AEW ELEVATION: May 24, 2021

The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation Episode 11 (“Door’s Open”), May 24, 2021.

TONIGHT! Two singles matches featuring tag teams as Scorpio Sky faces Alan Angels while Ethan Page meets Alex Reynolds! Mike Sydal shows no fear, but his foe knows no fear as he faces Penta El Cero Miedo! Someone’s getting a first win as New Japan’s young lion Ren Narita faces Royce Isaacs! And speaking of New Japan, it’s longtime veteran Rocky Romero going one-on-one with JD Drake!

PLUS – Thunder Rosa, QT Marshall, Nyla Rose, Matt Hardy, Abadon, Lee Johnson, and Tay Conti!

From the AEW Arena.

Opening match: QT Marshall (14-1) vs. Robo the Punjabi Lion (0-1). Unfortunately, my connection is futzing out and I can’t quite read the records on the nameplates right away. I know, you’re all heartbroken. (Thankfully, Tony quoted their records.)

Lockup, and Marshall gets a hammerlock into a headlock into a drop toehold and slaps around Robo. He then piefaces Robo, who fires back and chops away in the corner. He avoids a back body drop, but Marshall with a back elbow. Robo recovers with a dropkick, but Marshall drops him into the middle turnbuckle and stomps a mudhole. Running back elbow follows, getting two. He chokes Robo away on the middle rope, then adds cross-face blows. Robo catches Marshall with a right, but he’s sent into a Marshall dropkick. Kneedrop follows, for two.

Marshall milks the crowd chant (“You still suck!”), then toys around with Robo. One slap too many, though, and Robo fires back with rights. Clothesline, cross-chop, and atomic drop leads to a belly to belly suplex. Blind charge eats boot, but Robo recovers with a powerslam for two. Fireman’s carry try, but Marshall slides out and catches Robo in Lethal Combination. Diamond Cutter is signaled, and there it is for the win at 4:49. Marshall worked very slowly here. 3/4*

Your hosts are Big Paul and Little Tony. (Size is relative.) They mention Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky both in singles competition… no, not against each other.

Abadon (6-1) vs. Leila Gray (0-5). Okay, so I’ve got both the browser and Internet TV on Elevation in order to catch every detail. Never tell me I don’t go all out for you all. The fact Wight gets the creeps from Abadon really helps sell the gimmick.

Gray with a go-behind to start, but Abadon reverses and takes her down before pounding away. Abadon scares off the referee, then ducks a clothesline and gets a T-Bone suplex. Knees in the corner misses, and Gray fires off with lefts and a roundhouse boot. Abadon glares at Gray and screams, then pounds away in the corner. Bradley Beal across the ring takes Gray down, and she stalks in to get a spinning back chop and German suplex. Some wacky variation of a Rocker Dropper follows, then Abadon gets the Cemetery Driver to win at 2:56. Absolutely nothing to see here. 1/4*

Thunder Rosa (#2 women, 12-2) vs. Ashley D’Amboise (0-2). Rosa’s outfits are always on point, this time with a blue and gold motif. D’Amboise has wrestled for a matter of weeks, not months.

Lockup, and Rosa with a headlock, reversed by D’Amboise to a chinlock. Rosa snapmares out of it and they fight for position, with D’Amboise getting wrist control until Rosa reverses to a hammerlock-headlock-hammerlock-headlock-hammerlock-headlock sequence, all by herself. Those weren’t reversals, that was Rosa floating all over the place. Rosa with an armdrag cradle off the ropes for two. Then she nearly trips D’Amboise before getting a dropkick for two. D’Amboise goes headfirst into the turnbuckle, then Rosa chops her and gets a snapmare and soccer kick for two.

D’Amboise turns a clothesline into a crucifix sunset flip for two, but Rosa kicks her down and applies a double armbar. She throws D’Amboise down before getting a hammerlock whip for two. Thunder Driver is escaped, and D’Amboise has a rear chokehold. Rosa stacks for two, reversed for two, and Rosa grabs her straight into a rocking horse hold before walking over and smashing her head into the bottom buckle while in the hold. Mizline follows, then double knees in the corner. Shotgun dropkick leads to a butterfly suplex for two. D’Amboise tries to fight back, but Rosa stops her with a Death Valley Driver into the Peruvian Choke for the win at 5:01. Wight: “I prefer the Peruvian necktie.” Rosa was hellbent on getting something out of D’Amboise, but this wasn’t Ashley’s night. 1/2*

We now look at Gunn Club. Billy is surprised he’s still active – he’d figure he would be a coach by now, but here he is, active. Austin says he loved what Billy was doing in the WWF, but to them, he was just Dad. Billy was always tired when he got home (obviously), and it took a while for Austin and Colten to realize that’s just how wrestling is. They appreciate when Billy went through in order to get them through college, and they know he wanted to give them a better life than he had. Billy had an ultimatum: graduate from college before anything else. The very day Austin graduated, he asked to become a wrestler.

Austin wanted to give it a shot, and the first time he stepped in, he knew this is what he wanted. Billy says Austin was made for wrestling – with athleticism and personality to match. Then Colten wanted to try it to, as he gave up being a Southern Cal construction worker to step into the ring. Of course kids of a wrestler want to team up together, but when it finally happened the magnitude took a while to him them. Billy loves teaming with his kids, because now he’s done everything there is to do in wrestling. Colten knew Billy knows they’re ready – but he still pushes them to be better every single day.

Billy enjoys watching them from the corner as they improve every day. Austin admits wrestling was in his bloodline, but he needed to take that first step. They both did, and they haven’t looked back. Meanwhile, Austin has a music album that he recorded throughout his life as therapy for missing his dad while the latter was on the road. Austin says to chase your passions, regardless of the haters. Billy says he knows there’s pressure on Austin and Colten to live up to Billy’s accolades, even though he never asked them to do that. Austin wants people to say, yes, they got an opportunity, but they never held back. Colten admits that Billy’s time is running short, and he wants Billy to retire proud of his kids.

Lee Johnson (6-1) vs. Daniel Garcia (0-1). Garcia is one of the Buffalo Boys, and that means you’re in for a treat in this match. Add on that Johnson might be the most athletic Nightmare grad, and the ceiling is off.

Lockup, and Johnson with a waistlock. Garcia wrenches an arm free and reverses it to a hammerlock, so Johnson with a drop toe hold into a front facelock. Garcia reverses, Johnson reverses, and they tumble into the ropes. WRESTLING! Johnson gets a headlock and we go International~!, but Johnson stops it with a headlock takedown. Garcia backs Johnson into the corner and tries to jump on him, getting a chop after a clean break. Johnson, more annoyed than hurt, walks into a gut kick and headlock, but he shoves Garcia off and gets a dropkick.

Johnson sends Garcia into the turnbuckle and returns the chop as they go around the world with chops in each corner. Garcia puts on the brakes before getting tripped, landing a kneedrop and butterfly suplex before checking on his mouth (which is busted). As a result, the cover only gets one. Garcia with a forearm club and he takes the leg, teasing a Romero Special before just stomping on the backs of the knees. Johnson fights back from a seated position, but Garcia stops him and gives him a Hammer Throw. It gets two.

Garcia with a European uppercut, then he follows a Hammer Throw with a big chop and back body drop. He maintains wrist control and scrapes away on Johnson’s face before dropping his weight on the arm. Big forearm smash by Garcia, then another to floor Johnson again. He taunts Johnson before slugging him again, but this finally causes Johnson to say enough of this and begin the comeback with lariats and a leaping neckbreaker with kip-up. Fisherman’s oshigoroshi (Brain Dawg, so says Tony) wins it at 6:07. Abrupt ending to a fun match. *1/2

Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page want to talk about something – no, not Sky’s tracksuit. It’s how ripped Ethan is! Having noted that, tonight they go in a different direction. I mean, they’ve been racking up the tag wins, but now that Allin’s no longer TNT champ, they want to rub it in by entering the men’s Top 5. All the champions are on notice – men’s, team, women’s… okay, fine, Shida’s safe. They’re not worried about Angels, since both have beaten him, and they’re not worried about Reynolds. They’ll win, because that’s what they do.

Nyla Rose (#4 women, 9-2) vs. Robyn Renegade (0-1). Now Vickie screams at the cameraman to get out of her way, becoming more and more of a self-parody every week. Even commentary wonders why Justin Roberts hasn’t found a pattern in Nyla’s matches yet.

Lockup, and Nyla throws Renegade down. Renegade gets a forearm smash, but Nyla reverses a whip into a Vader attack before picking Renegade up WITH ONE HAND and throwing her into the corner. Hip check misses and Renegade fires off, but she takes time to fire up the crowd and Nyla reverses and mauls her. Bradley beal goes from coast to coast, and Nyla stands on Renegade’s head. She then chokes Renegade against the middle rope, allowing Vickie a little extra… so Renegade jumps out to confront her. Nyla follows and runs over Renegade from behind, but back in, a blind charge eats boot. Renegade runs into a Samoan Drop, however, then the hip check connects. Lariat leads to a Beast Bomb to win at 2:36. Nyla is a scary monster heel. 1/2*

Ethan Page (with Scorpio Sky) (part of #2 team, 11-1 overall) vs. Alex Reynolds (with Dark Order) (10-5 overall). Wight loves to point out Ethan’s Macedonian heritage. Grayson’s back with Dark Order this week, and after the group pose, they leave Reynolds on his own to handle this.

Lockup, and Ethan shoves Reynolds into the corner. They reverse while still in the lockup, then return to the middle, then back to the corner before finally getting a break. Reynolds ducks an Ethan cheap shot and fires away, adding an uppercut. Hammer Throws by Reynolds lead to a suplex for one. Ethan with a knee to the gut to take over, then a right haymaker. Another in a different corner and he sends Reynolds across the ring, but Reynolds stops himself from eating turnbuckle and elbows away. Instead it’s Ethan going headfirst to both buckles. Drop toe hold and low dropkick follow, then he sets Ethan up and gets the Drive-By dropkick.

Reynolds goes up, but Ethan meets him and they fight up top. Ethan drops Reynolds onto the top buckle, then gets a double-underhook backbreaker on the way back in. Ethan stomps away on Reynolds before driving a knee into his back in the ropes. Shoulders to the gut in the corner follow, but Reynolds tries to fight back. Ethan cuts him off and drags him to the middle of the ring, getting a backbreaker for two. Ethan with a gutwrench on the mat, which turns into a bearhug when they stand up. Reynolds tries to elbow out, so Ethan runs him into the corner only to run into a back elbow.

Reynolds charges straight into a BACK body drop (.6 Warlord), then he taunts Reynolds as the latter tries to pull himself up. Ethan with a camel clutch in the ropes on Reynolds, and Sky adds a right hook when Ethan chats with the ref. It gets Ethan two. Reynolds with desperation rights to stagger Ethan, who just catches him in a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. He puts Reynolds up top, following him up, but Reynolds blocks the superplex. Reynolds with a ton of elbows to knock Ethan down, and he follows with a crossbody off the top for a double-down.

Ethan runs into a boot in the corner, then airballs on an axhandle. Reynolds with a running elbow, Torpedo Moscow, and dropkick to signal the comeback. Discus punch sets up a spinning neckbreaker toss for two. Reynolds tries a fiseherman’s suplex, but he’s not strong enough to do it. He settles for corner clotheslines on Ethan before pummeling him into a seated position. Running knee in the corner follows, and now Reynolds tries again, but Ethan pulls in the ref to get him to stop. Reynolds is tossed into the corner, and Ego’s Edge ends it at 9:34. Probably the best I’ve seen of All Ego in AEW. **1/4 Ethan and Sky will face Uno and Stu on Friday.

Lexy Nair will sit down with the Varsity Blonds on Outside the Ring.

Tay Conti (#3 women, 11-3) vs. Queen Aminata (0-1). Just about every top-ranked woman has been on today’s show. Why can’t there be more room for them on Dynamite? Hopefully Rampage fixes that.

Lockup leads to a stalemate. Round two sees Conti with a side headlock, and she spins it into a hammerlock before re-applying the headlock. Aminata with a knee strike to break it. Hammer Throw by Aminata, then a running clothesline in the corner and she stomps a mudhole. Another Hammer Throw, but Aminata preens before charging in and gets sent to the apron, where Conti slugs her to the floor.

Conti with a front kick off the apron (after Aminata ducked the first try), and Conti with a back hold into a spin into a backbreaker. No, I don’t know what just happened. Back in, Conti leaps in over Aminata, but she recovers with lariats and a German suplex. Pump kick in the corner, then another, and Conti catches Aminata with multiple judo throws into the DDTay to win at 3:03. Conti has become so much better once the lightbulb went on, and it’s frightening where her ceiling might be. 1/4*

Mike Sydal (w/Matt Sydal) (1-3 singles) vs. Penta El Cero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) (7-4). Wight once again insists that he wants to see Mike Sydal try to out-yoga DDP. The fact that Abrahantes, who was hired as a media man, has made himself a manager shows that AEW is willing to think outside the box. Penta gets all sorts of pyro, with Tony saying he liked it because it’s been a cool day in Jacksonville.

Lockup, and Sydal tries a headlock only for Penta to take him down. Sydal bounces back up with an armdrag and bows to Penta, so Penta grabs Sydal from a trip attempt and kicks him as Sydal tries a backward roll. Cero! Blind charge misses and Sydal cartwheels past Penta to give him a dropkick. Victory Roll into a rana by Sydal and Penta fakes bailing out so he can attack when Sydal bows. Penta does a Dikembe “Not today” finger-wag on that. Penta with a Silencio Chop in the ropes to Sydal, then a boot choke in the corner. He struts at the ref before picking Sydal up, but Sydal gets a Matrix duck and enzuigiri as Penta bails for real.

Sydal follows with a tope suicida to send Penta into the railing. Back in, Sydal goes up top, but he leaps into a SUPERKICK by Penta. Penta charges right into a Falcon Arrow (with the splits) for two. Penta catches Sydal going up and kicks out his legs, leaving Sydal hanging for a double stomp for two. Penta with a big forearm and they slug it out, with Penta catching Sydal coming in with a full-nelson pumphandle slam for two. Another full nelson try, but Sydal with an O’Connor Roll and bridge for two. Sydal’s lucha armdrag is caught into a crucifix for two, and Fear Factor by Penta ends it at 6:12. Penta just looked one step ahead of Sydal all match. *1/2 This marks Penta’s thirtieth overall win in AEW.

Scorpio Sky (w/Ethan Page) (part of #2 team, 12-1 overall) vs. Alan Angels (w/Dark Order) (8-6 overall). Tony can’t stay neutral when talking about these two and how they impacted the Allin/Miro match. A reminder: Scorpio Sky has Wrestling With the Week on Rooster Teeth every week. Much like the prior match, the Dark Order trusts Angels to go it alone.

Lockup, and Sky gets a waistlock takedown and walks over Angels. Angels is none too pleased, but Sky controls with a headlock on the lockup. We go International~!, with Angels getting a standing switch on a waistlock and taking down Sky… then walking on him! Angels with kicks and a tilt-a-whirl into a Russian legsweep, getting two. Sky bails, Angels follows, and after the chase, Angels catches Sky’s kick and knots up the hamstring. He runs into a punt from Sky, though, and Sky runs him over with a cross-chop.

Boot scrape (Wight: eyebrow peeler) follows, and Sky works the arm before putting a knee to the back. Sky sends Angels from corner to corner and delivers an uppercut, then adds a short-arm clothesline for one. Sky with a leg waistlock, using the mask to keep Angels in the hold, but Angels gets some elbows to escape. Sky kicks away at Angels’ knee and wraps it around the rope, but he yells at the ref and Angels fights out. Discus clothesline begins the comeback, and he ducks a Sky lariat to get an enzuigiri. This Is Gonna Suck follows, and he wants the Wing Clipper, but Sky blocks it.

Standing C-4 by Angels comes out of nowhere for two, and Angels can’t follow up. Uppercut by Angels, but Sky catches him with a Manhattan Drop and dragon screw. Angels kicks Sky away and does a double-stomp to the back, then a double-jump moonsault gets two as Angels tries to get blood back into his leg. Sky with a Maple Leaf Crab into the heel hook, and that gets the submission at 6:09. Sky is just so smooth in everything he does. *3/4

Matt Hardy says he formed the HFO to make money. Hey, you risk a lot in wrestling and never know when your career ends. The HFO is also to help younger talent, but in the meantime, he’s forgotten his goal in AEW: to take care of himself first. He wants people to remember who he is, he’s a survivor, Big Money, he who will not die, but tonight, he wants people to be reverent for his name. That starts tonight.

Fuego Del Sol (0-11) vs. Matt Hardy (9-3). The pre-show YouTube chat is split on Fuego. I enjoy him, especially compared to the broken-down Hardy.

Lockup, and Hardy with arm control to start. Fuego reverses the hammerlock, with Hardy backing them into the ropes before elbowing Fuego to break. Headlock by Hardy, and he tackles down Fuego before doing jumping jacks… and running into a dropkick. Stinger Splash by Fuego, then a flying spear, and Fuego stomps a mudhole in Hardy. Hardy hangs Fuego’s arm on the ropes to stop him, though, and he takes wrist control and pulls Fuego into shoulderblocks. Hammerlock as he breaks Fuego down, but Fuego elbows away only to run into the Side Effect for two.

Sleeper by Hardy, but Fuego with a jawjacker to break it. He blocks rights by Hardy and fires back, getting a standing Lionsault for two. Cradle gets two. He catches Hardy charging in with an uppercut, but Hardy catches him climbing the ropes for Splash Mountain for two. Hardy calls for the Twist of Fate, but Fuego escapes. Tornado DDT is teased but Hardy escapes into the Leech to get the win at 4:16. Hardy is just so slow compared to the people he’s in there with. 1/2*

AEW Casino app ad.

Royce Isaacs (first singles match) vs. Ren Narita (debut). Okay, this is interesting – as our Japanese reviewers will tell you, Narita is one of New Japan’s young lions. Not sure if he’s here on excursion or loan, though. Case in point, he came along with Yuji Nagata for that match.

They fight for position with Isaacs getting a single leg. Both men exchange waistlocks, with Isaacs getting a takedown, but Narita with a fireman’s carry and wristlock. Isaacs reverses to a headlock, and we go International~!, with Isaacs catching Narita in a leapfrog. Narita slides out to a waistlock, so Isaacs reverses him into the corner. Hammer Throw is reversed, and Narita gets a running elbow and rolling DDT for two. WRESTLING!

Narita ducks a clothesline and tries a chinlock, but settles for a waistlock. Isaacs sends Narita’s neck into the ropes and adds a clothesline to floor him, for a one-count. Back elbow by Isaacs gets two. Narita fires off forearms, but a leg lariat is caught by Isaacs into a suplex for two. Blind charge eats Narita’s boot, but Isaacs catches the boots on the second try and gets a Cloverleaf out of it! Narita wheelbarrow walks to the ropes. They exchange forearms, with Isaacs getting the better of it, but Narita reverses the whip and this time the spinwheel kick connects.

Narita wears down Isaacs with forearms shots and tries a belly-to-belly, but Isaacs with a judo throw and discus forearm to set up a Jackhammer for two. Isaacs wants a dragon suplex, but Narita fights out and gets a sleeper. He turns it into an abdominal stretch in a neat visual, but Isaacs walks him to the ropes. Narita stops him and gets a Northern Lights suplex for two. Overhead suplex with bridge wins it at 6:05! FIRST WIN ALERT! Yeah, Narita looks real good. He needs to work on match flow, though. *3/4

JD Drake (w/Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, and Cezar Bononi) (2-5)vs. Rocky Romero (AEW debut). AZUCAR! He even comes out to his own rapped music. Romero, according to Schiavone, is an eight-time Junior Tag champ (with Trent of all people), which means a LOT in Japan. Drake takes the shirt off, because this is WAR.

Lockup, and Romero with a headlock. Drake tries to lift him, but instead runs him over off the ropes. They talk trash in the ring, and a shoulderblock by Romero goes nowhere. Drake mocks Romero’s short stature, so Romero kicks away at the legs before finally knocking him down. Drop toe hold into a side headlock by Romero. Drake flings Romero off the headlock, but Romero returns with a rana to send Drake to the corner. Running clothesline by Romero, then another, but the third eats Drake’s elbow.

Drake whips Romero into TRANQUILO in the ropes, and when he charges, Romero leverages him out and follows with a tope and Eddie shimmy. He breaks the count, then stalks Drake and chops him against the apron. He blocks Drake’s rebound forearm and leaps off with a knee to the head, and back in, Drake rolls back out near his wingmen. Romero chops Drake hard on the outside, but Drake stops him and gets the rebound forearm. Now Drake resets the count and chops away on Romero, who falls almost in Avalon’s lap.

Back in, Drake kicks away on Romero’s back. Romero with forearms to stop him, but Drake comes back with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Drake with a front chancery, but Romero fights out and tries to work the arm. So Drake throws him to the Wingmen with his other arm, and Nemeth smokes Romero with an Oscar to the gut. Drake heads out and forearms Romero, and back in, a big chop sends Romero seated into the ropes. Another nasty chop, but Romero tries to fight back getting a hard right hook.

Blind charge eats boot, and Drake with a uranage and falling headbutt for two. Drake facewashes Romero in the corner, but his charge misses and Romero with a spinning sole kick. He charges straight into a belly-to-belly suplex by Drake, who goes up. Vaderbomb misses, though, and Romero with a diving tornado DDT for the double-down. Romeor with chops and forearms to come back, then he ducks a chop and wrecks Drake’s arm. He kicks at the arm, adding a forearm smash, but Drake murders him with a chop with the good arm. Suplex try, but the arm won’t have it and Romero kicks away at the arm.

Shiranui, but Drake stays on his feet and a Steinerline gets two. Romero rolls away from Drake to the apron, and when Drake pulls him up, Romero drops the arm on the top rope. He goes up, and a diving rana sends Drake to the apron. Romero kicks away on a draped Drake adding a shotgun dropkick. Running shiranui gets a very close two. They fight over a suplex, with Romero’s lightness and Drake’s arm canceling out, so Romero kicks the arm some more… only for Drake to just throw Romero inside out. Claymore gets two, and Drake is understandably upset. Cannonball to Romero, who was stuck in the corner, and Drake goes up. Diving moonsault misses, and Romero with La Majistral to steal the win at 11:30! FIRST WIN ALERT, BABY! What a match! ***1/4

The Wingmen attack Romero post-match, so Trent chases them off with Cassidy and Statlander behind him. And they’re playing the old Roppongi Vice music! High five and Romero takes part in the group hug (although he wasn’t sure what to expect)! Romero gets a boop and Cassidy’s sunglasses as everyone celebrates. I’m begging you, AEW, give me this eight-man tag on the go-home Dark before Double or Nothing.

Whew. I love the fact that AEW acknowledges history like they did with Best Friends coming out for Romero. Narita had only a few minutes but looks like he could be something once he gets a personality. That’s not meant to be an insult, either – Young Lions are nothing but young lions until after their excursion nine times out of ten. I doubt AEW is the best place for that excursion – I think MLW would fit better just because AEW is overloaded – but I like what I saw here. And we’re done in under two hours, which is important.

STATS

BELL TO BELL: 68:18 over twelve matches (average time 5:41)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Romero/Drake

FIVE STARS

  1. Rocky Romero
  2. Ethan Page
  3. Scorpio Sky
  4. JD Drake
  5. Ren Narita (A rule: anyone who wins their first AEW match is automatically one of the Five Stars)

Let’s do it again tomorrow, shall we?