AEW Dark Elevation recap (Apr. 4, 2022): How Lucky was Ali to face Kazarian?

Episode 57 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. The announce team this time was Excalibur, Mark Henry and Paul Wight. Let’s talk about what went down (or up) on Elevation this week!

Leyla Hirsch vs. Ella Envy

Hirsch came out 35-14 for the opening match. Envy was waiting for her in the ring to make her AEW debut. Hirsch with a side headlock and a shoulder tackle. Envy with a deep arm drag. She misses a splash in the corner and eats knees to the face. Hirsch gives her a German suplex and a running knee and the match ends in a pin just as it seemed to be getting started. Wight: “What a show of dominance by Leyla Hirsch.” Indeed!

QT Marshall & Aaron Solo (w/ Nick Comoroto) vs. Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson (w/ Arn Anderson)

Marshall and Solo came out first with a team record of 3-3. Anderson and Johnson brought a team record of 5-5. Well at least we knew before the match began that one of these teams would be over 500 by the time it was over. Marshall tagged in Solo and he tagged Marshall back in and they did this several times just to rile up the crowd before the match finally got underway between Johnson and Solo. He put Solo in the corner to unload with chops and closed fists. The ref made him back off, Solo knocked him down with a shoulder tackle, but Johnson responded with a double ax handle and tagged in Anderson. Johnson tagged back in quickly and Nick Comoroto yanked him off the apron before “The Enforcer” came over with a steel chair to scare off the heels.

QT threw him out again, Comoroto charged, and Arn pulled him to the side so Comoroto would run into the ring post and knock himself out. Johnson and Marshall made the double tag and Brock ran wild. Power bomb and Solo kicked out at two. Brock hit the DDT and Marshall made the save. Johnson dragged Marshall out but got planted on the barricade for his trouble. Solo and Anderson traded shots in the center of the ring. Marshall snapped Anderson’s head off the ropes, Solo hit a spinning wheel kick, Anderson kicked out. Johnson gave Marshall a superkick, Anderson gave Solo a spinebuster, and Arn’s proteges got the pin to improve to 6-5. The crowd was very into this match and it was a fun tag team bout!

Serena Deeb vs. Dani Mo

Deeb brought a record of 18-5 to the ring for this battle. Mo was waiting for her in the ring, winless in her two previous appearances in AEW. Commentary went out of their way to put over Deeb as “the most technical female wrestler in the game today.” Deeb went to work on the left knee and Mo hobbled to the corner in pain. She did a dragon screw whip on the left leg just to make it hurt even more, then gave Mo a catapult into the bottom rope neck first. Deeb pulled Mo to her feet, slapped her repeatedly, and did another whip. Then she started bouncing the left knee off the canvas over and over before cinching up the Serenity Lock for the submission. Mo deserves credit for her part in making “The Professor” look so good.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Lucky Ali

Kazarian brought his record of 68-29 to the ring and (you guessed it) his opponent Ali was already waiting for him with a record of 0-0 in AEW. Henry: “Anybody I’ve ever met that called themselves lucky was not.” Kazarian did a waist lock takedown, a front face lock, but Ali fought his way free momentarily — only to eat a hard chop, a kick to the gut and a knee lift. Henry: “If this was a video game he would have gotten bonus points for a combo.” Ali hit a senton for a near fall and went for a headlock but Kazarian fought his way out with shots to the gut and then pounded on him in the corner. Monkey flip, sledge, springboard elbow from Kaz. He went for the crossface chicken wing, Ali blocked it, Kazarian responded with a flying cutter and then got the chicken wing. You guessed it, you knew it, he’d get it sooner or later. Wight: “Frankie Kazarian shows why he’s one of the top competitors in AEW.” Give it up for Lucky Ali though, he had a good showing, and Kazarian gave him a little shine too.

Red Velvet vs. Brittany Jade

Velvet brought a record of 47-22 to the ring. Jade was waiting in the corner to make her AEW debut. Jade has a look that you can’t possible miss — bright blue hair, bright pink trunks and top, and absolutely no tan whatsoever with tattoos everywhere you look. Velvet was not impressed by any of this. Jade went for a backslide and got blocked, managed to snap Velvet to the ground for one near fall, and that was the last offense she’d gave. Velvet tripped her into the ropes, hit double knees from behind, then landed Just Desserts for the win. Henry: “Like a Venus flytrap — beautiful and deadly at the same time.”

Best Friends (w/ Orange Cassidy) vs. The Workhorsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry)

The Workhorsemen brought a record of 0-1. Taylor and Beretta brought a record of 27-11. Cassidy had his left arm in a sling. Trent’s mom Sue was in the crowd with a happy birthday sign. Taylor and Henry started the match but the birthday boy quickly tagged in. Double delayed vertical suplex before Beretta covered Henry for a near fall, then yelled to the crowd “Hey! My mom’s here!” Henry took advantage of Beretta being distracted by his own mom and tagged Drake in. Aubrey Edwards lost control of the match as all four men got in the ring. The Best Friends went for a hug and Drake & Henry broke it up for the heat. Finally things settled down with the Workhorsemen cutting off the ring and giving Taylor a beating. Taylor spilled out to the floor, whipped Henry into the barricade, Drake came over to do something and Cassidy scared him off with a hand in his pocket. Beretta got the tag, Henry tagged in Drake to eat some chops, Beretta hit him with a tornado DDT, Drake kicked out.

Edwards warned Beretta for using closed fists on Drake and made him back up. Drake escaped to the outside and when Beretta gave chase he got thrown into the ropes and socked in the jaw on the rebound. Things broke down again with all four men in the ring, but eventually Drake bonked his head on the turnbuckle. Henry made a blind tag, hit aa superkick and a double stomp, but Beretta kicked out at the last possible second. A pissed off Henry kicked at his fallen foe, Taylor made a blind tag as his partner got thrown into the corner, and the Best Friends finally had their hug before hitting Henry with the double team piledriver for the win. Sue was happy, Cassidy was happy, the crowd was happy. It’s safe to say the people got what they wanted!

Ruby Soho & Anna Jay vs. Diamante & Ashley D’Amboise

Diamante and D’Amboise were teaming together for the first time in this bout. Soho was 22-4 and Jay was 30-11 coming in. Diamante and Jay started the match, and Diamante took her down for some ground and pound. D’Amboise begged for the tag and her partner obliged. They traded takedowns and did a show of respect before Soho made the tag and gave D’Amboise a knee to the face. Jawbreaker from D’Amboise. Diamante got the tag as Soho was going for a pin and gave Soho a dropkick to the back of the head. The crowd chanted “let’s go Ruby” as Diamante gave her a hot shot across the ropes. Soho kicked her in the face and leapt out to tag Jay. Jay kicked Diamante in the head and gave her a fisherwoman release suplex. Jay tagged Soho back in, Soho rammed her head into the turnbuckle for a near fall, Diamante hit a knee to the chin and D’Amboise blind tagged in as she was about to make the pin. Diamante screamed “Are you high or stupid?” Either way Soho took advantage and made sure D’Amboise ate Destination Unknown for the pin. Diamante kicked her partner’s ass and the crowd booed, but I can’t say I blame her.

Paul Wight vs. Austin Green

Green was in the ring with a record of 0-1. Wight left commentary as Justin Roberts announced him for his hometown crowd of Columbia, South Carolina and the pseudo-Big Show style music played. Wight’s record to date in AEW coming in was 3-0. You could rest assured it would be 4-0 after this bout was over. Green was a fairly formidable opponent though as a former MMA fighter, but he obviously didn’t have the height or girth of his opponent. Wight gave him some chops, gave him a choke slam, and that was that!

What to watch/skip

This week’s “what to watch/skip” for Elevation is brought to you by Lucky Ali vs. Carlito. I’m not sure how to explain what you’ll see if you click on that match other than to say this — I once saw PN News and Mantaur wrestle on a show at a water park that looked exactly the same. Lodi from Lenny and Lodi was there too. It was an all around weird night! Anyway I’m going to make the unusual choice of telling you to skip the main event. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Wight but it’s clear at this point in his career that he can’t do much, and given the athletic background of his opponent I would have preferred to see what he could do other than take the most basic, nothing happening, one-sided squash imaginable. I must make the same recommendation about Mo vs. Deeb for a different reason — they could have easily torn the house down if booked to do so, but they are building up Deeb with wins for a future title shot so Mo had to take a beating and like it. The rest of the show was fine.

Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below. You can also hit me up on social media. See you tomorrow night for AEW Dark!

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