The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation, Episode 16 (“Sweet!”), June 28, 2021.
TONIGHT! It’s loaded! Eddie Kingston and Penta El Cero Miedo prepare for their tag title eliminator by facing TH2! JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth of the Wingmen take on Billy and Colten of Gunn Club! Serpentico is used to being thrown around, but not like this when he faces Brian Cage! KiLynn King steps up to take on Riho! HFO and Dark Order collide as Matt, Quen, and Kassidy face Angels, Reynolds, and Colt! Chuck Taylor has a solo career coming whether he likes it or not – he starts with The Blade! And IWTV Independent Champion Wheeler YUTA goes up against Impact’s Karl Anderson as all the doors open!
PLUS – Penelope Ford, The Acclaimed, Hikaru Shida, The Nightmare Family, Thunder Rosa, and Varsity Blonds!
We recap the post-show chaos from Saturday and show Kingston’s promo. Well, the pipebomb was 10 years ago yesterday…
From the AEW Arena.
Opening match: The Wingmen (JD Drake and Ryan Nemeth, w/Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi) (1-2 in this combination) vs. Gunn Club (Billy and Colten) (4-0 in this combination). The crowd is here, and they are PUMPED. Schiavone doesn’t understand the appeal of the Wingmen. Wight loves him some Billy Gunn – “It’s like this guy has found the Fountain of Youth!”.
Colten and Nemeth start. Lockup, and Nemeth with a Fireman’s Carry takedown and 2 points. Nemeth with a waistlock, but Colten blocks the O’Connor Roll and gets a shoulderblock and hiptoss. Drake in, and he gets hiptossed and dropkicked. Colten goes up and over Drake, but runs into the Claymore for two. Colten in the Wingmen corner and Nemeth comes in. Drake slams Colten to set up a headbutt/fistdrop combo.
Hammer Throw by Nemeth and he dances at Billy, then gets a corner spear. Drake in, but Colten escapes and runs the heels together. Hot tag Billy, and Nemeth gets slammed. Drake is floored by a right, and Nemeth gets set up for the Famouser while Colten takes out Bononi and Avalon. Nemeth avoids the shot and tries the Rude Awakening, but Billy escapes into the Famouser to win at 2:48. Barely out of the starting block. *1/4
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Walter Krunk. They discuss Riho, Shida, Thunder Rosa, the HFO/Dark Order six-man, and Wednesday’s tag title eliminator. But first, Penta/Kingston must face TH2 tonight in the main event.
Penelope Ford (6-1) vs. Valentina Rossi (0-1). Still no sign of Kip Sabian, but given that Ford and Miro are still going along, that could be interesting. Rossi is essentially the most Italian Jersey gal.
Lockup, and Ford goes behind and clubs Rossi. She corners Rossi and sends her around the world into the corners before getting a Hammer Throw. Blind charge eats elbow and Rossi sends Ford into the corner to stomp her down. Ford leverages Rossi into the corner and gets the double-arm guillotine on the top rope. Rossi with a small package for two off a suplex try and she fires off clotheslines. Ford cuts it off with a pump kick, but Rossi catches the Handspring Stunner only for Ford to recover with the Gut Check. That’s it at 1:38. NR
Serpentico (w/Luther) (11-31) vs. Brian Cage (w/Hook and Will Hobbs) (FTW Champion, 22-3). Forget Serpentico, I want Cage to toss Luther around. Hobbs and Hook keep their distance in the entrance. As always, this is non-title. They do the streamers in the entrance anyway.
Cage runs Serpentico over on the bell and Hammer Throws him. BACK body drop (.8 Warlord) follows. Cage with five bicep curls into a fallaway slam, but Luther gets in a cheap shot and Serpentico charges to the apron. Serpentico with a double-stomp and Cage bails, so Serpentico goes for a kick off the apron only to be tossed onto his face. Luther again intervenes and tosses Cage to the guardrail, and Serpentico follows with a tope suicida. Back in, SUPERKICK and low DDT gets two with the EMPHATIC toss kickout.
Serpentico with right hands to the head, but his hand gets the worst of it. Headbutt doesn’t do much better for Serpentico, and Cage catches Serpentico into a pumphandle Falcon Arrow. Running uppercut into a gamengiri into a release German in the corner by Cage and Serpentico rolls to the ramp. Cage catches him there and threatens the Drill Claw, but has to cut off Luther first before getting a toss powerbomb on Serpentico to throw him back in! Cage follows, and Drill Claw ends this at 3:12. That was fun! *3/4 The YouTube chat spams the Fs for Serpentico.
Karl Anderson (w/Matt and Nick Jackson and Doc Gallows) (6-1) vs. Wheeler YUTA (debut). Oh HECK YEAH! For those who don’t know, Wheeler YUTA is the IWTV champion, and he’s someone I’ve met and worked with before he broke out. He’s done some great work in Beyond and in Ring of Honor. This is a guy who’s poised to break out – he’ll be teaming with fellow indie darling Fred Yehi in the NJPWStrong Tag Team Tournament.
Anderson with a quick kick and sends Yuta into the corner where he lands uppercuts. Big chop follows, then a back elbow off the ropes. Another uppercut follows, but Yuta flips over a back suplex, jumps over Anderson, slides back under, and gets a dropkick. Elbow in the corner, but Gallows distracts Yuta, which gets Anderson the Spinebuster. Anderson goes ground and pound, then grinds the elbow into Yuta’s eye. Anderson with a spinning back suplex for two, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Anderson pulls him up by the hair and uppercuts him again, then picks Yuta up again. Lariat gets two.
Yuta lets Anderson pick him up and fires off with forearms, but Anderson cuts him off with a knee and chops back. Yuta stops a whip and gets a Manhattan Drop and enzuigiri, then goes up top. Shotgun missile dropkick and kip-up follows as the crowd is into this one. Yuta ducks a clothesline and dives onto Gallows, who just swats him aside. Young Bucks with a double SUPERKICK on the outside, and Anderson throws him in. He goes up, and the Gun Stun ends it at 4:28. Nick runs the ropes while stepping over Yuta during his celebration. They did enough to give you a What If, with Yuta getting a good flurry in but falling to numbers. *1/2
Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson, and Dustin Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Justin Corino, Liam Gray, and Adrian Alanis. First time for each trio. I repeat that having the Andersons and the Rhodeses on the same side feels just a little bit off. Tony’s Fun Fact: Dustin Rhodes had had 1,400 matches in his career by the time Shotty Lee and Brock were born. Alanis/Gray are the Skulk, and Corino is in fact Steve’s kid.
Anderson and Corino start. Lockup, and Anderson works the arm. He drops a leg on the arm and gets a one-count. Johnson in, and he continues the arm work. Corino escapes and brings in Gray, but Johnson with armdrags to keep control. Anderson maintains arm control on Gray, taking him down and stomping on the arm like an Anderson. Gray goes over the back on a throw and hooks a waistlock, but Alanis tags in as the Skulk get a high kick and Sling Blade backbreaker in succession for one. Gray back in, and he gets a running corner elbow and throws Anderson into Alanis for a neckbreaker/backbreaker combination. Corino adds a low lariat for two.
Corino goes ground and pound on Anderson, but Anderson fires back up only to get a kneelift to the gut. Heads collide on a blind charge and both men are down. Tags to Alanis and Dustin, and the old man runs Alanis over with clotheslines. Kneeling uppercut and he clears Corino off the apron before giving Alanis a spinebuster. Gray enters and gets nailed with the Final Cut. Powerslam to Alanis gets two, Corino saveds, and Anderson and Corino bail via Cactus Clothesline. Dustin low bridges Alanis, and Johnson with a spinning Fosbury Flop onto everyone. Back in, Alanis is whipped into a Shotty SUPERKICK, and the bulldog from Dustin ends it at 4:23. Lots of talent and youth in this one – it went fine. *1/4
The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) (#2 team, 12-3) vs. PB Smooth and Matt Justice (first time teaming). Smooth and Justice are from AIW. Justin Roberts doesn’t even bother doing stats for the Acclaimed. “What’s this guy’s gimmick? A straight white man?” “I’ll break your nose like Devin Booker.” “I’ll stand on my money so you [Smooth] can kiss me.” “Make you whisper in my ear like your name’s Joe Biden!” The Acclaimed are insanely over.
Bowens and Smooth start. But Caster clips Smooth and Bowens works the leg with a foot DDT. Smooth pushes Bowens away, but Bowens corners him and elbowsmashes the knee into a dragon screw. He picks Smooth up, but Smoother goes for the goozle and gets a choke STO. Justice in, and he chops away on Bowens. Caster with the blind tag and he catches Justice with a lariat. Caster chops away, then kicks Smooth’s leg off the apron. Justice recovers with chops in the corner, but Caster rushes him into the Acclaimed corner and it’s a beatdown. Double-team neckbreaker into a legdrop follows, and Smooth tries to boot Caster off the apron only to get caught and clipped by Bowens. S-4 on Justice, and the Mic Drop ends it at 2:53. 3/4*
KiLynn King (12-5) vs. Riho (13-9). Ooh, this ought to be a fun big/little match. I don’t like King’s chances, though, since she comes out without Swole or Velvet and is in red-headed warrior mode. If my math is correct, there’s over a foot of height difference, which you don’t see every day in the women’s division.
They both play to the crowd to start. Lockup, and King backs Riho into the corner and gives a clean break. Riho goes for a waistlock, but King breaks and forces Riho to the corner and gives another clean break. King teases for a knuckle-lock, just to show how much taller she is, so Riho kicks her in the gut for the insolence. Cartwheel and dropkick by Riho, then a running knee in the corner. Riho goes up, but King catches the crossbody and delivers a backbreaker for two. Into the corner they go, and King stomps a mudhole.
King with a forearm in the ropes, but Riho reverses to forearms of her own. King takes her down with a shoulderblock, then goes for the Sacrifice while holding the arm instead of busting it. Riho makes the ropes. King clubs the top of Riho’s head for two. King goes CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY on Riho, but Riho gets out of a suplex and tries a schoolgirl. King drops on her for two, but Riho bridges out of the cover and dropkicks King. Drop toehold into the middle rope by Riho, into the Area Code kick.
She goes up top, and this time the crossbody connects for two. King with a spinning back kick and suplex to take over for two. Kingdom Falls is fiipped out of, and Riho with a prawn cradle into a double stomp. She goes up top, but the double stomp misses and King catches Riho into the Finlay Roll. Now King goes up, but the frog splash misses and Riho with the Meteora to win at 5:42. Such a fun big/little dynamic, with the big girl failing because they went out of the comfort zone. **1/4
Varsity Blonds (w/Julia Hart) (#1 team, 14-4) vs. Aaron Rourke and Jake Logan (first time teaming). The Blonds are crazy over in Daily’s. I have to think it’s just a matter of time before they dethrone the Bucks – although all their wins are on Dark and their losses tend to be on Dynamite.
Rourke and Logan jump the Blonds from behind, but they reverse a double-whip and the Blonds clothesline both men out. Pillman and Garrison dive at the same time (dropkick and tope respectively, although Garrison’s dive needs some work), and back in, Pillman gives Logan a front facelock. Big chop by Pillman and Garrison tags in, and it’s a Dropkick Hart Attack. Back to Pillman, and Garrison with the Discus Punch into Air Pillman to win at 1:24. Oh yeah, they’re all in on this team – as soon as that MLW contract ends, they’re getting the straps. NR But first, Pillman will take on Miro on Wednesday.
Thunder Rosa (15-2, #3 women) vs. Katalina Perez (0-2). Rosa’s crazy over as well, but nearly stumbles doing a fancy entrance. Camera finds a young fan wearing “Thunder Rosa facepaint”… although it’s clearly Darby Allin facepaint. You can tell based on which side the paint’s on.
Lockup, and Rosa takes down Perez with a hiptoss and cradles her for one. Perez with hard forearms to Rosa, but Rosa gets a lucha armdrag and Navarro Roll into a surfboard. She slams Perez’s head into the mat, then picks her up and LAYS IN the chops. Perez tries to fire back, but Rosa catches her with a roundhouse kick and Russian legsweep into the Peruvian Chokehold for the win at 1:46. NR Commentary makes sure we haven’t forgotten her past with Britt Baker.
The Blade (w/The Bunny) (9-2) vs. Chuck Taylor (10-3). Taylor’s going to be going solo for some time – Trent just got neck fusion surgery. Might as well start with another tag wrestler. Bunny tries to be creepy, and maybe it’s working on Tony, but she’s too goofy for me. No sign of the other Friends with Taylor.
Taylor cuts off a charge from Blade and knocks him down, but Blade with a kick. Taylor gets a back elbow and Blade bails. He pulls Taylor out and they fight on the floor, with Taylor getting the better of it by throwing Blade into the guardrail. He then tells Bunny not to try anything, but as he does, Blade sneak attacks Taylor and puts him into the guardrail. Blade tosses Taylor back in, and when he follows, Taylor meets him with a chop (Blade stalled for time). Blade catches Taylor with a powerslam, though, and he stomps away. He punches Taylor into the corner and gives hinm a knee choke and nostril hook. Taylor crawls to the middle and gets kicked some more before Blade fish-hooks Taylor and mauls him with a right. Clothesline gets one.
Taylor fights up from his knees only to get chopped and collapse in the corner. Boot choke follows. Taylor tries to fight out, but Blade cuts him off and chokes him again before Hammer Throwing him. Blade with stomps to the small of the back for two. Blade with forearms, but Taylor slugs back only to get knocked loopy. Blind charge by Blade misses and Taylor tries to fight back, getting Sole Food off of a whip attempt and a SUPERKICK. Big slam and he goes up, but the moonsault… lands on his feet and gets a fireman’s carry Falcon Arrow for two. I don’t think that’s the Awful Waffle, Tony. Taylor up top, and the double-stomp gets two. THE STRAPS ARE DOWN, and now he tries the Awful Waffle, but Blade blocks the pickup.
Taylor just puts Blade on the top rope and tries Splash Mountain, but Blade slips out the back and chops him hard. He runs into a Taylor rising knee, though, but Blade stops a piledriver and cradles him with feet on the ropes being held there by Bunny for the pin at 5:46. Taylor is unhappy and wants a receipt, but TH2 make it a swarm. Orange Cassidy walks in for the save. You know Cassidy was going to go at it because the glasses were already off. Decent back-and-forth action and establishing Blade as a dirty cheater. *3/4
Matt Hardy (11-3) and Private Party (Isaiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) (6-1) vs. Dark Order (Alan Angels, Alex Reynolds, and Colt Cabana). Is Kassidy wearing a purple belt out of his back pocket? Wight: “Last club I went to was Studio 54.” C’mon, you’re not that old. If nothing else, this crowd is hot. Private Party looks to catch Dark Order in the entrance, but there’s too many of them and Angels plows them over. Hardy tosses him in for the Twist of Fate, but Colt and Reynolds give him a double suplex and Angels adds a low leg lariat. Private Party gets brought in the hard way and sent out by clotheslines. That’s all before the bell, by the way.
Hardy and Angels start the match proper, with Hardy looking for a quick Twist of Fate only to get cradled for two. Side Effect is countered to a prawn cradle for two, and Angels adds a dropkick. Angels boxes away on Hardy, who shoves Angels away and flips him inside out with a clothesline. Hammer Throw into the corner, but Angels elbows Private Party down only to get wishboned by them on the post. Hardy steps on his throat, and Kassidy tags in with a snapmare before choking Angels with his doo-rag. Then with his purple belt when the ref tosses the rag.
Angels tries to fight back, but Quen tags in and they get a double back-elbow into the senton/fistdrop combo the Hardys did. Quen gets two. Big stomp by Quen, then a chop and he pummels Angels on the ground. Kassidy back in, and they keep stomping away and mocking the crowd. Quen back in, then Hardy in, and it’s a dropping elbowsmash into a double back suplex. Hardy gets two. Hardy tosses Angels into the turnbuckle and slugs him down, then Hammer Throws him (with Angels taking a Bret bump) for two. Hardy mocks the tag attempt, but Angels flips out of a back suplex and gets an enzuigiri.
Kassidy cuts off the hot tag, Hammer Throwing him into the HFO corner, but a blind charge eats boot. Angels turns another wishbone attempt around on Quen before cradling Kassidy for two. Clothesline by Angels, and it’s a HOT tag to Reynolds. Big boot to Hardy, then a back elbow, Torpedo Moscow, and dropkick to Kassidy. Colt tags himself in as Reynolds dives onto Hardy, and Colt with a Lionsault press off the middle rope on Private Party. Flip Flop and Fly to both men, and Angels enters over Colt with a crossbody for two. Hardy pulls Reynolds off the apron and Kassidy elbows Angels, then Private Party dumps Colt.
That leaves Private Party with Angels, and they toy with him until he chops both men like crazy. He tosses Kassidy to the apron and elbows him off, then catches Quen with a boot. Hardy tangles with Angels on the ropes, allowing Private Party to recover with Gin and Juice to win at 6:45. The HFO escapes before Dark Order gets any ideas. Good six-man – AEW has a great road agent for trios matches. **3/4
Hikaru Shida (#5 women, 31-4) vs. Reka Tehaka (0-7). Shida appears to be seeing if she can get over without the title, and so far so good.
Lockup goes nowhere to start. A second go and Shida gets a headlock, but the shoulderblock goes nowhere. Tehaka runs in and still nothing on the collision, so they slug it out instead. Tehaka controls with the hair, and punches to the face do nothing, allowing Tehaka to deposit her over the top rope and try a pump kick. Shida catches it while hung over the top and wraps it around the top rope, driving her knee into it. This leads to elbows against the apron and the running kneelift. She picks Tehaka up from the middle rope and tries a Cesaroplex, but Tehaka hangs on and drives Shida into the turnbuckle before booting her in the head.
Samoan cross-chop gets two. Tehaka pumps herself up, but a blind charge hits the post shoulder-first and Shida tries a German suplex. It goes nowhere, so Shida switches to an enzuigiri and brainbuster. Katana is dodged, and Tehaka gets the SAMOAN HEADBUTT OF DOOM and tries for a Samoan drop. A second headbutt weakens Shida more, and the Samoan Drop gets two, reversed to a crucifix for two. Shida with a running right to Tehaka as they’re both down, and the Katana follows to win at 4:03. Good pounding match. *1/4
Main Event: TH2 (Angelico and Jack Evans) (3-3) vs. Penta El Cero Miedo (12-6) and Eddie Kingston (13-5) (w/Alex Abrahantes). As a reminder, Kingston and Penta chased off the HFO when the latter were trying to take out Christian Cage. And in what might be the biggest travesty, Th2 now come out to the HFO music instead of their dancehall stuff. Not that this stops Angelico from vibing his way to the ring, mind you. Abrahantes is fun as long as he remains a cheerleader/interpreter and doesn’t try to stir things up.
Kingston and Evans start as there’s a huge Eddie chant. Evans does some breakdancing to show off, which Kingston doesn’t know how to respond to, so he doesn’t. Evans cartwheels out of a snapmare and shows off some more, as Kingston basically asks if they’re done screwing around and ready to wrestle. He does, however, mock Angelico’s vibe, much to Evans’ dismay. Evans charges into a kick and Angelico comes in, so Kingston asks the crowd and brings in Penta. Penta with a big kick to Angelico and he goes up, landing a crossbody and getting a springboard lucha armdrag and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker in quick succession.
He milks a Cero Miedo chant before bringing in Kingston, and the two get a drop toehold into a camel clutch into a vicious soccer kick into a European Clutch for two. Big chop to Angelico by Kingston, but Angelico blocks the Saito suplex by going to the eyes. Angelico boxes Kingston down and stomps a mudhole, with Evans adding shots on the outside. Evans tags in and goes up, getting an RVD Kick onto Kingston. Elbowsmash and he pounds away on Kingston, then gets a leg lariat for one. Angelico in, and he works Kingston over in the corner and chokes him down.
Big stomp in the middle of the ring and he tangles Kingston up with an arm-trap cloverleaf of some sort. Penta breaks it with a SUPERKICK, but Evans cuts off the hot tag. Spinning uranage out of nowhere by Kingston on Evans, and it’s hot tag Penta. Sling Blade to both guys, then a dropkick to Evans and he monkey flips Angelico into Evans in the corner. Fear Factor is set up, but Penta has to duck an Evans 540 kick, so he gives Evans a pumphandle Michinoku Driver, Angelico saves.
Kingston in, but Angelico tosses him and gets a standing enzuigiri on Penta to stop another Fear Factor try. Lethal Combination double-team by TH2 leads to Evans getting a standing moonsault for two. Evans goes up, while Angelico cuts off Kingston only to get tossed, and Evans’ 450 overshoots Penta. He rolls into an Exploder from Kingston, and finally the Fear Factor connects for the pin at 7:28. Penta looks like a million bucks here. ***
I think the crowd added a half-star to the big matches (King/Riho, the six-man, the tag main event), and it’s not like AEW needs more motivation. I think one of the good things about AEW is that they give the lowercard a lot to do – the HFO/Dark Order series proves it – and that means you never feel like you’re watching a dead match outside of the showcase matches. Even they serve a purpose – build up records so your stars all look impressive in the ring. I wonder what it’ll look like in front of crowds, but we have one more Daily’s Place Elevation before we find out.
BELL-TO-BELL – 52:16 over thirteen matches (average time 4:01)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT: TH2 vs the Pentakings
- Eddie Kingston
- Penta El Cero Miedo
- Alan Angels
- Wheeler YUTA (homer pick, so what)
See you tomorrow!