AEW ELEVATION: June 14, 2021

The PG Era Rant for AEW Elevation Episode 14 (“We’re in a Low of Momentum This Week and It Shows”), June 14, 2021.

TONIGHT! Only a couple of feature bouts, but they’ll be really good! Tag team experts go one on one as Angelico faces Mike Sydal, with their tag partners promised at ringside! And in the main event, Scorpio Sky looks to impress in singles competition again as he faces Alex Reynolds of the Dark Order!

PLUS – The Factory, Nyla Rose, Wardlow, Shawn Spears, The Nightmare Family, Julia Hart, Orange Cassidy, Private Party, and the team of Penta El Cero Miedo and Eddie Kingston!

Tony Schiavone interviews Wardlow, who has three matches this week. It’s Wardlow’s world, and he’s gonna knock someone out tonight, choke someone out tomorrow, and get a first-round KO against Hager on Friday in an MMA Rules Cage Fight.

From the AEW Arena.

Opening match: Wardlow (12-4) vs. Jason Hotch (0-1). A lot of people were impressed with Hotch in his first appearance. I don’t think they’ll have much to be impressed by this time, sorry. Tony talks about the Pinnacle’s limo was destroyed.

Wardlow does a double-leg pickup and slam to start. Hotch tries a kick, but gets caught and given a spinebuster. Hotch jumps at Wardlow, but gets pushed back and then runs into a BACK body drop. Wardlow puts Hotch up top, and Hotch falls into a knee strike for the KO at 1:17. One down, two to go. NR

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Vickie Guerrero’s Ex-Boyfriend. Wight says he doesn’t care about QT MarShall and gives him “zero thoughts”.

Lee Johnson (7-1) and Dustin Rhodes (2-0) vs. VSK and Travis Titan (first time teaming). Dustin is coming off of a big win over Nick Comoroto in a bullrope match, remaining undefeated in that discipline.

Dustin and Titan start with a Code of Honor. Lockup, and Dustin runs over Titan before reversing a whip and getting an armdrag. Dustin controls the arm and brings in Johnson, who lands a dropkick. VSK is brought in, and he gets armdragged too. Johnson works the arm and brings Dustin in and they get a kick combo for one. VSK pushes Dustin into his corner and gives a clean break, but Titan with a distraction and VSK forearms Dustin. Titan in, and he fires off rights and gets a front facelock. VSK returns with an axhandle and he chokes Dustin on the top rope. Boot choke follows, and in comes Titan. Titan looks for a backdrop, but Dustin gets the kneeling uppercut and it’s hot tag Johnson. Clotheslines to VSK, then a leaping neckbreaker and kip up. Titan runs into Dustin’s powerslam, and VSK eats the Brain Dawg for the pin at 2:56. Just a showcase. 1/4*

Road Rager! Fyter Fest two-parter! Fight for the Fallen! Cody/QT in a strap match on July 7! Welcome back to touring! (Nature is healing!)

Angelico (w/Jack Evans) (4-3) vs. Mike Sydal (w/Matt Sydal) (5-11). There should be a lot of lucha influence in this one. There are some acts where I’m curious if they’ll turn in front of crowds – TH2 is one of them, given Angelico’s vibing and their unique entrance. Neither second sticks around past the entrance.

Sydal works the arm to start, with Angelico rolling and spinning into a waistlock. Sydal takes him down into a front headlock, but Angelico uses the back of Sydal’s knee to take over with a wristlock. Sydal does a backflip out and takes Angelico down into an armlock. He gets a one-count before Angelico pulls him into ground headscissors. Sydal rolls out to regain the headlock, but Angelico switches to a front facelock and gets backed into the corner, where Sydal gives him a clean break. WRESTLING! They lock knuckles, with Angelico getting the better of it into a headlock into a hammerlock. Sydal switches to his own headlock, then cartwheels out of a back body drop attempt and gets an armdrag. They trade legsweeps and quick covers, with neither getting one. And then Matt Hardy emerges. Angelico with a kneelift and kick to floor Sydal (who hasn’t seen Matt), then he backs him into the corner and gets a snapmare into a surfboard. He tumbles Sydal to re-apply it facing the hard cam, then flips over into something resembling Cattle Mutilation. He then shoves Sydal back to get a two count. More knees to the head of Sydal, then a choke against the middle rope. Sydal with strikes to fight out, but Angelico cuts him off and throws him into the corner. Blind charge misses and Sydal cartwheels off the top, getting an enzuigiri to rattle Angelico. Sydal works him over against the ropes , but Angelico blocks an Irish whip and gets a Hotshot. Navarro Death Roll gets the win at 5:13. Hardy did nothing, thankfully. Fun grapple match. *1/2 Then Matt orders Angelico to add some more damage to Sydal. Angelico throws him into the stage and applies the Death Roll on the floor until Matt chases them off. Schiavone says this might be an injury.

Shawn Spears (3-1) vs. Falco (0-1). It’s been a while since Spears has been on the B show. He comes out to the Pinnacle’s music and, unlike other appearances, there’s no Tully Blanchard in his corner. Spears has a signature chair with him – seriously, it has his logo on the seat.

Code of Honor to start, with no tricky stuff from Spears. He gets an armdrag takedown on the initial lockup, though, and does a bit of a strut. Headlock takedown follows, as he spins Falco around on the mat. We go International~!, but Spears blocks the hiptoss on the first try only for Falco to reverse a reversal to take him down. Spears with a snapmare and he drops axhandles on Falco. He tosses Falco out of the ring, following with knees against the guardrail. Spears then back suplexes Falco on the apron, and back in, he gets the running Death Valley Driver (not a Canadian Destroyer, Tony) for the pin at 2:43. Although if the Canadian Destroyer didn’t exist, that would be a good name for it. It’s called the C-4, after the vertebra that Spears says he tries to break on it. 1/4* Spears gets his chair after the match, but the referee stops him from doing any damage.

The Wingmen talk to Orange Cassidy. Ryan Nemeth says when he first met JD Drake, he was a fat ugly slob. But now he’s slim and trim. He even has a boat. (JD: “It’s a pontoon.”) The point is, Nemeth is offering to give Orange a makeover. The choice is his, but you don’t want to turn it down. Pinkies in, folks.

AEW Games 2.Show ad. Thursday at 5ET on Youtube.

Private Party (Isaiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) (w/the HFO) (#4 team, 5-1) vs. Dean Alexander and Carlie Bravo (0-4). Is Shawn Dean hurt? I thought Dean and Bravo was a natural team. Maybe they want to mix it up with the graduates. Matt, Blade, and Bunny are at ringside. Private Party, according to Tony, are wearing their club threads in the ring. Hey, whatever works.

Alexander and Quen start. They jockey for position on a lockup, and Quen gets a monkey flip and front facelock out of it. Alexander escapes for a reset, then swings at Kassidy to allow Quen to get a headlock. Quen flips out the back to a waistlock before holding onto the ropes and letting Kassidy trip Alexander. Quen drops an elbow and sends Alexander into Kassidy’s shoe. Kassidy in, and he boxes away on Alexander, trying to knock him out with forearms. Kassidy holds the ref’s attention, allowing Quen more shots and a choke. Kassidy with a boot choke, then a regular one against the bottom rope as Matt yaks away. Quen tags in, and Kassidy nails a leg lariat to get Quen two. Some scorpion kicks by Quen to Alexander, and he goes to a front chancery. Alexander fights out and dodges the Pele, hot tag Bravo. Clotheslines for everyone, then a Side Effect to Quen (that he sells poorly). Falcon Arrow follows and he goes up, but Quen has the ref and Kassidy crotches Bravo. Alexander is knocked down, Kassidy’s in, and Gin And Juice ends it at 3:54. Has this team regressed since being signed or is it just me? 1/4*

Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) (#3 women, 11-2) vs. Megan Bayne (0-2). Hoss fight for the women! Let’s see how self-aware Justin Roberts is. Answer: he waits for Vickie to enter, then realizes Vickie is waiting to interrupt him. I’m beginning to feel sorry for Justin. Vickie even brings Justin’s mom into this. It’s just too bad Justin won’t be able to get even on Vickie in any way. Wight: “I think my eardrum just popped.”

Lockup, and Nyla throws Bayne down and gets a hip check in the corner. Lariat and Beast Bomb ends it at 30.2 seconds. Okay then, if you insist. NR Admittedly, the T-shirt draping at the end of matches is some good heeling.

Orange Cassidy (w/Best Friends and Kris Statlander) (#5 men, 8-1-1) vs. Cameron Cole (debut). We get Best Friends music instead of the Pixies. If you can find a pattern, let me know. I’ve heard good things about Cole, let’s see if he can deliver.

We go HANDS IN POCKETS to start. Cole tries to interrupt, but Orange dodges and puts on the armpad. Orange ducks a right, so Cole steps on his foot and knocks him down before picking him up with a DDT for one. He stomps the hands and feet to stay in control, then goes up. Missile dropkick try, but Orange casually steps aside. Orange gets thrown to the apron, then rolls back in, then jumps back to the apron, then leaps over Cole to come back in, then rolls around Cole before smashing him with the Orange Punch to win at 1:59. NR Orange gets his arm raised (barely) by the ref, and we’re gonna HUG IT OUT.

Arik Cannon and Kevin Blackwood (first time teaming) vs. Eddie Kingston (11-4) and Penta El Cero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) (10-5). Yes, folks, THAT Arik Cannon. Let’s just say that if this match gets time, it’s gonna be great. Though the way this episode’s going, that’s a big if. Cannon and Kingston trained together.

Kingston and Cannon start. Lockup, and Cannon with a headlock. Cannon counters a drop down by re-applying the headlock in a neat bit, but Kingston pushes him into the corner. Cannon cheap shots on a break, then gets a spin neckbreaker. Blackwood in, and both men give Kingston shots in the corner. Blackwood with a back suplex try, but Kingston elbows out only to be caught by Blackwood boxing him down for one. Blackwood with a waistlock as they get up, but Kingston breaks it and lands an enzuigiri out of nowhere. Hot-ish tag Penta, and Blackwood eats SUPERKICK. He shoves the Miedo into Blackwood’s face, then chops him hard. Cannon with a cheap shot on Penta, who gives him an enzuigiri. Blackwood responds with a Hammer Throw, but Penta slams on the brakes and gets a SUPERKICK and gutbuster. Kingston back in, and Fear Factor is rolled into a half-nelson suplex for the pin at 3:01. So much for getting time. Still looked like fun while it lasted. 3/4*

Julia Hart (w/Brian Pillman and Griff Garrison) (1-3) vs. Dani Jordyn (0-5). Yes, I love this act. Shut up. The Blonds are at last check back to being #1 Contenders after Double or Nothing. Jordyn did not bring her burn book.

Lockup, and Jordyn gets an armlock. Hart reverses, but Jordyn escapes to get a headlock. We go International~!, with Hart getting a hiptoss and dropkick for two. Jordyn rushes Hart to the corner, then ducks a clothesline and gets a snapmare and dropkick for two. Hart with a short forearm, but Jordyn throws her outside and dropkicks her through the ropes. Back in – after running her into the apron – it gets two. Hart with forearms to fight back, then clotheslines for the comeback. Roundhouse kicks with arm control follow, then a Hammer Throw. Hart gets a front handspring clothesline in the corner, then a running back elbow and bulldog with the splits. Standing moonsault gets two. Jordyn shoves Hart off, but Hart lands the Shiranui on the second try for the pin at 3:12. You can tell how green she is in a match like this, but you can also see that once it clicks, she’s going to be something great. 1/4*

Joe Keys and Deonn Rusman (first time teaming) vs. Aaron Solow (7-13) and QT Marshall (17-1). No one joining the duo right now. Keys is a Ring of Honor moonlighter.

Rusman and Marshall start. Lockup, and Marshall with a headlock. We go International~!, with Marshall stopping on the leapfrog and slugging Rusman hard. Rusman goes up and over Marshall, but walks into a clothesline. Solow in, and he kicks at a wide-open Rusman and gets him in the corner for a chop. Solow whips Rusman (who spins into the corner for some reason), then gets a clothesline and powerslam. Rusman powers Solow into the corner, and Keys is in for a running back elbow. Keys slides under a leapfrog and gets a titl-a-whirl backbreaker. Solow reverses a whip, but blind charge misses only for Solow to yank Keys off the middle rope. Solow pounds away on Keys, then throws Keys into the corner and tags in Marshall. Suplex and kneedrop gets two. Marshall just stares at Keys before throwing a right and tagging in Solow. Keys tries to fight back, but Solow cuts him off only to have Keys slip out of a slam. Hot tag Rusman, who lands clotheslines but runs into a 540 kick. Marshall gives Keys the Diamond Cutter and tells Solow to end it, and a Pedigree does that at 3:52. More competitive than most matches we’ve seen. 1/2*

Alex Reynolds (11-7) vs. Scorpio Sky (w/Ethan Page) (14-2). Apparently, it’s already Main Event time. A quick check of the lineup confirms that, yes, we’re already at the end. Ethan goes to commentary. The whole Dark Order of course accompanies Reynolds to the ring, but no one sticks around.

Lockup, and Reynolds with a front facelock. He switches to an armlock, then a waistlock, oddly out-wrestling Sky, until Sky gets a single-leg and slams Reynolds on his face. Sky gives Reynolds a free shot, and Reynolds gets a kick and headlock. We go International~!, with Reynolds slamming on the brakes on a leapfrog and clotheslining Sky before getting a suplex for two. Reynolds with uppercuts in the corner, then a straight right. He goes up and over when a whip is reversed, then they exchange waistlocks until Reynolds gets a back elbow and sunset flip try. Sky sits down for two, reversed for two. Sky with a kneelift to stop the momentum. Reynolds catches Sky charging in and drop toe holds him on the apron, adding the Drive-By Dropkick. He goes up, and flying crossbody gets two. Sky tosses Reynolds to the apron, then blasts him off into the guardrail. Sky rams Reynolds into the apron on the outside, and back in, he kicks away. Sky with rights on Reynolds, boxing him to a seated position, but Reynolds tells the ref he’ll continue. He fights up to his feet, but Sky with a snapmare and face scrape. Neck crank follows, adding an elbow to Reynolds’s face. He picks Reynolds up, with Reynolds slugging back into it and tossing Sky to the outside, but Sky quickly rolls back in and races into a clothesline. Sky’s charge misses, and Reynolds with a back elbow, spinning uppercut, dropkick, and kip up. Spinning punch and neckbreaker gets two. Both men have to pull themselves up, and Reynolds charges Sky and knocks him down to a seated position, giving him a running knee strike. Sky with a chop block on Reynolds when he escapes a fireman’s carry, but Reynolds kicks out of a heel hook setup. Corner stomp by Reynolds on a charging Sky and he goes up, and he lands on his feet on a moonsault… which tweaks his knee. Reynolds fights off Sky and tries a discus punch, but Sky ducks and gets the heel hook for the victory at 7:43. At least the main event was good. **1/4

We end with the debut of the music video for “Rise” by Mikey Rukus (aka the AEW Dark theme). It features just about everyone in the gaming group for AEW doing Among Us in cartoon form. It looks like Evil Uno, Brandon Cutler, Leva Bates, Allie, Mookieghana, and a couple others I don’t recognize but should… and Rukus is the impostor taking them all out.

Okay, I get it – with Dynamite being bumped around due to the NBA Playoffs, June is being phoned in a bit. If it means less work for me and a return to shorter shows, I can live with it. I just wonder if the independent folks will still get tryouts televised. It’s one of the things AEW does well, and maybe they can revisit Daily’s Place once in a while and make it happen.

STATS

BELL TO BELL – 36:20 over eleven matches (average time 3:18)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT – Sky/Reynolds

FIVE STARS:

  1. Alex Reynolds
  2. Angelico
  3. Mikey Rukus
  4. Scorpio Sky
  5. QT Marshall

See you tomorrow!