SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT
JANUARY 10, 2022
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Paul Wight, Mark Henry, Eddie Kingston
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Excalibur and Taz on the call, welcoming us to the show.
(1) SHAWN DEAN vs. LIAM CROSS
Commentary mentioned how Dean is undefeated in 2022, but that’s entirely thanks to C.M. Punk. Dean starched Cross with a stiff right hand early, but Cross floated over in the corner with a back elbow. Slingshot senton by Cross, as Taz points out how Cross needs longer tights. Dean mounted a comeback with clotheslines, corner spear and float over DDT. Dean kipped up, went up top and hit a massive diving splash to remain undefeated.
WINNER: Shawn Dean in 2:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Quick work for the Captain tonight, who can say at this very moment, he has one of the best records in AEW in 2022.)
(2) ANTHONY OGOGO vs. BARON BLACK
Black avoided a sneak attack with an atomic drop into an overhead throw. Black wanted another one, but Ogogo countered into an overhead belly to belly. The crowd started a USA chant, as Ogogo pounced on Black with punches. Black got off some chops, but was leveled with an Ogogo clothesline. Black once again mounted a comeback with a double knee arm breaker, atomic drop and hammerlock backstabber for one. Black applied a crossface, Ogogo escaped and quickly hit a spinning spinebuster variation. Ogogo put Black away with the Tower of London for the victory.
WINNER: Anthony Ogogo in 4:30
(Howard Analysis: As much as I want a Baron Black win on Dark, having Ogogo get a bunch of wins on Elevation & Dark makes more sense at this time. Black put up a great fight and I wish him good luck at Terminus in the biggest match of his career against Bandido.)
-Backstage Alex Marvez interviewed Matt Hardy, asking how he feels about his match tonight. If his team wins his 6 man against Hangman Page & Dark Order, then Matt gets a World Title match with Hangman. Honorary H.F.O. member Serpentico is replacing Marq Quen due to travel issues Matt said.
(3) RED VELVET vs. SHALONCE ROYAL
This is a rematch of a few months ago on Dark as Royal attacked before the bell and referee Bryce had to separate her from Velvet. The bell sounds, Royal started her opera singing and Taz immediately pops for it, comparing her voice to a wind chime. Velvet countered a pump handle into a cross body for two and hit a follow leg lariat. Velvet hit a double knee in the ropes, superkick to the ribs and The Final Slice for the quick win.
WINNER: Red Velvet in 1:30
(Howard’s Analysis: Unfortunately for Royal, she didn’t get to sing much in this one, which means we were robbed of hearing Taz singing as well.)
(4) GUNN CLUB (Billy, Austin & Colten) vs. MARCUS KROSS & T.J.M. & PATRICK SCOTT
Once again, Billy took so much joy showing off his Ass Boys shirt. Austin told the crowd not to chant Ass Boys or they’re leaving, so you know what happened next. The Ass Boys went up the ramp as the bell rang and Billy just wiped out all three opponents. A quick Fame Asser to Scott and Billy got the win by himself.
WINNERS: Gunn Club in 40 seconds
(Howard’s Analysis: Easiest victory for Bill Ass & The Ass Boys. It wasn’t very nice of Austin & Colten to leave their father; in fact it was very evil.)
-Quick Daniel Garcia backstage promo about how he’s taking the TNT Title from Sammy Guevara and going to prove a point to Fuego tonight.
(5) TAY CONTI & ANNA JAY vs. CHARLETTE & ROBYN RENEGADE
Excalibur is jealous of Tay Jay for stealing Taz & his entrance, bumping butts, which is a hilarious visual to imagine. The Renegades are identical and even commentary can’t tell them apart, so I’ll try. Tay got trapped in the corner early, but immediately fought free with a corner uppercut. Anna tagged in and hit Robyn with a spin corner kick and somersault neckbreaker for two. Taz immediately questions himself whether it’s actually Robyn. The Renegades gained control of Anna with a stalling vertical suplex for two. Jawbreaker got Anna free and Tay cleaned house with a hot tag. Tay hit a nasty release German on one of the twins and Tay-KO on the other. Revolution corner pump kicks and a rough looking Diamond Cutter from Conti led to dueling superkick from Tay Jay. Both ladies hit more superkicks and locked on dueling submissions for the double tap out.
WINNERS: Tay Conti & Anna Jay in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Well that release German looked brutal, but Tay Jay keep racking up wins in tag matches.)
(6) JD DRAKE vs. ORANGE CASSIDY
Two masked men accompanied Drage to the ring. Drake threw his towel at Orange, who responded by throwing his sunglasses that went barely 2 feet. Orange did a Matrix style counter to a chop, hit his pocket offense, but Drake clocked Orange with a chop, who slowly crumbled. Drake missed a senton, Orange raised the roof, tried a bodyslam, but failed miserably. Drake was sent outside, Orange went for a tope, but Drake pulled him to the floor and hit his bounce back right hand. The two masked men got in some shots before Drake picked Orange apart, finally hitting the senton. Orange took a hard corner buckle, but floated over off a corner whip and hit a top rope cross body. Orange tried a bodyslam, but failed again. Orange ducked a clothesline and took out the masked men with a tope before he planted Drake with a DDT. One masked men took the ref, while the other tripped Orange and Drake hit a cannonball in the corner for two. For the third time, Orange was sent outside, but this time Chuck Taylor & Wheeler Yuta went after the masked men. Orange nearly rolled up Drake inside, but ran into a Boss Man Slam for two. Drake missed a moonsault, Orange finally got his bodyslam and Orange Punch for the win.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy in 9:00
(Howard’s Analysis: This was a fun back & forth battle with Drake looking good and Orange always getting a great reaction. The masked men thing led to nothing though, so I assume they were The Wingmen, but no explanation was given.)
(7) DANTE MARTIN vs. AARON SOLO
To the surprise of no one, Dante got a fast start, dropkicked Solo to the floor, went for a dive, but Solo wisely bailed. Solo crotched Dante in the corner and poured down right hands. Dante fought back with a flapjack slam, as Taz says Peter Avalon might have as good of a vertical leaping ability as Dante Martin. I’ll believe that one when I see it, Taz. Solo hit a high kick before he was sent outside and Dante wiped Solo out with a swan dive tope. Back inside, Dante immediately hit the double jump moonsault for the victory.
WINNER: Dante Martin in 3:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Quick, strong victory for Dante, but I don’t know if the crowd was mic’d bad, but it was very quiet for this match.)
-Mark Sterling & Jade Cargill is interviewed about her match with Skye Blue tonight. Mark said the title isn’t on the line, only defended on Dynamite or Rampage. If Skye loses, she’ll never get a title shot as long as Jade is champion. If she wins, she gets a title shot. Jade demanded stronger competition, despite her match not even happening yet.
(8) EDDIE KINGSTON vs. JOEY JANELA (w/Kayla Rossi)
I need to point out Janela’s sweet Rock n’ Roll Express jacket he wore to the ring. Janela tried a drop toe hold and Eddie just slapped him in the face. Eddie no sold a shoulder block and chop, which led to Eddie destroying Joey with chops of his own. Beautiful underhook throw by Eddie, who tried to start some machine gun chops, but Janela bailed. Eddie got posted on the floor and ate a Janela roaring elbow. Joey acted like he fell off the top rope, but it was just to distract the ref long enough for Kayla to hit a standing moonsault outside. Excalibur called him Genius Janela and made a great Lanny reference, which took Taz a bit to get. Janela targeted the knee and Eddie chopped his way out of a submission. Kingston unleashed Junkyard Dog head butts and sent Joey to the floor. Eddie fought through the pain of his leg and hit a tope. Back inside, Kingston got his machine gun chops and German suplex for two. Kingston got 6 corner punches, Joey power bombed out of it, superkick to the face and went up top. Kingston just slapped him in the face and hit an avalanche exploder. Joey & Eddie fought to the floor and Kayla tried a top rope cross body, but hit Joey instead. Back inside, Janela ducked a back fist, hit a superkick, Eddie no sold and hit a Northern Lights Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Eddie Kingston in 8:30
(Howard’s Analysis: It’s hard to believe, but this was a first time meeting between these two. This was an excellent hard hitting battle with these two, one I wouldn’t mind seeing again on Dark. Joey looked good here, but Eddie Kingston is unreal, with his selling and his comeback.)
(9) THUNDER ROSA vs. KASEY FOX
Fox got a cheap shot off a handshake at the bell, getting only a one off a Russian leg sweep. Taz says Rosa should turn it up and just beat this girl, as Rosa must’ve heard him. Rosa got in a few strikes, hard clothesline and shotgun dropkick in the ropes. Death Valley Driver led to the Peruvian Necktie submission.
WINNER: Thunder Rosa 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Despite the offense of Fox looking very shaky, it was another win for Rosa, who I assume must conquer Mercedes Martinez before she hopefully gets a Women’s Title match.)
-Very quick promo from QT Marshall & Nick Comoroto, who said they’ll beat Jurassic Express tonight and then again for the Tag Team titles.
(10) POWERHOUSE HOBBS vs. ALEXANDER MOSS
Hobbs rushed to the ring and clobbered Moss in the corner before the bell. Torture Rack led to a lightning fast submission.
WINNER: Powerhouse Hobbs in 23 seconds
(Howard’s Analysis: Welp, I hope we get more of his Hobbs, it rules.)
(11) FUEGO DEL SOL vs. DANIEL GARCIA
Garcia destroyed Fuego in the corner with stomps and strikes. Fuego fought back with right hands, but Garcia decimated Fuego with a butterfly release suplex in to the corner for one. Garcia applauds Fuego before he hit a low cross body for two. Garcia tried the Sharpshooter, but Fuego rolled him up for a near fall. Fuego hit a neckbreaker, corner uppercut, corner spear and low enziguri for two. Garcia avoided a top rope attack, hit a shotgun dropkick, brainbuster and Sharpshooter with a bridge for the submission.
WINNER: Daniel Garcia in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Garcia is more than ready to inflict pain on Sammy Guevara tomorrow night. Sammy made the save for Fuego post match, as this title match should be excellent.)
(12) JADE CARGILL (w/Mark Sterling) vs. SKYE BLUE
Jade tossed Skye like a rag doll off an attempted waist lock. Skye tried an arm drag; Jade didn’t budge and leveled Skye with a pump kick. Skye hit a high kick, wanted a top rope cross body, but Jade caught her with a fall away slam. Skye fought free from a fireman’s carry, popped Jade with a superkick, tried a cazadora, but fell right into Jaded for the win.
WINNER: Jade Cargill in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I think the biggest criticism of Jade is that despite looking like a million bucks, she just needs ring time to get more experience. Being on Dark & Elevation in longer matches is the key because when she gets more of that, she’s going to be scary good. This only went a few minutes tonight, but I was just happy it didn’t go 30 seconds, as Skye got off quite a bit of offense.)
(13) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. QT MARSHALL & NICK COMOROTO
Jungle Boy tried for his corner arm drag, but QT used the hair pull to avoid it. Jungle Boy unleashed a series of overhand chops, got his arm drag and Comoroto ate a dropkick for good measure. QT blindsided Jungle Boy, which allowed Comoroto to tag in and drop a big elbow. The Factory made quick tags as they isolated Jungle Boy, who hit a comeback clothesline on Comoroto, but couldn’t make the tag. Jungle Boy flipped out of a suplex into a hurricanrana to get a Luchasaurus hot tag. Luchasaurus hit a massive headbutt on Comoroto and revolution corner splashes. The Factory avoided a double choke slam; QT hit an enzugiri, but missed a Diamond Cutter. Jungle Boy took out QT and Luchasaurus & Comoroto collided with all men down. Jungle Boy made the tag and used his speed, only he ran into a pop up punch by QT and spear by Comoroto for two. QT was low bridged and hit with a somersault dive by Jungle Boy. Comoroto was planted with a face buster and DDT for two. Luchasaurus hit the tail whip and slam on Comoroto, while Jungle Boy hit a springboard Destroyer on QT with Luchasaurus getting the pin.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 8:30
(Howard’s Analysis: This was a very enjoyable tag match, with Jungle Boy being isolated for the first half, but it picked up the second half. QT & Comoroto were strong opponents for the new tag champs, who have a plethora of tag teams in the loaded division to defend against.)
(14) HANGMAN PAGE & ALAN “5” ANGELS & 10 vs. MATT HARDY & ISIAH KASSIDY & SERPENTICO
This is the first time ever Hangman Page is competing on Dark commentary tells us. Kassidy & Angels have a fast opening sequence and pin attempts before 10 tagged in. 5 & 10 hit a scary looking double team reverse DDT and Taz wisely points out they might want to work on that. Serpentico jumped in against 10 and hurt his hand trying a chop. 10 countered a cazadora into a wheelbarrow and overhead belly to belly. 10 lifted Serpentico up for a stalling vertical suplex, but passed him off to Hangman Page, who completed the move. Serpentico tried more chops, but again, the recipient no sold as Hangman hit a hard clothesline. Hardy tripped up Hangman to allow his team to get control for about 10 seconds before Hangman wiped out both Serpentico & Kassidy. Double team moonsault on a downed Kassidy in the ring led to 5 corner punches from Angels. Hardy finally tagged in with Angels down to a pop from the North Carolina crowd. Matt only did a few strikes before Kassidy did Poetry in Motion for a near fall. Kassidy used Serpentico’s head to hit Angels with, no doubt making Luther happy. Angels fought free and hit a diving cross body off the top to get the 10 hot tag. 10 hit a spinebuster that made Kassidy squeal, but Matt jumped in with a neckbreaker. Serpentico tried Poetry in Motion, but failed horribly. 10 planted Matt with a spinning slam and Hangman jumped into clean house himself. Fall away slam on Serpentico, slingshot cross body on Hardy, Angels wiped out Kassidy & Serpentico with a moonsault to the floor and Hangman hit a DVD on Serpentico for two. I don’t think Matt saw Angels make the tag, as he went for a Twist of Fate on Hangman, who countered with one of his own. Angels hit a Frog Splash for a very close two. Kassidy got a cheap shot on Angels, which allowed Matt to hit a Splash Mountain Bomb for two. Hangman & Serpentico both made tags as Serpentico went for a cross body, but Hangman, 10 & 5 were waiting. There was no one in the pool, as Angels hit the Wing Snapper, 10 with a Full Nelson and Hangman with the Buckshot to win it.
WINNERS: Hangman Page, Alan “5” Angels & 10 in 14:30
(Howard’s Analysis: There always seems like there’s 50 members of the Hardy Family Offices, so having Serpentico jump in with them felt odd. I know where Marq Quen & The Butcher are, but what happened to Angelico, Jack Evans, Jora Johl, The Blade? I digress; he ate the pin, so I get it. This was an action packed main event and let everyone get their stuff in. The crowd was sort of quiet at first, but as it built, they got louder, especially for Hardy & Hangman.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was arguably the strongest episode of Dark since I’ve began recapping these last March. It almost took me back to pre-pandemic era Dark as there were some really competitive matches on this show. Eddie Kingston & Joey Janela would be match of the night, with the main event six man being an awfully close second. We of course had our standard Dark squashes, but the champions all looked very strong on this show.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW DARK REPORT: 1/3 AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT: Jake Atlas’s debut, Jay Lethal, Riho, Scorpio, Dark Order, Skye Blue, plus great quips from Henry, Wight, Kingston on commentary