SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT
MAY 23, 2022
TAPED 5/18 IN HOUSTON, TX
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Paul Wight & Mark Henry & Tony Schiavone & Anthony Ogogo (for some reason.)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Paul Wight & Mark Henry on the call, welcome us to the show with Scorpio Sky, who is on commentary for the opener.
(1) ETHAN PAGE (w/Dan Lambert) vs. JD GRIFFEY
Page hit a quick back elbow, but Griffey answered with a Superman punch. Griffey went to the corner, but Page stopped avoided it by chucking Griffey to the mat. After some Ego ground and pound, Page missed a corner splash and ate a jump knee from Griffey. Page mowed Griffey down with a shoulder tackle and hit the Ego’s Edge for the win.
WINNER: Ethan Page in 2:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I watch too much Danhausen content, because I always want to type Page’s name as Egon. This was a dominating performance from Egon, as Sky didn’t get a chance to contribute much on commentary due to it being so fast.)
(2) MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. HYAN – ROH Women’s Championship
We got individual intros from Justin Roberts prior to the match and Hyan got a big hometown pop. Code of Honor was adhered, as both ladies traded headlocks and arm bars until Mercedes hit a shoulder tackle. Back to the headlock, which Mercedes held on tight until Hyan countered an arm drag into one of her own. A hip toss and dropkick got Hyan just a one count. Mercedes floated over a bodyslam, fired off a few chops and bolted out of the corner with a few clotheslines. Mercedes hit a big spinebuster for two, as she kept Hyan grounded. Mercedes tried three rolling butterfly suplexes, but couldn’t get the third, so opted to just pour down strikes. Hyan got free and sent Mercedes into the corner face first and did the deal with a Falcon’s Arrow for two. Hyan charged, but ate the post and Mercedes just clobbered her in the back of the neck with a lariat. Mercedes hit another home run forearm to the back of the neck and applied the surfboard dragon sleeper for the victory.
WINNER: Mercedes Martinez in 5:00 to retain the ROH Women’s Championship
(Howard Analysis: I enjoy having Mercedes defend the ROH title on shows like Elevation in front of bigger audiences. It’s nice to build up Mercedes and her record, while defending the title at the same time. It also gives competitors a chance at the title, maybe one day we get a shock upset?)
(3) BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/Allie) vs. VARSITY BLONDS (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison)
Griff tried a quick start, but Butcher mowed him down with a big boot. Griff wasn’t down for long and hit a diving shoulder block before Pillman made the tag. Immediately Butcher dragged Pillman to Blade, who made the tag and put the boots in the corner. Pillman answered with a few arm drags and quick roll up for two. Pillman & Griff hit an assisted dropkick for two, as The Blonds made quick tags. Blade ducked a shot and Pillman nearly ran into his partner, but turned around into a Blade spinning neckbreaker. Butcher & Blade picked apart Pillman until Pillman ducked a clothesline, but just collided with Butcher with a dueling cross body for the double down. Mark Henry said it was just meat slappin’. Garrison made the hot tag and took the fight to Blade with a high back body drop and Michinoku Driver for two. Griff tried a home run forearm, but Blade avoided and popped Griff with a knee lift. Griff didn’t go down and hit a big lariat as Butcher was dropped with a Pillman boot. Big time miscommunication, as Pillman hit Griff with a superkick, which allowed Butcher & Blade to Drag the Lake to get the win.
WINNER: Butcher & The Blade in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: Seeds are officially planted with the miscommunication between Griff & Pillman here and the crowd popped at it tonight. Julia Hart was nowhere to be found and I hope this storyline moves at a more quicker pace, as it seems this has had a lot of stop starts in the past few months. I’m curious to see what would happen if The Blonds went their separate ways or Julia finally turning to the dark side.)
(4) LEE MORIARTY vs. ALEX REYNOLDS
Dueling chants from the crowd during the feeling out process before Reynolds hit a shoulder block and did the Dark Order pose. Moriarty fought back with stiff forearms and charging back elbow for a one count. Bridging suplex got Moriarty another near fall before he went back to the ground and pound. Elbow lock applied after a swift punt kick to the back of Reynolds, who fought back with a roaring elbow of his own. Helluva Kick connected in the corner from Reynolds, who went up top, but missed a moonsault. Muay Thai knees from Moriarty led to a Border City Stretch to get the submission win.
WINNER: Lee Moriarty in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: I’ve said this in my Dark recaps when he’s been on recently, but Lee Moriarty has started showing a more aggressive streak and it rules. This was a surprisingly quick match, but it helped get over Moriarty’s aggressiveness, which is important. He wrestles Alan Angels tomorrow and I’m hoping for the same thing.)
(5) EMI SAKURA & NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. SKYE BLUE & YUKA SAKAZAKI
Emi quickly bit the hand of Yuka during an opening test of strength. Yuka did a matrix out of it and popped a head scissors until Emi slammed her down in response. Emi sat on Yuka and mocked having tea before Nyla made the tag. She dared Yuka to hit her, but it was a ruse, as Nyla cracked poor Yuka with a right hand. Commentary is talking about golf and how Charles Barkley & Mojo Rawley have the ugliest golf swings ever. Meanwhile, Emi did her We Will Rock You chant and running corner cross body. Skye jumped in the ring to help her partner, as Vickie took the ref for some reason. Emi fought off both babyfaces and wrapped them up like a pretzel. Wight saying pretzel made Henry hungry, as Yuka hit Nyla with a missile dropkick, as Skye made the hot tag. Corner high knees, hurricanranas and spinning kick to the dome of Emi got Skye a two count. Nyla jumped in and slammed Skye, made the legal tag, as did Yuka, who rolled Nyla down and hit a kick to the face. Yuka went for a low lariat, but Nyla caught her into a slam for two. Yuka was set up in the ropes and Nyla went for her top rope knee, but missed, which let Yuka hit the Magical Girl Splash for two. Yuka tagged Skye before she did a huge cross body to the floor on Emi. Skye went for a cross body on Nyla, as she caught her, tried a hurricanrana out of the corner, but Nyla rolled through into a Beast Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Emi Sakura & Nyla Rose in 6:00
(Howard’s Analysis: The crowd really popped at that finish, as this was a fun and chaotic little tag team match, with the crowd digging it. I’ve noticed Emi Sakura getting quite a few wins lately, so hopefully she is in line for a storyline potentially soon.)
(6) ANTHONY OGOGO vs. MYSTERIOUS Q
Q is making his AEW debut and is just as big as Ogogo, who slowly picked apart Q in the early going, grounding him. Q tried to fight out of a side headlock, ducked a clothesline, hit a big body slam and diving elbow for one. Ogogo ducked a clothesline and hit one of his own before hitting a succession of uppercuts. Ogogo took off the left hand wrap, but took too long, as Q made a comeback. A hard whip to the corner sent Q into an overhead belly to belly and charging Ogogo lariat. The right hand wrap was removed and Ogogo hit the pop up right hand, the Governor’s Hammer to get the KO win as the flag was draped over an unconscious Q.
WINNER: Anthony Ogogo in 4:00
(Howard’s Analysis: The crowd chanted Q and I wish this match took place last week in Long Island when Brian Quinn from Impractical Jokers was there. Just a dominating showing from Ogogo, who keeps racking wins on shows like Elevation and Dark, which, for his experience level, is absolutely perfect for him. Use shows like this to get him experience.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is my first time doing Elevation, so I can say how much Paul Wight & Mark Henry have improved on commentary since they first started together. I’m not used to such a quick show wrapped up in 45 minutes, but this was a solid episode tonight. We were bookended by squashes, had a fun women’s tag match, a solid ROH Women’s title battle, seeds were planted for a potential Blonds breakup and Moriarty & Reynolds was fun, albeit quick. I would give Moriarty vs. Reynolds Match of the Night, as I’m really hopeful we get to see more Lee Moriarty’s aggressive streak lead to more wins.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S DARK ELEVATION REPORT: 5/16 AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT: Bryant’s famous asides, Henry & Wight quips, Martinez vs. Adora in ROH Title match, Cutler vs. Bear Bronson, Acclaimed team with Gunn Club, more