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AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT
NOVEMBER 8, 2021
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Mark Henry, and Paul White
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The Dark Elevation opening video package airs followed by sweeping shots of an enthusiastic crowd featuring a “We are AEW” sign and an “All Hail the House of Black” sign.
(1) DANNY ADAMS vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS (w/Hook)
The announcers tout Powerhouse Hobbs’ strength advantage as he makes his way down the ramp trailed by Hook, who is doing the world’s most obnoxious handclaps. Meanwhile, Danny Adams already stands in the ring sporting glasses, denim shorts, and… dad socks? A chyron notes this is Adams’ AEW Debut — I hope he has insurance.
Hobbs shoves Adams off his feet, sending him crashing into the corner. His glasses fall from his face, and for reasons known only to him, he decides to put them back on. Hobbs splashes Adams in the corner, and this time, his glasses fly off his face and out of the ring. Mark Henry says, “There may not be another Father’s Day for this guy!” (Line of the match).
Hobbs lifts Adams and lays him back first onto the corner ropes, proceeding to pound the ever-loving crap out of his chest. Hobbs delivers yet another devastating splash, and the camera cuts to Hook chomping (but not choking, unfortunately) on his gum. Hobbs delivers a Town Business and covers Adams for the win but decides to yank him up by his hair at the count of two… oh boy.
Hobbs puts Adams in a torture rack and proceeds to bounce up and down with his half-conscious opponent victim on his shoulders. Adams taps out, and Hobbs dumps him to the mat like a sack of potatoes.
WINNER: Hobbs in 1:45 seconds
Hook enters the ring to celebrate with Hobbs and deliberately steps on, not over, what I’m now assuming is Danny Adams’ corpse.
(David’s Analysis: Someone tell Tony I’d pay $49.99 if I could watch Hook get punched in the face for three hours.)
(2) CHUCK TAYLOR & WHEELER YUTA vs. THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE w/ The Bunny
The Butcher & The Blade enter first as the announcers note this is their return to tag-team action after two months away. (The Butcher was previously out with a hand injury.)
The referee rings the bell, and off we go! The Blade and Chuck Taylor circle one another before The Blade delivers a hard kick to Taylor’s stomach and tosses him into the corner. Undeterred, Taylor fights his way out, and both wrestlers explode into a flurry of offense, ending in multiple arm-drag takedowns. Taylor wins the arm-drag exchange and tags in Yuta.
Yuta and Taylor deliver double elbows, but none of it is enough to keep The Blade down, who quickly tags in The Butcher. The Butcher struggles to gain the upper hand but fails when Wheeler nails him with a dropkick. Wheeler tags in Taylor, and the two best friends execute a double suplex on The Butcher. Another quick series of exchanges ensue, but they end when The Butcher body slams Taylor and tags The Blade back in.
The Blade crushes Taylor’s head into the bottom turnbuckle while The Bunny yells in his face, looking every bit as despicable as she intended. The Blade tags The Butcher, who aids him in slamming Taylor onto the mat. The Blade then pounds Taylor’s skull, and Taylor counters by slinging him into the ropes. The Blade tosses Taylor out of the ring, and he car-crashes onto the floor.
The Blade grabs a chair from under the ring apron, and the referee immediately steals it away. The Blade tries to pry the chair out of the referee’s hands, and The Butcher uses this distraction to shoulder tackle Taylor to the ground. Taylor is thrown back in the ring for a quick cover but manages to kick out at two.
The Blade slows the pace of the match, wrapping Taylor in a headlock. Taylor fights to his feet, slithers his way out, and hits a Soul Food on The Blade.
Taylor then hot tags Yuta while The Blade tags in The Butcher. Yuta dives off the top rope onto The Butcher and goes for a German suplex, but The Butcher counters. The two exchange blows until Yuta wraps his arms around The Butcher and goes for a second German suplex — this time, landing it decisively.
A desperate Butcher tags The Blade at the same time Yuta tags in Taylor. The Blade runs for Taylor while Yuta jumps from the mat to the top rope and then from the top rope onto The Butcher standing at ringside. With The Butcher unable to make the save, Taylor hits a Falcon Arrow on The Blade for a two count.
Taylor and The Blade go to separate corners, looking equally exhausted and determined. Yuta blind-tags his way back into the match and does a top-rope splash onto The Blade. Yuta hooks The Blade’s leg and goes for a pinfall, but The Butcher breaks up the count. Taylor responds by hitting the ring to toss The Butcher outside and dives over the ropes toward The Butcher for good measure but misses and wipes out on the floor
The blade lands a spinning tombstone piledriver on Yuta before tagging in The Butcher. Together, they hit a Drag The Lake on Yuta, and The Butcher covers Yuta for the pinfall.
WINNER: The Butcher & The Blade (w/The Bunny) in 7:00.
(David’s Analysis: This was a nice match. The spinning tombstone piledriver looked devastating, and the distraction with the chair was well executed, protecting the referee’s integrity.)
We cut to Kenny Omega playing AEW’s new phone game. I often cringe at Omega’s campier antics, but this was a great way to utilize them. Omega yells out, “I have every belt in the universe; how am I losing this game?” right before it’s revealed the other player is Orange Cassidy – as zoned out as ever – who happily gives the camera his signature thumbs up.
(3) RIHO vs. TOOTIE LYNN
Tootie Lynn waits in the ring as Riho comes out second. The crowd sounds welcoming, and Paul White reminds viewers that Riho was AEW’s first-ever women’s champion. The chyron notes this is Tootie Lynn’s AEW debut. (I like her look, especially the multi-colored hair.) Lynn’s facial expressions look like she means business, and the announcers point out that she’s a registered black belt.
The bell rings, and the two wrestlers feign a lock-up before Lynn attempts a roundhouse kick so high it clears Riho’s head. Riho looks unphased and snatches Lynn’s neck into a side headlock. Lynn shoves Riho into the ropes and delivers a back elbow, knocking her to the mat. Lynn rushes into a pinfall but doesn’t hook the leg, allowing Riho to break it up with her contortionistic-back-bend-exit thing. (I envy her flexibility.)
Riho goes for a dropkick but takes far too much time, allowing Lynn to see it coming and sidestep her. Lynn thrust her whole body into a series of strikes, raining them down on Riho’s torso, causing her to collapse and roll to the bottom rope. Riho gets the better of the next exchange and leaves Lynn clinging to the middle rope. Riho hits a Tiger Feint Kick (aka 6-1-9) and sends Lynn tumbling backward. Lynn, however, refuses to stay down, struggles to her feet, and plows a defiant forearm into Riho’s face. Riho attempts to return the forearm, but Lynn blocks her and delivers a second blow followed by a very believable third. Riho stumbles toward the ropes, but Lynn refuses to let her get away and gives her a fairly athletic-looking kick which sets up a two count.
Riho sells in the corner while Lynn looks simultaneously furious and frustrated. Lynn charges Riho, who ducks Lynn, slips out of the corner and gives her a running knee strike. Lynn collapses backward, and Riho hurries to the top rope for a diving foot stomp. Lynn, however, is playing possum and rolls out of the way at the last minute. Lynn then jumps to her feet, and Riho runs at her full blast. Lynn tries to grab onto Riho, but Riho goes for a full nelson, only for Lynn to counter her with a standing switch which Riho then counters with a roll-through.
While Lynn is down, Riho hits the double stomp. Lynn sells the stomp like it killed her, and Riho delivers a well-executed northern lights suplex for a two count. There is some applause from the fans at ringside.
Riho rolls Lynn back into the corner, climbs to the top again, and lands a top-rope double stomp right to the center of Lynn’s chest. Lynn sells like a pro, and Riho hooks her leg for a decisive three count.
WINNER: Riho in 3:00
(David’s Analysis: That was short but entertaining. Tootie Lynn may be a little rough around the edges, but I’d enjoy seeing her back at AEW. She has a “tough” look and an intangible “it” factor.)
(3) MATT HARDY vs. DEAN ALEXANDER
Matt Hardy struts down the ramp as his flame-throwing pyro roars to life behind him. Dean Alexander is already waiting in the ring, and Matt is immediately in his face with a microphone. Matt asks Alexander to state his name, and Alexander does but adds that he’s from Kansas City, Missouri. The crowd pops for their hometown guy, and Hardy says, “I didn’t ask you all that.” Hardy asks Alexander, “What’s my name?” Alexander replies, “Matt Hardy.” Hardy says Alexander may know his name, but he clearly does not know who he is. Matt states that after tonight’s match, Alexander will say his name with “reverence.”
The bell rings, and both men tie up until Hardy shoves Alexander into the corner. Hardy then attempts a side headlock, but Alexander counters, and Hardy rebounds off the ropes, knocking him to the ground with a shoulder tackle. Hardy proceeds to pull Alexander into another corner and beats his head against each of the three turnbuckles pads.
Alexander makes a valiant attempt at a comeback, but Hardy kicks him square in the stomach, doubling him over. They both head into the ropes, where Hardy struggles to keep Alexander under his thumb. Alexander muscles his way back up and drops Hardy with a clothesline followed by a backsplash in the corner.
Alexander then jumps onto the apron and appears to be planning something exciting from the top rope, but Hardy palms Alexander’s head and runs him face-first into the ring post. Alexander falls to the floor, dazed, confused, and clutching at his forehead.
Hardy jumps out of the ring and flings Alexander back in. He props Alexander up on the bottom rope and delivers a catapult chest-first into the middle one.
Hardy then goes for another headlock. However, Alexander counters by elbowing his way out, lifting Hardy onto his shoulder, and delivering a powerful neck breaker. The crowd roars to life at the prospect of their hometown hero getting the win.
Alexander ascends to the top rope, but we’ll never know what he had in mind because Hardy smartly swipes his foot off the rope and viciously headbutts him. He then hits a super plex off the middle rope into the center of the ring. A battered Alexander hobbles to his feet, but Hardy wraps his body around him like the world’s slimiest python and applies his finisher, The Leach, for a tap-out win.
Winner: Hardy in 4:45
(David’s Analysis: The name of Hardy’s finisher is remarkably appropriate. If you asked me to randomly draw a picture of a finisher that looks like it would be applied by a leach, it’d be that one.)
An advert for Moxley’s book airs featuring endorsement quotes from Bryan Alvarez, Chris Jericho, Mike Johnson, Jim Ross, and Garrett Gonzales. One quote compared Moxley’s book to Mick Foley’s first book. (That is high praise, indeed. Foley’s first book is the best autobiography I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot.) I’m sure Moxley’s publisher is pleased with this clip; it is a very compelling ad.
(4) NYLA ROSE & EMI SAKURA (w/Vickie Gurrero) vs. RYO MIZUNAMI & RUBY SOHO
Nyla Rose and Emi Sakura made their way to the ring with the following entourage in tow: Vickie Guerrero, Lulu Pencil, and Mei Suruga. The announcers point out that Rose is a former AEW Champion and a competitor in the TBS Championship tournament. Ruby Soho and Ryo Mizunami make their way to the ring, and the crowd seems to still be very much behind Soho.
Rose and Mizunami start things off with Ross landing a body slam before tagging in Sakura. Sakura goes for what might have been a Queen’s Gambit on Mizunami but is countered with a back slam. Having escaped the Queen’s Gambit, Mizunami rushes to her corner and tags in Soho.
Soho attempts to body slam Sukaru but struggles to lift her, allowing Sakura to execute a flat-liner on Soho. With Soho literally on the ropes, Sakura showboats by getting the crowd to stomp and clap to the rhythm of “We Will Rock You.” She then charges into the corner and does a belly-to-belly splash that folds Soho in half. Mei Suruga and Lulu Pencil rush into the frame and pose in the corner alongside an arrogant Sakura. (Excellent heel work here.)
Sakura tags in Rose, who continues to dominate Soho, delivering a spine-buster and getting a near-fall. Soho desperately attempts to tag in Mizunami but is dragged away and set up for a pop-up powerbomb. She manages to roll her way out but is countered by Rose. Rose goes for a chop to the chest, but Soho spins out of her way and gets the tag. Mizunami barrels into the ring, attacking Rose and using the ropes to catapult her into a running spear. The crowd pops, and Mark Henry says, “Uh-oh, the crowd is up!”
Soho tags in, and Mizunami and Soho take turns delivering elbow strikes to Rose as she hangs onto the ropes. After Soho delivers a spear of her own, she poses with her tag team partner and takes a moment to play air guitar.
Mizunami is tagged back in and chops Rose across the chest before Rose counters with a half-straight jacket into a neck breaker. Rose jumps to the top rope and attempts a very big senton but crashes and burns when Mizunami rolls out of the way.
Mizunami tags Soho in, and Rose takes the brief reprieve to tag in Sakura. Soho and Sakura exchange a hailstorm of offense, and just as Soho appears to be gaining the upper hand, Mei Saruga interferes, grabbing Soho’s ankle and sending her face-first to the mat. Sakura goes for a pinfall, but Soho kicks out and counters a lariat into a black slide, scoring a pinfall of her own.
Sakura scrambles out of her pinning predicament but runs straight into Soho’s No Future finisher. Soho scores the win with a three count.
WINNER: Ryo Mizunami & Ruby Soho in 5:00
After the match, Rose grabs Mizunami’s ankle and pulls her out of the ring. Pencil and Suruga get up in Soho’s face. It looks like a fight will break out between Pencil, Suruga, and Soho, but it was only a distraction, and Nyla Rose attacks Ruby Soho from behind! Sakura waltz’s in, smug and spiteful, to take over Soho and deliver a devastating Queen’s Gambit.
Soho is out cold. The crowd is booing, and some are on their feet. Sakura drags Soho’s rag-dolled body to the ring ropes, drapes her over the top rope, and is about to hit yet another potentially soul-crushing move when Kris Statlander runs in with a chair for the save. Sakura tucks her tail like the coward she is and scurries away from Statlander.
The crowd bursts into applause as Statlander helps Mizunami and Soho to their feet while Sakura and her gaggle of friends slink away.
Statlander and Soho shake hands, but suddenly, Soho won’t let go. For a split second, it looks like they might come to blows, but instead of delivering a punch, Soho gives her a knowing look and smiles—adding some much-needed heat to their match this Saturday.
(David’s Analysis: Sakura is really talented, and Soho knows how to sell like she’s being murdered. The post-match angle was fun to watch, and it’s nice to see build-up for the Statlander-Soho match later this week. Both women are talented, and I wish they had done more to sell this matchup.)
(Additional Side Note: Something funky is going on with the audio. It was cutting in and out before the women’s tag match, seemed to fix itself during the match, and then it resumed cutting in and out during the close of the last segment.)
(5) THE ACCLAIMED & 2point0 vs. DARK ORDER
The Dark Order comes out first, and the members participating in this particular match are Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, John Silver, and Alex Reynolds. The camera cuts to several audience members holding up their hands while performing the Dark Order salute. Next comes The Acclaimed with Max Caster rapping them down to the ring (oh joy).
Oooo. Caster just slammed Missouri’s barbecue. As someone who hails from the Carolinas, let me assure you, that was the most offensive thing he could possibly have said to that crowd. I hope he makes it home okay.
The bell rings with Uno and Bowens starting things off. Evil Uno offers Bowens his hand, but Bowens slaps it away and kicks him in the stomach. They both trade shoulder tackles multiple times until Uno finally knocks Bowens off his feet. Bowens pops back up, and after multiple missed swings, manages to land a solid-steel headbutt to Uno. (You could almost hear their skulls crack open.) Uno tags in Reynolds, and Bowens tags in Castor.
Uno and Reynolds shoulder tackle both Bowens and Castor at the same time, but when the two men stop to gloat and hold up the Dark Order salute, 2point0 jumps into the ring and attempts to swing their boastful opponents into the ring ropes. This prompts John Silver and Stu Grayson to dash to Uno and Reynolds’ rescue. Together, they take down 2point0 and then pose in the ring again because that went so well last time.
Reynolds destroys Caster with a series of uppercuts and a big boot to the face. Bowens grabs Reynolds from the outside, and 2point0 and Bowens beat Reynolds down three-on-one. They toss Reynolds’ carcass back into the ring, and Castor goes for the pin, which Uno breaks up. Castor tosses Uno out of the ring, drags Reynolds over to his corner, and tags Bowens.
Bowens is relentless in his destruction of Reynolds and tags in Matt Lee. Lee nails Reynolds with a backbreaker for a two-count, but Reynolds grasps Lee’s legs and goes for a sunset flip. Just as Reynolds executes the sunset flip, Lee manages to tag in his partner Jeff Parker. Parker lands a quick snap suplex and attempts a pinfall.
After the kick-out, Parker puts Reynolds into a chin lock and tags in Caster. Caster hammers Reynolds’ back with a double fist and tags in Bowens. Bowens swings Reynolds toward the corner, but Reynolds rolls away, tumbles to the other side of the ring, and finally scores a hot tag. Stu Grayson jumps off the top rope for a huge cross-body that simultaneously takes down both Bowens and Castor.
A bewildered Bowens rolls to the ring apron, and Stu Grayson flips over the top rope, crashing onto him with a modified senton. Grayson leaps back into the ring with the speed of an angry hornet and clothes-lines Castor, belly-to-belly suplexes Lee, delivers a kick to Lee’s shoulder, and then attempts a lion-sault onto Castor, who catches him mid-air.
Grayson fights off Castor’s next counter and sends him crashing to the mat with a spinning DDT. Parker jumps into the ring, but Grayson dropkicks Parker. The announcers call Grayson a one-man army, and the crowd roars with wild and thunderous applause. Grayson tags in Silver. Silver delivers a quick kick to Parker and then executes a running cannonball off the apron onto Caster. The crowd goes nuts as Silver shows no sign of slowing down. He runs around the corner of the ring and plows his foot into Bowens face. Silver then jumps up on the apron again, climbs to the top rope, and dives for Parker, only for Parker to jump out of the way and finally end Silver’s blistering blast of offense.
Bowens is tagged in, but Reynolds scores a knee to the face. 2PointO double team Reynolds as Bowens rolls out of the ring. Then, Stu Grayson rushes in for the save and does a backflip double-kick to take down both members of TwoPoint0 at the same time.
Castor jumps into the ring and clothes-lines Grayson to an absolute chorus of boos. Silver and Castor fight into the corner, and Silver tosses Castor over the top rope and onto the floor. Parker runs at Silver, but… (deep breath here) Silver delivers a knee to Parker’s face; Reynolds delivers an elbow to Parker’s jaw; Silver delivers a kick to the back of Parker’s head; Reynolds delivers a stunner to Parker’s neck, and Silver finishes off this fast-paced avalanche of action with a picture-perfect suplex.
Grayson brings in Uno, and together, they deliver the Dark Order’s Fatality finisher to Parker and pick up the win!
WINNER: Dark Order in 7:00
(David’s Analysis: That was a firework of a match! It was lightning fast and hit like thunder. The audience absolutely loved it, and so did I. Castor is so much fun to hate. I can’t help but imagine him gleefully updating his Tinder profile each week to denote exactly how many TikTok followers he has.)