AEW Dark Elevation (Ep.1)

It’s my own fault for having high expectations of Elevation, but I wasn’t impressed by the debut episode of AEW’s new show. That’s not to say it was terrible, but it felt like it was just another episode of Dark. It had some good quality wrestling, but was overshadowed by it’s predictability and by the time we got to the good matches, I was bored and over it. So, it’s basically Dark.

I won’t be making this write up a weekly thing, but I thought for the first episode we could take a quick look and give a recap.

The opening match was between Danny Limelight and Jungle Boy. It was a solid opener, with Jungle Boy picking up the victory via submission. Danny Limelight was a little sloppy and botched a few moves throughout the match. It happens sometimes, hopefully he bounces back from it.

Miro and Kip (with Penelope) took on the team of Vary Morales and Baron Black. Kip got the victory by pinfall. The only thing of note in this match was Miro telling Penelope to stay out of the ring for the post match celebrations. I suspect Kip and Miro won’t be together much longer.

Alex Marves is interviewing QT Marshall. QT doesn’t want to talk about things with the Nightmare Family, which is good because I don’t want to hear about it. He then proceeds to talk about the Nightmare Family anyway. Apparently everything is fine.

Big Swole gets a quick victory against Skyler Moore in singles competition. Points to the commentary team for providing an interesting dive into the history of Big Swole.

We have a lengthy commercial for AEW’s new mobile game “Casino Double or Nothing”. The commercial was entertaining, the game most definitely is not. I downloaded it last week and deleted it almost instantly. Shame on you, AEW. It’s garbage.

Marko Stunt is in action next, against QT. Marshall is accompanied to the ring by Nick Comoroto, who leaves instantly, which begs the question, why come at all? Because I want to see that hairy chest, that’s why! What a man. Mmm.

Aside from Tony constantly pronouncing every single syllable in QT’s name (Q-T-Mar-Shall) nothing of note happened during the match. I really have a hard time watching Marko’s matches. I don’t mean to hate on him or belittle him (oh god, that was an accident, I swear) but I can’t take his matches seriously.

I’m not saying he can’t be a wrestler, more power to him for it! I just think he should only do hardcore matches or be a heel and cheat a little bit. It’s just literally unbelievable to watch someone so small take much larger men off of their feet with a punch. He either just needs to get his ass kicked or find a more believable way to level the playing field.

After the match, Pretty Picture came out and beat up on Marko, for no other reason then the fun of it. QT offered no assistance and walked away. Tony was heartbroken. Luchasaurus came out to rescue Marko.

Lee Johnson had a promo video next. It was actually pretty good and I look forward to the day when he breaks free from the Nightmare Family and heads out on his own.

Tay Conti (with -1) beats Ashley Vox in a singles match. She hugs -1 a lot and I’m really jealous. Don’t worry Shida, you’re still my number one.

The Sydal Brothers defeated Jorel Nelson and Royce Isaacs in a tag match. I should point out I’m starting to get really bored and we are barely halfway through the show.

Backstage, Alex Marves is interviewing Will Hobbs and Hook. As per normal, Hook contributes nothing. Hobbs points out that Brandon Cutler is a joke and he isn’t afraid of him. Duh, you are three times the size of him.

Dani Jordyn loses a match against Cody’s bae, Brandi Rhodes Red Velvet. That’s enough said about that fight.

Omega interrupts an interview with the Sydal Brothers. Apparently Omega is scouting for some talent to put on Dynamite. He mentions if the Sydal Brothers keep winning they will make it to Dynamite. Matt vows to make it to the Top 5 and earn a title shot against Kenny.

Kenny laughs at the mention of Tony Khan’s meaningless Top 5 list and says he has his own list. Sydal reads Kenny’s Rankings and is annoyed to find out that the same wrestler is ranked 1 through 5. It’s Michael Nakazawa. It’s hard to argue his list is any less meaningful than the official one.

Kenny says if Sydal can beat Nakazawa in a match, he will earn the privilege of facing Omega. The only catch is, the match has to be right now! Sydal agrees.

And we are off to the ring! Not to see Sydal v Nakazawa, but to see Platinum Max take on Dante Martin. Not that I don’t want to see this match, but I thought “right now” meant “this instant” not “at some point”. Whatever. Max and Dante put on a good show, with my man, Platinum Max picking up the victory.

Abadon defeated Ray Lyn in a singles match. Abadon even had the referee, Aubrey Edwards running scared.

Will Hobbs murdered Brandon Cutler. Duh.

We saw another ad for the “Wrestling with the week” podcast. I listened to the first episode a while back and it was actually pretty entertaining. I’ve got enough on my plate though and I can’t commit to it weekly. I’m trying to create more and consume less.

Diamonte beat up on Leila Grey and picked up another win. I’ll be honest, I’m not even recognising some of these people anymore.

In an 8 man tag match, we saw Butcher, Blade (with Bunny) and Private Party (with Matt Hardy) team up to take on Dean Alexander (Who?), David Ali (Who?), Carlie Bruno (Who?) and Brick Aldridge (Who?). 3 of those 4 were wearing Nightmare Family jackets. I don’t know who wasn’t wearing one, but I think it was David Ali. I’m sure you know who won.

Another advert for something called “Outside the Ring with Lexy Nair”. I don’t know who that is or what it is. I google it and found a YouTube show from last year with Cody Rhodes as a guest. I didn’t watch it and I don’t have any intention of doing so. Again, not to say it’s bad, I just don’t have the time. I assume it’s some kind of talk show.

We finally get back to the Sydal vs Nakazawa match. I love this new persona for Nakazawa much better than the baby oil bit. After Nakazawa removes his belt, his pants fall down and reveal his trunks. Tony is disgusted and says that he didn’t need to see that. Which is weird, considering in wrestling a lot of people (Nakazawa included) often wrestle in just trunks. There is nothing of Nakazawa’s that we haven’t seen before. Sydal wins the match, relatively easily.

After the match, Omega comes out and beats up Sydal a little bit. Then he offers Sydal a title match, on the condition it happens instantly. Omega hits the one winged angel and gets the 3 count.

Tony Khan comes out from backstage and yells at Kenny a little bit before he books the title match on the Dynamite episode in 9 days. Kenny isn’t happy about it, but Khan is even less impressed with Kenny. He yelled a lot. Who gave him a mic?

Finally, we arrive at the main event. At the start of the evening I was actually really excited for it, but I’m so over wrestling at this stage. The fight was between my new crush, Maki Itoh and former AEW Women’s Champion, Riho. Riho picked up the victory in a very good match, which I’m sure I would have enjoyed more if it was on Dynamite. Or on a smaller, more interesting card.

And thus ends the debut episode of Elevation. I enjoyed it more than I do Dark, mainly because the commentary team of Tony and Paul are infinitely better to listen to than Excalibur and Taz. Goodness, don’t get me started on those two. Paul did a really good job on his first show, despite a tendency to overuse the term “Athleticism”. I’m just giving you a hard time, big fella! You did great.

In the future, I doubt I will watch the entire episode from start to finish. It will probably be like Dark, I’ll tune in every week but I’ll fast forward a good 70-80% of the show. I love wrestling, but not enough to watch 2 hours worth of squash matches. Especially not now that there are 2, 2 hour shows filled with them. I’ll just stick to Dynamite!

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