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Winfree’s AEW Dark Elevation (Ep. 45) Review 1.10.22

January 10, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
AEW Dark: Elevation
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Winfree’s AEW Dark Elevation (Ep. 45) Review 1.10.22  

Another Monday so here’s more Elevation action. Tonight we’ll have matches featuring QT Marshall, Powerhouse Hobbs, The Acclaimed, Dante Martin, Andrade El Idolo, and a trios main event when the Hardy Family Office takes on Dark Order. Tony Schiavone, Mark Henry, and Paul Wight are on commentary for the start.

Match #1 – Tag Team Match: Jay Lethal and Sonny Kiss vs. Jaden Valo and Chris Steeler

Lethal and Steeler get us going. Steeler begins laying in strikes, Lethal quickly ducks under a kick and lands a clothesline then a chop. Kiss tags in and Steeler takes some tandem offense. Steeler tags out, lands some kicks then a Russian leg sweep and Valo finally takes over with stomps. Kiss with a pump kick to Steeler. Kiss kicks Valo, then Lethal hits a suicide dive onto Sterling on the outside. Lethal to the apron, Kiss lays out Sterling and Lethal hits the Lethal Injection on Valo to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jay Lethal and Sonny Kiss won in 2:30

Rating: Pyxidaris. . . SQUASH

Steeler has a decent look while Valo was the more vocal party, but nothing was terribly botched so kudos.

Match #2 – Tag Team Match: Skye Blue and Tina San Antonio vs. Emi Sakura and Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero

Blue and Emi start, and they trade chops right away before Blue tries a roll up for 2. Emi takes over with an eye poke, but Blue fires up with strikes but Vickie trips her up in the ropes and Emi is able to hit a rolling senton then tag out. Nyla with strikes but Blue slips out of a Samoan drop and lands a super kick then tags out. Tina tries to fight Nyla but eats a sidewalk slam and Emi tags in. Splashes from Emi and Nyla then Emi lays in chops in the corner. Tina fire back with strikes but Nyla cheap shots her and Emi hits her corner cross body on Tina. Blue comes in an hits a super kick to Emi to break up a pin but Nyla drills her with a spinebuster. Nyla tags in, Beast Bomb to Tina and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Nyla Rose and Emi Sakura won in 2:43

Rating: Reticulata. . . SQUASH

More like half a squash as Skye Blue got to be competitive but ultimately I feel OK giving it that rating. Tina showed decent fire and I’m glad they gave her a few more looks. Somewhat unrelated but boy is Emi Sakura protected on this show.

Match #3 – Tag Team Match: FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) vs. Pat Brink and Miles Hawkins

Cash and Hawkins start the match off. Cash grabs a side headlock then hits a shoulder block. They tie up again and this time Hawkins drops Cash with a shoulder block, but Cash hits him to the body and tags in Dax. Dax lands an elbow then starts laying in strikes in the corner. Hawkins hits a cross body out of the corner then tags in Brink. Brink is a large man and hits a shoulder block then tags Hawkins back in. Dax starts firing back with uppercuts then a less than stellar drop kick and he starts selling his injured shoulder. Everything stops as the ref and Cash check on Dax, they call for help and Brink goes to help but it’s a set up as Cash knocks Brink out of the ring then Hawkins eats a Big Rig to end the match.


Rating: Romanesco. . . SQUASH

It’s been said so often that it’s kind of a cliche now, but there’s not really anyone who works tag team matches with genuine tag team psychology like FTR. They were pretty giving here as Hawkins and Brink got to show a bit of what they can do.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Red Velvet and Leyla Hirsch vs. Notorious Mimi and B3CCA

Velvet and Mimi start things off, Velvet quickens the pace right away with an arm drag and drop kick. B3CCA tags in and eats a hip toss then Velvet stomps on her in her corner and tags in Hirsch. Double knees from Hirsch then a double stomp and hits a pop up back suplex. Mimi tags in and starts attacking Hirsch. B3CCA tags in, they try a double suplex on Hirsch but Hirsch counters with one of her own and tags in Velvet. Velvet lays in strikes, hits a meteora into the ropes then a wheel kick to the seated Mimi but Hirsch had tagged in so the ref doesn’t count when she goes for the cover. Hirsch just saunters over as Velvet looks a little perturbed, Hirsch then locks in the armbar and gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Red Velvet and Leyla Hirsch won in 1:50

Rating: Tschermak. . . SQUASH

Interesting to see Hirsch lean heel just a bit, I’ve very much enjoyed her work thus far as a more white meat babyface so I’m curious what she can do as a heel. There’s some tension between Hirsch and Velvet post match but they seem to get over it rather quickly.

Eddie Kingston has now replaced Mark Henry, giving me the perfect chance to once again tell AEW to put a title on Eddie Kingston already you cowards.

Match #5: Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ryan Clancy

Hobbs with a brutal body block right away. Hobbs hoists Clancy up, sets him on the top rope and lays in clubbing blows to the chest then shoves him onto the apron. Clancy moves to his feet, but Hobbs tosses him back into the ring. The Torture Rack follows and Clancy gives it up.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Powerhouse Hobbs won in 1:22

Rating: Spaghetti. . . SQUASH

Delicious squash.

QT Marshall talks on his way to the ring, mocking Clayton for being on Jersey Shore and his co-stars. Marshall calls himself the biggest reality TV star in wrestling, and says he’ll make sure that after the match Aaron Solow will engage in lascivious activities with Clayton’s fiancé. That gets Clayton to deck him in the mouth and we’re going with the match. Please don’t let Marshall talk, he’s the definition of average and forgettable on the mic.

Match #6: QT Marshall w/ The Factory vs. Zack Clayton

Clayton unloads on Marshall for a bit including hitting a back body drop then a drop kick and clotheslines Marshall out of the ring. Clayton follows him out of the ring and lays in strikes then heads to the ring but Marshall hits a drop kick to take over. They start trading blows then hit the ropes but Marshall lands a back elbow and a clothesline. Again Clayton hits punches and fires up with clotheslines before Marshall cuts him off with a knee to the body. Snap powerslam from Clayton, but Marshall lands an enzigrui of his own. Marshall heads up top but takes his time and Clayton meets him up there and hits a superplex, then rolls through into a Fisherman’s buster for a near fall. Marhsall grabs a crucifix on the mat and gets the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: QT Marshall won in 2:53

Rating: 2 stars

Color me impressed by Clayton, I know Marshall is a good enough hand to make others look good but Clayton more than held up his end of the bargain. I rather liked the story too, Marshall being a bit overmatched physically and overconfident but ultimately using his experience to sneak a win.

Match #7: Andrade El Idolo w/ Jose vs. Avery Good

Andrade grabs a side headlock then shoulder blocks Good down. Another side headlock from Andrade but Good hits an arm drag but he celebrates too much and Andrade clobbers him with a clothesline. Stomps in the corner from Andrade then a chop. Andrade teases going for another chop, but denies the fans before suplexing Good into the corner. La Muerta follows and we’re done here.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Andrade El Idolo won in 2:30

Rating: Verrucosa. . . SQUASH

More delicious squash.

The Acclaimed are up next, so here’s my rough approximation of what Caster raps to the ring. Caster says they’ve got opponents running out like Antonio Brown, promises to deliver more shots than Dr. Fauci, expresses his belief that their opponents are here because they couldn’t even get booked by Impact (ouch), and promises to remain golden like the late Betty White. OK, that’s definitely the best of these I’ve heard from Caster in a long time.

Match #8 – Tag Team Match: The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) vs. Kevin Matthews and Joey Ace

Matthews is not a small man, but he’s on the apron as Caster and Ace get things started. They tie up, then Caster tags out and they work the arm of Ace before Bowens starts laying in chops. Bowens hits a few kicks then a Regal Cutter and tags out. Double suplex from the Acclaimed as Caster starts laying in strikes. Bowens tags back in but Ace flips out of a back suplex and hits an enziguri then both men tag out. Matthews runs wild, including a nice drop kick before missing a corner splash that allows Bowens and Caster to hit a series of attacks. Caster catches a jumping Matthews and hits a scoop slam. Caster wants a powerbomb but Matthews back drops him and tags out. Ace tries to fly in but flies into a drop kick. Caster tags in, Bowens lays in a striking combination to Matthews then drops Ace with a side slam to set up the Mic Drop from Caster and that ends things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Acclaimed won in 3:30

Rating: Verte d´Italia. . . SQUASH

I liked what I saw out of Matthews, he might be worth a further look. Bowens has also removed some of the more needlessly complicated bits from his repertoire and it’s smoothed out his work considerably.

Match #9: Dante Martin vs. Action Andretti

Martin does after the arm of Andretti, they trade arm wringers and escapes then hit the ropes until Martin hits a drop kick. I’ll never not be wowed by the vertical leap from Martin. Andretti hits a springboard enziguri then a standing Shooting Star Press for a 1 count. Andretti tries another springboard move but eats the mat and Martin unloads with some strikes then a gutwrench facebuster. A double jump moonsault follows, that basically landed in a reverse DDT given how much height and distance Martin got on it, lands and Martin pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dante Martin won in 1:30

Rating: Winterhorn. . . SQUASH

Nice stuff from Andretti for as long as this lasted, but Martin has really started blossoming as a wrestler. I’d still like him to tone down the overly choreographed stuff, but his athletic ability is still insane.

We get a series of cheap shots before the match starts and the HFO team for our next match attacks the Dark Order.

Match #10 – Trios Match: Hardy Family Office (Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, and The Blade) w/ Matt Hardy vs. Dark Order (John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and 10)

Kassidy lands an enziguri to Reynolds then a double stomp from Quen to assist a neckbreaker form Kassidy before Quen dives onto 10 and Silver. Quen tags in and hits a scoop slam but misses a standing moonsault. Hardy with a cheap shot to Reynolds. Kassidy tags in but Reynolds starts fighting back, he gets cut off by a tornado DDT from Kassidy and Silver has to break up the pin. Blade tags in and lays out Reynolds with a right hand. Reynolds starts firing up to fight back, he’s able to tag in 10 who runs wild on Blade, hitting pump kicks to everyone then a spinebuster for Blade. 10 goes for the Full Nelson but Hardy trips him up and that allows Blade to hit a snap powerslam and take over. 10 has had enough and hits a diving shoulder block then tags in Silver. Silver is a house on fire as he tosses Kassidy and Quen around and hits a sit out powerbomb to Kassidy and Blade has to break up the pin. It’s time for Everyone Get Your Stuff In, that all culminates with the Ragnarok triple team form the Dark Order to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dark Order won in 4:00

Rating: 2 stars

There’s a very valid criticism leveled at WWE that we get a ton of the same matches over and over again, well it’s only fair that I point out just how frequently some iteration of the HFO and Dark Order have squared off. Frankly I’ve had more than enough of these groups at this point, the matches aren’t bad they’re just terribly over exposed in terms of the sheer number of them.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was another pretty solid show, Elevation isn't going to wow you or anything but for what it's supposed to be it's a relatively easy watch. No major botches tonight, a surprisingly good outing from Zack Clayton, all in all this bordered on Good. My only real gripe lies with the main event, it was very short and just another of the seemingly endless permutations of Dark Order and Hardy Family Office.