The SmarK Rant for AEW Dark Elevation – 05.23.22
Taped from Planet Houston
Your hosts are Mark Henry & Paul Wight
Ethan Page v. JD Griffey
Yes! The Men of the Year theme song is BACK for Ethan! There’s an instant point. Page slugs away on Griffey to start, but apparently this is an MMA themed jobber and he fires back with some good kicks and a knee out of the corner. But then he goes up and Page brings him down with an Iconoclasm and hits him with some ground and pound. Page misses a charge and Griffey tries a suplex, which Page blocks and then puts him down with a shoulderblock to set up the Ego’s Edge at 2:05. A very fun squash. 1 for 1. And a BONUS POINT for Scorpio Sky dancing to the song on commentary! 2 for 1. I BROKE MATH.
ROH Women’s title: Mercedes Martinez v. Hyan
The prestigious legacy of the ROH Women’s title continues. They trade facelocks on the mat to start and Mercedes head-fakes her into a side headlock off a drop down. “Just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean you have to jump over” notes Wight. Wight and Henry always advocating for laziness is a great running gag. Hyan comes back with some armdrags and a dropkick for two, but Mercedes hits her with a clothesline out of the corner and a sloppy spinebuster for two. Hyan is a bundle of nerves here, so Martinez grabs a chinlock to slow her down and then gets the rolling double arm suplexes into an awkward sleeper that she releases for two. Oh they need to wrap this thing up in a hurry. Hyan gets another comeback with a knee in the corner and a falcon arrow for two, but Mercedes reverses for two and then wallops her with a pair of forearms to the neck. Guillotine sleeper finishes at 5:05. She gave the kid a ton of offense and it was pretty rough at times but I’ll err on the side of giving it the point because Hyan worked really hard. 3 for 2.
The Butcher & The Blade v. The Varsity Blonds
Julia Hart isn’t here for this, as that storyline is now actually moving BACKWARDS. Butcher throws his weight around on Griff to start, but Griff fires back with shoulderblocks and the Blonds double-team the arm in their corner. Blade comes in with a cheapshot on Pillman and puts the boots to him in the corner while Bunny yells at him. Which reminds me to put over the AEW Games channel on YouTube, which features a hilarious series where Evil Uno makes Bunny play the most frustrating games possible and times how long it takes her to explode in frustration. The Blonds trap Blade in the corner for a Hart Attack, but Pillman gets chopped by Butcher and then Blade. Henry notes that if they did a remake of Home Alone, they could hire Butcher and Blade to play the robbers. They did do a remake of Home Alone, guys, it was AWFUL and killed off the franchise for good. It was a whole thing. Butcher pounds on Brian, but they collide and Griff gets the hot tag and runs wild. Corner splash on Blade and a falcon arrow gets two. Where’s Excalibur to call that when you need him? We’ve had two of them already! Blade blocks a spear, but Griff gets a lariat for two. But then Pillman comes in and superkicks his own partner like a complete doofus, and Griff gets double-teamed and pinned at 6:00. This was a decent little tag match and Butcher & Blade continue to rule. Butcher has just been on fire since dropping all the extra weight. 4 for 3. Turning Pillman and splitting up the dead-end Blonds wouldn’t be the worst thing at this point, he desperately needs some kind of repackage where he can hopefully not try to be his dad for a while.
Lee Moriarty v. Alex Reynolds
Reynolds takes him down with a headlock and they trade off that, and Lee gets some shots in the corner and a northern lights suplex for two. Reynolds escapes a top wristlock and fights back with a big boot in the corner, but he misses a moonsault and Lee gives him the short knees and finishes with a Regal Stretch on the mat at 4:10. Kind of a hard-hitting little match here! 5 for 4.
Nyla Rose & Emi Sakura v. Skye Blue & Yuka Sakazaki
Well you couldn’t get two bigger babyfaces than the babyface team here. Sakura takes Yuka down on a test of strength, but Yuka bridges out of it and takes her down with a rana. But then Emi gets a backbreaker and drinks some tea on Yuka’s back while Henry crabs about how they rename moves every decade. Nyla comes in and offers friendship to Yuka and then punches her in the face and laughs about it because she’s BAD. Emi throws Yuka around and gets the corner splash and double arm backbreaker for two. Skye makes the save, but Emi forces them into a sunset flip in a wacky spot. Nyla continues beating on Yuka, but Yuka fights back with a missile dropkick and makes the hot tag to Skye. She runs wild with kicks and manages to put Nyla on the floor, but Nyla comes back and slams her to cut it off. Back to Yuka, but Nyla just catches her with a uranage for two. Nyla with the guillotine legdrop, but it misses and Skye hits a high kick from the apron, into the Magic Girl splash for two. Emi makes the save off that, so Yuka hits her with a dive, but Skye tries a crossbody on Nyla and gets caught, powerbombed, and pinned at 6:15. Damn, this was a hell of a match! I was waiting for the big upset by the end. 6 for 5.
Anthony Ogogo v. The Mysterious Q
Oh great this Q guy is probably gonna tell us about how JFK Jr is coming back to be Trump’s vice president when he’s reinstated. Q is indeed mysterious with a Shinobi mask, but Ogogo headbutts him and grabs a headlock. Ogogo hits him with knees, but Q slams him and drops an elbow for one. Ogogo hits him with forearms in the corner and then unwraps his fist to prep for the finish and hits Q with an overhead suplex out of the corner. Lariat and knockout punch finish via ref stoppage at 4:08. Well, at least we had the extra point in the bank for this one. 6 for 6.
The “main event” was a drag but this was one of the best Elevation shows I’ve seen in a while and is well worth checking out this week.