Episode 49 of AEW Dark: Elevation is in the books! If you missed the live broadcast click here for the Cageside Seats stream. The announce team was Paul Wight, Mark Henry and Tony Schiavone. Let’s talk about what went down (or up) on Elevation this week, including a match they hyped up a full day in advance.
Bobby Fish vs. Robert Anthony
Fish brought a 2022 record of 1-0 to the ring. Anthony was waiting for him with an overall AEW record of 0-6. Mark Henry: “You can go to the grocery store, but if you don’t get any groceries, you gon’ be hungry!” Interesting analogy for Anthony not having any AEW wins. Anthony caught him with a punch and a knife edge chop on the outside before throwing Fish back in for another chop. Fish kicked his leg and unloaded with rights. Anthony responded with a drop kick. Anthony did a nice delayed vertical with Fish — at least 10 seconds or more — and got a near fall.
Anthony kicked him in the spine and Fish got right back up to exchange forearms with him. Fish leg whipped Anthony into the turnbuckle and snapped him over for a diving lariat. Fish hit Anthony with a mule kick but he continued to fight back with strikes. Fish hit a suplex for two. Fish jumped on his back for a sleeper but Anthony backed him into the corner to break free. Fish hit an exploder into the ropes and kicked Anthony in the head to put his lights out for good and get the pin. Great opening match for Elevation!
Diamante, Emi Sakura and The Bunny vs. Skye Blue, Heather Reckless and Queen Aminata
Blue, Aminata and Reckless were making their debut in the trios division on this episode. They also made sure to bill Blue as “Chicago’s own” in case anyone had forgotten. The heels made their entrance as Mark Henry was drooling over the prospect of getting some Nashville hot chicken. Blue took Diamante down for some ground and pound and got reversed. Blue hit a pump kick and tagged in Aminata. She tagged right back out and Reckless tagged in. Diamante threw her into the heel corner and tagged in Sakura. This is pretty typical for a women’s trio match — everything moves at a hundred miles per hour. I like all of the performers individually but in the multi-woman matches it feels like there’s not enough time for everyone to do their spots. Sakura and Aminata did simultaneous submission holds while Bunny skipped laps around them. Bunny tagged in and hit Reckless with a running lariat and a knee to the head. She was ready to go Down the Rabbit Hole but the faces ran in to break it up. Sakura and Diamante broke that up and then all three did simultaneous DTRH before Bunny made the pin. Dominant victory for the heels.
Scorpio Sky (w/ Dan Lambert) vs. Stephen Wolf
“All Ego” Ethan Page joined commentary for this match. Wolf was making his AEW debut for this match so I didn’t honestly expect him to be on commentary for long. Lambert didn’t get nearly the heat I thought he would walking out so I have a feeling the full crowd hadn’t filed in at this point during Dark. Sky tried to take Wolf’s eyebrows off his face and clean his windpipe with a boot to the throat. He picked Wolf up for a backbreaker and then stretched him before casually tossing him aside. Page said Lambert was the reason he and Sky got every opportunity they’ve had and he’s grateful for it. Sky put Wolf in a face lock but Wolf got back up with rabbit punches and a chop. Wolf did a flip off the ropes into an arm drag and Sky seemed stunned for a moment, but he quickly put Wolf down with a boot to the face and finished him with a cutter. As Henry would say, “You can count to a hundred.”
Julia Hart vs. Arie Alexander
Hart brought a record of 8-9 along with her eye patch. Alexander was waiting for her in the ring to make her AEW debut, which should last half as long as Sky and Wolf did (although commentary did Sky accuse of “playing with his food”). Hart put the boots to Alexander in the corner repeatedly, being admonished by the ref each time. She snapped Alexander over by the hair and kicked her in the back. She did a scorpion kick, tripped Alexander and did a standing moonsault. Credit to Alexander for her selling of each move Hart hit her with. A running bulldog led to a triangle choke for the submission, which she reluctantly let go of. Malakai Black has definitely made her evil, and I approve.
Dante Martin vs. Aaron Solo (w/ Nick Comoroto)
Solo brought a 2022 record of 1-3 while Comoroto riled up the fans by tearing up their signs at ringside. Martin brought an overall record of 38-19. Paul Wight raved about Martin’s talent and how friendly he is backstage to boot. “This kid’s a major player. He’s just growing into it right now. God willing he stays healthy and all that he’s going to be an international star.” The crowd started chanting his name and Henry said “You don’t have to push him down our throat. The people chose him.” If that wasn’t the planned spot for commentary then that was a very clever bit of freestyle on Henry’s part. Well done!
Comoroto interfered from the outside as you’d expect. Martin tried to get in his face about it and Solo caught him with a kick before working him over in the center of the ring. Martin kicked him in the head, hit a lariat and got a near fall. Solo put the boots to him in the corner and blew a kiss to the crowd to piss them off more. Martin floated Solo to the apron and kicked him in the knee, then went on attack until Comoroto jumped on the apron to block a suicide dive. Solo snuck in behind Martin for a spinning enzuigiri and a near fall Martin finally hit a dive and knocked Comoroto off his feet then did the double springboard moonsault to suddenly and decisively get the pin. A fun match with a nice finish!
Gunn Club and The Acclaimed vs. Lee Johnson, Brock Anderson, Lee Moriarty and Matt Sydal
Johnson, Anderson, Sydal and Moriarty were making their “eight man” debut here. Austin and Colten Gunn came out first with their dad sporting a team record of 6-0. The Acclaimed came out 33-8 and with a mic in Max Caster’s hand as usual. “You must be higher than the Chicago murder rate. Look who’s in the ring. If I gave them the mic they wouldn’t say a thing. So take a class boys, you’re getting roasted by The Acclaimed and the Ass Boys.”
Aubrey Edwards barely had any control over the match, but you can hardly blame her when she’s not scripted to, as wrestlers just got in and out quicker than a hiccup. Badass Billy Gunn stayed at ringside to offer his sons advice and yell at the fans for chanting “Ass Boys.” The heels cut off the ring to work Moriarty over. Johnson finally got the tag and was a house of fire. At this point everybody just hit the ring to take turns doing their moves. Johnson got clonked in the head by the boombox for the pin. Wight: “There was a lot going on in that match.” Too much to keep up with by far. The rap was good though!
Best Friends (w/ Kris Statlander) vs. Chaos Project
This was Chaos Project’s first tag team match of 2022. Wight: “It’s nice to see Luther back on television.” Henry: “No it’s not!” Thank you Mark. Best Friends came out with a record of 26-11. Chuck Taylor and Luther started the bout off. Serpentico quickly tagged in and ate a backbreaker before Trent got the tag. Double elbow drop on the serpent for a one count. Wight: “In a drawer full of knives, Serpentico’s a spoon.” Tornado DDT by Trent. Serpentico responded with a kick right to the face when Trent thought he was dazed. Maybe he’s more clever than you think Mr. Wight. I’m sure Luther is too but his screams give me a migraine. Luther told Serpentico to slam him on Trent. He tried but Luther’s weight squished him like a bug. The Kentucky Gentleman got the hot tag and his feet were flying. Serpentico ate a spinning sitout powerbomb and Luther broke up the pin. Luther pulled Chucky T out of the ring so he threw Luther head first into the steps. Trent tagged back in for a little Sole Food and the two hugged. Trent and Chuck did the assisted piledriver for the pin. That was that!
What to watch/skip
This week’s “what to watch/skip” for Elevation is brought to you by “Above the Clouds.” Dante Martin’s theme music always reminds us he’s about to take flight, but I can think of no better way to soar through the air than Keith Elam (RIP), Inspectah Deck and DJ Premier. The match I chose for the title of this week’s report is your “must watch” this week, followed closely by the opener between Fish and Anthony. Either Bobby Fish was giving him a lot (which is likely) or Anthony needs to finally be put over on a dark match (which is also likely). You could skip the six-woman and eight-man tags and it wouldn’t offend me.
Cageside commentary crew! Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below. You can also contact me on social media — I promise I don’t bite (much). See you tomorrow night for another episode of AEW Dark!