder Rosa. It’s also great to see her again this week, but I’m curious why she hasn’t been on Dynamite much, if at all, since beating Britt Baker.)
– Eddie Kingston was backstage, letting us know the Young Bucks were getting under his skin as of late. He said they were a big reason why he signed with AEW, and that he was with them way back before they became famous. Kingston called out Don Callis as a big reason for the recent Young Bucks personality change. He said they were embarrassing the fans as well as AEW. Kingston finished by saying the Young Bucks would have to rip his heart out.
(5) CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Best Friends) vs. VARY MORALES
Morales gave up a significant size advantage to Taylor in this one. The two worked the mat early on until Taylor hit Morales with a vertical suplex, then a back suplex. Morales came back with a flying head scissor takeover, then came off the top and nailed Taylor while he was on the outside. Back inside, Taylor nailed Morales with a knee, then hit the Awful Waffle for the win.
WINNER: Chuck Taylor in 3:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A basic squash match this week for Taylor, who looked impressive in the short time he and Morales were given.)
(6) LEYLA HIRSCH vs. DANI JORDYN
Jordyn played to the crowd as Hirsch went in for the early takedown. Hirsch kept things on the mat until Jordyn got up and nailed Hirsch with a forearm, then a dropkick. Jordyn went for an early cover for a one count. Hirsch caught Jordyn’s leg and took her down to the mat again. Jordyn missed a kick, which allowed Hirsch to hit a German suplex. Hirsch followed up with a stiff kick to Jordyn’s face and covered for a close two count. The two faced off in the middle of the ring and exchanged forearm shots with one another. Hirsch took Jordyn down again and locked in the cross-arm breaker for the tap out.
WINNER: Leyla Hirsch in 3:30
(Moynahan’s Take: A good back-and-forth match while it lasted. Hirsch continues to impress me each week and it’s nice to see Jordyn on Elevation again after a few weeks away.)
– Page and Sky were backstage with Dasha. Sky says it’s easy to continue winning with Page as his partner. They each put over their work in tonight’s match, then turned their attention to Sting, who they say they haven’t seen for a few weeks now. They also called out Darby, saying he must obviously be hurt after throwing him down the stairs last week. They wished him luck against Miro, and said they’ll be watching.
(7) MANNY SMITH vs. MATT SYDAL
Smith made his AEW debut here. Smith took Sydal to the mat early on, but Sydal reversed and gained the advantage. Sydal nailed Smith with a kick to his kidneys, then locked in a bow and arrow submission. Smith tried fighting back but it didn’t last long. Sydal hit Smith on the side of the head, then put him down with the Lightning Spiral for the win.
WINNER: Matt Sydal in 3:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Not much to speak of here, as Sydal and Smith worked fast. Smith looked fine in his debut, and as always, I’ll be interested to see how he progresses moving forward.)
(8) JADE CARGILL vs. REKA TAHAKA
Cargill nailed Tahaka right from the bell with a knee to the stomach. Cargill followed up with a crucifix slam. Tahaka tried fighting back, and landed a few shots, but missed a pump kick. Cargill nailed Tahaka with her own pump kick. Cargill hit her Jaded finish for the win.
WINNER: Jade Cargill in 1:30
– After the match, Mark Sterling, Esq. hit the stage. He said he’d like to give Cargill some free advice. He mentioned how he represented MJF and made him the highest-paid AEW wrestler. He said Cargill needs to think about her family, adding there is a lot of money on Dynamite. He asked Cargill to chat backstage so she could hear more.
(Moynahan’s Take: Cargill continues her winning ways. Sterling, if you recall, was the lawyer from a few months ago that represented MJF. Let’s see if he has any luck landing Cargill as his new client.)
– A commercial for AEW’s casino mobile game aired
(9) DEAN ALEXANDER & DILLON MCQUEEN vs. MATT HARDY & MARQ QUEN
Quen, in street clothes, was about to start things against McQueen, but Hardy ended up tagging in. Quen nailed McQueen from behind, which allowed Hardy to take advantage. Quen hit a splash on McQueen after tagging in. McQueen tried to fight back but was met with a dropkick by Quen. Hardy was back in and continued to work on McQueen in the corner. Hardy locked in a sleeper hold, but McQueen hit him with a jawbreaker. Alexander got the hot tag and came in firing away at Quen. Hardy nailed Alexander from the apron, which allowed Quen to hit an enziguri. Hardy and Quen double-teamed Alexander, who rolled to the outside. Quen came off the top rope with a senton on both Alexander and McQueen. Back inside, Hardy locked in the Leach submission for the win.
WINNERS: Matt Hardy & Marq Quen in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Hardy and Quen maintained control for much of this one, and continue to rack up victories for the H.F.O.)
(10) BRITT BAKER (w/Reba/Rebel) vs. RAYCHELL ROSE
Baker took Rose down with a side headlock, then locked in a head scissors. Rose bridged up and out of the move. Baker took Rose down with a hair pull behind the ref’s back, then landed a few kicks to Rose’s head. Baker covered for a quick win.
WINNER: Britt Baker, D.M.D. in
(Moynahan’s Take: Wow, Baker barely broke a sweat and pinned Rose without even hitting a finisher. A good win for Baker.)
(11) MADI WRENKOWSKI vs. TAY CONTI
Wrenkowski was taken down to the mat right from the get-go by Conti. Wrenkowski tripped Conti, then threw her into the corner and hit a cutter across the top rope. Wrenkowski got on top of Conti and nailed her with a few strikes. Conti came charging out of the corner with a clothesline, then took Wrenkowski down with a few Judo throws and a German suplex. Conti hit a pump kick, then draped Wrenkowski across the top turnbuckle. Conti jumped across Wrenkowski’s lower back as she was still on the top turnbuckle. Wrenkowski hit an X-factor for a close two count. Conti hit another pump kick, then hit the DD-Tay for the win.
WINNER: Tay Conti in 3:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A nice win by Conti, but Wrenkowski got in a lot more offense than I initially expected.)
– Alex Marvez was backstage with Thunder Rosa who talked about tonight’s win, which included her new submission move that brought her to victory. Marvez called out the fact that Britt Baker is considered the #1 contender even though Thunder Rosa recently beat Baker. Thunder Rosa congratulated Baker but made it clear she will be facing the winner of the Shida/Baker match at Double or Nothing. Lastly, Thunder Rosa spoke of wanting another shot at the NWA Women’s title against Serena Deeb.
(12) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt) vs. CHAOS PROJECT (Luther & Serpentico)
Stunt and Serpentico made early tags, with Serpentico getting the upper edge. Stunt slipped under Serpentico’s legs, then flipped him over by pulling on his arm. Stunt nailed Serpentico with a kick in the corner, then climbed to the top and jumped into Serpentico. Jungle Boy tagged in, getting a close two after a kick from Stunt onto Serpentico. Jungle Boy tagged Stunt back in, then slammed him down onto Serpentico. Serpentico tagged Luther in, who threw Stunt into the corner. Stunt came back with a series of dropkicks, but Luther was unfazed. Serpentico tagged back in, and Luther used him as a battering ram on Stunt. Serpentico reversed Luther and threw him into Stunt. Serpentico caught Stunt and slammed him hard to the mat for a close two count. Luther and Serpentico traded quick tags, and Luther continued to slam Serpentico onto Stunt. Stunt was thrown outside but was able to throw Serpentico into the crowd. Stunt made it back into the ring and was met with a belly-to-belly suplex from Luther. Luther threw Serpentico off the top rope, but Stunt moved out of the way in time. Stunt finally tagged in Jungle Boy, who took out both Luther and Serpentico. Jungle Boy hit Serpentico with a suplex and covered, but it was broken up by Luther. Luther hit Jungle Boy with a powerbomb. Stunt came over and knocked Luther to the outside, then climbed to the top and hit him with a splash to the outside. Inside, Jungle Boy picked Serpentico up, then tagged in Stunt, who hit him with a neck breaker off the top rope for the win.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 8:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Nice tag match here. I would have liked to see more action from Jungle Boy, but I understand that Stunt and Luther/ Serpentico need their ring time.)
– Britt Baker and Reba/Rebel were backstage. Baker talked about her upcoming title match against Shida at Double or Nothing,
(13) ISIAH KASSIDY (w/Marq Quen & Matt Hardy) vs. ALEX REYNOLDS (w/John Silver & Colt Cabana)
Kassidy wrestled in street clothes here, just like Quen did in his previous match tonight. Reynolds took an early advantage and hit Kassidy with a snap suplex. Kassidy caught Reynolds with a kick to the face but was dropped across the middle rope. Reynolds came by with a dropkick to the side of Kassidy’s head, then hit Kassidy with a cross-body off the top rope. Kassidy threw Reynolds across the ropes, then pushed him to the outside where Hardy and Quen were waiting to attack. Back inside, Kassidy continued the assault. Kassidy missed a charge into the corner but came back with a big boot to Reynolds’s face. Reynolds was thrown outside and hit his lower back against the metal guardrail. Reynolds made it back into the ring before the ten count. Kassidy continued working on the lower back of Reynolds by throwing him hard into the corner. Reynolds fired back, taking Kassidy down with a clothesline and a flying elbow/dropkick combo. Reynolds was favoring the back but was able to land a stiff right on Kassidy. Kassidy hit a sling blade for a close two count. Kassidy missed a top rope leg drop. Hardy tripped Reynolds from the outside but was able to kick out of Kassidy’s roll up pin attempt. The Dark Order and H.F.O. scuffled on the outside, which allowed Reynolds to roll Kassidy up inside the ring and pick up the win.
WINNER: Isiah Kassidy in 9:00
– After the match, both groups continued to fight. Hardy locked the Leach on Reynolds as H.F.O. held John Silver and forced him to watch them beat down his partner.
(Moynahan’s Take: Kassidy and Reynolds worked very well here. I liked the story of Reynolds’ hurt back throughout the match, as well as the post-match beatdown. If Silver is healthy in time, I’m hoping we see a Hardy vs. Silver match at Double Or Nothing.)
– A Moxley/Nagata video aired to hype up their IWGP U.S. Title match on this week’s Dynamite.
(14) JON MOXLEY vs. DANNY LIMELIGHT
Limelight took Moxley down with an arm drag, then nailed him with a dropkick. The two jaw-jacked a bit before Moxley nailed Limelight with a stiff kick to the back. Moxley hit a suplex but could only get a one count on the follow up. Moxley continued the onslaught by hitting repeated kicks to the chest of Limelight. Limelight caught the final attempt, and nailed Moxley with a forearm across the face. Moxley fought right back by paint brushing Limelight with a few shots. Limelight spring boarded off the top rope and landed right onto Moxley, which stunned him a bit. Moxley and Limelight continued trading shots. Limelight went for Moxley’s legs, knocked him to the outside, then flew over the top rope and came crashing down onto him. Back inside, Moxley missed a German suplex, and Limelight nailed a blockbuster off the top rope for a two count. Moxley went for the rear naked choke but Limelight got out of it. Moxley was perched on the top rope and hit the Paradigm Shift on Limelight and covered for the win.
WINNER: Jon Moxley in 7:30
(Moynahan’s Take: This match had me even more excited after learning more about Limelight from his earlier interview with Paul Wight. Such a simple and smart way to get people to invest. That being said, this match was great. Limelight got in a good amount of offense, but Moxley otherwise made it look easy.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another solid night of action on Elevation. The main event was the clear standout and came away with match of the night honors. Although there was nothing too substantial in this week’s episode, I came away feeling like a few key programs progressed nicely. Simple, but effective promos from the likes of Baker and Page/Scorpio, as well as the post-match melee between H.F.O. and Dark Order did their jobs as intended.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ELEVATION REPORT: 5/3 AEW DARK ELEVATION TV REPORT: Jon Moxley vs. Andrew Palace, Orange Cassidy vs. VSK, Gunn Club vs. Chaos Project, more