4/26 AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT: Bryant’s report on Wight and Henry’s banter, hatred for The Acclaimed, love for Vickie Guerrero, Statlander’s new character, more

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
APRIL 25, 2022
TAPED 4/20 IN PITTSBURG, PA.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Excalibur & Paul Wight & Mark Henry

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


– Thank you guys for reading this every week; I really do mean it. It is truly humbling that y’all are willing to show up to read my absurdly long, ridiculously irreverent pro wrestling reports. So, again, thank you for spending so much time with me, and thank you for visiting PWTorch.com. If you want to follow me on Twitter, you can do so @IamDavidBryant. (Despite what you’re thinking, I promise there are things other than selfies involved. In fact, I can almost guarantee there is at least ten percent other stuff.)

-Tonight’s AEW Dark Elevation taping emanated from the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. — Now… I normally use this space to offer tourism advice about whichever city AEW is currently appearing in, but I have yet to visit Pittsburgh, and I try not to give advice about things I’m not personally familiar with. That said, I have had great times in the state itself, and I’ll have loads of advice whenever AEW returns to Philadelphia So… for those of you who came to this page specifically seeking vacation information, you are lost, but also, stay tuned.

(1) LUTHER & JAKE OMEN & TITO ORIC & R.C. DUPREE & BULK NASTY vs. DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson & Alex Reynolds & Alan Angels & Preston Vance w/Brodie Lee Jr.)

The first match of the night is a ten-man cluster-match. So, enjoy that.

Luther came out first but did so without his better half. (Has anyone checked to see if Luther’s house has a crawlspace?) With no Serpentico nearby, Luther grabbed a fistful of RC Dupree‘s blond hair and dragged him down the rampway instead. (That is not the same. Where is Serpentico? What did you do?) Jake Omen, Tito Oric, and Bulk Nasty followed behind Luther and Dupree. (Who are these guys? Should I know these guys? I feel like I should know these guys.)

“Looks like Luther picked up some strays walking the streets of Pittsburgh,” Excalibur explained. (Guess not.)

“You know I said on Dark Elevation before — having done my research on the ‘Amazing’ Luther — that’s what I refer to him as — he comes from Danish royalty,” Wight said. “So, these could be subjects of his kingdom.” (They could very well be. That makes sense.)

“The “Amazing” Luther was his name back when he was part of a trapeze act,” Excalibur said. (Oh! Oh! I used to do trapeze, too! You can find pics of it on my Twitter and Instagram. Man, I never knew Luther and I had so much in common!) (It’s scary we have things in common…)

Dark Order came out next. The members involved in this particular match-up include Evil Uno & Alan Angels & Preston Vance & Alex Reynolds & Stu Grayson & Brodie Lee Jr. & Junior Vasquez & Carl’s Jr. & wow they have too many members to keep up with.

Luther pulled out a mask he’d peeled off Serpentico’s corpse (probably) and pleaded with Dupree to wear it. For some reason, Dupree agreed. Dupree’s long blond hair covered up the eye-holes.

As soon as the bell rang, Grayson ran at Dupree, but Dupree was half-blinded, and Grayson was able to easily knock him to the ground with a back elbow. (Dupree did a fantastic job of bumping how you’d have expected Serpentico to. Poor Serpentico.) Grayson delivered a second back elbow, and Dupree went hurling onto his back a second time. Stu Grayson ripped Serpentico’s mask off Dupree, and Luther began speaking whale very loudly.

Grayson rolled his eyes at Luther’s high-pitched shrieks and then desecrated Serpentico’s mask by throwing it disrespectfully to the ground. During this act of sacrilege, Dupree managed to tag in Oric and escape the ring. Grayson ducked a clothesline from Oric, and Oric plunged a knife-edge chop into Grayson’s chest; however, Grayson no-sold it. Oric stared at Grayson, looking a little confused and a lot affronted, and Grayson slammed Oric with a forearm so hard it sent him into the face team’s corner. There, Grayson tagged in Angels, who immediately tagged in Uno.

Together, Angels and Grayson executed a double Irish whip on Oric. Oric ran the ropes, Angels dropped down, Oric jumped over Angels, Grayson leapfrogged Oric, and Uno stepped into the mix to poke Oric in the eye. Uno executed a hanging neckbreaker on Oric, rammed Oric’s head into the top turnbuckle, and tagged in Reynolds.

Reynolds ran the ropes and used their momentum to clock Oric with a running back elbow followed by a running corkscrew elbow. A reeling Oric rolled his way to the heel team’s corner and tagged in the “Amazing” Luther. The “Amazing” Luther attempted a big boot on Reynolds, but Reynolds ducked and attacked the “Amazing” Luther with multiple forearms. Reynolds then attempted to Irish whip the “Amazing” Luther, but the “Amazing” Luther reversed Reynolds’ whip attempt. Reynolds ran the ropes, ducked a clothesline doled out by the “Amazing” Luther, ducked another clothesline doled out by the “Amazing” Luther, and then ran headfirst into a leg lariat doled out by the “Amazing” Luther.

“That was the royal leg lariat!” Wight exclaimed. “King Luther!”

King Luther hit a svelt snap suplex on Reynolds, but that was only good for a one-count. King Luther was unimpressed with the referee’s mathematical skills and argued with him about the amount of the number one. (That makes sense. It’s a good strategy. It works often.) However, the referee maintained that the number one was the number one and refused to overturn the results of the pinfall. King Luther tagged in Omen.

King Luther picked Omen up to execute a Serpentico-body-slam on Reynolds, but Reynolds wisely moved out of the way, and poor Omen crashed to the mat. Reynolds crawled toward the face team’s corner, and King Luther tried to stop him by grabbing Reynolds’ leg; however, Reynolds escaped King Luther’s grasp with an up-kick. Reynolds tagged in Vance.

Vance stepped into the ring, and King Luther began using his partners as cannon fodder. King Luther threw Omen at Vance, but Vance took Omen down with a shoulder tackle; King Luther threw Dupree at Vance, but Vance took Dupree down with a shoulder tackle; King Luther threw Oric at Vance, but Vance took Oric down with a shoulder tackle; King Luther threw Bulk Nasty at Vance, and Vance took Bulk Nasty down with a pump-handle slam. (If that read quickly, it’s because it happened that way.)

Vance hit Omen with a pump kick in the downstage right corner, and then Vance hit the “Amazing” King Luther with a pump kick in the downstage left corner; King Luther tumbled off to the floor. Angels darted across the ring and executed a suicide dive through the ropes onto the “Amazing” King Luther. Vance picked up Reynolds into a powerbomp position, walked Reynolds to the downstage ropes, and Reynolds executed a moonsault off Vance that went over the top rope and onto several members of team “Amazing-Clairvoyant-Egyptologist” King Luther.

Omen ran into the ring to counter Vance’s monsterific offense, and Vance immediately caught Omen with a spinebuster!

“What an impressive athlete “Ten” is,” Wight said. “Wow!”

Vance tagged in Uno, and Uno tagged in Grayson. Uno put Omen on his shoulders, and Grayson executed a Fatality finisher onto Omen. Grayson covered Omen; Vance put Dupree in a full nelson to prevent him from breaking up the count; the referee dropped to the mat to make the count, and Dark Order picked up the victory.

WINNER: Dark Order (Stu Grayson & Alex Reynolds & Alan Angels & Preston Vance & Evil Uno & Uno Henning & UNO The Game & Mr. Monopoly) in 3:00

(David’s Analysis: This was palatable but not spectacular. That’s okay, though. They had ten men and three minutes. The fact that they made this work at all is amazing in and of itself. Dupree was particularly entertaining to watch, especially during the Serpentico mask bit.)

(2) KRIS STATLANDER vs. JULIA HART

Julia Hart came out first, and once again, it appears she’s used too much eyeliner because it’s running out from underneath her eye patch like a waterfall. (Has no one asked her to get that looked at? She should get that looked at. Maybe she has keratoconjunctivitis sicca but in reverse?) Hart walked to the ring looking a little bit bubbly and a little bit like the floor was lava.

Kris Statlander came out next and looked like a total badass. (Like, I would cross the road if I saw her walking down it, and I’m a Nyla Rose fan.) One half of Statlander’s hair was dyed black, and the other half was dyed Duke blue. Her eyeliner and eye make-up matched her hair, but to be clear, this was not “alien cosplay.” This was “I-got-a-knife-under-my-right-pant-leg-strapped-to-my-boot cosplay.”

The bell rang, and both women circled one another, scowling like they were characters in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Before Hart could start a collar and elbow tie-up, Statlander seized her and executed a side headlock takeover as if Hart’s neck had personally offended her. Hart battled her way back to her feet, and Statlander put Hart in a wristlock. Then, to my slight confusion, Statlander began prying Hart’s fingers OPEN. (I don’t get it.) With her fingers now open, Hart escaped the wristlock, but as soon as she did so, Statlander kept hold of her fingers and forced them into a warped-looking Greco Roman knuckle lock. (Oooh. Now I get it.)

“She should get that eye checked out. It could be infected,” Excalibur said. (OMG! Thank you! Finally, someone else is saying it.)

“Well, there’s nothing you can do about the black mist,” Wight said (because it’s normal for companies to allow employees to blind each other with chemical attacks.) “And there’s no way of knowing what’s in that mist.” (Maybe Tony Khan could ask?)

Both competitors snarled at one another, and Statlander used her knuckle lock to force Hart to bend over backward until she was resting on Statlander’s knee. (Hot damn. Hart is as flexible as Mero’s hot flexible wife.) Without ever freeing her knuckles, Hart slammed a knee into Statlander, forced herself upright, and swept Statlander’s left leg. Hart then used the Greco Roman knuckle lock to pin Statlander but could only get a two-count. Hart kept the knuckle lock in place and attempted a second pin. Once again, she was only able to get a two-count. Hart and Statlander continued to struggle in the knuckle lock until Hart got a third pin but still only scored a two-count. This time, instead of kicking out, Statlander bridged out of the pinfall. (That was impressive.)

Statlander maintained the bridge, and Hart maintained the knuckle lock. Hart then put all of her weight on Statlander’s hands, which were still pinned to the mat, and lifted herself up onto her arms like a circus performer before plunging both her knees into Statlander’s stomach. Jawdroppingly, Statlander held onto her bridge as if her spine were made of steel. (That is SUPER impressive. I would’ve folded like a house of cards.)

Keeping Statlander’s hands pinned, Hart used one of her legs to sweep Statlander, and Statlander’s bridge finally collapsed. Hart then performed another handstand on Statlander’s hands, but before she could plunge her knees into Statlander a second time, Statlandre caught her with her feet. (This really does look like a low-key circus act. I am enthralled.)

With Hart in a handstand on Statlander’s hands and her body bridged across Statlander’s feet, Statlander straightened out both her arms and legs. This pushed Hart into the air, turning her from a 180-degree angle to a 90-degree angle. Statlander held Hart in the air like a human plank.

“Well, I’ll be damned,” Henry said. “Did you see what she just did?” (Yeah, I did see that, and I have circus friends I can put her in touch with if she’s interested.)

With Hart still held up by Statlander, Statlander then bent her arms and legs, straightened them quickly, and launched Hart off of her and into a black flip.

“What a display of strength,” Henry said. (It was, but both women should be commended for that. It takes a lot of balance to do what Hart just did.)

Hart ran the ropes, and Statlander ducked underneath her, leapfrogged her, and attempted to attack her, but Hart countered by capturing Statlander in a standing side headlock. Statlander then used her strength to pick Hart up (without breaking the headlock) and executed a belly-to-back suplex. Hart pulled herself up into the scarecrow position, and Statlander cornered her, blasting her chest with a chop. Statlander then began to pull Hart into position for a Big Bang Theory, but Hart countered by flipping over her. However, Statlander executed a standing switch and put Hart into a waistlock. Hart fought the waistlock with multiple back elbows. When Statlander’s grip had loosened enough, Hart seized Statlander’s neck and executed a bulldog slam!

Hart pinned Statlander, and I thought she might win for a second, but Statlander kicked out at two. Applause rippled through the audience as they finally realized this match was actually pretty damn good. Hart clubbed away at Statlander’s back while Statlander beat up Hart’s torso. Statlander then ran the ropes and attempted a running clothesline, but Hart caught her arm mid-clothesline, kicked Statlander in the back, and executed an STO backbreaker.

Statlander stared at the lights, looking stunned, and Hart performed a standing moonsault on Statlander. Hart looked like she might cover Statlander but opted not to. Instead, Hart wrenched Statlander back up and threw her face-first into a middle turnbuckle with a look of unbridled disdain.

Hart laughed at Statlander as she lay heaped in the upstage left corner, stomped Statlander’s chest, and choked Statlander with her boot. Hart looked maniacal.

“Hart is like, ‘If everybody else is gonna do evil, then I’m gonna do evil, too,’” Henry said.

Hart took Statlander to the mat and applied a camel clutch, but Statlander countered, hoisting Hart up onto her back. Still on Statlander’s back, Hart put Statlander in a sleeper hold, and Statlander collapsed to the mat. Statlander then grabbed Hart’s throat with both hands and lifted Hart over her head by her neck. Statlander launched Hart halfway across the ring, and she crashed into the upstage left turnbuckles.

“Geez!” Henry exclaimed.

Hart stood in the scarecrow position, and Statlander clobbered Hart with a running uppercut. Statlander then ran the ropes and rebounded toward hart with a running knee strike. Statlander then pulled Hart to the center of the ring and executed a reverse suplex. Before Hart could so much as take a breath, Statlander pulled Hart back to her upright base and executed a delayed vertical suplex. Statlander instantaneously popped back up to her feet, and the audience applauded.

Statlander attempted a roundhouse kick, but Hart ducked underneath and superkicked Statlander. Statlander crawled on all fours to the upstage right corner. Hart immediately executed a somersault clothesline. Hart ran the ropes and rebounded toward Statlander with a back elbow. Nearly unconscious, Statlander collapsed into the please-moonsault-me position. Hart went up to the top rope and executed a rounding body press onto Statlander. Hart hooked Statlander’s leg, and the referee counted one, two — kick out!

Hart trapped Statlander in a modified headscissors and pulled back on her own ankle to intensify its pressure. The audience began clapping to rally Statlander as Statlander made the slow ascent to her feet. Statlander flipped her body over Hart’s and reversed the hold in a way I did not think was possible. Statlander then picked Hart up like a sack of potatoes and executed a hard-hitting release German suplex on Hart!

Statlander executed a hard roundhouse kick to the left side of Hart’s head. Hart collapsed, but Statlander picked her back up, turned her upside down, and executed her Big Bang Theory finisher; however, Excalibur clarified that the finisher is now called Night Fever. So… Statlander executed her Night Fever finisher on Hart, covered Hart, and hooked Hart’s leg, scoring a three-count for the win. (Badass.)

WINNER: Statlander in 7:00

(David’s Analysis: This was way better than I thought it would be. Both women told an in-ring story about their evolving characters, and the chemistry between the two worked out well. As readers know, I absolutely abhorred Statlander’s alien gimmick, but I’m digging the hell out of this one. She was never a bad wrestler; she was a good wrestler with a bad gimmick. However, this gimmick feels like the gimmick of someone who could someday hold the AEW Women’s Championship. I wish this gimmick was the gimmick she’d used to wrestle Leyla Hirsch during the AEW Revolution pre-show.)

– After the match, Statlander leaned over the bottom rope and scowled into the camera.

– An advert for Rampage aired, and I feel like they should consider replacing these adverts with mini-video packages. Everyone watching Dark Elevation already knows about Dynamite and Rampage, so instead of doing commercials, they could do highlight reels of the local talent or short video packages hyping the achievements of contracted wrestlers. Just a random idea I’m throwing out into the void of nothingness that is the internet.

(3) BRANDON CULTER vs. KONOSUKE TAKESHITA

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College drop-out Brandon Culter made his entrance. (Oh boy.) Out next was twenty-six-year-old Japanese athlete Konosuke Takeshita, the youngest person to ever hold the KO-D Openweight Championship and the winner of this match. (I assume.)

“He looks like a star and carries himself like one,” Wight said. (I’ll let you guess which wrestler Wight was referring to.)

The match started with Cutler jogging in place like his shoes were on fire, and Takeshita stood like a normal person. (Did I mention he’s a five-time KO-D Opening Champion? Like, Cutler is so dead, RN.) Both wrestlers jumped into a collar and elbow tie-up, but Takeshita swiftly transitioned into a wristlock. Cutler cartwheeled out of the wristlock and applied a wristlock of his own. Cutler then made a face that can best be described as “Jim-Carrey-bobblehead.”

Takeshita seized Cutler’s bobbling head in a side headlock, and Cutler appeared to be trying to “swim” his way out of it? Cutler shoved Takeshita toward the ropes, and Takeshita bounced back with a shoulder tackle that threw Cutler into the air before sending him crashing to the mat.

Takeshita ran the ropes and slammed into Cutler with a back leg lariat. Takeshita scooped up Cutler (who looks like his laundry got put in the wash with a hallucinogenic tiger) and front slammed him down to the mat. Takeshita climbed to the second rope and jumped off it with a flying senton bomb onto Cutler. Takeshita went for the cover, and for some reason, Cutler kicked out. (Unwise.)

Takeshita elbowed the back of Cutler’s head and then whipped Cutler into the upstage right corner. However, instead of colliding with the turnbuckles, Cutler jumped through the ropes and landed on the apron. Takeshita ran toward Cutler, and Cutler executed a slingshot enzuigiri on Takeshita. Cutler then posed like a Florida Man version of Karate Kid. Cutler also danced around Takeshita (who is probably confused and regretting a lot of decisions) and dropped an elbow on him. Cutler followed that up by executing a TikTok dance. (*Skull Emoji*)

Culter dropped another elbow and then danced some more. He did spins, the moonwalk, a waltzy shuffle, and Takeshita is never visiting us again, is he? Finally, Cutler attempted another elbow drop, but Takeshita rolled out of the way because of course he did. Takeshita wagged his finger, being a lot kinder than I would’ve been with my finger.

Takeshita threw Cutler into the upstage right corner and then smashed his face with a leaping forearm. Takeshita whipped Cutler across the ring, and Cutler tried to reverse it but somehow managed to throw Takeshita directly toward him? Takeshita executed a flying shoulder, but it looked more like a human piano falling on Cutler’s cartoon face.

“That was like Dante Martin (levels of) air born,” Henry exclaimed.

Takeshita executed a DDT on Cutler, and for some reason, Cutler kicked out at two despite looking like he’d fail to kick his way out of a shower curtain.

“I really thought that was it,” Henry said.

“I thought that was it,” Wight concurred.

Takeshita attempted a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Cutler countered it by grabbing hold of the referee. Takeshita released Cutler, and instead of running away, Cutler danced some more. Takeshita executed a Blue Thunder Bomb and covered Cutler for a one, two — OMG! FML! What the hell, man? Cutler kicked out despite looking like a Las Vegas nursing home resident.

“Is he too stupid to realize it’s over?” Henry asked.

“Yes,” Excalibur said. “Yes, he is.”

Cutler patty-caked Takeshita’s chest, and Takeshita looked totally over it. Takeshita carefully placed each of Cutler’s arms by his side, reached back, and knocked him so hard his face bluescreened. Takeshita hit Cutler with eight forearms, which is eight more forearms than was probably needed.

Cutler grabbed his can of cold spray from the downstage right corner and sprayed Takeshita in the face. Takeshita grabbed his eyes, and Cutler covered him. However, because Cutler weighs less than Nicolas Cage’s wallet, Takeshita easily kicked out. Cutler tried to cover Takeshita a second time, but because he has the muscle of a blobfish, Takeshita kicked out yet again. Cutler tried to go for an inside cradle, but Takeshita has had enough “clown college” for the day and countered Cutler’s rollup with a brainbuster. Takeshita covered Cutler and got a one, two — SON OF A B****!

“This is the best match I’ve seen Cutler have,” Henry said. (There’s worse!?) “And it’s all because of this guy (Konosuke Takeshita, not Brandon Cutler.).”

Takeshita hit Cutler with a running knee strike. Once more, Takeshita went for the cover, the referee dropped to make the count, and Takeshita got a one, two, three. (Thank God.)

WINNER: Takeshita in 5:00

(David’s Analysis: That happened.)

-After the match, an ad for Double or Nothing aired, and its hyperbole was very clearly written by Tony Khan himself.

(4) STEEL CITY BRAWLER vs. TONY NESE (w/Mark Sterling)

Tony Nese walked out with Mark Sterling, and Mark Sterling had a microphone. (Whoever is responsible for that, I hope they are fired.)

“Guys, guys, listen!” Sterling said. “I just wanted to introduce you to the hottest (he does have nice abs) free agent (he is not a free agent) in AEW history.” (Punk would like a word.)

They walked to the ring as Sterling babbled on.

“When we got to Pittsburg, we asked them to give us the best Pittsburg has to offer,” Sterling said. “And they gave us THIS? The Steel City Brawler?”

The director cut to the Steel City Brawler, and a chyron notes he is making his AEW debut.

“If this is your state’s standard-bearer, my gosh!” Sterling, who was still talking at us, continued. “And that’s the problem. There are plenty of joke acts out here getting opportunities over guys like Tony Nese. (Nese is signed a contract. You are literally his manager.) People here want to chant the name of Tony Nese. They don’t want to chant, ‘Brawler!’”

The crowd chanted, “Brawler.”

Mark Sterling was wearing a shiny blue suit shark suit, and I now feel dismayed that I have one exactly like it in my dressing room. Makes me want to burn it. (Specifically, the one Sterling is wearing, and while he is wearing it.)

Tony Nese got in The Steel City Brawler’s face and flexed. The Steel City Brawler flexed and pointed toward his bicep. The local crowd cheered. Nese did not cheer; Nese kicked him in the crotch with a spinning back kick. (At least it looked like it hit his crotch.) The Steel City Brawler hit Nese with an elbow, and Nese hit The Steel City Brawler with a punch to the throat.

Nese executed a hotshot stunner, jumped back into the ring, immediately executed a running elbow, and followed that up with seven punches to The Steel City Brawler’s face. (This all happened very quickly.)

Nese kicked The Steel City Brawler’s back twice and punched him in the face once more. Nese then cornered The Steel City Brawler against the turnbuckles and began choking him with his boot. After that, Nese drove a knee into The Steel City Brawler’s midsection. Nese took a break from beating up The Steel City Brawler to mock the crowd.

Sterling was dancing around at ringside with a yellow towel in a most disrespectful manner. The Steel City Brawler tried to use that respite to make a comeback with some headbutts, two clotheslines, and a body avalanche. However, a comeback was not in the cards. (It wasn’t even in the building.) Nese jumped back to his feet, looking like a Greek God swallowed a washboard and floored The Steel City Brawler with a dropkick. Nese followed that up with a Running Nese and got the win.

WINNER: Nese (w/Mark Sterling) in 2:00

(David’s Analysis: This was a squash, but it makes sense. They need to build up Nese so that he has at least a shred of credibility for when their incoming stars initiate themselves by beating him like a drum on Rampage.)

– After the match, Tony Nese “wiped himself” with a yellow towel.

(5) MINORU SUZUKI vs. Q.T. MARSHALL (w/The Factory)

Q.T. Marshall, the Scrappy Doo of Marshalls, came out first flanked by both members of The Factory – Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto.

“Q.T. Marshall and The Factory — not content to be a pain in the ass here in All Elite Wrestling,” Excalibur said. “They’ve also taken their show on the road, inflicting themselves on New Japan and New Japan Strong Windy City.”

(I want to see this man get hurt so bad.)

Marshall’s opponent, Minoru Suzuki, came out next. (Sometimes dreams do come true.)

The crowd was super into Suzuki and were on their feet applauding and cheering like Superman himself had just walked out of the face’s tunnel. Suzuki stopped midway down the ramp to take in the fans’ reactions and acknowledge them.

“Just listen to that reaction,” Excalibur said. “One of the toughest men in our sport.” (Yeah, and he’s about to fight the Stay Puffed Marshmellow Man. The real one, not Adam Page.)

Suzuki looked ready for a fight, and Marshall looked very, very white. Suzuki tried to go in for a collar and elbow tie up three times, but each time Marshall shrunk away like the hairless cowardly lion he is. Suzuki insisted Marshall come to the center of the ring, snapping his fingers and pointing — imploring Marshall to fight him.

Marshall feigned wanting a test of strength, but when Suzuki agreed to it, Marshall kicked him in the gut. (What a cheap vacuum-salesman-looking bastard.) Marshall pounded the back of Suzuki’s neck, and the crowd’s booing was so loud that it interfered with my ability to clearly hear the announcers.

BTW, IDK how much consistent access Khan actually has to Minoru Suzuki, but I hope there is some way for him to capitalize on the fervent enthusiasm AEW fans (and American fans in general) have for Suzuki. At the very least, Suzuki should be high on the card at Forbidden Door. The PPV, not the porno.

Marshall went for a clothesline on Suzuki, but Suzuki countered Marshall with a running boot. Suzuki put Marshall in an armbar, pulled him toward the downstage ropes, stepped through the ropes, and executed an arm wrench over the top rope. Marshall stumbled toward the center of the ring, clutching his annoying-looking arm. Marshall tried to assail Suzuki on the apron, but Suzuki grabbed Marshall’s arm and pulled it over the top rope. Suzuki then hung upside down by Marshall’s arm, applying a cross armbar on the ropes.

Marshall tapped out, but the referee refused to end the match because Marshall was technically grabbing the ropes. Suzuki dragged Marshall (dragging Marshall is fun) out of the ring, punched him in the face, kicked him in the stomach, and chopped him across the chest.

“Nice chop,” Wight said. “That just slapped Marshall’s heart right out of his back.” (That or it’ll come out next time he farts.)

Suzuki played the crowd, teasing another chop, but Marshall blocked his chop and punched Suzuki across his shoulder blades. Suzuki punched Marhsall’s Flinstone-looking face and rammed Marshall headfirst into the ring apron. Marshall was literally punch drunk. He staggered in the opposite direction of Suzuki and punched at the air. (That was satisfying to see.)

Suzuki rolled Marshall back into the ring, but as Suzuki tried to enter the ring, Solo grabbed his ankle. The referee spotted this and decided to EJECT BOTH SOLO AND COMOROTO! (OMG, Yasss!)

“Well, I’m just surprised a referee actually did something!” Wight declared. “One of the zebras finally earned his paycheck.”

Marshall struck Suzuki with a forearm, but Suzuki no-sold it. (As he should.) Marshall tried again, but Suzuki was busy “Hulking-up.” Marshall tried a third time — nothing. A fourth time — nada. Marshall then backed up and dared Suzuki to punch him right in the face. (Oh, please do.)

“You know,” Wight said, “Minoru Suzuki is somebody that fought Ken Shamrock to a 30-minute time-limit draw.”

Suzuki punched Marshall so hard it almost created a national holiday. Marshall didn’t just “fall down.” Oh, no — Marshall collapsed like a hot air balloon deflating from the inside out. (Hang on. Imma watch that again. Gotta see if It was as satisfying as I thought it was. Okay, I’m back, and the answer is yes. Yes, it was.)

“Hahaha,” Henry laughed. “He said, ‘Give me your best shot,’ and he gave him his best shot!”

Q.T. Marshall, the only wrestler whose action figure is made out of playdough, slowly returned to his senses. He then crawled his way back to his feet and tried, yet again, to punch Suzuki. Suzuki was still not about to sell for a guy who looks like the floor manager of the hardware section of the last Sears on earth.

Upon being struck a third time, Suzuki roared, and Marshall punched Suzuki in the throat. (That’s Dollar Tree discount bin cheap shotting right there.) Marshall ran the ropes and came back with a clothesline, but Suzuki ducked underneath Marshall’s annoying-looking arm. (Even his limbs annoy me.) Marshall hit Suzuki with a very lucky shot, and Suzuki fell onto the flat of his back. Marshall then covered Suzuki (No.) but only got a two-count. (Yes.)

The crowd cheered Suzuki’s kick out, and Marshall shouted, “Shut up!” (Which is pretty much professional wrestling’s equivalent of leading the witness.)

Suzuki applied a rear-naked choke but sadly released it before Marshall passed out. Suzuki smashed Marshall with his forearm and picked Marshall up. He held Marshall vertical for a while as the crowd applauded, and then Suzuki executed a Gotch-style piledriver. Suzuki covered an unconscious Marhsall by merely leaning against him, and the referee counted to three.

WINNER: Suzuki in 5:00

(David’s Analysis: This match was fun. It wasn’t a classic, and unless you’re a big Suzuki fan, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it. However, for Suzuki fans or Marshall haters, it’s a nice little treat.)

(6) VANCE VALOR vs. JOHN SILVER (w/Brodie Lee Jr.)

John Silver came out next, followed by a menagerie of human beings. (I know for a fact Dark Order doesn’t have 100 members, and yet it still sort of feels true.) After everyone, and I mean everyone, finished posing on the rampway, John Silver headed to the ring alone — No. Wait. Brodie Lee Jr. is apparently pulling double duty tonight and accompanying Silver to the ring as well.

Vance Valor was already waiting for Silver in the ring, and the bell rang so quickly that Silver hadn’t even put his jacket in the corner yet. The crowd chanted for John Silver, and both men started things off with a collar and elbow tie-up. Valor shoved Silver backward, and John-Silvered in front of John Silver, mocking him. Silver did not take kindly to this and bumped chests with Valor. Silver then gave Valor a close-up view of what a REAL John-Silvering looks like. (You tell him, Popeye.)

Valor kneed Silver in the stomach, butted Silver in the head, and whipped Silver into the ropes. However, Silver rebounded back toward Valor with a flying forearm. (Nice! I love Silver’s energy. It’s like he just explodes when he’s mad.)

(BTW, a lower third graphic just advertised Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida in a street fight on Dynamite. I wish they were making a big deal out of this because anyone who’s read even a fraction of my overwrought reports knows that I will be so incredibly into that match come Wednesday. If you get a chance, you should check it out. As long as they are given enough time, these two will not disappoint!)

Silver nailed Valor with a clothesline and tossed him into the far left corner. Silver then whipped Valor from that corner to the opposite corner. Silver ran after Valor, but Valor stopped his momentum and leapfrogged over Silver to avoid him. However, he did not avoid Silver for long because the moment he turned around, Silver planted him with a back kick. This caused Valor to fall into the please-619-me position on the middle rope, and Silver connected with a fierce-looking running knee to the back of Vance’s head.

As soon as Silver struck Vance with his knee, he grabbed him and executed a release German suplex. Silver picked up Valor like he weighed less than my boyfriend (sorry, honey), and threw him into an absolute whirlwind of a spinning rack bomb. (Wow.) Silver covered Vance, hooked his leg (which was almost as big as Silver), and got the win!

“Man, I’ve had sneezing fits that lasted longer than that,” Henry said.

WINNER: Silver (w/Brodie Lee Jr.) at 68 seconds

(David’s Analysis: This was a total squash, so there’s not much to say that I didn’t already say in the report. I feel like John Silver would be better off outside of Dark Order, but obviously, the powers that be don’t feel that way. Besides, who knows if I’m right; I’m just some writer who likes wrestling and got this job against all odds.)

(7) EMI SAKURA & THE BUNNY & NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. RUBY SOHO & SKYE BLUE & ANNA JAY (w/Brodie Lee Jr.)

(WARNING: I am mildly biased in Emi Sakura’s favor, and I also make a totally normal amount of Vickie Guerrero fanart.)

The majestic aura of Emi Sakura could be seen in the distance as she languidly strolled out of the heels’ tunnel and into the stage lights she so rightly deserves. The only thing that matched the blinding limelight of Sakura’s magnificence was the arrival of fashion icon Vickie Guerrero.

Tonight, Vickie Guerrero was serving some Right To Censor realness with her crisp black button-up featuring an embellished peter pan collar, faceted quarter-shank buttons, and princess seams. Ms. Guerrero paired this Westminster-Dog-Show-ready top with sleek, slim-fit trousers and the pout of a thousand constipated models.

Other people also came out of the tunnel. They looked fine, too.

Once in the ring, The Bunny and Nyla Rose stole a small sliver of Guerrero’s spotlight with spectacular facial expressions rivaled only by the regal condescension of Sakura. Also, Rose has one heck of a shiner under her eye. She seems like a tough competitor, both as a character and IRL.

The next group to come out consisted of Ruby Soho, Skye Blye, Anna Jay, and… Brodie Lee Jr.? Wow, Brodie Lee Jr. is pulling triple duty tonight. (Do child labor laws apply to wrestling?) (Oh, wait. Didn’t a fourth-grader win the WWE Tag Team Titles, or was that a fever dream?) (I wonder where he is now? I bet the overwhelming burden of his early superstardom caused him to spiral into the life of a hardened criminal.) (NVM, I just checked; he’s fine. He has 21,000 Twitter followers, which worries me a little, but he’s fine.) Anyway, Brodie Lee Jr. was also fine and fist-bumped all three competitors atop the stage.

“Tonight’s elevation has been the Negative One show,” Wight said. “He’s got his face all over TV.” (He wears a mask.)

Once everyone was in the ring, Blue and Sakura started things off with a friendly shove from Sakura. However, Blue was not so friendly, and she shoved Sakura so hard that the stellar athlete actually stumbled into the ropes. When Sakura rebounded back to the middle of the ring, Blue and Sakura immediately entered a furious collar and elbow tie-up.

Sakura went for a waistlock, but before she could apply it, Blue caught her with a snap make takeover. Blue went for a superkick, but Sakura caught hold of her foot and shoved it away from her. Blue used the momentum of that shove to turn all the way around and deliver a spinning back heel kick. With grace and dignity, Sakura frantically crawled to the heels corner and tagged in the first person she could reach. That person was Rose.

Rose ran over Blue with a massive clothesline, and Blue rolled her way into the face’s corner, tagging in Jay, who we’ve previously established is also Lady Legasus. Jay ran at Rose with a passion, and Rose sidewalk slammed her with that same passion. Jay instantly scarpered back to the face’s corner and tagged in Soho. (Yay!) Soho pounded her own chest in defiance of Rose’s intimidating prowess and ran at her competitor like John Silver after seeing spinach.

Rose swung a big clothesline at Soho, but Soho nimbly ducked underneath. Soho slugged Rose with her forearm four times, but Rose seemed unmoved. Soho backed up, ran forward, and planted a forearm into Rose’s chest, but Rose sold less than a walk-through carwash. Frustrated, Soho bounced into the ropes for extra momentum and hit Rose with a running clothesline. Rose did not budge; instead, she roared. Flummoxed and determined to get a reaction, Soho stomped on Rose’s left foot with all her might. Rose bent over, and Soho hit her with a spinning back kick followed by a knee lift. Soho ran the ropes, but Rose caught her by her neck and threw Soho into the downstage right corner with a strength that made it look like gravity went sideways.

Soho hung in the scarecrow position, and Rose attempted a body avalanche, but Soho got her boot up, and Rose ran straight into it. Soho then grabbed the top ropes and attempted her signature Deadly Night Shade, but Rose caught Soho’s legs mid-way through and swung Soho like a pendulum into the turnbuckles.

“Rose just used Soho like a battering ram,” Henry said.

“Yeah, it’s tough to use that kind of innovative offense,” Wight said as he sent an apology text to Rey Mysterio.

Rose attempted a vertical suplex on Soho, but Soho landed on her feet, escaped Rose’s grasp, and tagged in Blue. Blue ducked a kick from Rose, planted a kick of her own into Rose’s midsection, hammered Rose with six forearms, and nailed Rose with a superkick.

Blue sprinted her way to the top rope, and The Bunny hopped down the apron trail in an attempt to knock Blue off the top rope. However, Blue managed to hold onto her balance and shoved The Bunny to the floor. Blue then leaped off the top rope onto Rose with a diving crossbody, but Rose caught Blue in mid-air. Rose slammed Blue to the mat with a lateral press and covered for a two-count.

Rose pulled Blue up and Biel threw her into the heel team’s corner. Rose tackled Blue with a body avalanche and then choked Blue with her boot. Rose tagged in The Bunny

“Come on, ref,” Henry said. “She’s choking her.” (Rules in AEW are kind of like ghosts. You get the feeling they’re there, but they’re probably not.)

The Bunny threw Blue into the downstage right corner and proceeded to mud stomp Blue’s chest like it was a peg she couldn’t’ fit.

“There’s a picture of The Bunny in the dictionary under ‘problem child,’” Henry said.

The Bunny tore Blue from the corner by her hair and stomped on Blue’s foot, screaming at non-existent clouds in the process. The Bunny punched Blue’s skull three more times, screamed again, and then hopped around like Red Riding Hood in a 1950s cartoon.

“We’ve seen this team before,” Excalibur said. “Emi Sakura… Nyla Rose… The Bunny…”

“Well, I would have to say crazy is the glue that sticks it all together; that’s for sure,” Wight said.

“Have you ever been kicked in the face by a Chuck Taylor?” Henry asked, disparaging Chuck Taylor’s good name. (Poor Chuck Taylor; everyone’s always walking on him.)

Blue caught The Bunny mid-hop and rolled her up for a quick one-count. The moment The Bunny escaped Blue’s pinning predicament, she fought back with a clothesline and an elbow. The Bunny then literally patted herself on the back before dragging Blue to the heel’s corner. The Bunny then tagged in Sakura.

Sakura and The Bunny double-teamed Blue. Sakura chopped Blue’s chest, The Bunny helped whip Blue into the ropes, Sakura kicked Blue in the stomach, and The Bunny clocked Blue with a running knee strike. Then, magic happened. Sakura began stomping and clapping, and the audience stomped and clapped along until the rhythm of “We Will Rock You” filled the arena. Sakura then backed up to the soundtrack of the drumming beat, ran forward, and plunged a running crossbody into Blue’s torso.

Sakura covered Blue, but in a show of poor sportsmanship, Blue kicked out. Frustrated by Blue’s lack of gentility, Sakura dragged her to the heel’s corner and tagged The Bunny back into the match. With Blue collapsed against the bottom turnbuckle, Sakura noticed she had something in her hair and pulled Blue’s hair across a portion of the apron to see if she could get it out. However, The Bunny was not as forgiving as Sakura and took advantage of the moment to choke Blue with her boot. The Bunny then put Blue in a wicked bow and arrow stretch, and Wight seemed unnerved by it.

“I can’t help it! She scares me,” Wight said. “Just looking at that, my mind’s going to bad places.”

Blue wriggled her way out of Bunny’s submission hold, grabbed The Bunny’s arm, and whipped her to the mat with an arm-drag.

“She’s so mean looking, I’d give her my frequent flyer miles, and I don’t give those up to nobody,” Wight said.

Blue crawled under Bunny’s leg toward the face team’s corner. The Bunny tried to stop her, grabbing at Blue’s foot, but Blue managed to make it to the face’s corner by a hair, but not by a hare. Sorry, Bunny. Blue tagged in Jay.

Jay rudely ran straight across the ring and hit our queen (Sakura) in the face, knocking her off her royal perch and down to the floor. Jay then smashed The Bunny’s face with the back of her elbow, but Bunny popped right back. Jay smashed her elbow into The Bunny’s face a second time, and again, The Bunny got back up — albeit more slowly.

Jay then took command of Bunny’s entire person and executed a flatliner near the heel’s corner. Blue threw the Bunny into the upstage left corner and nailed her with a running hip attack. Blue followed that up by whipping Bunny into the opposite corner, running toward her, and executing a spinning leg lariat. Jay then reached deep down to pull out everything she’d learned as Lady Legasus and bashed Bunny’s chest with a Dangerous Jay Kick. Before Bunny could do anything to defend herself, Jay slapped on a Queen Slayer chokehold.

The Bunny very well may have tapped, but Rose ran into the ring to make the save, breaking up Jay’s submission hold. Soho was displeased by Rose’s interference and rushed into the ring to keep her away from Jay. Soho grabbed Rose’s arm, pulled it around, and executed a No Future. The impact of Soho’s No Future was enough to send Rose tumbling through the ring goes and down to the floor. Soho stepped onto the apron to go after Rose, and Sakura ran in to valiantly save her friend from someone who wasn’t even the legal woman. However, Soho spotted Sakura and sidestepped her, causing Sakura to inadvertently give Rose a tope suicida.

“What a bad spill!” Henry said.

“Good ring awareness by Ruby Soho,” Excalibur said.

Blue jumped off the top rope and to the floor, hitting Sakura and Rose with a flying crossbody. Back in the ring, The Bunny grabbed Jay from behind and went for a cheap cover, and Jay kicked out at two.

The Bunny slammed a kick into Jay’s torso, ran the ropes, came at Jay with a running knee strike, and Jay lurched out of the way. The Bunny staggered forward, and Jay grabbed her from behind, applying her Queen’s Slayer finisher. Jay and The Bunny fell to the mat, and The Bunny tapped out.

WINNER: Soho & Blue & Jay (w/Brodie Lee Jr.) in 7:00

(David’s Analysis: This match was very enjoyable for me. I loved the characters involved; Wight and Henry were laugh-out-loud funny on commentary, and this was one of the best outfits I’ve ever seen Vickie Guerrero sport. If you are a fan of any of these women, give this match a go. These women are excellent emoters, and I personally don’t think it’s possible for Guerrero to overact. I know some may disagree with me, and that’s okay. My opinion is no more valuable than theirs, but for me, the more she hams it up, the giddier I feel. )

– After the match, Brodie Lee Jr. joined Soho, Blue, and Jay in the ring as Guerrero looked on with the expression of someone who had just tasted buttermilk for the first time.

“And there’s ‘Negative One’ sneaking in for some camera time,” Wight said. “I love it.”

(8) PENTA OSCURO (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. MAX CASTER (w/”Burb-Basket” Anthony Bowens)

The arena went pitch black, and Penta Oscuro’s music hit. When the lights came up, they were a glowing red, and Penta stepped out from behind a slate gray tombstone. Alex Abrahantes joined him onstage dressed as a demonic druid, and they walked to the ring together, carrying a shovel and a demented-looking thurible.

“Now, what happened to Alex Abrahantes?” Wight asked. “He became an evil war priest or something?” (Don’t be daft! He’s clearly possessed by the souls left behind whenever a pop-up Halloween store disappears.)

“… and Max Caster!” Roberts exclaimed.

“Boo,” Henry actually said out loud.

“Listen! Yo, listen,” Caster threatened the public peace. “We’re The Acclaimed nobody here stopping us. Why is Penta hanging out with Count Chocula” (OMG, that doesn’t even rhyme.)

“Burb-basket” Anthony Bowens came out with a demeanor that can only be described as putting the f*** into f***boy. It’s like he heard the song “Scrubs” and spent the rest of his life bragging about how TLC wrote a song about him.

“Your look is not great. You’re two grown men going through a God phase.” (“Great” and “phase” do not rhyme! It’s not even a near-rhyme. Rhymezone wouldn’t even add it to their rec-list.)

“Burb-basket” Bowens was literally bobbing his head to this like there was music involved. And by the way, “Burb-basket” Bowens really needs to consider ditching the nickname I gave him; it is not flattering. (Also, his boyfriend is super-hot, which makes me super-jealous, and therefore, the nickname will continue.)

“And Pittsburg, you got to stop,” Caster continued ruining words. “Some of y’all are voting for Dr. Oz.” (I highly doubt that’s true. I mean, who would vote for a B-list TV personality who says controversial things, has zero political experience, and touts conspiracy theories?)

“Hey, Penta, I heard you’re pequeno.” (Can he say that on TV?) “Your name is short for pendejo.” (I guess he can.)

At that last barb, Penta heatedly jumped onto the apron to stop Caster from continuing, which is a good thing because every time Max Caster sings, an angel cuts off its wings. (That’s a rhyme. That is what rhyming is. You are an affront to artists everywhere, and I would unplug your life support to charge my phone.)

Bowens, who is somehow the less offensive one in the duo, grabbed Caster’s microphone and informed the audience, “THE ACCLAIMED HAVE ARRRIIIIVVVEED.” (Cool.)

Caster slithered his Rue21-looking ass into the ring, and Penta stepped back. (You just know he reaks of ten-dollar cologne.)

The bell rang, and Caster hopped up and down like a fratboy who mistook a Red Bull for beer. The crowd started chanting, and Penta pointed to them. Caster stopped hopping and listened to the chants with the confused expression of a man who had hot for brains. I mean, snot! Snot for brains. I meant to say snot. (Dammit.)

Penta shoved his signature hand gesture in Caster’s petty face. (Oof. That word was a close one.) Caster kicked Penta in the stomach, and I believe he yelled something to the effect of, “Hand signs are meant for The Acclaimed.” (I hope your memories stain Penta’s fists forever.)

Penta and Caster ran the ropes. Caster swung a clothesline, but Penta ducked underneath it. Caster turned to take a second swipe, and Penta superkicked the ever-loving crap out of Caster’s jaw. (I think I saw some memories fly out!)

Penta then went for a hurricanrana, but something went wrong. (I’m not sure what went wrong or who made a mistake. It might have been random luck, but Penta fell flat on his back halfway through the maneuver. Caster, however, sold it like it was executed perfectly and threw himself through the ring ropes to the floor.)

Penta went for a suicide dive, but when his back hit the upstage ring ropes, “Douche-dumpster” Bowens tripped Penta, and then he made a hot face like he was all “upset” that it happened. Wait. No. I meant to say fraught! He made a fraught face. It was fraught. (Dammit.)

Caster jumped at the chance to take advantage of Penta’s disposition and began stomping his torso with vulture-adjacent excitement.

“Caster has no mercy to go along with no fear,” Excalibur said. (You left out no talent. He has no musical talent, which is important to emphasize in case kids are watching.)

“Caster’s conditioning,” Wight said. “He’s really changed how he trains — how he diets — he’s in probably the best shape I’ve ever seen him in.” (NO, HE’S HOT!) (I mean not! He is not!) (DAMMIT!) (I hate this.)

Caster slammed a decidedly NOT hot elbow into Penta’s face, and our hero, Penta, fell to the mat. Caster covered Penta, but Penta kicked out. (He didn’t even hook the leg. He is such an arrogant piece of… God. He is like Bieber, but worse.) Caster stood and backed away from Penta as Penta pulled himself into the scarecrow position.

Meanwhile, Bowens, of the burp-basket family, turned to face the audience with his arms thrown out wide, looking all proud of himself like Randy Orton did every time he achieved a dump in someone’s gym bag. (I’m assuming.)

Back in the ring, Caster slammed an unforgiving forearm into Penta’s far more talented face. Caster then whipped Penta across the ring, and Penta crashed into the turnbuckles so hard they clattered. Caster bolted toward Penta, but Penta saw him coming and superkicked Caster with jaw-dropping believability. (Or… maybe I just want to believe. IDK. I’m like that X-Files poster.)

“I don’t know why the kids are doing it these days,” Wight said, referring to the Kinesio tape on Caster’s ailing shoulder. “Maybe they’re doing it for flavor or color, but if it’s for an injury, the last thing you want to do is point it out.” (I can’t help but double-take at Max Caster being called a kid. That seems so strange to me. Caster is a 32-years-old man. I mean, I assume. IDK his actual age because I’m not his fan, but his actual age is 32, and that’s pretty much middle-aged. You’re right about the tape, though!)

Caster attempted a Cazadora on Penta, and Penta rolled through, jumped onto the ropes, springboarded off the ropes, and landed a picture-perfect crossbody onto “Clown-Crapper” Max Caster. Caster swung a clothesline at Penta, but Penta ducked, bounced off the ropes, and landed a picture-perfect slingblade to topple “Crapeze-Artist” Max Caster with a running slingblade. Then, for good measure, and to make sure all the fire was out of the dumpster, Penta hit one more fantastic sling blade.

“I love to see Penta hit that slingblade!” Wight said. “That’s one of my favorite moves Penta does.” (This cannot be said enough.)

Penta covered Caster, hooked Caster’s legs, and yet, somehow, someway, with the unfettered determination of a hack writer armed with lukewarm parentheticals, Caster managed to kick out at two. (Crud.)

“Crud-Cluster” Max Caster tried to escape on all fours, but Penta captured him and draped him across the stage left ring ropes. Penta told the crowd to “Shhhh!” and prepared for a chop. (I’m going to devour this moment.) Penta chopped Caster’s chest so hard his unborn children felt it. (That was a delicious moment indeed.)

“I wish I could wrestle like Penta,” Wight lamented. “I’m sure AEW wishes I could wrestle like Penta.” (Being sincere for a moment — You were unbelievable in your heyday, and no amount of aging will ever take that legacy away from you.)

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Caster hit a backbreaker on Penta, and Penta was down in a bad way. Caster covered him but was only able to score a two-count.

Caster sat Penta on the top rope, mounted the middle rope, and rained down a monsoon of fists over Penta’s head. Penta ducked underneath Caster’s legs, spun around, and superkicked Caster into a tree-of-woe-like position. With Caster prone and vulnerable, Penta made his way to the top rope and leaped off, drubbing Caster’s chest with a double-stomp. Penta covered Caster but only got a two-count.

Penta began to set Caster up for his finisher, and Bowens, a man who probably thinks Applebees is fine dining, distracted Penta by fingering himself in public with that super gross scissors thing they do.

“Oh, he’s talking about making it weird,” Wight observed with pinpoint accuracy.

Penta moved to throw Bowens off the apron, which was all the distraction Caster needed to capitalize. Caster walloped Penta across the bridge of his neck with a backhanded chop, tucked Penta’s head under his arm, and lifted Penta into an inside-out suplex. Caster covered Penta, the referee dropped to the mat, and counted to — it was just two! Penta is still in this! Holy crap!

Penta got to his feet, but Bowens reached over the rope and grabbed Penta from behind. Bowens nailed him with… wait… no… he didn’t nail him with anything at all. OMG! He’s trying to rip off Penta’s mask! That burp-basket pendejo! Pent fought Bowens with every last ounce of his strength, holding onto his mask —holding onto his DIGNITY!

Bowens continued to tear at the well-designed fabric with tastefully placed micro-sequins, and just as Caster ran toward him, Penta got in a lucky shot and freed himself. Penta then moved to superkick Caster, but Caster ducked, and Penta’s superkick missed Caster entirely and… YES! Finally! Penta superkick knocked that no-good, cold-hearted, mask-ripping, f***boy-worthy-of every-f***boy-song-Olivia-Rodrigo-ever wrote off of the apron and down to the floor where he belongs and shall remain forever and ever, amen!

Caster carried on without an ounce of concern for his partner because that is what people like him do. You go to a nice bar as friends, looking for drinks that snap and music that slaps, and then he meets a girl… and LEAVES you. And when I say leaves you, I mean, in the dust — He doesn’t say, “Goodbye.” He doesn’t say, “I’d like you to meet Sidney.” He doesn’t say, “Can I borrow your keys?” When the lights come back on at 3 a.m., you’re car is gone, and Liam is dead to you.

Where were? Oh yeah, the match. In this scenario, Caster is Liam, and I hope Penta ruins his life for the purpose of throwaway a Snapchat story.

Penta forced Caster to the mat and dug his knees into Caster’s back. Penta pounded away at Caster’s ribs before taking control of Caster’s arm and executing his Sacrifice finisher to get the win and a throwaway Snapchat story.

WINNER: Penta (w/Alex Abrahantes) in 7:00

(David’s Analysis: Okay, forgive me because I’m gonna break character for a second and speak kindly of Caster and Bowens. I really, really wish they wouldn’t have Max Caster lose quite so much. For all my incessant dragging of The Acclaimed, Caster & Bowens are brilliant heels and have an astronomically bright future — however, the even brightest light only shines bright if you turn it on. Sure, it’s disgusting to think of these two winning with such hatable of a gimmick, but I don’t want to see their talent wasted. I want to see “Burb-basket” Bowens and “Clown-cart” Caster get their “douche-dumpster” faces pulverized at the very highest of heights. As for the match, it was very good, but of course it was. It was Penta vs. Caster)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Once again, AEW delivered another good episode of Dark Elevation. One thing that’s really helped AEW’s streak of good Elevations lately is the slightly increased match length. It’s amazing how an extra minute or two can make a big difference, but surprisingly, it can. If you only have time to watch one match this week, I’d recommend checking out Soho & Blue & Jay vs. Sakura & Rose & The Bunny. If you have time to watch two matches, give Max Caster vs. Penta Oscuro a look. And, if you have time for just one more match, check out Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart. That last one is not a clinic or anything, but it’s a great window into how their characters are evolving for the better.

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, as I said in the beginning, don’t give people advice about places you’ve never been. That’s a minister’s job.

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