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AEW DARK ELEVATION REPORT
JUNE 27, 2022
TAPED 6/22 IN MILWAUKEE, WISC.
AIRED ON YOUTUBE.COM
REPORT BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Excalibur, Mark Henry, & Anthony Ogogo
Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez
– Hey! Welcome back, and thank you for visiting PWTorch.com, and thank you for taking the time out of your day to read something I wrote. I know there is a litany of wrestling news sites out there, and it is humbling that you intentionally chose to visit this page. (Unless you’re being held hostage. In which case, please tell your captor that it is truly humbling that he intentionally chose my writing to punish his victims.)
– Speaking of punishment. Please, consider inflicting my social media accounts on yourself. We all know social media is a little bit fake, but I promise mine is the fakest. Both my Twitter and Instagram accounts can be found @IamDavidBryant because I am David Bryant.
– Tonight’s AEW Dark Elevation taping emanated not-live from the UW-Panther Arena in Milwaukee, Wis. Let me tell you a quick little something I learned about Milwaukee — If you’re in trying to find the Circus World Museum in Milwaukee, you’re lost.
– Before the start of the show, an advert aired for AEW Forbidden Door, which I assume was named for pride month.
– Anna Jay was already walking out on stage as Excalibur introduced the announce team. This week’s AEW Dark Elevation was being announced by the team of Excalibur, Mark Henry, and Anthony Ogogo. Excalibur called tonight’s ring announcer, Dasha Gonzalez, the “fourth member of our announce team.”
(1) ANNA JAY vs. HEATHER RECKLESS
Jay came out of the face team’s tunnel looking bubbly, determined, and like a live-action, leg-based superhero excited to be wrestling. She posed atop the stage, waved to her fans, and made Dark Order’s famous Mother Monster hand salute on her way to the ring. Jay’s opponent, Heather Reckless, was already waiting in the ring. Reckless had a much better look this week than she did last week. She looked polished and professional. Also, I particularly enjoyed her pre-match mannerisms.
The bell rang, and both women circled each other in a cagey attempt to feel out their competition. Reckless moved first, jumping toward Jay, and both women entered a collar and elbow tie-up, but only momentarily because before their hearts could complete a beat, Reckless pulled free and went for a waistlock. However, Jay caught Reckless’s arms before they could close around her waist, and Jay applied a wristlock on Reckless.
Reckless whipped Jay into the upstage left turnbuckles and mocked her Mother Monster salute before running toward Jay. Jay easily spotted Reckless coming and moved out of the way with superheroic grace. Reckless crashed into the turnbuckles, and Jay added to her pain by plunging a forearm into Reckless’s face. Reckless held her jaw and stumbled along the ring ropes.
Jay hooked Reckless’s arm and executed an arm drag takedown followed by a flatliner. Jay pulled Reckless upright, but Reckless stomped on Jay’s foot, ran the ropes, and hit a basement dropkick on Jay. Jay pulled herself up in the downstage right turnbuckles, and Reckless plunged a forearm into Jay’s back. Reckless then mudstomped Jay’s chest.
The referee called for a breakup, and Reckless backed away from Jay with both hands in the air while leering at the hard camera. Reckless then whipped Jay into the stage left ropes, but Jay rebounded with a shoulder block, taking Reckless down to the canvas.
Jay hit an uppercut, a back elbow, and a running forearm.
“Ohh,” Henry said. “Forearm right to the face!”
“She just ran over Heather Reckless,” Excalibur added.
Reckless slouched in the upstage left corner, trying to recover from her wounds, but Jay hit her with a running back elbow. The moment Jay hit the elbow, she spun around and hit a forearm, too. Jay then whipped Reckless into the downstage right turnbuckles. Jay then built up speed as she ran toward Reckless and hit her with a Lady Legasus Lariat. Jay then backed up, ran forward, tumbled, and executed a rolling kick to Reckless’s head.
Jay pulled Reckless into the center of the ring using both of Reckless’s arms. Jay then kneed Reckless in the stomach and slapped on her Queen Slayer finisher. Faster than a bite-sized Teen Titans Go! short, Reckless tapped out.
WINNER: Jay at 1:51.
(David’s Analysis: To be honest, this match was a little clunky. It wasn’t a disaster, and Reckless has a ton of potential, but Jay has done better work recently. Although, with a match this short, even the slightest of awkward movements stands out.)
– After the match, an advert for the return of Grand Slam aired, and I am so glad they’re returning to Arthur Ashe Stadium. Grand Slam was far and away my favorite non-PPV event AEW put on last year. If they sell as many tickets this year as they did last year, I hope they do a PPV at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the near future.
(2) TEAM TAZ (Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks w/Taz) vs. JORDAN KROSS & JOEY JETT
Powerhouse Hobbs’s music hit, and Hook’s Dad accompanied Ricky Starks and Hobbs to the ring. Already in the ring were their opponents, Joey Jett and Jordan Kross, who is kind of cute, NGL. (He also seems kind of hyper, so we’ll see how that goes, but I’m rooting for him.)
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Taz at ringside,” Excalibur noted.
Hobbs and Jett started things off with a collar and elbow tie-up. Jett is not a small guy, but Hobbs’ size made him look minuscule in might, and Hobbs bulldozed Jett into the downstage right corner. The referee called for a break, but once Hobbs got Jett into the middle of the ring again, he plunged a knee into Jett’s stomach. Hobbs again whipped Jett into the downstage left corner and charged toward him. However, Hobbs did not find the connection he was hoping for. Instead, Jett got his elbow up and clocked Hobbs in the face.
Jett ran the ropes, thinking Hobbs was on the mend, but in actuality, Hobbs was merely furious at having been struck in the face by Jett’s elbow. Hobbs caught Jett mid-run with a clothesline takedown. In a hurried panic, Jett tagged in Kross.
Kross ran at Hobbs, but being on the smaller side and cutting a slight figure, he was no match for Hobbs’ might. Kross leaped toward Hobbs, but Hobbs caught Jett around the waist and ran him more than halfway across the ring, slamming Kross’s back into the downstage right turnbuckles.
Hobbs then picked up Kross like gravity had left the building and plopped him back-first atop the corner ropes. Hobbs then slammed multiple forearms into Kross’s stomach and torso.
“Somebody stop this,” Henry commented on the brutality.
“You could hear that in the cheap seats,” Excalibur said, referencing the portion of the audience who were poor but beautiful.
“You can stop a man’s heart hitting him that hard,” Henry added.
Kross collapsed off the top ropes and lay crumpled on the ground. Hobbs then grabbed Kross’s right arm and dragged him like a dead dog on a leash into Team Taz’s corner, where he tagged in Starks.
Hobbs draped Kross across the top ropes once again and hit him with another sledgehammer forearm to the chest. Starks celebrated by running a lap around the ring (Not a good use of his time.) and then jumped over the ropes when he returned to Team Taz’s corner. Starks punched Kross, pushed him into the stage right ring ropes, and whipped him across the ring. Kross reversed Starks’s whip, but Starks caught Kross around his waist on the rebound. Starks then executed a jawbreaker on Kross, ran into the ring ropes, and rebounded onto Kross with a single leg dropkick. Starks then struck multiple poses in the middle of the ring.
“Speaking of Starks,” Henry said, “look at that body!” (Already looking. Pretty people are things.)
Starks grabbed Kross’s arm and asked the audience if he should let Kross tag in Jett. The crowd emphatically signaled that he should, and so Starks began to drag Kross toward the face team’s corner. However, at the last moment, Starks reversed course and jerked Kross away from his opponent.
Starks hit Kross with high rise dropkick and taunted the crowd while Kross pulled himself up in the upstage left corner. Starks then cheapshotted Jett off the apron, knocking him to the floor. This showboating and unnecessary cheapshot allowed Kross enough time to recover, and when Starks charged Kross in the upstage left corner, Kross got his foot up and kicked Starks in the face. Kross exploded out of the corner and hit Starks with a forearm to the chest, followed by a chop. Starks seemed unfazed. Starks disrespectfully slapped Kross across the face, and the crowd “ooo-ed.”
“Was that an open hand slap?” Henry asked.
“An open hand shot can easily drop somebody just as quickly as a closed one,” Excalibur said.
Starks put Kross in a front facelock, and Jett tried to jump into the ring to attack Starks. However, Hobbs spotted Jett’s movement and ran across the ring to knock Jett to the floor. Starks executed a Roshambo on Kross, covered Kross, and picked up the win.
WINNER: Hobbs & Starks in 4:00
(David’s Analysis: This was a fun match. It wasn’t a “technical” match, but it was full of energy, movement, and contrasting size differences. Starks has boatloads of charisma, and Hobbs looks like a monster who could easily transition to the main event scene someday. This is exactly the kind of match I like to see on Dark Elevation.)
– After the match, a pride video staring Anthony “Burp-Basket” Bowens aired on Dynamite. While I love taking the piss out of Bowens and Caster, they are honestly two of my favorite performers in AEW. It makes me wonder how much incredible talent was never seen because the gatekeepers of previous generations turned them away. The tragedy of the gay rights movement isn’t so much the stories that were told as it is the stories that weren’t. Props to all of professional wrestling’s LGBTQ+ performers, and props to the promotions that showcase them.
(3) RUBY SOHO vs. MISSA KATE
Ruby Soho came out first, once again wearing her pride jacket. She skipped her way down the ramp and posed on the ring apron for the hard camera.
“There’s nothing like the raw energy that runs through a building when Ruby Soho’s music hits,” Excalibur said.
Soho’s opponent, Missa Kate, was already waiting in the ring. She was sitting against the bottom turnbuckle in the upstage left corner and gave the audience a very sarcastic talking-to when they booed her.
The match started with a collar and elbow, and Kate got the best of the exchange, backing Soho into the upstage left corner. The referee called for a break, and Kate appeared to be backing off, but just as Kate took a step backward, she caught Soho off guard with an open-handed slap to the chest. The crowd booed this, and Kate took verbal exception to their booing.
While Kate was distracted by her trash-talking, Soho rushed her and took Kate down by scooping both of her legs. Soho mounted a fallen Kate and pounded away at Kate’s head with five fists to the skull. Kate shoved Soho off of her, and Soho quickly came back with a punt kick to Kate’s chest!
Kate stumbled her way back to her feet, and Soho took hold of her hair and slammed her face into the downstage left top turnbuckle. There, Kate hung in the scarecrow position as Soho backed up into the middle of the ring. Soho dashed toward Kate, but right before hitting a corner clothesline, Kate caught Soho and slammed her forehead into the middle turnbuckle.
Once again, Kate taunted the crowd before returning to Soho, who sat heaped in the downstage left corner. Kate mudstomped Soho’s chest and choked Soho with her boot. The referee forced Kate to break things up a second time. However, when Kate backed off, she hovered over Soho, waiting for her to get up. The moment Soho got to her feet, Kate grabbed Soho’s head and ran Soho’s face down the length of the downstage top rope. Once Kate reached the opposite turnbuckle, she smashed Soho’s face into it.
For a third time, Kate backed off Soho in order to talk down to the crowd. This gave Soho the chance to recover and take Kate by surprise. Soho hit Kate with two knife-edge chops to the chest. However, Soho did not maintain her upper hand for long because Kate kicked her in the stomach, causing her to double over.
Kate whipped Soho toward the upstage left corner, but Soho reversed Kate’s whip and sent Kate into the turnbuckles. Kate made her way out of the corner and took a swing at Soho, but Soho ducked and hit Kate with two forearms, a foot stomp, a back kick, a punt kick, and a step-up enzuigiri. The crowd roared in approval, and Soho celebrated with them by sticking out her tongue.
Soho then whipped Kate into the downstate right turnbuckles, and Kate hit the turnbuckles so hard she stumbled backward into the middle of the ring. Soho commandeered Kate’s body and executed a back heel trip to leave Kate laying in the moonsault position. Soho jumped off the top rope, looking for a double foot stomp, but Kate spotted her and rolled out of the way. Soho ended up on her feet, but Kate knocked her down with a powerful-looking pump kick! Kate covered Soho, but she was only able to score a two-count.
“You can look in Ruby’s eyes and see she is not all there right now,” Henry remarked.
Again, Kate took time to read the crowd before deciding to capitalize on her advantage. When Kate finally tried to capitalize with a spinning back kick, Soho caught her leg, ducked underneath it, and hit Kate with a rising knee strick.
Soho then took full control of Kate’s person, moved her to the center of the ring, and executed her Destination Unknown finisher. Soho covered Kate, hooked Kate’s leg, and the referee counted to three.
WINNER: Soho in 3:00
(David’s Analysis: This match was solid, and I didn’t see anything that was botched. The crowd was very into Soho, and Kate really has something special to offer. She’s flagitiously charismatic, and her offense looks destructive.)
– After the match, Soho celebrated on the second turnbuckle.
(4) SWERVE STRICKLAND & KEITH LEE vs. GPA & VIC CAPRI
Swerve Strickland’s music hit first, and the screens lit up in electric blue. Strickland then smiled and posed atop the stage as his music segued into Keith Lee’s music. Lee came out of the faces’ tunnel, and the crowd gave him a hero’s welcome. Strickland implored Lee to consider fist-bumping him, and Lee seemed hesitant. However, after a moment of thinking it over, Lee gave in and fist-bumped his tag team partner.
Strickland & Lee’s opponents, GPA & Vick Capri, were already awaiting their arrival in the ring. A chyron noted that this was GPA & Capri’s first time teaming together in AEW. GPA and Capri acknowledged the crowd when their names were called.
GPA and Lee started things off, and the match began with the crowd singing for Lee. Lee conducted them like an orchestra and soaked up their adulation. Lee then offered GPA a test of strength, but GPA was no match for Lee. GPA attempted a waistlock, but Lee was able to thwart him. GPA then applied a wristlock, wrenching Lee’s arm multiple times. Lee looked slightly annoyed.
GPA executed a short-arm shoulder block, but Lee no-sold it, still looking annoyed. GPA attempted a second short-arm shoulder block, and once again, Lee no-sold it. (The crowd seemed into this.) Lee forcibly removed GPA’s hand from his wrist and applied a Greco-Roman knucklelock. Lee then pulled GPA toward him, and Lee executed a one-armed gorilla press slam.
Lee tried guided GPA back to his feet, but GPA quickly executed three jawbreakers in a row on Lee. This was enough for Lee to teeter a little, but he still did not fall down. GPA ran the ropes, but Lee stopped him with a powerslam in the middle of the ring. To my great surprise, Lee did not try to cover GPA and instead allowed him to tag in Capri.
Capri stormed into the ring, kicked Lee in the stomach, hit Lee with five forearms to the head, ran the ring ropes, and executed a running clothesline on Lee. Lee no-sold all of this. He literally stood there like an invincible statute.
Capri attempted a waistlock, but Lee’s waist was too large for him to clasp his hands, and Lee hit the top of Capri’s head with his elbow. Lee then applied a claw to Capri’s skull, and after a moment, Lee threw Capri to the mat. Capri pulled himself upright in the downstage right corner, and Lee hit him with a massive body avalanche. Lee then Biel threw Capri so high that I’m surprised he didn’t hit the lights.
“Holy cow!” Excalibur exclaimed.
“That was a man he just threw!” Henry added.
Strickland asked Lee to tag him in, but the crowd was chanting, “One more time!” Lee seemed momentarily torn between Strickland and the crowd but eventually decided to go with the crowd. Lee picked Capri up and executed another skyscrapping Biel throw! Lee then posed to wild and thunderous applause.
Lee ran the ropes, and Strickland tagged himself in without Lee’s knowledge or permission. Lee knocked Capri down with an insane shoulder block and then turned to face Strickland. Then Strickland tried to inform Lee that he had tagged himself in, but Lee did not seem to notice. Instead, Lee turned his attention back to Capri and executed a Spirit Bomb as Strickland climbed to the top rope.
Lee spied Strickland atop the rope and looked at him, trying to determine why he was up there. Strickland pointed to himself, smirked, and informed Lee that he had tagged himself in. Lee was displeased, but before he could register his displeasure, Strickland executed a missile dropkick off the top rope onto Capri. Lee had to dive out of the way so as not to be struck by Strickland’s dropkick.
Strickland and Lee exchanged words, but Strickland did not back down. Instead, Strickland cupped his mouth and shouted, “Whose house?” and the crowd responded with, “Swerve’s House.” Strickland turned back to Capri, executed his House Call finisher, and pinned Capri to get the win.
WINNER: Strickland & Swerve in 5:00
(David’s Analysis: The match was fine. Lee looks like a total monster when he’s throwing people around the ring, and Capri is great at taking bumps. However, Strickland comes off like a grade-A asshat. For a guy who claims he wants to patch things up with Lee, he is behaving as if he wants to do the exact opposite.)
– After the match, Lee and Strickland exchanged words and looked to be headed toward another argument until The Butcher & The Blade’s entrance music hit. The Butcher & The Blade came out of the heels’ tunnel accompanied by The Bunny. Both teams stared at each other, and I suppose this was meant to set up a future match. (I’m not even a huge Bunny fan, but in my opinion, The Bunny’s return should have been a bigger deal.)
(5) SERPENTICO vs. ETHAN PAGE (w/Dan Lambert)
Seprentico’s music hit, and our masked protagonist spun his way out of the heels’ tunnel, looking confident in his five percent chance of winning. (Tonight’s mask was especially colorful and a different look for our noble but tiny titan.) Serpentico did not have his friend, frenemy, bully, and serial abuser, Luther, with him tonight, and that means his chances of surviving this match just surged all the way to seven percent.
“Gentleman, last Tuesday on AEW Dark, something happened for the first time all year,” Excalibur said. (That is the lowest bar for a T.V. show I’ve ever heard.) “Serpentico scored a win in a singles match!”
“A huge win,” Ogogo added.
Serpentico shot streamers from his hands, but instead of his usual bland white streamers, Serpentico released a rainbow of colors and watched them fall around him like a slowly breaking promise.
Next, “All Ego” Ethan Page made his way out of the same heels’ tunnel Serpentico had used, and he was accompanied to the ring by “All Dildo ” Dan Lambert. Page posed atop the stage and unzipped his jacket to reveal his torso, and more importantly, Lambert did not. Page then John-Silvered for the crowd on his way down the ramp and walked to the ring like he owned the place. Lambert walked to the ring like he owned a Waste Management company.
Once both wrestlers were in the ring and racist Magoo was off our screens, the match started with Serpentico John-Silvering in front of Page, showing off his “big-boy” muscles, and instead of congratulating him, Page viciously kicked “Poor” Serpenitco in the stomach, which is a very rude thing to do to the first human to ever contract Chronic Wasting Disease.
Page shoved Serpentico’s head between his legs and went for a powerbomb. However, Serpentico brilliantly escaped Page’s powerbomb by jumping from Page’s arms and sliding down his back. Serpentico ran at Page, Page swung a clothesline, and Serpentico geniusly ducked underneath, sliding to the floor.
Melting consignment store mannequin, Dan Lambert, hobbled over to confront Serpenitco, who put up both of his adorable fists. Serpentico went for a leg sweep on Lambert but decided to miss on purpose because Lambert looked far too much like a Non-Terminal Repeating Phantasm with a Class-5 Full Roaming Vapor.
Page reached over the ring ropes, and grabbed Serpentico by his mask, pulled him into the ring by his head, and Biel threw him across the ring, which I am 90 percent sure is unconstitutional.
Page executed an excessively violent shoulder block, and Serpentico was turned “inside out.” Page then mounted Serpentico with an unfair amount of weight and began pounding away at his colorful mask. Page then lifted Serpentico in the air, executed his Ego’s edge finisher, and pinned “Poor” Serpentico. The referee dropped to the mat for a very fast and probably paid-off three count
WINNER: Page at 1:34.
(David’s Analysis: Poor, gentle, pious Serpentico lost yet again. The only break he ever gets is his bones.)
– After the match, Lambert wandered around looking like a creepy janitor at a very haunted High School.
(6) JOHN SILVER vs. KM
The words “John the Dark Order” filled the arena, and John Silver came out to a loud ovation. Silver posed atop the ramp and walked down the rampway with purpose. Upon reaching the ring, Silver stood on the apron and John-Silvered for the crowd. Silver’s opponent, KM, was already in the ring.
“Look at KM’s size,” Excalibur said.
“Speaking of Size,” Henry added. “Paul White is not here.” (I have very much noticed.)
Silver and KM stood chest to navel, and the height difference was shocking. KM mocked Silver for being short, and Silver used KM’s arrogance against him, grabbing him in a side headlock. KM forced Silver off of him by whipping Silver into the downstage ring ropes, but Silver rebounded with a shoulder block. KM no-sold Silver’s shoulder block and mocked Silver’s John-Silvering by flexing both of his arms and strutting around. (He may be taller than John Silver, but KM is nobody’s Popeye.)
Silver threw his arms out wide and told KM to take his best shot. KM ran into the stage left ring ropes and rebounded on Silver with a shoulder block of his own. Silver no-sold KM’s shoulder block. Silver then zipped across the ring with the energy of a flying tetherball, kicked the back of KM’s head, climbed to the second turnbuckle, and leaped off to execute a diving shoulder block. Silver then flexed in the middle of the ring, John-Silvering for all of his fans to see.
Silver put KM in a waistlock, but KM clocked Silver with a back elbow, causing him to release the waistlock. Silver staggered into the middle of the ring, and KM hit Silver with a devastating-looking big boot. KM forced Silver into the downstage left corner, hit Silver with a running elbow, bodyslammed Silver near the downstage ring ropes, climbed onto the apron, and executed a slingshot crossbody. KM then pinned Silver, but Silver kicked out at two.
Silver pulled himself up in the downstage right corner, and KM taunted Silver to hit him with his best shot. Silver hit KM with his best shot, and it was more than KM had bargained for. Silver then followed that up with a flurry of blows worthy of a 1930s Sailor Man comic book.
KM swung Silver into the ropes, but when Silver hit the downstage ring ropes, he held onto the top strand. KM dove toward Silver, but Silver moved out of the way, and KM crashed into the ropes and ended up draped across the middle rope in the 6-1-9 position. Silver used the upstage ring ropes for momentum and hit the back of KM’s head with a running boot. Silver then grabbed KM around the waist and executed a German Suplex.
The crowd cheered, and Silver pumped his arms up and down, rallying his supporters. Silver executed a spinning rack bomb on KM, which, given the size difference, did not look like it should be possible. Silver pinned KM and picked up the hard-earned win.
WINNER: Silver in 3:00
(David’s Analysis: This was a short and simple match built around the two competitor’s height differences. Silver is very strong for his size, and he looked like a powerful competitor here. This wasn’t exactly a squash, but it wasn’t much of a match, either. It was simply a vehicle to get Silver more over with the crowd, and it worked.)
(7) THE HOUSE OF BLACK (Buddy Matthews & Brody King) (w/Julia Hart) vs. C.J. ESPARZA & BRUBAKER
The lights went out, and The House of Black’s music started. The crowd immediately responded with a round of anticipatory cheers. A bright blue-white light came up in the middle of the stage and highlighted Julia Hart’s silhouette. Buddy Matthews and Brody King walked out of the bright white light, and their silhouettes joined Hart’s. Then, all three members of The House of Black continued to the ring.
“That is one of the most intimidating entrances in the business,” Excalibur said.
“And what about Julia Hart,” Henry said.
“Alister Black believes he has woken the darkness inside of her,” Excalibur said.
“Yeah, but she used to be such a sweet girl.”
“It’s the darkness that hides inside all of us.”
“Yeah. No. I don’t have that kind of darkness in my heart.”
The House of Black’s opponents, CJ Esparza & Brubaker, were already waiting in the ring. The camera quickly cut to Hart at ringside. She looked cold and aloof, like a clerk at Hot Topic who thinks Nirvana shirts are edgy.
Matthews and Esparza started things off, and right off the bat, Matthews grabbed Esparza’s arm, trapping him in a wristlock. Matthews wrenched Esparza’s wrist, and it looked like he was within an inch of removing the man’s arm. Matthews then used the wristlock to pull Esparza to the mat.
“Look at the intensity of Matthews,” Excalibur said, “just trying to wrench Esparza’s shoulder out of the socket.”
Esparza was able to escape Matthews’ relentless wristlock with a wild and lucky punch to Matthews’ face. Matthews was incensed by this and whipped Esparza into the heel team’s corner. Esparza fell into a seated position, and Brubaker ran to his rescue. However, Matthews stopped Brubaker in his tracks, nailing him with a spinning back kick. Matthews then suplexed Brubaker into Esparza. After this soul-crushing offense, Matthews tagged in King.
King immediately hit Esparza with a running cannonball in the corner. King then helped Esparza to his feet only to knock him back down with a hard chop. The crowd applauded, and King tagged Matthews back into the match. Matthews then kneeled on one knee, King picked up Esparza, and then King dumped Esparza onto Matthews’ knee for an assisted backbreaker. Matthews then picked up Esparza’s half-dead body and threw him into the face team’s corner. Matthews then stood in the middle of the ring and ordered Esparza’s tag partner to tag himself in. Brubaker complied.
Matthews told Brubaker to take his best shot, and Brubaker ran at Matthews, only for Matthews to catch him, put him on his shoulder, and throw him into Esparza.
“He used him as a spear!” Henry exclaimed.
Matthews tagged in King, and the two of them stood on either side of Brubaker, waiting for him to get to his feet. When Brubaker got to his feet, he looked in both directions but was cornered by King and Matthews.
“He’s got no place to go,” Excalibur said.
Matthews hit Brubaker with a knee lift. Matthews then tossed Brubaker onto King’s shoulder, and King executed a huge gonzo bomb on Brubaker.
“Is he alive?” Henry sounded petrified.
King covered a probably alive Brubaker and got the win.
WINNER: The House of Black (King & KM) in 3:00
(David’s Analysis: As far as squashes go, this was one of the better ones. Both King and Matthews looked like expert ring technicians as well as vicious powerhouses. Brubaker and Esparza were great bumpers, even if they got in nearly zero offense. There’s not much else to say about this short match, but it definitely served its purpose.)
-After the match, newly crowned goth queen, Hart, joined Matthews and King in the ring. All three members of The House of Black posed for the hard camera.
(8) THE GUNN CLUB (Colton Gunn & Austin Gunn) & MAX CASTER (w/Billy Gunn & Anthony Bowens) vs. DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Preston Vance & Alex Reynolds)
Dark Order came out first, which is much better than The Acclaimed coming out first (or at all), and the team consisted of Evil Uno & Preston Vance & Alex Reynolds. John Silver accompanied Dark Order onto the stage. Uno strutted his way down the ramp with his arm behind his back, Reynolds swaggered down the ramp in a long black coat, and Preston flexed his way down the ramp. Meanwhile, Silver Popeyed his way backstage.
“This is a main event trios tag team match!” Excalibur said poignantly.
Because Tony Khan hates me, Max “Clown Cart” Caster led the Gunn Club out of the heel teams’ corner, and he was armed with a microphone, which he should not have in public, but I’m guessing the Supreme Court said it was okay. Caster then implored the crowd to “Listen” as they frantically searched for sharp objects to puncture their eardrums.
Caster’s “lyrics” consisted of affirmations and abominations such as:
“The Acclaimed and the Gunns; we were voted the best wrestlers.” (Okay, for the first time in my life, I now believe in widespread voter fraud.)
“You look like Joe Biden riding a bike.” (Ghosts ride bikes?)
“Ya’ll a bigger disappointment than the Drake album.” (This one is fair.)
Caster then referred to Gunn’s son’s as the Assboys, and I really think they should just go with that name. At least they weren’t branded as “bandits” or “holes.” The Gunn brothers then commandeered Caster’s microphone to shout out the name of the city they were in and proved to be only slightly worse than a 1990s GPS.
Anthony “Burp-Basket” Bowens sat in a wheelchair looking cupid and — Wait! No. Crap. I meant stupid. (I’m working with a therapist on this.) The annoying fratboy looked stupid and beckoned for the microphone. Then, Bowens belted out the words, “Milwaukee, The Acclaimed have arrived!!!!”
The Acclaimed and The Assboys scissored on the rampway, and the director cut to a sign that said “Scissor Me Daddy.” (Therapists for everyone.)
“Burp-Basket Bowens called Billy Gunn “Daddy Ass.”
“Mercifully, that’s over,” Excalibur said, “and now our main event can get underway.”
Both teams turned to head toward their respective corners, but then The Acclaimed decided now would be a good time to ATTACK Dark Order from behind.
“Oh! Gunn Club and Max Caster trying to get the upper hand on Dark Order,” Excalibur said, “but Dark Order is turning things around.” (This describes what happened perfectly. The Gunn Club and Caster looked like fools because they are.)
With both members of The Gunn Club knocked out of the ring, Reynolds whipped Caster into the ropes, Preston caught Caster’s astounding body with a pop-up — (Rebounding. His rebounding body. I meant to say he caught his rebounding body.) — Preston caught Caster’s rebounding body with a pop-up, Uno stomped on both of Caster’s hands, and Reynolds hit Caster with a running basement dropkick. All three members of Dark Order then stood mid-ring and saluted Lady Gaga.
Both members of The Gunn Club ran into the ring, and both members of The Gunn Club were immediately and simultaneously bodyslammed. Once The Gunn Club had returned to their feet, Vance took them both out of the ring with a pair of running clotheslines.
“And all this is going on before the bell,” Excalibur said. (Yeah… about that…)
At ringside, “De-aging Potions Master” Billy Gunn shoved his own offspring and yelled at them to get their stuff together. Billy then turned his back to his sons as Uno rolled Austin into the ring. (So far, the only bell that’s been rung is the Assboys’…)
As Austin rolled nearly all the way across the canvas, The referee rang the bell. (She rang the bell without a single member of Dark Order being in the ring. However, given the chaos underway, I actually kind of don’t blame her.) On the outside of the ring, Colton smashed Uno headfirst into the steel stairs and tossed Uno into the ring. (I’m going to assume that makes Uno the legal man.)
“And now this match is finally, FINALLY, underway,” Excalibur said.
Austin ran Uno’s head into the top turnbuckle in the heel team’s corner, and “Wannabe Edgelord” Max Caster celebrated by making the universal sign for either “boob licking” or “ass eating.” (I’m gonna go with boob licking because Caster is a boob.)
Austin mudstomped Uno’s chest, taunted the crowd, and tagged in Colten. Austin held Uno upright while Colten pummeled Uno’s midsection. Colten then ran Uno headfirst into the upstage left turnbuckles. Colten then executed a vertical suplex and covered Uno, but Uno kicked out at two. Colten then tagged in Caster.
“Boob Bottle” Max Caster whipped Uno into the stage left ring ropes and caught Uno’s rebounding torso with a back elbow takedown. Caster then scissored all of the members of The Gunn Club except for Billy Gunn, who is out of Caster’s league. Having wasted an abundance of time grossing us out, Caster returned to Uno’s fallen body and covered him. Uno kicked out at one because Caster is an idiot.
“Perve Plug” Max Caster swung Uno into the downstage left turnbuckles and crotch chopped Vance for some reason. (Did you see that tweet Caster retweeted about someone wanting Caster to spit in their mouth? Fans be weird AF.) Having once again wasted valuable time, Caster Von FupidStuck darted across the ring toward Uno, but Uno got his leg up because of course he did. Uno then punched the rest of The Gunn Club off the ring apron.
“Chronic Tinder Swiper” Max Caster tried to kick Uno in the stomach, but Uno caught Caster’s foot, and instead of taking a boot from Caster, Uno executed a neckbreaker. Caster tagged in Austin, and Uno tried to tag in Vance, but Austin caught Uno’s foot and pulled him back to the center of the ring. Uno then double kicked Austin, knocked Austin to the canvas, and hurried to the face team’s corner; there, he tagged in Vance.
Vance hit a mid-ring clothesline on Austin, followed by a mid-ring clothesline on Colten. Both members of The Gunn Club fell backward into the scarecrow position in opposing corners. Vance then delivered a corner clothesline to Austin, followed by a corner Clothesline to Colten.
“Crumb Cruncher” Max Caster ran into the ring to save his boys’ asses, but Vance caught Caster around the waist and executed a belly-to-back suplex. Colten ran at Vance, but Vance grabbed Colten and executed a spinebuster. Vance then crotch chopped in the direction of the hard camera. While it looked like Vance was distracted, he was not so distracted as to allow Austin to get in a cheapshot from behind his back. Instead, Vance ducked Austin’s cheapshot, kicked Austin in the guts, and executed a very delayed Vertical Suplex.
The crowd chanted, “Ten, ten, ten!”
Vance tagged in Reynolds. Reynolds ran the ropes, and with Vance’s help, he executed an assisted somersault plancha over the top rope and to the floor, hitting both members of The Gunn Club. Reynolds rolled Austin back into the ring. Vance immediately hit Austin with a running clothesline, and Reynolds punctuated that with a double-underhook lift into a lungblower. Reynolds covered Austin, but Caster of The Flying Craptaculars broke up the pinfall at two.
“Count Crapula” Max Caster jumped to his feet, ran at Reynolds, and was unceremoniously thrown out of the ring. Meanwhile, “Youth Hoarder” Billy Gunn attacked Vance at ringside and sent him into the barricade.
Gunn pointed to his older-looking son and said, “That was for you.”
Austin rolled up Reynolds and attempted to score a pinfall, but Reynolds kicked out at two. (That was a very close two-count.) Reynolds got to his feet faster than his opponent and kicked Austin in the face. Reynolds then put Austin on his shoulders, but Billy Gunn jumped onto the ring apron, and Reynolds was distracted by Billy Gunn’s refusal to age.
Reynolds ran at Billy and hit Billy’s supple skin with a sharp elbow, knocking him off of the apron. However, Billy’s distraction worked in the end because Austin attacked Reynolds from behind with a move that the cameras missed. Austin then pinned Reynolds. While pinning Reynolds, Austin cheated by putting both his feet on the ropes for leverage and managed to pick up a tainted victory.
WINNER: The Gunn Club (Colton & Austin) & “Clown Cart” Caster in 6:00
– After the match, “Burb Basket” Bowens scissored himself while the adorable Caster pushed him around in his wheelchair. (Deplorable Caster. I meant to say DEPLORABLE. *sigh* I’m calling my therapist.)
(David’s Analysis: This was more of a comedy match than I’m used to seeing Dark Order wrestle on Elevation, but they were able to slide into the role perfectly. I’m enjoying The Gunn Club and The Acclaimed’s interactions, but I question what exactly the ceiling is for these two teams. What is the end game here? Is this setting up a feud, and if so, will one of them be turning face?)
FINAL THOUGHTS: AEW Dark Elevation “was what it was” this week. There weren’t any spectacular matches you should go out of your way to see, but it wasn’t particularly “bad” either. It was mostly squashes with a bit of comedy thrown in. Match of the night goes to The Gunn Club & Max Caster vs. Dark Order, but I’m a little pressed to pinpoint three matches you should find the time to see this week. If you watch only one match, check out The Gunn Club & Max Caster vs. Dark Order. If you have time to watch more than one match this week, rewatch Dax Hardwood vs. Will Ospeary.
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, the only thing faker than reality T.V. is social media.