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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 91) Review 11.28.22

November 28, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
AEW Dark: Elevation Image Credit: AEW
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Winfree’s AEW Dark: Elevation (Ep. 91) Review 11.28.22  

Hello people, we’re back with AEW’s Elevation program tonight. We’ve got Athena, Konosuke Takeshita, Best Friends, Matt Hardy and Private Party, and a main event of Eddie Kingston and Ortiz taking on Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solo, among other matches. It’s a long one tonight folks so let’s get to the action. Ian Riccaboni, Paul Wight, and Matt Menard are on commentary.

Match #1: The Bunny w/ Penelope Ford vs. Blain Onyx

Bunny jumps Onyx at the bell, laying in strikes in the corner. Stomps from Bunny then a Sliding D in the corner. Onyx fights back with some strikes but Bunny just boots her back down. Down the Rabbit Hole and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bunny won in 1:18

Rating: Spaghetti squash

Effective enough squash.

Match #2: Brandon Cutler vs. Man Scout

They tie up, Cutler gets a hammerlock then Scout consults the scout’s manual for a counter then they run the ropes while he reads as Cutler misses a series of strikes before Cutler just trips Scout up. Cutler bounces Scout’s head off of the book in the corner then hits a Manhattan Drop and a modified Rolling Thunder with a splash instead of a senton. Scout hits a backbreaker then a Flatliner for a 2 count. Chinlock from Scout, Cutler fights free and hits a back body drop. Scoop slam from Cutler then his goofy series of elbow drops. Now Cutler with an airplane spin, both men get dizzy and stagger around before Cutler grabs a School Boy for the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Brandon Cutler won in 3:28

Rating: 2 stars

I was entertained, Cutler has a knack for comedy work and his persistence with his buffoonery is getting over slowly but surely.

Match #3 – Tag Team Match: Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Emi Sakura and Maki Itoh

Emi barely tolerating Maki during her entrance is, as the kids say, a whole mood. Emi and Nyla start us off, Emi avoiding a handshake and then trading strikes with Nyla. Chops from Emi and she’s getting the better of striking with Nyla before Nyla tries a chokeslam but Emi avoids that and Shafir tags in, as does Maki. They trade pie faces then Maki grabs an arm wringer. Shafir hits a judo throw but Maki floors her with a headbutt. Emi tags in now and unloads chops then ties up Shafir to pose on her back. Maki tags back in and wants a falling headbutt but Shafir avoids it and hits a back suplex. Nyla tags back in and she and Shafir take turns unloading with body blows. Nyla back in but Maki fights back with a double headbutt then a DDT to Shafir, and Maki avoids a senton from Nyla which lands on Shafir. Iron head drop to Nyla and Emi tags in. Corner cross bodies to both Nyla and Shafir from Emi then stereo 10 punches in the corner. Shafir tosses Maki out of the ring and starts brawling with her on the floor as Emi hits a hurricanrana on Nyla for a 2 count. Spear form Nyla wipes out Emi, then a Beastbomb follows and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir won in 4:17

Rating: 2.5 stars

Emi and Maki made for a pretty good team here. The problem here remains that Marina Shafir isn’t exactly improving at the rate you’d like to see. I get that she’s still developing, and I’m not calling for her to lose her job or anything, but you’d like to think we’d see more improvement by this point.

Match #4: Konosuke Takeshita vs. Ari Daivari

Konosuke and Daivari tie up, then Konosuke lands a shoulder block. They hit the ropes before Konosuke lands a calf kick. Daivari with a hair pull then a clothesline for a 1 count. Don Callis shows up to make everything worse as he walks around the ring. Daivari heads up top and hits a cross body. Body scissors from Daivari, then Konosuke fights back with a Blue Thunder Bomb. They start trading strikes with Konosuke easily getting the better of it, then hits a big flying clothesline off the ropes. Helluva kick from Konosuke, then a suplex but only a 2 count. Konosuke misses a springboard flying nothing then eats a super kick. Daivari heads up top for a Frog Splash and a 2 count. Konosuke avoids a Pepsi Twist then clobbers Daivari with an elbow. They trade elbows then Konosuke hits a beautiful Chaos Theory to pick up the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Konosuke Takeshita won in 4:45

Rating: 2.5 stars

Konosuke Takeshita is still awesome, Daivari continues to exist. If Konosuke is going to be in AEW more regularly then they do need a story for him, but my antipathy for Don Callis is coloring any care I might have for The Elite courting him.

Kip Sabian video promo. He says he never had a problem with Alex Reynolds, they had a match, Sabian won, and that was fine. But Reynolds then had to open his mouth and talk about their similarities. Well in their rematch Sabian took his eye off the ball for just 3 seconds. He says Reynolds is a very good professional wrestler, but they’re nothing alike. Sabian has faced set back after set back, and eventually he embraced the change because this is art. Round 3 will leave no doubt that Reynolds is a footnote in Sabian’s story of redemption. Decent enough promo.

Match #5: Lee Moriarty vs. Robert Anthony

The crowd is with Anthony as they tie up. Lee grabs a hammerlock, Anthony counters into an arm wringer and they trade some counters and escapes for a bit. Lee works Anthony down then tries a finger snap. Arm breaker from Lee then a snapmare and a kick to the back. Anthony is pissed now and tries a back suplex but Lee flips free and lands a shot to the back but he runs into a gut wrench facebuster. Anthony with the old Romero Special into a face plant. Lee fights back with a Flatliner into the corner then he heads up top and hits a diving knee to the back. Mounted strikes from Lee then flying knees in the corner. Chops from Lee, then Anthony fights back with chops of his own as he fires up. Lee with a School Boy into the Border City Stretch which gets the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Lee Moriarty won in 4:08

Rating: 2 stars

Competent match, Lee is still coming into his own in the heel persona but he’s finding his groove with the character.

Match #6 – Tag Team Match: Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh w/ Sonjay Dutt vs. Joe Alonzo and GPA

Lethal and GPA start us off, they tie up and Lethal grabs a headlock then they hit the ropes leading to a strut from Lethal. Pump kick from Lethal then he tags in Singh. Singh with an overhand chop in the corner then he rag dolls GPA over to his partner. Alonzo tags in, tries some drop kicks which are no sold then Singh hits a massive Black Hole Slam. Lethal tags in, cheap shots GPA, then puts Alonzo on his shoulders in an Electric Chair position. That puts Alonzo just about at the right height for Singh to grab him by the neck, then hit a stiff looking chokeslam for the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh won in 1:44

Rating: Zucchini squash

Delicious squash, Singh is still stiff and getting his footing but the man has physical gifts and Jay Lethal is a good guy for him to be around and potentially learn from.

In the back Ethan Page gets an interview as Matt Hardy and Private Party walk behind him. Page asks if they’re leaving, and tells them they’re not leaving yet. He tells them they’ve got a match tonight, as up walks Mark Sterling and Ari Daivari to bring up that Matt Hardy owes Daivari money. They pass the buck around about who owes who, Page says he doesn’t care where the money came from before bringing up that Daivari doesn’t need 50 thousand dollars. Some awkward innuendo from Isiah Kassidy. Page says he can’t give Daivari his money back, but he’ll let Daivari us the Twist of Fate whenever he wants. Matt Hardy is annoyed, Page points out that if he hadn’t stolen money from Daivari they wouldn’t be in this position. Page is quite good in this role.

Match #7 – Trios Match: Rocky Romero and Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) vs. Davey Bang, Freedom Ramsey, and Yabo

Yabo and Romero start us off, Yabo offers Romero a balloon then lets it go. Kicks from Romero then a hurricanrana. Ramsey tags in and runs into a Manhattan Drop then Taylor tags in. Double shoulder block, then Bang runs into a double hip toss. Taylor unloads with strikes but Yabo hits a cheap shot. Double drop kick form Bang and Ramsey. Yabo tags back in and juggles then throws the juggling balls into Taylor, but Taylor just drops him with a knee. Trent and Bang tag in and Trent runs wild for a bit then hits a deadlift German suplex. Tornado DDT from Trent then he gets the juggling balls and fails to juggle but gets a pop. Yabo goes for a cheap shot, Trent tweaks the nose then hits a German suplex. Ramsey runs into a double knee from Trent and Romero. Romero with a flying knee to Yabo then Bang takes a Sole Food into a half neslon suplex. Taylor and Trent then hug, and hit the Strong Zero on Bang to end things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rocky Romero and Best Friends won in 3:54

Rating: Winterhorn squash

Fun little squash match, Yabo definitely stood but Ramsey looked pretty solid as well.

Match #8: Athena vs. Laynie Luck

Athena lays out Luck with a hard strike. Luck gets tossed out of the ring then Athena follows her for some ringside brawling. Athena tosses Luck into the ring steps a couple of times before they head back into the ring. Luck tries a school boy for 2, then runs into a super kick. Crippler Crossface from Athena and Luck gives it up.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Athena won in 2:05

Rating: Cushaw squash

Solid squash, Athena continues to grow into her heel persona. I still question how much upward mobility it’ll have given how heel heavy the top of the women’s division is in AEW but at least she’s got a character now. And, let’s face it, seeing her kill jobbers does have a certain charm.

Post match Athena hits a Bayonet to Luck for good measure.

Match #9 – Trios Match: Matt Hardy and Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) vs. Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico) and Isiah Moore

Our random Luther fact of the week is that Luther is a high class custom eye glass designer. Serpentico and Kassidy start us off, some acrobatics from them before Kassidy hits a hurricanrana and a drop kick. Quen tags in, then tags in Hardy for a big elbow drop to the arm. More arm work from Hardy then he tags Kassidy back in. Moore tries to jump in and we get a bit multiman suplex. Luther eats some triple team offense and stand tall. Serpentico fights back but Luther lands a cheap shot to Kassidy then tags in. Luther chops Kassidy in the corner then hits an enziguri. Backbreaker from Luther then a side slam and he tags in Serpentico. Luther slams Serpentico onto Kassidy a few times. Moore tags in now and lands some strikes before Kassidy slides under the rope and drops Luther onto the apron before super kicking Serpentico. Back in the ring Kassidy tags in Quen. Quen runs wild for a bit then tags in Hardy. Hardy with some offense to both Moore and Serpentico. Kassidy and Quen hit some Poetry in Motion on Moore. Hardy hits the kick assisted sit out Razor’s Edge, then Kassidy follows with a Swanton Bomb and Quen polishes things off with a 450 splash.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Matt Hardy and Private Party won in 4:50

Rating: Amphora squash

Extended squash here. Hardy and Private Party are still over, but I’m really curious about the overall direction of these forces coming back together because they wouldn’t wind up treading water again.

Post match here comes Mark Sterling along with Ari Daivari and the Varsity Athletes. Daivari has something to say, he complains about being robbed and got legal representation. The best part is Daivari can use the Twist of Fate, and next week he’ll team with Tony Nese and Josh Woods to take on Hardy and Private Party.

Match #10 – Tag Team Match: Eddie Kingston and Ortiz vs. The Factory (Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solo)

Ortiz and Solo get us going, they tie up and Ortiz then lands a clothesline. Solo lands a knee then tags in Comoroto. Comoroto tosses Ortiz around then Solo lands a cheap shot. Solo tags back in and they hit a drop kick assisted suplex and Eddie comes in with a chop to break up the pin. Ortiz and Solo trade strikes then Solo lands a scoop slam and tags in Comoroto for a slingshot elbow drop and a 2 count. Some back work from Comoroto before he jumps into a knee drop to the groin. Ortiz can’t make the tag yet, and he levels Comoroto with a clothesline then tags in Eddie. Eddie runs wild with strikes, then unloads with Kobashi chops in the corner to Solo. Kobashi chops for Comoroto after that then Solo eats an Exploder suplex. Ortiz tags in, and hits a second rope leg drop but Comoroto breaks up the pin. Comoroto tags in and hits a backbreaker onto Ortiz, he holds on and hits another one then tags in Solo for a double stomp style Decapitation and Eddie has to break up the pin. Eddie eats a Death Valley Neckbreaker from Comoroto. Ortiz tosses Solo away, Eddie with an enziguri to Comoroto. Eddie DDT’s Solo, then Ortiz with an Alligator Clutch to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Eddie Kingston and Ortiz won in 4:55

Rating: 2.5 stars

Solid enough main event, Comoroto still benefits from these kinds of reps as he continues to develop as a wrestler. Eddie is still very over and I figure I might as well remind AEW to put some gold on Eddie Kingston already. . . you cowards.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I appreciate them adding some promo stuff to Elevation, it's a show that could definitely benefit from it, but this time around I think they unnecessarily padded the run time as things could have been trimmed down. The work was solid, no major botches, and I appreciate them looking at expanding what Elevation is from time to time. But, in the future, maybe a little less redundancy on these promos please.