The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark Elevation – 01.24.22
It’s another nice and short show, so I’m in again.
Taped from Washington, DC
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mark Henry & Paul Wight
Legit Leyla Hirsch v. Brittany Blake
Blake’s gear looks like that Hogan red-and-yellow title belt from a few years ago, come to horrifying life. Leyla overpowers her a bit and goes for an armbar, but Blake makes the ropes and fires back with kicks before choking away on the ropes. Hirsch goes for a german suplex and Blake hits her with an enzuigiri and tries for a bulldog, but Hirsch counters into a german for two. Blake tries a springboard bodypress and Hirsch knees her in the face and pins her at 3:00. This was a tad rough but it was Blake’s debut so there was probably some nerves. 0 for 1.
Private Party v. Action Andretti & Myles Hawkins
Tony once again tries to explain the ridiculous AHFO storyline while Private Party double-teams Andretti in the corner. It’s always tricky when you name yourself “Action” because you’re setting a standard that you can’t always live up to. Quen comes in with a springboard bodypress for two, but Hawkins comes in with some brief shine and dropkicks Quen until Kassidy cuts him off. Double-team splash follows, but it’s back to ACTION, and he gets a backbreaker into a neckbreaker on Kassidy and tosses Quen. But then he walks into a cutter from Kassidy and Quen finishes him with a shooting star press at 3:18. Private Party looked a bit more energetic this week. 1 for 2.
Brandi Rhodes v. Willow Nightingale
Willow’s gear is even more colorful than Brittany Blake’s was. Willow gets a legsweep on Brandi and wraps her up in a headscissors on the mat, but Brandi escapes that. So Willow superkicks her and follows with a corner splash, but then misses a charge and that allows Brandi to fire back with kicks and an enzuigiri. And Brandi finishes with an STF at 2:30 as the crowd boos her and Brandi happily plays heel. Unlike her husband she was no problem turning heel, apparently. 2 for 3.
Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky v. Logan Laroux & Mike Fowler
Wight and Henry complain that the Men of the Year voted for themselves to earn that honor, so Tony pitches a tag team match between them to settle who the real Men of the Year are. Yeah but then who would announce that it’s time for the main event before that match? Sky beats on Laroux, who I don’t imagine is any relation to Lash, although that would be a hell of a cowboy team. Over to Mike Fowler, who appears to be wearing boxer briefs as tights, and he quickly gets destroyed by Page and send to the floor, allowing Sky to finish Laroux with a TKO at 3:00. This was some fun destruction, just murdering a couple of pasty geeks. 3 for 4.
Red Velvet v. Janai Kai
The announcers note that Kai has a “unique look”, by which they presumably mean “Mortal Kombat 3 deleted character concept”. Velvet gets a Nash choke in the corner and a seated dropkick for two, then hits an axe kick on the apron, but Kai fires back with her own kick and Nash choke in the corner. Kai unleashes more martial arts kicks and beats the hell out of Velvet for two, then wraps her up in a choke until Velvet escapes with a stunner. Red takes her down for a running knee on the ropes and a moonsault for two. Overdrive finishes at 3:33. Pretty good little match! Kai looks weird as fuck but the kicks were legit. 4 for 5.
Santana & Ortiz v. Goldy & Breaux Keller
Santana grabs a headlock on Keller and they do a nice little reversal sequence that leads to Santana dropping him with a back suplex. Ortiz comes in and works the arm, but Keller and Goldy manage to double-team him and Goldy drops a knee for two. Ortiz fires back with clotheslines and a dropkick, and then they blitz Goldy with double-team splashes and Ortiz’s enzuigiri into the lariat from Santana to finish at 3:10. 5 for 6.
Thunder Rosa & Ruby Soho v. Leva Bates & Jordan Blade
Leva is apparently back to being a librarian again,, but she quickly gets double-teamed by Ruby and Rosa with a splash from Ruby for two. Ruby gets caught in the heel corner and Bates gets a northern lights suplex for two. Blade comes in and hits a butterfly suplex for two, but Rosa dropkicks her on the ropes and hits the Thunder Driver for two. Bates makes the save, but Ruby gets rid of Leva with the Riot kick, allowing Rosa to legsweep Blade and tap her out with a Peruvian Necktie at 3:00. Wight: “One time I dropped a cookie under the bed and wound up like that!” Not hugely into this one. 5 for 7.
Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs v. Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty
Moriarty goes it alone and gets roughed up by Hobbs, and Hobbs gets a delayed suplex and brings in Starks to drop an elbow for two. Moriarty fights back with chops, which Henry compares to “putting the mustard on the hot dog” and then stops to explain his own metaphor while Hobbs & Starks double-team Lee again in the corner. Hobbs whips him into the corner to soften up the back and then goes to a bearhug, but Moriarty fights back with a kick and makes the tag to Sydal. He runs wild on Starks with a leg lariat and goes up with a flying knee for two, but Hobbs makes the save. The faces double-team Hobbs with kicks, but he just lays them both out and Starks pins Moriarty with a spear at 5:30. Hobbs and Starks make a pretty good combination. 6 for 8. And then Team Taz calls out Dante Martin and he comes out and attacks them both in an ill-advised move, which results in a beatdown until Sydal and Moriarty bail him out. And then the crowd wants HOOK because they can sense the six-man coming, but really it would be unfair to give Hook a pair of partners because Hook against three guys is already a ridiculous mismatch in his favor as it is.
What a fun show. No bullshit, just some energetic squashes showcasing guys that don’t always get time on TV. I will continue on with this one.