What is up ladies and gentlemen!! Welcome to another AEW Dark Elevation and Dark recap for the week of 08/16/21

Right out of the gate, Dark Elevation was easily the best show this week and this was the best Dark Elevation in at least the last month if not longer. The whole show from start to finish was very entertaining. I thought that Dark had a stronger first half but I started after the Death Triangle vs Chaos Project/Cole Karter match. That said, both shows had and benefited greatly from a hot crowd, especially Dark. Plus both shows were in that 1hr 30min range which is a good length for both shows. 

From an in-ring perspective, there were a number of good matches but if I had to recommend one match, it would be PAC vs Anthony Bowens. We all know how good PAC is but Bowens was also very good and held his own. He along with Darby, MJF and Jungle Boy could be considered a young AEW prospect with large potential. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention 2.0 who wrestled on both Dark and Dark Elevation. I knew 2.0 a little bit when they were Ever Rise in NXT but these guys have impressed in the very limited time I’ve seen them in AEW. Kiera Hogan was also very impressive in her AEW debut matches even though she lost. Her match with Shida on Elevation was especially good. Finally, I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I continue to find Chaos project to be a hillarious and entertaining tag team.

AEW Dark Elevation

Running Time: 1hr 21min

1. Jeff Parker & Matt Lee beat Duke Davis and Gannon Jones by hitting the Two For the Show finisher (double stun gun) on Gannon Jones for the pin. Davis and Jones are two large individuals, especially Davis who has a very good look. 2.0 wrestled a great match using good double team moves and going after Davis’ leg to keep him off his feet. 

2. Diamante got the win over Julia Hart. The finish saw Diamante grab a chain from the turnbuckle and hitting Hart to get the pin. This was a decent match but it was sloppy at times. After the match, Diamante continued to beat down on Hart but Big Swole came in and laid a beating on Diamante. The post match stuff was way more intense than the actual match.

3. Joey Janela pinned Alan ‘5’ Angels after reversing a majistral pin and grabbing a handful of tights. This was a surprisingly good match with both guys getting an equal amount of offence. During the match, Paul Wight and Tony Schiavone pushed the conflict within the Dark Order regarding the Adam Page situation. 

4. Hikaru Shida pinned Kiera Hogan after hitting a Falcon Arrow. This was Hogan’s AEW debut and she looked really good. What I really enjoyed about this match is that at times, it was just a fight. At one point, Shida and Hogan were just hitting each other with forearms. I love matches like that.

5. Lance Archer used the Blackout to pin Reggie Collins for the win. Prior to the match, Archer threw Collins down the ramp into the ring. Crowd was big time into Archer.

6. Thunder Rosa pinned Ray Lyn after hitting a Thunder Driver. Not a bad match and Lyn even got a submission attempt and a few near falls. I really really hope they slow burn a program with Rosa and Dr. Britt Baker down the line for the AEW women’s title. 

7. PAC submitted Anthony Bowens with the Brutalizer. This was a hard hitting match with both guys getting offence. Prior to the finish, PAC went to the top rope and teased a Black Arrow but jumped off the turnbuckle to get the submission. Bowens looked really good in this match.

8. Brian Cage got the win over Joe Keys after hitting the Drill Claw in a quick squash. Eddie Kingston joined the commentary team before the match.

9. Sammy Guevara beat Serpentico (w/ Luther) after hitting the GTH. During the match, Serpentico distracted ref Aubrey a few times giving Luther a chance to get some shots in on Sammy. After the match, Shawn Spears attacked Sammy and hit a C4 on a chair. I’ll admit, Shawn Spears has go-away heat with me. 

10. Jade Cargill beat Kate Arquette in a quick squash using the Jaded. Cargill did some new moves during the match which have potential but at this point look ultra sloppy. I cringed when she did a few of them. As physically impressive as Jade is, she still needs some work but when she lands on it…she’s going to be unreal!!!

11. In the main event, Penta El Zero Miedo and Ray Fenix beat Jack Evans and Angelico when the Lucha Bros hit the stomp/Fear Factor move on Jack Evans for the pin in a good match. I’ve mentioned this before but TH2 are vastly underrated and underutilized. They could definitely be viable contenders for the AEW Tag Titles (along with the Lucha Bros). 

AEW Dark

Running Time: 1hr 30min

1. Matt Lee and Jeff Parker beat Sam Adams and Skyler Andrews after hitting the Two For The Show on Skyler Andrews to get the pin. 2.0 pretty much dominated this match and continues to impress. There match with Sting and Darby notwithstanding, these guys need to be part of the tag division on Dynamite stat.  

2. Tay Conti hit a DD-Tay on Rebecca Scott to get the pin. Scott got some offence in and I love Tay’s judo throws. She also has a very cool charisma about her. Ricky Starks joined the commentary team before the match.

3. Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson (w/ Arn Anderson) got the win over Joey Keys and Spencer Slade when Brock Anderson hit the DDT on Joey Keys to get a pin. Anderson is improving but still needs seasoning. I’ve said this before, Darby and Jungle Boy are the future of AEW but Lee Johnson should be mentioned too. Thunder Rosa joined the commentary team prior to the match.

4. Matt Hardy (w/ Private Party) beat Wheeler Yuta (w/ Chuck Taylor) when Hardy hit Yuta with his boot as Private Party distracted the ref. I am not a fan of the HFO faction and the current Matt Hardy character. After the match, HFO beat down Yuta and Taylor but Orange Cassady ran out….OK more like walked out to make the save.

5. Penelope Ford beat Masha Slamovich by using the Muta lock submission. Slamovich was making her AEW debut. Slamovich was very impressive in this match. Penelope had the better character work but Masha was better from an in-ring perspective. After the match, Ford continued beating on Slamovich but Thunder Rosa ran down to make the save. Dear TK…if Rosa/Ford becomes a thing please put this on either Dynamite or Rampage.

6. Kris Statlander (w/ Best Friends) hit the Big Bang Theory to get the pin on Kiera Hogan. Hogan once again looked good getting some strong offence on Stalander while Statlander showed some great strength throughout the match.

7. Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix (w/ Alex Abrahantes) got the win over Luther, Serpentico and Cole Karter when Penta hit the fear factor on Karter. At one point, Andrade came out and tried to distract PAC leading to a near fall but it did not work as PAC kicked out and maintained the advantage during the match.

8. Nyla Rose beat Tina San Antonio with a Beast Bomb to get the pin in a quick Nyla Rose type squash match. After the match, Vickie Guerrero cut a promo guaranteeing that Nyla would eventually get the AEW championship back. She may need a lozenge after that promo.

9. Alex Reynolds, John Silver and Preston ‘10’ Vance beat RSP, Bill Collier and Andrew Palace when 10 used the Full Nelson on Palace to get the submission. As with Elevation, the announcers continued pushing the tension within the Dark Order regarding Hangman Page.

10. Frankie Kazarian beat Brandon Cutler (w/ Michael Nakazawa) via crossface chickenwing submission. This was either a serious funny match or a funny serious match but Cutler played the comic relief running away from Kaz or  overselling Kaz’s offence while Kaz played the straight man. Oddly enough, it worked.

11. Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (w/ Julia Hart) defeated Ryan Nemeth, JD Drake, Cezar Bononi and Peter Avalon when Jungle Boy got the Snare Trap on Ryan Nemeth for the submission. For an eight person match, this wasn’t as chaotic as I thought it would be. Jungle Boy was very over with this crowd.

12. In the main event, Dante Martin beat Lee Moriarty with a giant sunset flip. This match was sloppy in spots but it was nice to see some young blood get a main event. I always say Rey Fenix is superhuman but Dante is superhuman in training. Kid has got some talent. It was nice to see Lee get a hometown chant.

Thanks for checking in and c-ya next week.

TOP PHOTO: Kris Statlander at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, on August 13, 2021 for AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation. Photo by Joe Hrycych, www.hrycychphotography.com