AEW ELEVATION: April 12, 2021

The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation Episode 5 (“Did Something Big Happen In Florida This Weekend?”), April 12, 2021.

TONIGHT! Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page continue their climb as a team against Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela! The Best Friends return to action for the first time in months against Ryan Nemeth and Cezar Bononi! As promised a couple weeks ago, it’s Diamante taking on Thunder Rosa! Brandon Cutler looks to score a major upset against Penta El Zero M! And DDT superstar Konosuke Takeshita stops by to face Danny Limelight!

PLUS: Orange Cassidy, FTR, Britt Baker, Daunte Martin, PAC/Fenix, Marshall/Comoroto, Miro, and a special look at Shawn Dean!

From the AEW Arena, the crowd is ready and so are we so let’s go!

Bonus Opening match: Zack Clayton (0-1) vs. Preston Vance (9-1) (w/Brodie Lee Jr and company). Clayton is J-Woww’s boyfriend. If you think that’s unfair, Clayton demands Roberts introduce him as “MTV’s Jersey Shore’s #1 star.” Junior gets to stay at ringside as everyone else leaves.

Lockup goes nowhere. Second try, and Vance with a headlock takeover, but Clayton escapes back to square one. They go through it the other way, and this time Vance escapes and we’re getting nowhere fast. Clayton kicks Vance to refuse a test of strength, but Vance backs him into the corner only for Clayton to add a cheap shot. Vance tackles Clayton and punches him down, then adds a German suplex. Corner clothesline but Clayton dodges a blind charge and gets a dropkick for two. Clayton with a lacewash and he works Vance over in the corner, then rakes the eyes on the top rope. Vance comes back with chops as they trade, then Clayton with uppercuts in the corner as Tony says he’s working on the cut Vance got against Jack Evans.

Suplex drape by Clayton, then he does the catapult guillotine into the middle rope – there’s a spot you don’t see every day. Middle rope leg choke by Clayton, but Brodie Jr gets a cheap shot on Clayton when he trash talks. This gives Vance time to clear the cobwebs and he powers up, landing clotheslines to cue the comeback. Pump kick in the corner, then the spinebuster as both Dark Order people pose. Full Nelson try, but Clayton escapes and almost runs Vance and Junior together. Powerslam by Clayton gets two. Vance slips out the back and gets a full nelson for the win at 5:07. Wight: “Stick to reality TV, kid!” Very good choice for an opener. *1/2

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Very Large Third Place. They talk about Page/Sky vs Janela/Kiss.

Hayden Backlund (0-1) vs. Miro (4-0). Backlund gets the entrance, but gets Elevation’s theme music. No relation to Bob Backlund, but Hayden told announcers before the show that his last name made him want to be a wrestler. Given Bob’s resurgence in 1994-95 and/or 2013 Hall of Fame induction (depending on Hayden’s age), I can buy that. No sign of Ford or Sabian.

Backlund cautiously approaches and gets cornered and pummeled. Short clothesline follows. Miro with a kick to the back, then a roundhouse to the gut. He dumps Backlund and follows, but Backlund pulls Miro itno the post and tries to pummel him. Miro shrugs him off into the apron and throws him in, then shrugs off a dropkick and leaps over the top rope to clothesline Backlund. Catatonic by Miro, and he laughs at how he ripped off Backlund’s wristband. Game Over ends this slaughter at 2:15. 1/2* I know Miro isn’t getting the push we expected when he arrived, but seeing him annihilate geeks is a good thing to do while they find a spot for him. AEW has like 100 guys anyway.

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ANOTHER Bonus Match: Tay Conti and Hikaru Shida (w/Brodie Lee Jr) (1-1) vs. Katalina Perez and Leila Grey (first time teaming). A reminder: Shida is the Women’s Champion and Conti is her #1 contender. Even Wight jokes about Junior having a crush – and after some consideration, I’m not touching this one during the review.

Conti and Perez start. Conti smashes in forearms but gets slapped, which is a Bad Idea as Conti lands wrist-clutch roundhouse kicks. Monkey flip into a cover gets two. Shida’s boots into Perez’s back, then Conti with a headlock takeover before bringing in Shida. Suplex is blocked, and Perez backs Shida into her corner to get Grey in. Double suplex (though it took some effort) and Grey with a corner uppercut and boot choke. Shotgun dropkick by Grey, and Perez is tagged in. Shida and Perez slug it out, which Shida wins.

Conti gets the tag and runs over Grey, adding some ipponzeis and a pump kick for two. Shida enters with a missile dropkick, but Perez jumps in to stop her and Conti runs over Perez with a bicycle kick. Double knees in the corner and double judo throws, leading to double triangle sleepers. Conti rolls Perez out as Grey makes the ropes, and Shida – after escaping a butterfly suplex and nailing an enzuigiri – lands the Katana Kick for the win at 3:59. That took longer than it should have. 3/4* Conti points to the title post-match as if to say “it has to happen some time”.

How many unadvertised matches are they going to have?: The Hybrid 2 (Jack Evans and Angelico) (1-2 in 2021) vs. Dean Alexander and Carlie Bravo (0-1). I missed TH2’s record, so the loss number may be too small. Bravo doesn’t even get the American flag this time. We look back at QT Marshall’s ambush.

Bravo and Angelico start. They lock up, and Angelico with a wristlock and he hangs on. Bravo spins around to reverse it, but Angelico with a twist and leg clutch to show off before reversing back. He goes to a headlock, and Bravo shoves off leading to an armdrag. Angelico avoids a dropkick and stomps away. He draws Alexander’s and the ref’s attention, allowing Evans to choke Bravo in the corner. Evans in, and he gets a leg lariat on Bravo and standing Twister Press for two. Evans yells at Alexander and keeps bashing on Bravo, getting kneelifts in the corner and backflipping over him in the corner to get a spinning wheel kick.

Handspring elbow follows, and Evans with a springboard RVD Kick. He mocks the attempt at a hot tag before knocking Alexander off the apron, then rams Bravo into Angelico’s boot. TH2 misses a double leg lariat, and Bravo tags in Alexander for the hot tag mid-run. Powerbomb try on Angelico, but Evans kicks him in the back. He adds a 540 kick to Bravo on the outside, and Angelico trips Alexander into the Navarro Death Roll for the tap at 4:25. Angelico and Evans are great to work with rookies. *1/4

Dasha interviews Thunder Rosa about Diamante’s latest statements. Rosa knows she has a target on her back after the Lights Out match proved she in one of the best not just in AEW but the world. She trains hard, she coaches, and she fights for what she wants and deserves. This may be Diamante’s opportunity, and now Twitter wants to see the match. Rosa is ready whenever, including tonight. There was a LOT of Spanish I couldn’t follow, sorry.

Orange Cassidy (w/Trent, Taylor, and Statlander) (3-0) vs. John Skyler (0-4). Trent and Taylor open the ropes for him, but Orange rolls under the ropes anyway. I’ve seen both of these guys on the indies, and while Skyler really hasn’t had a chance to show his stuff, hopefully this is it.

Skyler wants to wrestle to start, constantly blocking the hands from going to the pockets. So Orange takes the glasses off and puts on the elbowpad and we’re actually wrestling! Orange ducks a lockup, so Skyler kicks him in the gut and uppercuts him. He keeps firing off on Cassidy, but Orange with a backslide for two into a half-nelson snapmare and thumbs-up chinlock. Crucifix attempt gets two, then Cassidy trips Skyler and THE HANDS ARE IN THE POCKETS. Dropkick and kip-up by Cassidy and Skyler bails.

Orange wants a no-hands plancha, but Skyler dives back in and spears Orange for one. Knee choke in the corner as Skyler complains to the other Best Friends about the lack of wrestling. Uppercut to Orange, then a slam for one. And one. And one. But not three. Skyler goes to the side mount and punches away on Orange, then lifts Orange up only for him to slide down and go criss-cross, ending with the whirlygig DDT. Beach Break gets the win at 3:57. It’s an Orange Cassidy match – you know it’ll be funny to start and he’ll dominate to end. * And the Best Friends GOT to give the people what they want after the match!

Spotlight on Shawn Dean. We look back on May 3, 2019 as Kenny Omega visited Dean’s home promotion in Chicago. At that moment, Dean knew he wanted to be in AEW. Dean enlisted out of high school in the US Navy, which made him grow up and get his honor fast. He was taught not to quit and to find an answer no matter what it took. Once his commitment expired, he was a walk-on in college football before playing arena football in Chicago. But when that ended, he started in wrestling at the tender age of 29.

Chicago didn’t give him the reps he needed, but Atlanta and ACTION Wrestling did. He had no family in Atlanta, leaving his wife and daughter behind, but he had to do it to provide for his family. He showed up in Atlanta with $20 to his name and survived. He’s always ready to fight, no matter what the promoter gives him, and it caused him to hit his stride. Then the pandemic happened and he thought his dream was dead.

But one year later, Tony Khan announced on Twitter that he was getting a written deal. Dean reads the tweet and says he was just fired from his day job before he became relied on in AEW; he felt it had to happen to prove he was a hard worker. Once you do that, he says, nothing will stop your dreams. Being signed solidified him. We cut back to May 2019, where Dean tells the crowd he’s just getting started. Copy that.

(Special guest Excalibur on commentary) Danny Limelight (3-3) vs. Konosuke Takeshita (first televised match). Limelight has new music and a new jacket, with electric green Puerto Rican flag. Tony says it’s Takeshita’s debut, but he worked the House Always Wins show over the weekend. The chyron said it’s his Elevation debut.

Takeshita grabs the arm to start as Excalibur fills us in on who he is. They grapple with Takeshita getting a single-leg trip and the two exchange front facelocks until Limelight gets a hammerlock on the ground. Takeshita switches to a headlock, grinding him down until Limelight escapes and reverses, so Takeshita shoves him off but gets caught in a cradle for two. Rollup by Limelight for two, and even Takeshita has to shake it off. WRESTLING!

Limelight offers Code of Honor but slaps Takeshita instead, earning him a leg lariat. Flying forearm in the corner, then a leaping clothesline out of the ropes floors Limelight. He goes up to the middle rope, getting a senton with serious elevation for two. Limelight goes to the eyes and tries the Yehi kicks, then yankes Takeshita down by the hair. Middle rope double stomp gets two. Snapmare and elbowdrop follows, then a soccer kick to the back that annoys Takeshita. Another to the chest and Takeshita has had just about enough of this.

He no-sells a chop and blasts Limelight in the corner with one of his own. Another chop in corner 2, but Limelight goes to the eyes to stop him. Limelight salsas up to Takeshita and gets a swinging neckbreaker. He goes to the apron and lands the slingshot senton bomb for two. Limelight toys with Takeshita, trash talking him and slapping him, but Takeshita gets a forearm. Limelight blocks a thrust kick and gets another to the gut, but Takeshita with a Blue Thunder Bomb out of nowhere for the double-down.

Running cross-corner boot (Excalibur: “A hell of a kick there!”) into a brainbuster gets two. Takeshita tries a German, but Limelight elbows out we get a slugfest. Limelight wins it but runs into a snap boot, recovering with a forearm smash. He then leaps at Takeshita, who catches him in a Pop-Up Powerbomb for two. SERIOUS elevation on that one. Takeshita runs into a boot, and Limelight with the rope hangman leg choke. Double jump DDT off ther top gets two. Casadora try by Limelight, but Takeshita blocks and forearms before landing the discus clothesline. German try, but Limelight reverses to a cradle for two, which Takeshita rolls out of, gets up in one motion, and nails a wheelbarrow suplex for the pin at 8:36. FIRST WIN ALERT! Show stealer alert! Takeshita will be the name coming out of this, but Limelight is really good and this match delivered in SPADES. ***1/4

Joey Janela finds cameras and Sonny Kiss. He apologizes for being later, but a couple of women wanted to suck on his nipples. Kiss reminds him he’s facing Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky, which catches Janela off guard – he thought they had some Puerto Rico enhancement talent. But hey, Janela’s ready, and he’s coming in hard. Of course he is.

FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler w/Tully Blanchard and Wardlow) (2-0, #5 team) vs. The Mane Event (Jay Lyon and Midas Black) (debut). The Mane Event look like a ringleader and Lince Dorado. Lyon’s mask even has a tongue hanging out, though he detaches it before the match.

Hawrood and Lyon start. Code of Honor before a lockup, and Harwood shoves Lyon back and PULLS HIS MASK OFF! Black helps put it back on and we stall until everything’s back to normal.

Harwood with a headlock now, which Lyon reverses. Harwood reverses back, and we go International~!, with Harwood blocking a hiptoss and getting a Saito suplex. Harwood smacks Lyon around in the corner, and Wheeler’s in with a lariat. Harwood returns as they uppercut Lyon in the corner. Harwood with rights and chops on Lyon, then a short clothesline. Lightning legdrop, elbowdrop, headbutt combo gets a series of ones, with Harwood picking Lyon up each time. Lyon is dumped outside by Wardlow, who holds him up for Blanchard to slap him.

Back in, Harwood steps on Lyon’s hand and elbowsmashes Lyon’s head. Lyon with a Tajiri handspring into an enzuigiri to stun Harwood, hot tag Black. He goes to town on Harwood, but Dax catches Black coming off the ropes and reverses to a brainbuster. Wheeler in, and it’s spike piledriver time for the finish at 4:28. With the Shatter Machine renamed the Big Rig, it’s implied the spike piledriver to Goodnight Express. I’ll forgive the stalling with the mask, but the rest is all FTR. 1/2*

Vary Morales and Andre Montoya (first time teaming) vs. PAC and Rey Fenix (1-1). As a reminder, PAC/Fenix will team up on Dynamite for their title match they earned at Revolution. Morales is Mexican; Montoya is Chliean and wears a mask.

Fenix and Montoya start, and Fenix pulls back the Code of Honor and smacks Montoya. Montoya comes back with a running headscissors and kips up, but Fenix with a quick gut punch and right hook. Morales tags himself in as Montoya is dumped, and Morales gets a rana of his own. Fenix catches him with a gamengiri, and PAC tags in only for Morales to bring in Montoya. Montoya dives in but is caught, and the jobbers eat SUPERKICK as PAC and Fenix mock the Young Bucks.

PAC kicks Montoya around and taunts the crowd. He steps on Montoya’s head before getting a snapmare and bringign Fenix in. They kick Montoya back and forth, ending with a double shotgun dropkick. Fenix drags Montoya over to bring Morales in, then gives Morales a rolling elbow. Fenix goes nuts off the ropes before getting a knee strike to the back of the head. He picks Morales up at one and pounds away, and PAC returns with a big boot and choke. PAC with a snap suplex, but a blind charge misses and Montoya gets the hot tag.

He gets caught celebrating, but recovers with a handspring into a double back elbow. Morales with a senton onto PAC on the outside, and back in, Montoya has a kick… caught. Fenix in, and they SUPERKICK Montoya over and over before PAC catches Morales coming in with a German suplex. Fenix rolls Montoya into PAC’s arms, and we get a double-stomp into a SUPERKICK into PAC with a powerbomb, into Fenix with a frog splash to end the pain at 5:21. I would’ve had this match be half as long myself. 3/4*

Daunte Martin (5-4) vs. Baron Black (0-7). This should be good, as Martin is one of the top flyers in AEW and Black is one of their better bases. Daunte is the younger brother of Darius and is only 20 years old.

Black opens with wrist control, but Martin reverses to a headlock takedown. Black escapes and gets his own takedown, Martin escapes, we get legsweep one counts and end in a stalemate. Which, as always, pops the crowd. Black refuses Code of Honor and chops Martin, going back to the arm. Martin with a ropeflip armdrag, then another, then he backflips off a dropkick only to be caught and German suplexed by Black. Black with a Kitchen Sink into an abdominal stretch. Martin fights out, backflips, and gets a cradle for two.

Black with an atomic drop to slow it down, but his discus clothesline runs into boots. Martin gets a lariat of his own, then a dropkick. Standing rana by Martin as Black retreats to the corner, then Martin lands on the apron and gets a double-jump moonsault for two. Martin goes up top, but Black follows for an avalanche German suplex, but Martin LANDS ON HIS FEET, then does the same on a T-Bone suplex try. Black is peeved and THE STRAPS ARE DOWN, but Martin with a SUPERKICK to a charging Black. 450 Splash gets the win at 3:37. Take the three minutes I said the previous match didn’t need and give it here next time. These two told a very nice story. *3/4

Ethan Page says he wants to air grievances (“which we’ve been doing quite a lot”). First, Joey Janela – why did he get the red carpet rolled out and get a shot at Darby Allin. And Sonny Kiss got a shot against Cody. Neither man had that good a record. Meanwhile, Sky had to win a ladder match to get HIS shot? And Page has a great singles record (“never been pinned”) and he doesn’t get a shot either?? Where are the rematches? Where’s the reward? So now they’ll take whatever they want, and tonight will end the way last week did – with them the winners. Sky: “Get used to it.” (snaps fingers to go to black)

Dr. Britt Baker DMD (with Rebel – no, Tony, not Reba, it’s REBEL, get it right) (5-1, #4 women) vs. Skye Blue (debut). Rebel is still on a single crutch, thought I don’t know if she needs it. Skye is from Chicago and from what I’ve heard has a bit of buzz about her.

Lockup, and Baker with the wrist control into a hammerlock into a headlock. Skye goes behind, then gets wrist control, but Baker with a keylock takedown and cover for two. Skye cartwheels out of it and gets a wristlock of her own, so Baker forearms her, then breaks the Matrix bridge for one. Baker slugs away on Skye and ducks a lariat, but Skye kicks her leg out of her leg and gets a dropkick for two. Baker bails, getting advice from Rebel (That advice: “don’t ask your boyfriend how long a match should go”), and Skye tries to jump on both only to be caught with a SUPERKICK and Saturn Driver on the floor.

Back in, Baker distracts the ref while Rebel leans the crutch on Skye’s throat (yeah, like she needs a crutch). Skye rolls herself in and Baker patronizes her as she gets up, but Skye fires back only to get slugged down by Baker. Skye sends Baker into the corner and nails an elbow, then gets another Hammer Throw and spinning roundhouse kick before a handspring into a forearm. She charges again, and this time Baker catches her and drops her on the middle buckle. Low thrust kick by Baker and something resembling a Beach Break as Rebel has the glove at the ready. Curbstomp by Baker instead gets the pin at 4:29. 1/2*

And Tony of course wants to talk to Baker. Baker says she will play by the rules and rack up wins the way it’s supposed to happen, and she hopes to be moved up the rankings on Wednesday. Rebel makes darn sure Tony gets her name right as he ends the sound bite.

QT Marshall and Nick Comoroto (w/Aaron Solow) (first time teaming) vs. Andrew Palace and Kole Carter (debut). Marshall’s group is called The Factory and has new T-shirts. Except for Comoroto, who still has his straitjacket. Wight and Tony are furious at what Marshall did.

Marshall and Carter start. Marshall with a kick and headlock, and we go International~!, with Marshall landing a dropkick on Carter. Palace enters as the crowd chants Cody’s Friend at Marshall. Marshall with a hard right to Palace, and Comoroto comes in and whips Marshall into Palace before giving him a backbreaker. Palace, not Marshall. Comoroto elbows Palace, then Hammer Throws him into the corner. Marshall slams Palace and drops an elbow before stepping on Palace’s face. Snapmare by Marshall, and Comoroto with a diving elbow.

They refuse to pin, though, and Palace tries to fight back, but Comoroto forearms him flat and Hammer Throws him before running into a boot. Palace tries to fight out, collapsing to avoid a charge, and hot tag Carter. Clotheslines… do nothing. Comoroto just picks him up and gets an oshigoroshi to Carter. He yanks Palace in, military pressing into a Oklahoma Slam to end his night, and Marshall returns to give Carter the Diamond Cutter to win at 3:40. AEW is really good at giving someone important a steamrolling on these B-shows. 3/4* Aaron Solow steps on Carter to be a dick.

Yet Another Freaking “Bonus” Match: M.T. Nakazawa (2-1) vs. Mike Sydal (0-1 singles). Oh, aren’t we blessed. Nakazawa has his headset, lanyard, apple, and laptop with him. And he’s used that laptop before as a weapon. This is the closest thing to an Elevation-exclusive feud we have. Just as long as Tony Khan gets someone to talk for him.

Nakazawa stops the lockup because someone’s on his headset. Sydal asks him to hurry up because the match has started, but again Nakazawa calls for time. Sydal does push-ups to stall for time, then dodges an Nakazawa elbowdrop and chops him. Nakazawa with the PURPLE NURPLES OF DOOM, then a headlock. Wight refuses to dignift this offense.

We go International~!, ending with Sydal getting a series of armdrags. Butterfly lock into a tiger cradle gets two for Sydal, who keeps arm control. Sydal cartwheels away from Nakazawa and lands a dropkick. Blind charge eats shoe, and Nakazawa drop toeholds Sydal into the middle buckle. Nakazawa slides outside and wishbones Sydal against the post, grinding it as he does. Back in, running uppercut by Nakazawa sets up the Hentai Slide into an atomic drop and clothesline for two. Sydal with a forearm and they slug it out, with Sydal getting the advantage.

Nazakawa blocks a whip twice, then on the third try gets a fireman’s carry reversal before Sydal escapes and catches a charging Nakazawa with an elbow. He goes up top, cartwheeling to avoid Nakazawa’s charge, then hits the Matrix dodge and an enzuigiri. Sydal YOGAS UP, getting an up-and-over, handspring, SUPERKICK, and split legsweep setting up the standing moonsault for two. Nakazawa says he’s busted open and asks the referee to check, and in the chaos, he picks up the laptop. Swing and a miss, and Sydal cradles him for the pin at 5:02. That’s about as good as you’re gonna get out of this incarnation of Nakazawa. * Nakazawa slams the laptop into Sydal’s back post-match, but Sydal pops up and chases him off. And yes, Nakazawa’s mouth WAS busted open.

Rey Fenix yells in Spanish before PAC calms him down. PAC says he hopes the Young Bucks were watching, because this is what they’re capable of. They’re formidable stars, and on Dynamite they’re leaving as champions. Short and sweet.

GOOD GRIEF HOW MANY MATCHES DID THEY TAPE FOR THIS?: Shanna (4-1) vs. Leyla Hirsch (5-3). The good news is they’re all flying by. But still, warn me if we’re getting this many matches. At least this is another feature bout. Shanna’s been hit or miss since coming back from Europe after the lockdown, but Hirsch has been able to get the goods out of people. This has a chance to be good.

They go amateur to start, with Hirsch getting a single-leg and ride. Shanna tries a front facelock, but Hirsch escapes and controls the back until Shanna makes the ropes. A hesitant Shanna gets a go-behind and ride of her own, but Hirsch reverses with an ankle pick only for Shanna to get a crucifix on the ground for two. Hirsch goes back to the go-behind waistlock, but Shanna reverses and controls the arm with a standing keylock. Hirsch escapes and trips Shanna for one as we reset. WRESTLING!

The crowd approves of Hirsch, flustering Shanna, so Hirsch gets a takedown. Shanna reverses to a headlock on the ground, but Hirsch escapes and they fight over a headlock. Shanna goes for a quick tiger suplex, only for Hirsch to escape, get a judo takedown, and try the gogoplata before Shanna escapes to the ropes. Shanna is ticked and slaps Hirsch, which is a Very Bad Idea as Hirsch gets a double-leg and pounds away. Shanna escapes and bails, suckering in Hirsch for a knee to the gut, then throws Hirsch into the apron. Shanna then backs Hirsch into the guardrail, and back in, she gets a running knee strike for two.

The shirt is off, and Shanna chokes Hirsch with it, which wakes up Hirsch as she tries the cross armbar. Shanna blocks and gets to her feet, stacking Hirsch for two before getting the Backlund powerbomb (barely) and running kick for two. Shanna tries a tiger driver, but Hirsch rolls through and gets the armbar out of nowhere for the tap at 4:39. Hirsch adds a few kicks after the bell, and the two have to be separated. Not sure why she did that since she played face all match. Probably Shanna’s best match since her comeback, and being heel suits her better. **

Alex Marvez is backstage with Konosuke Takeshita, but Kenny Omega interrupts to correct Marvez’s pronunciation and interview him with M.T. Nakazawa as interpreter. Omega welcomes him to AEW. He’s been scouting, and he says the best talent gets on Dynamite. Omega reminisces about how he was no one in Japan, but Takeshita made sure he had a home and meals. And now Omega’s the big star. Now Omega wants payback – and it concerns Matt and Mike Sydal. He wants to teach them a lesson. Takeshita can’t wait to team with Omega… wait, just kidding, he’s teaming with Nakazawa. That match is next week. Takeshita isn’t too happy.

Brandon Cutler (9-12-2) vs. Penta El Cero Miedo (5-4) (w/PAC and Fenix). Apparently Wight does D&D. Who knew? I don’t like the Death Triangle music – the Lucha Bros music is much better. Just my thought. This is Pac and Fenix’s friend against the Young Bucks’ friend.

Penta holds off on a lockup and removes the glove. He then gets in Cutler’s face, and Cutler shoves him back as they want ot get it on. Penta gets arm control first, but Cutler escapes and reverses. Penta with a single-leg trip and twist, then he works a modified STF into a headlock. Cutler shoves him off and tries a monkey flip, but Penta just kicks him mid-move. Blind charge misses and Cutler fights him off with a roundhouse kick, but the springboard overshoots Penta and we get a SUPERKICK from Penta.

Penta taunts Cutler, who dropkicks him out of the ring and is about to dive before Penta kicks him in midair! Penta goes up top, but the double stomp misses and Cutler with a SUPERKICK of his own to send Penta packing. Now the tope connects to Penta, who bounces into the safety rail. Cutler picks Penta up while keeping one eye on PAC and Fenix, which allows Penta to return with a SUPERKICK of his own. Senton to the outside floors Cutler, and Fenix gives Penta a high five. Penta kicks Cutler’s leg out of his leg, and back in (what a concept), Penta keeps kicking away. Package Piledriver try, but Cutler slides out the back. Cutler goes to the apron and dives in with a flying forearm to cue the comeback. Suplex by Cutler gets two. Cutler charges into another SUPERKICK, but then gets a crucifix out of a lucha armdrag for two.

Pentagon Driver is reversed by Cutler to an armdrag, and the Ziggler DDT gets two. Cutler gets caught going up the ropes and knocked down. Pentagon Driver gets two. Lariat is ducked, and Cutler with an elevated inverted DDT for two. Cutler may be cut open on the nose. Cutler tries the springboard elbow, but Penta catches him into the armbuster. Fear Factor (package piledriver) ends it at 6:47. WAY better than I thought it would be – Penta gave Cutler quite a bit, and the match was better off for it. **1/4 The Death Triangle holds up Cutler’s face (and the nose is bleeding) to send a message to the Young Bucks.

Diamante (7-2) vs. Thunder Rosa (6-2). This one was set up a few weeks ago on Elevation when Rosa claimed to be a role model for Latinas and Diamante disagreed. Diamante with the Cuban flag in her entrance, but no medal. Rosa counters with… is that a Tex-Mx flag?

Powerful lockup to start, with Diamante getting a headlock. Rosa escapes with a fireman’s carry and takes the arm. Diamante uses the hair to back Rosa into the corner, then works over Rosa in the corner. Rosa goes up and over on a whip and gets an armdrag, then another. La Mistica try, but Diamante blocks the armbar and rolls out to the floor. Rosa awaits, then dropkicks Diamante through the ropes to the guardrail. Rosa works over Diamante’s arm, dropping it on the guardrail, then resets the count and throws the arm into the post. Big chop follows, but Diamante responds in kind only to hurt herself.

Diamante uses the good arm and the post to do a Shiranui on Rosa, and back in, Diamante tries to punch Rosa with the bad arm which doesn’t do much. She uses the good arm as she pulls Rosa up, but runs into a facebuster by Rosa for two. Rosa works the arm more, cranking in a Fujiwara armbar. Diamante gets sent arm-first into the turnbuckle, then Rosa wraps it around the top rope and yanks it. Diamante catches Rosa coming in with a drop toe hold, then gets a shotgun dropkick for two. Diamante with crossface blows (using the wrong arm) for two.

Diamante with knee strikes and she wants a suplex, but Rosa escapes and gets Divorce Court on the arm. Mizline follows and Rosa drops the knees onto Diamante. Hesitation dropkick in the corner, then a butterfly suplex for two. Rosa pounds away on Diamante’s back, then gets a short clothesline and shoulder to shoulder tackle. Diamante slides out of a slam and gets a straitjacket lock, but Rosa escapes into a double armbar. Diamante scrambles to the ropes. Rosa wraps Diamante’s arm around the middle rope to work it over more, then gets a hammerlock flip into a kimura-like move. Diamante cradles Rosa for two to break.

Clothesline (with the bad arm), but Diamante can’t follow up. She tries to slug Rosa down with the bad arm, but Rosa fights back from her knees. Diamante comes back with knee strikes and a suplex, floating over for two. Rosa tries the Thunder Driver, but Diamante elbows out and gets a casadora into a Stunner for two. Could someone tell me why Tony thinks a Canadian Destroyer starts with a fireman’s carry? They slug it out, with Diamante adding a knee to get the edge, then tries Code Red. Rosa blocks and slams down Diamante, then gets the Thunder Driver to win at 8:46. Diamante’s insistence on leading with her left arm aside, this was a good hard-hitting match. **1/4

A note: Wight attempted to excuse Diamante’s insistence on using her left arm by saying she is left-handed. Maybe that’s true, but the first thing you’re taught is to be right-handed in the ring. Since 90% of people are right-handed, it’s just easier to be right-handed for the 10 minutes or so you’re in the ring. Look, I’m left-handed and I know it’s an adjustment, but it’s one you have to make.

Ethan Page (4-1) and Scorpio Sky (5-1) vs. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss (11-10). I will never get tired of Janela’s reactions to Stupid Sexy Sonny. Page and Sky enter separately. Sky is the Face of the Revolution. Wight notes that personalities that are similar find each other, and that goes for the heels.

Janela and Sky start. Lockup, and Janela gets Sky in the corner and mocks him, earning him a knockdown. Uppercut by Sky, then a standing facewash. Page in, and he punches Janela’s ribs and drops an elbow on his head. Janela with an armlock as Page taunts him, and Kiss in to drop an axhandle on it. Sky comes in and runs into a double hiptoss and double elbowdrop. Kiss in now, and he works the arm before tagging Janela back in. The Jersey Duo trip up Sky, and Janela adds an elbowdrop into Kiss’s moonsault. Janela gets two, Page saves. Sky shoves Janela into the Ego corner, but Janela kncoks Page to the floor only for Sky to trip Janela, who lands head-first on the top turnbuckle on the way down.

Page tags in and drags Janela out, throwing him into the guardrail. Sky does the same thing, and back in, Page stomps away. Straight right by Page, then a Hammer Throw, and Sky comes in to keep Janela in their corner. Sky beats Janela down and chokes him in the corner, then Page gets caught trying the same thing. Sky keeps on Janela, who tries to fight out of the corner, getting a sunset flip for two. Sky with a lariat to stop him from the hot tag, though, getting two. Page in, and he stomps a wide-open Janela before knocking Kiss off the apron.

Kiss in, which allows Page to fish-hook Janela. Backbreaker by Page, and Sky in to hit one of his own for two. Page back in, and he stomps away on Janela. Janela tries to fight back, but Page rushes him back to Sky’s corner to stop him. Shoulder shots int eh corner and Page is admonished, but Janela rests and tries to fight back. He goes up, but Page catches him and tries to pull him off. Janela escapes and yanks Page into the corner, then dives into a tumble to get the hot tag to Kiss.

Kiss kicks Sky down, then backflips to fake out a moonsault try before giving Sky an enzuigiri. Handspring elbow to Page, and a Paydirt to Sky gets two. Heels bail, so Kiss and Janela with stereo planchas on them. SUPERKICK by Janela to Page to take him out, and he throws Sky in but walks into a DDT from Sky for two. Sky had nothing in him to do a real cover. Page back in, and he works over Janela in the corner. Double-wrist takedown by Page from the top rope, and he wants the Ego’s Edge, but Janela hooks the turnbuckle to stop it. Janela with a moonsault press on Page, and he finds Kiss for another tag.

Splits legdrop / inverted DDT combo gets two, Sky saves. Sky is tossed and Janela flies at him, but Sky catches him with a forearm and they’re both down. Back in the ring, Kiss with a discus forearm on Page and he goes up, but Sky shoves him off and kicks a charging Kiss while on the apron. Page runs over Kiss and gets the Ego’s Edge for real, pinning Kiss at 9:42. Very good main event match – this should’ve gone on last. **1/2 I must say I’m not a fan of how much Page stalls in the ring, but he and Sky are clicking as a heel team.

FINALLY THE MAIN EVENT: Ryan Nemeth and Cezar Bononi (w/JD Drake) (first time teaming) vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent w/Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander) (24-11 overall). Drake had a pretty good match with Darby Allin on Wednesday, but he’s still the odd man out in this trio. Best Friends also come out to the Pixies. This is Trent’s return match after his pectoral injury. Drake coaches his men, but Nemeth seems to think he’s got it covered… until Trent throws his shirt on Nemeth. Drake throws the shirt back.

Taylor and Nemeth start. Nemeth with a go-behind and he shoves Taylor away. Taylor returns with a wristlock, but Nemeth gets a single-leg to take him down and wants amateur points for it. Taylor goes back to the headlock, then switches to a wristlock. Trent is tagged in, but Nemeth escapes and we reset. Trent pushes Nemeth into the corner and gives him a very patronizing clean break, so Nemeth slugs away on him. Trent is just mad and responds in kind, adding a massive chop and right hook. Nemeth with a headbutt, but he runs into a back elbow from Trent. Northern Lights suplex gets two. Trent tells the camera his pec is just fine, then brings in Taylor.

Double back elbow and handshake elbowdrop gives Taylor one. Taylor corners Nemeth and whips him across the ring, but a blind charge misses and Bononi clotheslines Taylor down from the apron. Nemeth brings him in, and Bononi stomps away on Taylor. Leg choke against the middle rope follows. Another kick to the ribs, and Nemeth is in to punch away on Taylor. Fireman’s carry by Nemeth, then some fistdrops. Bononi tags in and works over Taylor’s gut, adding a back suplex for two. What does NEGO on Bononi’s tights mean?

Nemeth in as Bononi sends Taylor into the turnbuckle, but Taylor takes advantage of Nemeth taunting and fights out to bring in Trent. Bononi’s knocked off the apron, and Trent with clotheslines to Nemeth. Running knee in the corner, then a leaping elbow to Nemeth. He ducks Bononi and knocks him back down, then dives onto him with a senton. Trent returns and gets a Tornado DDT on Nemeth. Taylor returns, and it’s a Sole Food into a half-and-half by Trent. Taylor gets two off of it. Trent returns, giving Nemeth a big chop, but Bononi trips Trent and Nemeth with the Ziggler DDT.

Bononi knocks Taylor off the apron and gets tagged in, getting a corner clothesline and pumphandle fallaway slam for two. Nemeth back in while Bononi goes out to throw Taylor around, but Taylor sends Bononi into the post. Back in, Nemeth’s Rude Awakening is escaped and Trent gets a Saito suplex. Strong Zero ends it at 7:14. Good return for Trent, and probably Bononi’s best performance thus far. **1/4 Everyone HUGS IT OUT to end it.

WEDNESDAY!

  • TNT Title: Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin
  • Tag Team Titles: Pac/Fenix vs. The Young Bucks
  • With Special Enforcer Mike Tyson: Dax Harwood vs. Chris Jericho

I’m not very happy that it took two and a half hours and included SEVENTEEN matches, five of which we weren’t informed of, but at the end we got some very good action here. Just have your FFWD button at the ready and stick with the competitive matches. It was great seeing Takeshita put on a show, Rosa was her usual awesome self, and Bononi and Vance looked just fine in their outings. Hopefully, though, the massive number of matches was just a WrestleMania Week special and they drop back to 12 or so for next week.

STATS

BELL-TO-BELL: 92:04 over 17 matches (average time 5:25)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Takeshita/Limelight

FIVE STARS:

  1. Konosuke Takeshita
  2. Joey Janela
  3. Danny Limelight
  4. Thunder Rosa
  5. Penta El Cero Miedo

Thank you for reading this (collapses).