The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark Elevation – 02.14.22
Well, Canada’s apparently under martial law for Valentine’s Day. I guess we had a good run of democracy until now.
Taped from Atlantic City, NJ
Your hosts are Excalibur, Paul Wight & Mark Henry
Dante Martin v. Kevin Mathews
Dante dropkicks Mathews to the floor, but he comes back in with a lariat to cut off a dive. Mathews puts the boots to him, which Henry notes is called “giving him the who and the what-for”. See, AEW is not only great wrestling, but informative as well! Mathews goes to the chinlock, but Dante comes back with a pair of dropkicks to put Mathews on the floor, and then he follows with his dive that was denied earlier, getting some sick airtime. Back in, Dante kicks him from the apron and finishes with the Nosedive moonsault at 3:35. Dane flying around the ring is always good for a point. 1 for 1.
Thunder Rosa v. Riley Shepard
Rosa grabs a headlock and hits her with chops in the corner, then follows with a double knee in the corner. I appreciate that Rosa has a cutout on her hip for the tattoo to show. It’s a nice touch. Thunder Driver finishes at 2:20. Not much here, just a dominant squash to set up Rosa’s future title match. 1 for 2.
Serpentico v. Zack Clayton
Wait, is this a setup for Serpentico to…WIN A MATCH?! I didn’t know that was a thing that ever happened. Clayton gets a dropkick and drops Serpentico on his head with a sick german suplex, but Luther distracts him and Serpentico gets a flatliner. A short DDT gets two and he goes to the top, but misses a swanton while the announcers discuss Luther’s second career as a police spiritual medium. Now there’s a gimmick that would be unique. Clayton tosses him and slugs away on the railing, but Luther lays him out and then yells at someone at ringside who I’m assuming is a celebrity but is outside of my pop culture bubble. Clayton manages to powerslam Serpentico on the floor, and then they head back in where Clayton finishes with a fisherman’s buster at 4:00. Well I got my hopes up for Serpentico for nothing I guess. Clayton was a pretty generic looking guy. 1 for 3.
Meanwhile, we hear from Powerhouse Hobbs about his track on the AEW CD, and damn if he doesn’t come off as completely sympathetic and likable talking about how he loves doing charity work and paying it forward to underprivileged kids.
Powerhouse Hobbs v. Matt Sydal
Sydal fires away with kicks and hits a double knee, then goes to a sleeper, which Hobbs escapes easily. They do a bit of a chase and Sydal gets a rollup for two, but Hobbs boots him down to take over and pounds on him in the corner while Wight casually buries the refereeing profession. I approve. Hobbs hits him with a running powerslam for two and goes to a nerve hold while Ricky Starks does a selfie at ringside. Hobbs with a delayed vertical suplex into a slam, but Sydal fights back with superkicks. Matt goes up and Starks trips him up, allowing Hobbs to put him in the TORTURE RACK to finish at 5:22. Sydal got a bit of a comeback but Hobbs pretty much ran through him. This was an OK match. 2 for 4.
The Men of the Year v. Jaden Valo & Steve Pena
Valo takes Page down with a headscissors and celebrates like a complete dork, so Ethan wipes him out and brings Scorpio in to beat on this geek further. Backbreaker and it’s back to Ethan, who gets his own backbreaker. Sky continues the contest, but Valo escapes and gets an enzuigiri to set up a hot jobber tag to Steve Pena, who runs wild with some nice kicks. Back to the dork in the flame tights, and he promptly gets double-teamed by the Men, and the Ego’s Edge finishes at 3:10. Once again, Ethan Page dancing to his own music gets the point. It’s just the rules I’ve established. 3 for 5.
The Acclaimed, 2point0 & Daniel Garcia v. The Dark Order
Once again this show is the place where you learn that 2point0 has their own music. The pop for the Acclaimed gets bigger every week. Also I think I have to give the match a point for “They can’t beat us, it’s Black History Month.” Silver gets caught in the heel corner, but fights his way out of it until Bowens puts him down with elbows. Lee comes in and chops Silver while we learn that Matt’s nickname is “The bread that can’t be toasted.” Henry: “There’s no bread that can’t be toasted!” What about gingerbread? Or shortbread? Reynolds comes in, but the heels all gang up and clear the ring, before Dark Order regroups and chases them out in turn. Uno with a Flatliner on Garcia for two and Grayson gets a springboard DDT on Garcia & Lee for two, while Angels puts on a cap and moonsaults guys on the floor. Caster gets double-teamed by Silver & Reynolds, but Garcia suplexes Uno and then Grayson gets a backbreaker on Daniel. Bowens with a sideslam on Grayson, but Angels hits a Spanish Fly for two. Caster goes for the boombox and Uno intercepts it, but Bowens DDTs Angels for the pin at 5:45. Fun little match. 4 for 6.
Emi Sakura, The Bunny & Nyla Rose v. Ruby Soho, Tay Conti & Anna Jay
Bunny and Ruby trade superkicks, but Vickie gets involved and the heels take over, as Emi gets the corner splash. Nyla charges in and Ruby backdrops her to the floor, and Tay comes in and runs wild on Emi. She hits a pair of pump kicks in the corner, but Emi reverses the DD-Tay into a neckbreaker for two. Back to Ruby, while Tay moonsaults Nyla on the floor, and Ruby finishes the Bunny with the Riot Kick at 3:30. Well that was a pretty brisk main event. 4 for 7.
I continue to enjoy this show! Stay tuned for more scalding hot takes like that one every Tuesday morning!