The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation Episode 25 (“Such Good Wrestling”), August 23, 2021.
From Houston, TX. This is post-Dynamite, so the crowd may not be as up for it.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Eddie Kingston, and Paul Wight.
TONIGHT! Anthony Bowens tries to tread water solo against Dante Martin! HFO continues to torment the Best Friends, sending Blade, Angelico, and Evans against Yuta, Orange, and Taylor! And the Death Triangle face off against Uno, Colt, and Angels of the Dark Order!
Throw in showcase matches with Tay Conti and the Varsity Blondes, and we have a fun bite of show!
Let Us Take You Back to the return of CM Punk. He will be in Milwaukee to talk about his match with Darby Allin.
Opening match: Anthony Bowens (16-7) vs. Dante Martin (13-5). Bowens’ music now begins with a snippet of him yelling “The Acclaimed Have Arrived!” So, yeah, Max Caster will be back. Kingston: “These kids are so good. This is not going 20 minutes.” If Kingston can loosen up the booth the way Taz and Excalibur do, this’ll be great.
Lockup, and Bowens shoves Martin away and mocks him. He points at Martin, so Martin grabs the hand and gets an armlock. Bowens to a headlock and he hangs on by the hair to get to a hammerlock. Martin escapes and reverses to a back suplex, not going down with him, and he returns the mockery of Bowens’ A taunt. Bowens rushes Martin into the corner and chops him repeatedly. Hammer throw, but a charge eats boot and Martin leaps over him. He sends Bowens into the turnbuckle and goes up, but Bowens SUPERKICKs the knee and Martin drops onto the top rope and out.
Martin crawls to the apron, where Bowens catches him and whips him across the apron into the ringpost shoulder-first. Bowens looks for a countout, but Martin’s in at 9. Bowens goes ground-and-pound as Martin rolls in, dropping an elbow on the arm. Bowens goes CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY for one. He then wraps Martin’s arm around the top rope and pulls, further hurting the shoulder. Atlantis Stretch with a cravat by Bowens, but Martin fights out only to walk into a gut kick and spinning shoulder slam for two. Martin’s shoulder is already red. Martin blocks a right hand and fires back with his good arm, but Bowens kicks the leg out of his leg. Martin catches Bowens’ kick, sets it on the middle rope, and vaults off of it to pump kick Bowens for the double-down!
Blind charge by Bowens runs into the bad shoulder, but Martin flips over a second charge and begins the comeback. Dropkick (with massive vertical) follows. Wight: “That’s gotta be like a 40-inch vertical!” Martin kicks Bowens away and slingshots in to roll him into position for the double-jump moonsault for two. Martin checks the arm, then goes back up. He leaps over Bowens and ducks a right, then misses a Yes Kick.
Bowens shoves him into the corner and cradles him for two. Rolling elbow by Bowens sets up the torture rack into a flapjack for two. Martin with a small package for two. Bowens hangs up Martin and gets an enzuigiri, then it’s a draping Cross Rhodes for two. Martin with an uppercut and Pele kick and both men are down again. Kingston: “Excalibur, was it a Pele or what?” Martin blocks a pendulum and catches Bowens in the face, than a standing Diamond Dust wins at 9:06! Great tough match by both youngsters. ***
Big Swole and Julia Hart talk about how Diamante cheats everyone. Then she beat Hart up with a chain after a match. Hart says she may have gotten away with it first time, but not the second time. They challenge Diamante to a tag match, because she may get away with it one time, but not Two Times.
Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison) (w/Julia Hart) (#2 team, 16-4) vs. Zach Mason and Warren Johnson (0-2). So it appears green and gold is their official team color. The Blonds take on the Lucha Brothers on Dynamite, and oh man is that gonna be a wild one.
Mason and Pillman start. Lockup goes nowhere. Second try allows Pillman a headlock takedown, and he hangs on for a one count. Shoulderblock try by Mason goes nowhere, and they trade chops. Pillman tags in Garrison on the fly, and they get a swinging neckbreaker and legdrop combo, followed by the Hart Attack dropkick. Johnson bails and gets mad at Hart (who’s sitting on the apron for some reason), so Pillman comes out to confront him. Johnson slaps Pillman and runs, and Pillman runs into a lariat from Mason. Back in, it gets one.
Mason stomps away, and Johnson comes in as they get an alley-oop splash into a back elbow into a shotgun dropkick off the middle rope, which gets two. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, and Mason returns to stomp a mudhole. Johnson comes back in as Mason has a full nelson, but the SUPERKICK is ducked and Pillman kicks Mason away to hot tag Garrison. Clotheslines for everyone! Big slam sets up the long-distance Stinger Splash and BACK body drop (.85 Warlord). Garrison boots Mason off the apron and gets the Discus Punch to Johnson, and Air Pillman finishes Johnson at 4:14. I like that they weren’t afraid to give to the other guys, and the subplot of Julia Hart being their Team Pet in a way adds depth. *1/4
Alex Marvez asks Diamante about the challenge, and Diamante laughs since she’s beaten them both. And really, Swole, that’s the best you can find? Diamante found the beast possible partner. It’ll be Nyla/Diamante vs Hart/Swole down the line.
Hardy Family Office (Blade (15-5) & TH2 (Angelico and Jack Evans) (4-5)) (w/The Bunny) vs. Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta) (w/Kris Statlander) (2-1 as a trio). Lens flare from a spotlight means we don’t get a good look at Evans doing his parkour entrance. Statlander is wearing the oversized tracksuit top. Wight namedrops Ronnie Garvin when talking about the Orange Punch.
Taylor and Angelico start. Taylor with an armdrag and double-leg trip and they criss-cross. Taylor turns an armdrag attempt into a cradle for two, then he mocks Angelico’s dance. Evans and Yuta step in as Kingston namedrops MEN’S Teioh. Yuta with a headlock and he cartwheels past Evans before hooking a full nelson into a wristlock takedown. (Reminder: Orange Cassidy vs Matt Hardy on Wednesday). Yuta turns an Evans escape attempt into a Royal Octopus hold, then into a sunset flip for two. Taylor back in, and he drops an axhandle on Evans’ arm. Back suplex follows, getting two. Taylor gets a bit of a chant as he suplexes Evans, and Yuta in with a slingshot senton for two.
He maintains wrist control and backs Evans into the corner, but Evans reverses the whip. Blind charge eats elbow and Yuta goes up, but Evans dodges the shotgun dropkick and gets a standing skytwister for two. He stomps away on Yuta and hooks an arm, then brings in Blade to club Yuta down. Hammer Throw and running chop, and he chokes Yuta with his shin in the corner. Angelico does the same behind the ref’s back as Taylor protests, and Blade then goes ground-and-pound on Yuta. Suplex gets two. Angelico back in, and he boxes away Yuta in the corner. Evans enters for a neckbreaker into a Lethal Combination by Angelico, getting Evans two.
Blade and Angelico both in, but Orange grabs Blade and smashes his head into the buckle. Yuta fights back both of TH2, then pump fakes a missile dropkick to get them to duck before hitting it for real. Kingston: “I’ve never see [Orange] this emotional!” Hot tag Orange, and THE SHADES ARE OFF! He unleashes the SHIN KICKS OF DOOM to both of TH2, then ducks their double clothesline and ranas both men at once. HANDS IN POCKETS is cut off by Blade, but Orange with a Flair Flip and he sends Blade into the corner headfirst three times.
Diving crossbody by Orange sets up the tilt-a-whirl DDT try, but Blade blocks and throws Orange, who dives onto both of TH2. Meanwhile, Taylor with Sole Food to Blade and he gets a somersault senton over Blade onto TH2. Orange tags Yuta as he hits the tilt-a-whirl DDT, and Yuta with the Superfly Splash for a very close two. Evans yanks Orange off the apron and Angelico clubs Yuta as TH2 gets the double-stomp back suplex. Blade with a heartfelt Tombstone to Yuta, Taylor saves.
Taylor stalls for time by running TH2 together and getting a Flatliner/DDT combo, but Blade lariats Taylor. Blade poses, but Orange gets the tag and gets the Orange Punch and Beach Break to win at 8:05. Man, this show is rocking hard so far! **3/4 But Matt Hardy and Private Party are in the aisle and angry, as Matt says he will DELETE Orange on Wednesday. Orange responds with HANDS IN POCKETS to show what he thinks. And the Best Friends HUG IT OUT to send us out.
CM Punk vs. Darby Allin is happening at All Out.
Tay Conti (#3 women, 22-3) vs. Promise Braxton (0-1). Conti fires up the crowd with her happy entrance. Wight notes that Dasha is the ring announcer and not Justin Roberts. Kingston: “I thought he looked different.”
Lockup, and Conti gets a monkey flip. She hooks one arm, then the other, getting a top wristlock into a cravat into a knee strike, then an inverted facelock and some chops. Orton backbreaker (sort of) gets two. She ducks a clothesline and lands a forearm, then drops to the outside and drags Braxton to the floor. Braxton ducks the first running kick attempt, but not the second. Back in, Braxton rolls to the apron and drops Conti with a guillotine Hotshot before getting a hairpull slam and mocking the martial arts bow.
Ground-and-pound by Braxton gets one, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Conti elbows out, then flips over Braxton Shiranui style into an Ace Crusher for the double-down. Braxton tries to fight back, which angers Conti and leads to a million forearms. Seoi Nage Trio follows, then the spin-out gutbuster. Judo hiplock into a Catatonic follows, then a cross-corner pump kick. Another pump kick in the corner, then a third, and Braxton is out on her feet. Gory 2 Sleep sets up the DDTay to win at 4:16. Conti looks like she’s expanding her offense every week. 1/2*
- CM Punk is here!
- Varsity Blonds vs Lucha Bros!
- Red Velvet vs Jamie Hayter!
- Malakai Black vs Brock Anderson!
- Orange Cassidy vs Matt Hardy!
Main event: Dark Order (Evil Uno, Colt Cabana, and Alan Angels) (2-0 as a trio) vs. Death Triangle (PAC, Penta El Cero Miedo, and Rey Fenix) (w/Alex Abrahantes) (2-1 as a trio). I gotta say, this episode is worth a watch, given it’s going to clock in at 50 or so minutes and will have three real bangers. Crowd loves both teams. Pac will face Andrade El Idolo at All Out.
Penta and Uno start…. or they will once we get this appearance by Andrade out of the way. Both teams are none too happy by this development, and Chavo is flashing cash as Andrade and company head to ringside to watch. Oh, those were front row tickets – that explains it.
Okay, those two minutes don’t count, and Penta and Uno start. Crowd is behind Penta in this showdown, and Penta shoves MIEDO in Uno’s mask. Uno shoves Penta back and wants a knuckle-lock, but Penta needs to TAKE OFF THE GLOVE first – and Colt almost intercepts it before Abrahantes catches. Uno bites the MIEDO as they face off, but Penta with a gut kick. Penta with a Sling Blade to Uno and Fenix comes in to leap up to Penta’s shoulders and off with a splash for two. Uno chops Fenix, who kicks back and staggers Uno with a roundhouse. Penta tiger feints to the apron and catches Uno’s knuckles, leaping over the top rope with a lucha armdrag.
Colt comes in next and chops Fenix hard, but Fenix catches a punch and chops Colt HARD. Colt lets go as Fenix is on the top rope, but Fenix keeps his balance and leaps in before running into a Bionic Elbow for one. Angels in, and Colt tosses Angels into a rana on Fenix. Fenix with a wrist-clutch enzuigiri on Angels, and Pac comes in. They put their heads down, and Angels enzuigiris Fenix. Pac blocks an O’Connor Roll but walks into a roundhouse kick and Flatliner into a Koji Clutch. Everyone runs in, and Colt has Fenix in the Billy Goat’s Curse as Uno has Penta in the single-leg crab. Everyone makes the ropes.
Pac with a back suplex, then he kicks Angels in the head and stomps away as Andrade orders a Starbucks. Penta in, and Fenix catches Angels’ hamstring on the middle rope so Penta can kick it hard. Penta struts at Dark Order, then milks a Cero Miedo chant before getting a Silencio Chop on Angels. Fenix in as the crowd wants another, and Fenix gives it. Now Pac ties up Angels, then pump kicks Uno and Colt off the apron instead. Pac then gets outside and yells at Andrade, but Penta tells him to go back in and yells himself. Angels recovers enough to get a discus lariat for the double-down. Fenix and Colt in, and Colt with double handed chops to both Lucha Bros.
Flip Flop and Fly, with Pac eating the elbow, but Penta and Fenix land massive chops on Colt. Colt with a springboard Lionsault onto both Bros, then the Flying Apple to Penta. Fenix backflips on a blind charge miss, but Colt recovers with a spinning spike rana for two (which pops Kingston). Fenix fights out of a fireman’s carry and Pac gets a blind tag, flipping in and kicking Colt to his knees before getting a sliding kick. Penta up top, and he and Pac get the Wazzup Stomp for two, Uno saves. Pac dumps Uno as Penta runs into a hard right from Colt and Pac is elevated out.
Angels tags in now as Colt slams Penta, but Uno tags in and tells Angels to dive onto Pac instead, which he does. Uno up top, and the Swanton Bomb gets a close two. Angels in, and Uno whips him in for a clothesline, but Penta reverses and Uno hits Angels with a discus forearm. Lucha Bros SUPERKICK Colt down, and it’s a Spike Fear Factor to Angels. Pac in and he goes up top, and the Black Arrow connects for the pin at 10:25 plus the two minutes Andrade walked to ringside. Hot DAMN what a main event! ***1/2 I’m not sure I like the idea of breaking up Dark Order when their support of Hangman Page got them crazy over, but AEW is committed to this as Uno and Angels scream at each other post-match. Angels walks off as the rest of the Dark Order tries to keep the peace and Colt asks Uno to calm down. Uno is VERY frustrated.
This is a one-hour show. It’s fantastic. Watch all of it. That is all.
BELL-TO-BELL – 36:06 over five matches, cutting out Andrade’s walk-in (average time 7:13)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Death Triangle vs Dark Order
- Penta El Cero Miedo
- Anthony Bowens
- Wheeler Yuta
See you tomorrow from Chicago!