Episode 53 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 and Mark Henry (no Tony Schiavone or Excalibur for whatever reason). Let’s talk about what went down on this “session” of Elevation.
Lance Archer vs. Cameron Stewart
Archer came out 47-10 and threw his opponent Stewart all the way down to the ring. We never got the latter man’s record. Wight: “Poor Cameron Stewart’s getting the wrong end of this one.” Henry: “He never had a chance to breathe!” Archer gave him four straight clotheslines as commentary kept count, and then a fifth, and then a sixth. Wight: “There’s an old saying — if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Henry: “He didn’t even lace his boot up!” Arxher hit the Blackout and stood on the corpse of his victim to end the match.
Ruby Soho vs. Session Moth Martin
Soho brought a record of 16-4 to the ring. Martina was making her AEW debut and was dancing to Soho’s music. Soho offered her a handshake and Martina accepted before shaking her booty in front of Soho, which caused her to screw up her nose like “What’s wrong with this girl?” She’s a Session Moth and they like to party. Henry reminded us that she’s an eleven year veteran. Martina tried to shake her assets and got a chop for her trouble, so Martina took exception and starting unloading with kicks and punches before singing in a grounded choke. Soho fought back to her feet from it and hit a big suplex. Martina charged her on the apron and got her head smashed into the turnbuckle twice. Soho gave her a right to the chin, a knee to the face, and the No Future kick for the win.
Daniel Garcia (w/ 2point0) vs. Ray Jaz
Garcia brought a record of 18-15 to the ring while Jaz had a 2022 record of 0-1. Jaz got a backslide for a near fall before Garcia gave him a chop to the throat, hit a suplex and applied a cranked up scorpion lock for a quick finish. Henry: “It wasn’t a submission match but it ended up one. I was going to say he didn’t break a sweat, but he actually did.”
Scorpio Sky (w/ Dan Lambert) vs. Shawn Dean
Dean brought a record of 3-0 to the ring as Wight put over how much work he does behind the scenes and for the community outreach. Sky’s tag team partner Ethan Page joined the commentary for this match. Things weren’t going Sky’s way early so he rolled out of the ring for a break and some advice from Dan Lambert, causing Wight to quip that Mr. American Top Team is “a waste of cotton.” Sky hit a back breaker to send Dean rolling and writhing in pain as both Lambert and Page gave him a round of applause. This caused Sky to do another and taunt Dean verbally. He hit a third one and then stretched Dean over his knee until he fought back with strikes. Dean went for an inside cradle when he got free for a near fall and fired up offensively. Page: “These people chanting for Dean need to shut down the hell up.” Dean hit a suplex and popped up to his feet, then went to the top rope for a splash, but Sky got his knees up just in time. He ran over Dean with a big boot, pulled his invisible straps down, and quickly finished the match.
Kris Statlander vs. Emi Sakura
Sakura brought a 2022 record of 5-1 to the ring along with her crown and robe. Sadly there was no Lulu Pencil to take them for her. Statlander brought a record of 38-17.
Sakura threw the robe into Statlander’s face before the opening bell, put the boots to her, and did her “we will rock you” chops and crossbody. The latter was a mistake because Statlander caught her mid-air, walked with her and hit a big body slam. Statlander returned the favor of Sakura’s strikes with some chops of her own. Wight: “Those are called receipts Mark!” Sakura knocked Statlander to the floor with a spear and cackled like a cartoon villain. (“Oh ho ho ho ho!”) I love when she does that. Sakura lifted Statlander up, brought her down over a knee, but Statlander kicked out on what the announcers called a “lazy pin.” Statlander fired up and hit a big slam. Sakura blocked the Big Bang Theory for a near fall. She threw the left knee into the canvas trying to soften Statlander up, but she got back to her feet and hit a head kick before finally connecting with BBT for the 1-2-3.
Wheeler YUTA vs. Aaron Sol
Solo brought a record of 2-6 to the ring but surprisingly didn’t bring QT Marshall or Nick Comoroto with him. YUTA also came out on his own with a W/L record of 19-15. Wight bemoaned the fact that Solo had all the talent in the world but was learning nothing but bad attitude from The Factory. He grounded YUTA, took full mount for ground and pound, stood up for a suplex and put a finger to his ear as the crowd booed. Henry said Wight used to be a show off too so it was a case of “the pot calling the kettle black.” YUTA made a comeback with elbows and hit a crossbody and an elbow off the rope before a suicide dive to the floor. Henry: “You can’t win out there. He should have kept him in the ring.” Solo hit a thrust kick and turned YUTA inside out for a near fall. YUTA caught Solo in the air and hit a German release as the aforementioned Marshall sauntered his way down to the ring. People who complained got an earful from him: “I have a manager’s license!” YUTA hit a big body drop and went to the top rope again, pretended to crotch himself, and pointed at Marshall. The ref threw him out as he screamed “I didn’t do anything!” YUTA tied Solo up in knots and pinned his shoulders to the mat for three. Commentary begged for a replay and got one!
What to watch/skip
Tonight’s “what to watch/skip” is brought to you by Wig Wam’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It.” I don’t have a tie-in for this episode of Elevation — it’s just a song that’s been stuck in my head ever since I started watching The Peacemaker. I’m a dog, throw me a frickin’ invisible bone here.
Initially AEW aired the wrong episode of Elevation (last week’s show) before pulling it down and uploaded the right one, and unfortunately in the rush to do so the different resolutions of the video had not rendered as it aired. It was pixelated as a result but should be fine by the time you watch a replay, and it went by so fast that I can’t recommend you skip anything. You could fast forward through Archer’s squash but that would only save you a few minutes. Martin vs. Soho was the highlight this week but Dean vs. Sky and YUTA vs. Solo were equally enjoyable. A solid episode despite the technical difficulties.
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!