3/7 AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT: Bryant’s famous “asides,” all of the Wight & Henry quips, plus Statlander vs. Sakura, plus Wheeler, Archer, Soho, Garcia, Sky

By David Bryant, PWTorch contributor

Full results and analysis on this week's episode of AEW Dark Elevation

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT
MARCH 7, 2022
TAPED 3/2 IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Mark Henry and Paul Wight

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


– What a great week of wrestling! Wasn’t Sunday wild? It felt like riding a rollercoaster with a loose seatbelt! I hope you folks enjoyed it as much as I did, and I hope you enjoy today’s report, too. Thank you for visiting PWTorch.com, and thank you for taking the time to read my unhinged ramblings. Writing for PWTorch has been a dream come true, and I cannot emphasize enough how much your support and feedback have meant.

-Tonight’s Dark Elevation taping emanated not-live from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Fla. (I love how Tony Kahn saw an episode of South Park in 2009 and said, “I will immortalize this silliness with a cartoon-inspired edifice that will serve as an everlasting monument to the W.T.F.”) Jacksonville is a beautiful place, by the way. It’s full of gorgeous bridges, and if you vacation there, I recommend seeing them lit up at night. I also recommend checking out Hamburger Mary’s. One of my closest friends works on their housecast, and the shows are an absolute hoot!

-Dark Elevation opened with a recap video featuring screengrabs from AEW’s Revolution. (BTW, I plan to write a retrospective on Revolution later this week, so keep an eye out for that!) The director cut straight from the recap video to a close-up of Archer’s entrance video. Lance Archer made his way through the main tunnel as bright, brilliant red colors bled from the stage lights.

(1) LANCE ARCHER vs. CAMERON STEWART

Wait! That’s not Archer coming out of the tunnel; that’s the referee! Why is the referee getting his full entrance on national TV? Oh, Wait. No. He is running away from Archer, who is stalking him like a hawk intent on murder. (At least Archer’s not beating up his opponent before the match this time.) Archer paused atop the stage as the referee escaped to the ring. (Is this how he gets referees to start his matches in the middle of aggravated assault?) Archer looked out at the crowd and shook a knowing finger. He then disappeared back down the tunnel only to reemerge with his opponent in hand. (This does not feel like a safe work environment.)

Archer tossed Cameron Stewart down a flight of steps, hit him with a clothesline, and knocked him into the ring so hard he could not stand upright; Stewart bumbled to the other side of the ring. Archer then clotheslined Stewart over the downstage top rope, and he crashed to the floor. At this point, the referee rang the bell. (What is wrong with you? He wasn’t even in the ring!)

“Poor Cameron Stewart. I don’t even think he’s had a chance to breathe yet,” Mark Henry said. “In fact, I don’t think he’s had time to feel the first bit of pain.”

With a complicit referee, Archer continued his assault on the outside of the ring. He grabbed the babyfaced (literally) Stewart and slammed his babyface into the ring apron. He then dragged Stewart onto the apron by his left arm, leaned Stewart against the top rope, and smacked him across the chest with what Wight described as a “nice” lariat. (Nice?) The force of this “nice” lariat propelled Stewart over the top rope and onto the canvas.

Archer slowly turned to face whatever was left of Stewart and stared at his victim with bloodthirsty eyes like he was the Predator monster. Archer nailed Stewart with a short-arm clothesline, a second short-arm clothesline, and a third short-arm clothesline.

“He doesn’t even have both boots laced up, yet…” Henry said.

“You’re right,” Paul Wight sounded like he was craning his neck. “He’s only got one boot laced up.” (And they still started the match.)

Archer sat Stewart on the turnbuckle like gravity was on holiday, and Stewart is not a small man in the slightest. Archer hit Stewart with two consecutive chops and then delivered his Blackout finisher. Archer pinned Stewart by placing a single boot on his chest, and the referee counted to three.

WINNER: Archer in 2:00

(David’s Analysis: I guess it makes sense that the same fans who came up with the “We want violence” chant applauded for that… but still.)

– After the “match,” Archer hit Stewart with yet another unnecessary, uncalled for, and totally gratuitous clothesline.

– An advert for AEW Dynamite aired, and it looked interesting. I might check it out.

(2) RUBY SOHO vs. SESSION MOTH MARTINA

Ruby Soho’s music echoed throughout Daily’s Place, and she entered looking as enthusiastic as the raucous crowd she was about to entertain. (I hope they do more with her soon.) Session Moth Martina was already in the ring busying herself by dancing to Soho’s music.

“So catchy,” Henry said. “Even her opponent is dancing to it.”

When Roberts announced Martina, she danced her way to the center of the ring, looking like she’d stumbled out of the cast of Euphoria.

“I don’t know if I’d dance to my opponent’s music like that,” Wight said.

“Well, she may just be happy,” Henry said. (I don’t know about that. She looks more than happy. She looks happier than Soho’s version of happy.)

Soho extended her hand to Martina, offering to start the match with a handshake. Martina danced her way over to Soho’s hand and… twerked on it? The crowd booed, and Martina looked at them with a shrug, confused as to why they didn’t like her shoving her butt into Soho’s handshake. Soho looked the opposite of “more than happy” and scrunched up her face into a frown you’d expect to see if someone fell down a rabbit that was actually a porta-potty.

“She likes to dance!” Henry said.

“This might not be the place for it…” Wight said.

Both wrestlers began with a collar and elbow tie-up, but Soho quickly established an advantage by trapping Martina in a wristlock. Martina tried to fight her way out of Soho’s wristlock but, in the process, managed to fight her way into Soho’s hammerlock. Martina nailed Soho with a back elbow, and Soho let up just enough for Martina to wrestle her way around Soho, applying a waistlock. Soho fought to tear apart Martina’s hands and executed a standing switch. Martina struggled and kicked, but she could not escape Soho’s waistlock. She then gave up and began twerking on Soho’s groin. Soho immediately let go and side-eyed the crowd, looking for whoever was in charge of HR.

“She’s still dancing,” Henry said. “She’s raving.” (Oh, Henry, I didn’t know you were a party animal. HMU next time.)

Martina continued to dance in the ring. Soho began trying to talk some sense into her opponent, but there isn’t enough pennies in the world to make sense of this $h!#. Martina began shimming like a showgirl with her head thrown back as if she’d just tried poppers for the first time, and Soho was as over it as a rainbow. Soho nailed Martina’s shimmying chest with a knife-edge chop. Martina stumbled backward, and Soho hit her with a spinning heel kick followed by a thrust kick. Martina seemed shocked to discover she was in a wrestling match and not a nightclub. (She should probably pee in a cup before she leaves.)

Soho ran toward the ropes, but Martina grabbed her waistband, and both women fell to their knees. Soho got the worst of the fall and landed chest first across the bottom rope. Martina screamed to the sky like a woman possessed and ran at Soho, kicking her across the back. (She looks… interesting? I’m not sure how to describe it, and for that, I apologize to my readers. I’ll try and figure it out.) Angry and frothing, Martina cornered a hunching Soho in the downstage right corner and nailed her with three hard forearms. (Whatever she looks like, she does not look sane.) Martina backed up, screamed a second time, and ran toward Soho. Soho put up her foot, but Martina caught Soho’s foot and clobbered her with a loudly vocalized forearm. (She looks like Baby Spice with rabies.)

Martina ran into the upstage ropes, screamed some more, and hit Soho with a running forearm. She then celebrated with a cacophony of howling and arm pumps. Martina grabbed Soho’s orange hair, yanked her forward, and executed a Perfect-plex into a pinning predicament. That move was good for a two-count. (She looks like a cautionary character in an after-school special.)

Martina pulled Soho into a seated position and clamped on a modified inverted cobra-clutch headlock; she paired that headlock with multiple forearms to the back of Soho’s head. (This looked painful. It’s crazy how someone who looks like a Barbie at the bottom of a daycare bin is actually good in the ring.) Soho tried to work her way up to her feet, but Martina used her unique headlock to rip Soho back down to the ground.

“The party girl looks like she’s having a good time right now,” Henry said. “The party is in full swing if you will.”

Soho battled her way upright a second time, wrenched free of Martina’s headlock, grabbed Martina around the waist, and executed a backdrop driver.

“And that’s how it’s done!” Henry said. “That’s how you come out of that.”

“Nice suplex by Soho there,” Wight agreed. “She really dug deep, popped her hips, and sent Session for a ride.”

Soho climbed onto the apron, looking for what I think was going to be a shotgun senton, but Martina jumped back up, grabbed Soho’s head, and rammed it into the outside turnbuckle. Punch-drunk but not punched-out, Soho jumped over the top rope, trapped Martina’s head between her legs, and used her knees to send Martina face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Martina seemed almost unphased by this; she pulled herself upright, shouted like a banshee, and ran toward Soho with a vengeance. (She looks like the Pink Power Ranger if she were also the Hulk.)

Martina went for a clothesline, but Soho ducked. Martina attempted a kick, but Soho caught her leg and landed a kick of her own. Martina shoved Soho into the ropes, but Soho held onto the top rope, stopping her inertia. Martina charged Soho, but Soho lurched backward and plowed her back shoulder blades into Martina’s chest. Martina tried to regain the upper hand with a backslide pinning predicament, but Soho escaped before the referee could count to one. Both women got up, but Soho held onto Martina’s wrist, wrenched Martina’s arm, and executed a No Future. Martina fell backward. Soho hooked Martina’s leg, and the referee counted to three. (She looks like an end-stage Courtney Love.)

WINNER: Soho in 3:00

(David’s Analysis: This match was filled to the brim with humor and action. It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy this match for Martina’s over-the-top character work and Soho’s priceless reactions to her antics. Also, I finally figured out what Martina looks like — she looks like a star.)

– After the match, Soho climbed the turnbuckles and played air guitar to the delight of the fans. She also stuck out her tongue. She stuck out her tongue a lot.

– An advert for Rampage aired, and I am shocked to learn that AEW has a second night of programming. I might check that out as well.

(3) RAY JAZ vs. DANIEL GARCIA (w/2Point0)

With Ray Jaz already waiting in the ring, Daniel Garcia came out wearing blue trunks, which he accessorized with blue knee pads, a black towel, and both members of 2Point0. In the ring, Garcia talked strategy with 2Point0 while Ray Jaz John Silvered behind him.

As soon as the bell rang, Garcia found himself trapped in a waistlock but quickly elbowed his way out of it and executed a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pump handle slam. Garcia jumped on top of a wounded Jaz and began hammering mercilessly at his head while Jaz tried in vain to protect himself with his forearms. When Garcia let up, Jaz attempted to pull himself upright using the stage left ring ropes while Matt Martel heckled him. Garcia backed up and ran forward, knocking Jaz through the ropes with a running strike. However, Jaz managed to land on the apron.

Both members of 2Point0 began screaming at Jaz. I could not tell what they were saying, but I know I did not like it. Garcia approached Jaz, but Jaz speared him through the ring ropes with a truncated shoulder block. This took Garcia to one knee, and he doubled over. Jaz jumped over the top rope, flipped over Garcia’s back, grabbed Garcia’s arms, and attempted to pull him into a backslide cover. This got a surprise two-count.

Jaz hit Garcia with a forearm; Garcia grabbed Jaz’s neck; Jaz doled out a second forearm, and Garcia executed a belly-to-back suplex out of nowhere. Garcia seized both of Jaz’s legs, crossed them over his thigh, stepped around Garcia’s torso, and applied a scorpion deathlock. Jaz frantically tapped out.

WINNER: Garcia at 63 seconds

(David’s Analysis: This match was short, but it got across its point perfectly — Garcia is vicious and looks good in blue.)

– After the match, Garcia refused to release his submission hold and had to be coaxed into freeing his opponent by 2Point0. Garcia then John Silvered, and I was the opposite of annoyed by it.

“We’ll be right back with Scorpio Sky facing AEW’s own, Shawn Dean!” Henry said, throwing to absolutely nothing.

(4) SHAWN DEAN vs. SCORPIO SKY (w/Dan Lambert)

Immediately following zero commercial breaks, Shawn Dean’s music hit. The second athlete to come out was Scorpio Sky, who was accompanied by an extra from the Walking Dead. (You know… my first house was located on a street called Lambert Drive, which means it’s not libelous for me to say I took a dump on Lambert.)

“I love how Lambert dubbed his team ‘Men of the Year,’” Wight said. “Why didn’t we think of that?”

“We don’t think,” Henry said.

Ethan Page joined the commentary team, and I know I should not be looking forward to his commentary, but he was so funny last time! I cannot hate on this. The camera cut back to Lambert. I can hate on that.

“I’ve got to give Dan Lambert credit. He’s wearing a decent shirt. He doesn’t look like a lost dad,” Wight said incorrectly.

Dean and Sky started with a collar and elbow tie-up, which Sky quickly got the best of. Sky bulldozed Dean into the downstage right corner, and the referee called for both men to “break it up.” Sky complied, but he looked very, very cocky doing it. (He looked so heelish; he was giving Hirsch a run for her money.) Both men jumped into a second collar and elbow tie-up while Lambert angrily beat the apron like a 1960s U.N. podium.

Sky shifted the tie-up so he could trap Dean in a side headlock. Dean drove Sky into the ropes; Sky bounced off the ropes, jumped over Dean, bounced off the opposite ropes, and floored Dean with a shoulder tackle. Sky then brushed off his shoulder and offered up half of a villainous smile. Sky ran into the upstage ropes, preparing to run said ropes, when Dean dropped to the canvas so Sky would jump over him. Sky spotted Dean doing this, stopped his momentum, and stomped on Dean’s back. Sky then used his feet to scrap imaginary dirt onto Dean.

“I absolutely love it!” Page said.

While Sky showboated for the hard camera, Dean popped up behind him like a monster in a horror movie. Sky turned around, and Dean instantly threw him to the mat with an arm-drag. Sky ran at Dean a second time and was caught with a forward-facing arm-drag. Dean and Sky both jumped back to their feet, but Dean was ready for Sky’s advance and caught the slightly shorter man with a mile-high dropkick. Sky crawled his way into the downstage right corner to regroup.

Dan Lambert, who is one-hundred percent ***hole and twenty-percent blobfish, skulked around the ring post, shouting motivation into Sky’s ear. (I’m assuming that was motivation. It’s hard to tell. He looked and sounded a bit like the crazy guy who kept trying to hand me a bag of poop on a subway in New York in 2009.) Dean ripped Sky out of the corner like a human band-aid and repeatedly nailed him with forearms followed by an uppercut. That particular uppercut was delivered with such strength that Sky flew off his feet and splattered to the canvas.

Dean patiently waited for Sky to right himself, and when he did, Dean took command of his person and launched him in the air with a belly-to-back suplex. Sky sat up, but he looked like he was in so much pain he didn’t even know where he was. Dean ran into the stage right ring ropes and nailed Sky with a sliding lariat. Dean then moved to run the ropes, but Sky bailed to ringside to regroup.

Sky walked toward Lambert, and Dean rolled out of the ring, ran around the corner, and tossed a discombobulated Sky back in. However, Lambert distracted Dean by shouting at him. (He probably mistook him for a cloud.) This distraction allowed Sky to jump on Dean the moment he rolled back into the ring. Sky hit Dean with a series of double axe-handles before mounting Dean and pounding away at his face.

“Dean shouldn’t have gotten distracted,” Page explained.

“Distracted?!” Wight said. “Lambert’s half the size of the ring! He couldn’t get around him.”

“First you compliment him, then you insult him.” Page scoffed in regard to Lambert’s treatment by the commentators.

“I just call it like I see it,” Wight said, “and Dan Lambert is a waste of cotton.”

“How about you call the match like you see it and look whose standing tall right now — Scorpio Sky!”

Sky hit a destructive-looking pendulum backbreaker on Dean, and Dean rolled on the mat in pain. Sky began applauding, and then the camera cut to Page, who was also applauding. Dan Lambert, a man whose skin looked it had been underwater for thirty years, applauded, too.

Sky hit Dean with a second pendulum backbreaker.

“You see those suction cup marks on Dean’s back,” Wight pointed out. “It’s like he’s saying, ‘Please hit me here.’”

Sky slapped Dean’s face.

“Did you see that? Did you see how he tapped him in the face?” Page asked as he slapped at the air like his wrist was broken.

“That wasn’t quite a ‘tap,’” Henry said.

Sky executed a third pendulum backbreaker on Dean, but this time, he held Dean across his knee so as to apply a backbreaker submission. The crowd applauded to help Dean recover (because that’s how medicine works), and Dean rallied, pummeling Sky’s face with his fists. Sky fell backward, and the camera cut to a close-up of Dan Lambert’s face. (Someone needs to be fired.) Dean then captured a reeling Sky with an inside cradle to get a two-count. Both men jumped back to their feet, but Dean maintained his dominance by clobbering Sky with two hard clotheslines. That was followed by a spear, which was subsequently followed by a release German Suplex. (Fantastic action!) Dean did a matrix pop-up to get back to his feet, and the crowd fluttered with excitement. Dean climbed to the top turnbuckle.

“No!” Page panicked. “No, no, no, no!”

Dean lept off to perform a frog splash, but Sky got both his knees up, and Dean was downright shattered.

“He was playing possum!” Page cackled like a drunken hyena.

“Three-hundred and sixty-five days!” Lambert shouted, looking like the kind of man who would ask for “the burger menu” at a fine dining restaurant.

Sky then hit Dean with a big running boot, followed by his TKO finisher. Sadly, much to the chagrin of my fallen crest, Sky hooked Dean’s leg, covered Dean’s torso, and the referee counted to three. Page celebrated insufferably.

WINNER: Sky in 6:00

(David’s Analysis: This was my favorite match thus far. The antics of Sky and Page keep getting better and better, and Lambert’s skills as a heel are phenomenal. Despite my mild-mannered jokes, I love seeing him because I love hating him — even if he looks like a Dorian Gray painting.)

“We would like to say we appreciate you coming by,” Henry said to Page.

“You can,” Page beamed expectantly.

“He said we’d like to say it,” Wight responded. “That didn’t mean we were going to say it.” (Someone take Page to the burn unit!)

– After the match, I fast-forwarded in case Dan Lambert came on screen.

(5) KRIS STATLANDER vs. EMI SAKURA

It was great seeing Statlander in a boop-free match on Sunday. Sometimes it’s good to take things seriously (says the man of a million asides).

(WARNING: I’m mildly biased in Sakura’s favor.)

Glorious Emperess Emi Sakura came out first. Her royal robes flowed behind her like a cloud of red and white. On her head was a crown, Jerry Lawler would have coveted, and it was worn so regally as to put Willam Regal to shame. Even the ring ropes envied Sakura’s prowess as they tried to clutch at her cape. (She got stuck.) Upon arriving in the ring, Sakura swished her dazzling robe in the air and rotated a generous three-hundred and sixty degrees for the hard camera. Sakura then ran a finger under her jawline and smirked with a facial expression only someone as wonderous as her could provide. Kris Statlander came out second.

Sakura was anxious to entertain the fans, and so she attacked Statlander before the bell. Sakura cornered Statlander in the upstage left corner and stomped away at her chest. With Statlander down, the referee rang the bell. (Despite months of complaining about matches being started during beatdowns, I deem this to be fair because Sakura.)

Sakura grabbed Statlander by the head and ran her into the stage left ring ropes. Statlander bounced backward, and Sakura screamed magnificently as she darted toward a fallen Statlander to execute a running dropkick. Sakura then pulled Statlander up by her hair and took her back down again with a hair Biel throw.

Sakura helped Statlander into the corner, shrieking gently as she did so. With Statlander trapped in the corner, Sakura began revving up the crowd for her signature “We Will Rock You” chops. The crowd clapped and stomped along as Sakura stomped and chopped Statlander’s chest. Sakura then threw out her arms and posed for the crowd to show her gracious appreciation of their approval.

Sakura ran toward Statlander and nailed her in the corner with a running crossbody, but for some reason, Statlander caught Sakura mid-air and shamefully bodyslammed her. Sakura gave us a masterclass in facial expressions as she emoted the pain Statlander’s bodyslam had caused. Statlander pulled Sakura upright and cruelly ran her head into downstage left top turnbuckle three times. (I’m pretty sure that’s a felony.)

Statlander then chopped Sakura’s chest not once, not twice, but three times for no other reason except they were wrestling in a match. Statlander then whipped Sakura toward the turnbuckles, ran at her, and hit her with an upper-cut. Statlander followed up that offensive offense by striking Sakura with a running knee so hard that it knocked her through the ropes and onto the apron. (Definitely felonious.)

Sakura heroically pulled herself back up to her feet, and Statlander flagitiously sprinted toward her, attempting to spear her through the ropes. Sakura, however, wisely moved, and Statlander quickly found herself on the other side of the ropes while Sakura stood righteously in the ring. Sakura ran the ropes to build up momentum and hit Statlander with a crossbody that knocked her off the apron. Both women went to the outside.

Ever joyful, Sakura laughed melodiously for the ringside cameraman and even flipped her hair back so he could get a better shot. Sakura then noticed Statlander seemed a bit out of it, and she attempted to revive her opponent by slamming Statlander into the ring post. That did not seem to help as much as either of us thought it would, so Sakura tried cheering Statlander up by laughing because laughter is contagious.

However, Statlander is humorless (and unconscious) and does not return Sakura’s laughter. Sakura helped Statlander get back into the ring using a courteous amount of force. Sakura then decided to personalize a fan’s live experience by getting right up their face for a free meet and greet.

“Jaw-jacking with the fans. Not a smart move,” Wight said as his eyes smoldered with envy.

Back in the ring, Sakura captured Statlander again, pointed at the fan whose day she’d just made, and screamed something really, really loud, but I couldn’t hear her. She then performed a Queen’s Gambit on Statlander. With Statlander down, Sakura flipped her hair and gleefully posed so that the ringside fan could take a picture and commemorate a great moment in wrestling history. The fan declined.

Sakura covered Statlander, but Statlander had the audacity to kick out. In a show of sportsmanship, Sakura helped Statlander back to her feet by the roots of her hair. Statlander then began elbowing and punching at Sakura’s midsection, and the referee did nothing to stop this. Sakura chopped Statlander’s chest and attempted a clothesline; however, Statlander ducked and punched Sakura in the stomach. Sakura attempted another clothesline, but Statlander ducked once more, caught Sakura from behind, swept her leg, and executed an STO backbreaker.

As Sakura got back to her feet, Statlander ran at her with a clothesline and knocked her to the floor. Sakura got up a second time and received a back elbow that knocked her to the floor yet again. Sakura then dashed toward Statlander with an attempted clothesline. However, Statlander ducked, allowed Sakura to crash into the ropes, caught Sakura’s rebounding body, and executed a powerslam. (#JusticeForSakura)

Statlander pinned Sakura, but somehow, someway, with the unfettered determination of a politician who has your email, Sakura kicked out. Statlander went for her Big Bang Theory finisher, but Sakura lithely countered with a twisting flatliner. Sakura covered Statlander, but the referee counted too slowly, and Statlander was able to kick out at two. Sakura had a calm, rational conversation with the referee about the speed of his counting, but he definitely defended his cadence.

With Statlander lying in the prone position, Sakura grabbed her leg and drove her knee into the mat.

“Look at her going after that injured knee!” Wight said. “Statlander wears a knee brace because she’s had major knee surgery.” (Okay, but keep that same energy when it happens to Sakura.)

Statlander put Sakura in a side headlock, and Sakura attempted to counter with a belly-to-back suplex. However, Statlander landed on her feet (Lander is in her name, I guess.) and arrested Sakura’s waist in a waistlock. Sakura fairly executed a standing switch; Statlander unfairly executed a standing switch; Sakura fairly executed a standing switch again and, this time, managed to muster enough strength to clock Statlander with a back elbow.

Sakura ran into the ropes, rebounded toward Statlander, and sprinted headfirst into a roundhouse kick out of nowhere. (This feels wrong.) Statlander executed her Big Bang Theory finisher. (Very wrong.) Statlander covered Sakura, and the referee hurriedly counted to three. (Total screw job.)

WINNER: Statlander in 5:00

(David’s Analysis: All jokes aside — and they were both copious and vainglorious — this was my favorite match thus far! Both women were given time to entertain us, and they made the most of it. The main event may top this match, but if it doesn’t, this will likely be my match of the night. This is one of the best one-on-one women’s matches I can recall seeing on Dark Elevation in the past few months. Sakura is still capable of doing much more (as seen on YouTube), and I have no doubt Statlander would have been glad to do more if given more time.)

(6) WHEELER YUTA vs. AARON SOLO

Aaron Solo came out first, sans Q.T. Marshall, and the fans booed. Solo responded by sauntering down the rampway and pointing accusatorily at the fans. (That is not how you win people over. You win people over by being Sakura.) Next up, Wheeler Yuta came out to a boisterous crowd response. Yuta entered the ring via a modified shotgun senton and turned to the crowd to acknowledge their support.

“Wheeler Yuta —” Wight began.

“— has a lot of energy and a lot of talent,” Henry finished.

Both men began the match by slowly circling one another before attempting a collar and elbow tie-up. The tie-up immediately shifted in Solo’s favor when he grabbed Yuta’s wrist and applied a wristlock. Yuta tried to flip his way out of the aforementioned wristlock and almost succeeded, but Solo caught Yuta by the back of his head, snapping him to the mat. Despite Yuta taking a hard fall, Solo managed to maintain control of Yuta’s wrist.

With Solo still holding his wrist, Yuta popped up to his feet via a matrix kick-up, scooped up Solo, and bodyslammed him to the mat. Solo then knocked Yuta backward with a push-up kick and tried to take charge of Yuta’s person, but Yuta leaped over him, grabbed him from behind, pushing him into the ring ropes. Solo rebounded off the ropes, and Yuta rolled under his feet, tripping him. Solo scurried back to his vertical base, and Yuta rapidly pulled that base out from under Solo with a huge dropkick. Yuta covered Solo and hooked his leg, but Solo kicked out at one. (It was almost a half-count!)

Solo used the upstage left turnbuckles to pull himself upright and hung in the scarecrow position. Yuta hit Solo with a knife-edge chop, grabbed his hair, pulled him along the upstage ring rope, and slammed him into the upstage left turnbuckle. Yuta then went for an Irish whip, but Solo reversed it. Yuta smacked into the turnbuckles, and Solo whizzed across the ring toward Yuta. However, Yuta leaped out of the way, allowing Solo to crash and burn. Yuta jumped onto the apron and then onto the top rope. He appeared to be looking for some kind of springboard, but Solo countered Yuta’s offense by shaking the top rope. Because of that, Yuta tumbled to the mat.

Solo mounted Yuta’s devastated body and punched away at his head. Solo then stood over Yuta, threw out his arms, and gloated for the booing crowd. Solo pulled Yuta into a side headlock and then executed a snap suplex. Solo cupped his ear for the crowd, who had no problem making their true feelings known. Solo shrugged off the audience’s antagonism and pinned Yuta, but Yuta kicked out at one.

“You’ve never done a little showing off?” Henry asked Wight after Wight had vociferously called out Solo’s showboating.

“I might have done that once or twice…”

“Oh, come on now,” Henry scoffed. “It’s like the pot calling the kettle black.”

“I’ll call the pot black, the frying pan black, the stove black,” Wight said. “— the stove pipe is black.”

Solo whipped Yuta into the upstage left turnbuckles, ran at him, and nailed him with a clothesline. Solo yanked Yuta back down to the mat, pinned him, and got a two-count. Solo pulled Yuta upright again and knocked him back down with a back elbow. Solo covered Yuta once more, but once more, he only got a two-count. Frustrated, Solo trapped Yuta in a rear chin lock and pressed his knee into Yuta’s spine. The crowd began to clap for Yuta, hoping to rally him to his feet. Yuta used the crowd’s energy to pull himself up, turn around, and deliver a jawbreaker to Solo.

Yuta went on a fast burst of offense; he nailed Solo with a back elbow, allowed Solo to run into his boot, shoved Solo to the ground, climbed onto the top turnbuckle, and jumped off with a huge flying crossbody. (That was Dante Martin levels of good.) The fast flurry of offense continued as Yuta nailed Solo with an atomic drop, a step-up enzuigiri, and another back elbow. Yuta ran up to the top turnbuckles again and jumped off a second time, clocking Solo with a flying elbow.

Solo rolled out of the ring to regroup, but Yuta was undeterred; he ran into the upstage ring-ropes and dove through the downstage ring topes onto Solo. (I personally feel like Yuta should have gone for a cover at some point — he had at least three opportunities.) Yuta tossed Solo back into the ring straight away, ascended the turnbuckles a third time, and attempted yet another elbow drop. However, Yuta’s luck ran out; Solo dodged Yuta and nailed him with a superkick. Yuta ran at Solo with a clothesline, but Solo caught Yuta by his torso and executed an inside-out suplex.

“He turned him inside out!” Wight exclaimed.

Solo went for a cover, but Yuta kicked out at two.

“Big kick-out!” Henry said.

Both men made their way back to their feet. Yuta leaned on the downstage left turnbuckles and assumed the scarecrow position; Solo ran at him and attempted a back body splash. However, Yuta caught Solo in mid-air and executed a release German suplex.

“Oooo. Right on his shoulder!” Wight said.

“That’ll knock you right out, Paul,” Henry added.

“How about the power of Wheeler to catch Solo in mid-air?” Wight exclaimed.

Q.T. Marshall, who is not a cutie despite his name being Q.T., strolled out of the tunnel, moving as much with his shoulders as with his waist.

“Aaand, here’s a guy nobody likes,” Wight said.

“Here. We. Go.” Henry bemoaned. “The only reason for him to come out here is to distract people.”

“He distracts everybody!” Wight said. “It’s like he wants to get the people at ringside sick.”

Yuta confronted Marshall by the ropes, and Marshall smirked and said, “I have my managerial license.”

“Ooo, he has a license to be around ringside!” Henry sounded like a baritone mean girl here, and I loved it.

Marshall strutted around ringside with his arms thrown out wide so everyone could see his shirt was inspired by a blue Uno card. Meanwhile, Yuta and Solo traded forearms and then kicks. Solo then attempted a double underhook suplex, but Yuta fought his way free. Yuta hit Solo with another forearm, and Solo hit Yuta with a windmill kick. Solo stormed toward Yuta; Yuta caught Solo’s midsection, hoisted him onto his shoulders, and executed an Olympic Slam that took everyone by surprise!

Yuta went up to the top turnbuckle, and Marshall began creeping toward him while the referee’s back was turned. In a stroke of genius, Yuta “fell” onto the metal bar of the top turnbuckle and made it appear as if Marshall had been responsible for his “misfortune.” Yuta clutched his groin as if he’d suffered a low blow. The referee turned back around, and Yuta immediately pointed at Marshall so as to imply Marshall had been the one to low-blow him. The referee asked the crowd if Marshall had interfered, and as it turns out, everyone in Daily’s Place was a liar.

“That is great!” Wight shouted. “This is great!”

The referee then ejected Marshall from the ringside area before he could do any actual damage.

“That is karma, Q.T. Marshall,” Wight said. “That is karma!”

Marshall pitched an absolute fit as he was forced to go backstage.

“He didn’t do anything,” Wight said, “but he sure looked guilty to me.”

The moment Marshall was gone, Yuta jumped off of the turnbuckles, caught Solo with an arm-drag, and executed his Seat Belt finisher. Yuta then pinned Solo to the mat, and the referee counted to three.

WINNER: Yuta in 8:00

(David’s Analysis: That was also a fun match, and I especially enjoyed the ending. I almost felt bad for Q.T. Marshall, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. This was my second favorite match of the night. I still liked Emi Sakura vs. Kris Statlander a little bit better, but both matches were enjoyable thanks to their humor.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked that this show was only thirty-six minutes. The shorter runtime kept everything fresh and exciting, and at no point did I feel tired or like there was superfluous content. Having only Mark Henry and Paul Wight on commentary was interesting. Because of this, the commentary had a lot of color — and I mean the whole Crayola box with a built-in sharpener — but I didn’t mind that because it was well executed. This is the perfect show to try out something like that, and Wight still did a good job keeping the audience abreast of what was happening in the ring. IMO, and as always, it is only my opinion, the best match of the night was Statlander vs. Sakura. Yuta vs. Solo was a close second. I know there’s been a lot of wrestling the past few days — what with Impact airing Sacrifice, AEW airing Revolution, and WWE airing MSG in brief, succinct, and unsatisfying clips. However, if you have room on your plate for one more match, I recommend checking out Kris Statlander vs. Emi Sakura.

Thank you all for reading. I truly appreciate it. And as always, I’m still working on my sign-off, but until next week, remember, when wrestling fans discuss the forbidden door, it is not appropriate to offer them a condom.

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