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AEW DARK: ELEVATION TV REPORT
JULY 12, 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
– Tony Schiavone and Paul Wight welcomed us to tonight’s show.
(1) THUNDER ROSA vs. DREAMGIRL ELLIE
Rosa took Ellie to the mat and went for an early pin attempt, which Ellie quickly kicked out of. Rosa laid in a stiff chop, then took Ellie down with a deep arm drag. Rosa hit a senton on Ellie, but Ellie again kicked out of the follow up pin attempt. Ellie laid in some chops on Rosa in the corner, which only fired Rosa up even more. Ellie came off the top, but Rosa nailed her with a dropkick. Ellie rolled Rosa up for a pin attempt but only managed a two count. Rosa maintained control and hit a missile dropkick as Ellie laid by the bottom turnbuckle. Rosa slammed Ellie to the mat, then called for the Peruvian choke. Ellie quickly tapped out.
WINNER: Thunder Rosa in 6:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was a lengthy squash match, with Ellie barely getting in any offense. The crowd was clearly behind Rosa here, who continues to stay strong at #3 in the women’s rankings.)
– An ad for the AEW Elite General Manager game aired.
(2) MATT HARDY (w/H.F.O.) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Del Sol entered to a strong reaction from the crowd. Hardy entered and immediately asked for his music to stop. He said Del Sol was a big loser and he has to wear a mask because he doesn’t want to look at himself in the mirror. He added that Del Sol won’t get an AEW contract because he has “deleted” that idea. He finished by saying he will be Christian Cage on Dynamite.
The bell rang and Del Sol went right after Hardy, which got a huge pop from the crowd. Del Sol hit Hardy with a back elbow, then a spear into the corner. Del Sol called for the tornado DDT but Hardy shrugged him off and to the outside of the ring. Hardy rammed Del Sol’s face into the turnbuckle multiple times, then played to the crowd. The crowd chanted for Del Sol as Hardy continued his onslaught. Hardy hit the Side Effect but didn’t go for the pin. He followed up by perching Del Sol on the top turnbuckle, but Del Sol fought him off with a headbutt. Del Sol took Hardy down with a head scissors but could only get a two count after a pin attempt.
Hardy nailed Del Sol with the Twist of Fate out of nowhere, then locked in the Leach for the tap out.
WINNER: Matt Hardy in 4:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A very fun match from beginning to end, which was added to by the crowd getting behind Del Sol. Go out of your way to watch this one.)
(3) RIHO vs. AMBER NOVA
The two traded takedowns in the early going, with Riho ultimately gaining the upper hand by hitting Nova with a dropkick. Nova baited Riho into the corner and drove her head into the top turnbuckle. Nova went for a nonchalant pin attempt which Riho easily kicked out of. Nova took out a dirty rag and threw it at Riho. Riho rolled Nova up for a close two count, but Nova came right back and hit a northern lights suplex for another two count. Nova locked in a deep arm bar, but Riho was able to wriggle herself to the ropes for the break. Riho bridged out of another pin attempt, then hit Nova with the 619. Riho came off the top with a cross-body for a two count. Riho went right back to the top but missed a double stomp. Riho hit her own northern lights suplex, but Nova apparently got her shoulder up. The crowd booed as it looked like someone missed a spot. Riho came off the top again and this time, hit the double stomp for the win.
WINNER: Riho in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A very ‘meh’ match in my view. Someone clearly messed up the close pin attempt toward the end and the crowd called them out for it. This was messy in spots.)
– Lee Johnson and Dustin Rhodes were backstage. Dustin congratulated Jungle Boy for his 50 wins in AEW. Dustin and Johnson said tonight’s match between Johnson and Jungle Boy was huge, and Johnson was ready for the challenge.
(4) POWERHOUSE HOBBS (w/Hook) vs. BARON BLACK
Black went after Hobbs before the bell, but Hobbs took him right down to the mat. Hobbs hit a splash on Black in the corner but missed a follow up attempt. Black nailed Hobbs with a series of chops, but Hobbs took him right down with a vicious spine buster for the win.
WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs in 1:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Hobbs with a dominant win against Baron Black, one of the more popular mainstays on Dark. That said, the crowd was behind Hobbs here.)
(5) KILYNN KING vs. YUKA SAKAZAKI
Sakazaki came to the ring to a nice ovation as Tony Schiavone mentioned her upcoming match on this week’s Dynamite against Penelope Ford. Sakazaki gave up a sizable size advantage to King. Sakazaki quickly dropped King down with a toehold, then worked her arm. The two traded takedowns until Sakazaki drove King to the outside. Sakazaki followed her out with a senton bomb on the floor. With King on the apron, Sakazaki came off the top again but seemed to slip and barely connected with King. King drove Sakazaki down hard on the corner of the apron (nasty!). Inside, King locked in a front face lock, then nailed Sakazaki with a back elbow. Sakazaki caught King but the two fell to the mat together. Sakazaki regained her composure first and came off the middle rope with a back elbow. Sakazaki climbed to the top rope and hit a missile dropkick on King.
King caught Sakazaki and hit a pump handle slam for a close two count. Sakazaki barely kicked out of a follow up pin by King. Sakazaki picked up King for an airplane spin, then drove her face-first to the mat. Sakazaki hit the Magical Girl Splash for the win.
WINNER: Yuka Sakazaki in 6:30
(Moynahan’s Take: There were a few missed spots, but this was otherwise a solid match. Sakazaki got a strong crowd reaction and worked well with the much larger King.)
(6) THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) & CHAOS PROJECT (Serpentico & Dr. Luther) vs. GUNN CLUB (Billy & Colten) & VARSITY BLONDS (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr. w/Julia Hart)
The Acclaimed hit the ring, with Caster getting a strong crowd reaction from the crowd with his rap until it ended with a slam against the local Miami Heat.
Bowens and Pillman kicked things off. Bowens took Pillman over with a snap mare, but Pillman came right back with a stiff knife edge chop. Garrison tagged in and took over where Pillman left off. Colten tagged in, then made a quick tag to Billy, who got a huge reaction before he even got into the ring. Serpentico tagged in and bounced right off Billy. Billy hit Serpentico with a side slam, then tagged Colten back in. Luther ran in but accidentally nailed Serpentico with an elbow drop. Gunn Club and Varsity Club took turns slamming one another onto Serpentico.
Bowens distracted Pillman, which allowed Serpentico to nail him with a dropkick, then tag out to Caster. The crowd chanted “you can’t rap” to rile Caster up. Acclaimed and Chaos Project took turns working on Pillman, making quick tags to one another in the process. Luther hit Pillman with a kick to the back, then tagged Serpentico back in. Luther threw Serpentico off the top right onto Pillman. Serpentico mocked Billy with the DX gesture, but then missed a charge into Pillman. Colten finally made the tag and took out The Acclaimed in the process. Colten and Garrison hit a series of Stinger splashes to all four opponents.
Colten hit Serpentico with a tilt-a-whirl side slam for a two count. Pillman tagged in and hit a springboard off the ropes onto Luther for the win.
WINNERS: Gunna Club & Varsity Blonds in 7:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A really fun match, with a lot going on in a short period of time. This was aided by the crowd reaction, who popped big for Billy but was also noticeably behind Pillman during the entire match.)
– After the match, Caster took the mic and was about to freestyle on the Varsity Blonds. He decided instead to ask for a tag team title match. With the Blonds ranked higher, Caster said they had two options; to get back into the ring and fight or do something inappropriate with Julia Hart, which I decline to detail here. The Blonds ran The Acclaimed out of the ring and into the back.
(7) ALAN “5” ANGELS (w/The Dark Order) vs. BRIAN CAGE
Cage threw Angels into the corner but missed a follow up. Angels used his speed to evade Cage, but Cage nailed him with a back elbow and boot to the face. Angels was able to come right back and nail Cage with a series of kicks to the face. Angels mounted Cage in the corner and nailed him with a series of punches to the face. Angels hit a dropkick, which rolled Cage to the ramp. Angels came off the top, but Cage caught him and threw him right back into the ring. Cage hit Angels with a vertical suplex from the apron to the ring. Angels evaded Cage again and nailed him with a few shots, then a clothesline to take Cage to the mat. Cage was draped on the second rope as Angels nailed him from behind. Angels followed it up with a moonsault for a two count. Cage hit Angels with a powerbomb, then another which he turned into a backbreaker. Cage followed up with the Drill Claw for the win.
WINNER: Brian Cage in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Wow, Cage hit Angels with a vicious powerbomb into a backbreaker, which looked extremely stiff. Angels held his own but there was no doubt Cage was winning this one.)
– Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy were backstage. Jungle Boy told us he was the first AEW wrestler to win 50 matches (did you know that?). He said that starting tonight, he was looking for the next record to break. Luchasaurus added that the next goal would be the “first to 51 wins.”
(8) LEYLA HIRSCH vs. KELSEY HEATHER
Hirsch took Heather right to the mat, but Heather was able to get to the ropes to break Hirsch’s follow up. Heather lured Hirsch into the corner, then nailed her. Hirsch hit a German suplex, then knocked Heather out with a boot to the face. Hirsch locked in the arm bar for the quick win.
WINNER: Leyla Hirsch in 1:00
(Moynahan’s Take: A no-doubt win by Hirsch, who beats Heather in her AEW debut.)
(9) SCORPIO SKY (w/Ethan Page) vs. CAPT. SHAWN DEAN
Page joined commentary for this match. Dean held the early advantage on Sky, but Sky slowed things down by getting to the ropes, then threw Dean to the apron. Dean fired a few shots at Sky, then nailed him with a DDT. Dean followed up with a dropkick in the corner for a close two count. Dean followed it up with a roll up attempt, which concerned Page at the commentary table. Sky countered Dean into a TKO for the win.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 2:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Sky got surprisingly little offense here, even with this being a quick one.)
– Mark Sterling and Jade Cargill were backstage at a podium, and said they had an exclusive announcement. Sterling said they were headed to Hollywood to speak with various agents. He added they were planning to make Cargill the biggest star, then introduced Cargill. Cargill basically reiterated that she was headed to Hollywood. And of course, she ended with “I’m that bitch.”
(10) TAY CONTI vs. LABRAVA
Labrava made her AEW debut here. Conti wasted no time and took Labrava down with judo takedowns, then a pump kick. Labrava rolled to the ramp, and Conti followed. Conti locked Labrava in a headlock, then walked her back to the ring. Conti had Labrava’s leg wrapped in the ropes, but the ref called for the break. Labrava gained a bit of momentum until Conti nailed her with a back elbow in the corner. Conti took Labrava down with a series of clotheslines. Conti missed a move off the top, but followed up with a few pump kicks, which rattled Labrava. Conti hit the Tay-KO for the win.
WINNER: Tay Conti in 3:00
(Moynahan’s Take: Conti was dominant here. As fierce as she was during the match, she danced for the crowd with a smile on her face after the match.)
(11) LEE JOHNSON (w/Dustin Rhodes) vs. JUNGLE BOY (w/Luchasaurus)
The crowd was big into Jungle Boy, and his theme song. Johnson and Jungle Boy traded takedowns early. Jungle Boy knocked Johnson down with a high dropkick, then laid in a few chops. Johnson looked rattled after a stiff elbow to the face. As the crowd chanted for Luchasaurus, Johnson took Jungle Boy down with a few clotheslines, then a neck breaker. Jungle Boy fired up and nailed Johnson with a series of clotheslines and kicks. Jungle Boy drove Johnson to the apron, then flew over the top rope and took Johnson down with a hurricanrana.
Back inside, the crowd cheered for both men. Johnson caught in an airplane spin, paused, then tried it again. Johnson followed up with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Both men were down, and the crowd cheered for them to reach their feet. Jungle Boy threw Johnson into the corner, then hit a German suplex for a two count. Johnson was perched on the top rope, then tangled upside down, which allowed Jungle Boy to dropkick him right in the face.
Johnson hit a variation of a DVD for a two count. Johnson tried firing himself up by slapping his own face. Johnson went for a suplex, but Jungle Boy blocked it and hit a brain buster, then another. Jungle Boy missed a clothesline from behind, and Johnson rolled him up for a close pin. The two then traded pin attempts for close two counts until Jungle Boy held Johnson long enough for the win.
WINNER: Jungle Boy in 9:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This one started with a big match feel to it, and it delivered. This was nonstop action from start to finish, with neither man really holding an advantage for much length. There is a future series between these two down the road, I can sense it.)
– A Miro vignette aired showing his TNT Championship win from a few months’ back. Miro said it was his “divine right to be great, to have a hot wife, and to be God’s champion.”
(12) RED VELVET vs. LEILA GREY
Grey took Velvet to the mat early, but Velvet came right back and nailed Grey with a leg to the face. Velvet (kind of) hit Grey with a split thrust kick as she laid on the bottom rope. Grey was able to gain the advantage and hit Velvet with a missile dropkick for a two count. Velvet fired right back and nailed Grey with a few clotheslines, then hit Grey in the back with double knees. Velvet followed it up with a standing moonsault for a two count. Velvet hit Grey hard right in the face with her Chef’s Kiss finisher for the win.
WINNER: Red Velvet in
(Moynahan’s Take: Yikes, that finisher by Red Velvet looked like it hit Grey hard in the face. This was fine for what it was, but I felt as though the crowd was a bit tired for this one.)
– Backstage, Jora Johl said he accepted Matt Hardy’s offer to join H.F.O. from a few weeks ago. He said he was doing so because it was his dream to be a professional wrestler.
(13) PRIVATE PARTY (Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy) & JORA JOHL VS. CHUCK TAYLOR & ORANGE CASSIDY & WHEELER YUTA
Taylor and Kassidy squared off to start. Taylor went for a quick pin attempt but Kassidy kicked out. Kassidy let out a huge squeal as Taylor hit him with a slam. In the corner, Private Party forced Johl to put on a Milwaukee Bucks jersey (to rile up the Miami crowd). Yuta and Quen were the legal men, and Yuta hit Quen with a dropkick. Quen flew over the top rope and hit a senton onto Yuta. Private Party and Johl kept Yuta in their corner as they cut off the ring. Yuta finally fired back and hit a double dropkick on both members of Private Party. Yuta crawled to the corner as Johl tagged in.
Yuta fought Johl off and finally tagged in Cassidy. Cassidy and Johl traded standing switches, many of them. Taylor made the blind tag and nailed Johl with a high knee, then drove Johl to the mat. Yuta tagged in and came off the top with a splash, which was broken up by Kassidy. Private Party took Yuta out, then threw Johl onto him for the pin attempt, which was broken up by Taylor. Kassidy flew over the top rope and took out Taylor. Inside, Quen had Yuta locked up for Johl who didn’t want the help. Cassidy came up from behind of Quen and knocked him out with the Orange Punch. Back inside the ring, Yuta rolled Johl up for the win.
WINNER: Best Friends & Wheeler Yuta in 5:00
(Moynahan’s Take: This was fine for what it was, but it felt like the crowd was less into this one as I think they’d normally be after a long night of action.)
(14) HIKARU SHIDA vs. JULIA HART (w/Varsity Blonds)
Shida and Hart started things off with a test of strength, which Hart won by throwing Shida across the ring. Shida hit a dropkick, then placed Hart face-down across the apron. She followed it up with a running knee strike. Inside, Shida nailed Hart in the corner with a running knee. The two squared off in the center of the ring, which ended with Hart taking Shida down with a few clotheslines. Hart followed up with a handspring into another clothesline, then a running elbow. Hart then hit a split-leg drop for a two count. Shida shrugged Hart off her, but Hart went for a roll up attempt for a two count. Shida planted both knees onto Hart’s face for another close count. Shida missed a kick, and Hart planted one of her own. Shida caught a second attempt and dropped Hart to the mat. Shida locked in the Full Metal Muffler for the tap out win.
WINNER: Hikaru Shida in 4:30
(Moynahan’s Take: Hart held her own against the former Champion, but Shida wasn’t losing this one. It’s also worth noting that Shida seemed to play a bit more heelish in this one, and even wore a pair of black gloves which Schiavone and Wight specifically called out.)
(14) ANGELICO (w/Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy) vs. DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting)
Angelico was driven into the corner but the ref broke things up before Allin could land any offense. Allin used his speed to evade Angelico multiple times, then take him down with an arm drag. Allin kept things to the mat by locking in an arm bar. Allin seemed to jam up his knee, which allowed Angelico to kick him from behind. Angelico focused on the injured leg/knee by synching in a crossbow submission. Allin reversed, however, and locked in his own wrist lock. Angelico rolled to the apron where Hardy and Kassidy were there to assist. Angelico nailed Allin with a kick to the face, then locked in another leg lock submission.
Angelico kept his focus on Allin’s leg by kicking it from the back as it laid across the middle rope. The two found their way to the top. Angelico was pushed off and Allin came off with a sunset flip for a two count. The two then traded quick pin attempts for two counts. Allin hit the stunner, then climbed to the top. He came off with the Coffin Drop for the win.
WINNER: Darby Allin in 6:00
– After the match, Christian Cage hit the ring and all hell broke loose. Cage and Hardy fought to the back as Sting nailed Kassidy with two Stinger Splashes. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky came out for a stare down with Sting and Allin in the ring.
Page and Sky left and Sting took the mic. He said it was great to be back in Miami with Darby. The crowd chanted loudly for Allin. Sting said “AEW wins again” and the crowd responded with an “AEW” chant. Allin took the mic to address Page. He said it’ll be a pleasure to close the coffin on him as the show went off the air.
(Moynahan’s Take: An okay match, but it was surprisingly given less time than I expected. Allin got the needed win here as he heads into the huge coffin match with Ethan Page in two days.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Along with some great in-ring work, and some standout matches, the crowd made this week’s Elevation worth watching. That being said, I can’t see a total of 15 extra matches before and after each week of Dynamite being a wise strategy, as it’ll easily burn out the crowd. If you’re going to one match tonight, please go out of your way to see the Johnson/Jungle Boy match, which was just awesome. A close second would be Hardy/Del Sol.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ELEVATION REPORT: 7/5 AEW DARK ELEVATION TV REPORT: Hikaru Shida vs. Dani Jordyn, Angelico vs. Orange Cassidy, Martin vs. Serpentico, more