The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark Elevation – 04.18.22
Taped from New Orleans, LA, I’m assuming?
Your hosts are Excalibur & Paul Wight
Kris Statlander v. Ashley D’Ambroise
Statlander is all dark and serious now, and hits Ashley with a corner clothesline and delayed suplex, before finishing her off with the Big Bang at 1:24, or whatever it’s called now. 0 for 1.
Andrade v. Alan Angels
Andrade grabs a headlock to start and tries a death valley driver, but Angels reverses into a poison rana and Andrade bails to the floor. Andrade SWEEPS THE LEG on the apron to put Angels on the floor, and then counters a missile dropkick with a dropkick of his own. Angels slugs back and hits a northern lights suplex for two, but he goes up for a moonsault and Andrade trips him up and hangs him in the Tree of Woe. But then Angels takes him down again and pops up with a frog splash for two this time. Andrade puts him down with an inverted DDT and finishes with an armbar at 4:22. Entertaining little match. 1 for 2.
Tony Nese v. J. Spade
Excalibur ponders the great question of life: Who has more abs, Nese or Jade Cargill? Wight immediately picks Jade. They have a posedown to start and Nese pokes Spade in the eye and necksnaps him on the top rope to take over. Back with a running elbow and he beats on Spade with forearms, but Spade fights back with a leg lariat. And then he spends too much time on the crowd and Nese hits him with a pumphandle slam to cut him off again and follows with a running knee for the pin at 2:33. Nese looked good here, hopefully this deal with Sterling gets him up and running. 2 for 3.
The Dark Order v. Allen Russell, Kameron Russell, Dale Springs & Izaiah Zane
I’m assuming/hoping that “Izaiah Zane” is the guy’s real name and he just happens to be using it here, because if he actually came up with that as a wrestling name, he should probably just move to NXT 2.0 right now because that’s where he’d be better off. The Dark Order cleans house and then beats on Zane in the corner. One of the Russell brothers comes in and he quickly gets double-teamed and pinned with the Fatality at 2:19. Nothing to this one, even though one of the geeks appeared to be dressed like “Hole in One” Barry Darsow and no one even commented on it. That’s why we need Mark Henry on these shows! 2 for 4.
Roppongi Vice v. Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo
Interesting how Trent can bounce between two different and distinct teams at the same time. Solo and Comoroto continue to be low-key a cool midcard team. Solo gets double-teamed in the RV corner to start and Trent hits him with a sliding knee strike, and it’s over to Comoroto. Nick tries to overpower Trent, so Trent hits him with chops to frustrate him. Comoroto puts him down with a clothesline off a drop-down, and Wight is CONFUSED about what’s going on with life that he’s watching Comoroto do drop-downs. Solo comes in for the double-team with a suplex into a dropkick on Trent for two. Why has no one commented on the irony of a guy named Solo competing exclusively in tag matches, by the way? Comoroto hits Trent with a press slam and knocks Rocky off the apron before covering for two, but then he misses a blind charge and Rocky gets the hot tag and puts Solo down with clotheslines. Comoroto pulls Solo out to save him, so Rocky tries to dive onto the heels and gets caught by Nick. Back in the ring, the Factory double-teams Trent and Comoroto spears Trent for two. Solo with a flying double stomp for two. Rocky recovers and hits Comoroto with a tope suicida, and Trent hauls Solo back in as they finish with Strong Zero at 7:08. A very fun little tag team match. 3 for 5.
The Bunny, Emi Sakura & Raychelle Rose v. Ruby Soho, Anna Jay & Hikaru Shida
Good to see everyone back in trios matches on Elevation where they belong. Everyone piles up on the floor and we get a dive from the babyfaces, but Anna gets triple-teamed in the heel corner to start the match proper. Sakura hits a backbreaker and it’s over to Rose, who hits Jay with short clotheslines until Ruby gets the hot tag and beats on Bunny with knees. Bunny rakes Shida’s eye and Rose comes in with a spear, but the faces take turns hitting her with moves in the corner and Shida gets two. Bunny saves, but Anna puts her down with the sleeper and we get triple submissions as everyone taps out at 3:20. I’m very offended that the Bunny had to do the job on Easter Monday. AEW is just the worst and I’m going to register my outrage on Twitter shortly. I’M CLUTCHING MY PEARLS AS WE SPEAK. 3 for 6.
Top Flight & The Hardy Boyz v. Private Party & Angelico & The Blade
This crowd seems to like the Hardys. Kassidy and Dante trade wacky takedowns as the airtime that Dante gets on simple stuff like leapfrogs continues to amaze me. Everyone brawls in the ring and we get stereo Whispers in the Wind from the babyfaces. Jeff comes in and beats on Kassidy in the corner, but he goes up and Blade trips him up, allowing the heels to take over. Kassidy with a dropkick and Blade chokes him out. Angelico, who is somehow an even bigger burnout space cadet than Jeff, comes in for his stupid dance and that allows Jeff to bring Darius in. Private Party cuts him off with a double-team stunner on the ropes to take over again, however. Darius gets tossed into the railing outside, and back in that gets two for Kassidy. Darius runs them together and gets the insane double rana on them, and it’s hot tag Dante. He hits Kassidy with a suplex and dives onto Blade and Angelico outside, and that brings in Matt for a backdrop, only for Kassidy to hit Jeff with a stunner to counter the Whisper in the Wind. Everyone does the big moves and winds up on the floor, but Quen goes up for the dive and Dante follows him up and kicks him down from the top rope in a crazy spot. And then the Hardyz double-team Angelico as Angelico takes a crazy bump off the Twist of Fate, and the swanton finishes at 10:00. Just all action and wackiness the whole way through and I’m glad to see Top Flight getting the rub from the Hardyz. 4 for 7.
Definitely a hit or miss episode but the main event is very much worth checking out.