6/13 AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT: Bryant’s signature quips and announcer interplay, Q.T. Marshall roasting, Nyla vs. Max the Impaler reaction, more

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

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AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT
JUNE 13, 2022
TAPED 6/8 IN INDEPENDENCE, MO.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Excalibur & Mark Henry

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts

– Hey! Welcome back. Thank you for spending today with me. I really appreciate it. Before I start, I want to first shamelessly plug my social media accounts. If you’d like to follow my Wordle scores, you can do so on my Twitter account @IamDavidBryant, and if you’d like to follow my vanity, you can do so on my Instagram account, which is also @IamDavidBryant because I suck at usernames.

– Tonight’s AEW Dark Elevation taping emanated not-live from the Cable Dahmer (not that Dahmer) Arena in Independence, Mo. Normally, I’d make quips about the state AEW is in, but I’ve never been to Missouri. However, I did like one of Claire McCaskill’s tweets last week, and I can’t help but love a state whose flag looks like the Croatian flag but if two bears had gotten mad playing checkers and turned over the board.

– Before the show started, a stirring pride-month video aired featuring Nyla Rose. (BTW, during tonight’s show, Rose is booked for a potentially explosive match-up against Max “The Impaler!” There’s been anticipatory buzz within certain corners of the Twitterverse, and I’m one of the people excited to see these two square off. I hope they’re given plenty of time.)

– The show started off with Excalibur introducing the announce team for the night, which included only himself and Mark Henry. (Nooo! I need Paul Wight, too!) The camera dollied up the ramp toward the tunnels as Nyla Rose’s music hit, and the new set debuted last week was no more. The classic “chandelier” set had returned to take its place.

(1) NYLA ROSE vs. MAX “THE IMPALER”

It looks like we aren’t going to have to wait long to see the match I’m looking forward to the most tonight. (All week, actually. In fact, I was so excited about this match I messaged Wade about it over the weekend! Hold on to your seat, folks!) The first person to make their entrance was the beautiful yet terrifying “Native Beast” Nyla Rose. Rose wore a new mask (or at least one I had not yet seen), and it was covered in comet argent light-colored rhinestones. (If it seems like I comment on rhinestones a lot, it’s because I stone costumes and have had work appear in U.S. Figure Skating, national drag pageants, national ballroom championships, and even RuPaul’s Drag race. Long story short, I get distracted by shiny objects.)

Already in the ring was former OVW Women’s Champion and current New South Tag Team Champion, Max “The Impaler” (Wait. They don’t get an entrance? How does Max “The Impaler” not get an entrance? I am not okay with this.) Max always has an elaborate look, but tonight they looked especially stunning — in a terrifying, run-for-life sort of way. (Seriously, no entrance?)

The bell rang, and both performers jumped straight into a collar and elbow tie-up. (Maybe they cut Max’s entrance so the match could get to go a little longer?)

“Max could be Abadon’s cousin,” Excalibur said. “We’re not sure.”

Both athletes struggled to move one another mid-ring and quickly broke up their aforementioned collar and elbow tie-up, seemingly frustrated that they could not overcome each other’s impressive power.

“Neither Nyla nor Max is willing to give ground here,” Excalibur said.

Max roared and charged at Rose, possibly looking for a second tie-up, but Rose fell to the ground and caught Max with a drop toehold. Nyla threw herself into the upstage ring ropes and hit Max with a sharp dropkick. The audience applauded Rose’s efforts. Rose then turned her attention back toward Max and startled at the horrifying sight of Max’s face paint.

“Even Nyla (is intimidated),” Excalibur said.

“I can see how that could happen,” Henry added.

Max hit Rose with a body avalanche, sending Rose into the stage left ring ropes. Rose hung in the scarecrow position, and Max backed up and hit Rose with a running body avalanche. Max attempted to whip Rose across the ring, but Rose held onto the ropes, not budging an inch. Rose roared in Max’s face, but they did not so much as flinch.

Max hammered Rose’s face with their forearm, and Rose released the ropes. Max tried to whip Rose a second time, but Rose countered with a short-arm reversal and a behemoth of a neckbreaker. Rose quickly tucked Max’s head between her legs and attempted a Beast Bomb, but Max countered Rose’s offense with a back body drop. (Holy crap, that was backdrop was gigantic — colossal calamity at its best!)

“When was the last time you’ve seen Nyla Rose get…” Henry trailed off.

Rose backed up, and Max speared Rose, taking her down. Rose stumbled into the upstage right corner and hung in the scarecrow position. Max pounded their chest, pointed at Rose, and sprinted toward her with a spear. However, Rose sidestepped Max, and Max crashed into the turnbuckles so hard they might have even clipped the ring post.

Rose seized Max’s person and audibly grunted as she lifted Max onto her shoulders for what would surely be an earth-shattering Beast Bomb if she were to execute it.

“Max is fighting the Beast Bomb!” Excalibur said.

Rose executed her Beat Bomb finisher on Max. (I feel bad for the canvas.) Rose pinned Max, ensured their legs were hooked, and the referee dropped to the mat to count to three. (The match did not get to go “a little long” like I’d hoped. In fact, it was a little short.)

WINNER: Rose at 1 minute and 54 seconds

(David’s Analysis: That was way too short for such a potentially epic match-up. I was excited to see Max “The Impaler” on AEW television, and while they looked great, they didn’t get to show off hardly any of their offense. I’m not saying Nyla Rose vs. Max “The Impaler” was an Undertaker vs. Sting level dream match, but to a small subset of fans, it was a mini-dream match, and they could have at least given these two goliaths a solid five minutes. That said, I’m still grateful we got this match at all, and I hope we get a Rose vs. Max rematch soon. And for the record, if it wasn’t obvious, I would love to see Max and their tag partner, Heidi Howitzer, signed by AEW.)

– After the match, Rose struggled to her feet and posed atop the turnbuckles in the downstage left corner. The crowd is seeming more and more into her.

-AEW aired an advert for DraftKings and touted the promo code “Dark.” What is DraftKings? I’ve never downloaded it, and I’m not sure I want to. It sounds like it’s a game about royalty fighting in the Vietnam War, but it’s not.

(2) PRIVATE PARTY vs. PHARRELL JACKSON & S.K. BISHOP

“Oh my God, is that Private Party?”

Private Party’s music hit, and the stage lights turned blue and purple. Private Party literally danced their way out of the stage right tunnel, and Quen even did a forward tumble on his way down the ramp.

Already in the ring (not a good sign) and making their AEW tag team debut (they’re definitely losing) was the team of Pharrell Jackson & S.K. Bishop! Jackson John-Silvered for the fans, and then both men walked to the losing team’s corner. Quen and Bishop began the match and circled one another. Quen feigned going in for a collar and elbow tie-up but then spun around and knocked Jackson off the apron instead.

Bishop went for a belly-to-back suplex, but Quen escaped the move, rolled over Bishop’s shoulder, and landed on his feet. Quen snapped Bishop up in a waistlock and ran into the upstage ring ropes, looking for an O’Connor Roll, but Bishop held onto the ropes, and Quen went flying backward. Kassidy distracted Bishop, and Bishop punched Kassidy, but the mistake cost him dearly as Quen hit him with a high-angle drop kick the moment he turned back around.

Quen led Bishop into Private Party’s corner via a front facelock and tagged in Kassidy. Kassidy and Quen whipped Bishop across the ring and caught him on the rebound with an inverted atomic drop/step-up enzuigiri double-team combo. (Kassidy’s enzuigiri amazingly cleared Quen’s head in order to effectively nail Bishop!)

Jackson ran in to “make the save” but was unsuccessful when Private Party countered his interference with an elevated headscissors takedown. (Isn’t it a little early for interference?) Quen and Kassidy celebrated with a game of patty-cake, and then Kassidy assisted Quen in executing a springboard somersault plancha off the top rope and onto Jackson at ringside. (Wow.)

Bishop hung on the downstage left turnbuckles, and Kassidy ran toward him. Bishop dodged Kassidy, and Kassidy crashed into the turnbuckles. Bishop hooked his leg under Kassidy’s and pulled him into a roll-up, scoring a quick two-count.

Kassidy popped up and hit Bishop with a clothesline so vicious that his gold chain broke off his neck. Kassidy picked up the gold chain and tossed it to Quen.

“Oh, he just broke his gold chain,” Henry said. “He’s gonna be pissed!”

Kassidy mud-stomped Bishop’s back while screaming in-audible insults at Bishop. Kassidy pulled Bishop upright into a front facelock, but Bishop countered with multiple bodyshots to Kassidy’s torso. Kassidy tried to clothesline a defiant Bishop, but Bishop reversed Kassidy’s clothesline, maneuvered around Kassidy’s body, and attempted to kick Kassidy in the stomach. However, Kassidy caught Bishop’s foot before it could hit his midsection, and Bishop countered Kassidy’s offense with a step-up enzuigiri. Kassidy and Bishop made simultaneous tags to Quen and Jackson.

Jackson planted five alternating chops into Kassidy and Quen’s respective chests. However, Kassidy fought through the pain and kicked Jackson’s sternum. Jackson doubled over, and Private Party jointly whipped Jackson into the upstage left corner. Jackson crashed into the turnbuckles but seemed unphased as he rebounded off the turnbuckles and took down both members of Private Party with a double clothesline. Jackson flexed and rallied, causing the crowd to rally around him as well.

Jackson went for an Irish whip on Quen, hoping to send Quen into Kassidy, but Quen reversed the Irish whip and sent Jackson into Kassidy’s superkick. Quen hit Jackson with a high-flying windmill kick while Kassidy punched Bishop off the apron. Quen officially tagged in Kassidy, and Private Party executed their double-team shooting star/neckbreaker combo. (This looked far more impressive than my words portend.)

Quen pinned Jackson, hooked his leg, and mugged for the camera. The referee dropped to the mat and counted to three.

WINNER: Private Party in 3:00 minutes

(David’s Analysis: This was a nice enough match, but much like the first match, this one was also very short, and so there is not a lot for me to say about it. Nothing went wrong, everyone did their job well, and Private Party looked strong in the process.)

– After the match, the referee replayed Private Party’s impressive shooting star press/neckbreaker combo as well as the pinfall.

– An advert for Forbidden Door aired, and while I’m looking forward to this PPV, recent news has put a slight damper on my excitement for it. While it is not Tony Khan’s fault, it is unfortunate so many names (Andrade, Penta, Rey Fenix, Jeff Hardy, C.M. Punk, MJF, Kenny Omega, etc.) have been rendered unable to take part in this historic event. Hopefully, Bryan Danielson will be cleared to return in time for the show, but if he does return, I hope he returns with safety in mind.

(3) ORTIZ vs. ANAYA

Before Ortiz entered, Excalibur hyped his hair vs. hair match against Chris Jericho on Wednesday. (IF they decide to cancel the tag-team ladder match altogether rather than just remove the Hardys from it, I hope they give this match ample time in its place. Ortiz vs. Jericho feels big by itself, but when you add in the hair vs. hair stipulation, it feels more than worthy of the show’s main event spot.)

The contours of the Puerto Rican flag filled the screen. (My BF’s from Puerto Rico. I wonder if I can use this to finally convince him to start watching professional wrestling. *plotting emoji*.) Ortiz came out with his typical haunting makeup, looking pumped and pointing toward his fans. (Ortiz can really go, so this match could be good if given time.)

The director cut to fans applauding Ortiz as he continued to acknowledge them all the way down to the ring. (Jericho would have been fun to have on commentary for this one, but I can see why they’d hold off on that. Given this is Dark Elevation, Jericho is an AEW Galaxy Megastar, and people might expect a post-match brawl or something, and then they’d be disappointed when it didn’t happen.)

Ortiz’s opponent, Anaya, was already waiting in the ring, and the bell chimed as soon as they faced one another. The match started with Anaya and Ortiz stalking in a circle and sizing each other up. Anaya attempted a single leg takedown, but Ortiz stepped back, and the two ended up in a collar and elbow tie-up.

Ortiz shifted the tie-up into a side headlock, and Anaya bulldozed Ortiz into the stage right ring ropes, attempting to whip him across the ring. However, Ortiz countered Anaya’s whip attempt by yanking downward on the side headlock and bringing Anaya back to the mat mid-whip. (That looked cooler than it sounds.)

Anaya fought his way back up, but Ortiz instantaneously tore him back down to the mat with a side headlock takeover. (He’s really working this side headlock like his life depends on it.) Once again, Anaya fought his way to his feet, yet Ortiz still kept his side headlock firmly in place. Anaya backed up toward the ropes a second time, and this time, he managed to throw Ortiz off of him, sending Ortiz tumbling across the ring.

Anaya ran the ropes, and Ortiz dropped to the canvas to avoid him. When Anaya came back around, Ortiz caught him mid-run with a powerslam! (This is great, so far!) Ortiz immediately followed that powerslam with a standing senton onto Anaya and John-Silvered for the cheering crowd. (Ortiz has the kind of body I wish I had. I can’t ever get that cut without losing a ton of gains. Good on him.)

Ortiz darted toward Anaya, and Anaya lurched away at the last second. Because of this, Ortiz crashed into the downstage right turnbuckles. Anaya went for an Irish whip, but Ortiz executed a short-arm reversal and sent Anaya into the turnbuckles. However, Anaya used his hands to grab the ropes and stop his impending collision. Ortiz ran at Anaya, Anaya leapfrogged Ortiz, and Ortiz jumped onto the second turnbuckle and executed a springboard crossbody on Anaya. (Hot damn. This action is good.)

Anaya climbed to his feet, but Ortiz suddenly took him down with a front dropkick out of nowhere. Ortiz rallied the crowd, snapped up Anaya’s leg and torso, and executed a fisherman’s buster. Ortiz covered Anaya but did not hook his leg. Ortiz looked into the camera as the referee counted to one, two, three — Ortiz picked up the win.

WINNER: Ortiz at 74 seconds

(David’s Analysis: Great match! However, I hated it was so short. I really enjoyed the more recent Dark Elevations, where they only had four matches, but each match went like 8 or 9 minutes. Granted, I know they can’t do that every week because they need to fit in enough wins to fill wrestlers’ win/loss dance cards. At least I’ll get to see a longer Ortiz match on Wednesday against Jericho. Again, not to belabor the point, but I hope they give Jericho vs. Ortiz plenty of time. It could steal the show if they do.)

– After the match, Excalibur continued to hype Jericho vs. Ortiz in a hair vs. hair match. While Excalibur spoke, a lower-third digital graphic appeared at the bottom of the screen to add a visual alongside his hype.

(4) SERENA DEEB & MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. TOOTIE LYNN & MIRANDA GORDY

Serena Deeb’s music hit first, and the stage lights turned an electric-looking teal. Once at ringside, a group of jeering fans caught Deeb’s eye, and she got right up in their face. She calmly read them down while they continued to boo her. (This was good heel work and likely a fun experience for the fans, too.)

Deeb’s tag team partner, Mercedes Martinez, came out next. (This is an interesting tag team. I thought Martinez was a face, and Deeb was a heel, no?) Martinez wore her Ring of Honor Women’s Championship around her waist. Fans cheered, and Martinez smiled, nodding to them as she made her way down the ramp.

(Excalibur did his auctioneer thing, and it always feels like a magic trick where he’s trying to see how many words he can stuff into a single hat. Also, much like a magic trick, you’re left completely in the dark.)

The team of Tootie Lynn & Miranda Gordy was already in the ring. (I’m excited to see Lynn wrestling again! Welcome back! Lynn wore her hair differently than last time, but it still looked great. Here’s hoping she has another good showing.) Gordy waved to the crowd while Deeb scowled at the camera like she’d swallowed the soul of a Disney villain.

Deeb and Gordy started things off by lunging toward one another; however, instead of a collar and elbow tie-up, Gordy found herself trapped in a side headlock. Gordy fought Deeb off and attempted a waistlock, but Deeb performed a svelt standing switch and went right back to her side headlock. Gordy shoved Deeb into the stage right ring ropes, and Deeb rebounded into Gordy with a shoulder tackle takedown.

Gordy pulled herself up, but before she could fully stand, Deeb snatched her in a third side headlock and took her to the mat using a side headlock takeover. Deeb rolled through her side headlock takeover, grabbed Gordy’s leg, and executed an inverted dragon leg screw.

“Oh my goodness,” Henry said. “So skillful — so quick.”

Martinez looked perturbed by how disrespectfully Deeb was treating her opponent, and I can’t imagine what Martinez expected to happen? Did she think Deeb had just been in a bad mood for the past two years?

Deeb executed a kneeling shoulder tackle, and Martinez asked to be tagged in. Deeb looked incredulous but begrudgingly agreed and tagged in Martinez. Meanwhile, Gordy tagged in Lynn.

Martinez and Lynn entered the ring and locked up with a quick collar and elbow tie-up before Martinez executed a double leg takedown, followed by a float around into a front facelock on Lynn. Lynn fought to get to her knees, and Martinez yanked her back to the mat. Lynn fought her way to her knees a second time, and Martinez rolled Lynn across the mat, still holding onto the headlock.

Martinez pulled Lynn into a standing position and then held Lynn upside down for a delayed vertical suplex. (Martinez held Lynn in the “delayed” position so long the crowd began applauding enthusiastically.) While holding Lynn in the “delayed” position, Martinez pointed toward Deeb; Martinez then finished the suplex and covered Lynn. Lynn kicked out at two.

Martinez reapplied her front facelock on Lynn, walked Lynn to the heel (face?) team’s corner and tagged in her heel partner, Deeb. Deeb took over Martinez’s front facelock and executed a huge twisting neckbreaker on Lynn. Lynn sold this extremely well, giving us excellent facial expressions in the process.

Deeb pulled Lynn to the center of the ring by her leg and planted an elbow drop on Lynn’s knee. Deeb put Lynn in a grapevine, but Gordy entered the ring to interfere before Deeb could fall backward to fully lock it in. (Rules?) However, Gordy was unable to interfere because Deeb grabbed hold of Gordy’s upper body and executed an innovative vertical suplex/grapevine combo. Deeb gloated by posing triumphantly while her Maleficent-infused soul snarled at the crowd.

Deeb then asked Martinez something along the lines of, “Do you think you can do better?” Martinez reached out to tag Deeb, and Deeb yanked her hand away at the last minute. Martinez looked infuriated and slapped Deeb’s shoulder to tag herself into the match. Gordy ran at Martinez, but Martinez caught her with a spinebuster.

“She said, I got it!” Henry said.

Lynn attempted some offense, but Martinez prevented her from achieving anything by taking control of Lynn’s person and slamming her onto Gordy. Martinez then whipped Lynn into the upstage left corner and hit Lynn with a running flying forearm. Martinez grabbed hold of Lynn, pulled her up into a vertical suplex position, and hotshotted Lynn across the top rope. As Lynn hit the ropes, Martinez relinquished her grip and allowed Lynn to bounce off the top rope, flip over and land on her back. (Wow.)

Lynn sat up mid-ring, and Martinez ran into the upstage ring ropes, rebounded, and hit Lynn in the back of her head with a running forearm. Martinez then put Lynn in the setup for her Brass City Stretch submission hold, but Gordy ran in to try and stop Martinez. Deeb ran in to counter Gordy’s run-in and took out Gordy’s left leg.

Gordy fell to the mat, and Deep trapped Gordy in her Serenity Lock finisher. Martinez then trapped Lynn in her Brass City Stretch submission, and both Lynn and Gordy tapped out.

WINNER: Deeb & Martinez in 5:00

(David’s Analysis: This was yet another good, solid match that would have benefited from being about a minute longer. Still, this told an interesting story, and it looks like we’ll be getting Deeb vs. Martinez for the Ring of Honor Women’s World Championship somewhere down the line. Lynn looked great during the match but wasn’t given much offense because that would have hampered the story. Hopefully, she’ll get in more offense next time.)

– After the match, Deeb and Martinez glared at each other while their hands were raised. The referee then handed Martinez her belt, and she raised it above her head as Deeb’s Evil-Queen eyes smoldered with envy.

– Another advert for DraftKings aired, and I’m still not entirely sure what DraftKings even is. It sounds like it’s about beer, but it’s not.

(5) JERICHO APPRECIATION SOCIETY (“Daddy Magic” Matt Menard & “Cool Hands” Angelo Parker) vs. WARHORSE & DANNY ADAMS

The Jericho Appreciation Society’s theme music hit. It began with a voice-over stating, “The Jericho Appreciation Society: The five-star symbol of excellence for sports… entertainers.”

“Cool Hands” Angelo Parker and “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard came out of the heel team’s tunnel. (I love writing the words “Daddy Magic.” I feel like that should be my sports-entertainer name. We can call Matt Menard something else because from now on, I want them to announce me as “Daddy Magic” every time I go out on the ice for a figure skating competition — you know, to bring some flamboyance to the event.)

The team of Warhorse & Danny Adams was already in the ring awaiting their opponent’s arrival. Warhorse held his hand over his head and posed for the crowd. Adams watched as “Cool Hands” Angelo Parker and “Papa PixieDust” ascended the turnbuckles to pose for the AEW Galaxy.

As Justin Roberts announced Warhorse & Adams, Parker and Menard attacked their opponents from behind. Punches were thrown, knees were thrown, and Adams was thrown out of the ring by “Father FiddleStix” Matt Menard.

Parker and Adams started things off.

“(Parker’s) still got his glasses on,” Henry said. “I don’t understand that.”

Parker and Adams circled one another while Adams held his side, still suffering from the pre-match beatdown, which the referee was fine with. Parker hit Adams with a big boot, and Adams hit the canvas. Parker picked Adams up and executed a snap suplex followed by a leaping face-stomp. Parker tagged in “Dongle Von TwinkleDick” Matt Menard.

Menard grabbed Adamss’s glasses, threw them on the floor, and stomped on the frames to pulverize them. Menard slammed Adams’s head into the downstage right top turnbuckle, chopped Adams’s chest, and whipped Adams into the upstage left turnbuckles. Adams hit the turnbuckles so hard he bounced off and bumped to the mat. Menard then yelled something obnoxious at Warhorse, but I couldn’t quite make it out.

“Mumbles McMarbleMouth” scooped up Adams, trapped him in a front facelock, and tagged in “Cool Hands” Angelo Parker. Together, Menard and Parker executed a Two For The Show into the turnbuckles on Adams.

“‘Daddy Magic’ and ‘Cool Hands’ both have a leg up on these guys,” Henry said. “They’ve been teaming together for years.”

“Cool Hands” Parker kicked Adams in the stomach and attempted a shoulder tackle, but Adams put up both hands, imploring him to stop. As is befitting his gentlemanly character, Parker stopped beating up Adams to see what he wanted. Adams pointed to something on Parker’s chest. When Parker looked down, Adams raised his finger and bopped Parker on the nose. (I’d love to see someone do that in UFC… No, really. I would.) Parker punched Adams twice, kicked Adams once, and let Adams escape by crawling through his legs and tagging in Warhorse. Warhorse rammed his fist into Parker’s face, flooring Parker.

“Applesauce Alchemist” Matt Menard ran in for no reason, just as Warhorse was getting the upper hand. Warhorse drop kicked Menard, put Parker in a side headlock, released the headlock, ran into the ropes, and kicked Parker in the chest. Warhorse then punctuated that flurry of offense by bouncing into the ropes and executing a running springboard lariat onto Parker. The crowd cheered Warhorse, and he bobbed his head like a one-man hair-metal band.

“Harry Headband” Matt Menard pulled himself into the scarecrow position just as “Cool Hands” Parker did the same in the opposite corner. Warhorse ran to both corners, clotheslining Park and Menard. Warhorse went for a second clothesline on Parker, but Parker took Warhorse down with a drop toehold, and Menard ran across the ring to hit Warhorse.

“Hymen HorseHit” Matt Menard tagged Parker and officially brought himself into the match. Together, the Jericho Appreciation Society executed a humungous double DDT on Warhorse. Parker punched Adams off the ring apron, and Menard hooked Warhorse’s leg and covered him for the win.

WINNER: Jericho Appreciation Society (“Cool Hands” Angelo Parker & “DingDong SorcerSizzle” Matt Menard) in 3:00

(David’s Analysis: Now that’s how you represent sports entertainment! I liked the match. Even though it was short, Menard and Parker’s antics made it a lot of fun. I’d like to thank Matt Menard for loaning the nickname “Magic Daddy.” I’m sure he’ll easily find a suitable replacement, and if not, I’ll always be here to help him.)

– After the match, JAS confronted a ringside camera and took the opportunity to taunt Santana and Ortiz.

(6) RUBY SOHO vs. HEIDI HOWITZER

(OMG! I should have known a show with Max “The Impaler” would also feature Heidi Howitzer! Heidi and Max are in a tag team called Wasteland War Party and won the New South Tag Team Titles together! I hope they give Howitzer more time than they did Max.)

Ruby Soho’s iconic theme song hit, and the crowd got on their feet. Soho bounced out of the faces’ tunnel and sported a jacket reading “I Love You” in pride colors. The crowd seemed genuinely excited to see her (and I sorta, kinda, maybe feel like Soho is the most misused member of the AEW Women’s Division).

Howitzer was stretching while awaiting Soho’s arrival in the ring. When Justin Roberts announced Howitzer, she stuck out her tongue and looked absolutely ferocious. (Speaking of the name Heidi, it’s a fun bit of trivia to note that Ruby Soho used to wrestle under the name Heidi Lovelace.)

“Wow, Heidi Howitzer,” Henry seemed impressed by Howitzer’s appearance. (This is her second time wrestling for AEW, BTW. I hope that means they like her.)

“Who would you rather meet in a dark alley,” Excalibur asked, “Heidi Howitzer or Max ‘The Impaler?’”

“None of the above,” Henry answered.

Howitzer and Soho started things with a collar and elbow tie-up. Howitzer tried to muscle Soho into the upstage left corner, but Soho was strong enough to fight her way back to center-ring. Howitzer released the collar and elbow tie-up and looked impressed by Soho’s might. Howitzer raised her hand, offering a test of strength, and the crowd chanted something I couldn’t make out as Soho accepted Howitzer’s offer and took her hand.

Howitzer held Soho in a Greco-Roman knucklelock and headbutted her shoulder. Soho fell to one knee. Soho decided to end things quickly, jumped to her feet, executed a short arm reversal, and attempted for her No Future finisher. However, Howitzer countered Soho’s finisher by yanking Soho’s arm and pulling her to the mat. Howitzer grabbed Soho’s leg, looking for a dragon screw leg whip, but Soho denied her the chance. Howitzer then executed a leg drop, but Soho moved out of the way, allowing Howitzer to crash and burn.

Soho then punt-kicked Howitzer (hard) in the chest. (That looked and sounded so painful.) Soho stomped on Howitzer’s foot, struck Howitzer’s midsection, and executed a spinning back kick. Soho then attempted a backheel trip, but Howitzer countered the maneuver and whipped Soho into the ropes. Soho bounced off the stage right ring ropes and rebounded into a clothesline from Howitzer. Howitzer covered Soho but did not hook her leg, and Soho kicked out at one.

Howitzer attempted to apply a full nelson on Soho, but Soho refused to allow her to complete the hold. With her arms still in the “full nelson” position, Howitzer bullied Soho into the downstage left corner and repeatedly beat her head and torso against the turnbuckles like she were a human flyswatter.

Howitzer released Soho and charged at her in the corner; however, Soho countered with a back elbow. Soho then used the turnbuckles to support her own weight, grabbed Howitzer’s neck with her knees, and executed her signature Deadly Nightshade on Howitzer. The crowd fervently applauded Soho except for one jerkwad opposite the camera, who flipped her off for no reason. Howitzer hung in the scarecrow position, and Soho dashed toward her, spearing her and planting five short-arm shoulder blocks into Howitzer’s midsection. The referee forced a break. After a moment, Soho returned to the corner and plunged six forearms into Howitzer’s face. Once again, the referee forced a break.

Soho shoved the referee out of the way (that was kind of heelish) and began mud-stomping Howitzer’s chest. After a multitude of mud-stomps, the referee physically pulled Soho off Howitzer, and Soho screamed. The audience boomed with applause upon hearing Soho’s outburst.

Soho pulled Howitzer into the middle of the ring. Soho then hit Howitzer with a forearm, an uppercut, and a headbutt. Howitzer clutched at her skull and doubled over. Soho wrapped her arms around Howitzer and attempted a suplex, but Howitzer refused to be moved. Howitzer then cheated by raking her fingernails against Soho’s eyeballs.

Howitzer capitalized on her illegal eyeball-scrapping and hit Soho with a forearm followed by a direct kick. Howitzer then attempted a cutter, but Soho blocked it, kneeing Howitzer in the back. Soho executed a neckbreaker and pulled Howitzer into an inverted front facelock. Soho then performed her Destination Unknown finisher. Soho rolled Howitzer over, covered Howitzer, hooked Howitzer’s leg, and got the pinfall to score the win.

WINNER: Soho in 4:00

(David’s Analysis: This was a fun bout, and it was given more time than Max’s match. I am thrilled to see both Howitzer and Max on the same show. Howitzer is fantastic at telling an in-ring story, and Max is worth much more than the limited amount of time they gave them. BTW, if you are interested in following Heidi Howitzer, you can find her on Twitter @ThundrdomeStyle — If you’re interested in following Max “The Impaler,” you can find them on Twitter @_theyaremax_ )

– After the match, Soho mounted the turnbuckles and posed for her fans.

(7) THE FACTORY (Q.T. Marshall & Aaron Solo) vs. DARK ORDER (Preston Vance & Evil Uno)

The Factory’s music hit first, and Aaron Solo walked out with his tag team partner and human tragedy, Q.T. Marshall. Solo walked to the ring looking furious, and Q.T. Marshall walked to the ring looking furious about a snowy TV set he can’t work because rabbit ears aren’t a thing.

Next, the words “Join the Dark Order” blared over the speakers, and the team of Preston Vance & Evil Uno was accompanied onto the stage by Alan Angels, Alex Reynolds, and not Stu Grayson. (#JusticeForGrayson) However, Angels and Reynolds remained atop the stage as their friends, Vance and Uno, made their way to the ring.

Upon arriving at ringside, Uno and Vance performed their signature Mother Monster hand gesture, and several local Gaga fans returned their salute. “Number Ten” Vance climbed the upstage right turnbuckles a flashed ten Shawn-Spears fingers at the crowd, who flashed them back at him in return.

Solo and Uno started things off, and the crowd began a LOUD “Evil Uno!” chant. Uno took notice, walked to the upstage left turnbuckles, climbed them, and lounged across the corner ropes. Uno conducted the chanting crowd like an orchestra and basked in their adulation. When the chanting showed no sign of abating, Uno hopped off the ropes and decided to continue the match because time exists.

Uno went for a collar and elbow tie-up, but Solo kicked him in the stomach. Uno doubled over, holding his midsection as Solo took control of Uno’s head and put him in a side headlock. Solo then backed up into the stage left ring ropes, and Uno managed to shove him off, sending Solo into the stage right ring ropes. However, upon rebounding, Solo hit Uno with a shoulder tackle. Solo’s shoulder tackle sent Uno into the opposite ring ropes; Uno bounced off those ring ropes and used their momentum to shoulder tackle Solo.

Uno ran the ropes, and Solo avoided him by dropping down to the canvas. When Uno came back around a second time, Solo attempted to leapfrog Uno, but Uno turned Solo’s leapfrog into an inverted atomic drop. Uno kneed Solo, stomped both of Solo’s hands, and captured Solo in a wristlock. Uno tagged in Vance. Vance was unable to take over Uno’s wristlock in time, and Solo escaped, making it to the heel team’s corner. Once there, he tagged in Marshall.

Morning-after-mascot, Q.T. Marshall, stepped through the ropes to a chorus of boos and mocked Vance’s Shawn-Spears fingers.

“Vance was a student at The Factory years ago,” Excalibur pointed out.

Vance knocked Marshall down with a forearm, and they both moved into the downstage right corner. There, Marshall attempted a clothesline, but Vance ducked underneath it and chopped Marhsall’s chest. Solo ran down the ring apron to clothesline Vance, but Vance ducked Solo’s clothesline. Vance then chopped Solo so hard he went flying off the apron. However, the distraction took Vance’s attention off Marshall, and Marshall capitalized with a kick to Vance’s stomach and a punch to Vance’s head.

“Daddy Tragic” Q.T. Marshall tagged in Solo, and Solo dropped a flying axe-handle onto Vance’s locked wrist. Solo put Vance in another wristlock, and Vance clotheslined Solo. Vance then lifted Solo in position for a delayed vertical suplex, but because “delayed” anything is a bad idea in tag matches, Marshall ran into the ring to interfere. As Vance dropped Solo, Marshall caught him off of Vance’s shoulders and put Solo down feet-first. In response, Vance pump kicked Marshall.

Solo ran the ring ropes, but Vance caught him in a “powerslam” position and quickly turned that into another delayed vertical suplex. This time, the delayed vertical suplex was successful, and the crowd roared with delight. Vance put Solo in a front facelock and tagged in Uno.

With the crowd cheering him on, Uno picked up Solo and performed a delayed vertical suplex of his own. Upon the execution of the move, the crowd exploded, and Uno raised both arms over his head to celebrate.

After his celebration had ended, Uno chopped Solo’s chest, stomped Solo’s foot, and punched Solo’s cranium. Uno attempted to whip Solo across the ring, but Solo reversed the whip and sent Uno into the stage left ring ropes. When Uno hit the ring ropes, Marshall, a man who is better known as the blue-screen of wrestling, picked Uno’s ankle, and Solo capitalized on Marshall’s distraction by knocking Uno out of the ring and to the floor.

Dead-Mall-Santa, Q.T. Marshall, catwalked along the apron with the grace of a hog-tied penguin and jumped off onto Uno, executing a flying double axe-handle that looked even more boring than it sounds. Marshall then got into an argument with a fan, and whatever Marshall said included a word that got bleeped.

“We’re going to get demonetized thanks to Q.T. Marshall,” Excalibur said.

Marshall pulled Uno back into the ring and punched him.

“Q.T. Marshall’s not holding any punches,” Henry quipped.

Q.T. Marshall, who is internationally recognized as the reason babies cry, tagged in Solo. Solo cornered Uno against the turnbuckles, kicked Uno in the stomach, punched Uno in the mask, and choked him with his boot. The referee broke up the choke, and Solo backed away. Uno fought his way up, and the crowd applauded in an attempt to cheer him on. Uno reached out to tag Vance.

However, Q.T. Marshall, a man you may remember from every “before” picture, tagged himself into the match and hurried across the ring, where he punched Vance off the apron. Marshall then punched Uno in the head and mocked Lady Gaga. After that, Marshall swung Uno into the ropes, but Uno rebounded onto Marshall with a falling cutter. As Marshall wallowed around the ring like a pig in a fair, Uno once again rallied alongside the crowd and crawled his way into the face’s corner. This time he made the tag, and Vance entered the ring.

Vance clotheslined Marshall, and Marshall crashed to the mat before getting back to his feet. Vance clotheslined Marshall a second time, and Marshall crashed to the mat a second time before getting back to his feet. Vance then executed a back body drop on Marshall. Solo ran into the ring and rushed straight into yet another clothesline from Vance. Vance then side-suplexed Solo and whizzed across the ring toward Marshall, who stopped Vance with a big boot. Marshall then leaped toward Vance, but Vance caught Marshall in midair and executed a spinebuster.

Vance rallied the crowd as the audience began flashing Shawn-Spears fingers in unison with Vance. Vance went to apply a full nelson lock on Marshall, but Solo jumped into the ring and slugged Vance across the back. Vance released his full nelson lock, and Uno ran in to counter Solo. Uno kicked Solo with a high boot, but Marshall immediately kicked Uno with a boot of his own. Marshall attempted a Diamond Cutter on Uno, but Uno overpowered him and refused to be taken down by the cutter. Marshall then spun around and struck Uno with his forearm.

Then, AM-radio-enthusiast, Q.T. Marshall, ran at Vance, but Vance caught Marshall in another full nelson. Marshall once again fought off Vance’s full nelson and superkicked Vance for his efforts. Things looked bleak for Vance, but only momentarily because Vance roared back to life and executed an inside-out lariat on Marshall. Vance placed Marshall in the please-moonsault-me position and tagged in Uno. Uno climbed to the top rope, jumped off, and landed a Swanton Bomb onto Vance for a two-count.

“Close but no cigar,” Henry said.

Vance stepped into the ring and helped Uno put Marshall on his shoulders. Solo ran into the ring to save Marshall, but in the process, he knocked Uno over, and Marshall went down courtesy of Solo. Solo distracted Uno long enough for Marshall to go for his Diamond Cutter once again, but Uno blocked the cutter in the same manner as he had before. Uno shoved Marshall toward the ropes, but Marshall managed to use the kinetic energy created by Uno to run across the ring and punch Vance.

Q.T. Marshall, a man who thinks ketchup is a vegetable, turned his attention back to Uno, but Uno slugged Marshall with a forearm to the face. Solo then hit Uno with a corkscrew windmill kick, and Marshall finally got to execute his Diamond Cutter on Uno. Marshall covered Uno, but because the very idea of being covered in “Marshall” is disgusting, Vance jumped into the ring and interfered by shoving Solo into Marshall. Fans were alive, raucous, and thoroughly enjoying the match.

“Pandemonium!” Excalibur exclaimed.

Man-who-always-posts-late-BeReals, Q.T. Marshall, tossed Vance out of the ring and tagged in Solo. Uno used the upstage left turnbuckles to pull himself back to his feet, and Marshall whipped Solo toward Uno. Uno lunged out of the way, and Solo splattered against the turnbuckles. Solo teetered and tottered his way out of the corner, and Uno caught him with a jawbreaker. Moments later, Vance made a blind tag, but Marshall saw it and ran at Vance; however, Vance speared Marshall.

Solo attempted another corkscrew windmill kick, but Vance ducked underneath Solo’s leg. Vance then grabbed hold of Solo, picked Solo up in the wheelbarrow position, and with the help of Uno, he hot-shotted Solo on the top rope and used the inertia from that hotshot to execute a German suplex. Marshall tried to get back into the ring, and Uno blocked him by running down the apron and executing a flying cannonball senton onto Marshall.

Vance trapped Solo in his full nelson lock and shook him back and forth like a singular maraca. Unable to escape Vance’s monster-like grip, Solo was forced to tap out and end the match.

WINNER: Dark Order (Preston Vance & Evil Uno) in 9:00

(David’s Analysis: This was by far the best match on the card; it had the time to breathe, and the wrestlers involved made sure they gave it the oxygen to do so. The crowd was fully behind Dark Order and loved cheering for them, especially Evil Uno. It is not easy to be as hateable as Marshall’s character is, but he knows how to make it look easy. On the “please punch this man” chart, only the wrestlers MJF, Sammy Guvera, and The Acclaimed come out ahead of Marshall. Vance and Uno have good chemistry together, but I still miss Stu Grayson.)

– After the match, the audience gave Evil Uno & Preston Vance a standing ovation.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This week’s match of the night goes to Dark Order vs. The Factory. It isn’t even close! If you only have time to watch one match this week, watch that one. If you have time to watch two matches, then check out Soho vs. Howitzer, and if you have time to watch three matches, check out Rose vs. Max “The Impaler.” I’d love to see Max “The Impaler” and Heidi Horwitzer on the AEW roster. They are so “into” their characters, and I could easily see them teaming with Abadon to form a stable.

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, history is yesterday’s tomorrow which is today.

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